Thursday, 17 March 2016

How to Grow in the Word (Practical habits and tips)

- Use a concordance. This is like a Bible dictionary. You can look up any word and it will give you a list of all the scriptures where that word is mentioned. Seeing the word in all its contexts gives you a clear idea of what it represents.
You can go a step further with a concordance such as Strong's, which lists the original Hebrew and Greek of every word in scripture.

- Meditate (1 Timothy 4:15, Psalm 119:78). Find several scriptures that move or encourage you. Find some quiet time to sit and think on those scriptures and the depth of what they mean.

- ­‘Scriptures to Start the Day’. Find a few encouraging verses to write up or learn off by heart. Recite them every single morning to stir up the right attitude. This is a brilliant way to kick your day off positively. Some scriptures for this could be; Psalm 5:3, Psalm 23:6, Proverbs 3:6, Psalm 118:24, Philippians 4:8, for example.

- Exhort to yourself! When you read a scripture, exhort to yourself from it afterward. Sometimes it's not crazy to talk to yourself! This is great way to exercise yourself in the Word. It is also good practice for when you have to do it before others in church. God gives you revelation of things to say when you must exhort . You’ll come up with interesting points on the scripture that you’ve never thought of before.

- Read aloud. Read out loud sometimes. Especially when you’ve got the house to yourself! This makes for good pronunciation practice. Sometimes the Word feels more ‘alive’ when we speak it audibly.

- Get creative/ Use your talents! Can you draw? Do comic strips? Write poetry? Or songs? Are you good at calligraphy or even embroidery? The next time you come across a scripture that particularly inspires you, use your creative talent to make something incorporating it.

- Use a dictionary. Look up any words you don’t understand when you come across them in the Bible. Not knowing what words mean can stop us from grasping the full picture of a scripture. Do you know what ‘concupiscence’ means (Romans 7:8)? Or do you know what ‘vermilion’ is (Jeremiah 22:14)?... No?...Then look it up!
          Also look into the definitions of some of the words used all the time in church, such as ‘grace’, ‘mercy’ or ‘glory’. Sometimes we lose the appreciation of the deep meaning of such words when we get so used to hearing them. Don’t let them just become spiritual jargon to you.

- Make notes. If you don’t want scribbles in your Bible, carry a notepad, Post-it notes or some paper always tucked in it, ready to use. When you read the Word or are hearing it preached on, allow yourself to be a student by thinking about it and recording your thoughts and new things you are learning. Write down any questions that arise so you remember to ask your Bible teacher when you get chance. Make notes on scriptures that correspond and help your understanding.

- Bible school. For some things you need an experienced and anointed Bible teacher. Especially for very technical scriptures such as the mysteries in the book of Revelation.

- Quiz yourself. After reading a passage of scripture, write some questions on it. Go back to the questions at a later time to check you’ve remembered information from the scripture.

Love Him Because. Poem.

Love Him because
He put the Sun and moon there
To tell you he is the one who
Shows up faithfully
Every day and every night.
Even though some points in your life
Have felt like
Hell on this realm
You knew something was carrying you
Like a sure raft
Over the merciless waters.
Love him because
Your soul needs an embrace
Tight enough to
Fuse your broken bits back together
And though you thought you did not love him
For taking grandma
When you needed her most
He is the reason there was
Contentment and no fear in her eyes
When she knew
She was about to take sleep.
Love him because
Life is not always going to make sense
But he is the only constant
And surety.
That’s why his nickname is ‘the Rock.’

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

The World vs. Women

 The World vs. Women


There are many sad elements to the account of mankind’s fall in the Garden of Eden. The repercussions of these can be seen in the dysfunctions of the whole world and human nature today (n.b, God did not make man ‘human’ as such, meaning subject to decay. We became so after the fall in Eden.) One particularly sad element is the fact that Eve felt the need to take up Satan’s offer to become “as gods” (Genesis 3:5). Lucifer, when in Heaven, developed a delusion that he could somehow compete with God (Isaiah 14:14). Now in the form of a slick serpent, he convinced Eve to descend into the same delusion. To have such a covetous intention, Eve must not have realised how blessed she already was. Eve and Adam had the image of God, and therefore already possessed godly quality (Genesis 1:27)... What more could you want?

women envy.jpgNow we see where this widespread female mind-set originates–our original mother, Eve. This mentality in many women of not being happy with themselves as they are or with what they have. Just look at the patterns of behaviour in women of the world. Always competing with one another, allowing envy and jealousy to arise if they see someone who is deemed as being ‘better’ than them. Nowhere is this more so evident than in the field of ‘beauty’. Even in the current time of economic decline, the cosmetic industry is thriving as women try to be more like others, especially the celebrity idols paraded before them in the media daily. Many black and Asian people are using skin bleaches. There are women who paint different faces on daily. Anorexia and bulimia is on the rise as females turn on their natural bodies. Why are ladies always trying to be something beyond what they’ve been made?

