Sunday, May 29, 2005

Dress Standards for Teen Girls

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Dress Standards for Teen Girls
By Mrs. Stanley Sherman
Jun 24, 2003, 23:51

Girls, do you dress in a special way for worship? Could anyone tell that you have your mind on holy things by the way you are dressed? In church, is your appearance the same as on the other days of the week, or do you look like you are doing something special? Is your body properly covered, or are you drawing attention to yourself in a negative way? Did you know that it is rude to dress in immodest clothing when attending church? Immodesty means that you are not covering your flesh, or that you are wearing your clothes in such a way as to draw attention to your figure.
Immodesty is a mindset. Girls would rather be in style and in step with the world than look "different" or "out of style." They have been so influenced by the popular clothing that they will suffer freezing weather in winter, then sunburn and insect bites in summer in order to follow the fashion. Style has become a religion to them. They follow it as though it were a jealous god who will throw them out of his kingdom if they dare wear anything modest and beautiful. "How is your daughter these days?" I asked an acquaintance. "Well, she's doing all right, I suppose," replied her mother. "But her clothes aren't worth mentioning." The daughter had gotten so caught up in fitting in with the fads in fashion that she was wearing "very little."...

Please follow the link below the blog title for a helpful article on setting a dress standard for teen girls.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Immodesties of an Immodest-tease

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Most pop stars today believe that sex sells. Well, that's true, but what it sells is you. Jessica Simpson has sold out to the world a little bit at a time. This morning at a checkout line, I was visually assaulted by two separate magazine covers featuring Jessica Simpson scantily clad. Jessica has become immodest not only in her appearance, but in her actions as well. Her own website even goes so far as to call one of her songs, Sweetest Sin, unabashedly carnal. She also thinks it's funny when she moons truckers as they drive by her bus. Society seems to love this, because they feel better about themselves knowing that she is just like them, in spite of her claims of faith in God. Satan would love to have the lines blurred between the wheat and the tares. We need to examine our hearts and search out the Scriptures to make sure we are living the life of a set apart royal priesthood. God calls us to walk worthy of our calling. Let's strive to do that and encourage one another to do so.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Modesty to Teens

Kindred Motes - Teen Columnist Posted by Hello

What does modesty mean to teens?

At the first Miss America pageant in the 1920s, New Jersey police told contestants that if they didn't change into more "modest" clothing, they would arrest them for indecent exposure. What were they wearing? One-piece bathing suits that came down to the thigh. At that time, it was customary for people to dress modestly. This isn't so today with ever-increasing dress codes at schools, and teens showing more and more skin.

If I meet someone for the first time and he or she is wearing something indecent, my first impression of that person is lower than it would've been otherwise. I'm not saying that to degrade people, but skimpy clothing trends have gotten out of hand. This wave of indecency affects teens. Teens who see a favorite actor, sports star or singing sensation wearing vulgar clothes want to dress that way, too.

Girls aren't the only ones dressing immodestly. Boys sometimes wear clothes that are too long, too baggy and too low on the hips. Many guys refuse to wear pants that don't cover their shoes.

It's not that I disrespect teens who wear these kind of clothes; I just don't think it's right to overexpose yourself. When fashion models and celebrities endorse skimpy clothing, teens who dress modestly start thinking they need to show more skin, too.

Kindred Motes is a Brewer High School freshman.

Reducing Stress with Peaceful Living

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By Mrs. Stanley Sherman
May 23, 2005, 20:33

In these times, most people have more stress than they can handle. While we cannot always control the demands or stresses put upon us by others, there are ways to reduce the stress we put on ourselves. Here are a few things that might help:

Develop Orderliness: Feelings of anxiety and loss of control occur when the disorder reigns in your domain. Your house, front porch, and yard may need some sprucing up, and the only way to get it done is to work at it. If you lack motivation,

Modesty Can Be Chic

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Tired of low-rise and low-cut? Modesty can be chic.

