Monday, March 29, 2010

Man Hunting is Not a Virtue, Part 2

My sons, you have the incredible God given privilege to someday be a picture of Christ. As a man, you will be given the opportunity to display Christ, His love, His sacrifice, His ongoing nurture, His proactive care for His Bride. If God grants you a virtuous woman someday and you have prepared yourself to be worthy of her, then you will get the delight of living Christ for her benefit and for the world to have a living epistle by your marriage. You will have the untold wonder of a beautiful union that will be a whisper of the marriage supper of the Lamb and a breath of our becoming one with Christ. This is a high calling, one worthy to prepare for, one challenging for even the best of men.

With such an important purpose ahead of you, remember the warning of 2 Timothy 2:4, “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” You are the soldier of the LORD Jesus Christ. Do not let yourself be distracted from your goal and glory.

How can you be dissuaded from your high calling for just a few moments of attention from some young woman who is not to be your Bride? Do you think Christ allowed some other attraction to enter His thoughts or purpose? Do you think He gave into impurity so that His love for His Bride would be tainted in any way? Do you think He defrauded His Bride by some previous dalliance with anyone else?

As a man, you have to engage in warfare against the temptations common to your sex. Men love to want. They enjoy the art of desiring and longing after women. Men also enjoy the attention of women. They will receive those attentions of women skilled in man hunting and then excuse themselves by saying they (the men) are not guilty because they were not pursuing or engaging the woman, only receiving the attention offered as if that meant they were not present and involved in the whole incident.

You must have a higher standard than that if you are going to fulfill your duties as a Christian man. You must reject the arguments that are made such as, “It is nothing; we were just talking,” and ones likely to cover up what is in your heart. You cannot claim innocence if you allow young women to hover around you seeking attention or giving it. You must determine to live better, to live more holy lives in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.

I know that many of the young ladies are not instructed in godly behavior. I understand that they many not even know that they are man hunting because all they see is that everyone else interacts that way. I certainly see that they do not have the appearance of “evil”, if you will, but nevertheless when they are placing themselves before you in the hopes of being noticed or getting to notice you, then they are acting, as Proverbs describes, the behavior of strange women and you must extricate yourself from such situations.

The Scriptures give young men stern warning about these very kinds of interactions with women. “Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths; for she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men. Her house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death.” (Proverbs 7:25-27) This is a stark warning to those who think they can “stray into her paths” and survive. It cautions that even wandering near her can lead to your demise. The previous victims were all strong men WHO WERE SLAIN.

In the same chapter from Proverbs we learn this: “With her enticing speech she caused him to yield, with her flattering lips she seduced him. Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks, till an arrow struck his liver, as a bird hastens to the snare, he did not know it would cost his life.”

A man who welcomes, receives, and encourages any and all man hunting

is forfeiting his life. If he loves a woman’s flattering lips and enticing speech and flirtatious interactions, he is as an ox going to the slaughter. He is basically giving himself over to her will and losing his own.

Over and over again men are gravely warned about the consequences of letting their hearts and lust overtake them and giving themselves to the clutches of an evil woman. Proverbs says that such a man will lose his honor, his wealth, his labors, his flesh and body will be consumed, and he will fall into the depths of hell.

And again, Proverbs tells the young men to stay as far away as possible from such women: “Remove your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house…” “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here; and as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, ‘stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.’ But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of hell.”

So whether or not you believe it all to be harmless, take heed to the warnings of Scriptures and of your parents who love you dearly. Avoid such folly at all costs. I cannot help that most men and fathers have never learned to do this very thing so they cannot teach their own sons. In fact, the fathers of the young ladies who are man hunters are not teaching their daughters to refrain from such behavior either. We have seen some fathers who actually take pride in the attention their daughters are able to get from their man hunting.

For this reason and many more, you must be vigilant to watch your eyes, always talk with young ladies in a polite manner, and leave the conversation if there is any digression into flirting styles. Do not allow yourself to have any media contact with females: no texting, phoning, or internet relationships at all. Refrain from singling out any young lady for your particular attention or from receiving her attention. And most of all, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) You have to learn to exercise wisdom in each and every situation that arises so that you can live with a clear conscience before God.

Train yourself not to even THINK about a young lady in a romantic way until you have done these things first: prepare yourself spiritually and financially to take on a wife, discuss it with us to seek our counsel, and then ask permission of her father or guardian to get to know her better with the intent that you will quickly discern if she and you are a good fit. We do not want you dallying with the heart or affections of another person without the intention of carrying through on a relationship.

