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“Everyone else is doing it”

“Everyone else is doing it”
“Everyone is saying it”
“Everyone will be at this party”
“Everyone is seeing this movie”

If you are a parent you are probably all too familiar with your children saying son similar to you..

Or maybe you or your friends have said something like this to each other at one point.

“Everyone else is”….. so you should too…..right?

Wrong.

Sometimes we use the, “Well, everyone is doing it, so I should too” to justify doing something or buying something.

We use it as a means to, “fit in”.
To go with the crowd.
Be “cool” and do what everyone else is doing

The truth is, it’s okay to not follow what everyone else is.

In fact the Bible even warns against going with the crowd.

Exodus 23:2 Do not follow the majority when they do wrong or when they give testimony that perverts justice.

Look, I get it.
Its easy to go with the crowd and do the same thing everyone else is.

Sometimes we see other Christians doing something or saying something, and we use it as a justification to get away with sin.

What we should remember is that, other people should not be our standard for living. Our standard for living should be based off of God.

When we look to others for how we should live life and what is acceptable, we fail to remember that they too are just as flawed and in need of Jesus as we are.

Friends, the next time you use, “Everyone else is doing it”, please take a deep breath and ask yourself if it’s what God would want you to do. 

It’s okay to be unique and different. 

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Women’s bodies are not objects.

modesty.

let’s focus on this word.

Christian culture likes to throw around this word when it comes to the topic of purity. especially when it comes to women. It seems that women are given a higher standard when it comes to modesty.

girls and guys are split up in youth groups to discuss purity. girls are often encouraged to dress more appropriately and modestly while guys on the other hand are encouraged to behave like gentlemen. sayings like “modesty is hottest” or “modesty is the best policy” are thrown around while  the War on Yoga Pants rages on. girls are told they can’t wear a certain t-shirt because it shows too much skin or cleavage.

women are made to feel ashamed of their bodies and are seen as objects.
from what swim suits we can or cannot wear.
to being repulsed to seeing a woman breastfeed.
to being told what we can or cannot wear because our bodies will be a “temptation” to men.
to not being taken seriously after being sexually assaulted or raped and being told, “Well, how did you dress?”

We are basically told that we need to fix ourselves to  accommodate men and their needs.

lets get something out of the way

Modesty is subjective and situational.
It has absolutely everything to do with YOU and YOUR intentions and absolutely nothing to do with anyone else’s sin or temptations.

What one guy may find attractive and tempting, another guy may not.
One guy may be attracted to stomach showing, while another guy might be attracted to fingers or toes, while the third guy may be attracted to cleavage.

Going deeper on this topic, each country and culture has it’s own set of rules on what modesty looks like. If you visit the Middle East, women might be found wearing burkas and that is what “modest” looks like to them, but men still get turned on from women in burkas. Whereas, if you go to the beach you will most likely wear a swim suit, or a short sun dress.  In that context it is appropriate and modest to wear, but if you were to attend church in your two piece swim suit or a short sun dress, you would find that your clothing choice is now probably not the most modest.
Another example would be, what you would find modest and appropriate to wear to a wedding, might not be so modest and appropriate at a funeral.

What might be accepted as modest in one country, culture and/or situation may be found to be frowned upon in another.

We need to stop putting so much pressure on women to be modest and instead we need to start talking to men about how they need to be able to treat women with value and respect, and not objectify them based on what they may be wearing.

 

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To the girl that may be struggling with loving herself,
you are more than just your body.
You are a beautiful daughter of God.

You have been given immense worth.

To the girl who may have been raped or sexually assaulted,
It isn’t your fault.
It didn’t happen because of what you were wearing. 
You are strong, and you are a survivor.

My hope and prayer for you wonderful ladies is that you love yourself and your bodies.
Love who God has created you to be.
Bask and rejoice in His wonderful love daily.

 

 

 

 

 

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Need vs. Want

“I need a pumpkin spice latte”
“I need new shoes”
“I need to go to that concert”
“I need that designer hand bag”

At various times in our lives we or someone else we know has stated their need to have something or to do something.

