2.26.2010

The Survey is Down...

I have closed the survey because after reading a few responses to different questions which I suspect are from the same person I found that the point of this was completely lost to whomever that person was. I will say that most of the answers were what I expected. The results I got are:

Tank tops are modest as long as everything is covered.
Shorts are modest as long as they are reasonable length.
Jeans that fit just right are modest, meaning not too big and not too small.
The bikini is not modest, however tankini's and one-piece swim suits are considered modest.
Tube tops are not modest.
Dresses are modest as long as nothing is "private" is being shown.

It good to remember that while wearing modest clothing is wonderful, there will still be people who dress provocatively and for that you must remember that we are to capture all our thoughts and make sure that we do not sin ourselves. Not easily done, but if you try you will notice it becomes a  lot easier to say, "no." to a bad thought, then to say, "yes." to it and suffer the consequences after. Have a wonderful weekend!

::Blog Giveaway::

Julia is giving away a $75.00 gift card to C28 click here to learn more about it. C28 is a great ministry and I have personally ordered from them and know that they are amazing and do an amazing job. Have a blessed weekend!
p.s. I will post the results of the modest clothing survey after the weekend.

2.24.2010

Calling All The Ladies!

Hey all! Not to exclude the guys, but I figure a book intended for girls wouldn't interest you. If it does, read on! ;)

I finished reading this book last night. It's called Redefining Beautiful by Jenna Lucado. Jenna is a wonderful writer. I enjoyed reading this book so much. It opened my eyes to a lot of the things I struggle with are not just things that I struggle with, but that girls around the world struggle with.

This book opened my eyes to the fact that maybe that person who acts so mean to me is struggling with the way she looks. Maybe she has a tough situation at her home where she is being abused; sexually, mentally, or physically. You never know. That's why we are all called to love.

If you are a young lady or a woman and you don't know you're beautiful I want to remind you right now that you are. I encourage you to get this book because I think it will help you if you have a low self-esteem or just don't know that you are loved by a King. Also, I encourage you to dive into God's Word. Start with Psalm 139 and read it over and over if you have to until you believe it. I found that praying Psalm 139 helped me a lot. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator God and He loves the way you look. He loves the curves you have, the cellulite that you hate (I'm with you on that ;), the space between your teeth, the wrinkles by your eyes, your frizzy hair, and everything else! He loves the way you look and better yet He loves your heart and wants to change you from the inside out by His everlasting love. I pray you know you are beautiful and loved by the King.

I highly encourage ladies of all ages to read this book and if you already have, pass it on to someone who hasn't. Love you all! Stay blessed!

2.21.2010

He Answers & I Know His Will!!

I have been praying and praying and praying for God to show me His will. I was telling Him about how hard life can be and how I just want to do His will and know it all my life. He answered!

Today while I was just doing some everyday things the Lord spoke to me and spoke to me clearly, "My will is for you to love. Love Me, love people, and do things in and through love." Wow! I was blown away by this. Why? Because it's so simple. Nothing complicated or overdone about that. I mean, sure, God has other wills but this like THE will that is relevant in all of our lives.

When the Lord answered me I thought, Surely this can't be it. I mean how is this going to help me in the situation I am in now? And so I though for a minute. Then, I realized that this is the answer to all the problems I've been having. I thought about the hate I have been allowing into my heart the past month and how when I do things I never do them in love much less really love the person I am doing them for. Don't judge me, please. This is me being real and honest with you. I'm still a baby in Christ and have much to learn and grow in Him. I know I don't have all the answers and that I have a vital need for my Savior. :)

I want you to think for a second about the people in your life, the ones you like and the ones you don't. Think about the work you do everyday. Maybe you, like me, complain as you're doing this work or maybe you are near that person you don't like and don't even try to show love to them. As I am starting to do hard things I have learned that I have to try and I believe that the hard thing God has placed in my heart to do is love those who maybe aren't the easiest to get along with. I haven't tried to love someone I don't like, I just avoid them. Sometimes that helps and sometimes it doesn't. I have no right to say who should be loved and who should not be loved. All I really and truly can do is - love.

Love really is the answer for all my problems. Not just any love, but Christ's love. His love sustains me and gets me through and that is what everyone needs (whether they want to admit it or not) is Jesus' love in their life. I want to challenge you this week to love someone who you don't always want to love. If you want to walk the walk then you need to walk the same as Jesus did on earth (something else the Lord taught me today. :) Jesus lives a life of love and we shall do the same if we are really followers of the Lord. I will be on this journey right along with you. We need each other in this fight of faith. I pray you have a wonderful week filled with all of God's blessings.