By Kim Campbell | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

NEW YORK – A few years back, Chelsea Rippy was a frustrated shopper. She would go out once a week looking for new clothes and would come back empty-handed. Racks of cleavage-baring tops and low-rise jeans were leaving the stylish young mom with few options for clothes she felt comfortable in.
Ms. Rippy, a Mormon, finally decided to fix the problem herself. Last fall she launched her own line of stretchy T-shirts and camisoles that can be worn under today's most revealing clothes. She's been surprised by the reception her shirts have received - and by the diversity of customers who buy from her online and at home parties.

"I knew that if I needed [these shirts], someone else did. But I had no clue as to the magnitude of it," says the founder of Shade Clothing, from her home in American Fork, Utah. "I originally started it thinking I would appeal to other members of my religion, but it's gone far beyond that now."

Fed up with the revealing clothes popular in recent years, some in the Christian community have chosen to design their own or modify what's available. They've launched successful Web-based businesses and are hosting fashion shows for teens.

In some cases, groups have received the cooperation of - or at least the ear of - department stores like Nordstrom and Dillard's. And there's some indication that it's not just churchgoers who are taking an interest in dressing modestly.

News from the runways last fall highlighted a return to styles that included lower hemlines and ladylike sweater-sets. Although it typically takes months or even years for runway trends to trickle down to mass-market buyers, some of that modest spirit is informing spring fashions. Tops are still low-cut, but they are longer, as are skirts, thanks to the hippie chic motif. Layering is popular, too.

"You don't have to show all the skin. It's definitely an on-trend thing to layer," says Tara McBratney, fashion director at CosmoGIRL! magazine, who notes that girls and women are wearing spaghetti-strap tops over T-shirts and skirts over white khakis.

Women of faith may be the most outspoken about recent styles, but more women and mothers - regardless of religious affiliation - are saying they, too, would like to see the trend in skimpy clothes reversed.

Hip styles, but less cleavage, please

Rose Anderson, a friend of Rippy's who is also a young mom, is a good example. She says she's not ultramodest, and doesn't share her friend's religion, but would like to see options that don't show lots of cleavage, for example.

"We're young, and we try to be hip, but we don't want to be that hip," says Ms. Anderson, who lives in Seattle. "It's hard to find things that are fun and cute but still a little modest."

Sparking conversation about modesty is one goal of the Pure Fashion show, put on in early May in nearby Bellevue, Wash., by an affiliate of a national Catholic girls' group.

Challenge girls clubs around the country have been hosting the shows for a handful of years, but this was only the second time the Seattle-area teens had sashayed down the runway in clothes they found at stores like The Gap, Limited Too, and Macy's.

Their crowd grew to 350 this year from 250 last year - growth the organizers find particularly significant, considering that last year they had national media coverage of a member who had written a letter to Nordstrom asking for a wider variety of clothing for girls.

"It has struck such a chord for people," says Pam Gunderson, the adult head of the Greater Seattle Challenge Club, and mother of Ella, the letter-writer. "It's just a natural inclination to want to be sufficiently covered up. It doesn't take faith to realize that, but sometimes I think it takes faith to move people to action."

Alteration ingenuity

The girls she works with - ages 10 and up - are not looking for dowdy styles, but want to be stylish and feminine. Sometimes they alter the clothes they find - adding waistbands or layering shirts.

Still, some teens find that it's difficult to be fashionably modest with what's on the racks.

"Clothes today are too tight, too sheer, and too revealing," says Sarah Kator, a Meridian, Idaho, teen, in an e-mail. "I always have to buy shirts a size or two larger than they are designed to be worn, and I'm not a very large girl."

Ms. Kator, a senior in high school, recently won a contest to design a modest prom dress sponsored by the Modest By Design Clothing Co. Her prize: Her black pinstriped creation was made for her to wear to her recent prom.

Like Rippy, she is Mormon, and prefers clothing that has sleeves, appropriate coverage, and is not clingy.