We say we “need” these things when shouldn’t we actually be saying we “want” those things?

A need simply put is something you have to have.
While a want is something you desire to have.

You need oxygen in order to survive.
You need water and food.
You need shelter.

We’ve created a culture around this whole idea of “I need this” or “I need that” in order to make us happy when it’s not about finding happiness, it’s about finding joy.
Happiness is usually dependent on situations or “things” and usually that happiness has a way of disappearing, whereas our joy comes from Christ.

You see, we are so desperate to find true joy that we end of searching in all the wrong places and in all the wrong things to bring us joy when all it ends up doing is bringing us temporarily happiness that fades and leaves us longing for a desire and need to find another thing to bring us joy.

The answer is right in front of us: Jesus Christ.

Our joy comes from Jesus Christ- who has loved us so much that he searched for us and rescued us and never abandons us.

Dear friends,
Let us not look to earthly possessions to give us happiness where only our joy from Christ belongs. Let us not look to earthly possessions to provide us with happiness that will lead us on a never ending hunt of “need” in order to make us happy.

Look to Christ as the source of our joy.

 

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Purity is way more than abstinence.

Hey friends!

Today I’m going to be tackling the topic of purity. It’s a topic that holds a lot of meaning to me, and it’s been on my mind for awhile. Hang tight with me as I dive in and tackle this topic.

Purity-Rings

 

The Christian church today has capitalized off of this whole idea that purity has to do with abstinence. You must buy this book, buy this purity ring, attend this conference, etc. I can’t tell you the amount of friends that I’ve had that have bought the purity rings, and devotional books dedicated to the topic of abstinence. For years even I thought that in order for me to be sexually pure, or abstain from sex until marriage that it was “required” that I wear one of these. “If I don’t wear a purity ring, how will people know I’m striving to live a life devoted to purity?” I would often think to myself……

We’ve turned purity into a checklist that we need to follow.

We’ve gone and told young girls and boys that in order to stay “pure” they must abstain from sex. We’ve gone and told them that their “reward” for being “sexually clean” is to find that perfect spouse that God has planned out for them. Because of this way of thinking, we have men and women out there who remain sexually pure because they think that in doing so they are going to be rewarded one day with a spouse.

I’ve sat with many women who through tears and sobbing have asked me, “What am I doing wrong? Why am I not married yet?”. And honestly, at some point or another I’ve been one of those women who have cried and sobbed my heart out on some other persons shoulder, asking the same old question. “I’m waiting, I’m trying to do everything right. How come nothing’s going right? Where’s my reward?”.

What are we supposed to say to these people who have been sexually pure for their whole lives and watched friends and family who have only been pure for a few days, weeks, months or years and are already getting married?

………hold on here for a second………

I think we may be missing something…
What about Jesus Christ?

I can be as “sexually pure” as I want, and practice abstinence until marriage and buy the purity ring and follow all the correct steps, but at the same time, I can be so dirt stained from my sin unless I have put my faith in Jesus Christ and been transformed and renewed by the gospel. 

All abstinence is is a habit that we have simply attached to mean purity.
Purity is a lifestyle.
It is living our lives in such a way that God originally had planned out for us.

Don’t get me wrong guys……
We are absolutely called to sexual abstinence, but that’s not what defines our purity.

When we put our faith in Jesus Christ and allow the gospel to transform and renew us, we allow God to create in us a pure heart and cleanse us.

Let’s stop telling people that purity is the key to marriage and start telling them that it’s a lifestyle.
Let’s stop telling people that being, “sexually clean” is the answer to purity and let’s start pointing people to Jesus as an example of what purity looks like.

 

 

 

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Shhh! Don’t say the “S” word

submission.

This word carries a lot of baggage with it.
often the weight of the word makes it scary and seem like it’s towering over us ready to pounce

as a teenager when I first started attending youth groups and Bible studies within the church, I would often hear that women were to submit themselves to men.

and honestly? It made me shiver. More so because of the context of how I was viewing submission.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary submission can be defined as:

  1. To yield oneself to the authority or will of another.
  2. To permit oneself to be subjected to something 

When you are submitting yourself to another person you are basically allowing them to have authority over you.

