Thursday, January 28, 2010


When I was a little girl, my hair was long enough to sit on. Getting my hair combed was a daily opportunity for momma and me to visit about all sorts of things. Because I was a very active “tom-boy,” my flowing auburn locks could get very gnarly. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, the vinegar momma put on my hair, as a final rinse, not only made me smell like a dill pickle, it also helped to unravel those tangles! Since those years, I’ve gone from straight to curly and even very short hair for a period of time. Yet, long hair has always held a special place in my heart. Not only is it pretty, it isn’t something that you see everyday.

Not unlike most women, I went through a middle-age stage when I simply didn’t know what to do with my graying hair. Most often, in an attempt to “look younger,” aging women cut their hair short, keep it dyed and often “permed.” In my opinion, vanity isn’t worth the risk I put myself under with the ongoing use of these carcinogenic chemicals. Therefore, I’ve concluded that there is no reason why I can’t be a long, gray-haired gramma and I’m back to using vinegar on my hair! In addition to untangling, vinegar effectively flushes away soap residue which so easily gets trapped in and strips moisture away from hair.

I’ve adapted a hair rinse recipe
that I found a
which I simply love.
If you are concerned about your graying hair,
you can even add herbs that will add color to your hair
without the dangerous carcinogens found in most hair dyes.


2 oz. Rose Water
2 oz. Apple Cider Vinegar
2 oz. Water or choice of herbal infusion

Combine all ingredients, shake well before using, message well into scalp and hair. Leave on while finishing bath or shower, then rinse. Caution: vinegar will sting if allowed to get in your eyes.

If color is an issue for you, instead of water, the use of a strong herbal infusion will draw out the colors and even cover the gray in your hair over time with repeated use.

Making an infusion:
Add ¼ cup dried herb to 1 cup of filtered water in a sauce pan. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Over medium heat bring water to almost boiling. Remove from heat. Pour contents into jar. Seal and steep herbs over-night. Strain prior to adding to vinegar mixture.

For desired effects use:
Chamomile - gold tones
Hibiscus flowers or Alkaner root - reddish tones
Nettle - warm tones
Rosemary, Sage or Walnut leaves - brown tones

A mixture of Rosemary & Sage will darken gray hair. Most importantly, Rosemary stimulates the sluggish circulation in that ol’ scalp and Sage has anti-bacterial/fungal properties.

I’ve discovered that the resulting shine and the conditioning qualities of this herbal rinse are simply unbeatable. Don’t worry, you won’t smell like a pickle! Instead, the gentle fragrance of a blushing rose will accompany you every where you go!


The author of this article does not endorse everything represented on/in suggested links, books, etc. Each of us is accountable to God weigh everything according to His Word.

All content of this article is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. The author sells no hard products and earns no money from the recommendation of products. The information herein is presented for educational and commentary purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice from any licensed practitioner. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. This is best left to the Creator of the universe. In all health-related situations, “qualified healthcare professionals” should always be consulted. The author deems THE GREAT PHYSICIAN to be most qualified. The author assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material.


Thursday, January 21, 2010


Christian persecution is increasing all over the world, including America. If we are truly going to represent Jesus, we must know how He would have us respond.

When I question the biblical validity of such views as, “We need to fight for our Christian rights!” “We should shoot ‘em if they march into our homes, threatenin’ our families!” my query is customarily countered with a flaming arsenal of Old Testament examples as “supporting evidence” for this stance. Desiring Truth, I present this challenge; “Show me in Scripture where Jesus teaches that seeking political support or aggression is the answer.” Most leave the conversation frustrated, irritated and at times even angry as a result of attempting to defend their case when there are no such instances!

However, while Jesus never advocated passively allowing evil activity to happen,
His response was far more powerful than retaliation
much more aggressive than passivity.
He responded with Love
He teaches His followers to dispel evil with good.
(Luke 6:27-29; Romans 12:17, 21; 1Thessalonians 5:15; 1Peter 3:9).

According to God’s Word, suffering for Jesus’ sake is what we are called to (1 Peter 2:19-23) and is to be considered a privilege! Why do Christians have such difficulty grasping that this radically powerful response of Love is the Law which Jesus prescribes? Is it because we have forgotten who our Master is?

