Archives for May 2009

My Mama

Hannah's Mama“I’m becoming my mother!” is often an exclamation a woman can be heard saying at a point in her life where she stops everything and realizes, well, that she is a lot like her mother! I’ve heard it said with a shock and sometimes with a sigh, but as I say it now, I say it with a smile! My mother is the best woman I know, and seeing now that I mirror her in even only a few ways, without even noticing it, is a blessing in disguise.

As you can see in the photo, Mama can be silly sometimes! This is one of my favorite things about her! She might get confused as I’m telling a story, start giggling, and end up asking me to start over, or she might make a funny face at me in the mall, but I love that she can be silly, and still be classy. Never have I seen my mother be wild or inappropriate; she knows how to have a laughter-filled time while keeping a perfect level of respect for herself.

Although we see many women today get the attitude, “I’m Super-Woman; I don’t need anybody and I can get where I want to be all by myself,” I love that my mother doesn’t think like that. She is the perfect example to me of the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31:10–31. Mama is submissive to my father, who is the good Christian leader of our household. She makes food for the family, cares for each of us, loves each of us, but even more amazingly, she is the same way to everyone else.

I’ve never met a woman who is more caring and sympathetic to those in need. She never brags about the things she does, or makes a point to tell anyone; she just does these things because she wants to be the kind of Christian woman God wants! She bakes bread, cookies, or meals for the sick, widowed, or lonely. She makes cards and sends them to anyone who may need a smile. She will listen to those who just need someone to talk to––and she truly listens! With all these things she does, she remains more humble than you could ever imagine. I am confident that God is very pleased with her, and will continue to do good works through her!

Hannah's Mam and HannahI often think of how wonderful my mother is, and how often I fail to tell her that, or show her how thankful I am. I think back on times when I have failed to be the Christian daughter and young woman God wanted of me. But one thing I know is that only God could have created such a beautiful inside-out, tender-hearted person, and blessed me enough to make her my mother. I could never imagine a day without hearing her voice, asking her advice, or just hugging her. God is incomprehensibly generous and kind to allow me to have a mother like her. I love you, Mama, and I hope and pray that I become more like you every day that God keeps me on this earth.

Please leave a comment below letting us know what you love about the mother, or mother-like figure, in your life.

By Hannah Smith

May 2009 Desktop Image

If you’d like to have our theme image on your desktop this month, simply click on “standard” or “wide-screen” underneath the photo, then right click on the image and select “set as background.”  Note: laptops are generally wide-screen, and desktops are usually standard images.

Pierce my heart to serve, 1 Peter 4:10 “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

May 2009, Edited by Davonne Parks – Standard or Wide-screen

A Servant’s Heart

1 Peter 4:10 “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

h2h3The above verse is simply saying that we each have a special talent, or gift, so we must use it to the best of our ability, for good, to serve others to glorify God. First Peter 4:11 says, “… whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (emphasis mine). We all have a special, natural ability or capability for certain things. We might have several areas in which we do well. I love being with people of all ages and making them feel at ease. I love cooking and homemaking. When you put all of those together, you have the gift of hospitality! See how easy that is!

Find your talent

Perhaps we have a talent of painting––we could volunteer to do home improvement projects for the elderly, or volunteer for home remodeling at one of the neighborhood charity projects. We could paint crafts and give them as gifts to people. We can use our sewing talents for making things that nursing homes or children’s hospitals need.

We can serve by helping in many ways, such as babysitting free of charge if you love children, or you can read to someone in the nursing home if you love reading. We can rake leaves, plant or water flowers, take a meal to the sick, or write for a Christian magazine! There are all kinds of possible ways to serve and use your talents.

Use your talent

We need to make certain that we use the talents that God gives us. First Timothy 4:14 says, “Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you…” Even when we are young women, we are instructed to serve God by being a good example. First Timothy 4:12 tells us to “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” There might be a younger girl who needs a mentor, and who better than you if you are living a godly example before them.

