Saturday, May 26, 2007


This post was originally posted earlier today on our family blog, The Name Fitz.

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A certain young man has been hanging around here of late. His presence is especially surprising given the fact that the young man hails from the faraway state of Alaska. However, he claims to have a special motivation for these regular visits to the heart of the South.

My story begins last May, when our family had the privilege of providing music for American Vision's First Annual Worldview Superconference. A certain Alaskan was also in attendance, but had not yet crossed paths with our family ... that is, until May 26th, the second-to-last day of the conference. Over the last twenty-four hours of the conference, he kept showing up here and there, spending time getting to know our family (without us knowing exactly why). Right before we left for home, Dad extended to him an invitation to visit us. Now, this is an invitation that is given to just about everyone we get to know at conferences and other such events, and only occasionally do we ever see these people again. This time turned out to be one of those "occasionally's."

Both Mom and Dad were significantly impressed by the maturity and marked character of this young man, and commented several times to that effect.

The middle of June an e-mail arrived: "I will most likely be taking you up on your offer to visit in your home." Toward the end of the said visit, when permission was sought, permission was granted to call and e-mail a young lady in the household. Phone calls between Mom and Dad and the Alaskan, and the Alaskan and the young lady, and Mom and Dad and the Alaskan's parents, followed. Our family met up with him at two Vision Forum conferences in San Antonio, TX, where he was interning with Vision Forum. Then a visit during Christmas. Now Courting.

Yes, Tait Zimmerman is courting a young lady from SC, who happens to be me (Lauren here!).

I know what may be going through the minds of some: Courting? Isn't that what people used to do like hundreds of years ago? Isn't that terribly old-fashioned?

I now begin another story, one which commenced slightly before my last one, although the very point at which it began is difficult to determine. One might say it began before I did, though. Both of my parents dated, and knew that they wanted something better for their children. It had always been understood, from the time we were little, that we would not follow the dating route. Dad would say, half jokingly, "You can date after you're married." When we were still quite small, Mom began keeping a "courting" file, to which she added the various articles on courtship versus dating that she came across.

Several years ago, our family's plans to pursue courtship instead of dating were cemented when Dad conducted a study on courtship for our church's weekly "Family Night."

The purpose of courtship is to seek God's will towards marriage. It has both direction and a certain amount of commitment. It recognizes the father's authority, and seeks guidance from both sets of parents.

One of my favorite verses in Proverbs 31 is "She will do him good, and not evil all the days of her life." As a little girl, as a teenager, as an eligible young lady. I am some man's future wife. I must avoid the emotionally- and physically-defrauding relationship found many times in the dating process. I belong to my future husband, and must do him good ... now.

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We look forward to meeting his whole family - parents and two lovely sisters - in just two days! On Wednesday, Leslie and I are off to Asheville with them to attend American Vision's Second Annual Worldview Superconference! Then, the Zimmermans will be honored guests in our home for about another week-and-a-half. I shall have oodles of pictures to post, so keep checking our family blog!

Every day, my phone rings with a call from Alaska, and I am normally busy talking and studying for about the next hour or two with Tait. The consistency of his calls has earned him the nickname "The Pesky Alaskan" (PA for short) from Leslie.

Today is exactly one year since we met Tait at that conference in the out-of-the-way town of Toccoa, GA. The respect that each person in my family holds for him has only grown with time. He has vision and a desire to truly bring everything, every thought, into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Tait has a wonderful blog, Not by Bread Alone, and has posted a "courting post" too. Click over to read his perspective and a slightly more detailed account of our first meeting last May 26th. He hasn't had a chance to blog very much recently (all that phone time!), but has lots of great articles from the last few years.

Your prayers are appreciated as we continue to seek God's will.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I've Been Meaning to Write on This....

I've been meaning to write something on this subject, but just haven't gotten a chance yet, with all the goings-on that have been going on of late. : ) Yesterday, I discovered an article on Ladies Against Feminism that says everything I want to say about this, and says it infinitely better than I ever could. Its title is "The Secret Garden" ... and no, it's not talking about the book.

I know it's rather low of me not to write something myself, and instead to borrow someone else's work. But I sincerely wanted to share this article with each and every one of you. You will be blessed, so please take five minutes of the time you had planned to use reading new posts on my blog, and peruse The Secret Garden.

Stay tuned ... on May 26th, I'll be posting something rather special and exciting, which will go far towards explaining the sad job I've been doing of late of keeping More Precious Than Rubies updated!


The Secret Garden

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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

What Is "He" Looking For? - Part 4

Introduction * Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * Part 5 * Part 6 * Part 7 * Part 8 * Part 9 * Conclusion

4. "The next quality to look for is thankfulness.... Thankfulness is not a response to one's environment, rather, an expression of the heart."

Just like cheerfulness, thankfulness is "an expression of the heart," and - as Michael Pearl puts it, speaking of a prospective wife - "a change of environment and relationships is not going to make her thankful." Broadly stated, what we are before marriage, we will be after marriage. Yes, we can change; we are always changing, always learning. But if we have an ungrateful spirit before marriage, we cannot expect a miraculous, instantaneous metamorphosis to take place upon our wedding day, transforming us into thankful women.

In his book, The Power of True Success, Bill Gothard states, "An ungrateful spirit is a rebuke to those who are providing for you and a complaint against God."

First of all, we are commanded, "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (I Thessalonians 5:18). Our thanks is due, first and foremost, to our Lord. Bill Gothard emphasizes that "[t]rue gratefulness springs from an awareness of our total unworthiness and inadequacy before a holy and just God." Anything the Lord chooses to give us is an immense blessing; our thanks should be poured freely and humbly at His feet.

Thanking the Lord for what we see as "good" is easy. Thanking Him for trials and hard times, adversities and calamities, is another matter. However, we are commanded to give thanks "in every thing"! We are instructed to "count it all joy when [we] fall into divers temptations" (James 1:2); God says we will be blessed when men "revile" and "persecute" us (Matthew 5:11). We must remember that God has a plan, that He knows what is best. God can use these difficult times to draw us closer to Himself, conforming us more fully into His image.

Besides her Lord, the most important person for a woman to express thankfulness to is her husband. It is he who has chosen her above all others to be his special helpmeet, to help him be successful in his life mission. It is he who works long days to support her, putting food on the table and providing for her needs.

Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Consider what an encouragement it would be to a husband for his wife to praise him, to thank him for the sacrifices he makes everyday for her!

Phillips Brooks, American clergyman and author, once said, "To say 'well done' to any bit of good work is to take hold of the powers which have made the effort and strengthen them beyond our knowledge." We have at our fingertips the power to either rebuke and discourage others through our ungrateful spirit, or to encourage others to pursue higher and nobler things by simply being thankful.

"Yet, on the dull silence breaking
With a lightning flush, a word,
Bearing endless desolation
On its blighting wings, I heard;
Earth can forge no keener weapon,
Dealing surer death and pain;
And the cruel echo answered
Through long years again.

I have known one word hung starlike
O'er a dreary waste of years,
And it only shone the brighter
Looked at through a mist of tears,
While a weary wanderer gathered
Hope and heart on life's dark way
By its faithful promise shining
Clearer day by day."

-from Home-Making, by J.R. Miller; pg. 41

Introduction * Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * Part 5 * Part 6 * Part 7 * Part 8 * Part 9 * Conclusion