Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gossip:It Really is a Big Deal.

A young woman goes home from church crying. Word just got to her that some of the other women have been talking about her behind her back. Just recently, she had broken up with her boyfriend, and the rest of the women were talking about it. They were discussing with one another why they thought they broke up.

“I bet she talked down to him all the time.”
“I always knew she was too immature for him.”
“Poor guy. It’s a shame that she must have broken his heart.”
“She didn’t deserve him anyway.”

Gossip is a bigger problem than we acknowledge. It ravages people, ruins reputations, and tears churches apart; all because someone decided to inappropriately open their mouths.

Gossip is defined as, “Idle talk or rumor, especially about the private affairs of others.”

Gossip is talking about someone just to have something to talk about, and discussing things that aren’t any your business. It is a problem because it spreads like wildfire and is so easily twisted and manipulated.
It doesn’t matter if the intent is malicious or not. If you’re poking your nose into other people’s business and spreading it around, it’s STILL wrong.

In the bible, gossip is referred to as a SIN. Too often, it’s one of those sins that Christians have a tendency to put onto the backburner and see it as something that really isn’t a big deal. News flash: Gossip is a HUGE deal-whether or not you choose to see it as such.

“Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore, do not associate with a babbler.”-Proverbs 20:19

“A dishonest man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends.”-Proverbs 16:28

“Whoever goes about gossiping reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit, keeps things covered.”-Proverbs 11:13

“They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful…Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” –Romans 1:29-32

These last verses I gave in Romans are pretty frightening. We see here that God does not consider gossip to be an unimportant sin at all! Those who practice it and encourage it are worthy of death!

Gossip is a tool that Satan has used so many times to ruin people. Gossip hurts people and hurts the Church.
Most of the time, I have noticed that they gossip because they have nothing better to do. Study your bible more; pray more; encourage others more; develop more hobbies; do more housework…just STOP talking about others behind their backs. Taste your words before you spit them out and always ask yourself, “Would I want someone to talk about this if it were me?”

Older ladies-you’re supposed to be role models to us younger women. We want to come to you when we have problems. How are we supposed to do that if we know we’ll be met with gossip and judging? It’s not enough that you smile at us and give us hugs every week and tell us that you’re praying for us. You’re always telling us that actions speak louder than words. Can you please practice what you preach?

Everything we do must be from a heart of love for others and a will to please God (Colossians 3:17, 1st John 4:7). Gossip does not come from this.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Get Out of Spiritual La La Land

Jonah is probably one of the most popular stories in the bible to teach to small children. This is probably because the story of Jonah is contained within four chapters of one book in the bible. The story is easy to follow along to and children are intrigued by the fact that a full-grown man is swallowed by a giant fish.

However, much more is to be taken from the story of Jonah than just an old fish-tale.

Jonah disobeyed God and decided to run away from doing what God told him to do. He somehow got it into his mind that God didn’t know or see what he was doing. He decided that he would pull himself into la-la land and forget God’s existence.

God got His attention, though. The storm hit and the people on the ship realized that something wasn’t right. Jonah insisted on being thrown overboard, and finally, the men on the ship did as Jonah had told them to do, and the storm stopped.

God knows all. He can’t be fooled. Jonah’s arrogance was shown throughout the story that he thought he knew more than God did.

So many people look into the Word of God, and think, “God couldn’t possibly mean that!” So many people rationalize in their minds certain things that the bible says is wrong. Some people pretend to live for God, yet live in la-la land about certain things they like to do.

If the bible says it’s wrong, we can’t rationalize it or make it right no matter what society says. The bible is the inspired word of God and He knows better than we do (2nd Timothy 3:16). It doesn’t matter what we think, or we want; that’s an arrogant mindset can get in the way

In the major issues of today’s society, such as homosexuality, fornication, and abortion; to say that these things are okay goes against God’s word as a whole (1st Corinthians 6:9, Romans 1:26-27, 1st Corinthians 6:18, Galatians 5:19, 1st Thessalonians 4:3, Ephesians 5:3, Psalm 139:13-16, Proverbs 6:17).

The bible says not to curse or to joke in an obscene way (Ephesians 4:29, Ephesians 5:4, Colossians 3:8). How often do we let this commandment slide when we’re mad or excited? I can’t tell you how frustrated it makes me to see people who are claiming to be religious to be using foul language in their daily lives and on Facebook. Sometimes even in text language form.