We are each unique and special and have so much to contribute when we take the time to do so. “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly…” (Romans 12:6). God wants us to use the abilities that He blessed us with. He placed us each where He wanted us, even if things seem difficult sometimes. We can grow stronger from our trials and perhaps use those circumstances to know how to help others in that same situation.

h2h5Ministering to people’s needs is another way to serve. Sometimes people just need someone to talk to, to cry with, or to laugh with. If you have the ability to talk to people easily, or are a great listener, or are compassionate, that would be a good ministry for you to do. Praying for others might be all we can do at times, so pray earnestly. Colossians 1:9 tells us, “For this reason, since the day we have heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (emphasis mine).

Being a good friend is also serving if you are setting a good example. Titus 2:7–8 says, “In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.”

Glorify God

We serve God in all we do if we glorify Him and do it to the best of our ability; not begrudgingly, but with cheer and joy. Jesus was the best servant of all. We see by His examples in the Bible that He was continually ministering to people, which means He attended to the wants and needs of others. In every example given, that is what Jesus did. He served and ministered to people’s needs. Matthew 4:23: “Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.”

Jesus served without taking the credit for Himself. After Jesus cleansed the leper, He told those who witnessed it not to tell anyone (Matthew 8:4). We are also to serve without telling others what we do or bragging about it. We are told, in Matthew 6:3, “But when you give to the poor, do not let your right hand know what your left hand is doing.” If we are serving with the right heart, that of genuinely wanting to help others; then we won’t do it just to receive praise, but to glorify God. Whenever we serve the way God instructs us to serve then we will truly have joy in helping those in need.

By Carol Gartman

The Perfect Pedicure

bb3Ok, so maybe the perfect pedicure would be described using the words free and spa, but for now, we’re going to talk about doing the perfect at-home pedicure. It’s sandal season, and our feet need to be ready!

As with our at-home manicures a couple months ago, there are several supplies we need for this at-home day at the spa. Make sure you have all of them on hand before you get started.

  • Tub with warm water
  • Scented lotion
  • Pumice stone
  • Foot scrub (peppermint, if possible)
  • Nail file or emery board
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail polish (in a bright, summery color!)
  • Clear polish (for base and top coats)
  • Nail polish remover
  • Cotton balls
  • q-tips/cotton swabs
  • towel

Now that you’ve gathered your supplies, it’s time to sit back and get started. You’re only a few simple steps from summery, sandal-ready feet!

  1. Remove all old polish with the remover and cotton balls. Make sure you also remove any polish that bleeds onto your toes as you do this––you don’t want blotchy feet!
  2. Soak your feet for 20 minutes in a tub or bowl of warm water mixed with a little scented lotion. This is the perfect time to grab a book, or your Bible, and catch up on some reading. When time’s up, thoroughly dry your feet with the towel.
  3. French Pedicure (click image for tuturial)Use the pumice stone (Pumice stones look like a hard, rectangular sponges––very porous––and can be found in the nail sections of most stores.) to slough off the dead, dry skin on the heels and balls of your feet. Doing this will make them much softer and smoother (especially after the cold winter weather). Wipe your feet with the towel.
  4. Gently massage the foot scrub (peppermint-scented is great, since it’s a naturally relaxing scent, which goes well with a foot massage––just don’t fall asleep!) onto your feet to finish scrubbing away any dead skin. Rinse with warm water when done, and dry.
  5. Clip your toenails to a desired length. Don’t go too short; allow them to extend just barely beyond your nail bed.
  6. Slowly file your toenails to remove any parts that might snag or scratch.
  7. After pushing back your cuticles, apply a basecoat of clear polish to protect against staining the nail. (When out in the sun, your nail polish tends to stain your toenails yellow more easily.) Allow to completely dry.
  8. Apply a coat of your favorite colored polish. (I love OPI Cajun Shrimp––perfect for summer!) When the first coat is dry, apply a second coat. If you get some on your toes, use the q-tip to carefully wipe off the excess.
  9. Apply your top coat of clear polish to protect against chipping and fading.
  10. Once the polish is dry, massage some scented lotion onto your feet and you’re ready to go.

