Monday, May 12, 2014

Graphics of Encouragement

I know it's been awhile, but I still think of this little blog often.

   I love my little blog, just as I love writing articles, but, right now my time is cut out puzzle-perfect for me, and at the end of each day I find that it has slipped by almost too quickly. One day, I hope to post regularly again. For now, please accept sporadic posts that will come from any time I can borrow from my free-time.

Here are some little graphics that encouraged/inspired me, and I hope they will do the same for you!







 ~interesting....that would be really interesting.


Psalm

Best Things in Life 
Yes 

The #1 Reason Most People Fail
Let Go
Amen 
 Very true...

Blessings on your week!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Did you expect...

    Hey there, it certainly had been awhile since my last post. I know I just "disappeared", but I have good reason for that. My life is so completely busy at this point, I just do not have the time I used to for "recreational" things like posting on this little blog.

This year has certainly flown by, yes? It amazes me, and makes me happy too! This year has been a year of major changes, trials, and sacrifice for me, and I am so thankful that Hashem has been right here, by my side, through everything! I feel like I have been going through the "Rites of Incorporation" part of the Rites of Passage that Gavriella writes about here.

 Well, enough about me now. 

 My mother found the article below and emailed me a copy - it is pretty good, and although it covers many points I am sure we all are aware of - freshening up these things solidifies them in our mind.

I am not sure who wrote this article, if I did I would definitely give due credit to her here. If any of you know who wrote this, please let me know so I can credit her!

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Did you expect to have a nice sparkly diamond decorating that finger by now?

  Perhaps you’re still patiently waiting for the right one to show up. You’re not about to jump into a relationship with the next person you meet—you’re not desperate.  Just, well, waiting.  And let’s be real here, most of us were designed for the companionship of marriage, which in itself is a good thing.  But that desire for companionship is also a hard thing when you’re a single young adult who feels ready to settle down.

  So, what do you do with an empty ring finger that seems to stick out like a sore thumb?  That finger which shouts, “You are so alone! Well, as a single person myself, I’ve found the best thing to do is to raise my hands—including my ring finger—to God in surrender.

  But surrender doesn’t always come easily.  Personally, my first instinct is to want to be in control.  I want to know.  I want to plan.  And I want to worry about who, when, where, and how.  Operating from that mindset, I continually have to lay my plans down and say “God, I give this to you.”

  And God is good.  He doesn’t forget me in my struggle to surrender, nor does He grow impatient with me.  Instead, He sends me gentle reminders through His word.  He assures me that my life is in His powerful hands, so I can trust Him utterly and completely with my future. 

Can I share these reminders with you?

Why We Should Trust God

1. God is all-powerful and all-knowing
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).  Okay, doesn’t that verse just blow you away?  God spoke everything into existence—every single molecule!  And not only did he speak everything into existence, He knows every intricate detail about His creation.  He is so powerful, yet so intimate.  He knows when a tiny sparrow falls to the ground and exactly how many hairs are on ourheads (Matthew 10:30-31).  How can we not trust a simple relationship to God, who creates all and knows all?


2. God loves His children and completes His work in their lives
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hand” (Psalm 138:8).  Charles Spurgeon shares this in his commentary on this verse: “God is concerned in all that concerns his servants.  He will see to it that none of their precious things shall fail of completion; their life, their strength, their hopes, their graces, their pilgrimage shall each and all be perfected.  Jehovah himself will see to this and therefore it is most sure.”

Spurgeon’s words that “none of their precious things shall fail of completion,” warms my heart.  Is marriage one of your precious hopes?  If God has marriage in our futures, we can rest assured that He is going to complete that hope.  And if, for some reason, marriage is not God’s plan for your life, He will realign your hope with His will and bring that transformed hope to perfect completion.


3. God wants good in our lives
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).  Often our definition of “good” is not the same as God’s.  Sometimes our good may not include marriage in the time frame we would like.  But we need to trust that God is not denying us something good.  Perhaps He is simply giving us (or our future spouse) an opportunity to grow so that our future marriage will be sweeter and stronger.  I don’t know about you, but I would rather wait for the right person, the one God has shaped to fit my heart, than to impatiently marry into a disaster.  God knows the right timing.

  If you are at a season in your life where you feel like your singleness is a trial, remember that God is using this time of singleness to shape you into who He knows you need to be. Charles Spurgeon says, “For it is often for the soul’s health that we would be poor, bereaved, and persecuted. Our worst things are often our best things. As there is a curse wrapped in the wicked man’s mercies, so there is a blessing concealed in the righteous man’s crosses, losses, and sorrows. The trials of the saint are a divine husbandry, by which he grows and brings forth abundant fruit.” God blesses His children even through their trials.


4. The Bible advises it
“Better to take refuge in the Lord, than to trust in man.  Better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes” (Psalm 118:8–9).  We often apply this verse to the counsel of others, but I believe this verse also means: It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in yourself!

