Put on spiritual clothing (Encouragement Note)

BY CHRISTOPHER UNDERWOOD — When the weather gets cold, frequently the weather report reminds people to wear layers to stay warm when outside and to carry emergency kits in vehicles such as blankets, extra coat and water. The local news will show people walking outside without hats, gloves, or heavy coats. The advice may seem frivolous to some who have recently moved from a warm climate and never experienced a winter storm in the Midwest.

With time, most people heed the warning to add warm clothing or quickly find a way to retreat to a land where six inches of snow is not likely to fall as often (Texas, Florida, Arizona, etc.) Continue reading

#chrisunderwood, #clothing, #encouragementnote

No matter what language we speak, people understand what our clothes say

I had the opportunity to have a small, but good, spiritual conversation with a stranger today. How so? It was all because of the clothes that I was wearing!

I had already started the conversation with small talk while I was waiting on my family. I was alone. He was alone. So I decided to try to be friendly. He decided to be the same in return.

After the small talk, the conversation led to the man saying, “I noticed the way you are dressed. Did you go to church today?” (He had also “been to church” by the way.) From there we were able to have a pleasant conversation about the Bible; and because of that conversation I was able to invite him to the church’s services. After my family and I left the restaurant I thought that it was neat that I got to talk about the Bible simply because of what my clothes said to him.

Now my purpose with this post isn’t to say that clothes make the person, that clothes determine the value of one’s soul, or that clothes are even close to being the first thing that we should allow to make a spiritual impression on us; far from it (James 2:1-4; Luke 20:46; Matthew 23:5). My purpose is simply this – no matter what language we speak, people understand what our clothes say.

Clothing is often worn to make an impression on others or because it’s made an impression on us…that’s why certain name-brand tags can double, triple, quadruple, etc. the price of a shirt or a pair of pants. So clothing talks, no arguments or doubt about it. Not only does the kind of clothes we wear talk, but so does the way we wear them. On top of that, the amount of clothing we wear says that much more!

Many Christians, both men and women alike, will be tempted this summer to wear “clothing” that is not fitting of God’s calling. If fig-leaf bikini’s didn’t work in Eden (Genesis 3:7, 21), then no bikini, regardless of the material that’s used, will work outside of Eden’s garden. God uses water to save us through Jesus (1 Peter 3:21), but God doesn’t use water to change wrong to right. The temptation to “look good” and the call to be dressed in and dressed with righteous isn’t the same thing! (Romans 14:17; 1 Corinthians 15:34; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 1:11; 2 Timothy 2:22; Titus 2:12; 1 Peter 2:24)

If we know that “dressing up” says something to the general public (and we know that it does), then by default we should know what the lack of clothing also says (and we know that it does whether we want to admit it or not). So don’t forget – when it comes to modesty, whether we think about it or not, when we’re in the public, people are ease dropping on what our clothes, or the lack thereof, are spiritually saying to them all of the time.

I will be full of joy in the Lord, my soul will be glad in my God; for he has put on me the clothing of salvation, covering me with the robe of righteousness, as the husband puts on a fair head-dress, and the bride makes herself beautiful with jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)

#clothing, #fashion, #good-influence, #impressions, #modesty, #righteousness

Do we take our clothes for granted?

Then the sons of Israel did so; and Joseph gave them carts, according to the command of Pharaoh, and he gave them provisions for the journey. He gave to all of them, to each man, changes of garments; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of garments.” (Genesis 45:21-22)

In case you’re not familiar with the idea, a sign of wealth throughout the Bible (including the New Testament) was the ability of an individual to give away clothing. Wardrobes weren’t cheap! Especially certain colors that were difficult to obtain. So when the Bible says that Joseph (a man who was familiar with special clothing), who happened to be second in command throughout the land of Egypt, showed kindness, but also great wealth, by sending his family home with new clothes, including five changes to the brother closest to his heart, I can’t help but wonder to myself if we (the majority of us in the western culture) take the blessing of our clothes for granted? Because in case you haven’t noticed, there’s probably more than one or two of us who can afford to give away five changes of clothes without our closet being any worse for the wear. And we don’t even have to be the second in command of any nation to do it!

#clothing, #taking-blessings-for-granted, #wealth, #western-culture

A Clothing Trend That Just Makes No Sense

Buying new clothes that look old. I’m sure other cultures outside of America do the same thing but that still doesn’t make it make any sense!