P.S. If you are still waiting for God's answer to your prayer, keep your head up and your faith up. The Lord always answers prayers. Sometimes not in the way we think He should and sometimes not as soon as we would like, but He answers. :) Stay blessed!

2.19.2010

A Must Read!!

I just finished reading this book, 'Do Hard Things' by Alex & Brett Harris. I have learned so much from God through this book. It's an amazing book. It's the type of book that after you finish it you feel like you've had a nice cold drink of water after being in the desert for days.

While I was reading it God began to open my heart and my eyes. He has been teaching about stepping out of my comfort zone and doing the "hard things" that He has for me to do. I learned that though doing hard things, the things that aren't that popular to do, is an uncommon road and isn't traveled much, but if you rely on God and believe He has a plan for you, you can do it. Not on your own, you will need God and His strength and you will also need someone to go on the journey with you- someone to support you. If you try and go it alone you won't go very far because God has placed people in our life for a reason. There are certain people we need to encourage us as we go along on this journey of faith and to reach our goal of glorifying God and going to Heaven.

If you are a teenager I encourage you to read this. If you have a teenager I encourage you to get this book for them. And if you aren't, I encourage you to read this. This book may be made for teens by teens, but this will benefit an adult as well. There are so many truths in it and so much you can from God through this book if you read it. I highly recommend this book to you. Go find it at your local bookstore or library. If your library doesn't have it then you can request it to be gotten. You can also get it at most Christian book websites among others. This really is a must read in my opinion. God will change your outlook on life and what you are doing and what you aren't. It has helped me to see that I can do hard things and impact the world for God's Kingdom, but what if all of us together did hard things? What impact would that make on the world? I think it would be HUGE! If you would like more information on the authors go here. Have a blessed weekend and happy reading! :)

2.16.2010

Be Your Best - Part 2

Yesterday we talked about being our best for Jesus Christ. We talked about how difficult it can be to be our best. Today we will talk about how to be our best.

First thing is first, we cannot be anything without the Lord, Jesus Christ. It just won't work. Sure, you can try but you will reap nothing because you sow nothing. Philippians 4:13 says this, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Want to know the reason why we can't do anything on our own? Because we don't have the strength to. Christ's strength is so much greater than all of us human beings strength put together. The reason we get worn down and tired is a lot of times we are depending on ourselves and not Jesus. When you depend on yourself you start to worry about things because you haven't placed Jesus as the Lord of your life. You're going to have to do that if you want to be your best.

In Malachi 1 verse 14 it says this, "Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great King, says the Lord Almighty."
Sometimes we do that, don't we? We say we'll give God our best and then we instead give Him part of our best or the "blemished" best. Our goal as followers of the Lord is to glorify Him and we can do that by giving Him our best.

So how do we do that? Well it's actually pretty basic:

Focus - Just like in anything you do (sports, school, work,etc) you have to focus on what it is you want to accomplish. Sometimes it's not easy because there are things there that can be distracting. Sin can pop up at any time and it can be hard to turn the other cheek and walk away from it, but if we don't then that can hinder not only being our best, but also our relationship with Jesus. Now don't get me wrong, there will be roadblocks and we will fail (because that's is part of being an imperfect being) but getting back up is part of your best.

Capture your thoughts - Sometimes my mind can be my worst enemy. Why? Because sometimes my mind tells me things like, "You're not good enough." You're going to fail." "Why do you even try? You know you can't do it." It takes a lot of strength- not from myself, but from God- to block out those thoughts and to keep pushing through. The Bible says that God knows our hearts so even though sometimes it feels like we're not giving our best because we keep failing the Lord knows when you're trying your best and He appreciates it. When your mind tells you that you can't do it or aren't good enough just remember the Lord and His Word. It also does well to talk with someone and let them know that you're having doubts and need some encouragement.