Now that your toes look so fabulous, I think it’s time for a new pair of sandals to show them off…very soothing to the sole!

“How beautiful your sandaled feet…” Song of Solomon 7:1

By Lisa Grimenstein

Make it Modest: Giveaway

This month’s giveaway, valued at $25, is featured at the end of this article. Keep reading for details.

ss7With warmer weather approaching, that generally means less clothing. While we definitely don’t need to hide in jeans and long-sleeved shirts all summer, we still need to make sure our warm weather wardrobe is appropriate. A recent formal-wear article talks about why it’s important to dress modestly, and gives basic modesty tips that can be applied to everyday summer wear as well. For a refresher, read 1 Timothy 2:9, Matthew 5:27-28, and 1 Corinthians 8:9-12 in addition to the articles linked to above.

Make it modest

Purchasing modest clothing can be difficult and frustrating, so we’re going to cover a few tips on how to make immodest summer clothing more modest.

Layer it up. Tank tops can be a girl’s best friend! Yes, summer is hot, but a long, thin tank won’t add bulk to clothing, and will cover a multitude of top troubles. It will hide cleavage on a low-cut top and cover the back and belly on shorter shirts. I personally love Fashion Bug’s long stretch layering tanks. If you have a larger bust, you can carefully cut out the bra part of a tank top and adjust the straps so it will stay high enough. There’s no need to purchase a tank in every color––simply buy several in the colors you’ll use most, such as white, black, and brown. It’s also a good idea to have one or two wide-strapped tank tops to layer with other thin-strapped tops. Remember that these tank tops are for layering, not to wear alone!

Bermuda ShortsCut it off. Fortunately for the modest-conscious (which I hope is all of us!), bermuda shorts are in! Let’s take advantage of the bermuda shorts, because this is one trend that’d be good for us to keep around. If you’re on a limited budget, get a look like this for free by cutting off an old pair of jeans right above the knee. If you or someone you know can sew, you could also get this look by cutting and hemming a pair of Goodwill jeans to get the bermuda style, then sewing a shoelace onto the front to achieve the drawstring look.

Leg-it under. Last summer’s skirts that are a little too short (and I don’t mean mini!) can be paired with a pair of below-the-knee leggings. Black leggings with a little tie on the hem add some pizzazz to a normal outfit, and plain black leggings are sure to go with almost everything. Anything that’s super short (with the hemline more than a couple of inches above the knee) needs to be tossed, because even leggings won’t make that modest.

Shoe it down. High heels can make skirts and shorts seem even shorter than they are, so this summer, play it cheap and comfortable in a new pair of flip flops.

The giveaway

While it’s sometimes fun to creatively think of new ways to make clothes modest, it’s also refreshing to just look at a store that is already packed full of modest clothing. Bellissima Modesty Boutique is just that––a web store full of cute, modest clothes! Their key verse is “Let the beauty of the Lord be upon us” (Psalm 90:17). They have cute summer tops, some great skirts, fun accessories, and more.

Bellissima Blue 'Flowy' SkirtThe best part is that Bellissima has generously agreed to give away one $25 gift card to a reader! All you have to do is leave a comment below by Friday, May 29, 2009, stating one article of clothing you like from their site, or let us know your favorite modesty tip, and you’ll be entered in our drawing.

Comments are moderated, so they may take a day or so to appear. Make sure to include a valid e-mail address in your information (this will not appear in the post). The winner will be announced on May 31 and will be e-mailed with simple instructions on how to claim this prize. The winner must contact us back within seven days of our initial contact, or the gift card will go to someone else.


Lime Ricki’s special offer is still available for all Pierce My Heart readers. You will save 10% off your entire purchase just by entering the coupon code HEART10 at their checkout by May 15, 2009!

This summer, have fun looking modest while staying cool!

By Davonne Parks

Visit our Monthly Issues page to view all of our past themes, and visit our May 2009 page to read our entire current issue about serving others.

