There is a Generation…

“There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.

There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.

There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.”

—Proverbs 30:11-13

Around the world, we see rebellious children disobeying their parents; we see churchgoers, thinking of themselves as separated from the wicked, yet overlooking their own sins; we see puffed up men and women, proud of whatever they have, abilities, fame, wealth, name, etc. As I had been thinking, and you might be too, “I’m not part of this class you just described!”

Well, we’ll see.

There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.

“Ouch.”

“Are you speaking of me?”

“Do you think I’m part of that generation?”

Those are just three of the many reactions you encounter when you tell that to people, children, teenagers or grown-up adults. Hardly anyone would admit that they cursed their father, or did not bless their mother. It would just be very demeaning to say that to anyone. Maybe you did not do it the way the world would have done, but you certainly did that, unaware. (By the way, the act of rolling your eyes is a subtle rebellion, which in turn can become habitual rebellion if it’s not corrected soon.)

Let’s think opposites for a moment: the antonym of ‘curse’ is ‘bless’. How do you bless someone? Most would say it would be by praying God’s favour on them, but to bless is also by honouring and thanking them. So, put it this way:

“There is a generation that does not pray God’s favour on their father, and does not honour and thank their mother.”

Ha! There goes an arrow piercing straight to the heart! You know, another way of not blessing your parents is by not helping them? They’re not getting younger and their strength is diminishing (though sometimes they refuse to believe it), but we’re becoming more and more capable of doing their work—especially around the house— ourselves. Sometimes when they get worn out accomplishing things they just don’t have enough strength to do, do we just sit around and let them get things done? I should think that’s another side of cursing your parents. (I’m not just talking to you; I’m talking to myself so don’t get mad.) A good way we could honour and bless them is by lightening their load, and I’m sure it honours God.

Did we ever pray that God would grant wisdom and guidance to our parents? Did we ever pray that He would give our fathers strength as he does the work to provide for his family? Did we ever say, “Thank you Lord, for a caring mother, that is virtuous and submits to her husband”? Are we part of this generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother? Or will we be a generation who, by the grace of God, will honour and help them? Let us be a generation that will be said to have done right in the eyes of the Lord, and of man.

“Ready Always”

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”–I Peter 3:15

Many times in my childhood, and even until now, our family would take sudden trips to various places, far and near. Often we would ask my dad, “Where, how long, and when?” And often the answer is, “Just be ready.” As I grew up, I’ve learnt to be ready at a moment’s notice, packing up what I would need for any trip.

“Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you…” Being ready takes preparation, and it takes time–time to think over what you need, what you’ll say, etc. And the preparation to “give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you” is to “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts”. THAT is NOT an easy thing to do. To “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts” means to have a deeper relationship with our Saviour; it means to see and know the holiness of God; it means to depart from evil because there is the Holy Spirit within you. This is a continual spiritual battle between the flesh and the spirit, and between God’s host and the devil’s. The only way to be ready ALWAYS when someone asks about the blessed hope that we have is to be prepared, be sanctified in the Lord.

“Just be ready. Just be prepared.”

Patterns

Do you use patterns? I use them all the time. I use them when I make dresses, skirts, or blouses. It is one of the most important factors when sewing because it is keeps everything aligned, cut to the same length, and it makes sure that the fabric will not be wasted. When I play musical instruments, I notice that there are patterns. The most basic is the “Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti” pattern which repeats itself over and over again. Of course, there are other ones; chords, arpeggios, runs, etc.—these make the music interesting to hear.

Where else can we see patterns? The King James Bible 1611 has God-inspired patterns also. Take a look into the book of Psalms and you’ll easily find at least one. There are more throughout the Scriptures; seek, and ye shall find. 🙂

What else? Have you looked at people? Don’t you think they are patterns? The only thing is that sometimes there are broken patterns, wasted patterns, good patterns, and beautiful patterns. If the fabric were to choose which pattern it would use, what would it be? If we were to choose the pattern we would follow, who would it be?

Broken and wasted patterns

There have been times when I sew that I tried to use a pattern that had been somehow torn or crumpled. However, when I would cut it, the lines would not be straight neither would it be the exact measurement I wanted it to be. Since the outcome was not very satisfactory to me, I would have to think of a creative way make it do so I could use it.