Charles Spurgeon writes in his commentary on this psalm that, “God has a claim upon his creatures' faith, he deserves to be trusted; and to place our reliance upon another rather than upon himself, is a direct insult to his faithfulness.”  Do you want to insult God by trusting yourself over Him?  I know I need to consider this question more often.  I need to ask myself: Why am I trying to take this into my own hands?  Do I really think that it’s better to trust myself rather than trust God, who does abundantly more than I could ever ask ? (Ephesians 3:20)?


5. Worrying is bad for our health
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life… Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”(Matthew 6:25-27).

  Worrying not only doesn’t do anything productive, it negatively affects our physical and emotional health.  What’s more, it demonstrates a reliance on ourselves rather than on God.  Oswald Chambers said, “All of our fears are sinful, and we create our own fears by refusing to nourish ourselves in our faith.  Our lives should be an absolute hymn of praise resulting from perfect, irrepressible, triumphant belief.” (My Utmost for His Highest).

  So, trust the Lord.  If it's His will, then He’ll get a ring on that finger at the right time.  For the present time, be content and joyful in Christ, trusting His faithfulness.  Stop worrying, raise those hands in surrender, and praise our wonderful, faithful Lord and Savior.

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 Thanks for reading today!  Blessings to you all!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Pure Simple Modesty

Well, I hope you are ready for the 5th, and probably the most bold, post about modesty on AWL. Modesty is such an important core issue, however, I feel that even more posts on the subject would not be too many!
First, allow me to link up all my modesty posts thus far (in order that I wrote them) for those of y'all who have not read them. You may want to read them in order ;-)

Determining What is Truly Modest, My Modesty Journey, Modesty - An Issue of the Heart, &  A Mother's Advice

Now, I would like to give you our modesty standards, my family's & mine ~ (just to clarify ;-)
[I actually helped make the list & the General Rules of Thumb.]
Modesty Standards
keep away from the ways of harlots”
(for Males & Females – unless noted)

Tops:
~ No tight shirts should not be able to tell chest size (remember it WILL shrink)
~ No FORM FITTING solid colored shirts - they need designs to keep male eyes from focusing on chest area – Females
~ No button-ups w/o an undershirt
~ Must have sleeves no shorter than between the arm pit and elbow (no cap sleeves)
~ Nothing sheer or see thru in any way (including arms)
~ Top must not show any skin (back or belly) with arms raised as high as possible
~ No “V”, Wide, or Scoop necks (unless high or wearing shirt underneath)
~ No neckline lower than 3 fingers below the jugular notch
~ A minimum of 3 layers (undergarments are 1) – Females
~ Undershirts should be snug/tight (so bending over it does not gap away from the body)
~ No “bling” clothing (shiny/glittery things) – Females
~ Nothing torn, faded, ripped (trashy looking)
~ Shirt length should be to your fingertips when arms are by your side (if wearing pants) – Females
~ Do not remove shirt or change shirts or be shirtless except privacy of bathroom - Males

Bottoms:
~ No tight clothing - very loose fitting (remember it WILL shrink)
~ Skirt length mid-calf or longer (none of knee showing when standing or sitting) – Females
~ No slits on skirts – Females
~ NO pants, jeans, capri's, or shortsFemales
~ 2, 4, or 6 panel skirts but not full (makes you look fat) – Females
~ Mostly denim (as it goes with everything and is more sturdy)
~ Shorts must come below knees – Males
~ No “bling” clothing (shiny/glittery things)
~ Nothing torn, faded, ripped (trashy looking)
~ Leggins under all skirts & dresses Females

 Hair & Face:
~ No make-up – Females
~ No fancy hair (except special occasions) – Females
~ Hair should be pulled back from ear to ear (including bangs growing out) – Females
~ No “bling” hair accessories (shiny/glittery things) – Females

Accessories:
~ No “bling” shoes or accessories (shiny/glittery things) – Females
~ No over powering jewelry or amount of jewelery – Females
~ No shoe heels taller than 1.5” – Females

General Rules of Thumb:
Tops - Up to the Collar Bone / Sleeves - Down to the Elbow (or at least half-way to elbow) / Bottoms - Below the Knees

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Yep, these are our modesty standards.
(FYI - I have dedicated a whole page in my tabs to modesty & it includes our modesty standards)


   Does this list seem too hard to follow? Yes?...... Really? I don't think so. I tend to think that one big reason our country, or our world for that matter, is in such a mess is because most people have no Biblical-ly & Torah-ly sound set standards to live by!

   The "believers" dress, talk, and act just like the rest of the world. Friends of the world are enemies of Yaweh - and I didn't say that, HaShem's word did. [1 John 2:15-17] If "believers" would dress, talk, and act different from the world - pure, modest, respectful, sincere, holy, etc. then perhaps this world would take notice. 

    Sadly though, most "believers" either don't care or just outright do not want to do things 'the hard way' or Yaweh's Way. Most "believers" do not have standards by which they live, especially in the area of modesty. Christian girls wear the exact same things loose girls do, and they even feel good themselves and about what they are wearing! Do they not realize that their clothing can make others stumble? Do they not see that they are being a snare for others?