It is your responsibility to see to it that you are in no way guilty of encouraging any young lady wrongly and thus you can be free of condemnation before God in these matters. We are not to allow even a hint of immorality in our lives and yet DAILY in Christian circles active man hunting occurs and men enjoy the role of prey.

Wise men will still use Proverbs 31 as a guide in searching for a virtuous bride. In it King Lemuel’s mother instructs him to be wise and what to look for when searching for a suitable wife. See, mothers know what women are like and want to warn their sons to stay away from the wrong kind of women and instead to turn their hearts toward God and what a godly woman looks like. Wise men will turn away from the paths of any and every strange woman. In our day that means you will have to find a very narrow way because the paths are wide and filled with man hunting and sin. But the narrow way is the one to choose after all.

-----posted by Queen Lucy

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I Want My Sunday Stranger

To my dear aunt Lovisa Haney,

I am writing this letter to you so that you may know what has happened to me since I left the ranch after uncle Herber beat me for racing Sunday. As I hope you would know by now, my horse Sunday was stolen by soldiers in the Confederate army.
Two men by the names of Porfirio and Juan Sanchez took me east into Mexico. While in one of the towns there, I found out the name of the man who took Sunday. It was Jefferson Coleraine. I continued following Coleraine’s trail, but I could never seem to catch up to him. I eventually met a photographer who wanted to take photos of the battles so people could see how battles were really horrific bloody things instead of these glorious things that people were always thinking they were.
After one battle I heard President Abraham Lincoln give a speech that started with words like “Four score and seven years ago.” This was his Gettysburg address. I eventually found my horse Sunday. He had been picked up by some poor farmers after he had been shot in the leg and ran from the battle. I decided to let the farmers keep Sunday and I am returning as soon as the railroad is built. Please keep my sisters safe.

Sincerely your nephew,
Andrew Laney

--posted by Princess Ann

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Worshipping a Great God

"It is a fact of Christian history that those who are consciously worshipping a great God do not find that worship services lasting two or three hours are a bore; on the contrary, they are experienced as a joy. That was true in the seventeenth century, as it is true today. By comparison, the modern Western passion for services lasting not more than sixty minutes raises the suspicion that both our God and our own spiritual statues are rather small."
---J.I.Packer, "A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life" p. 334.

------posted by Queen Lucy

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Couponing update

I have discovered in my conversations with some other women that there are misconceptions about couponing. For example, some think that if you only buy generic that somehow coupon strategies will not improve your savings. When you learn to use stacking and store incentives and are willing to buy name brands at incredible bargains, you can save money even off a budget that primarily buys generic or store brands.

For instance: I usually buy Kirkland brand liquid laundry soap. For my time, volume of laundry, and cost, that was the best. Kirkland laundry soap sells for $13.79 for 170 ounces. That is 8 cents per ounce. With coupon stacking and store incentives, I got a 50 ounce bottle of Purex laundry soap for $1.99. That is 4 cents per ounce. I was able to get 4 bottles of Purex at that price. That is where doing your homework can definitely save you even more money.

Also the other questions are about the coupon themselves. Some people buy one or two Sunday papers to get the coupons in the inserts. If you just buy the Sunday paper and honestly use the coupons, I think over time it could easily pay for itself. However there are also quite a few online coupon sources. I have had a very difficult time getting those to print. We have only just discovered it is because we have the newer Windows Vista on our computer and the printer downloads are not recognizing our computer. So if you have an older version of Windows you should do better than I have.

Another concern is having to cut all these coupons out, cart them to the store, try and figure out what the best deal is, etc. There are two ways to improve this. First there are a cazillion blogs out there devoted to just certain stores in particular areas of the country that tell you what the best deals are for that week. I use ones that list Fred Meyer's, Albertson's, Rite Aid, and Target deals. If you go to the original site I and click on the grocery store or national store menu spots, you will end up at some of these blogs. They give you what coupons,and with what items for that week you should use. Some stores let you load your store loyalty cards with all your coupons off the internet.

I am still learning. But I saved 20% off our household budget last month and will definitely keep working to refine the techniques that will enable me to continue doing that. I hope you try some of this and spread the news. Economically, no matter what the "experts" are saying, if the federal government keeps printing money and spending it as rapidly as they did in the last year, we are going to see inflation skyrocket and we will have more tightening of our belts. (Remember that when the government does that they are stealing the wealth of its citizens!)

P.S. I added the BeCentsAble to my links list!

---posted by Queen Lucy