Don't go it alone - Ecclesiastes 4:9 says that "Two are better than one..." and that is true. A lot of times God has for us things that we absolutely cannot do alone. Whether we need a friend or a family member there is a vital need for other people in our lives. I've had a hard time dealing with this because I can sometimes have a trust issue. It seems sometimes that every time I get close to someone and we're doing well then something happens that draws us apart and leaves me alone. I believe that Jesus is all I need however there does come a time where I know He is telling me to talk with somebody and to work together. So my suggestion to you is to find someone who is a Christian as well and ask them if they will join you in being your best for Jesus Christ. Hold each other accountable and you want to make sure it is someone you trust as well as someone you give permission to "get- up- in- your- face" when you are out of line or slipping up.

I believe those are the main points but if you have something to add feel free to. :) Let's be our best today for the cause of Christ. Remember, if you slip up or fail it is better to try than to not try at all. Jesus is patient. Don't forget that. Love y'all! God bless you!

2.15.2010

Be Your Best - Part 1

This is part 1 of two that I will be doing on the topic: Being Your Best. Part 1 consists of the idea of being our best. I will write part 2 tomorrow and it will consist on how to be your best.

My goal for this week is to be my best. I want to be my best, do my best, and be the best me that I can be. Sometimes when I'm praying I tell the Lord, "I did my best and that's all I can do." But the truth is, I didn't do my best, truth really being that I didn't even try to do my best. That's what's so sad is our society has taught us that if it isn't easy, then we just shouldn't do it. If we have to try just a little bit harder than we actually want to we're told to let it go, no big deal... right?

Nope, wrong. Everything today is for our convenience and we don't try anymore because honestly we feel as though we have no need to try. When everything is at your fingertips it's pretty difficult to push yourself. It's pretty difficult to stand above the rest and push yourself to do better and be better when it seems everyone and everything is ready for us right then and right now. We need to break the mold of allowing the things around us to be so easy. We CAN be better. It will take work- which is something a lot of people don't want to hear and don't want to know- but we have to be willing to push ourselves. I mean, everything around of us is readily available for whatever we want to do so that is common, but to be uncommon would mean to try and better ourselves and push ourselves and to keep searching for that "extra mile" that we can go.

I ask myself this question, do I want to be common or uncommon? I want to be uncommon. I don't want to be like everybody else. I know God created me for more. I know He has higher standards for me. He has the same for you. Now I ask you, do you want to be common or uncommon?  This is a question only you can answer because you might now want to put in the work being uncommon will take. It's not just something that comes naturally or easy, it takes a lot. I hope you know your potential, because you have so much potential. God did not just stick you on this earth so you can under-achieve. God has given you many talents and abilities and it is for His glory that He has given them to you. You have to choose whether or not you want to use them for His glory and reach your potential or if just want to stroll through life and miss out on a lot.

Right now as many of you know, the Olympics are going on. Everyday there are different people competing in different events. They want to do their very best. It takes work. They know this. The other night I was watching an interview with Apolo Ohno, he was talking about how at the end of the day he always asks himself, did I do my best today? He said, "It's really hard to say yes to that every single day. But I try." He does four 2 hour workouts every day. That's is a LOT of work. He would say it is worth it because it helps him to be his best. Would you say the work you put in is your best? If it is, would you say the work you put in is worth it? It is very much so. God is worth everything. I think once you realize that without Him you wouldn't have anything you do, you realize that your life is only a tiny piece of the big picture (Eternity with Him).

I want to be my best. I want to get to the gates of Heaven and tell the Lord, "Yes, I did everything I could for You. I did my very best." I want to hear Him say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." That is what I truly want and if I have to work my butt off, then I will. I challenge you this week to just try- and I mean really try - to do your very best. You might find that you like pushing yourself to do better and you might find that the people around you benefit from it. It won't be easy and chances are you will fail but at least you tried. I feel much better knowing that I gave the Lord my best. All that I have to give is His. Feel free to share your thoughts. :) Blessings to you all!!

2.14.2010

Are You Listening?

Blah blah blah blah blah....

That's me talking.. all the time.. never stopping. Yes, I have a serious problem with talking a lot. Talking isn't a bad thing of course. Obviously God gave us voices for a reason, but sometimes talking too much is worse than never talking at all.

God works in mysterious (sometimes hilarious) ways. Today while I was spending time with Him I found that my Bible study, a couple verses, and a devotional all were about listening. I thought hmm, is this what You want me to do right now? Wasn't long before I knew the answer - "Yes." 