For the longest time I viewed submission as letting men control me or I saw it as giving up my voice and making myself weak. how wrong I was.

 Nonetheless it’s scary, right? To give someone that much power in your life….

Let’s look at Ephesians 5:22-24

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Notice that last part friend, “as you do to the Lord“.

We are to submit ourselves to our husbands as we do to the Lord. We submit ourselves to God’s will daily. We ask Him to have His will be done in our lives. 

Let’s take a look at Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 

Yes, we are called to submit to our husbands out of love and respect for them, but husbands are called to love their wives as Christ does. 

Submission is not a reason to allow someone to ever abuse you or hurt you. Submission doesn’t mean you are any less valued or treasured. 

For the longest time I was really scared and I didn’t like the thought of having to submit myself to men. It made me feel inferior or like I had no worth. So dear friend, I understand if you are struggling with that.

My prayer for you is that you see submission not in negative light but as something that you do out of love and respect for that person. I pray that most of all we learn to submit ourselves to Christ daily so that His will may be done in our lives.

-Elizabeth Louise 

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A Christian response to the events in Charlottesville 

I don’t know about you guys but after watching the news this weekend and seeing the photos from Charlottesville 

I’m devastated by seeing such hate.

I’m disgusted that these so called “white-supremist, nazis” actually think that just because they are a certain color that they’re better than those who aren’t.

I’m fed up from hearing and seeing such rhetoric and hate. 

As the child of parents who worked with the government, I moved to different countries, traveled to others on vacation and went to several other countries for mission trips.

I’ve seen and met people of all colors, of all religions, and of all backgrounds. 

Each person on this earth is created by God and is known by God. Each person on this earth was created in the image of God and has immense value and worth.

Each person holds such beauty and worth.

Nobody is “better” than someone else because of their skin color or ethnicity or because they are a male/female. We are all sinners, broken and in need of redemption and the grace of God. 

Friends, let’s not brush off this weekends events and go on with our lives a few days later. We should acknowledge that black lives do matter. We should be reaching the hurting people and acknowledging their pain. We should speak out against this type of hate that we saw this weekend. Hear the concerns of others, don’t diminish their hurt just because it’s different than yours. Speak out and stand up for the oppressed. 

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Do others see Christ in you? 

I’ve had an eventful day today.
I went to clear my head today at a local beach.
I found a boat with paddles that looked like they hadn’t been used in years-but were in fairly good condition.

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Me being up for an adventure and something new got into the boat(not always recommended btw).

At some point into this and halfway out in the water my dogs jumped out and flipped the boat over.
Luckily, a handful of my friends from high school live nearby and were out on their dock.
After having their fair share of, “What were you thinking?” they got me back to shore.

So I’m now soaking wet and lost. The dogs and I end up on the highway 3 miles south of where I’ve parked.

I call another friend who lives close by to come pick me up, she has a busy schedule so that falls through. Continue walking and eventually get to a restaurant where this lady looks from the worn out dogs, to me and my sweaty face. She goes, “If you know where your car is, I’ll drive you. Get in”.
We load the dogs in and start driving to where I’ve parked my car. Driving? It was less than three minutes. If we had continued to walk we would have gotten there in another hour.

Something that I’ve learned today: Be the person who will go out of your way to help others even if it’s a stranger.
Now we all get busy, we all have moments when we really don’t want to.
Myself included. I can’t count the times I’ve been like, “I can’t. I’m sorry” or “I’m not up to it”
But, this lady who I don’t even know, loaded two tired dogs and a random person in her car full of empty baby car seats.
She was willing to go out of her way.
Just as Jesus went out of His way to help others. When we say, “I don’t know this person, but I’m going to reach out and help them” we allow others to see Christ in us.
Now, I don’t know if this lady believes in Christ, but I am so thankful to her.

So, I’m going to leave you with a question, “Do others see Christ in you?”.

Elizabeth Louise