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?

Spiritual Warfare: Local Missions + At Risk Youth = Deliverance

mentorQuestion: Did you know mentorship of a child is one of the strongest strategies to combat modern social ills affecting youth?

Big Brothers Big Sisters, Intermedia arts programs, school tutoring, and school coaching are great ways to love a child outside of the Church. These programs exist with the purpose of proactively countering the negative environments at risk children often live in. Children are vulnerable and need nurturing in general. Children are even more vulnerable when they have experienced rejection and/or abuse. Bravo Body of Christ for spreading the word about gangs and trafficking of children! Some of you are already personally engaged in countering these social ills through education and financial support. It’s fantastic that we pack out coffee shops and Churches to hear about modern day slavery and gangs. Now we also need a lot of you to take a leap of faith and pack out the local youth mentorship programs. These programs are strategically in place to PREVENTATIVELY curb the gateways to gangs, trafficking/prostitution, and other forms of abuse. The goal is to continually engage positive adult role modeling to at risk youth. At risk = risk for gangs, risk for trafficking/prostitution, risk for abuse. The enemy can maintain a tight grip on these socials ills as long as the Body is inactive in engaging youth outside of the Church. We know you care about these kids. Please join one of the above organizations or others like it to individually counter the works of the enemy. A small minority of the local and larger American Church is involved in one to one or group mentorship of at risk children. Imagine if every healthy adult Believer was involved in a weekly youth mentorship or coaching program. The enemy would surely lose a lot of ground. Trade in one day per week that you might ordinarily devote to other things (i.e. discussion groups, coffee dates, shopping) to mentor a child. You are the very person vulnerable children need to see regularly to counter the garbage the world is offering through gangs, trafficking, and other illicit activities. Many mentorship programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters offer family mentorship options that allow you and your family (children included) to mentor another family or child. This is great exposure and education of your family in how to demonstrate Christ love to others in need. If you don’t know where to start, check out Big Brothers Big Sisters, Volunteermatch.org, local Churches, and/or local school district(s) to get involved today.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Proverbs 31:8

If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered. Proverbs 21:13

Photo Credits: Mentor; Book

Spiritual Warfare: Hospitality v. Favoritism

hospitality v favoritismDo not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2

Hmmm the challenge to the Body of Christ*. Yes! Such a simple thing, be hospitable to everyone. We have no idea who God will send across our paths. Abba requires our impartiality and welcoming others. And sorry friends…SELECTIVE HOSPITALITY…is NOT HOSPITALITY. That would be FAVORITISM which Abba forbids. If Abba does not have favorites, why does the Body of Christ? Favoritism in the Body of Christ is counter to Christ, it is not of Christ, and Abba is challenging us to cancel the lie that we believe justifies accepting, excluding, etc others because of our personal philosophy, branding, culture, race etc. If you are participating in exclusion practices, rethink it. This includes purposely avoiding other Believers. This is not hospitality and not of God. Rethink this my friends. Abba is very clear about this. To grow the Body of Christ, you must be hospitable. Period. Selective hospitality is not hospitality. That is favoritism.

Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality” Acts 10:34

Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of any man, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it. Deuteronomy 1:17

For there is no partiality with God. Romans 2:11

Be hospitable to one another without complaint. 1 Peter 4:9

The Body of Christ needs healing. Massive defection of Believers from the Church is not acceptable and not saying anything about it is especially not acceptable. Abba has commissioned (Great Commission) us to bring individuals to the Body of Christ not create exclusive social clubs. Remove the callous over our hearts and scales off the eyes.

My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court? Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called? If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. James 2:1-8

Abba, have mercy on us and pierce our hearts. We repent of our favoritism in using race, age, gender, social status, and all other human forms of judgment to welcome or reject others. Forgive us Father. Bind up the hardened, calloused hearts and blind eyes within us and loose your supernatural vision to us of the hurting in the name and Blood of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Amen

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Related Resources: Living on the Edge
Photo Credit: Amen-Amen

*Note: The posting is in reference to no particular congregation but the larger Body of Christ.