Restore My Spirit

jft1There’s a song about restoring our souls, and the first verse goes like this:

Restore my spirit, Lord, I need restored.
My heart is weary, please help me, dear Lord.
I stand in need of more strength from Your Word,
Renew my love, rebuild my faith,
O restore my soul.

Sometimes we feel too empty or busy to give to others, and when this happens, we need to think and pray about the reason for that emptiness and lack of desire to serve. Often, the lack of desire comes from having so many activities going on that we fail to take time to renew ourselves.

While Jesus lived His life as a service to others (Mark 10:45), He also understood the importance of taking care of Himself and His relationship with God, as we find in Luke 15:16: “But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.”

When you find that you’re unable to give to others with the right heart (2 Corinthians 9:7), make sure you’re taking the time to renew your own spirit. This may mean cutting out an extra activity, turning off the TV, or skipping a night out with friends––just remember that in order to fully renew ourselves, we need to follow our Example, and turn in scripture and prayer to the One who created us.

By Davonne Parks

Make Me a Servant

devo2Hello, ladies! It is now May, and this month we will be asking God to “pierce our hearts to serve.” The main Scripture we want to keep in mind is 1 Peter 4:10—“As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” We all have people in our lives who have done things for us (and continue to do so). These individuals may have taught us a skill that we use in life, such as how to read. You may be thinking of a parent who has raised you alone, and provided for all your needs. Or, perhaps, there is one person who deeply influenced you in your decision to become a Christian. Just think, what if that person had never taken the time to tell you about God’s love and offer of salvation? What if they had never “ministered” to your wants and needs? Let’s take a deeper look into serving.

Why Should We Serve?

Jesus served. He healed the physically sick (Matthew 12:15, 14:14; Mark 1:34), He was a friend to the spiritually sick (Matt. 9:10-12), and He fed the hungry (Matt. 14:13-21). But He was truly the ultimate Servant when He gave His life on the cross (Acts 3:13; Luke 23:46). There is a devotional song that states, “Make me a servant, Lord, make me like You; for You are a Servant, make me one, too. Make me a servant; do what You must do, to make me a servant; make me like You.” Just knowing our perfect Example was a true servant is enough reason to serve others—and God.

How Should We Serve?

When we are swamped with work, and the phone rings, we usually get frustrated—especially if the phone is hiding and we have to search for it! Is it not like that sometimes when a friend asks for our help? We craft reasons as to why we simply cannot assist them. What if someone called with concerns of being saved? Would we dare say we are “too busy” then? To serve others, we have to put others before ourselves (Phil. 2:3). Realize that we should want to help those in need, especially if their need is spiritual. He calls us to not only serve, but to do it joyfully, not grudgingly or with a desire for recognition. We are told to be humble, as was Christ, and live life as a servant (Matthew 5:5, 23:11-12; Proverbs 29:23; Philippians 2:5; James 4:6, 10, 1 Peter 5:6).


devo1The devotional for March 29th in Power for Today, a tri-monthly devotional booklet, addressed how we each possess special gifts and abilities from God. Select lines from 1 Peter 4:10-11 says, “As each one has received a gift…” and “…let him do it as with the ability which God supplies…” (emphasis mine). So, we know each one of us has something we can definitely use for the furtherance of God’s work––a gift He has provided us with. We must discover what that gift is! The book Girl to Girl lists some good ideas for helping out in your home congregation:

  • Teach Bible classes, or serve as a teacher’s aide.
  • Clean and cook.
  • Make and send cards to those struggling, sick, or in need of a friendly hello.
  • Call those who have not attended in a while, and let them know you miss them.
  • Volunteer for odd jobs. (Helping with bulletins, making copies, sharpening pencils, updating bulletin boards, etc.)
  • Help with Vacation Bible School.
  • Encourage all your brothers and sisters in Christ.

But, of course, you know that there are numerous opportunities to serve outside the church. Do you enjoy writing? Write encouraging notes to the kids at school who are having a tough time. Is there someone in the community who lost their home in a natural disaster? Get some boxes and ask friends if they will donate clothes, food items, or money. It’s easy to find ways to serve when you are on the lookout! Try different ways to serve others, and find things that you enjoy doing, but more importantly, make sure it will help those in need, and most importantly–glorify God (Matt. 5:16).