Or, they turn around and say God’s name in vain. They’ll shorten it to “OMG!” or “Omigod!” or, as seen on pictures meant as a joke, “Ermahgerd.” (I’m getting really tired of seeing this)

It doesn’t matter how lighthearted you put it-it’s STILL wrong. Stamping a funny picture or status with it does not make it any less wrong than it already is. It’s STILL disrespectful to God. So many in the religious world are letting their integrity and morals slide to be in with the culture.

God will always be there. The trends and ways of the culture won’t. God is the only truly eternal thing out there. He knows better than we do what’s right and wrong. We need to quit living in la-la land and ignoring what He’s telling us to do.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”-Proverbs 3:5-7

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sticks and Thrown Stones...

On Wednesday, October 10th, 2012, a young girl named Amanda Todd from British Columbia was found dead from suicide in her home. I started reading more into this story, and this young woman was a victim of severe bullying at her school.

It all started with a mistake she made years ago by flashing herself for a guy on a webcam. Years later also, she hooked up with a guy who was already in a relationship; later, in a video where she’s telling her story says, “…huge mistake.”

She was shunned or made fun of by everyone at her school, which no doubt led to her suicide.
Days later, some people who knew her are still posting things about her on Facebook such as, “I’m glad she’s dead.”

I was almost in tears as I read this story, and I can’t help but think that if someone, anyone from her had only extended God’s love to her, would she still be alive?

Sometimes I feel like Christians have a tendency to back themselves away from people who have made mistakes like this. Many of us get an attitude of absolute disgust and think, “Sinner! Sinner! Back away! Back away!”

I think we often forget that Jesus came to die for everyone-not just those who commit so-called “tiny” sins. Also remember that he saved a woman caught in adultery from being stoned. To the men who were wanting to stone her, Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” No one could do it. He simply told the woman to go and ‘sin no more’ (John 8:5-11).

Before you became a Christian, what kinds of things did you do? Certainly you have deep regrets over things you’ve done, right? No one can become a Christian or know the love of Christ until someone shows it to them. People like Amanda desperately need the love of Christ to change their lives and to give them a purpose.

Do the people who’ve committed those sins need Him any less? We ALL need the love of Christ. As Christians, we must reach out to those who are alone and need help. God has given us the job as His followers to help others and tell them about the love and hope Christ can give to them.

Don’t be an encourager to bullying by standing off in the sidelines. Remember-by stepping in and reaching out, God can use you to positively affect someone else.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Defeating Temptation...God is on Your Side!!!

As Christians, each one of has as a particular sin that we struggle with more than others. And, a lot of the time, it can cause a lot of stress every time we slip up.

Then, we slip into a sadness asking, “How could God possibly forgive me? I keep messing up!”
For the longest time, I also struggled with this. I just kept messing up over and over again, and other people have told me they’ve done the same.

Let me tell you, your mind can be a huge thing to overcome. But, I believe that to grow, you must defeat it!

One thing as Christians that we have to learn to do is to think logically. Acting on emotions alone will get you nowhere. At some point, you must pause and realize these facts:

1. You’re human-therefore, you’re imperfect. (Romans 3:10-12)
2. You’re not the only one who struggles with sin. (1st Corinthians 10:13)
3. Your God is bigger, greater, and stronger than you and your sin. (1st Corinthians 10:13, Philippians 4:13, 2nd Corinthians 12:9, Ephesians 3:16)

I think that often, we forget why Jesus died on the cross. He died to save us from our sins so that we wouldn’t have to be chained to them. He died so we wouldn’t have to be separated from God for eternity.
Isn’t that something to rejoice about?

One thing that so many of us fail to do is to think logically. Part of being a Christian is to look at things in a logical way. We have to realize that we aren’t perfect, but God loves us anyway and is going to forgive us.
The more we participate in negative self-talk to ourselves, the worse our problem is going to become. You get to a point of subconsciously thinking, “Why even bother trying to stop? It’s not like I’m going to get any stronger.”

When you do this, you shut God out of your life. You forget how powerful and good He is, and focus simply on your own shortcomings. You should feel strengthened knowing that God is on your side and can help you overcome what you’re dealing with.

When you sin, you can’t allow it to rot in your mind over and over again. You must ask for forgiveness, repent, then stand up, dust yourself off, and move on. Then, you must pray and ask God to help you do better next time. You know what, God is faithful-He will never let you down. (Hebrews 3:6)

Ask God to help you see what certain triggers are for you that lead to sin. When you can do that, you’ll better be able stand firm and prevent yourself from slipping. Satan is very tricky and uses lots of cunning methods to sneak his way in and make you fall. You must be on your guard (1st Peter 5:8).