Dating & Marriage 101: Hey you! Wanna have some fun? Let’s Do it!

counterfeitThere’s a fun Cole Porter song called “Let’s Do it”.  It’s a cute early jazz standard about falling in love.  Have you ever found yourself bopping away to songs like this 1928 ditty and then find yourself going, “What?!”

When the little bluebird
Who has never said a word
Starts to sing Spring
When the little bluebell
At the bottom of the dell
Starts to ring Ding dong Ding dong
When the little blue clerk
In the middle of his work
Starts a tune to the moon up above
It is nature that is all
Simply telling us to fall in love

And that’s why birds do it, bees do it
Even educated fleas do it
Let’s do it, let’s fall in love
Cold Cape Cod clams, ‘gainst their wish, do it
Even lazy jellyfish do it
Let’s do it, let’s fall in love
I’ve heard that lizards and frogs do it
Layin’ on a rock
They say that roosters do it
With a doodle and cock
Some Argentines, without means do it
I hear even Boston beans do it
Let’s do it, let’s fall in love

When the little bluebird
Who has never said a word
starts to sing Spring spring spring
When the little bluebell
At the bottom of the dell
Starts to ring Ding ding ding
When the little blue clerk
In the middle of his work
Starts a tune

The most refined lady bugs do it
When a gentleman calls
Moths in your rugs they do it
What’s the use of moth balls
The chimpanzees in the zoos do it,
Some courageous kangaroos do itLet’s do it, let’s fall in love
I’m sure sometimes on the sly you do it
Maybe even you and I might do it
Let’s do it, let’s fall in love – Cole Porter

 

The last time I really listened to these lyrics, I had that “What?!” moment.  While the song speaks “innocently” of doing it or falling in love, there seems to be an undertone of something more.  The phrase do it in 20th and 21st century American culture has a whole meaning of its own and we’re not talking love.  I don’t recall learning in biology class about lady bugs and moths doing it or falling in love as Mr. Porter describes.  But I do recall learning in biology about their mating and reproductive habits.  I mean seriously, is he really encouraging us to be like lady bugs?  Sorry, I’m not signup up for that.  Double entendres are used often in media and could it be that this song is one of the earliest examples of media being used to promote something that counters God’s natural design.  If we were to do it like the lady bugs or bumblebees, we’d be purely mating and reproducing without any regard for the love God brings through the husband wife union.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, Galatians 5:22

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 1 Corinthians 13:4

Not once in any of these references does Abba describe or promote doing it.  But he does spend an extra amount of time describing how we should actually avoid the passion that this classic and other popular songs alludes we should desire.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; Never harm or cheat a Christian brother in this matter by violating his wife, for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before. God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another. Indeed, you already show your love for all the believers throughout Macedonia. Even so, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you to love them even more. Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others. 2 Thessalonians 4:3-12

Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.  1 Corinthians 6:18

I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged. 2 Corinthians 12:21

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery. Galatians 5:19

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Ephesians 5:3

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:5

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Hebrews 13:4

One of the things I’ve come to learn through Bible study is that repetition counts.  Anything a writers spends time repeating topics and themes, we should take notice that this is an area of high importance to Abba.  God calls the believer to live a life of purity NOT PASSION.  Anything that is encouraging us to live in PASSION is counter to Christ (yep that’d make it anti-Christ) and will earn us a one way ticket to the prince of the air’s promise land.  If you like it hot and steamy, you’ll get an eternal, endless supply of it there.  We’ve all seen the romantic comedies, soap operas, or friends display the “romantic love” (translation = lust).  Our imaginations get going and we ourselves become immersed in the passion that Abba tells us to avoid.  Something inside of us says do it.  That something encourages us to pursue that hot and steamy mess that violates and defiles the temple that Abba gave you.  That something is not of Christ but of the anti-Christ.