As the modesty movement, as it's been dubbed, gets more publicity, there is some debate about its necessity. Recently, two columnists for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution considered that point, with the "left-leaning" writer taking issue with her counterpart's claim that such a movement is crucial, especially to avoid things like early sexual activity.

"The modesty movement may seem like a wholesome trend, but it is probably one of the oldest forms of female control," writes critic Diane Glass, who has a master's degree from Harvard Divinity School. She argues that some religions have dictated women's clothing for ages, and adds that less emphasis should be placed on women's clothing and more on men taking responsibility for their ability to control themselves.

"If I had a teenage daughter, I would want her to dress modestly also, just out of a sense of her own safety," she adds in an interview. "But ... the problem is the cause or the origin of what the modesty movement is about."

Some of those involved in the movementtake issue with that assessment. Heather Gist, one of the owners of Modest By Design, disagrees with the idea that those calling attention to more demure styles are the oppressors.

"Aren't we allowing ourselves to be controlled by mindlessly accepting the trends put forth by the fashion industry?" she writes in an e-mail. "Aren't we allowing ourselves to be controlled when we buy into the attitude that we are only pretty or desirable when we wear clothes that leave us open for all to see?"

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Modest Swimwear

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Surf's up for modest swimwear
By Heather Bowser Daily Universe Staff Reporter - 23 May 2005

As summer fast approaches, a time when swimsuit styles say, “less is more,” one Springville woman took modesty matters into her own hands.

Jackie Rawlins, a stay-at-home mother of four, founded Utah’s first mid-thigh swimwear company in order to foster the modesty she values. “There are so many women in today’s society who feel that their bodies violate some water compliance code, so they banish all swimwear from their wardrobes,” Rawlins said. “I knew there had to be an alternative.”

With her daughters as models and her home office as a lab, Rawlins invented Ohana swimwear, an online swimsuit shop.

The word ‘ohana’ means family in Hawaiian and Rawlins says it helps her keep focused on her children.

“First and foremost, I am a stay-at-home mom,” she said. “I wanted to remember exactly what’s most important to me because with a business it’s easy to get distracted.”

Rawlins said she usually waits until her kids are sleeping to spend time designing and conducting her business affairs.

“One morning at about 4 a.m., I woke up and just couldn’t stop thinking about a woman I saw one time at my daughter's swim lessons,” she said. “The woman was wearing a wet suit with the neck and arms cut out of it.”

Rawlins immediately sat up and started sketching a few designs of some modest swimsuits resembling the wet suit she saw earlier. Three months later she was a licensed business owner.

“I want women to feel confident when they wear one of our suits,” she said. “In my opinion, the sexiest thing a woman can wear is confidence.”

After three years in business, Rawlins’ suits can be found in a wide variety of online locations. Ohana’s 60-dollar suits list anywhere from conservative under the ‘modest clothing’ category to placed beside the string bikinis on

Other online modest clothing stores such as and make suits for about same price as Ohana, but most suits resemble early 1900s swim dresses.

“I refuse to miss out on the frolicking years with my children because I feel self-conscious in my swimsuit,” said Jessica Johnson, an Ohana customer. “If I didn’t get into the water, how would my daughter be affected?”

Rawlins’ suits are cut just below the thigh so as to enhance the thinnest part of a woman’s legs. She says the colors, seams and fitting are all designed to keep women from “hanging out in all the wrong places.”

Although Ohana is an online store, Rawlins said she sells about 100 suits at Knee Shorts, a store that caters to LDS Utah.

“People come in from all over to get these things,” said a Knee Shorts employee. “Some have shopped online, some just see them in the store and go nuts, but most are LDS women who just want a modest swimsuit.”

Ohana sales have doubled each year for its three consecutive years; however, Rawlins said she hopes to make a profit by selling 2,100 suits by summer. Women from all 50 states, including Alaska, have purchased an Ohana suit.

