Friday, August 29, 2014

Let It Go

Frozen fans, feel free to burst into song :)

Have you ever been in a season when you wish God would just shout out the directions so you knew which way to go? Which job to take? To buy or rent? To start a family? Soup or salad? There have been so many times when I've said, "I just don't understand, and I don't want to mess it up." I am sure I can find comfort in knowing that you've had similar experiences. I find myself constantly meditating on Proverbs 3:5-6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.  

I appreciate God so much in that moment because he gives me permission to throw my feeble thinking right out the window. He reminds me that he knows I don't understand. On my own, I can't possibly make the right decisions every time considering my future. He's got this! However, I do have a role to play as I toss my understanding aside. I am to acknowledge God. I am to recognize that he has authority over my life and submit to His Will. I am then led to Romans 12:2. Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by changing the way you think. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's Will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

We have a word in my house for situations like this. PURSUE. When opportunity arises, we have learned simply to pray and pursue. When you think like that and trust God to open or close the opportunities laid before you, a new level of trust is built. When we acknowledge that God is in control, there is peace that fills the avoid of understanding. God's will for your life is good, pleasing and perfect! Notice it doesn't say easy! But we can trust that God's way is the best way and he will always point us toward His Will, all we need to do is pursue. (Side note, if what you are pursuing feels contradictory to the way everybody would do it, you're probably on the right track!)

I say all of this to say, when you pray and pursue, God will make your paths straight. You can't mess it up when you have a heart of obedience. God says, "be still and know that I am God." For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9) Take comfort in the promises of the Lord and pursue! He's got this!

Until the whole world hears,

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Modesty (an Issue of the Heart)'s the word most of us dread. We hear "modesty" and we're immediately brought back to ankle-length,  unfashionable jumpers.   Maybe some of us hear that word, and we're brought back to the time someone hurt us with a comment about what we wore on a particular Sunday. No matter which side of the spectrum you fall on this issue, there is one thing that should first be addressed:

Yes!! Just like anything; lust, greed, jealousy, etc.  Modesty is an issue of the HEART!   If modesty is an issue of the heart, why isn't this practice embraced by the church? After all, aren't we a reflection of Jesus to a lost and dying world?  I feel this is partly because, we as women are prone to believe the many lies that have plagued our culture.  These lies settle into our most intimate place, our hearts, and unfortunately the fruit of that is a worldly set of values.   The Word of God tells us that we are to guard our hearts with all diligence, for out of it flow the issues of life (Prov. 4:23).
So, how should we as women dress our hearts and bodies?
1 Tim 2:9-10: " Likewise also that women should ADORN themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness--with good works." (emphasis my own)
Dear sisters, whether we realize it or not, our clothes relay a message to others.  What is the message you are sending? I realize this may sound harsh, but the reality is, the way we dress says a lot about our character and what we value. This is the reason, we must always examine our hearts.  Also note, that just as much as we spend time picking out a special outfit for any occasion, we must spend even more time accessorizing ourselves with GOOD WORKS! 
 Okay, one last scripture and then I'll wrap it up.....
1 Peter 3:3-4: "Do not let your adorning be external-the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear-but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious."
Ladies, when I read these scriptures, I see that the true beauty of a woman is something to behold. It is to be respected....and feared. It is not something that falls onto perverse eyes that settle for cheap beauty.   It is much deeper, and more spiritual. It is the kind of beauty that exudes the Presence of God.  It is the beauty that makes people stop and wonder what is different about us. To close, I'd like to challenge you, to examine your heart before the Lord and to desire to have the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.
Ask yourself:
What lies have I believed?
Do I dress to please God or man?
Do I have the adorning of a gentle and quiet spirit?
Do my clothes send a message that profess godliness?

Lets talk about it!

Yours in the Journey,
Shannon :)