Here’s a wonderful excerpt from Grace to You
God’s will is that you be sanctified. Now what does exactly that mean? Let’s get real practical. Four things he says. One, that is, i.e., that you abstain from sexual immorality. Now we’re getting real practical. Stay away from sex sins. Somebody says, “How far away?” Far enough away to be separated from all sexual sin – very practical. This is God’s will. Sometimes you have a couple come in and want to get married and they sit in the office and I say, “Tell me a little bit about yourself. When did you meet?” And so forth and so forth. And through the years, I’ve always asked a question somewhere on the line, “Are you engaged in sinful sexual behavior?” It’s a direct approach. And then you see these, sometimes shining faces saying, “No,” and you know, “We’re waiting until marriage.” Sometimes these faces fall and sheepish looks and my response is, “Well, if you’re conducting yourself knowingly out of the will of God and are unwilling to obey the will of God which is revealed, then why would you assume that it’s the will of God for this relationship to go on?” Sometimes they’ll say, “You know, we think it’s God’s will for us to get married.” The first question is, “Are you committing sexual sin together? Because if you are you’re not in the will of God now. You got to back up. Go back, reestablish that relationship on a pure level. And when you have been obedient to that which is known to be the will of God, you’ll be in a position for God to disclose to you, pretty clearly, what is his will about what is not revealed.” Stay away from sexual sin. And of course it’s ubiquitous. It’s everywhere, always has been, there’s nothing new under the sun, just comes in different forms. Stay away from sex sin. And he gets more specific, verse 4, “Each of you should know how to possess his own vessel,” that’s body, “in sanctification and honor.” Handle your body to honor God. Handle your body in a pure way. Keep your body pure. Continuing reading sermon…HERE

Now unless you’re having hot and steamy fun with your spouse, I would encourage you to NOT DO IT.  Maybe you’ve spent the last few years “having a little fun”, “messing around a little”, or simply doing it without being married or with someone who is not your spouse.  Well my friend, you have been duped.  What you have is not love but passionate lust.  The father of lies (John 8:44) has done a masterful job of changing the description of love.  Abba created love, defined it, and gives it to us.  The prince of the air (Ephesians 2:2) has given you a COUNTER FIT LOVE also known as lust also known as premarital sex also known as messing around also know as having a little fun also known as sexual sin.  Sons and daughters of the most high, my challenge to you is ask yourself if what you are pursuing is God’s love or Counter fit love.  Any relationship that lands you in the back of a car, in your boy/girlfriend’s apartment/house, or only God knows where else, is NOT LOVE.  And I might challenge you to consider if the “Christian boy/girlfriend” who is encouraging to disobey Abba, is really a “Christian”.  Really?  Yes my dear one, really (see 2 Corinthians 11:14).  🙂  It might be hot and steamy passion but it’s NOT LOVE.  It’s time for the Body of Christ and the world to turn from this corporate stronghold of worldly love.  This worldly love is lust and is not of Christ but of the anti-Christ.  This worldly, hot and steamy love of doing it will earn you not the love that God intends but a bigger hole in your heart and possibly eternal separation from our Abba.

Abba, we repent of participating in the counter fit love of the world and we commit ourselves in purity to you.  We ask that you would bind up the lust of our flesh, the lust of our eyes, and the pride of life.  We ask that you would bind up all unclean, seducing spirits and all incubus and succubus spirits attacking us.  And we ask that you loose your Holy Spirit upon us and cleanse us Lord.  Purify us Lord, create within us a new heart that is consecrated to you.  Open the eyes and ears of our hearts Lord to listen to you and accept your truths.  Help us to be obedient and cancel Satan’s entrance into our lives via worldly love, lust, and sexual sin.  We are your sons and daughters Abba and are free from being the sons and daughters of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2).  We thank you for your merciful grace and continuing to perfect us.  Thank you Abba and please cover us in the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ.  – Amen

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Photo Credit: Unfinishedman.com

Book Club: Daughter’s Reading List 2012

The Good Book

  1. Perry Stone’s Purging Your House, Pruning Your Family Tree.  Topic – Generational Sins & Spiritual Warfare
  2. John & Mark Sandford’s A Comprehensive Guide to Deliverance and Inner Healing.  Topic – Inner Healing
  3. Kenneth E. Hagin’s Following God’s Plan For Your Life.  Topic – Living the Holy Spirit Led Life
  4. Henry Cloud & John Townsend’s Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No.  Topic – Setting Limits
  5. Nancy Leigh Demoss’ Lies Women Believe: And the Truth That Sets Them Free.  Topic – Biblical Truths
  6. Greg Boyd’s Present Perfect: Finding God in the Now.  Topic – Contentment
  7. Lisa Bevere’s Lioness Arising.  Topic – Women’s leadership

*Books are not ranked in any particular order.