Saturday, May 21, 2005


Over lunch today, we were discussing with my father-in-law about how eager Muslims seem to be to die for their faith and how it is shameful that Christians do not have the same level of commitment. His reply was, "...die for their faith??? I'd be happy if Christians just lived for their faith." True martyrdom begins with living the life of Christ as we daily take up our cross to follow Him.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Modesty Listings

Here is a list of sites that have modest clothing. Please keep in mind that not everything on each site will be modest, but each site will have at least some things that are modest. These sites will include merchants of other faiths, but you may be pleasantly surprised and find just what you are looking for. Also, please keep in mind that everyone has different ideas about what modesty entails. With that in mind, there is also a list of recommended reading following the website listing.

Books on modesty:

A RETURN TO MODESTY: Discovering the Lost Virtueby Wendy Shalit

Christian Modesty and the Public Undressing of Americaby Jeff Pollard

Secret Keeper: The Delicate Power of Modestyby Dannah Gresh

The Beauty of Modesty: Cultivating Virtue in the Face of a Vulgar Culture (Leaders in Action)by David Vaughan, Diane Vaughan

Authentic Beauty : the shaping of a set-apart young womanby Leslie Ludy

The Body Project : An Intimate History of American Girlsby JOAN JACOBS BRUMBERG

Modesty Checklist

Modesty Checklist
By Carolyn Mahaney, Nicole Whitacre, Kristin Chesemore, Janelle Mahaney
(Used by permission)

“…Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with
modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls
or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess
godliness- with good works.”
1 Timothy 2:9-10

First, it’s time for a heart check…
“How does a woman discern the sometimes fine line between proper dress and dressing to be the center of attention? The answer starts in the intent of the heart. A woman should examine her motives and goals for the way she dresses. Is her intent to show the grace and beauty of womanhood? Is it to reveal a humble heart devoted to worshipping God? Or is it to call attention to herself and flaunt her beauty? Or worse, to attempt to lure men sexually? A woman who focuses on worshipping God will consider carefully how she is dressed, because her heart will dictate her wardrobe and appearance.”—John MacArthur [emphasis added]

· What statement do my clothes make about my heart?

· In choosing what clothes to wear today, whose attention do I desire and whose approval do I crave? Am I seeking to please God or impress others?

· Is what I wear consistent with biblical values of modesty, self-control and respectable apparel, or does my dress reveal an inordinate identification and fascination with sinful cultural values?

· Who am I trying to identify with through my dress? Is the Word of God my standard or is it the latest fashion?

· Have I solicited the evaluation of other godly individuals regarding my wardrobe?

· Does my clothing reveal an allegiance to the gospel or is there any contradiction between my profession of faith and my practice of godliness?

So, I’m ready to leave the house, but I still have to do a modesty check. What are some things I should look for as I stand in front of my mirror?

Starting at the top…
· When I am wearing a loose-fitting blouse or scoop-neck, can I see anything when I lean over? If so, I need to remember to place my hand against my neckline when I bend down.

· A word on purse straps: How could a purse possibly be a modesty concern? When you’re wearing the strap across your chest. Regardless of the shirt you’ve got on this accentuates your chest and creates a temptation for men.
· If I am wearing a button-down top, I need to turn sideways and move around to see if there are any gaping holes that expose my chest. If there are, I’ve got to grab the sewing box and pin between the buttons.

· The same check is needed if I am wearing sleeveless. When I move around can I see my bra? If I do, I need the pins again!

· Am I wearing a spaghetti-strap, halter-top or see-through blouse? Not even pins will fix this problem! Most guys find these very unhelpful. It’s time to go back to the closet.

· Can I see the lace or seam of my bra through my shirt? In this case, seamless bras are a better option.

· One final shirt check: Does it reveal any part of my cleavage? Does my midriff show when I raise my hands above my head? Is my shirt just plain too tight? If the answer is “yes” to any one of these questions, then I need to change my outfit.

Moving on down…
· Does my midriff (or underwear) show when I bend over or lift my hands? If so, is it because my skirt or my pants are too low? Either my shirt needs to be longer or I need to find a skirt or pants that sit higher.

