Faithful Highlights

Highlights are details or events we pick out and emphasize as being important, the best part, exciting or interesting (Merriam-Webster). God blesses us each day we are alive; with every breath we take. This is a result of His grace and mercy.

Quite often we talk about how faithful we are to God (or should be). Let’s take time each day to dwell on how faithful He is to us. When we do this, we remember faithful highlights — those events in our lives where we say,“God showed up and showed out!” What are we really saying? God manifested His power and presence in a spectacular way — to us. Without a doubt salvation is one of the most spectacular and life changing events. Maybe another faithful highlight was healing, deliverance, breaking an addiction, provision, sparing our lives, mending a broken heart, etc.

The children of Israel definitely had some faithful highlights, most notably their deliverance out of Egypt by the hand of the One Almighty and Living God. We tend to rehearse our faithful highlights. They are our testimonies. Keeping them in the forefront helps us to stay in a place of gratitude. God is great, and He is worthy of all the praise.

What about you? How has God proven His faithfulness in your life?

Faithful Highlights

Beach Chic with a Fanny Pack

How to wear a fanny pack really isn’t rocket science. You just pick one and fasten it around your waist!

While fanny packs ceased being donned by celebrities and fashion models for a season or five, avid travelers still treasured the fanny pack. For some, it never went out of style. It’s functional fashion.

Now the fashion industry has caught up with travelers and globe trotters, making it a-okay for trend watchers to wear a fanny pack. (Side note: you can wear a fanny pack when it goes “out of fashion” too.)

There are many styles of fanny packs to choose from. Have fun!

Beach Chic {Fanny Pack Trend}

10 Tips to Deal With Anxiety

You’ve heard it before. Worry doesn’t solve problems; it only creates more. Anxiety compromises health and wellness. It is known to negatively affect blood pressure and glucose levels, as well as increase the heart rate. Prolonged anxiety affects concentration, digestion, and can lead to depression. If you are sick, anxiety can delay healing and recovery.

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

To “be careful for nothing” means to not worry. God doesn’t want us to be full of  worry and anxiety. They gnaw away at our faith.

10 Tips to Deal with Anxiety

1. Recognize your limits. Some things are outside of your control. Let go of what you can’t control. You’ll feel better when you do.
2. Accept each day as it comes You can’t know how every story or situation ends.
3. Find healthy ways to deal with people and circumstances that make you anxious.  Exercise, journal, craft, sharpen your skills, Polyvore ;) etc.
4. Be patient with yourself and others High levels of anxiety correlates with impatience. It’s okay to slow down.
5. Forgive yourself and others. It’s easier said than done, but when you forgive, there are no more reasons to fret about what has come and gone.
6. Eat healthy foods. It’s a catch twenty-two. When we’re anxious, we tend to eat unhealthy foods, which can produce negative effects. This may make us even more anxious. Yikes!! TRY to eat healthy foods to keep yourself off the anxiety wheel. Don’t forget to drink water!
7. Talk it out. Many times all we need is a good listener in our corner. We are usually able to talk ourselves to a solution or encourage ourselves in a conversation.
8. Love a pet (or person). Petting and snuggling with a furry friend can help alleviate anxiety. For the allergy sufferers and those without pets, cute animal pics are in abundance online. Spend time with a person who brings a sense of calm in your life.
9. Laugh. A meme anyone? Cute and funny baby or animal pics? A funny show? Get to laughing! It’s great for the heart and reduces anxiety.
10. Last, but not least: Pray, meditate, and read God’s Word (and inspiring stories). — Simply put, it’s good for the soul.

Still Waters: 10 Tips to Deal with Anxiety

Natural Affection

What does it mean to have natural affection? Many times, to understand the meaning of a word or phrase, we look at its opposite. The opposite of natural affection is without natural affection — unnatural.

Affection is a fondness, warmth, gentle feeling or physical expression of love.

Perilous Times

The Bible tells us that in the last days, perilous times will come. There are things we notice in the unraveling of our families, communities and society that prove we are in the last days. One such thing is that people will be without natural affection. In these days, people have an unnatural way of showing love. Words and deeds don’t match. What should be gentle is brutal. What should be hot is cold.

God-given

Something that is natural exists in nature without being made or caused by humans. It is what it is — on its own. Some regard it as being innate. Natural affection is something that is God-given. Something that is unnatural goes against nature, thus it goes against the order of God.

  • It’s natural for a mother to desire to nurture her child.
  • It’s natural for a man to be protective of his family.
  • It’s natural for friends to want to help another friend in need.
  • It’s natural for a family member to want to see other family members do their best.
  • It’s natural to have empathy for others — friends, families, neighbors and strangers.

In the Jungle

Many mothers in the animal kingdom will fight to the death to protect their young. They’ll stand against predators, whom they have a small to no chance of defeating, just to give their young the chance to live. Sadly, some of us do not give as much natural love as a beast in the field.

But when unnatural affection is addressed in 2 Timothy, it is not about beasts, but about man.

Piety, or kindness, should first be demonstrated and learned in the home. This foundation is being destroyed. If we cannot be kind in the home, how can we have natural affection towards anyone?

2 Timothy 3:1-5

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Causes

Many things lead to unnatural affection. Lust is at the root — unruly passions that direct hearts to appease the senses and flesh. Selfishness is connected to lust. Many people aim to satisfy self and place one’s needs and desires (lusts) over the well-being and development of others.

Other factors are lack of wisdom and pride. A prideful and selfish heart does not give natural love because it has not submitted to God and the order He established in nature. A heart that is not wise does foolish things, especially when it comes to pursuing means to fulfill lustful desires.

Quite simply, those without natural affection hurt others. Sometimes they do it blindly. Other times their eyes are wide open and they just don’t care.

Titus 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children

What to Do?

  • The Word of God says it best: “from such turn away.” In other words, stay away from these types of people. This is for our good and protection.
  • Do a heart check and guard your heart. Be sure that you are one who lives a life of love filled with natural affection.
  • If you are a young lady, submit yourself to be taught by aged or older women on the subject of love. It is the job and calling of aged women to teach young women to love their husbands and children. To have natural affection.

 

mmg-j-name

 

Natural Affection

Little Model Me Girl: Growing Up Modest (g.u.m.)

I’m excited to introduce Little Model Me Girl: Growing Up Modest (g.u.m.) — modesty training, character development and life skills for little girls, ages 4 to 12- years-old. The Little Model Me Girl website will feature articles, printables, tips and girls fashion sets.

little model me girl pic5

Why Modesty Training?

Little girls are exposed to the same messages from society as older girls and women. When little girls grow up, it’s sometimes hard to accept modesty, even with a bible verse about “modest apparel” planted right in view.

Girls are in a continuous process of being socialized to value being barely covered as a powerful symbol of our culture, and an influential source of their own style. It’s a stronghold, and is true even for girls in the church.

Once a girl believes showing excessive skin is okay, it doesn’t take much to convince her that even more of it should be put on public display. Never mind God likens nakedness to shame, and He calls us to a higher standard.

God’s Word expressly tells us ladies how to adorn ourselves. Hello meekness, gentleness, strength, honor…

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

I know embracing modesty goes against the rules of society and carnal nature, but it is in-line with the command of God. I want to see young girls cultivating a mind and heart to please God in all they do.

Modest fashion doesn’t mean frumpy fashion. We are free to be colorful and creative while obeying God’s Word to dress in modest clothes.

Modesty training also includes etiquette, protocol and servitude, which are rooted in humility.

#iModelChrist

The introductory sets I created were approved by my wonderful 6-year-old niece, as she sat and watched me create Little Model Me Girl fashion sets.

She’s often watched me work on Model Me Girl, and expressed she wants to be a Model Me Girl, too. In a sense, Little Model Me Girl is for her, and I’m willing to share what we learn with you and the little girl in your life. My niece is in modesty training. She is grasping, “We don’t model the world. We model Christ.” The way she puts it is, “I know how to dress properly.”

Modeling Christ is the foundation of Model Me Girl. It’s time for women of God to be the light of the world Christ called us to be, and shine a lifestyle worth modeling. One that comes with a reward of eternal life.

Wake up, ladies. Let’s stop allowing the world to train our little girls. As such, I will continue to put myself on repeat and broadcast the message that God is calling women and girls to model Him, not the world.

Whether she is mother, daughter, sister, niece, cousin, neighbor or friend—six or 60— let’s lift up God and inspire girls and women by modeling modesty—by modeling Christ.

God wants to start with you.

mmg-j-name

The Serene Scene

Many people seem to be on a quest to find peace.  School and work leave us exhausted and over-extended. Family life feels upside down. Friendships go shipwrecked. We look for “me time”— precious moments when you can just get away from it all. Bubble bath and a tropical beach optional, but totally recommended.

If we manage to find little moments during the day to escape, invisible militiamen soon find us and wage a mental war of worries and stress. Anxiety-riddled thoughts pop up in our minds like jack-in-the-box. Heart rate is erratic. Chest feels heavy. Tension is your norm. And that daily headache? It’s your new best-friend. All of this comes with a price: our health. Spiritually. Mentally. Emotionally. Physically.

Balance

What are we really looking for? Peace. Harmony between every area of our lives. Balance in the form of contentment. We really don’t want to be pulled in a million different directions. That’s for Elastigirl. Multitasking isn’t all corporate America  has seduced us into believing. We mess up or forget what we were working on to begin with.

You’re not the Miss-Fix-It people made you out to be. You can’t even fix yourself. That’s a job for Jesus.

What should you do? Believe God. Fear and doubt are the reasons for the absence of peace. God made the world. Surely He can take care of you.

Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace—true serenity. He is the balance you seek in your life.

Instead of letting life revolve around that job, that class, that man, that friend; why not let life revolve around the One who created all life—yours included?

Stayed on You

We don’t keep our minds stayed on Jesus, therefore we are not being kept in perfect peace. That promise, like many in the bible, comes with a condition. Instead, we keep our mind on her business, his business, that worry, doubt, lie and ego. And we wonder why we can’t sleep at night. Why we cannot stop to smell and enjoy the roses. Why we feel like we are just existing.

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Our lives are chaotic, and family life is trash because we are not seeking FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. We are seeking it last. After mister walks out, when the paychecks stop coming, when the eviction notice shows up, when the car breaks down, when beauty fades. When money—your god—lets you down. Then we seek the true and living God, Jesus Christ. Last. And half-heartedly, at best.

Priority Check

Where is God on your love list? Is He first? Does He have all of you, even your mind? Or are those worries the god of your thoughts?

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Meditate on this. God will help us prioritize our lives and introduce us to the serene scene once we make Him our priority. This doesn’t mean you’re going to be rich, famous or trouble-free.

It means when trouble comes, you can endure with peace because you know trouble doesn’t last, but God’s Word does. You’ll know you are truly safe in the Master’s arms, no matter what happens in the world.

Real peace is not found in circumstances, location, things or man, but in the blood of the risen Savior, Christ our Lord.

Color Therapy: Serenity Blue

How to Deal with an Angry Person

Anger is always looking for a place to rest—a place to call home. But you don’t have to allow it to claim your heart as its own.

We cannot control how other people talk and act. But we can control our own actions and reactions. The bible is a manual for righteous living; whether it’s about how to dress (modest apparel), or how to turn anger on its head. We can use God’s Word to direct our lives.

Words to Live By

I’m going to share three bible-based tips on how to deal with an angry person. These are not in-depth, but they are a starting point for conflict management—God’s way.

  1. Reply with a soft or gentle answer.
  2. Agree quickly with the person. The bible refers to the person you’re in disagreement with as your adversary.
  3. Don’t be friends with an angry person; don’t associate with people who are easily-angered.

A Soft Answer

A soft or gentle answer disarms the angry person. On a carnal level, it’s pretty hard to be soft and gentle towards someone who is yelling at you, name-calling or pushing buttons for a brawl. We want to yell back, sling out insults, and hurt the hurter. But this formula isn’t God’s method, but that of the flesh.  It’s a formula for mess. Grievous or harsh words is the spoon in the pot. Keep stirring and you’ll get more anger out of the person.

Go to higher ground, instead. Walk in the Spirit and remember Jesus. Recall how He didn’t say a mumbling word as He was spat upon, hit and beaten. This means you’ll practice some self-control by being silent at first, giving yourself time to consider your reaction and its consequences.

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

The other person may think your meek demeanor is a sign of weakness, but you should know it is a mark of power. Why? Well, this formula for success came from God, so how can it be anything but powerful?! Also, it demonstrates you choose to not be controlled by your emotions by taking the time to think before you speak, craft a gentle word, and ultimately please God.

Agree Quickly

God wants us to settle matters before we show up before a judge, mediator or third-party with the other person. He doesn’t want things to go that far. More importantly, God is the righteous Judge. Don’t show up before God with a matter unresolved between you and your brother or sister. God doesn’t even want our gift at the altar until we go to the person we believe has something against us.

Matthew 5:25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison.

Agreeing with your adversary quickly or settling a matter doesn’t mean you’re admitting the other person is right. It means you’re not wanting to allow anger to get a hold of you or them, and cause either one of you to sin. Many times we allow anger to cause us to sin. We don’t think rationally when we are angry. The sooner you deal with and fix the problem, the better. We shouldn’t give a root of bitterness the chance to spring up. People all over are hating one another, walking around as spiritual murderers because of a disagreement, misunderstanding, hurt or neglect that bubbled into anger.

Don’t Associate

You’ve given a soft answer and agreed with your adversary quickly. They’re still angry, and seem to wrap their identity in being the mad one. What next? Prayerfully think and take proper action.

Why put or keep yourself in a potentially dangerous position by staying in the presence of someone who is always angry? You don’t have to take abuse and be the verbal, emotional or physical punching bag for someone who chooses to remain unhappy. You do not know if or when that anger may become rage.

Proverbs 22:24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man you shall not go:

Furthermore, God doesn’t want us to learn the ways of angry people. He knows the power of mirroring, and how easily we may mirror another person’s bad behavior. If someone is angry all the time, the anger is a symptom of a deeper problem.  Pray for them, and continue to show kindness and love. Understand the anger is probably masking hurt. Yet, do not make this person your familiar or intimate friend. The spirit of anger that envelops him/her may try to consume you too.

Remember, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

 

A Soft Answer

For Good to Them that Love God

We may not understand why certain things happen in our lives. But if we are Christ’s and love him, rest assured everything is working out for your good. Yes, even the hurt and brokenness has a purpose in God’s plan for you. If you give God time, you’ll see.

Conditional Good

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Many times we say things like, “All things work together for good, girl!” Which the other replies, “I know that’s right!”

That’s it. We stop right there as if the verse has a period behind the word good. We fail to recognize and accept that this “work together for good” is conditional. Certain requirements must be met to receive  this benefit of God.

We must:

  1. Love God
  2. Be THE called according to His purpose

Loving God requires obedience, for it was Jesus who said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

Do women (and men) call themselves everyday to fulfill a purpose that is not godly or of God, but for themselves? Yes! However, we should want to make sure we are called according to His purpose, and not after man, the flesh or the traditions of men. The Bible tells us to make our calling and election sure. Know where you stand in God.

2 Peter 2:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

Hide it in Your Heart

“For the Good of Them” by Milton Brunson was ringing in my spirit this morning. I know God is encouraging me, and I want to pass that encouragement along. I want to remind someone that although you may feel weary right now or like you can’t see your way out, God is working things out for Y-O-U-R good— because you love Him and are THE called according to His purpose.

Remember who you are and Whose you are. Endure.

I hope you will also listen to the words of this song and let God give you courage to continue in Him…in patience and hope.

Sample Lyrics of For the Good of Them
The race is not given to the swift, nor to the strong, but to the one that endureth until the end. There’ll be problems. And sometimes you’ll have to walk alone. But I know, that I know, that I know…things will work out, yes they will. For the good of them who love the Lord. Eyes haven’t seen. And neither have ears heard the things God has prepared for them that love Him. Sometimes you may have to cry. Sometimes you may have to moan. But I know, that I know, that I know, that I know, that I know, that I know…things will work out, yes they will. For the good of them who love the Lord. No matter what the problem you can’t solve it. They will come, but don’t you worry (I’m a living witness that) it will work out for the good of them who love the Lord.

 

Modest & Polished: Grow in Grace

To grow means to develop, expand, increase or advance to maturity. As I sat in Bible study tonight, I thought about something my dad said. “The devil wants to kill us as soon as we are ready to give our life to Christ; as soon as we are born again, before we get strong in God and are built up.”

Babes in Christ

Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy, but he especially wants to destroy us when we are new in Christ — babes. Why? Because at this early stage, our strength is small and our discernment has not had time to become sharpened. We have not yet been rooted and grounded in the Word. We are easy targets.

If you know anything about babies, you know they are vulnerable. Even in the animal world, predators seek the weak, categorized as the very young, sick/injured or the very old. Satan is a predator, and his mission is to devour as many people as possible, which includes seeking out new believers.

We are very vulnerable as babes in Christ. We need to feast on the sincere milk of the word, so that we can grow (1 Peter 2:2). The stronger we become in God, and the more skillful we become with the Word, we are able to resist the devil and easily use our Sword against him: the Word of God.

It takes time to mature, both naturally and spiritually. If you are a babe in Christ, I lovingly encourage you to indulge in the Word. If you feel you don’t have a thirst or hunger for it, feast on it anyway, at the same time asking God to ignite your thirst and hunger.

If you have been in Christ for a while, you are not above being deceived and falling. You are on the enemy’s hit list too, and you need the Word. There comes a time when we can move beyond milk and feast on meat — the deeper things in the Word that babies can’t eat or understand because they’d choke on it.

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

All of us need to grow. Don’t be satisfied with where you are in God. Always desire to be closer to Him; to be more faithful; to be more like Jesus. A beautiful part about being in Christ is that He has everything we need to grow by — starting with grace.

Grow in the Knowledge of Jesus Christ

God also wants us to grow in the knowledge of Christ. Knowledge is awareness, familiarity, facts and information gained from experience with someone or something. There’s more to know about Jesus than what you discovered the first time you heard His name; or from when you were baptized; from when He last healed you; from last Sunday’s sermon; or the day He saved you from your sins and self.

We learn more about Christ as we study and meditate on His Word, pray, fast, spend quiet time with Him, and allow Him to lead us by the Holy Ghost. Only when we are led by the Spirit of God are we the sons (and daughters) of God (Romans 8:14).

I believe Ephesians 3:17-19 sums up growing in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ perfectly.

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

 

With Love,

mmg-j-name

 

Grow in Grace