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Archive for June, 2014

Realization of Your Hope

“Now we want each of you to demonstrate the same diligence

for the final realization of your hope,

so that you

won’t become lazy

but

will be imitators

of those who inherit the promises

through faith and perseverance.”

~ Hebrews 6:11-12

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“Modesty is a virtue that shows love to others and brings glory to God through appropriate dress.”
~Tim Challies

“True Beauty seeks to draw attention to Jesus Chris above all in everything she does and in everything she puts on. She knows that what she wears is an accurate expression of what is in her heart.” (thefulltimegirl.com)

“You don’t need to expose your body to be labelled beautiful.”  ~Faatima Abrahams

“Your adornment must not be merely external– braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”  ~I Peter 3:3-4

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Adornment, what a science!
Beauty, what a weapon!
Modesty, what ELEGANCE!
~ Coco Chanel

I have to be honest with you and tell you that my rebellious nature is really balking over what I am about to admit to you… I have begun to sound like my mother (I’m sure she’s snickering right now).

I wondered why I was freaking out about modesty all of a sudden. Then it hit me. This is no longer about pushing the boundaries; I have embraced the need for modesty in my life. (Wait… modesty isn’t just for young?!) Why? I think it has to do with being aware of how people perceive me and that I could be the only bit of Jesus that they ever see. If I have “all my business” hanging out – what are they seeing?

Here’s how I want them to see me: I want to be classy, elegant, honoring to God and respectful of myself. I want others to see that I am modest. Modesty isn’t just about the body – it’s about the condition of your heart… the WHY.

Why choose modesty? I find my answer in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT):

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit,

who lives in you and was given to you by God?

You do not belong to yourself,

for God brought you with a high price.

So you must honor God with your body.”

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MODEST –

Not because I think I’m responsible for other’s sin.
Not because I’m ashamed of my God-given beauty.
Because I’m a daughter of the King of Kings.
Because I’m an ambassador of Christ.
Because I am saved by grace, living as a pilgrim in this world, with one mission:
TO GLORIFY HIM!

(evelynboutique.com)

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I grew up in a pretty traditional and conservative home. My mom accepted God’s sacrifice (John 3:16) when I was 4 years of age, and my dad re-dedicated his life around the same time. I have gone to church for what seems like forever. My first memories take me all the way back to that big church from my childhood.
Just because I have always gone to church does not mean that God and I have always been close. I was a rebel and pushed every limit that I could – TV shows, movies, music, even the limits of what was permissible in the clothing department. Yes, I tried to wear short things, tight things, things that were not age appropriate or showed too much of me to others.

My mom was very careful about what clothes were purchased for me. No plunging necklines. No short shorts. My swimsuits were always non-revealing. My bellybutton was firmly encased in fabric. While I tried to push the limits of my wardrobe, my parents were quick to send me back to my room to change if I were out of bounds.

Thomas S. Monson said “You can dress attractively without being immodest. Within the Lord’s guidelines there is room for you to be lively, vibrant, and beautiful – both in your dress and actions.”

1 Peter 2:11-12 (NLT) says,  “Dear friends, I warn you as ‘temporary residents and foreigners’ to keep away from wordly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior and they will give honor to god when He judges the world.”

If you are reading this and you are a parent, grand parent, auntie, etc. – please know that one of the best things that you can do for the young ladies in your life is to teach them to value themselves. Encourage modesty. We aren’t talking about being ashamed of yourself. We are talking about being respectful of yourself and others. Yes, you are going to make them mad when you make them change or refuse to purchase something that is not acceptable. You will likely hear the words “I hate you” or “I wish I was never born.” It’s tough to go against the flow of mainstream. It’s even tougher when you are being forced to go against the mainstream.

Take heart, the hate isn’t real and it doesn’t last forever. Your job is to teach and protect. Do your job, and God will honor your effort.

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One of my favorite days every year is the day that the sun is shining and it is finally warm enough to bring my hibernating toes out of my winter boots, slip on my flip-flops and let them get a little sun! Here in Michigan, we have begun to experience some hot days and I am sporting my summer flip-flop tan already.

This week, you will read some quotes and thoughts about how much of us is viewable by others.

I’ve been wearing my flip-flops while working on this series and I have to be honest and tell you that my toes a little (ok, a lot) bruised. I guess it’s true that if your toes don’t get stepped on once in a while, you aren’t learning or growing. Modesty is something that has been in the forefront of my mind over the last few months.

What are you showing others? What are others seeing in your choices and actions – what are you telling them about your relationship with Jesus?

I Corinthians 10:31:  “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

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It is the weekend!  After a long week, there is light at the end of the tunnel…a little rest, a chance to get things done on our to-do list, perhaps some fun has been planned.

As your week is winding down, take a moment to think back and identify the various ways God’s grace has shined down upon you in some way.  Perhaps it was an indirect hit of His grace…a dear friend or someone in your life enjoyed a vivid experience of God’s grace and you saw it or heard about it and were blessed in the process.  Perhaps you yourself had a vivid experience where God’s unmerited favor stepped in to your life and left you changed. Or perhaps you saw a quieter display of God’s grace in your life in “the little things” of your week…small (yet important) moments of grace found in the sticky sweet hug of a child, or the precious shared glance with a loved one over dinner, or in the revelation of God in a devotional moment, or in the exercise of His grace by the use of a spiritual gift He has given you in service to others.

Now that you have identified ways God’s grace has shown up in your life this week, consider taking a moment to thank Him for His Grace on Display in your life!  His generosity is indeed worthy of our praise!

Praise the LORD.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;

his love endures forever.

Psalm 106:1

 

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