“No one cares!”

It is a sad fact that there are women who have kindly served others their whole lives, but rarely got a “thank you.” You may feel unappreciated if you are not recognized or praised for a good deed, but always remember that we serve to glorify God. It is greatly encouraging when we are thanked; however, do not let yourself become disheartened if you feel no one cares for your help. Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart…” God knows when your intents to serve and help are pure, and you will be blessed for them. He notices when no one else does. In the end, we will get the biggest and best “thank you” ever—a home with Him! (Rev. 2:10b)

Be thankful—USE!

“Every good and perfect gift is from above…” (James 1:17a). Would you not say the unique abilities we each have are good gifts from above? God truly does bless us with all we need to serve Him in serving others. Thank Him (Eph. 5:20) by using your talents to aid others in need! Use your special gifts, and “whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17).

By Hannah Smith

To Serve Like Him

dbr2“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

There is no greater example of a true servant than Jesus Christ Himself. And all through His word, He provides us with examples of what servanthood is and those who demonstrated it. He calls us to be servants to others; however, we are to first and foremost serve Him and serve to please Him (Galatians 1:10). And although we are commanded to serve, He reminds us in Galatians 2:16 that we are justified by faith, not by the many works we may do for Him or others. In this month’s reading, we’ll encounter many servants, each exhibiting servanthood in a unique way.

Jeremiah was a prophet and an earnest servant of God. The book of Jeremiah reveals his inner struggle to continue steadfastly in servicing God by being obedient to Him, even in hardship. The prophet Jeremiah was assigned the unenviable task of confronting others of their sin (Jer. 26). And as a servant of God, he obeyed, even when threatened with death and faced with imprisonment (ch. 37).

In the gospel of Luke, we encounter another obedient servant––John the Baptist. His service was to prepare the way for Christ. He was a great example of what a servant should be, taking no credit for what he was doing, and pointing all attention and glory to God. In chapter 5, Jesus begins calling the twelve apostles, who dropped everything they were doing in order to serve Him. How often can we say that we do the same?

Jesus served others His entire life, but most significantly, He served us in His death. Even though He struggled with this requirement God had placed on Him (Mark 14:36), He is obedient to God, even to death on the cross. Although we can never repay Him or be the true servant He was, He has instructed us on how we should serve. Sometimes our service may require suffering (2 Cor. 11:22–33). Second Corinthians 9:7 tells us to be cheerful givers, which I think also applies to serving. We should do it with a cheerful heart, not begrudgingly or selfishly. We are to serve because that’s what is commanded of us, not comparing ourselves with others and how obedient they are or in what ways they serve (2 Cor. 10:12, 17).

In all the serving we do, we are commanded in Exodus to ultimately serve no other God but the Lord our God (23:25). In everything we do, it is to be to His glory. It can become easy to serve other things and people, even serving service itself! But we must remain focused on our ultimate purpose in serving––in obedience to God, to reflect the Holy Spirit, and to glorify Him.

Suggested Reading for May

dbr1MAY 1 Jer 22-26
MAY 2 Mark 13-14
MAY 3 2 Cor 4-5
MAY 4 Ex 17-20
MAY 5 2 Sam 5-9
MAY 6 Ps 51-53
MAY 7 Job 35-36
MAY 8 Jer 27-31
MAY 9 Mark 15-16
MAY 10 2 Cor 6-8
MAY 11 Ex 21-24
MAY 12 2 Sam 10-14
MAY 13 Ps 54-56
MAY 14 Job 37-38
MAY 15 Jer 32-36
MAY 16 Luke 1-2
MAY 17 2 Cor 9-10
MAY 18 Ex 25-28
MAY 19 2 Sam 15-19
MAY 20 Ps 57-59
MAY 21 Job 39-40
MAY 22 Jer 37-41
MAY 23 Luke 3-4
MAY 24 2 Cor 11-13
MAY 25 Ex 29-32
MAY 26 2 Sam 20-24
MAY 27 Ps 60-62
MAY 28 Job 41-42
MAY 29 Jer 42-46
MAY 30 Luke 5-6
MAY 31 Gal 1-3

By Lisa Grimenstein

This year’s Bible reading plan was borrowed from  To correspond with the 2009 year, we have included actual dates for your referral. You may choose to use the above site, instead.

