Stepping Heavenward

2006-08-07

A Real Man

A Real Man
. .…understands and lives according to the basic purposes for which he was created: to worship, honor, and serve God. (Romans 12:1-2)…values and carefully handles the scriptures. (2 Timothy 2:15)…doesn’t pride himself on being knowledgeable in the sinful ways of the world. (1 John 2:15-16, James 4:4, Philippians 4:8)
A real man . . .…isn’t embarrassed to worship God and pray in a group setting. (Mark 8:38)…is wise, yet humble. (Proverbs 2:1-10, 1 Peter 5:5, Romans 12:16)
A real man . . .…takes leadership in a self-sacrificing way. (Ephesians 5:25-28)…is kind because, “What is desirable in man is his kindness” (Proverbs 19:22)…doesn’t try to prove himself but is simply confident as he walks in the fear of the Lord. (Proverbs 14:26-27)…doesn’t put others down with his actions, attitude, words, or his strength. But on the contrary, he affirms and builds others up (Proverbs 15:4, Ephesians 4:29)
A real man . . .…treats his sisters and mother with as much respect as he would treat a prospective wife. (Matthew 25:21)…not only respects but appreciates a young lady’s purity and innocence. In our culture innocence isn’t retained by accident. (2 Corinthians 11:2-3)…values his purity as much as he values a young lady’s purity. He is not ashamed to live and act differently from the world in order to guard himself. (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, Ecclesiastes 7:26)…can look a girl straight in the eye without communicating any impurity. (Proverbs 20:11)
A real man . . .…isn’t ashamed to identify himself with his family (Ephesians 6:2-3)…is a gentleman. He is polite and shows women honor in everyday things such as opening doors, etc. (1 Peter 3:7)…has no desire to be gross in order to impress other men. He doesn’t swear or tell disgusting stories. (Proverbs 13:5, Ephesians 5:4)
A real man . . .…shows by his actions that he loves children. (Matthew 19:13-14)…is pleasant and expresses joy rather than feeling that it’s masculine to be sullen. (Proverbs 21:29, 1 Thessalonians 5:16)…doesn’t blame others for his own problems but embraces responsibility. (Proverbs 12:27)…can accept correction (Proverbs 12:1, Proverbs 29:1)
A real man . . .…is mature in his emotions and his expressions of them. He can deal with the trials of life logically, with wisdom, not on a basis of emotional instability. (Proverbs 14:29, Proverbs 17:27, Proverbs 12:18)…understands the value of work and is financially responsible. (Colossians 3:23-24, 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12, Luke 16:10-11)…expresses himself with intelligent words rather than using “street talk”. (Proverbs 17:20, Titus 2:6-8, 1 Peter 4:11, Ephesians 4:29)

A Real Woman

A Real Woman...

. .…is glad she’s a woman and rejoices in her femininity, expressing it through her attitude, appearance and bearing. (1 Timothy 2:9-10)…does not compete for equality with men or chafe at God’s design for male and female, but delights in and understands the importance of her calling to complement man’s role. (1 Timothy 2:11-12, Ephesians 5:22-24)…values the cultivation of her mind and diligently seeks after wisdom and knowledge. (Proverbs 22:17-21, 2:2-6)…realizes her imperative need to allow the Holy Spirit to control her emotions and expressions of them. (James 1:19-20)…does not wallow in self-pity or make a habit of voicing complaints, but radiates cheerfulness and joy. (Proverbs 15:15, Proverbs 17:22)
A real woman . . .…appreciates her father’s protection, and respects and submits to his authority. In so doing, she is preparing herself to exercise the Biblical role in her relationship with a possible future husband. (Ephesians 5:33-6:3, 1 Peter 3:1-2)…is trustworthy and gains the respect of those around her. (Proverbs 31:11)…restrains herself from listening to, or participating in gossip, but instead speaks with wisdom and discretion. (Proverbs 11:12-13, 22, 20:19, 3:11)…encourages and builds up those around her instead of criticizing and tearing them down. (1 Thessalonians 5:11, Ephesians 4:29)…does not have a nagging, contentious or manipulative manner in which she deals with others. (Judges 16:16, Proverbs 21:9, 19, 26:21)…is not boisterous or loud in her speech or actions but is characterized by a gentle and quiet spirit. (Proverbs 9:13, 1 Peter 3:4)
A real woman . . .…portrays chastity, modesty and reverence in her manner, and wears the ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is her true beauty. (1 Peter 3:3-4, Titus 2:4-5)…is not offended by respect shown her through gentlemanly courtesies (opening doors, etc.) but cultivates the differences between the sexes that make her worthy of this deference. (1 Peter 3:7, Mark 10:6)…seeks to make God her number one desire and the Lover of her soul, knowing that only He can fully satisfy. (Psalm 73:25, Psalm 63:1)…uses her years of singleness to seek and serve God without distraction, and is content to leave the details of her future to Him. (Psalm 73:25, Philippians 4:11)
A real woman . . .…does not relate to members of the opposite sex in a flirtatious or forward manner, but instead saves all her passion for her future husband. (Thessalonians 4:3-8, Proverbs 6:25, 1 Corinthians 7:1)…holds her virginity before marriage sacred and will not compromise it for anything. (This one goes for guys too)(1 Timothy 5:22)

