KINGDOM LOOK BOOK: Fashion Sense and Cents

FASHION SENSE AND CENTS

You know how you eye doctor asks you “One” or “Two” during your annual eye exam? They want to know which set of letters you think is the better choice. Well today we have a similar opportunity. Take a few minutes to examine the 7 rows of pictures labeled “A” or “B”. Record “A” or “B” for the outfit out of the pair you would wear and then check out your Fashion Sense and Cents results. Have fun!

1&2
Row 1: Bracelets
Row 2: Summer Chic

3&4
Row 3: Holiday Party
Row 4: Night on the Town

5 & 6
Row 5: Dinner Party
Row 6: Spring Casual

7
Row 7: Happy New Year!

YOUR RESULTS:

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. – 1 Peter 3:3-5

Proverbs 31 Leaning (A, B, A, B, B, A, B – answered by descending rows):
Congratulations! You fit the image of a Proverbs 31 woman: modest. You have great fashion sense and it costs you nothing. You will receive the free gift of eternal life for your modest savvy choices. Until then do not be surprised when you catch the glances of a spirit led and surrendered man of God who will honor and love you and only you as Jesus Christ loves the Church. Amen

Proverbs 7 Leaning (B, A, B, A, A, B, A – answered by descending rows):
Hey girlie! Your style is on FIRE! Cutting edge, plunging “Vs”, and highly hemmed is your look. You have mastered Proverbs 7 style. Your look gets you noticed and has/will snare a few if not many men but it will cost you. The Proverbs 7 style you enlist entices many to desire you and your flesh. Peek-a-boo waist, thigh high skirts and dresses, plunging necklines, skin tight apparel, and blinged out wrists all worn in the name of the demonic art of passion AKA lust. The cost? An eternity separated from the creator of the universe and an earthly life time of unrewarding relationships with religious men who call you sexy, calls themselves Christian yet are unsurrendered to God and in turn are not capable of honoring and loving you as Jesus Christ loves the Church.

THOUGHTS FROM MODERN “CHRISTIAN” WOMEN ON MODESTY:

“God doesn’t mind a little bit of my skin. I’m following the fashion blogs. What’s the big deal?”

“I respect and love my brothers in Christ including their pursuit of purity. My dress has nothing to do with their ability to keep their eyes to themselves. If they are the men of God they call themselves to be, they won’t look.”

“I respect and love my fellow sisters in Christ who are the wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters of my brothers in Christ. They haven’t said anything, so obviously they don’t mind my figure hugging dress, low cut top, thigh high skirt, and tshirt and leggings outfit in our ministry meetings.”

“I want to be a hot Pastor’s wife.”

APPLICATION:

Contrary to worldly opinion, Proverbs 7 style reflects a path of passion, sensuality, and a demonic desire to be pursued in a flirty or sexual way. It is far from the call of the Father to be modest, shame faced (1 Peter 3:3-5), and without lust in our eyes or flesh (1 John 2:15-16). This path ultimately leads us away from the eternal Kingdom and into eternal death (Proverbs 7:27). Our Father is asking each of us to choose today to turn, confess, and repent of this lifestyle. Are you on the Proverbs 7 path? Are you ready to turn? If so, repeat the following prayer.

I (-insert name-) confess and repent of my sin of immodesty, sensuality, lust, and all other forms of sexual immorality in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. I cancel satan’s access to me. Holy Spirit come into my heart and take control of me. Fill me with your spiritual fruit and make me a new creation in Christ Jesus of Nazareth. Amen

Photo Credits: Bing, Google
Related Post: A Proverbs 7 Woman – Is she Marriage Worthy?

The Challenge: A Personal Story

woman in shadowOnce upon a time,
there lived a young brown girl, captivated by the world of beautiful faces and things. Mirrors, magazines, and friends were a constant reminder of “beauty”. Oh how she loved them.

Then entered FB, the queen of “beauty”. Close up…applause…long shot…applause…side shot…applause.

“I like FB” she thought.

Daughter?” He called.

No answer.

“Daughter?” He called again.

“Yes” she answered.

“What are you doing?” He asked.

“What do you mean?” she answered.

“Do you remember this? ‘Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.’” He asked.

“Hmmm” she sighed.

“I challenge you Daughter to die.” He said.

“Die!” She yelled.

“Yes, I challenge you to die to your world of beauty and replace each personal ‘beauty’ shot with a Kingdom shot of Godly content. I further challenge you to truly die to yourself and become nameless.” He declared.

“This is a major sacrifice? What will my friends and family think? They won’t know it’s me. Will they still ‘like’ me?” she thought.

Delete…”what’s going on?”…Delete…”are you okay?”…Delete…no applause.