· I also have to turn around to see if what I’m wearing is too tight around my derriere, or if the outline of my underwear shows. If so, I know what I have to do!

· The “sit-down” check applies to my skirt or dress as well. And I must remember to keep my skirt pulled down and my knees together when I’m seated.

· And speaking of skirts, watch out for those slits! Does it reveal too much when I walk? Pins are also helpful here.

· Before I leave, I need to give my skirt a “sunlight check.” Is it see-through? If so, I need a slip.

· Finally, I must remember to do this modesty check with my shoes on. High-heels make my dress or skirt appear shorter.

· And don’t forget – this all applies to formal wear as well.

Hot Doughnuts Now!

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At our local Krispy Kreme, it is not unusual to see a "Hot Doughnuts Now" sign flashing. Hot doughnuts melt in your mouth and fill your whole being with a sense of coziness and warmth. Even though we rarely indulge in the treat of a hot doughnut, the red neon sign always brings a smile of sweet remembrance to our minds.

There is, however, one place where this is not true. There is a large church in our fair city that has its own flashing sign, and it has on occasion flashed the words, "Hot Doughnuts Now." This is an affront to me and my family. This sign always evokes feelings of outrage and disgust in us. This church not only serves doughnuts for its worship service, but at each entrance to the sanctuary, there are cappachino machines! Inside, the sanctuary resembles a movie theatre complete with big screens so that attendees do not even have to pick up a hymnal, a large stage, and "orchestra" pit with a rather large drum set. Who are we worshipping - God or ourselves???? Worship is not about entertaining ourselves; it's about bringing glory and honor to the God of the universe. Does this type of thing bother anyone else?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Silent Preparation

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"In the period before the service we commend the keeping of silence. In the midst of our busy lives we have all too little time for silence. 'It is seldom.' writes one Christian, 'that God finds a soul quiet enough to speak to.' The silence before the service can be used as a time for quiet preparation. Read thoughtfully the words of the opening hymn, so that when you join in the singing of it, it may mean more to you. Think of the holiness and power of God into whose presence we should only with humility and reverence. 'Be still, and know that I am God.'"

All too often we have entered into worship lightly. We glibly slide into our favorite pew and chat about Sunday School with our family members. A friend comes over and asks how we are or whether or not we caught such and such on TV. And so it goes. We call it fellowshiping, but, in reality, it is our disrespect for the God of the universe whom we claim to have come to worship. Sometimes we attempt to properly prepare for worship, but, more often than not, our minds wander to the events of the week, things we forgot to do, and people we need to call. We have not entered a Sabbath rest. We have not prepared as we ought.

Sabbath preparation does not begin on Sunday morning or even Saturday evening. Traditional Sabbath begins on Saturday evening just as the Jewish day goes from evening to evening rather than morning to morning - meaning we need to have all preparations made beforehand. Our clothes and tithe should be ready before we retire for bed at a reasonable hour. We should allow enough time on Sunday morning for getting our hearts ready rather than just our bodies (preaching to self here) lest we be "whitened sepulchers." The Sabbath and the worship therein is a joyous occasion and a great gift from God that we should embrace. To not prepare for worship at home and in the sanctuary is to turn one's nose up at the gift of God. This weekend, take time to prepare for worship and receive what God has for you. If we do not quiet our hearts, how can we hear Him?

Heirloom Flowers

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Due to the poor health of my in-laws, we traveled with them to Sand Mountain, Alabama for decoration Sunday. It was the first time we had been there with my in-laws in 13 years. For those who don't have such a tradition in their family, decoration Sunday is for taking care of and "decorating" grave sites of loved ones with fresh flowers.

We visited my mother-in-law's mother's grave first. Beside her headstone was a beautiful Seven Sisters Rose bush that her sister had planted shortly after her death. It was a beautiful bush that was cascading over her headstone and spilling over into the next plot.