Remember, God is not going to leave you (Deuteronomy 31:8, Joshua 1:9). We must not let our emotions get in the way of remembering that.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Listen to God.

Being a Christian has a lot to do with growth. From the time we are baptized into Christ and become babes, we have a responsibility to grow spiritually. Over time, we become stronger and more sure in our faith. Through diligent study, we begin to see the things which God would have us to do. Because we love Him and want to please Him, we strive to make those changes.

However, one thing that I see a lot that many have a hard time overcoming is selfishness. Many grow in knowledge, but so many do not grow emotionally.

Now, it’s not necessarily that we refuse to think of others and to help them. That’s not the kind of selfishness I’m referring to. I’m talking about the selfishness that occurs when we decide that we would much rather ignore what God would have us to do and pretend it doesn’t exist.

Don’t so many of us do that? There are so many things that we as people want to continue to do, yet, as human beings we have a hard time giving those things up!

The apostle Paul talks about this in Romans chapter 7. He says: “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but the very thing I hate. Now, if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that is good.” (15-16)

He is saying that there are many things as a Christian, let’s face it-we don’t really like to do. However, whether or not we ‘like’ it has nothing to do with it. When we love God, and are striving to live the way He would have us live, we are going to do that which we don’t like to do. Being a Christian takes sacrifice. 

Sure, we might not like having to give things up that we enjoy doing, but Jesus gave up everything for us on the cross-which is so much more than our pet sins we enjoy taking part in.

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, acceptable and perfect.”

Being a Christian means to radically change your thinking and way of doing things. In a movie I watched once called, “To Save A Life”, a young man who has started attending a church became angry with some of the people in the youth group. They were whispering and ignoring what a person speaking had to say about the bible. In frustration, he stood up and exclaimed, “If you’re not going to let it change you, why are you even here?”

Ask yourselves that. If you’re not allowing God to change you inside and out, why even call yourself a Christian? Why even attend worship? As it says in Romans 12:2, and various other places, we must be transformed. We can’t continue doing the same things we were doing before. We’re not going to be perfect, but we can’t allow our lives to be ruled by the same principles or lack thereof that we lived by before.

The only way Christians are going to make an impact in our world is if we start removing the selfishness in our hearts and allow God to rule in us-and to actually LISTEN to Him. When we allow God to move us, the world is going to hear us-loud and clear.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Attributes of the Christian Girl, Part Seven: She Puts God Above Everything Else

Ariel was incredibly curious. She had always been fascinated by those who walk on two legs rather than swam everywhere with fins. This curiosity led to her collecting items that once belonged to those people. The more she collected the more she would learn about them. Some of her information was a little off a lot of the time, but she was learning enough to see that a lot of what she had been told wasn’t necessarily true.

One night, she decides to go up to the surface and check it out. What she sees is a ship shooting off fireworks. As she gets closer, she notices a rather handsome young man who is celebrating his birthday. At this, she falls in love at first sight, and ends up saving him later that night after a storm sinks the ship.

When her father finds out, he becomes furious and destroys all of her artifacts. She then decides that she has to see that young man again, one way or another.

Her love for him (what the movie describes as love) made her decide that she was going to put him above everything else.

Okay, I’m not saying to abandon your families to run off after some handsome stranger. But there is something to be learned from Ariel’s determination.

As Christian girls I think we have a tendency to forget where our priorities lie. God is supposed to be our everything, and too often, I feel that we let our standards drop for things that really aren’t that important.
Ariel decided that she would do just about anything-even give up her voice and family-to be with the one she loved. Are we that way with God? Are we truly committed to him to the point that we would give up even our friends and maybe even family if we had to?

If your family and friends start tormenting you for your faith, and threaten to disown you, would you denounce your faith or decide to stay with God? When it comes down to it, if you really love God above everything else, you’d sacrifice staying with your friends or family (Luke 14:26, Matthew 10:27, John 12:25).
Think about it in terms of material things as well. Do you allow material possessions or entertainment to get in the way of your walk with God? Is there anything you entertain yourself with that you know that God would not approve of?

If something is truly important to someone, it will show up in their actions. Let’s say there’s someone who never goes to church, watches trashy entertainment, and curses. Then, they turn around say that they’re Christians. Would you believe them? We need to constantly be examining ourselves to see if there’s anything we need to remove or put further down the priorities list.

