Thursday, April 13, 2006

Fashion and Following the Savior

The gals over at the Girl Talk blog have just posted the fourth part of their series on "Fashion and Following the Savior." The article articulates a very biblical model of beauty.

Here is an excerpt from Part One:

It’s that time of year again. The fashion magazines are touting the newest and hottest clothing trends for spring and summer. And because fashion is so fickle, a woman is sure to find that what was popular last season, must not see the light of day this season. But more than just the latest style, spring and summer (in particular) usher in a vast array of immodest and indecent clothing. Thus the racks and shelves at the nearest mall are crammed full of body-revealing attire. So, what’s a Christian woman to do?

Here is an excerpt from Part Two:

But before my trip to the mall, something far more important must take place. I must first evaluate my heart. My dad says it this way, “Any biblical discussion of modesty begins by addressing the heart, not the hemline.” So what is this heart we’re supposed to have? 1 Timothy 2:9-10 makes it clear. It says that “Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control.” These two qualities are to inform the way that I dress. Let’s check out these definitions.

Here is an excerpt from Part Three:

You see, immodest dress is more than simply wearing skimpy clothing. Often, it’s an expression of pride, the opposite of humility. Simply put, immodest clothes are pride on display. In his book Humility: True Greatness, my dad explains that “The proud person seeks to glorify himself and not God, thereby attempting in effect to deprive God of something only He is worthy to receive. In other words, the immodest girl seeks to dress in a way that draws attention to herself and to her body, instead of serving others and bringing glory to the Savior.

Here is an excerpt from Part Four:

So we are not to take this verse to mean that godly women should try as hard as they can to be out of style and unattractive. No! Quite the opposite. God is the creator of beauty. God delights in beauty. All we need to verify this fact is to consider the beauty He created all around us: whether it is an elegant flower, or towering trees, or a meandering river, or billowy clouds or the majestic night sky. Every time we stop to take in one of these breathtaking scenes on display in God’s creation, we can’t help but be convinced that He delights in beauty!

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progessiva

The title of this post is the name of a very rare affliction that turns human muscle into bone, a condition that literally, over the course of time, turns the sufferers into a statue. The malady is so rare that there are only 200 reported cases in the world.

Luciana Wulkan, Robert Kinghorn, and Adrian Berry are all featured in an online article and suffer from this disease. Luciana, Robert, and Adrian are among the 45 people diagnosed with the condition in the United Kingdom.

Professor Paul Wordsworth explains one of the more shocking ramifications of the condition by stating, "As Luciana's condition escalates, she may contort and freeze into a set position. If she's lucky she may be able to choose that position for herself, if she isn't her body will choose for her. Professor Paul Wordsworth explains that as an individual gets more and more ossification of the muscles they may have to make a very difficult decision about what they do with their life. Basically, before the body locks completely they must decide if they will spend their life sitting or standing."

Here are some various photographs of the condition.

IFOPA is an non-profit organization set up to support people and families afflicted with Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progessiva.

FOP awareness bracelets can be ordered here.


Monday, April 10, 2006

Philip Hayden Foundation

A friend recently brought a website to my attention and I have since been in contact with the organization. It is the Philip Hayden Foundation.

It is a China Orphan Outreach. Here is what their site says about the org's history:

The Philip Hayden Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization, established for the purpose of helping China’s orphaned and special needs children. PHF was named after Philip Hayden, an American teacher who went to China in 1991 and began volunteering his spare time and efforts to help China's orphans. Philip Hayden's love for China's orphans had a big impact on his teammates in China, Tim and Pam Baker, who joined him in volunteering in orphanages. The Bakers soon took in their first orphaned baby, Esther, who they later adopted. Phil had a special love for Esther and was Tim’s assistant and partner in reaching out to the people of China.

Phil died unexpectedly at the young age of 28 as a result of a rare heart defect. Phil’s death and the adoption of Esther had a profound impact on the Bakers. They couldn’t help thinking about the orphans who slept to the right and left of Esther. They were still in the orphanage. The Bakers could not adopt them all, but they nonetheless wanted to help them as Phil had. This led them to establish the foundation in his memory in 1995.

The website includes photos and bios for about 50 children who still need sponsors. It looks like many of the children have cleft palates and other medical needs in addition to the daily food and clothing needs. There are also children in the program who are up for adoption.


Friday, April 07, 2006

Global Day of Prayer

This message was just posted onto the Joni and Friends website.

Dear Friend in Disability Ministry…

I’m excited to share with you the following opportunity to involve people with disabilities in a historic global outreach of praise and intercession.

On June 4th, Pentecost Sunday, millions of Christians around the world will be united in prayer from the rising of the sun in the east and across each time zone until the day ends – it will be 24 hours of specific worship, confession, and prayerful intercession. It’s called the Global Day of Prayer.

As we all know, prayer gives energy to the advancement of Christ's kingdom on earth. And at Joni and Friends, we believe that certain followers of Jesus are given a special privilege in prayer -- the Bible contains numerous references to the poor, the needy and the afflicted and how their prayers possess a unique power with God. Psalm 10:17 says, "You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted, you encourage them, and you listen to their cry."

Could it be that God has set apart saints with disabilities to be His greatest prayer warriors? We believe so! We envision an army of people with disabilities serving as God's prayer team for advancing global intercession. And we see the Global Day of Prayer as a golden opportunity for disabled persons to join together around the world, bringing about change and blessing to the cities and nations of the earth.

We hope you will catch this exciting vision to alert the disabled people you know to become involved with the Global Day of Prayer! Please go to our Joni and Friends website and the 'news' section for further ideas and suggestions regarding how you might get involved. You can also get more information at and learn of this unprecedented world prayer meeting. Then, encourage disabled people in your sphere of ministry to join the movement, as well as spread the word to their friends.

NOTE: I am excited to announce that our new Joni and Friends website will be up just a week or so and we are going to have a whole section on PRAYER that will eventually include:

-- more creative ideas on how you can include the disability community in prayer

-- our Joni and Friends daily prayer calendar

-- "How to Pray for a Handicapped World"

-- a Daily Devotional

Please be a part of helping us raise a worldwide team of disabled individuals to pray! If you have any questions on how you can organize Christians with disabilities in this Global Day of Prayer, please contact Jean Kingery at

Many blessings…
Joni Eareckson Tada

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty

Log onto one of Dove soap's newest websites and you will read this opening promo:

For too long
Beauty has been defined by narrow, stifling stereotypes.
You've told us it's time to change all that.
We agree.
Because we believe real beauty comes in many shapes, sizes, and ages.
It is why we stared the campagin for Real Beauty.
And why we hope you'll take part.

The website includes trailers for recent TV commercials, adolescent self-esteem writing contests, a photo gallery, t-shirts, news alerts, and other various ways to get involved in the campaign.

While I have no idea, apart from Christ, how a soap company expects to single-handedly break century-old cultural definitions, I at least applaud their efforts to swim against the raging media tide.

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