Pierce my heart to serve

May's Desktop Image1 Peter 4:10 “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

We’ve all been blessed with special gifts, or talents, and one of the things we can do with our talents is use them to serve others, which is what this month’s theme is all about!

The articles

We’ll identify how and why serving is important, as well as give ideas about how teens and young adults can serve in the church and in the community, through carwashes, lending an ear, or practicing random acts of kindness throughout the day.

We’ll also talk about the greatest Servant of all, Jesus Christ, as we read more about Him in our daily Bible reading. We’ll discuss some of the things He desires for His church, and give a quick reference of a few ways we can serve others in order to reflect Him.

Civil Service (or jury duty) is a service that’s often required of people, and we’ll learn a little about that, as well as receive some insight about why we shouldn’t judge the judges. Depression, also something we don’t ask for, can leave us feeling deprived of the energy we need in order to serve others, so this month there will be an article that tells signs and symptoms of depression, as well as offer ways to find help.

Inappropriate lyrics in music is something we can easily overlook or excuse, but we need to think about what we’re allowing into our hearts, so this month there will be an article that will make us think twice about excuses, and will offer fun, upbeat alternatives to popular sounds that will help us to have pure servants’ hearts.

Those of you who are getting ready to cram for finals will enjoy our article about serving each other with a study party, and we’ll read about how we can serve God by helping guys keep their thoughts pure this summer by what we choose to wear. We’ll also post tips for hosting a parents’ night out; this event will offer free babysitting to give couples past the dating stage a chance to rejuvenate their romance and reconnect.

Homemade BrowniesCooking and Moms

This month also focuses on food in a big way, with our Gifted Girls column featuring baking and easy suggestions about serving others with baked goods (check there for information about what to submit for next month!), and our Cooking Corner’s special five-part “Delightful Dining” series. This series will include detailed instructions, tips, and ideas about all areas of planning a dinner party for others, from the day the idea occurs, to the clean-up afterward, and everything in between. We’ll close off the food series with a Health and Fitness article that discusses sensible solutions for common food cravings, and tips for eating the really fun stuff in moderation.

Mother’s Day is coming up this month (May 10), and we don’t want to forget our mothers who work so hard, often unnoticed and unappreciated, to serve their families. One girl writes an article expressing appreciation for her mother, and offers readers the opportunity to leave comments telling good things about their mothers, too. Put Mom first this Mother’s Day to make her feel pampered and appreciated, thanking her for the other 364 days each year that she puts everyone else’s needs above her own. A great way to do this would be to give her a pedicure, which you can do using the step-by-step instructions we’ll post!

Bathing Suit Discount

Lime Ricki offered a special giveaway last month, and you can still get a really great––and modest––bathing suit at a great price (especially if you shop their clearance section!) because Lime Ricki’s special offer is still available for all Pierce My Heart readers. You will save 10% off your entire purchase just by entering the coupon code HEART10 at their checkout by May 15, 2009!

Giveaway and volunteer news

news3Style Sense will talk about making immodest summer clothes more modest, and we’ll give away one $25 gift card to an online clothing store, so check back for more information about that!

If you need to be involved in a summer internship program, or would just like a way to serve this summer, please contact us for information about how you can volunteer for Pierce My Heart. No matter what your talent is, there’s sure to be a job for you, so don’t let lack of experience or writing skills stop you! You will not only be helping to spread God’s Word across the country, but you will also be able to put this volunteer experience on your resume or college applications.

This month

As you read the articles this month, think of ways you can put your talents to good use, no matter what skills you’ve been blessed with. Share Christ’s love with others by allowing His light to shine through you. Matthew 5:16: “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

Serving Him,
Davonne Parks