As God’s daughters, God should be the absolute priority in our lives. He should be the very One that we try to please every day. The rest of the world needs to be able to see that.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Attributes of the Christian Girl, Part Six: She Puts Others Needs Ahead of her Own

When Mulan learned that her crippled father had to go to war, she was heartbroken. She knew for certain that if he went, he wouldn’t come back alive. She loves her family dearly and wants what is best for them. She’d do anything for them.

So, she decides that the only option is to disguise herself as a soldier and take his place.

She realizes that by doing this she could very well get herself killed. One, she could be killed in battle. Two, since it’s against the law for women to join the army, she could be put to death if found out.

Yet, the love she has for her father is greater than her fear of being killed or harmed.

Would any of us have the guts to put ourselves into such a situation for someone else? Even if it was someone we loved, would we put ourselves on the line like that?

In Romans 5:7 it says: “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die-yet, perhaps for just a good man would one dare to die.”

Paul, the writer of Romans, was definitely right. We might say that we would give our life for someone else if we had to; but if we really were pushed into that situation, would we actually do it?

We can see that Mulan definitely was very strong in heart. What she lacked in grace that was so desired in women of her culture, she made up for in love for her family. That takes a lot of love to do that for either a family member or even a close friend (John 15:13).

Even if we don’t ever get into that situation where we would have to jeopardize our lives, would we be able to do what’s best for someone else? If you were in a relationship with a guy that you loved, and you knew that you weren’t right for him, would you have the courage to do the right thing? If your friend started showing signs that she might commit suicide, would you say something to help her? If some kids at school are bullying another kid, would you stick up for him?

It’s easy to say that you’d do something, but we must be develop courage to do the right things. We must constantly ask God to give us courage in all situations that arise. It may not be the most popular thing to do, but if it will help someone else, it is worth it. Having the courage to do what’s best for others is something that all of us should develop.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Part Five, Attributes of the Christian Girl: She Prizes Inner Beauty over Outer

After both of her parents died, Snow White was left to be raised by her stepmother. The two women were both beautiful, but completely different in demeanor. Her stepmother greatly disliked Snow White because as far as physical beauty was concerned, she saw her as her rival.

However, as we know from the story, we know that there were major differences between Snow White and the evil Queen. Snow White was gentle, hard working, and kindhearted. The queen however, was vain, cruel, and selfish. By the end of the story, we see that ended up being the Evil Queen’s downfall.

Sure, Snow White was beautiful, but she realized that being good mattered far more than her looks. Why, Snow White didn’t even seem to realize that she was beautiful.

“Your adornment must not be merely external-braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”-1st Peter 3:3-4

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”-Proverbs 31:30

God cares so much more about our hearts. He wants us to be the kind of young women whose hearts overshadow our outer appearance. Have you noticed that when a girl is kind and humble, even when she doesn’t fit the world’s standard of beauty, she seems prettier?

Would you rather be loved for who you are or because of what you look like? The verse above from 1st Peter and Proverbs name things such as gold, fine clothes, charm, and outer beauty. Gold and gems will tarnish, hair will go gray and thin, and our skin will eventually wrinkle (as disheartening as it may seem). The physical things won’t last. I would much rather be loved for who I am than what I look like.

What is it about Snow White’s story that has stood the test of time? Do we remember her for her beauty, or for who she was described as in the story? For me personally, I remember how kind she was to everyone and the grace and love she bestowed upon everyone.

Goodness must never be taken for granted. In our society, so many women are taking on the “I am woman, hear me roar” perspective. That’s not how we should be. Be the girl that gives the gentle response rather than screaming back. Be the girl that helpful rather than boastful. When we do our best to become the person God wants us to be, the world seems to become a little more beautiful.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Attributes of a Christian Girl, Part Four: She Works Hard and Uses Her Talents

Ever since she was a little girl, it was Tiana’s dream to be the owner of a high-end restaurant. For years she works hard to develop her skills so that she could open the restaurant one day. Before her father died, he had told her to never lose sight of what was important.

In the movie, we see that Tiana was a very hard worker. As a young woman, she worked as a waitress, and helped her Mom out at home.

Tiana obviously tried to use her time wisely. It seems that anytime she didn’t spend working, she spent sleeping.

Let me ask you-how much time do we, especially as young people, waste our time doing pointless things? How many hours do we spend on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or YouTube? When we really get to thinking about it, how could we better manage our time? I’m not going to lie, I’m bad about that sort of thing too.