Some years ago a very unusual experience had befallen a little Baptist church in Russia. It seemed that the members of their church had been so harassed and hampered by certain government officials that they seriously considered closing the church. But before taking that final, sad step, they decided on one further procedure. They would write a letter to the Prime Minister in Moscow, Nikita Khruschev, reminding him of the freedom of worship allowed by the constitution, and asking for his personal intervention on their behalf. To their surprise, their letter was answered; and to their greater surprise, it invited them to send a delegation to Moscow and to present their case direct to the Prime minister himself…

The delegation arrived at the Kremlin on the appointed day, and were ushered in to Nikita Khruschev’s office… After the customary introductions, the leader of the delegation presented their case. He thanked the Prime Minister for receiving them, and proceeded to plead for his intervention on their behalf. When he had finished speaking, it is said that the Prime Minister opened a drawer in his desk, and from that drawer took out a copy of the Bible. They noticed that it was already open. He asked them to listen as he read to them a paragraph from the Gospels – a paragraph where Jesus forewarns His disciples to expect persecution, and how they would be hounded out of towns and thrown out of synagogues for His sake. Khruschev then turned to them brusquely: “Well, and is this not what your Master promises you?” They agreed that it was so. “Then why are you complaining?” he asked. The silence that ensued indicated that the censure was justified. He then sent them home, but with this word of advice: “If you really believe this Book, then you should never have come to me; you should have gone to your own Master.” – unknown author


Thursday, January 14, 2010


Traditional interpretation of Artemis of Ephesus
in a 16th Century fountain, Villa d'Este

Unlocking the Cultural Background to 1 Timothy 2

By Jon Zens (editor, Searching Together; author of A Church Building Every 1/2 Mile: What Makes American Christianity Tick?)

It's time to set the record straight. 1 Tim:11-12 has long been used as "clear" justification to silence Christian women in various ways. However, when the cultural setting of 1 Timothy 2 is unfolded, many elements of the traditional interpretation are called into question -- and a new level of clarity emerges regarding several difficult passages. In What's With Paul and Women? Unlocking the Cultural Background to1 Timothy 2, Jon Zens tackles Paul's flow of thought, focusing particularly on verses 11-12. Timothy was left in Ephesus by Paul to deal with false teaching (1:3). The author shows how significant light is shed upon the issues mentioned in 1 Timothy 2:9-15 when the Artemis-saturated culture in Ephesus is factored in.

Advance praise for What's With Paul & Women?

In an enlightening expose, Jon Zens takes the reader beneath the flourishing of cultural misnomers regarding the role of women in the church and zeros in on the historical roots of the often misogynist treatment of one half of the Body of Christ. This passionate, well-researched work is not only a fair treatment of the subject, but one that is biblically sound, drawing from the entirety of the Word of God. Intelligent, captivating, covering new ground -- a must read!
-- Stephanie Bennett, Ph.D., Palm Beach Atlantic University, W. Palm Beach, FL

I really liked this study. I thought it was needful for those who cling to the notion of male superiority and dominant authority structures. When all is said and done, the spirit-filled submission mentioned in Ephesians 5 is the antidote for top-down authority and dominance. I’m still learning what it means to submit to one another in the power of the Spirit.
--Bruce E. Newkirk, Retired Federal Prison Chaplain

This piece on women is really outstanding, the best I have seen. This sentence particularly caught my eye for comment: "... Just as Adam fell into a deep sleep when his wife came forth from his side, so Christ descended into the sleep of death and when his side was pierced the bride was birthed." Jesus had said, "Truly, truly, I say unto you, Unless a corn of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone: but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit." I had not seen this aspect of the piercing of His side before you put it the way you did. Once again, you have been instrumental in giving me a treasure from the Lord!
--Jay Ferris, Bostic, NC; Author with Lisa Weger of Not Left Behind: Going Back for the Offended.

I read the entire article very carefully. As we say in Oklahoma --- A number one outstanding! (That means it's excellent!). The best I've read on the subject so far. I have taken the liberty to forward this to my father.
We are both fans of your writing and appreciate your ministry.
--Wade Burleson, Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Enid, OK

Your study on 1 Timothy 2 is the most thorough exposition I have ever seen. My thinking has been along similar lines.
--Alan Crandall, former Edwin Lindsay Chaplain to Students
University of Dubuque, Iowa


Desiring to be obedient to God’s Word regarding how I function in the Church and what I teach others, over the last several years I have spent hours researching and writing about the role of women in the Church.

Aware of my interest in this subject, I was recently asked to edit a review Jon Zens was writing of a book written by John Piper, What’s the Difference? Manhood & Womanhood Defined According to the Bible. While there have been ongoing debates about this topic amongst scholars for centuries, Jon writes very indisputably about a section of scripture which is frequently overlooked, yet worth considering:

It is interesting that in Piper’s major publication, Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood (1991), there are separate articles devoted to Eph.5:21-33, 1 Cor.11:3-16. Col.3:18-19, 1 Pet.3:1-7, etc., but 1 Cor.7:1-5 is suspiciously absent. Likewise, in What’s the Difference? There are two lists of verses dealing with marriage provided, but once again 1 Cor.7:1-5 is not included (PP.21,66).