I took a few cuttings from the bush in hopes of rooting it, which brought sweet tears to the eyes of my mother-in-law, so I hope they do take root. In my romantic head, I imagine that somehow when our dear daughter weds, somewhere at the wedding or reception will be an arrangement of flowers from the same Seven Sisters Rose bush that her ancestor so lovingly planted years ago. Perhaps, she will take a cutting to root it for her first home, taking with her a heritage that is sweet, beautiful, and precious.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Teach Your Children

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I have always loved stories about the "good ol' days" from my folks. Throughout my life there have been times when I have reminded myself of those stories, and they encouraged me to persevere. When we teach our children, we need to share with them what their heritage is - the good and the bad. Let me explain through example.

When my parents were married, they were not Christians. They eloped when my mother was sixteen, and my father was eighteen. My mother married not knowing how to cook, sew, etc., but she did know about determination. Of course, my mother did later learn these skills beautifully. (She even made my and my sister's wedding gowns.)

During the first few months of marriage there were some tense times, as both parents were naive when it came to relationships. After one particularly heated argument, my father decided to leave in anger. My mother quickly grabbed her coat and ran to follow him. When my father asked where she thought she was going, her reply was "wherever you are going; my place is with you." My father decided that if she were going to follow him around, he might as well go back home. I do not know what the argument was about, but what stuck with me was my mother's determination and commitment to keep her vows at all costs.

My mother has told me many such stories that had lessons in them, and many of these I have passed on to my own daughter. There have been, of course, some of my own to add. To me, it's like a mental family quilt that we are passing down as an heirloom. Perhaps you have a mental quilt you need to dust off and share with your children - maybe something as simple as funny sayings your mother used say. Give your children the roots they need for a strong foundation.


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In the years following World War II, thousands of couples ran off to get married. For many of them, the place they ran off to was Piggott.
Between 1945 and 1953 more than 28,000 couples were married in this Northeast Arkansas town, which even today has a population of only 3,700 residents. In 1950 alone, the number of marriages totaled 5,960.

Like other states after World War II, Arkansas had a three-day waiting rule for issuing marriage licenses. But unlike many other states, Arkansas also had a clause that allowed the county judge to waive the waiting period under special circumstances or emergencies.

In Clay County, Arkansas, the county judge at that time took the position that any wedding was a special circumstance, and couples flocked across the Arkansas state line into Piggott by the droves. Couples lined the hallways of the old two-story brick courthouse and spilled out the front doors and down the sidewalk, waiting for their turn for a quick wedding in the county clerk’s vault.

A pastime for Piggott residents became watching the couples lined up around the courthouse square, some in wedding finery, others ranging from work clothes to Sunday best. Some bought their wedding clothes after they arrived in Piggott, changing in the recesses of the courthouse. A florist on the square sold bouquets and boutonnieres to those waiting in line.

The above is a photo of the old courthouse where my parents ran off to get married 55 years ago. Tomorrow they are traveling back to Piggott for a special reception for those who were married at the court house.

In today's disposable society, it is rare to have a marriage that lasts that long. People may ask how my parents or my husband's parents (married 60 years) stayed together so long. The answer lies in a commitment to God and taking one's vows seriously.

Yes, our parents truly love each other, but anyone who has been in a long term relationship knows that sometimes feelings get hurt, tempers flair, and fleeting thoughts of a way out slip into our emotionally charged minds. It is, therefore, crucial that we teach our children to be true to their word and keep promises made - that means we must keep our promises to them. :) Our word should be our bond. Jesus said that we should let our "yes" mean yes and our "no" mean no. Vows and promises are something God takes seriously, and so should we.

How long have I been married? 18 short and happy years. :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Complete Modesty

mod·est (mdst) KEY ADJECTIVE:

Having or showing a moderate estimation of one's own talents, abilities, and value.

Having or proceeding from a disinclination to call attention to oneself; retiring or diffident. See Synonyms at
shy 1.

Observing conventional proprieties in speech, behavior, or dress.
Free from showiness or ostentation; unpretentious. See Synonyms at

Moderate or limited in size, quantity, or range; not extreme: a modest price; a newspaper with a modest circulation.
- American Heritage Dictionary

True modesty must not be limited to rules or morays regarding dress; it must also encompass our speech, actions, and attitudes. This second part of modesty is much more difficult, but nonetheless important, because it addresses areas of the heart, which are not as easily measured. Even in dressing modestly, it is possible to be immodest if we are smug about it or seek to draw attention to ourselves through our modesty. It is easy enough to set up guidelines for outward appearance, but we must be careful that we are not putting on a "form of godliness" (II Tim. 3:5) rather than the real deal. This inward modesty and godliness is the goal we should point our teens toward. If we are modest on the inside, the outside will naturally reflect that. Not that we should not have these outward guidelines to keep us in check, but rather we should base our guidelines on the virtues and fruit of the Spirit esteemed in God's Word. If we are working on developing a gentle and quiet spirit that encompasses our whole life (or humility, or purity, or ...), that will include our standard of dress and automatically result in a modest appearance.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Rushing Towards Depravity

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Do you feel normal in today's world, or do you feel as though you were born in the wrong time period? Do you appear normal in today's world, or do you find that you stand out in a crowd because of your dress and demeanor? If you do not feel or appear normal in this world, hopefully it is because you are going in a different direction. Hopefully, you are bound heavenward. Blaise Pascal best described this feeling of "unnormalcy":

When everything is moving at once, nothing appears to be moving, as on board a ship. When everyone is moving toward depravity, no one seems to be moving, but if someone stops, he shows up the others who are rushing on by acting as a fixed point.

If we don't feel uncomfortable in this world, it is time to examine the direction of our life. It is all too easy to be caught up in the cares and trappings of this world, but we need to remember that this is not our home, and we should not feel comfortable. One of the reasons that God leaves us here is so that we can be that "fixed point" by which others can see that they are moving towards depravity. Is my life really different, or do I appear to be just "going with the flow?"

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Fort That Protects the Castle

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"Modesty is important because
it is the fort that protects the castle, but it is also the frame that enhances the picture."

It is hard to imagine that an innocent looking child such as this would grow into the likes of Brittany Spears, but it is not only possible, it is likely. It seems as though many young girls who start out life dressed in fresh, youthful, and modest clothing drastically change when they hit adolescence. What puzzles me most is when these girls show up in various places with their parents, and they are dressed for a cocktail party or worse. How can these parents leave their daughters so unprotected? Do they not treasure the gift that God has given them?

I believe the answer most often lies in the disturbing fact that most parents are so afraid of "losing" their teen that they allow their child to do as they wish, and thus have genuinely "lost" their child. Too many parents are more concerned with being their child's friend than they are their parent. I am not saying that you cannot be both friend and parent to your child, but when it comes to a choice between the two, you must always choose the role of parent so long as that child is living under your protection. Teens have no real respect for parents who do not set and stick to limits for their children. Yes, all teens will push those limits, but in reality they know that those limits are safety nets for them. This is such a critical time in the life of your child. It is a time when your child watches you with the most scrutiny to see if you really meant all those things you have been "preaching" throughout their childhood. It is a time to affirm for them and yourself what you really believe.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Modest Fashion Show

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'Modest is Hottest'

For Aubry Bjarnson, 18, a senior at Beyer High, shopping at the mall is "an absolute nightmare."

Wait a second. A teenage girl who hates to shop? As outlandish as that seems, it is true.

The problem for Aubry is that the fashions are too revealing and too tight, using too little yardage and too-thin fabrics.

"I want to wear modest clothes. That's it! No ifs, ands or buts," she said. When I step out of my house, I want to feel good about myself."

But most of the latest fashions make Aubrey feel overexposed, and she isn't the only one. Dozens of teenage girls in Stanislaus County are uncomfortable with today's revealing fashions. To help them find alternatives, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints put on a "Modest is the Hottest" fashion show last week.

The show offered ideas for dressing more modestly, such as adding sleeves and cover-ups or jackets and camisoles.

For casual wear, they encouraged knee-length shorts, longer flared skirts and clothes that reveal less skin.

The event was well attended by mothers and daughters. Even some fathers and sons were there to support the event.

Carolyn Eustice, 17, a junior at Beyer High, said, "The show was incredibly beneficial. The show helped modesty become the new 'in.' It was able to emphasize that the way a young woman dresses reflects who they are. I think the show helped girls realize there are so many ways you can dress modestly. There is hope!"

For Vanessa Hawkins, a senior at Davis High, the show proved that modesty and fashion can go hand in hand. "Some of the clothes modeled were from American Eagle and Gap," she said. "Girls can dress modestly and still be up to date with today's fashions."

Several different types of clothing were modeled in the show. For example in the "Pretty in Pink" and "Having Fun in the Sun" categories, models wore capris that fit comfortably above the waist and shirts that covered the stomach.

The layered look was promoted as being "cool for school." For example, wearing spaghetti straps under a shirt that scoops too low proved to be stylish. Tank tops under open shirts were modeled as well.

In the formal dress category, Meagan Zachary, a junior at Oakdale High, wore a red spaghetti strap dress with a little black jacket covering her shoulders for her school's winter homecoming. For fall homecoming, Meagan bought a strapless dress. She sewed straps onto the dress. After the straps were complete, she added sleeves.

Girls also modeled dresses in which they simply hand-sewed the sleeves. By matching the fabrics at a local fabric store, girls were able to put sleeves on formal dresses.

Older women also modeled clothes for church, work and home. For example, pantsuits were shown for a more professional look.

To further drive home the event's theme, the fashion show included the screening of a video that featured several young men, ranging from 14 to 18 years old, talking about girls who dress modestly. The young men said they would rather date a girl who dresses classy, elegant and in a way that shows they respect themselves.

Dressing modestly, they said, gives a good impression about the girl. Dressing modestly also avoids distractions that these young men would gladly avoid.

According to Amber Nichols, a junior at Riverbank High, modest clothes are "way cuter than clothes that barely cover you up. Sometimes people think that dressing modestly means covering every inch of your body, and that's not true. There are so many cute knee skirts, adorable shirts with sleeves, and other fashions that are really stylish."

Jaime Brown, a junior at Beyer, said, "If you want to dress modestly you can find clothes out there that will suit your needs."

"All stores will have immodest clothing," Jaime said. "You just have to dig deep enough. Then you will find what you want. If I can find modest clothes, then anyone can!"

Jaime offered one fashion tip for girls attempting to dress modestly: "If you have a pair of pants that are too low, just go to Wal-Mart and buy the extra-long tank top undergarments. They just go under your clothes and tuck into your jeans. Voila! Problem solved."

Shannon Orr, a mother of four, said, "We want to project an image of elegance and fashion, something that says, 'I have intellect and beauty on the inside.' There is more to fashion than showing skin. I feel that our children want to dress appropriately, but feel trapped, optionless, with what's on the rack. ... There is more to a girl than being sexy."

Shelby Scoffield is a senior at Beyer High School and is a member of The Bee's Teens in the Newsroom journalism program.

Modesty in Church

Posted by Hello

The following quote was found in a church bulletin:

SACRED SPACE Our church is our sacred space. It is a holy place; therefore, we must respect it as such. Respect is demonstrated by dressing appropriately for church. Please dress modestly.

It is to our great shame that such a thing is necessary and an even greater shame that more churches are not willing to take a stand such as this. In recent years, my husband has been subjected to numerous revealings of belly buttons, partial moonings, excess cleavage, and the like in church services. This should not be. Is this how we adorn ourselves as the Bride of Christ?

I Timothy 2:9-10 -
likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness - with good works.

Please search out the scriptures, your heart, and your closet and make appropriate clothing choices. The world is watching.