In the bible, it talks numerous times about being a worker and using our talents.

“A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.”-Proverbs 10:4

“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”-Proverbs 21:5

“The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.”-Proverbs 13:4

"Work willingly at whatever you do as though you were working for the Lord rather than people."-Colossians 3:23

"Whatever your hands find to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge of wisdom in Sheol, to which they are going."-Ecclesiastes 9:10

God wants us to work hard and not waste a lot of time. That's not to say that we can't take breaks and relax sometimes, but, what are we doing with the majority of our time? As young Christians, what do you think would happen if we decided to do more for our families and other people? What about taking the initiative to do more housework? What about putting more work into the talents given to us by God? What about taking the time to study our bibles every day?

Honestly, I think we would find our lives becoming more interesting and full of richness. I have heard that when we get outside ourselves, we become happier. When you give yourself things to do other than mindlessly staring at the television or computer screen, there's no telling what could result.

In Proverbs 31, when it talks about the Godly wife/woman, it says that she works very hard (v. 13). She grows a vineyard (v. 16), provides food for her family (v. 15), helps the poor (v. 20), she makes clothing (v. 24), and she runs her household (v. 27).

While I'm sure most girls in our group aren't married, the same principle still applies. When we give our lives to God, being a Christian is a full-time job. We must use our abilities and live for Him to make our lives worthwhile. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Attributes of Christian Girl, Part Three: She Looks into a Person's Heart

Belle didn’t really fit in the new town that well. She was beautiful, but the townspeople saw her as strange because she was constantly reading a book. It certainly didn’t help that her father kept trying to come up with crazy inventions and blowing up their house quite often.

Either way, things couldn’t be so bad for her, could they? The town hunk, Gaston, is obviously interested in her. He’s handsome, and a great hunter. In her mind though, it’s not a good thing. Unlike the other girls in town, she sees right through him. Sure, he’s attractive, but he’s arrogant-and that, in Belle’s mind, is anything but attractive.

Belle’s not really the type to be charmed by looks. Throughout the story we see that no matter who it is, or what they look like, she sees people as people with value. While she was frightened at first of the beast’s appearance she allowed herself to judge him by his actions rather than what he looked like.

Over time, with help from Belle, the beast began to see what kind of person he could be. Through her, he saw that kindness and love starts when you put their needs ahead of your own.

Don’t get me wrong-I’m never saying that you should go out and date bad boys. But, when you choose to do the best you can to try to find the best in everyone, and treat everyone with kindness, there’s almost no limit to the amount of good that can occur from it.

We must remember that every person is made in the image of God and is a precious soul. It doesn’t matter what they’ve done or what they believe. When we treat someone with love and kindness, we don’t know the affect it will have on them (Galatians 6:1, 1st Thessalonians 5:15). Perhaps your act of kindness will eventually help lead them to Christ.

We must try to see people as God sees them and look at their heart rather than their outward appearances (1st Samuel 16:7). It’s amazing the abilities, and positive qualities people can hide from the world. It takes special people to show them just how important they are to God. That’s something as God’s daughters that we cannot take for granted.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Attributes of the Christian Girl, Part Two: She Hopes and Dreams with all Her Heart!

It appears that Cinderella is the most popular princess of all-and no wonder! Her story is one of hope, hard work, and romance. Cinderella, raised by her stepmother, faced difficult times and forced to be a slave for her family. She was kind hearted and patient, even through her family’s torment. While she didn’t like the way her family treated her, she treated them with love and respect. She knew that eventually, something good would come from her own actions.

 In life, we’re going to encounter difficult times, and there are going to be those that torment us. God tells us that we will encounter these times (1st Peter 4:12). Through these trials, we will become stronger, learn more about life, and become better people. When we look at trials with optimism like Cinderella, life becomes a little less bleak.

When Cinderella did her work around the house, it was usually with a smile and she was singing. This may seem somewhat ludicrous, but, is it really so far-fetched for a Christian? When someone has an optimistic outlook on life, and a faith in God, you can have peace and happiness, even during the tough times. (Philippians 4:7)

Also, like Cinderella, we must do good to those who torment us (Matthew 5:44). God’s daughters must continue to hope and dream, stay optimistic, and treat everybody with kindness. Proverbs 31:25 says, “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and laughs without fear of the future.”
As God’s daughters, we must develop this optimism and trust in Him that when we do His will, good things will eventually come. Through hard work and dreaming comes reality. As Cinderella says, “They can’t order me to stop dreaming.”