Thank God the women in the Church do not have to fall prey to these ideas. Thank God we know each and every one of us is precious and unique in God’s eyes and there is no need to ever feel inadequate. Thank God we know it is foolish to compare oneself with others (2 Corinth 10:12). Thank God, He blesses us individually with gifts (1 Corinth 12:4) and we do not need to feel in competition with anyone around us. Thank God He gives His Spirit freely and universally (Acts 11:17), and this is the same beauty to be displayed by every one of us (1 Peter 3:3-4). Thank God He (-most important) loves us unconditionally and gives us family, friends (Prov 17:17) and brethren who do the same; so we never need fall prey to insecurity. Thank God He teaches us that ‘godliness with contentment is great gain’ (1 Timothy 6:6) so we need never fall prey to covetousness.

Thank God the women of His fold realise their inherent preciousness and are too concerned in the real issues of His kingdom than who has a bigger house or smaller waist than them! Proverbs 18:22 says “whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing,’ so if having a woman in your life is such a ‘good thing,’ it must mean women are something special! Psalm 144:12 says “that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.” Stones are steadfast and sturdy; women who are the stones in the house of God are not like the lost, insecure women of the world, who attempt to change under the pressures of every new passing fashion. Thank God we know we don’t have to live for the fleeting insignificance of our physical aspect (Proverbs 31:0 ‘ is vain.’).

magazine.jpgAs a saint, you may observe and recognise the struggle of the women around you daily, battling with insecurity, broken esteem, weighed down by the pressures of this sin stained world...wearied by dysfunctional relationships...Why not tell them there is a God who loves them so wholly that He died for them? All the problems and dysfunctions we face are simply summed up in by sin. Its destruction started at Eden and it ends only when one comes to Jesus. Let them know He has made a way to set them free from the burdens they feel they are under and teach them they are a precious soul (whereas this world teaches them they are merely objects, to be desired and lusted after...just look at all the messages popular magazines bombard them with!). Also let them know Jesus offers a love and mercy so deep that everything else they are going through pales in insignificance against it.

In all the women of the world’s pursuit to be desirable and beautiful and attractive, there is a great irony: The irony is that there are fewer things more truly beautiful and really attractive than a godly woman who concerns herself with godly love and caring (Proverbs 31:10) and carries herself simply with grace and dignity. Also, instead of not being happy with herself and comparing herself with others, to the contrary, this kind of woman knows that what she’s already got is good (Provs 31:18)!

Come Claim Christ’s Liberty!!
2 Corinthians 3:17




Wednesday, 15 October 2014

'Celebrity' Influence and Dressing

This is the final post of my three part exposé on modesty in dressing.

In the ancient Biblical era, people who made idols were very wealthy. They hand crafted the false deities that common people loved to set up in their homes. Nowadays, apart from in certain religions (e.g. Sikhism, Hinduism) physical statues are not so much the gods adored. Today’s ‘idol makers’ are the Simon Cowells' and Russell Simmons’ of this world. Music moguls who find and make the icons celebrated, followed and looked up to the world over. The huge U.S show touted to find the next big pop music star is even called ‘American Idol.’

Every now and then while perusing clothing sites as research for a burgeoning fashion business, I will come across pictures of celebrities dressed nicely. It is not often that celebs choose to look modest when they dress up to appear at events. The name of the game is grabbing attention and I guess it is felt being covered up doesn’t really assist to that end. However, when I do see it I always notice and think what a great thing it would be if these people so many in the world unfortunately look up to, exemplified good standards. The young women and men of today who idolize them would dress and think very differently.

Truly the point of an idol is to lead people away from Godliness. So it is expected that celebs dressing modestly will always be the exception, not the rule. However, here is a showing of some of them on rare occasions they’ve done so to show how pleasant it is when it does happen...

                                                             Actress Kerry Washington
                                                                Actress Freida Pinto
                                                                Actress Kirsten Dunst
                                                                   Actress Lucy Liu
                                                                Actress Eva Longoria
                                                              Actress Lupita Nyong'o
                                                                Actress Penelope Cruz
                                                               Actress Amber Riley

                                                    Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge

                                        Singer turned fashion designer, Victoria Beckham

Friday, 13 June 2014

Addressing Dressing -More on why our clothes matter

Fashion and clothing is a large part of life, especially today. It is bound to have to reach the considerations of a person trying to live holy and wholly for God. Here are a few more points on why consciousness is of dress has importance...

If as Christians we are to surrender our whole lives and our whole self to God, if we are meant to be wholly set apart for Him (Psalm 4:3), if Christians must ensure that the change God makes in us is evident –shouldn’t this include the way we choose to adorn ourselves?

In the latter half of 1 Timothy chapter 2, the apostle Paul gives instructions for the members of the church of that specific time and place (-coming out of a hedonistic Pagan society that they needed to starkly detach from), including how the sisters were to be adorned. We learn a few things from this scripture. ‘Broiding’ hair is referred to in verse 9. This ancient Greek and Roman trend involved plaiting hair with gold, jewels, silk chords and coins. The purpose of this extravagant fashion was of course to attract others and show off wealth. Thus, this scripture highlights that every period and culture has had, and will have, particular trends that the Church must to be wary of.

