Monday, August 19, 2013

Parenthetical Digressions // in Natural Hues

Hey y'all!! How are things in your neck of the woods this fine day? I had a lovely day yesterday worshiping, fellowshipping, laughing during Family Fun Time at church, and having friends over for french toast... most of which time we spent chasing cows through fields and mud paths unexpectedly. In this outfit, hat and all I might add, and hollllla I didn't get it dirty! Like, at all. I actually did a happy dance when I realized I hadn't ruined my new skirt. :D

Yesterday's sermon was very encouraging and has my mind praising the Lord even still. Our text was Romans 5:13-17, the parenthetical digression we started to talk about last week. This passage is meant to show us the surpassing greatness of God's grace. I had an "aha!" moment at the end of the message, but it took a little while to see how this was applicable to me.

       This parenthetical (in parenthesis) statement starts off with the word "For". It means Paul is about to explain something really important; he's saying, "Y'all got that? Let's really understand it..."  Verses 13 and 14: "(For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (14) Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come."

Verse 13 is tricky, and one that many folks have interpreted in wacky ways, especially in pairing it with Romans 4:15 where it says, "where there is no law there is no transgression." Paul tells us though that sin was going on in the world between the time of the fall, and the time when the law was written down, so those without the law are still transgressing. However, Paul's idea here is not to confuse us! His objective is to point out that death reigned, even during a time when the people had no way to tell their sin besides what was written on their hearts. We need to realize that we are all dying and that death reigns. If you didn't read the sermon notes on original sin from last week, I encourage you to do so here.

We've been talking a lot about how Adam was a picture, or type, of Christ. His flannel-graph. The scriptures are full of parables designed to get the main point across and if we draw out every detail trying to make it mean something, we're going to have inconsistencies or get side tracked and lose the point. So, Paul spends verses 15-17 contrasting the ways that Adam and Christ were different so that we don't lose sight of just how great Christ's love for us is. What Adam did, Jesus' grace far surpassed. This passage points out 4 dissimilarities:
1) Verse 15, there is a dissimilarity in the nature or character of their actions. Adam offended. He had an obligation to stand and he failed. This word offended is the same Hebrews 6 uses to describe those who fall away. We must understand that Adam was obligated to obey and he did not, but Christ was under absolutely no obligation to save us, yet he did. His was a free gift. We often presume on God and, yeah duh, of course he's gonna save people. But He didn't have to. That's His grace. We need to train our expectations of how we should be thinking about God so we don't presume on His grace and get angry when we are handed a less-than-desirable lot in life. God doesn't owe me a thing. Doesn't this make God's grace all the sweeter?

2) There is a dissimilarity in their extent, verse 15. Adam brought us to death, so it follows that Christ would bring us to life, does it not? However, that is not what the text says. It says that grace and the gift of God abounded. Jesus doesn't just take us back to a pre-fall state. He doesn't just bring us back to physical life, the thing Adam's sin took away. Christ's grace gives us a positive righteousness that Adam did not have-- we are given eternal security, not probation with conditions like Adam. When we're stuggling with physical ailments, we need to remember this! In Christ we don't just have physical life over death, but we have been glorified as co-heirs with God's Son! Paul is using these dissimilarities to heighten the grace of Christ. In Him we have far surpassed the fall.

3) There is a dissimilarity in the amount of sin of which that came. Verse 16, "For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification." Because Adam's one sin brought judgement to all, then there is none good, no not one, and everyone is guilty. We should expect God's wrath to be built up-- with this thought, Christ's free gift is all the more astounding. Christ paid for all my sins! Not just one, which on it's own is deserving of death. On the backdrop of many sins comes justification and life. 