That’s something that sets Christians apart from other people. Some people may try to break us down, but we continue to have such deep hope and faith (Romans 8:28, 2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
Keep hoping and dreaming-because God will help you through rough times. Soon, God will take your hopes and dreams and turn them into something greater than you ever thought possible (Ephesians 3:20-21).

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Attributes of the Christian Girl: Part One, She takes Her Faith Seriously!

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve absolutely loved Disney movies. I especially liked the ones about the princesses. My favorites are Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, and Rapunzel. Just as little boys look up to superheroes like Batman or Spiderman, little girls look up to princesses. It’s no wonder-the princesses embody what most little girls want to be. 

As young Christian women, it’s important to remember that we are Princesses. Just recently, our ladies day was themed “Daughters of the King”. One of our speakers said that the Christian woman takes her role as a daughter of the king very seriously. She knows her worth, and how grave her role is as a Christian girl.

In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus says, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

If we claim to wear the name Christian, we must live like it! We are to be shining lights in a dark world! Let me ask you this: knowing what you know about princesses, do you normally hear positive things about them, or negative things? How do these ladies normally conduct themselves? They normally try to conduct themselves in such a way to positively reflect their family and role, do they not? As God’s daughters, shouldn’t we strive to be positive representatives of our Father?

Just like Cinderella, as Christian girls we should continue to hope and have faith no matter the situation (Romans 8:28). Like Belle, we should look into people’s hearts rather than their outward appearance (1st Samuel 16:7). Like Ariel, we should be willing to even give up those we love most for what we believe in (Luke 14:26). Like Rapunzel, we should be willing to do anything to help us receive the truth that will set us free (John 8:32).

All of these things will set us apart from the rest of the world. In later lessons, we’ll go into some of these things more in depth. Just never forget the importance of your role as God’s daughter. If you remember that, everything else will make a lot more sense.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Endless Search for Mr. Right

(the above photo is from http://tinyurl.com/7pj6dww)

It seems that, Christian Girl or not, many get led astray by sweet talking boys who have nothing good in mind. In our society, a dangerous mindset seems to have taken over. People seem to think that if someone asks you out on a date or to be their boyfriend or girlfriend, you have to say yes. Many girls seem to think that every guy deserves a chance, and, if they say no, they’d possibly be missing out on a great guy. (Also, many girls get the mindset that they can change someone.)

When I was in high school, I didn’t date. The main reason was because there weren’t many guys I was interested in. I wasn’t the kind of girl to rush into any guy who showed interest in me. I saw so many girls who were so desperate for someone to love them that they got themselves into bad situations.

Just because a guy claims to like you, doesn’t mean you have to say yes! You have the right to say no, or ask him to give you time to think about it. If you say the latter, pray about it. Ask God to give you an answer as to whether or not you should go forward with this young man.

God will always answer in some way. There have been a few guys in the past that I would have love to have dated, but none of them have liked me back. Now I see at this point that I wouldn’t have been a good match for those people for one reason or another. I definitely believe, beyond any shadow of doubt, that God knows what He is doing. (Prov. 3:5, Jer. 29:11)

Like most girls, I really want to get married and have a family one day. But, I know that before I meet that man one day, I have to keep growing closer to God. I do my best to pray more often and to study my bible. God should be our first love, and, when He decides it’s time, He’ll help us meet Mr. Right.

Think about Hannah from 1st Samuel for a moment. She wanted so badly to have a child. Back then, it was considered shameful to be unable to conceive. She kept seeking God over and over again, and kept her faith. Then, God granted her request for a child, and she had a son named Samuel. (1st Samuel 1).
Hannah brought herself closer to God, and God drew closer to her. It will be the same for us! (Psalm 37:4, Psalm 20:4, 1st John 5:14, Matthew 6:25-34, Romans 8:28, James 4:8)

We’re God’s daughters, and He wants what’s best for us. Wherever we find ourselves in life, good or bad, we need to turn to God as our guide. Take the time to observe the guy before you date him, and ask around about him. Ask God to give you an answer as to whether or not you should be dating Him. He always replies in one way or another.

It does happen often that girls get their heart broken. If you do, see that as a sign to draw even closer to God and find comfort in Him. Learn what you can from the relationship, and know better what not to do in the future.