Weeks Later

“I’m a little sad. This was a huge sacrifice and I get nothing. It’s so quiet around here.“ she thought.

Still Later

“I guess the quiet is not so bad, time to dig in and spend time with the Lord.”

Discernment: What do you Treasure?

Treasure ChartQuestion: What do you treasure?

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

Social media is an excellent tool for exchanging ideas, promoting projects, or promoting self. It very clearly magnifies what is most important to us. For some, its business and culture that are core values, for others its politics, for others it is God and His statues, and yet for others its family and friends.

“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” Matthew 10:37

Part of the Christ centered life is the ongoing evaluation of what matters to us…the most. God wants to ensure that He has our complete heart. He wants no competing idols. Though we may not be worshipping a golden calf like the Israelites (Exodus 32), we may be unknowingly worshipping the various idols of life.

In college and/or professional school many of us learned about the benefits of time management. Some of us even received presentations on the Time Management Pie Chart or what I call the Treasure Chart. The purpose of the chart is to help us identify where our time goes or Biblically speaking what we treasure. It’s a simple visual tool to help us identify what really is number one in our daily lives. For example, if our Treasure Chart shows that 50% of our pie is allocated to social media, 25% is allocated to school, 10% is allocated to sleep, 10% is allocated to socializing with Christian friends sans Abba focused, and 5% is allocated to God (i.e. worship, accountability groups/Bible study, discipleship, service, prayer), we could clearly see that despite our strong feelings that God is number one in our lives, our Treasure Chart hints that our time may actually be skewed towards other things and not God.

Question: How do you identify what you Treasure the most?

Take an inventory of how you spend your time using the Treasure Chart
For instance, in one 48 hour period you spent 8 hours watching television, 4 hours gardening, 4 hours on social media, 16 hours sleeping, 3 hours eating, 8 hours clubbing, 2 hours cleaning, 2 hours working out, and 1 hour honoring God (i.e. worship, accountability/Bible study, discipleship, service, prayer). Then simply divide the number of hours you spent on a particular task by 48 hours. That will be the percentage of time you spent on that particular task. The task(s) with the highest percentages suggest these are the tasks you value or Treasure the most.
Examine your use of Social Media
Look back at your postings over the last one to six months and examine if the majority of your picture and/or article postings on Social Media promote the Gospel of Christ Jesus, your “smokin” hot abs of steel, your incredible lifestyle, or political happenings.
Ask a Biblical friend and/or mentor
These individuals know you the best and live a lifestyle that is a walking billboard for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are the Biblical counsel referenced in Proverbs 15:22. They will be honest and help steer you towards the Cross.
Ask God
You cannot underestimate the value of prayer and Bible study with God. Daily ask God for wisdom and He will answer as James 1:5 declares.

There are many more ways you can examine if God is the number one Treasure of your heart. The key is that you take steps to identify where God lies. Some of you are thinking, “We all spend more time sleeping, eating, and working in a day than we do Bible study or prayer. Does that mean sleeping, eating, and working are number one in our hearts?” NO! God actually values work (see 2 Thessalonians 3:10, Proverbs 31), as it is necessary for earning fruit to maintain the home and supporting the Kingdom. God also values sleep as it is another opportunity for Him to communicate to us (see Psalm 16:7). God is simply asking us to be aware of how we use our time and take the necessary steps to bring Him to the top of our Treasure list. One can work while demonstrating the Believer’s lifestyle of service and love. One can clean the home while meditating on God’s scripture or silently praying to God about the days ahead. One can use social media to share the Gospel of Christ Jesus via words of strengthening, encouraging, and comforting others (1 Corinthians 14:3).

God repeatedly declares that Believers should treasure nothing above Him, not even parents or children (Matthew 10:37). So the challenge to each Believer in Yeshua is to ask yourself, “What do I treasure?” and then the take all the necessary steps to make God number one. AMEN

Abba, we confess and repent of all the idols of the world we have placed before you. We lay the idols of work, of self, of husbands/wives, of friends, of children, and of materialism on the altar and thank you Jesus Christ of Nazareth for sacrificing yourself for us. Holy Spirit come and transform us from the inside out. We ask all of this in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. AMEN

Photo Credit: FE
Related Post: Pastor Joe

Service: Kids Community Spring Fair 2013

kidsfairhdMany are the plans of a man’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