Photo Credit: Freepik

Discernment: Daughters

DaughtersNancy Alcorn is a phenomenal woman.  She is the founder of Mercy Ministries.  Her message has been imprinted on my heart forever.  Anyone who has worked with young women especially from impoverished backgrounds has worked with many of the “daughters” she describes.  I could identify with Nancy’s struggle with trying to help these young girls who are hurting but being limited by church and state rules.  Many of the hurts the girls feel are major scars inflicted from abuse experienced at young ages.  Fast forward to the preteen and teens and you have the byproduct of that abuse: angry, young women who do not trust.  They are mad, they don’t smile, they’re curious as to why you want to help them, they are amazed you would spend your free time doing something for them and not want anything back, and in/out of juvenile or adult correction facilities. 

I love children and especially teenage girls.  Nancy’s message is one that everyone should hear, but especially those that work with young girls.  Nancy has no birth children, but she has many “daughters” that God has entrusted her to raise up.  I will share a brief story about one of Nancy’s daughters.  Nancy spent 5 years working in a women’s juvenile correction facility.  She could see so much potential in these girls and could not believe the world counted these girls out of ever being productive.   God placed upon her heart one girl, one “daughter”.  Over the course of her daughter’s stay, she had the opportunity to share God.  Her daughter had experienced horrific abuse and developed gender identity issues.  Upon her daughter’s release from the facility, Nancy prayed with her and instructed her to find a church within her community so that she could be among other believers and truly accept Christ (spiritual baptism).  Nancy told her that she would be accepted.  The girl was hesitant about this and didn’t believe she would be accepted but she followed Nancy’s instructions.

Many months later, Nancy received a phone call from her daughter’s birth mother.  Her daughter had shot herself in the head and left a gut wrenching note.  She wrote that she went to the local church as she was instructed and she was not accepted.  She was laughed at and judged by her appearance.  So this daughter, went home feeling rejected by the church body who Nancy declared would accept her.  This daughter ended it all before she could experience the joy God had planned for her.   Nancy’s beautiful daughter was heavy with judgment and shame.  She only wanted to be accepted and loved.  There was an opportunity within the church body to love her, but it was squandered.   She ended her life after she was rejected and judged by “believers”.  The TRUTH is that all of God’s believers are sons/daughters of God.  We are coheir’s with Christ (Romans 8:17). The TRUTH is we believers sit at the right hand of God with Christ in the heavenlies above the principalities of this world (Ephesians 2:6).   The moment we accept Christ, we are given the authority over our homes and families and friends.  WE ARE ABOVE the principalities of this world and devil.

The Lord says to live by faith not by sight, trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto our own understanding, and anything not done in faith is sin.  God is challenging us to LOVE!  Nancy said it and a great pal of mine says it “Love on ‘em”.  We are comfortable with our close group of Christian friends but meeting/talking with random strangers feels super awkward.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if we would jump outside of our boxes, step away from our shyness, step away from the mental fear, and jump into the ocean of God.  Interrupt that person dashing for the exit door or texting.  Talk to that person of a different age, style of dress, background, etc.  Introduce yourself and let God lead you.  Satan wants us to be standoffish and make assumptions.  He wants us to be complacent and do nothing.  Reject his LIES and accept the TRUTH…Love.  James 2:2-9 describes well what God’s feels about judgment or favoritism.

Lord, let your words be a Blessing to the readers of your Word and this message.  Speak to us as your Spirit wills, so that we may bear eternal fruit for your kingdom.  Amen

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Photo Credit: Tumblr