To close, here’s a quote that I believe every girl should keep in mind:

“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.”-Maya Angelou

If a man could care less about God, your values, or faith, he doesn’t deserve you, and you should move along until God helps you find someone who does.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Why I Choose to Dress Modestly

With the weather warming up down here in Southeast Georgia, immodest clothing is starting to come out from the shadows. I go out, and I’m saddened and shocked by what I see some girls wearing. Sometimes I wonder what they’re thinking and why they think dressing in that way is a good idea.

To me, dressing immodestly is non-sensical. So, here’s my top five reasons of why I choose to dress modestly.

5. It is more comfortable. The funny thing is, when I see girls and women dressing immodestly, it confuses me. You watch them for a little while and they’re squirming, constantly pulling and tugging and adjusting their clothing. It’s rather amusing because the tugging and pulling really doesn’t make much of a difference in how much is exposed. It also looks as if their bodies are being strangled most of the time. That can’t be comfortable. It seems silly to torture yourself by choice in this way.

4. It decreases your chances of having embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions. I will sometimes get on a news site and they’re all going on in a tizzy over a wardrobe malfunction from a celebrity at an event. Then, when you view the photos of the outfit, what’s the one thing the vast majority of them have in common? They were all immodest. When things hang open, or stretch too much in some places, you shouldn’t be shocked if you suddenly find yourself displaying even more than what you originally intended.

3. It’s empowering. Contrary to popular belief, dressing modestly is more empowering than the opposite way of dressing. It’s empowering because by dressing modestly, you have much more control over how others think about and perceive you. Dressing modestly also displays that you demand respect from guys in a humble way. You don’t need to constantly get angry at them or verbally demand their respect. When interacting with guys, it helps them have more focus on you and what you’re saying rather than your body. If you don’t want them to touch it or look at it, don’t show it.

2. It shows others what you believe and stand for. If you see a girl dressing immodestly, what’s your first thought? It’s definitely not, “Oh, she must be a Christian.” If a person you know is completely shocked to find out that you’re a Christian, that’s a problem. Don’t let the way you dress inhibit others seeing God inside of you.

And most importantly….

1. God commands it. With any command God gives us, I believe that there is a completely logical explanation for it, as I explained above. He loves us and wants us to have the best lives here as possible before we go to heaven. We need to trust Him and know that by doing the things He wants us to do, it’s going to make our lives exponentially better. Dressing modestly is no exception. If you want someone to see you a certain way, then dress like it.

Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

God always knows better than we do-don’t let that belief slide in the way you dress.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Do We Have a Forgiving Heart?

I’ve had people in the past tell me that I’m way

I just shook my head and said ‘no’. Another time, I had a conversation with another girl, and she said that she used to be just like me-super forgiving, and easy going about things. She said she ‘grew’ out of it because she felt like she was being walked all over.

Okay…I understand that. Nobody wants to be stepped on like a doormat. I don’t particularly like it either. It’s just that, in my mind, I don’t see the point of retaliating and holding grudges. I never have. When I see people who do that, I feel bad for them because I just can’t imagine how miserable their lives must be.

Being vengeful and hateful is a waste of valuable time. These people go through life everyday thinking of how awful and horrible a person is because of something they did. You’re constantly thinking of ways to get them back and to hurt them. You’re constantly stuck in a state of sadness and anger because of those people.

You hurt them, they hurt you back. There’s always something to be angry about. Then, you base your self-worth and quality of life based on that person.

God calls us to love, and to be peacemakers (Matt. 5:9). He calls us to not be vengeful and hateful (Hebrews 10:30, Romans 12:19, 1st John 4:20). Just think about how much simpler and easier people’s lives would be if they just let things go and move on. Sure, there are things that are going to hurt us sometimes when we think about it. However, these things can destroy the rest of our life only if we allow them to do so.

If forgiveness is an issue for you, God can help you forgive. The biggest way to take that first step into forgiveness is to do something nice for the person that hurt you. To the rest of the world, it seems silly to do kindness to those who “persecute you and say all kinds of evil and lies against you” (Matthew 5:11). It’s not easy to love sometimes, but it’s always worth it.

If I had gone up and smacked that girl for bumping into me like she did, where would that have gotten me? Well, I would have ended up in the principal’s office for one thing. Secondly, I would have been suspended. Third, I would have most likely been grounded.

And the worst part would have been that my influence for Christ would have been damaged. In school, I wanted them to see me as a follower of Christ. Jesus was humble, kind, and gentle. I wanted to be the same way. In a school where it was common to retaliate when someone hurt you, I wanted to be one of the ones who said no hate and vengeance.

