Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Women in Leadership

I know the election is over and things have pretty much been put in the back round as far as this issue, but I wrote this a couple months ago and part of my assignment was put it somewhere, where others besides my family could read it. So please give me some feedback.

In our nation today we are struggling to find leadership that is uncorrupted and can bring something better for us, out of our mess of a government. It being 2008, an election year, it is right now a bigger question than ever, especially for Christians. As we looked at the options we had before us we were discouraged, neither fulfilled what we were vainly hoping for.
Then the Republican candidate for vice-president came along.
Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska, McCain's surprising choice for his running mate. At first every one seemed to be in shock. Then as things went on people either applauded or turned away from her. Many Christians were pleased by what they saw in her, and it seemed she for stood for things they were afraid would become lost causes. Now, they felt that there was a hope for our country.
While it is true that many of the things she stands for sound like the right thing for our country, there are also problems with the nomination of Sarah Palin. First and foremost being the simple fact that she is a woman. This fact is wonderful to most women, who say that it is high time we got our say in there, and that men have messed things up long enough. But it is what condemns her as a vice- president.
Many of Palin's supporters, as well as those of other women in leadership, bring up the example of Deborah from the Bible. She was a judge in the Israelite nation, a woman in a position of leadership.
But they fail to look at passages such as 1 Timothy 2:12, " But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet." This verse is quite clear on the biblical position of men and women. It goes on to say in verse 13, "For it is Adam who was first created and then Eve." Man was made first and woman made to help him, not to rule over him.
So, what about Deborah?
She was, after all, a judge over Israel. One thing we need to do is look at all the things surrounding her, and the historical context. First of all the judges were not a part of the normal structured government in Israel, the judges were used by God to defend Israel, they carried out judgment on its oppressors but were not civil rulers.
Then if you look specifically at Deborah, it says that she was a prophetess, she spoke God's word to the people and it says that she did it from her home. She did not sit in the gate which is where the civil rulers met. She "judged" in that she was a divinely inspired woman who spoke God's word to the people from her home and helped to establish righteousness and equity. Also the author of Judges points to Barack as being the judge not Deborah, he carried the action of leading and defending Israel.
So Deborah can not be used as our example for putting women in leadership. She did not usurp the authority of the men in anything she did.
In Isaiah, God mourns over Israel saying," O My people! Their oppressors are children and women rule over them." Women in leadership are considered a sign of judgment upon a nation. All this does not mean that women are lesser than men. But man was made first, he was incomplete without woman and she was made to be his help meet, not his slave and not his guide or leader. Women can have influence over the leaders of our nation and have for many centuries. They bore and raised them. They lifted up and supported their husbands, making them stronger and more able to lead, rather than pushing them down and trying to take their place. When women are silent and remain in the home, the men rise up and seek to fulfill their responsibility.

His Handmaiden, Laurel

Everything And Yet Nothing

The past few days have been a lovely mixture of scrumptious(isn't that a delicious word) nothingness and delightful busyness. Our Christmases are usually like that, it seems we are so busy with all the fun things you do around Christmas yet without school and work going on a wonderful feeling of not having to do anything.
The week after Christmas my mother always gets the cleaning bug, so we have been doing some straightening and organizing, sometimes I enjoy doing that often it depends on what we are organizing, I have such fun doing my closet, finding those little things that you forget you had so its just as fun as getting them all over again only now you have sweet memories connected with them, I really should do that more often, right now my closet is chaos.
I know I'm just rambling on and probably not making much sense here but sometimes I just feel I have to do that.
Here's a few pictures from doing Senior portraits, as you can see we had a lot of fun. Paige, I love you!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

God Bless It

" There are many things from which I might have derived good from which I have not profited, I dare say, Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas-time, when it comes round - apart from the veneration due to it's sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that - as a good time; a kind forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time of year I know of, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as of they were really fellow-passengers to the grave and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, though it has never put another scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe it has done me good and will do me good; And I say God bless it!

-Charles Dickens

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!

This past month has just flown by, it has been an extremely busy one a very fun one and a time of great joy in our household. Although we do not believe that Christmas is really a biblical holiday, God does command us to be joyful and there are many different 'holy-days' that were celebrated in the Bible. If someone were ask for a good solid biblical reason to celebrate Christmas I'm afraid I would be at a loss for words, but it is such a joy to me to celebrate my Saviour's birth and I do not believe there is any sin it.

It has been somewhat hectic but I have very much enjoyed going out and finding gifts for my family, Caitlin has been somewhat difficult but today I finally found something for her. So now in the next couple days it will be baking and cleaning, both of which though usually a chore at this time of year can be quite fun knowing what it is we are preparing for.