4) There is a dissimilarity in the position that they leave us. Verse 17 completes the parentheses, "For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)" This whole thing was to highlight God's grace! We expect to have death vs life, but actually it's death vs reigning in life

We are subjects to death, but in Christ we are moved to a position of not just life, but of reigning as co-heirs in the kingdom with Him! We are not a slave to this earthly life, but we reign! We have conquered. Wow, what grace. Y'know, as young people, we often stuggle with finding "who we are"-- we hear, "follow your heart!" but we don't know our hearts. We are undecided, confused, unsure of ourselves. We like one thing one day and another thing another day and all the while we are trying to please others+ourfamilies+us. Should we follow our parent's instructions, step out on our own, and/or wrap our identity in our favorite boy? All these things are us not knowing who we are, which is natural. Romans helps us here. We are Christ's! All that we are and all we have and all we do should flow directly from our relationship with, and our standing before, Him. All this "death reigns, judgement comes, Adam's sin vs Christ's free gift" digression is there to draw attention to the surpassing greatness of God's grace. And wow, is that awesome.

I have been hoping and praying (yep, I pray for clothes) for a white maxi skirt for several months now. This week a friend gave us a bag of clothes because they were moving and in there was this skirt-- woohoo! I paired it with a sheer brown button-up to dress it up for church. I went with brown, natural accents and it was just a very comfortable outfit. I wore a different pair of shoes for church and then swapped to these for hanging out the rest of the day.

Shirt: Charity Shop: $3
Skirt: Handmedown
Tank: Forever21: $1.50
Hat:Macy's: Gift (but it was $15 ;)
Belt: Came with a maxi dress
Earrings: Charity Shop: $2

Alrighty, I better go make lunch. What was your sermon about? How was your Lord's Day?


  1. What an adorable skirt!! I was so excited when I got my first white actually looks quite similar to yours. :)
    Our sermon was on Proverbs 4. It was very good.
    We spent yesterday cleaning up after the service, then went home to pick up our items from our county fair.

  2. Love you hat!
    Oh, I have a skirt just like that, though it is brown. I really like it because its long on me. :) It is nice being short, sometimes.

  3. What an amazing skirt, for being a hand-me-down!!

  4. I love that skirt! I normally don't care too much for anything white clothing-wise, mostly because I always get it dirty, but that skirt is gorgeous!

  5. I love the way you did you your hair with the hat :)

  6. Thank you for this encouraging site! I have liked it on facebook and just really love to see your post... I am a homemaker/mother of 4 (3 of whom are girls)!!

    Keep up the good work!!


  7. Cute outfit! I love your skirt! That's neat how you got it!! :)

  8. I am deeply impressed at a white skirt so clean after chasing cows, haha. Heaven knows i never had a pair of blue jeans that withstood those moments, let alone pretty, frilly stuff ;)

    Then again, cows and I never got along. My dad's cows knew who I was, and there was a definite mutual dislike happening there. Well, except for the cow I'm named after - I always got along with her.

    I like the neutrals! You always look great in the bright colors you wear, but it's nice to see a calm neutral take, too.

    I like seeing the sun in your photos - we haven't seen sunlight in DAYS down in SC, heh. It's nice to see some brightness, even if it's a state over.

  9. I love how you did your hair!! And I love the skirt too:)

  10. oh. my. goodness. i fell in love with that skirt at first sight!

  11. That skirt is so pretty! :) I love the ruffle on the bottom. <3

    By the way, have you considered making that hair-curling-tutorial-video-thing? Because I'd love to see how you manage to make your hair look so pretty! A few days ago it took me around two hours to curl all my hair. TWO HOURS (or something like that). I have a lot of hair and my curling iron is cheap. That probably has something to do with it, but nonetheless, I'd still love a tutorial. 'Course I know how busy you are, so don't panic! 'Twas just a thought. :)

    Love in Christ,

  12. Haha yes. I pray for clothes too! If the Lord sees fit to bless me with whatever I may be asking for.. :D I'm praying for a pair of real leather boots at the moment. They are so hard to find in NZ unless you want to spend a fortune.

  13. Hi Olivia! :) Our sermon was strait from the point that you brought up about how ALL things we do should glorify our Lord...We cannot only count on His unfailing love, but how we can pray to Him to help us stay close to Him! We spent alot of time viewing the topic of not compromising our own Godly values for the world's 'solutions'. How wonderful it is that we have such a solid Rock!
    The white skirt is so nice! Love it when something like that happens! And how fantastic that your hat matches the brown wooden beads perfectly with your hat! :)
    Thanks so much for your time in the sermon posts!