This omission is unfortunate for the following reasons. First, 1 Cor.7:1-5 is the only place in the NT where the word “authority” (Greek, exousia) is used with reference to marriage. But it is not the authority of the husband over the wife, or vice versa, that is in view, but rather a mutual authority over each other’s body. 1 Cor.7:4 states that the wife has authority over her husband’s body. One would think that this would be a hard pill to swallow for those who see “authority” as resting only in the husband’s headship.

Secondly, Paul states that a couple cannot separate from one another physically unless there is mutual consent (Greek, symphonou). Both parties must agree to the separation or it shouldn’t happen. There is in this text, then, nothing supporting the contention that the husband’s “authority” should override his wife’s differing viewpoint.

John Piper suggests that “mature masculinity accepts the burden of the final say in disagreements between husband and wife, but does not presume to use it in every instance” (p.32). But 1 Cor.7:5 challenges Piper’s assumed maxim. If the wife disagrees with a physical separation, the husband should not overrule his wife with the “final choice” (p.33). Biblically, such separation can occur only if both husband and wife are in “symphony” (unity) about such an action.

Now if mutual consent applies in an important issue like physical separation from one another for a period of time, wouldn’t it seem proper that coming to one-mindedness would be the broad decision-making model in a healthy marriage? Piper feels that “in a good marriage decision-making is focused on the husband, but is not unilateral” (p.32). In light of 1 Cor.7:1-5 I suggest that decision-making should focus on finding the Lord’s mind together. Over the years the good ideas, solutions to problems and answers to dilemmas will flow from both husband and wife as they seek the Lord as a couple for “symphony.”

1 Cor.7:5 throws a wrench into the works for those who would conclude that the husband has the “final say” under presumed authority commonly known as “male headship.” Paul teaches that unless the couple can agree on a course of action, it should not be executed. I suggest that this revelation invites us to re-examine what the husband’s headship really entails.

(Jon has been the editor of Searching Together magazine since 1978, and lives in Osceola, Wisconsin. )


Thursday, January 7, 2010


This is the first anniversary of Searching for the Whole-Hearted Life! I’m so thankful for the opportunity to write for the Diagonal Progress, as well as for those who are following my articles via internet. I sincerely appreciate the encouragement which many of you have offered.

Although writing these commentaries has been a highlight for me, I realize that at the least I’ve raised some eye brows, irritated a few people and possibly even alienated others. Thanks, Patty for hanging in there with me. I’m sure you’ve received your fill of comments!

An anniversary article seems like a good time to share my heart about the reason and purpose behind my approach.

I have an insatiable hunger for and am a seeker of truth. Consequently, I’m often in deep thought and/or researching something. Although this may be an irritant to some, I’ve learned to accept that there is a glorious purpose in God’s Kingdom for how He has created everyone, including me! Research and writing about that which I discover seems to be a part of how He desires to use me.

The fact that it is nearly impossible for me to accept anything at face value has been complicated through the years as I’ve discovered that I and others have been deceived about many things. I have a very strong aversion to being deceived and a passion for protecting others from the bondage of deception. Jesus said, “… truth will set you free.” [John 8:32]; consequently, I seek truth not only for my own freedom, but out of love and concern for those around me.

Although I tend to isolate out of “self-preservation,” I’m realizing more and more that God did not create me to be a “Lone Ranger.” I believe that Searching for the Whole-Hearted Life has been an open door for me to not only risk sharing my heart, but also to hear what’s on the hearts of others.

As the weeks of writing Searching for the Whole-Hearted Life pass by,
I’m realizing that I perceive my readers
as “friends”
with whom I’m sharing my reflections.
My prayer is that my “friends” will not be
angry about or ignore what I have to say,
but will lovingly listen to my heart and consider
that just maybe
I’m reflecting upon something worth consideration.
I hope that I may even be affirming questions
which some of you also wrestle with.
I often pray that my contemplations will influence others
to reevaluate
what they may have been taught and readily accepted
without much research or prayerful consideration.

I realize that although my style of writing may not seem so, I am certain that I do not hold all truths. I’m very aware that, just as anyone else, I am capable of inadvertently misleading someone through what I write. May we all be blessed with Christ's wisdom as we “search” together.

As we look to another year together, it is my prayer that the Lord will continue to build our relationship with one another. Please, don’t hesitate to offer feed-back. I need what you have to offer. I also desire to hear about the musings of your heart. If you have questions which you’d like for me to address, I’d love to hear them.