Thursday, August 6, 2015

WOG Feature: Esther Garcia: Modesty Inside & Out

(article written by Esther Garcia; used w/ permission)

“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man; neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are an abomination unto the LORD thy God.” Deuteronomy 22:5

I remember being a bit shocked when I first heard of this verse. Not because I didn’t know that us women should not wear men’s clothing, but I was surprised that there was a verse clear as day that commands us not to. To our God, it is an “abomination”, something “God can NOT stand.”

As I write what God puts in my heart to share with you ladies, I pray that you will not only read this but also understand and APPLY it to your own personal life. Also please know that this is not only for you; I also need to apply this to my own life every day. I too have once been through the stage where I didn’t want to be seen modest or different from all the rest of the girls out in the world. Then I came to think...was it a stage or was it because I didn’t have the mind of Christ? By God’s grace and mercy, He has set me free and made me realize how special we are to be called His daughters! We were called to be His LIGHT! “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” Matthew 5:14. We were called to SHINE for Him and to be a help for this world, and I think it is such an awesome privilege! Praise Be To God!

Modesty is not what most girls think it is. Yes, it does have to do with what you wear, but there is so much more to it! Modesty is part of our lives. 
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30. 
It also has to do with how we live for God, and the life style we have every single day. What’s the point of dressing modest if we don’t read God’s word or talk to Him in our daily lives? Who are we really trying to please? Lord help us not be like those that the Lord talked about in Matthew 15:8 “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me….” The main thing I want to point out to you ladies is that in our HEARTS is where modesty begins. “The fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Knowledge….” Proverbs 1:7, if we fear God, in other words, have a reverence to His presence, then everything else will
fall in its place, including modesty. Having that fear in our hearts is like planting a seed of modesty. Little by little, the Lord will start showing you what He wants for your life and He will also show you what He doesn’t want for your life.

Now you might be wondering, “Well how do I start?” We just have to read Proverbs 1:7, we start when we realize our lives haven’t been truly faithful to God, and when we begin to have a fear, a respect, then that’s when you come before His presence and ask Him to help you. Believe me, if you truly want to change, He WILL help you. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand…” Isaiah 41:10

Now with clothing, I’ve  heard so many negative responses when it has to do with how we dress, like: ” I don’t want to look like an old lady, there’s no modest clothing in stores nowadays, dressing modest is like dressing like a nun, my body doesn’t look good in certain types of modest clothing…” and so forth. 
Now, understand that if we had a relationship with God we wouldn’t be making excuses or any negative comment like the ones I just mentioned.

As for "looking like an old lady", I’ve seen so many girls that dress modest and they look so beautiful, especially when they have a relationship with God. You can just sense it and that stands out more than how they dress. Of course you’re not going to be dressing like a homeless person or just not care how your outer appearance looks like. We don’t want to scare people away either. The Lord tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19,”….know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own.” He is telling us that our bodies are a temple and we represent Him. This an amazing privilege that we must take seriously! 
I pray this article was of help to your life. May it also inspire you to dress and live like the daughter of God you are! God bless you young ladies!

WOG: {Women of God}

hello all! I am going to begin a series of blog posts featuring several women of God. I am so excited for this and I pray you may all be blessed through this.
Let me know what you think below!
your sister in Christ,