I have been thinking back and I can't remember the last time I just sat quietly in the presence of the Lord and let Him speak to me. Honestly that makes me feel horrible. I mean, I talk to Him all the time... why have I never taken the time out to listen? Too busy? Didn't care? Didn't want to? I don't really know, but what I do know is that I want to hear God's voice and I want to know His heart. I want to hear what He has to speak to me and what His desires are for me. I can't do any of that if I am always talking. Life is too short to spend it talking all the time. I've always heard that a good friend knows when to talk and when to listen. John 15:15 says that Jesus calls us friends, so why have I not been one to Him? It is a two way relationship but it seems I've been pretty one way recently.

Isn't it weird how we don't think of our relationship with Christ as an actual relationship? Maybe you do, but I have found myself not treating it like a deep, lasting, relationship. People say not to question God. I understand that to a certain extent, but if you read the Psalms and parts of Job you see that they ask God questions. I think the reason some people tell us not to ask questions to the Lord is because they feel that we will reject God. Actually the exact opposite happens, when we question God it draws us nearer to Him because He is the only One who has all the answers to our questions. In one form or another you will get your answers, sometimes it just takes time. I'm not saying treat your relationship with God like you would a casual friend, what I'm saying is treat your relationship with God as a relationship not a distant God who doesn't want to be bothered with our pesky questions because it doesn't bother the Lord. He loves us and is willing to listen to our questions.

Which all brings us back to listening. Listening to the Lord is vital for our relationship with Him. It is what it's all about and that is following His will. And how are you going to know His for you, unless you listen to Him? I guess you won't. I certainly don't want to miss out on His will for my life and the opportunities He has for me simply because I refused to listen. My prayer for you is that you begin to hear the Lord's voice and listen to it and for it throughout your life. Take some time this week and dedicate whatever you can to listening to Him. I will be doing the same. Love y'all!

2.12.2010

My Broken Heart

Yes, my heart is broken. Broken for who? People. Who are these people? Well, I'm not sure. Maybe this sounds stupid, but it is true. My heart is just broken for people. People who are hurting, deeply. People who wish there was someone out there who loved them, yet no one reaches out to them to let them know that someone does. People who cry themselves to sleep because a parent or significant other has left them and they don't know if they if they are coming back or not. Yes, my heart is broken.

This weekend we will all be celebrating Valentines day. The day people will reach out to someone and let them know they love them. My thoughts wander to whom will let these hurting people know they love them and not just them, but God loves them too. When did we decide in our society who is to be loved and who isn't? I am no better than anyone else. I am just as unworthy and in need of God's grace as the next person. God calls His children special, so why don't we treat each other this way? I see people with a lot of hate in them. Hate from people who hurt them. "Hurting people hurt people." Yes, they do because their hurt reaches so deep that they feel by hurting other people they will feel better. And they don't.

I was once one of these hurting, hateful people. God healed me and changed me of that. He transformed me. I often think about just how blessed I really am just to know that Jesus loves me. Some people don't know this. However, everyone needs to know this. Who will tell them?

This Valentines day I have one challenge for you. Actually two challenges for you.  Tell someone you love them. That's the first challenge. It's important for people in our lives to know we love them. Challenge 2 is to tell someone who doesn't know they are loved that they are. This challenge may be difficult because we don't always have a person in our life that doesn't know they are loved. But if you get close to the surface of a person I'm sure you will someone who doesn't know they are loved whether it be at school, in your church, at work, or on the street. People are hurting and we as Christians have the chance to help change that by telling them about the One who has loved them even before they were born and will love them forevermore.

If you are one of those hurting people I want you to know that God loves you. He loves you more than you can ever know and He loves you through and through. No matter what you have done, how you've messed up, God will always love you. His Son, Jesus, He died for you just so that you can be forgiven and live with Him forever in Heaven. Only if you accept Him into your heart. You can pray the prayer on the side of my blog {in pink} and accept Jesus into your heart. Leave me a comment if you did so that I can pray for you.

I read this verse two days ago and I think it fits well here :
"The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters do not fail." - Isaiah 58:11

Believe that truth. Have a blessed Valentines day!! Love you all!! :)

2.11.2010

Where's Your Joy?

Joy.

Something that everyone wants to have, but yet so many of them don't know how or where to get it. Some people think it comes from a spouse  or whoever they "hook up" with. Others think it comes from material things. And still others think it comes from parties and drugs and drinks. None of these things are where joy comes from. It might make you happy for a bit, but it won't last and it won't be joy.