What about us? Are you using the love of God towards others? Or are you going to allow your life to be over-run with hatred and anger? Life is too short to allow those things to ruin our lives.

Monday, January 9, 2012

God or the High Life?

Last year, I’m sure many of us remember the huge elaborate wedding put on by Kim Kardashian-only to be divorced 72 days later. This woman and her sisters have made their mark, for sure. They have their own hit reality show, clothing line, and who knows what else. What did they do to get so much success? Kim Kardashian had sex with someone…that’s how. A sex tape of her and some other guy leaked out, and, BOOM! She’s famous.

Add in the fact that she’s physically very beautiful, she has made quite the impact. But, it doesn’t appear to go any further than that. I’ve never watched her show, but, I hear what others have said that she and her sisters don’t possess many good morals.

They all have very dirty mouths, dress immodestly, and put way too much emphasis on how rich and physically beautiful they are. At this, millions of people tune in to watch their show. Shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and Jersey Shore attract lots viewers for many reasons. For one thing, they show lives that appear to be “better” and more “lively” than theirs. The people are depicted as living the high life-expensive clothes, going clubbing every night, and having the best looking boyfriend or girlfriend, and driving either a brand new Jaguar or BMW.

While this is called “reality” TV, I don’t really see much realistic about it. Most people don’t actually live like that-and I feel like a lot of people watch these shows dreaming and wishing they’re lives could be more like that. So many people probably wish they were the one with the hourglass curves, perfect hair, millions of dollars at their disposal...etc.

Lots of girls look up to these women in the entertainment industry. They see these women and probably lose their sense of self longing for something that will probably never be attainable or fulfilling to their lives. The shows lie. All of these things are not going to give a fulfilling or happy life.

In the end, things like this are not going to matter. When I was in high school, I read a play called Every Man. This man (named Every Man) was visited by death who told him that it was time to say goodbye and go to his grave. He was terrified and tried to find anyone he could to come with him (“Beauty”, “Riches”…etc). However, the only ones that would walk with him were “Knowledge” and “Good Deeds”. When Every Man was at his grave, Knowledge left him, and he was left with Good Deeds. Every Man and Good Deeds then walked hand in hand into the grave to meet God.

You see the point? All of those things don’t really matter. The only way to truly find peace is to fall into the arms of God and devote your entire life to Him. There, and only there, can you find true contentment and peace (Psalm 23:1, Hebrews 13:5). Only there can you find true value, beauty, and worth (Proverbs 31:30).

At the end of your life, and when eternity starts, what will you take with you? Only the choices you've made. Everyone will stand before God-even the Kardashian girls and all the other celebrities who seem powerful and untouchable (Rev. 20:12). Who will you choose? The physical things of this life, or the God who knows you better than anyone and loves you?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

It's Time to Let Go!!!!

As human beings, we oftentimes get so focused into our goals and what we want in our lives that everything else starts to pass us by. Sometimes, we want to try and take so much control and neglect important aspects of our lives; especially our spiritual lives.

As Christians, we need to take time to just stop, and let go. There are some things that so many of us try too hard on, and obsess over. Some of these things include getting that job we would prefer over another, the ideal Christian mate, issues with family, etc.

In life, it may often seem like we are hanging on for dear life on the edge of a cliff. We’re dangling, terrified, and scared. Yet, we have a harness (God) and bungee cord (His word) connected to us. Don’t we often make things more difficult than it has to be? The answer is actually quite simple: let go of that cliff, and put your life completely in God’s hands.

Yes, we’re going to bounce up and down, and be shaken around. At times, it’s going to be terrifying. We may even break down and cry. 1st Corinthians 4:8-9 says: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed…”

Things will start to slow down, and even out. Then, soon, you’ll find yourself standing on solid ground once more-all because you made that decision to let go and let God do as He wills. We need to trust God our harness, and the word of God, our bungee cord. Doing God’s will may lead us into difficult times, but, in the end it’s always worth it. In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus talks of things we as people need. He says, “…your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” (32)

He hears us in our troubled times, and knows what we need; and, as hard as it is, we should do our best not to worry. Then, in verse 33, He continues: “But seek first the kingdom of God, and all of these things will be given you.”

He may not give us the particular job we want. We may not even get that Christian mate right away. But, God knows best. We just need to focus our energy to falling deeper in love with Him. He will take care of us. We need to make sure that we don’t allow ourselves to interfere with His plans for us. We can do this by trusting Him in all things-and striving to better ourselves as people.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare, and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

“And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

So…are you going to take the plunge this year?