Wow! We serve an amazing God. We had an abundance of children/family participants and community partner volunteers. Everything we needed, God provided. Helmets, healthy food, education session, gym equipment, and most importantly LOVE was provided by volunteers and community partners. In fact we had one additional community partner volunteer join us that we did not anticipate. It was a huge Blessing as this Person of Peace filled a gap in both dentistry and connection to the Somali community. The community partners were from all segments of society: Faith, school, government, private business and non profit. What is even more amazing is that the school and government participants came to us, seeking to participate in our service project. When I was initially contacted about them joining us, I was a bit confused. I thought “Don’t they know this event is in a Church and hosted by Believers in Christ? Aren’t they scared by the scriptures I have posted on my email (as one colleague suggested and insisted I delete as to not potentially offend those who don’t Believe)?” I mean after all the world systems tell us schools, government, and other nations like the Somali community want nothing to do with people like us (Christians). Abba told me to rest and let Him do the work. Abba called me to do two things: love and serve.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35

I remember asking God these questions as a youth: why I was born with brown skin and of the African Diaspora, why I grew up in the inner city amongst all walks of life especially the poor when my parents did not financially have to. I felt and often received ostracism in my youth by peers my Midwestern community as it was “common knowledge” (lies of the enemy) brown skinned people were not as beautiful as fair skinned people and all blacks who live in the inner city are underclassed including me. I resented being of the African Diaspora, resented my parents not moving to the suburbs like many of my peers families did, and I resented being told by oppressionists that because I was of the African Diaspora and from the inner city I was less than they. Fast forward into my thirties and Abba revealed to me that it was those painful racial experiences in my youth and sacrifices made my parents to live Christ by associating and living amongst the poor in my hometown as Romans 12:16 calls that equipped me more than most to do this particular work for the Kingdom. God gave me the call two years ago to love the children and families in the communities much like the one I grew up in. Now I answer. Amen

Highlights from the Kids Community Fair

A kindergartner asking a teenager “How old are you?” The teenager responding “Seventeen”. The kindergartner responding “Wow, you’re old!” The teenager responding “She just called me old.” Me thinking to myself “Just wait until you turn thirty!”

An elderly Somali woman and daughter donating to the Clothing Closet, accepting a cup of coffee and coming in only to be pleasantly surprised by our Person of Peace Somali volunteer (middle aged gentleman) who engaged them in coffee conversation. Shortly after several more Somali friends appeared at the coffee table for conversation.

Prayer: “It takes two”…The Power of Agreement

Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba…dance…and scene.

Okay seriously, do you remember that classic Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston song “It takes Two”?  A classic 60s pop music hit that sent most of our parents and/or grandparents to the dance floor.  Fun times.  So how does this song relate to the Faith?

Again,truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for,it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. Matthew 18:19

When I began working in the Ministry almost two years ago I was charting into unknown territory.  I had no personal experience other than God’s Word and prayer.  Being inexperienced I thought it would be best to get someone with greater experience than I to pray the prayer of agreement according God’s Word in this new Ministry and naturally I sought Pastoral agreement.

Eight months after the birth of the Ministry I began attending a community based prayer group.  One of the things I routinely committed to prayer was our newly developing Ministry and the developing partnerships with other organizations in the Body of Christ.  By God’s grace, our Ministry received agreement in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ from two community Faith based organizations in the mission of serving the underserved.  God answered my prayer!  My prayer group also encouraged me to continue to seek agreement from the organization our Ministry was birthed out of, as we are all one Body and should be in agreement.  I am confident in the work that God is doing through our Ministry and His purposes will be established regardless of outcome.

It takes two baby…..

I attended a conference this Fall with a guest Pastor speaking about the many practical areas of the Christian Faith including prophecy and you guessed it, agreement.  The speaker kept the message very clear and practical.  Agreement is one of the basic principles of advancing the Kingdom of God.  Therefore, if you ask another Believer to pray in agreement with you on any matter according to God’s Word (i.e. relational, Ministry, career) and they pray in agreement with you on this matter, God will give you what you ask in accordance to His decretive and preceptive will. God will never give you something contrary to His Word.  On the other hand, if you ask an individual to agree with you and they tell you “No”, “Let me think about it”, “Let me get back to you”, or “Don’t respond at all”, you will need to find someone else who will agree with you according to Matthew 18:19.  Why?  Simply put, what motivates someone especially another Believer to take up your prayer requests and sit on them?  No worries, God does not say you need to allow your prayer requests to be held hostage by one individual.  God says we just need one other who will agree with us.  So if one does not consent to pray in agreement with you on God’s purposes, find someone else.  The speaker forewarns us against continuing to share personal details and/or prayer requests with individuals who will not stand in agreement with you.  What motivation do they have for collecting your personal details or prayer requests?  Hmmm…good question that I had never considered.

Summary:
If you are seeking agreement on any matter including but not exclusive to Ministry, your marriage, your children, your job, or anything else, God’s Word says according to Matthew 18:19 that it will be given to you if two of you agree.  We need to be on guard and/or flee anyone that holds prayer requests hostage or flatly does not consent to agree with you in prayer.

Again,truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for,it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. Matthew 18:19

– Amen

Related Post: Discernment