Monday, May 25, 2015

WOG Feature: Gretchen Saffles: Quiet Times

Article written by Gretchen S. from LLB:
Early in my high school years when I was learning what "Give Me Jesus" really meant, I made a decision to start having time with Jesus each day. I grew up in a Christian home and attended a Christian school for most of my life. Even with that kind of upbringing, I struggled to see how losing sleep in the mornings to read God’s Word would truly benefit me. I would have had to wake up around 5:45 AM to have time in God’s Word before heading to school at 7:00 (which is crazy early for a high school student!). I remember getting home late one evening from school and realizing that I would only get a few hours of sleep if I woke up at 5:45 to have my quiet time. I prayed and asked God to wake me up and left it at that.
The next morning, at 5:40, I sprang up out of bed. I remember looking at the clock and smiling as the Lord whispered to me that He longs to spend time with me and would give me the extra strength I needed to make it through the day. I don’t remember the exact date of that morning, but it changed me. The Lord used it to show me three things:
  1. He will replace the sleep I miss with His own strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
  2. He desires we meet with Him secretly before we meet with the world.
  3. The way I spend the first moments of the morning affects the rest of my day.
These three truths have proved true in my desire to spend time alone with the Lord daily. He will give me the strength I need (even when it means less sleep), He desires to meet with me and tell me “great and unsearchable things I did not know” (Jeremiah 33:3), and these moments affect there rest of my day. The same is true for you! You must learn this personally and privately as your seek to know God through His Word! The enemy will do everything to distract you from the necessity of being in God’s Word each day, but once we have tasted and seen God’s goodness in His Word, there is no turning back. No other will satisfy the hunger in our hearts.
Each day, my quiet time routine changes, mainly because my schedule changes with each season of life. I say this because there is no secret or exact layout for having a quiet time in Scripture. There is no hour that is better than another. Generally, I rise before dawn when the sun is still hiding and about to wake up the world (my favorite moment of the day!). This is usually between 6:30-7:30. The night before, either my husband or I will set up our coffee pot to turn on about 6:00 so it is ready when we come downstairs. I have loved this in the mornings! Having prepared the night before sets me up for waking up early. I will make a cup of coffee and go sit in my usual spot on our green couch. One rule I have made and God has been gracious to help me implement is not to have my phone with me when I open up His Word. This is a daily choice I have to make and I don’t always succeed. Just the presence of my phone sitting near me is distracting and I want to make sure our time is holy and set apart from the distractions of the world. So I will either leave it in our room or in the kitchen.
I keep my Bible and any devotionals I am reading next to the couch, ready for me to open each morning. I have made it a habit to read from the Bible first before any devotionals so I don’t substitute the Word’s of God for the words of man. Usually, I go through books of the Bible at a time. Later in the series we will go through a breakdown of how ways to study Scripture. This is the main portion of my quiet time - studying, gleaning, praying, asking, seeking, knocking and finding. Some days I feel like I’ve found a pot of gold, others I find a small gem. Nonetheless, all mornings I spend with the Lord are the most valuable times of my day.


How I spend my mornings affects how I spend the rest of my day. With this, I have learned that I cannot spend time on Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, or Facebook before spending time in Scripture. This used to be a habit that took a lot of my time and stole a lot of joy. Satan used it to distract my heart and redirect it toward myself and the world rather than Christ. For a while, I had to delete social media from my phone to get rid of the temptation. How I spend the first ten minutes of my day affects the rest of the day. If I hit snooze 5 times, I have already lost precious moments alone in the Word. If I immediately check emails or Instagram, I am usually struck with an urgency to work or even worldly insecurities. If I scroll through Facebook, I waste time and feel distracted. But if I turn the alarm off and walk downstairs, my heart is focused and ready to spend time with Jesus.
Scripture Challenge _LLB
One challenge I have for you is to evaluate the first ten minutes of your day. How we spend our morning moments affects the following hours. There is something precious and important about focusing first on Jesus so our schedules revolve around Him. 
You will never leave hungry after spending time in Scripture with Jesus. You will never be disappointed by His Word. That is a guarantee. A quiet time is more than an Instagram opportunity, it is a holy moment of communing with God. Spend time in the secret with the Lord each day and commit your first ten minutes to Him. He is worthy of the first, worthy of the last, and worthy of every moment in between.
I would love to hear from you! When do you have your quiet times?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

waiting for the right "one" :