  14. Oh my Word I love that skirt!!!! Is their a tag on the inside that has the name of the brand or something?? Seriously! I love it and would love one of my own. I guess I could always make one. It is so pretty though! The whole outfit really looks great!
    By His Grace,

  15. I think it's neat that you pray for your clothes, I've done that too from time to time.
    I bought my first maxi skirt last week at an outdoor market - it has four blue and white horizontal stripes which have been stitched together, and has a thick brown belt with an adorably chunky clasp attached. I'm kind of completely in love with it. ^_^ I never used to be a fan of long skirts, because I was afraid they would make me look frumpy...but I've been gradually changing my mind (especially when I see cute outfits like yours!)

  16. You look so cute!! I love the way you did your hair and the hat!!
    The background looks so pretty too!


  17. Oh, my word I love that skirt!

  18. Sigh...I want that skirt! :)

  19. I love that skirt!

    ~Grace Pierpont

  20. I know you credit where you got your clothes, but there are so many times I wish you named the brand name as well so I might be able to find the same skirt or shirt by the brand on ebay. :)

  21. Goodness...if you chased cows through the mud without it getting dirty how high did you have it hiked up? :-P lol
    Barbie Doll

    1. Haha! Only mid-calf I think. Its so full that I was able to move fine... just had to keep it from dragging in the dirt. :D I was keeping up with 5 guys and not really trying too hard, which is why I was so happy it wasn't stained. ;)

    2. Glad it didn't get dirty as its super nice!!!
      Barbie Doll

  22. GIRL!!! Great job!! There is NO WAY if I had to chase our cows in my white skirt that I would keep it clean... that is awesome that you were able to! This is such a lovely feminine outfit I am so glad your skirt didn't get ruined.:)

  23. Our friends met you while in Tennessee at a homeschool show and you had a booth there. Our daughter has followed your blog for quite some time and so it was a happy surprise to have someone be impressed with your character in person also. I appreciate you putting so much of your sermon notes in writing for those interested..I hope you took the time to read them (all you commenting young women) as well as wowing over the skirt and all. The modesty aspect of your shop and all is a gift given by the Word in your life being made manifest in an appropriate way and an edifying way to encourage all young women to serve in a capacity that glorifies God, honors parents, builds up the body of Christ and all. So, yes, the Grace of God through Jesus Christ His son is amazing and we are kingly beggars receiving the gift He so freely gave. Not by works of righteousness that we have done but according to His mercy He saved us. This was a small blip from our service. I noticed there was a comment which mentioned the service someone attended...Prov. 4. Well, thank you for letting me post... I am a mother of nine.. and I am thankful for Godly young women standing against this worlds culture and for standing firmly on the Word richly given through our local churches and Pastors. I love the law and gospel aspect of what you wrote because if I am not made a sinner I certainly won't need the Gospel. May the Lord continue to keep you strong and bless you. Keep preaching! Mama Jo

  24. Olivia,

    Your blog is such an inspiration! I love reading your sermon notes and I always get a better understanding of the verses after reading your insightful posts. In a world where modesty is almost a forgotten word your site reminds us all that the person inside the clothing is where the true beauty lies. You are an inspiration and a blessing.

    - Kari

  25. I really love your blog Olivia! It has been SO inspiring and encouraging to me! I love reading all your posts and seeing photos :) That white skirt is so pretty too! I'm so glad I came across this blog! You must live on a beautiful property too, I love the greenery in the photos!! Thanks again!

    Riarna Ps. Please check my blog out, and I would love it if you could follow too!!!

  26. Love the background for the photos! I don't think you've done them there before...? Is that your driveway/fence? Beautiful! ~Rebekah from

  27. Hey, thanks for the detailed and in-depth break-down of those verses. I often find Romans ok if I read sort of quickly and just take in the gist, but slowing down and looking at it piece by piece is where it gets tricky. I found it really illuminating to read what you wrote about it, and I'm sure I'll be coming back to read this entry again.

    Oh and I can't believe how clean your skirt is :p after chasing cows through mud? Wow.


Fresh Modesty is fashion blog which encourages girls to "Dress outside your box, but inside His Book!" I allow anonymous comments so those without accounts can comment, but I would really appreciate it if you would identify yourself by some form of a name. :) Thank you for taking the time to comment!