Don't Rip Your Rosebuds!

Don't Rip Your Rosebuds!


Okay… I’ll be honest with you right from the start. I am writing this for myself, before I write it for anybody else. Why? Because, I’ll admit, I am struggling in this area. And just maybe you have found yourself in my shoes before.

Here I am… approaching the last year of my teens and what have I accomplished? What have I done with these years that will soon be shut up and gone forever? The page is about to turn and what dreams have been fulfilled? Have any of those wild and exciting plans become reality? Yes, there have been a few, and I assure you they are thrilling things that I am not going to forget- even when my hair turns grey and my teeth fall out. But it does seem like those times have been few and there have been long stretches of dessert to walk in between them.

It seems like that those girls in books and movies have the perfect life- everything works out the way they want, and they have all the fun and excitement I only wish for. Every nice thing happens to them! And whether they are pruning rose bushes at dusk or galloping on the horse in the wild country, it always seems so much more beautiful and exciting than the things in my life. When I prune our rose bushes I get cut up, and its been so long since I was on a horse that I would probably fall off now. (Well, I'd like to imagine I would remember some of the riding skills!)

What ever happens to poor little me? Ah now…that’s the problem! I was meant to be a character in a book set last century. If I was living then, if I was at that age, and if I knew those kinds of people, my life would be grand.

Can you see what has happened to me? I am sitting here wishing for life the way I want it. The way I plan it, with the things happening that I want to see. And while I am sitting here feeling sorry for myself and envying my friends who seem to have a life that is unfairly similar to my dreams… I am losing today. I am forgetting that today won’t come back. I am complaining and moping about my life, and while doing so, I have wasted this time…

By dreaming of the future, and hoping and imagining exciting things, I have forgotten the present. So now, I am neither living in the present, or the future. I am in no mans land.

I know that God has a plan for me. I also know that if He gave me the choice to choose what was going to happen to be right now, I would probably ruin it and make my life a mess…simply because I would be making things happen outside of God’s perfect timing. It would be like trying to open a rose with my fingers before it was ready to bloom. In time, with the right amount of sun and rain, the rose will bloom by itself and be beautiful and just perfect growing in the right place, instead of a ripped up mess that I would make with it.
Why hasn’t God given me what I want right now? I guess He knows that the time is not right. He knows what is best for me now and despite my temper tantrums and arguments, He quietly and gently tries to tell me just to wait on Him.

Have you ever taken a child shopping with you? Imagine it: you reach the cereal isle with the little one and as you reach up on the shelf to get the weetbix the child looks at you with large pleading eyes and says:

“Can’t we pleeeease have this for breakfast instead?”

You take a look, and see she is holding those new chocolate puffs. The little girl would much rather wake up to some sugary delights for breakfast rather than boring old weetbix. Despite the fact that you know those chocolate puffs would be quite a nice treat, you know that they won’t fill the child up, nor would it be healthy for her to be eating so much sugar. You gently tell her no,

“We’ll take the weetbix home.”

Have you, like me, demanded God for the chocolate puffs in your life? I have done it all too often.

But I am now trying to see it from God’s point of view. (Don’t know how well I am doing!J ) He does understand my dreams and He knows the restlessness in my heart. And it’s because of His love for me, as His child, that He only gives me what I need for today. Let’s not snatch the rose out of His hand. Only He can make it bloom. With His help we can stop tearing up our roses and let Him help us bloom where we are planted.

-Cel

About Stepping Heavenward

For many years I have dreamed about writing a small magazine to encourage Christian young people like myself, but for years didn't do anything about it. I thought I would have nothing decent to say and was afraid of seeming a little like a hyporcrite because I am such a bundle of mistakes and failings myself!

But, eventually, I decided to give it a go...and the magazine has now been in existance sine May this year. I have been getting support from people in Ireland, England, Australia and the U.S.A. Thank-you all!