So, "Love and joy come to you, and to you glad Christmas too,
and God bless you and send you a happy new year!"
His Handmaiden, Laurel

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Well, I've certainly gotten off to a rollicking start haven't I. Start a blog and then not write for three weeks. My apologies to you all.
Things have been going pretty well here at the Carstensen home. Today we have been baking and cleaning in preparation for our Thanksgiving. We always look forward to getting together with our family, even though we do not actually have any blood relations here, for are we not all family in Christ?
And now I need to go mop the floors as well as other various tasks.
I hope to write more sometime very soon here.(Take note of the word "hope")
Blessings, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I am so glad things are pretty much over, all the election campaigns make me feel sick, the way they mud-sling each other and promote themselves. Although I can't say that I am pleased at the outcome it is a relief just to know that it is done.
And for me anyway it doesn't really matter who the president of the United States is, the Lord is on the throne and it is Him who I serve. He is working everything out for His own purposes, this is not a mistake of His nor did He just decide to let us figure things out during the election, He did not fall asleep and leave us to our own ends(much as we deserve it). This all part of His sovereign plan and it is such an encouragement to me to know that.
"In the LORD I put my trust; How can you say to my soul, "Flee as a bird to your mountain"? For look! The wicked bend their bow, They make ready their arrow on the string, That they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart. If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do? The LORD is in His holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven; His eyes behold..."

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Modest and Feminine

I have been encouraged and challenged lately in this area as I have been visiting "Feelin' Feminine". It has been a joy for me in the past few years to embrace my femininity, but it was not always that way. At the age of nine I was very much against all that, My goal then was to prove that I was as tough as any boy and I scorned anything feminine and the girls I knew who did go after those things. When I was 13 some things changed, I read " Beautiful Girlhood", which I think, really opened my eyes to who I was and what I was doing, I don't think that I had really ever thought about what I was doing as being a big deal, that was just who I was. That wonderful old book I believe was a tool that God used in my life to convict me. The church we were going to at the time really helped as well, as there was a family there with several girls who were a example to me of femininity without weakness. Since that time I am know known as the most "girly" one in my family, not necessarily in my interests (though somewhat) but in my behavior and dress. I LOVE wearing long skirts (often floor-length), and being treated as a young woman. Being a keeper at home, and not having the pressure of feeling like I have to prove that I am just as good as any guy.
I love what Peter Marshall said in his sermon "Keepers of the Springs", it never fails to challenge and inspire me.
"... (W)herever the Christian evangel has gone for nineteen centuries, the daughters of Mary have been respected, revered, remembered, and loved, for men have recognized that womanhood is a sacred and a noble thing, that women are of a finer clay...
It remained for the twentieth century, in the name of progress, in the name of tolerance, in the name of broadmindedness, in the name of freedom, to pull her down from her throne and try to make her like a man.
She wanted equality. For nineteen hundred years she had not been equal- she had been superior. But now, they said,she wanted equality, and in order to obtain it, she had to step down. And so it is in the name of broadminded tolerance a man's vices had now become a woman's. Twentieth century tolerance has won for woman the right to become intoxicated, the right to have alcoholic breath, the right to smoke, to work like a man, to act like a man - for is she not man's equal?
Today they call it "progress"... but tomorrow - they must be made to see that it is not progress.
No nation has ever mad any progress in a downward direction. No people ever became great by lowering their standards. No people ever became good by adopting a looser morality.
It is not progress when the moral tone is lower than it was. It is not progress when purity is not as sweet. It is not progress when womanhood has lost it's fragrance. Whatever else it is, it is not progress!
Our country needs woman today who will lead us back to as old-fashioned morality, to old-fashioned decency, to old-fashioned purity and sweetness, for the sake of the next generation if for no other reason.
The modern challenge to motherhood is the eternal challenge - that of being godly women. The very phrase sounds strange in our ears. We never hear it now. We hear about every other kind of women - Beautiful women, smart women, sophisticated women, career women, talented women, divorced women, but so seldom do we hear of a godly woman - or of a godly man either for that matter. I believe women nearer fulfilling their God-given function in the home than anywhere else.
It is a much nobler thing to be a good wife than to be Miss America.
It is a greater achievement to establish a Christian home than it is to produce a second-rate novel filled with filth.
It is a far, far better thing in the realm of morals to be old-fashioned than to be ultra-modern.
The world has enough women who know haw to hold their cocktails, who have lost all their illusions and their faith.
The world has enough women who know haw to be smart.
It needs women who are willing to be simple.
The world has enough women who know how to be brilliant.
It needs some who will be brave.
The world has enough women who are popular.
It needs more who are pure.
We need women, and men too, who would rather be morally right that socially correct."
His Handmaiden, Laurel

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Isn't autumn the most gorgeous time of year!
We went on a "short" walk down Swan Lake with some friends a couple Sunday's ago, and my mom took this picture.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In the Beginning

Hello to anyone who actually visits this, if your here I am blessed. I hope that in some way I am able to use this for the glory of God, and that I will always endeavor to keep Him in mind as I am doing different things on here.
My reasons for this is one) to be a testimony for my Lord. Two) I love trying out different things and seeing how creative I can get. Three) I really have fun writing for this. Though that's not really obvious at the moment, right now I'm actually now really sure what to write, thus this odd beginning post.;-)
Anyway, I will hopefully get warmed up and have something a little more...well, more.
May the God of grace and peace be with you, His Handmaiden.