People are patterns; it just depends on what kind of pattern they are to one another. The broken patterns are the ones who would do just about anything they want with no limits and having not a care in the world for the consequences. Some of them you’ll see outright; others are subtle but just as broken as the other. The wasted patterns are those who started right but sadly, ended up just like the former pattern. These are the patterns unable to make the lives of others another good pattern for generations to follow. A word of counsel: the fabric cut with the wrong pattern can still be remedied, but the life that follows broken and wasted patterns will never be resolved, unless it seeks for God’s mercy and grace.

Good and beautiful patterns

There were also times when I would rip up the seams of a perfectly beautiful dress only because it did not fit me anymore. Besides, I ripped them up in order to make them patterns for other dresses that would suit me better. And there were times when I would overlap good patterns and observe that the results were of good quality.

Do you know of a person that would make a wonderful pattern? I know several people to whom I can look on for an example. They love the Lord and desire to serve Him, striving to be a pattern of good works to the brethren. Whenever I see these patterns, it makes me want to keep on their example and make my life another beautiful pattern for others to follow.

We don’t necessarily have to rip up a person to make them our pattern. I think you know what I mean. 🙂 Just look into their lives and see how they allow God to work on them. And we don’t have to follow just one; overlapping them or bringing them together to make one beautiful pattern may work. If you follow only one pattern, there may come a time that they would break and be wasted. However, if the one pattern that you are following is the only good one, then I guess you may emulate their pattern. Just remember, the Holy Spirit must be your guide in choosing your patterns; follow them only if they follow God’s Word.

“In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works…”—Titus 2:7

“I won’t be young forever!”

I’ve seen children dreaming of grand birthday parties, and I’m sure you’ve seen them too. Little lasses fancy princess themed parties, with tiaras, gowns, and glittering slippers. Little lads imagine that they’re one of the Marvel heroes, Lightning McQueen, or a soldier in the Army, Air Force, or Navy. With chocolate cake and bright balloons, with jolly games and wonderful gifts, they will consider it complete.

I’ve seen wives and mothers past the age of forty, trying to look younger than they are, and I’m sure you’ve seen them too. Their faces have fine lines that tell of the times that they worried for their husbands and their children. Their hands declare how much work she has done, scrubbing soiled clothes, cutting up vegetables, smoothing a feverish forehead, etc. Her hair, which her children have brushed, smoothed, or played with, will become streaked with gray. If you look at them, you will see how much they have cared for their families.

And they remind me that I won’t be young forever! I will become an aged woman when the time comes. In Titus 2, aged women are to teach the young women ‘to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, obedient to their own husbands’. That’s not a very long list of lessons, but it will cover a lot of practical things in life that will be manifested by spiritual things. Not all aged women are qualified to teach these things, because during their younger days, they had not been sober, loving, discreet, chaste, and keepers at home. But thanks be to God, there are also the aged women who can be teachers of these ‘good things’. They are the ones whose behavior is ‘as becometh to holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine’. They are to teach these to the young women ‘that the word of God be not blasphemed’.

As a young woman, there are a lot of things that I need to know. First, I must learn to be sober. Being sober, or serious, in life is a hard thing to do. If not for the wisdom that comes from God and his word, everything I do might have been just going along with the flow of the world. I also need to learn to love my husband and my children. I don’t have a husband now (there will come a day for that) and I certainly don’t have children, so this is where the example of the aged women steps in, and I study from them. Besides this, I must learn to be discreet and chaste. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find a good example in this regard. To be a keeper at home, my mother is my teacher. And to be obedient and submissive to my own husband, I obey my father. All these I need to learn so that the word of God will not be blasphemed, and that I would be ready to teach when the time comes.

Many have told me, “You’re young and talented. Take a chance and show the world what you have. Have fun; you’re still young, and you won’t be young forever.”

‘tis true. I won’t be young forever. Some may say I have talent, but it’s not mine. It belongs to the God who made me. And because it is His, all I do should be for Him alone.