I want joy. You want joy. All of God's children want joy. They want to be happy. Some people think God wants them to be happy regardless of what it is. But I am going to shock you here, God does not want you happy. Yes. Read that again. Here let me explain, God wants the best for you, but that doesn't mean it will make you happy. At least not right off the bat. Sometimes we think God will let us have whatever we want as long as it doesn't hurt anybody, but that's not true. There have been times when I wanted to do something or have something, but it wasn't in God's will for me. If I try and go after what I want then there will be so many missed opportunities that God had planned for me but since I didn't follow His will they didn't come.

Isn't it so hard to let go of what you want in order to do God's will? I would be lying if I said it was easy because it isn't. It gets hard. Part of being a human being means that I will want what I want, not what God wants, but part of being born again means that even though my flesh might want to do my way, my spirit wants to please God and glorify Him by doing His will. And when I do the Lord's will guess what, I experience joy.

Real joy. True joy. It comes from the Lord. Not from people or things, but God. Sometimes I don't think I have any joy and just by spending some time with Jesus my joy is restored and renewed and I remember just how truly blessed I am and just how incredible my God is. I pray that you experience joy today that you know can only come from the Lord. Where is your joy? Find it in Jesus Christ. He loves you!! Be blessed!

2.09.2010

Standing Still

"Even if you're on the right track you'll get run over if you just sit there." -Author Unknown

Wow, isn't that so true?! I think this happens to so many people out there, Christians and non- Christians alike. God has never intended for us to just sit here and stand still. Yes, there are always times when we need to be still and know that He is God, but God wants us to keep moving forward and getting closer to Him and closer to Heaven.

I've seen personally in my life and in others that there are people who are on the right track and following that narrow road and because they just stood still and didn't allow God to help them move forward, they fell away from the Lord. Casting Crowns did a song called "Slow Fade" and that song is so extremely true. People start off "on fire" for the Lord and slowly they keep allowing more and more junk into their life that starts either making them stand still or making them go backwards and before we know it we don't even talk to the Lord anymore.

How do we prevent this from happening? Well the Bible says to flee from sin, so when something sinful comes into our life the best thing to do is to get away from it. The minute we allow sin to get into ours lives is the minute we begin to lose who we are truly. Don't give the devil a foothold. Allow Jesus to move in your life and to move you. Love y'all!!!

2.03.2010

Do You Like ME?

"If you are everybody's boy or girl, if everybody likes you, that doesn't sound much like the life of Jesus, does it?" - Kirk Franklin

I heard Kirk Franklin say that of GMC during an interview the other day. That just struck me like I don't know what! I've never thought of it like that. I mean I've always heard people talk about living their life like Jesus, but I never thought about that aspect of His life.

Sometimes I strive so hard to have everybody like me. At least the people I want to like me. I don't wanting people to like you is wrong at all, but I definitely think when that becomes all you want there is a problem. I've been rejected before. I'm sure you have too. Rejection hurts. BAD. It may lead you into a spiral trying to get everyone to like you, everybody to think you're "great", to be everybody's "home girl" or "homeboy". Matter of fact is this:

you can't get everybody to like you. Period.

People will find something wrong with you always. I've heard people say before that they didn't follow Jesus because people will think their "weird" or "not cool". Maybe they will and maybe they won't, but I know for sure that if that is your reason for not following the Lord you've got one serious problem because no matter how hard you try everybody is not going to like you, whether you are a Christian or not.

When Jesus walked the earth a lot of people thought He was phony or odd. I believe that some of those people didn't want to believe in Him because He was different, not of this world and not like this world. I believe that is why people don't want to believe in Him today. Jesus didn't have everybody like Him, it never seemed to bother Him though, because He knew who His Father was and where His identity was. Maybe that's the trouble today is some of us Christians don't know who we are, really. Who we are in Jesus is something very important because if you aren't secure in Christ then, you aren't secure at all.

I just want to let you know, brother or sister, that the number One who doesn't just like you, but loves you is Jesus. And He doesn't care if you can sing or not, if you are a "nerd" or the most popular person in school, or if you like to sing and dance in your room when no one is watching. Jesus loves you for you. You are a beautiful person. His Word says so (Psalm 139). I want you to know that if there is someone who really doesn't like you and you wish they did just keep your head up, a smile on your face and remember your life is like Jesus'. He loves you and so do I!! Stay blessed!!!