I Will Wait for You
"...And I will know you
because when you speak,
I will be reminded of Solomon’s wisdom,
your ability to lead will remind me of Moses,
your faith will remind me of Abraham,
your confidence in God’s Word will remind me of Daniel,
your inspiration will remind me of Paul,
your heart for God will remind me of David,
your attention to detail will remind me of Noah,
your integrity will remind me of Joseph,
and your ability to abandon your own will, will remind me of the disciples,
but your ability to love selflessly & unconditionally will remind me of Christ.
But I won’t need to identify you by any special Matthews
or any special marks,
’cause His Word will be tatted all over your heart.
And you will know me,
and you will find me,
the boldness of Esther
meets the warm closeness of Ruth,
where the hospitality of Lydia
is aligned with the submission of Mary,
which is engulfed in the tears of a praying Hannah.
I will be the one,
drenched in Proverbs 31,
waiting for you.
But to my Father,
my Father who has known me before I was birthed into this earth,
only if You should see fit.
I desire Your will above mine.
So even if you call me to a life of singleness,
my heart is content with You–the One who was sent.
You are the greatest love story ever told,
the greatest love ever known.
You are forever my judge & I’m forever Your witness,
and I pray that I’m always found on a mission about my Father’s business.
I will always be Yours,
and I will always wait for You, Lord.
More than the watchmen wait for the morning,
more than the watchmen wait for the morning,
I will wait."

I really like this poem & so I wanted to share it with all of you.
God has perfect timing. We don't even need to be worrying about who we will marry right now. Focus on developing an intimate relationship with your Creator; Build your life around Him, and only Him. Don't give your heart & emotions away in temporary relationships. Hold out for the person God will one day bring into your life. God will honor your patience. 

"And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction."
1 Corinthians 7:35


The full poem can be found here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Experiences In Israel: 11/01/14-11/14/14


I want to start off by giving thanks to the Lord for the trip made to the Holy Land last November (my first time!). It was such a blessing, and I feel that I can’t describe exactly/accurately what it felt, being there. I’d like to share one of my experiences in the following text…

{“AMI Group!” hollered our tour guide, Daniel.
“We are going to the Western Wall!”
I felt my heart stir within me. I was finally going to see a place I had only heard of and seen in pictures. It felt so surreal. Like a dream.
We arrived at one of the entrances and had to go through security check; they opened our bags and had us go through a large metal detector. When everyone was finally checked, we proceeded. The men went to the left section, and the women went to the right.
We put on our coverings and walked over to where there were already several women praying and reading their prayer books. I remember one particular woman crying with the book on her face and constantly kissing her beloved Book of Prayers. It was incredible being there, realizing that we both were praying to the same Almighty God.
I found a spot to pray in the middle of the women’s section. As soon as I touched the Wall, I felt as if an electric current had went through my entire body. The Lord’s Divine Presence was so strong and tangible, that I just couldn’t hold it in. Tears started streaming down my face as I put my hands and face on the Wall. I looked up and saw thousand upon thousands of rolled-up petitions in the wall and scattered about on the floor. Pictures of loved ones sticking out of the cracks. I reached into my purse, and took out the petitions I had received from some of my loved ones in the U.S. I found the perfect crack to fit them in and cried out to the Lord, asking Him to answer according to His will. To hear the cry of His people asking for these petitions.
In the background, I could hear the rabbis praying and crying with so much fervor and an intensity so great. A couple of men began to sing in Hebrew. Tears streamed down my face. I felt something that I had never experienced before in my life, something so beautiful, and peaceful.
I felt a tug on my jacket and looked down. It was one of the little girls in my group. We had to go. I felt disappointed that we had to leave so soon. Time seemed to fly when we were there.
We walk backwards, reverent and careful not to turn our back on the Wall, where God’s Divine Presence dwells day & night…}

I thank my God for this experience, and for the trip as a whole. It was something that really & truly impacted my life. The trip also made me so much more grateful for the Lord’s marvelous grace in allowing us to be “…grafted in among them (God’s Chosen People), and with them partaking of the root and fatness of the olive tree:” (Romans 11:17)
I pray that all who read this will be encouraged to take part of the upcoming 2015 Israel Trip, in November/December.
I ask that you please remember me in your prayers, as I need so much more of God in my life.

God bless each and every one of you.

PS (you might recognize this from my article in the Maranatha. It's the same exact thing, but written in English instead of Spanish.) I pray that this blesses you as you read it.

Jasmine <3