   Believers need to set the example in righteousness, holiness, purity, and modesty for this corrupt world to see, but, sadly, bad company will corrupt good morals way before good company will reform bad morals. 

Anyway, now to what Yaweh has shown me about modesty last month. 

   Modesty is definitely a heart issue, and I hope all of you reading this realize that. If your heart is not in the right place with Yaweh, your life & standards will not be either. I want to please Yaweh with my life SO MUCH, follow Him wholeheartedly, and seek His will daily! I have prayed hard that Yaweh would direct my steps and purge anything out of my life that should not be there, and to further refine any areas in my life that He wants to. So, in that, I believe that HaShem has been readying me for something big - like what happened on our vacation.

   I felt HaShem speak to me more than ever before during Pesach, a time when I searched myself for leaven - sin - to be rid of it Be'Ezrat HaShem - with the help of HaShem.


   In the months leading up to Pesach, I had been feeling more and more against wearing pants, and I became more and more self conscious when I wore them, even my loose fitting sweat pants. I had already committed to not wearing pants in public (except when camping at this point), but now I can see that Yaweh was working with me on something much more than this.


   My younger teenage brother and I conversed about modesty, I asked his opinion, and he said that pants are men's clothing here in America (in this day and age), and that most pants were immodest on women - and so he believed women should not wear them. I couldn't argue with him, of course, and it gave me some food for thought - because I actually agreed with him. Younger siblings do sometimes have great insights - if we older siblings are not too proud to accept it from them ;-)


   As the months went by, I found myself looking at the women, girls, and young ladies around me wearing pants wherever we went, thinking to myself how they could feel modest and pure wearing what they did, even if the pants were more loose than skinny jeans. I wondered if it would be possible, or practical, to wear skirts 24/7/365.


      I definitely felt weird in pants, and I really didn't like that feeling. Yaweh was definitely working on me during this time. After camping for almost 2 weeks in skirts only, I realized that it could be done, and that I felt completely modest in skirts only, and most importantly, that Yaweh was calling me to never again wear pants.


   Being free of pants is wonderful! It is such an interesting feeling, a feeling of freedom, purity, modesty, peace. It is literally awesome. If you let Him, follow Him, Yaweh can change your life SO much!


   As a side note, I also felt Him telling me to scrutinize more closely the shirts I buy and even the  shirts I own now, as even slightly tight fitting shirts are off-limits. I know HaShem is calling me to a higher standard than some, and I am so grateful that He is guiding my steps. More knowledge more responsibility. If I know in my heart that Yaweh is leading me to do something, I'd be a fool not to follow Him.



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    I have also come to see make-up as a modesty issue. This might be difficult to explain, so please bear with me :-).......So, make-up is just a cover-up, even if you say you only use make-up to enhance your appearance, that will not, cannot, negate the fact that no matter how little you use, make-up will change your appearance - at least somewhat. And what's more, LOTS of make-up will put forth a "false front", so to speak, for others to see - not the "real" you.

   Yaweh made each girl, young lady, and woman special in their own way, and no amount of make-up can really, truly change how HaShem made each of us. It can only temporarily cover up what you dislike about yourself.


   I cringe when I hear girls say that they only use make-up to "enhance" their appearances, or when they offer advice like, "oh, make-up is alright only if you use it just to enhance, and not change, your appearance". What they do not realize is what I stated earlier, that any amount of make-up will change at least something about your appearance. That pink lip stick isn't truly the color of your lips, is it? Your face doesn't really look the same with that creamy base that you smear over your face as without it, does it? Are you sure that bit of mascara on your lashes doesn't darken them, even just a little? 


   See my point? We must be SO cautious about how we choose to present ourselves as stewards of the Lord's Kingdom, as His dear children and lights of the world! Am I wearing this pink lip shimmer to get attention? Did I really layer it on for this purpose? < It's all a heart issue.

   Why do I say it can be very immodest? I believe it is immodest to wear something that puts forth a "fake" made-up version of oneself. To put forth a "fake" you is also know as defrauding.

   It is so sad how this wicked world in which we live has so convinced many girls into believing the lie that they don't look as good as they should/could with make-up. This just makes me indignant! We don't NEED cosmetics to make us look good. True beauty comes from WITHIN - from the righteousness and holiness of Christ in us!


   I realize that what I have put forth may sound judgmental, so please, hear me out --- In Matthew, Yeshua says "Judge not, lest you be judged." And, while this statement is taken completely out of context by many, as far as I am concerned, Yaweh doesn't want me to judge others just because they choose to wear pants and make-up. I do not judge those of you who choose to wear these things, truly, I do not. These issues are not salvational either - for me, it's just an issue of how close do I want to be to HaShem.


   The bottom line for me is that I want to live wholeheartedly for Yaweh, to live a simple, modest, pure life before my Lord - not one of following the world and choosing to look just like those in it. I try to follow my Master's wishes as best as I can, so that I can be well-pleasing to Him.

Thanks for reading! Blessings!