“Brand new” pants with holes, cuts, patches, worn patterns and frayed bottoms straight off of the store shelves at prices higher than pants with no defects?!  It’s a second-hand look at souped-up first hand prices. And the same trend can be found with shirts and hats. But I wonder why people don’t buy socks with holes in them? Anyways.

Want holes in your pants? I know a couple of ways of getting them that are much cheaper:

  • Truth be told, I have a couple of pair of pants with holes in them – but they got that way because I worked in them and now they continue to be my work pants.
  • Actually go to a second-hand store to get the second-hand look.
  • Buy a new pair that’s much cheaper than the fake old pair and give them to someone who needs a new pair of pants and let them wear them out and then bring them back to you a couple of years later.

I know this may sound like an “old-man” rant, maybe because it is, but how silly can a clothing trend get?

A culture that can afford to pay more money, and actually makes other people called “clothing designers” very rich while doing so, to get an impoverished look with their clothing is a culture that has more dollars than sense.

But hey, dressing up the outside with clothing that’s deceptive isn’t anything new is it?

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” (Matthew 7:15)

#clothing, #culture, #fashion, #trends

“Young lady on end needs to pull her skirt down.”

We were in the kitchen eating and watching a round-table discussion on Fox News recently. The young woman closest to the camera had her legs crossed, high heel shoes, tight skirt and was swinging her leg to the beat of the heated conversation. The more they talked, the higher her skirt rose. I told my husband I had taken as much of that as I could, that I was going to the computer and send them an email, telling them the young woman on the end needed to pull her skirt down. The network went to a commercial, and I went to the computer. I didn’t know the woman. It was our first time to watch the program, but I couldn’t hear a thing they were saying for watching to see just how high she was going to let her skirt rise. I tried to be kind in the comments I wrote, not knowing what to expect.

When I got back in the kitchen the show had returned from the commercial. I was happy to see the young woman had pulled her skirt down. We were able to enjoy the program then.

It boggles my mind how some women expose their bodies. The men are wearing longer swimsuits while women are wearing bikinis and thongs. You only have to watch a TV news show to see that the woman with the highest skirt gets the spot closest to the camera, or where the most of her body can be seen. The men are sitting in full suits with ties. Is this a requirement of a female leader in the news media?  I often wonder if the person behind the camera is not a male and enjoying the exposure of the female who doesn’t realize she is being used.

We can change things if we stand up and let our thoughts be known.


Don’t Blush

Many preachers find strength is reading the words of the prophet Jeremiah. I certainly do. For me, there is something about that with which he was continually struggling that I find very helpful in that which I do. For instance, when the people of the land were crying out that all would be well, Jeremiah cried out that all would not be well. In fact, so deluded were the people in their thinking about what was going on that they could no longer blush (8:12).

In our day many surely follow the same philosophy that the people of Judah adhered to in Jeremiah’s day, don’t they? Women wear clothing that is so short that it would not take much more cutting off before the clothing item would become underwear! What about the dresses and the skirts? How about the tops that are worn, and should we mention anything about the bathing suits? In order to meet what some call modesty the clothing that covers the body is tight fitting and every crevice of the body is seen. Pitiful! Men are just as guilty, though the sheer number of items worn might be smaller to lament. When is it ever right for a male to go about shirtless, exposing that portion of the body that should only be seen by his wife (or, only within his home)? Some of the males exhibit their wisdom in the pants they wear when they have to walk in such a way that their knees are wider than their shoulders, and that’s only to prevent the pants from sliding down to the ground and really exposing their “wisdom”!

In our society this is a norm, and we don’t blush.

#blush, #clothing, #jeremiah, #modesty, #wisdom

Our Clothing and Food Giveaway

“Remember the poor” (Galatians 2:10)

#benevolence, #clothing, #poor

We don’t care if you’re wearing a suit o…

We don’t care if you’re wearing a suit or a T-shirt and jeans. What we care about is the condition of the heart.

Gary Davis

#clothing, #culture, #heart, #missional-church

My favorite Biblical plant is the lily (…

My favorite Biblical plant is the beautiful lily (Matthew 6:28-29-NLT).

“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.”

If God takes care of the beautiful lily, even though it doesn’t work or weave, what makes us think that He will not provide the necessities of life for us, His children? All we have to do is simply ask in faith, and we will receive (cf. Matthew 7:6-11).

God is indeed good! (Mark 10:18).

#clothing, #dressed, #grow, #lily, #work