Some Christians defend dressing in any way they wish by saying God is not concerned with what’s on the outside, only what’s in the heart. This statement is not well thought through, as what is within is made evident by what you express without (Luke 6:45, James 2:18). We are conscious in choosing our attire; our wardrobes don’t simply fall over each morning and slap clothes on us against our will. Our hearts hold our thoughts and intent. Our thoughts and intent are active when we decide what to wear each day.

Clothing always reflects mind-sets and can tell us a lot about what is going on in society. In the sexually liberated ‘swinging sixties,’ the mini skirt became the fashion. In the 1970s and 80s when ‘Punk’ subculture was popularised, young people wore shocking and outlandish outfits as they were rebelling against the norms of a conservative, culturally Christian society.

 Clothing is just one facet of representing who we are in Christ. Many brethren have had the experience of being approached in the street by people who have been able to assume they are Christian, and comment on how they are dressed. It is worth being adorned differently for point that alone; being identifiable to those around you.

 Some argue that there are hypocrites who use holy dress to feign holiness within; therefore dressing ‘Christianly’ doesn't necessarily mean someone is good. Truly, there have always been people who try to hide who they really are by dressing up the outside well (Matt 23:27). However, this has never provided an excuse for someone who claims they want to be sanctified within and not necessarily allow it to extend to what they present without.  God wants to be reflected and considered in even the minutiae of His children’s living and expression.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

5 Reasons for Modesty

The word ‘modest’ is defined as being free from vanity and extravagance and showing regard for decency. It is normal for anyone to want to be respectable and decent. However, today the word ‘modest’ seems to have become a byword for out-dated values. Women of liberal social views say that those who follow rules for modesty as part of their faith are being stifled. Yet never before in general media have women been so cut down and de-valued. Women of faith who choose to dress conscious of modesty are practising liberty. They refuse to give in to the expectations that they perform as little more than objects of a strongly sexualized society. Purposely showing they don’t live to bow to the world's demands. 

Here are 5 more reasons why women of faith dress modestly:

1.       We live and interact in this world, but we don’t wish to follow all of its trends, as some of them are harmful. More and more, as sexual advertising increases, pornography and all the de-humanizing treatment of women that goes along with that, we want to show resistance to this downward spiral. Clothing in the stores is becoming more and more sex-focused. We are purposely showing our disagreement with the increasing eroticizing of everything.

2.       We want as much as possible for people to be attracted to us because of our character and not shallow physical reasons. We wish to avoid the draw of people who are only interested in a woman because they see and want them only physically.

3.       Whether in personal life, physically or socially, somehow there is a respectability about people who keep some things private and discreet. Whether it's personal business, secrets told in confidence and yes, even body parts! It is an interesting connection that few can deny. Having the discipline to to maintain discretion garners respect.

4.       We don’t want to be showy or extravagant; it is not the character of God.

5.       We want to show that every aspect of our being is wrapped up in God, even down to the way we express ourselves sartorially. We represent and shine for Him, not to be desired and admired for only self-seeking reasons.

Some great advice for a guide on modesty I’ve heard from a pastor’s wife goes something like this ‘if what you are wearing is drawing attention to your body, it is glorifying you and is sensual. But if it is allowing the attention to be drawn to your face, where the glory of God shines from, it is modest. 
You bring glory to Him.’


We are not of the world –John 15:19

We don’t follow all of the world’s fashions -Romans 12:2, 1 Peter 1:14

Our attractiveness comes from our behaviour – Proverbs 31:30, 1 Peter 2:9-10

It’s not good to wear things only to show off –Isaiah 3:16

It’s not good to wear things only to attract the wrong attentions– Ezekiel 2:40-42)

Thursday, 24 October 2013

DIY Birthday Gift Idea

It was my dear mumsy’s birthday. I like to appreciate people on their birthdays. Especially the woman who birthed me into the world and has moved worlds to care for me ever since. Supporting me even now that I’m an ‘adult’ and am supposed to be supporting myself (life is taking a funny course atm. Long story.)  Anywhos, it was mom’s B-day and I needed to get a prezzy. Only problem is, because of the whole ‘life taking a funny course’ thing, my budget is miniscule of late. But there is always a lily in a valley and light at the end of a tunnel and a silver lining in the cloud and all this jazz. The upside of being broke as a joke is that it has forced me to really draw from my creative side!
So I did this. I went to the pound shop (I’m not ashamed!) and bought a couple bags of very nice sweeties such as lemon sherbets. (I know mother has a sweet tooth). I also brought a pretty pearlescent mug there. I filled the mug with sweeties, wrapped it in the plastic sheet covering that came with the birthday card I bought, and tied it together with some nice ribbon I already had at home.
I was very happy with the result. Mum was too. The gift is pretty and practical (you can never have enough cups, right?) and looks as though it’s worth so much more than the few pounds I spent on it. Results below: