Before you can be sent, you have to be available, willing and ready. The declaration of, “Here am I,” means just that.
Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
God is not going to make anyone live for Him or surrender to Him. These are choices. If you’re on the path of resisting God, or if you’ve backslidden and have found yourself running far away from everything and everyone that remind you of holiness, this is your day to make a new choice. Yes, sometimes people in the “church” can hurt; but forgiveness is the will of God. I am a witness that God can and does heal all manner of hurt.
You can change your mind, change your life, and ultimately your destiny.
One of the reasons people are hesitant to “be sent” is because they may have to go alone. Your family and friends may not be on the same path as you. For many, this thought can be discouraging. But you must make up in your mind to go where God wants you to go; even if it means going alone.
We sing a song in church that says, “Imma go if I have to go by myself.” If mother, father, sister, brother, neighbor, or friend doesn’t go for Jesus — you go. Follow Christ to the end. Go on. Model Him, girl.
Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Hate is used here to mean to love less than, forsake or abandon. Jesus is saying, if you don’t love other people less than Him, or are not willing to forsake or abandon them and even your own life, you cannot be His disciple. Why? Because you are to put no one and no thing before Him. Anything placed before Him is idolatry. And yes, dear. This means you cannot love your boyfriend or husband more than Jesus.
Think About It
Are you available, willing and ready to go for Jesus?
In an effort to promote global happiness, the UN has designated March 20 to be the first International Day of Happiness. It is a fact that happiness promotes overall well-being. However, happiness is not found in the number of things one may own, but it is a state of mind which affects the condition of the heart.
My motto is: “Change your mind, change your life”.
Why not be happy every day?
Please enjoy the “Happy Am I” slideshow. May your happiness begin and end with Christ.
The International Women’s Day originated from the socialist movement. Socialism, at its core, was connected to “Big thinkers” of Europe who criticized poverty, the powerful elite and inequality. Some say that socialism had to do with atheistic thought, and was critical of religion.
From a Christian perspective, God loves the poor, resists the proud, and is not a respecter of persons. This means that God is critical of the malicious treatment of the poor, the generalized proud attitude of the powerful elite, and inequality that is manifested in unjust treatment of others.
International Women’s Day is a social movement because the people who promote it come together with a common belief and intentions on meeting a shared goal: equality for women.
You Have a Place
Women have a place in society. From my Christian perspective, I see it as a God-ordained role that does not make women less valuable than men. I am not a feminist. I believe gender serves a function, and society would be unstable with the absence of gender identification. Different does not mean inadequacy.
Defined roles do not create chaos, but promote harmony—just as you’d like to know your role on the job so you know what tasks to complete, which minimizes stress and confusion. From a sociological perspective, women have a function in society, from the institutional level to family dynamics. Women serve society through cultural and social roles, and that is okay.
Those Who Think Otherwise
There is a hateful spirit in the land that despises women and girls. This hateful spirit wants to strip women of what makes us uniquely woman, and deserving to be celebrated for who we are and what we are capable of offering.
Too many see women as disposable objects, from husbands to strangers walking down the street. Too many see and treat women as second-class citizens or no citizens at all. The wave of wicked ravishing and rapes of women and girls around the globe is an alarming epidemic. The purposeful aborting of baby girls just because “she’s a girl” is fiendish.
These acts of violence demonstrate even though we’re technologically advanced, the minds of those who do these acts and those who protect and cover them through silence and active participation, are backward, dangerous, and in need of mind transformations. Unfortunately, all the technological advancements in the world cannot elevate people’s minds. People must want to be free in their minds and change the way they think…for themselves.
Celebrate a Woman
It is a beautiful thing to celebrate others, not in an idolatrous sense, but in praise just for who they are. This is encouragement, inspiration, gratitude, appreciation.
Is there a woman in your life you can celebrate? For her bravery, wisdom, poise—just for being there? Maybe she didn’t make it into the history books, but her life has historical significance. Write her a poem, sing her a song, invite her to dinner, pick up the phone and call (not text!), or just say thank you.
The enemy of our souls is working overtime to strip women of the confidence they need to fulfill their purpose in life. Stress, anxiety, fear, depression, suicidal thoughts and tendencies are ever present ailments in the lives of many women. We NEED prayer and encouragement.