Several people have since asked me if I would create blog for it as well and so here is the attempt! I've already had one major hiccup in trying to work out how all this works...but we're back on track now!

In time, if I don't accidentally blow up the computer, I'll be adding and improving things...so keep coming back to visit! :)

Hope you enjoy the humble scribbles!

Love from,
Cel

12 Noah's Ark Truths

12 Noah's Ark truths
1. Don't miss the boat.
2. Try to remember that we've all in the same boat.
3. Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.
4. Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone might ask you to do something really big.
5. Don't listen to critics; just get on with what has to be done.
6. Build your future on high grounds.
7. For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
8. Two heads are better than one.
9. Speed isn't always an advantage, after all, the snails was on board with the cheetahs.
10. When you are stressed, try floating a while.
11. Remember that the ark was built by amateurs- it was the Titanic that was built by professionals! No matter what the difficulties, trust in the Almighty- there'll be the rainbow at the end of the storm

A Pimple on a Pumpkin?

A Pimple on a Pumpkin?

Have you ever wondered what use you are? Ever felt small and insignificant or even a waste of space?
I am sure that most of us, at some time or another have experienced such feelings and if I were to be honest with you, cries of “What good am I?” and “Am I actually needed here?” have been uttered from my mouth incredibly frequently!

But then, when I am sitting here questioning where I belong, the purpose of my life and even my existence, I have to stop and remember that there IS somebody who does think I am a good deal important. When I am feeling alone and about as useful as a pimple on a pumpkin, I need to realise that I am meant to be here. I am not an accident.

God created me, and what’s more, He knew me before I was born, before I was even formed in my mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5) and He had me in mind before He even created the world!

God delights in me, isn’t that an incredible thought? This old lump of clay that fails miserably and is full of imperfections is still loved by its Creator!
And when I was born, God didn’t just dump me unceremoniously here on earth and leave me alone to fend for myself. He is here, and He going through this life with me. He knows when I go to bed at night, when I wake up, he knows my thoughts no matter how weird, abstract or confused they may be. (Psalm 139) He knows me, because I am His work, and He loves me. And despite the frequent mess I make of my life, He’ll never leave or forsake me until He has completed making me the woman he dreams of.

“Catch a glimpse of my incredible love for you!
I pray that you will be rooted and established in love, may you have the power to grasp how wide, and how long,
and how high and how deep
My completely unconditional love is for you- a love that surpasses human knowledge. -Ephesians 3:17-19 (ASV)


The devil has so many people convinced that they are worthless…but if we take the time to stop and think how we arrived here on the earth in the first place…it blows our minds!

Don’t feel useless; you’re far more beautiful than a pimple on a pumpkin!

-Cel

Why Worry?

So many times in our lives we worry about things. For young people we are faced with unsettling questions of "Will I pass my exams?" "Will I get the job I am looking for?" "Will I ever get married?"

For middle aged people the list may be slightly different. "How do I get the money to replace the window Jane broke when she tried to ride her bike through it?" "How am I supposed to fit all these activities into one day? I've got a million things to do!"

For grandparents the list is still different. They might worry about their pensions, their married children, or the problem grandchild.

The lists are endless! We seem to run around in a turmoil and all the while things get worse and worse in our lives. When we stop to think about how many things we worry over, it boggles our minds!

But what does God say? "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you. Don't let your heart be troubled". John 14:27

"God's peace?" we cry out, pausing for a moment. "Oh, if only we could have His peace in our lives!" But even though we read those gentle words we still continue to fly around in a fit-still worrying about the day to day things we have to deal with.

That's when God's words of "Be still and know that I am God", really jump out at us. We weren't created to struggle on alone in our life. We need to rest in God and know that He does care about every little or big detail in our lives. He is with us always and he wants us to unload all our cares on Him. (1st Peter 5:7)

Even when we are overwhelmed, confused or daunted, God is not. He created us and brought us into this world for a reason and He knows the plans He has for us. (Jeremiah 29:11) Why bother panic and stress out when the God of the universe is on our side and in control of our lives, ready to give us a hand if only we will allow Him to?

Whenever we worry over things we are actually doubting God- and robbing ourselves of His peace which "passes understanding". Ephesians 3:19 We can only truly be free when we stop spinning around in circles and grab hold of our Father's hand and say, "Okay Lord, things aren't working here. Help me to put my complete trust in you and to give everything that worries me into your hands".

It's not easy to do, but it's worthwhile. And I can imagine the smile on God's face when we eventually do give it all over to Him.

Cel