Besides, I have my fun. 🙂 I have fun washing dishes and hanging laundry. I have fun cutting and sewing up dresses. I have fun caring for my siblings and changing diapers. I have fun trying to bake with little sisters wanting to ‘help’. I have fun teaching ABC’s and checking schoolwork. Some may call it work, and I guess it is work, but it’s wonderful to know that these little things that I do is actually fun when I serve

Jesus, and Others, and You

—What a wonderful way to spell JOY!”

18, 19, 20, 21,—25, —–31,——38,——45,——52……

Time flies. I might as well prepare myself to teach younger women…with a happy face and a joyous heart. 🙂

Far Above Rubies

Rubies, diamonds, pearls—all these precious stones are not easily gotten and are therefore very costly. It takes a tremendous amount of labour and care for them to be taken from beneath the earth, separated from stone, chipped, cut, and polished to be the beautiful gems set in jewelry. What else can be of more value than these?

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” -Proverbs 31:10, KJV. Why did God place the virtuous woman far above rubies? In light of the first paragraph, I doubt that there is something far more of value than gold, silver, and precious stones. But there is, there is!

A virtuous woman is:
1) A woman whose heart of her husband safely trusts in her,
2) A woman who will do her husband good and not evil all the days of her life,
3) A woman that worketh willingly with her hands,
4) A woman who brings her food from afar, (and not just the canned goods and hotdogs)
5) A woman that riseth while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household,
6) A woman who considers a field, and buys it (she does business management),
7) A woman who, with the fruit of her hands, plants a vineyard (or a vegetable garden, for that matter),
 A woman who strengthens her arms,
9) A woman whose candle goeth not out by night (she sure does not stop until she finishes what needs to be done! :))
10) A woman who lays her hands on the spindle and distaff (she weaves!)
11) A woman who stretcheth out her hands to the poor and the needy,
12) A woman who is not afraid of snow for her household (she is quite prepared for emergencies…),
13) A woman who makes herself coverings of tapestry (she sews her own clothes, and modest ones too, I might add!),
14) A woman whose husband is known among the elders of the land,
15) A woman who makes fine linen, and selleth it (there it is again…she does business),
16) A woman whose clothing are strength and honour,
17) A woman who opens her mouth with wisdom,
18) A woman who looketh well to the ways of her household, and is not idle,
19) A woman whose children rise up and call her blessed,
20) A woman whose husband praiseth her.

A virtuous woman is a rare thing to find, and if there is one, it takes a great amount of labour and care for them to such. Just imagine of your mother, wife, daughter, or sister was a virtuous woman. Would it not be a great blessing? We ought to take good care of all virtuous women as much (and more!) as we would take care of the sparkling gemstones. They are precious and are placed far above rubies.

Pearls, diamonds, and rubies—
All of which are hard to get.
Taken from beneath,
Separated from stone,
Chipped and carefully cut,
Smoothened and polished,
To be the beautiful stones
Fixed in jewelries.

Pearls, diamonds, and rubies—
None can be higher.
Or is there?
A willing worker,
A business maker,
A keeper at home—
It is the virtuous woman
Set far above rubies.

Sewing Patience

“Little girls sew until their fingers fall off….” Or so the saying goes. Wellllll…..maybe not to the point that their fingers fall off because now we have sewing machines that make sewing clothes faster than when it was done by hand. Still, there are times when a seamstress has to use only a needle and thread to embroider, do beadwork and other intricate sewing.

Anyway, it is not just the home maker’s skill that little girls learn when they sew. While it is a valuable asset for ladies, there is something far more important that they get every time they sew. Their character is being built with every stitch, every mistake, every time they start again. Patience is learnt as they sit still, trying to sew straight lines. And it is patience that will help them in their every day life. I can say this without uncertainty because I myself sew dresses for the girls in my family. Patience is needed as they scrub dirty clothes, bake cakes and cookies, and cook. If they are not patient, the clothes will have to be laundered again, their cakes soggy in the middle, and their food half-cooked. Patience is needed to teach kids to do chores and schoolwork. And, if they are not patient, their kids may end up as unresponsible adults. Do you see how important it is? If you think it through, there are at least a dozen circumstances that proves patience is an absolute necessity. And guess what?? Little girls learn it with a needle and thread in their hands.

Why don’t we take a needle and thread and start sewing? Perhaps we can also learn patience. 🙂