On today and every day, remind a woman that she has a place—in God. In whatever corner of the world she’s located, her place is valuable, needed and appreciated.
I was privileged to interview the lovely ambassador for Christ and pageant princess, Victoria J. Mangham.
Victoria is young lady I admire for her poise, faith in Christ, and positive example she lives out for other women. It just seemed right that Victoria would be the first young woman chosen to be cast in the ‘Real Life Model Me Girl’ spotlight.
Victoria’s tweets via @MissTori_J come highly recommended because they are positively joyful.
Check out the full interview transcript below.
Interview with Victoria J. Mangham
Model Me Girl: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Victoria: My name is Victoria J. Mangham and [at the time of this interview] I am currently 20 years old. I love God, fashion, blogging, and sharing my love for Christ. I have a shoe addiction, and I love to shop. I have been a pageant girl for the past ten years and am currently 2012 Miss Michigan under the National American Miss pageant system and 2012 National Sparkle Success under the Sparkle Success pageant system. I am a pageant coach, and have a HUGE love for volunteerism. I am also a strong believer that you are able to do ALL things through Christ.
Model Me Girl:Will you tell us more about you being an aspiring designer?
Victoria: I am an aspiring fashion designer, focusing on footwear, although I am going to school to become a fashion merchandiser! I would love to launch my own shoe collection in the future.
Model Me Girl:What makes you a Real Life Model Me Girl?
Victoria:First and foremost, I love Jesus with my everything, as I owe Him my life. I begin each day asking God to guide and protect me, as all I want to do is model HIM. It means so much, that when people encounter me, they know Christ IS my life. Most people are so obsessed with TALKING the WALK, but not worrying about WALKING the TALK. It’s so important to actually live out the Word of God in this crazy World, and not becoming caught up with worldly ways. Jesus paid the price, they didn’t. So, what makes me a Real Life Model Me Girl? I live out the Word and encourage others DAILY to do the same. Living for the Kingdom is NOT easy, but it’s more than worth it. I mean, God is MORE than worth it, right? It just makes sense.
Model Me Girl:What’s your favorite Bible verse? Why?
Victoria:My favorite bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11, which states, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
Sometimes, things go a lot differently than we plan for them to go, but we MUST trust God and KNOW without a doubt, that He knows what is best for us. I struggled to understand this some time back, but as I delved into the Word more, my faith grew and it increased like never before. I finally understood that if I have faith in God, then that meant that I trusted Him. Yes, even through the storm.
Model Me Girl:How do you inspire other girls and women to cultivate their inner beauty and live for Christ?
Victoria:“Living for Christ is not easy, but it’s not only possible, it’s worth it.” This is a constant quote I tell the girls of my praise dance ministry at my church. I tell them that they are beautiful and amazing no matter what, and they do not need another human to tell them that to ensure it. I share my real life examples of living for Christ in a dying world to give them encouragement. I will be 21 at the end of this year, so they look at it as, “If SHE can live SAVED at such an important age, I can too. If SHE can live in THIS WORLD, but not be of THIS WORLD, I can too.” I believe its important to be a positive example to the younger generation and show them that it is possible to live for the Kingdom and still have fun…the SAVED way.
Model Me Girl:Who inspires you? How?
Victoria:My mother inspires me to be who I am today. Even as a small child, she always told me that I could be whatever I wanted; that with Christ, I am able. Needless to say, I kept these words with me all my life. Just remembering how hard she worked to make sure my brother and I were well taken care of, made me want to make something of my life, so that I would be able to take care of her in her senior years. My mother is my motivation to be a better ME.
Model Me Girl:How did you first get involved with pageantry?
Victoria:I have been asked this question a million times before, and the answer is quite simple: I have no clue. Growing up, I was never into pageants, but an opportunity came up with National American Miss, when I was about 11 years old. My mother and I decided to try it, and I have been hooked ever since! Pageants rock! My mom NEVER pushed me to do them, she always made sure that I was happy and actually had the drive to compete. Little did we know, that first pageant ignited a fire in my heart for the pageantry world. In addition to my current titles I have already mentioned, I have also won other titles locally, statewide, and nationally. All glory belongs to God.
Model Me Girl:What do you find most challenging about pageantry?
Victoria:Now, if I were asked this about 3 years ago, I would say interview, but now that I have more confidence in myself and more experience in the field, it’s honestly my favorite part of any pageant. It is said that the winner is chosen during interview because the judges are able to interact with each contestant and find out more about her as an individual.
As of now, the most challenging part of pageantry is being able to stand in 6-inch stilettos for hours on end without falling out. Sounds funny, but it’s so true! When it comes to pageants, I made myself a personal rule of NEVER wearing flat shoes, nothing but heels. Why? Well, high-heeled shoes give ladies amazing posture and they also make short women, like myself (I’m 5’3”), awesome height! And what’s more? They look great with just about any outfit!
Now, please don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I find pageants not at all challenging, because they are, but I have found that when you focus on the negative, your performance mirrors [the negative]. If you concentrate on having a good time and doing your absolute best in the process, even if you do not walk away with the crown, you still have built memories that will last a lifetime. I tell the girls that I coach for various pageants, this same thing.
Model Me Girl:Can you tell us a little about your blog?
Victoria:My blog…well, it originally was to be posts about fashion and must-have items, but now I’ve decided to expand and discuss an array of topics. I do not have a set schedule on when I write a post, so its pretty much whenever I have the time to sit down and flow, although I try to submit a discussion once a month.
The name of my blog is “The Power of Your Dreams” because I want individuals to understand that their dreams are powerful and with the right amount of will power, belief in God, and a lot of faith, they can accomplish those dreams. No matter the topic, it all points back to this mentality. There are so many young people in this world who BELIEVE that they can’t go the distance because someone TOLD them just that. I aim to encourage those people. My focus is uplifting those who have been beaten down emotionally, spiritually, and maybe even physically.
I have such a big heart; I actually feel what they feel. For example, in one of my posts, I speak on bullying. Well, believe it or not, I was bullied at a young age so I know for a fact how it feels to have someone constantly putting you down. I want to use my various testimonies to help, uplift, and encourage others while they are in their storms.
Model Me Girl:What motivated you to start blogging?
Victoria:I have ALWAYS had a desire to write, a fire in my spirit to explain how I feel either on paper or through dance. Although I use my twitter account to minister and encourage others, I still felt as if I needed another outlet. That outlet? Blogging.
Model Me Girl:You talked about bullying in one of your posts. How are you working to continue to “unveil this top issue,” and what advice would you give to a girl or young woman who is being bullied?
Victoria:Bullying will always be one of the top issues I plan to expand on throughout my life. As my current platform is anti-bullying, I have been visiting various schools and speaking on the issue. In addition to sharing my own story, I share stories of those who have lost their lives due to bullying. You would be surprised how many young people are taking their own lives because it gets to be too much persecution against them. I want to be THEIR voice, assuring them that they ARE worth it. The opinions of this world mean NOTHING; the only word that matters is that of Christ and strength can be found in the Lord for ANY situation, no matter how tough. At the conclusion of each presentation, I have them all sign a vow that simply states that they will never engage in bullying and if they see it happening, they will report it to the proper authorities.
Model Me Girl:Can you share a style secret or beauty tip with our readers?
Victoria:Well ladies! I had a constant problem of wanting to tuck in my shirts and blouses into my skirts or pants, but always worrying about seeing the end of garment underneath the skirt or pant and it was hassle having to continuously tuck the shirt back in! The solution? All you need are an old pair of stockings and a pair of scissors! I always tend to keep my stockings that have runs or rips in them for whatever odd reason, so I took a pair, cut off the legs to make a pair of shorts. I put that on under my pants or skirt and tuck the shirt into the top of the stocking. BOOM, no more issues!
I hope you are encouraged after reading this interview with Victoria J. Mangham. It’s true, ladies—Being saved and living for Jesus Christ is the fabulous life!
The new year marks a time when many of us consider transforming ourselves into something better. We want to grow, shed a few pounds, get whipped into shape, be more prosperous.
Often our “New Year’s Resolutions” involve a lot of the physical stuff —how we look and dress, and the possessions we have. We sprinkle some life altering and much needed bits from the self-help section on there, too. “I’ll be kinder or learn how to master my unruly tongue. I’ll make more time for me.”
Now there’s nothing wrong with looking our best or having nice things. But if that is all we seek after and what we want to be noticed for, then we diminish ourselves to the status of ornaments…decorations. Where’s the value in that?!
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
To renew is to make something like new; to restore to the state of freshness or perfection; regenerate or to be reborn or converted.
The -ing of renewing shows us that this is an ongoing process. Renewing isn’t a one time deal. The only way for us to be transformed is for us to continue to daily restore and perfect our minds and make it something new. Change our minds, change our lives. We cannot do this outside the word of God and without the Holy Ghost dwelling in our hearts.
The Mind of Christ
Philippians2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Interestingly, I was talking to a friend recently and she made a common statement, “I started to go with my first mind.” Funny, huh?! How many minds do we have???
I know my friend meant she started to go with her first thought. Yet, I made the comment for us to be single-minded and to have the mind of Christ. If we LET the same mind of Christ be in us, which means this is something we allow and choose, we’d be transformed even the more. Hello perfection!!
We no longer have to ask one another, “What would Jesus do?” We’d already know what He’d do because we’d think and see things just like He does. Talk about walking in the Spirit and not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh! However, we cannot get there without hiding His Word in our hearts.
James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Grow Good Thoughts
What’s growing in your mind? Are you watering seeds of doubt, envy, self-worthlessness, pride, uncleanliness, fornication, strife, bitterness or hatred? The list can go on and on.
What you take the time to nurture eventually grows up strong. Do you really want to feed and nurture something that can destroy you?
I hope that your thoughts will be on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praise worthy.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
I used to make New Year’s Resolutions, but now I make what I call God Resolutions—affirming determinations and decisions to remain bound to Jesus Christ and the purposes and promises He has for me. I found that I don’t need a new year to change or be better; all I need is Jesus and the mind to live holy. Continue to dedicate yourself to God like the day you did when you first fell in love with Him.
If any of these things sound familiar or repetitive, good. They are. There’s nothing wrong with reinforcement and calling these things to our remembrance.
Sometimes I slip into health coaching mode. For example, I know it’s good to have a definitive start time for whatever program or plan you want to ensue. But Jesus is not a program or plan. When it comes down to Christ, there’s no better time to chase after Him and pursue His will like today.
I know there are a lot of “feel good” humanistic teachings on the market. But, the only way you or I can live our best life is through Jesus Christ. Everything else is sinking sand.
“If you love me, you will show me.” How many times have you heard or said this? I have an expression: Love has legs and it walks.
Is your love sitting down? Are you holding back? Is your love resting on words and not on actions and truth?
1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
Choose to Prove Your Love
Love is an action and a choice. What we do to show someone we love them says more than the words that come out of our mouths. If our actions and words do not line up, it’s time to do a heart check. Perhaps there’s some lingering unforgiveness, insecurities, apathy, or lack of humility.
Did you know that even Jesus wants us to prove our love to Him? It’s not good enough for us to simply say we love the Lord; we must show we love Him. This is done through obeying His Word.
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Even in our relationships with family and friends, our actions carry more weight than what we say. Our actions offer credibility. We have something a little more concrete at our disposal. Actions matter more in defining a person’s character and establishing his/her reputation.
Proverbs 20:11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
There is a connection between what we say and what we do. Our thoughts and intentions influence our words. Our words influence our actions. But somewhere on the journey between words and actions, we have a choice to block what we say from becoming deeds or not—positive or negative.
Bravo when we block those things that are negative and unfruitful. But let’s allow positive, life-giving words to manifest into actions that the whole world can see.
Wait! There’s more. There’s the matter of truth. Yes, people can fake it and go through empty rituals, or just go through the motions. In whatever you do to SHOW or PROVE your love, let it be true. If it isn’t, rest assured others will eventually be able to tell. When it comes to God, nothing is hidden from Him. He knows if we’re being real or not. So, please…no masks. Authenticity to the fullest.
How to Stay in God’s Love
John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
As long as we continue to obey the Lord, we remain in His love. Isn’t that a beautiful thought?