Avon Beautiful's Blog

August 23, 2014

Solo not So Low

Filed under: Christianity,salvation,single — avonbeautiful @ 10:29 pm
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As one gets older, one of the things a single person may experience is loneliness. Nonetheless, what’s one to do? Stay in a pitiful low state because you are alone? No. It’s one of those things you have to learn to embrace, get past, even learn to enjoy. It’s not going to change until it changes so why be miserable and stay in a constant state of looking and waiting for that one and only.

After a while, everything you do is based on whether you think that person is going to be in the place where you show up. Ai yai yai! I’m tired already because it’s too much thinking, planning, and focusing on the imaginary instead of dealing with today, now—your real gift of life. Stop waiting and get busy and doing. A dear friend encouraged me just the other day to go to a concert that I had wanted to go to. I was debating because I just did not want to go by myself, but once I got there I enjoyed myself so I’m glad the Lord allowed me to push past myself and go. It was a blessing.

giving-challengeSingleness is a gift. Yes, I hear the sighs and the dull wind of those eyelashes whipping as your eyeballs are rolling. I’m not going to argue the point because it says it in the word. So if it says it in the word, God didn’t allow just any old word to represent Him so we need to align ourselves and be open to understand how singleness is a gift.

I’m not saying it’s a gift we wanted, but if we are still single and up in age then God does have His reasons. It might be that it’s a gift we needed  So open up the box, don’t try to return it because it’s nonrefundable. God will replace it when and if the time is right. So my suggestion to my fellow single ladies is don’t hurry up and try to find somebody to put a ring on it. That may be more trouble than you know. And single men, don’t be in such a rush to find someone to place a ring on. God may have you percolating for a reason as well. Again, ladies, stay in your place, let God allow the man to find you. He that findeth a wife findeth a good thing. Are you a good thing?

My pastor makes it a point to replace good with Godly? So answer that question now. How can you be more Godly,? Well perhaps that where the gift of singleness comes in. Draw closer to God and He will draw closer to you. Knock on the door and He will be the one to answer. Seek Him and all of His goodness and all other things will be added unto you. Delight yourself in Him and He will give you the desires of your heart—your newly submitted committed, Godly heart.

alone_with_the_alone_by_pakpaoIt’s not for singles to be so low when flying solo. I recently saw a movie where a woman was walking down the street and saw her ex-boyfriend with his new fiancé. Imagine the worst case scenario and then multiply it by fifty. Of course they were extra happy and extra lovey-dovey, so in her humanity—and by that I mean sin—she felt the need to make up an imaginary boyfriend. We already know this is a bad idea, right?

Later on, after having lied and saying that she was meeting her boyfriend for dinner, who should show up at the place where she was dining alone? Of course…we multiplied it times fifty remember? They had to come into the very same restaurant out of all 600 restaurants in the neighborhood. Well, she tried to carry on the story, but she was going down faster than a speeding bullet. The chef, who had no idea what she had told her ex-boyfriend, unknowingly, busted her. The ex-boyfriend inquired where that wonderful boyfriend she had been raving about was. He had his reasons—first and foremost—nosiness. The chef, smiling, says to the ex-boyfriend “No…Sushi for one…always one!”

Okay! So it’s sushi for ondevotional1e and it’s always one, but if it is then enjoy your sushi and don’t be pretty with it. Or, stretch out and invite a girl friend or a guy friend to go out with you. If you are opposite sex, keep it holy, keep it above reproach. One of the first scriptures I really held on to says not to let your good be evil spoken of. Just because it seems innocent to you, don’t give people pause to talk about you because even though it’s your name is in their mouths, God is getting a bad rep because you say you belong to Him.

It’s not the easiest thing in the world to be single with a little age. I know people get super spiritual and act like it is or it’s no big deal, but God hears our concerns and tells us to cast them on Him. He hears them and He cares for us and He doesn’t see our concerns as “no big deal.” He does however recognize when we, like my pastor tends to say, “are flying too low.” We don’t have to be so low when flying solo. If we take our focus off of ourselves and let the Holy Spirit fill our hearts, I believe the waters will be much easier to navigate. Sure we may may experience some rough seas at times, but the Spirit of the One who has the power to calm the raging sea and tell the winds to stop blowing is the Captain of our salvation and He will not steer us wrong when He has control.

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May 10, 2014

The Additives of Oprah’s Tea

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When is a cup of tea not just a cup of tea? When Oprah Winfrey, Starbuck and Teavana join together to present it to you. Now, I like my tea with lemon, with honey, sometimes with lemon, honey, a cinnamon stick and a cough drop when I’m under the weather, but I don’t want my tea with philosophy, politics, and mysticism.

Mysticism is there in droves as you enter any Teavana.  You are bombarded with little Buddha statues throughout the store, which quite honestly, is enough for me not to enter. Add this to Winfrey’s anything goes spiritualism, which the legendary talk show host  religiously crams down your throat in her very successful business of  telling you how to “live your best life.” Tea is not just going to be tea with Winfrey. Tea is an opening into your into your mind, body, and soul.

Sure enough, I watched the new Starbucks commercial with Winfrey doing the voice-over for the Mother’s Day promotion of the Oprah Chai tea line from Teavana. It seems harmless. Why wouldn’t it be? That’s the beloved and trusted media mogul’s M.O.  She’s your “way more enlightened” best friend so why not just drink the Kool-Aid? I mean tea. Take the time to look deeper and Oprah is touting the appreciation of moms. We can all agree with that, but then the oh so subtle celebration of having two moms is slipped into script. Well, if our way more enlightened friend Oprah is in favor of it, then why not? Right? Here we go! She’s already trying to sell you. “Give her a little tolerance with her tea!”

I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory. Of course there will be those who will say, “Just let Oprah be.  She’s just trying to make the world a better place for the little African girls at her school and sell some tea.” The proceeds do go to the school and it’s wonderful that these young girls are getting an awesome opportunity.  Nonetheless, their education will reflect Winfrey’s philosophies and that is a double-edged sword.

It’s time for Christian consumers to wake up and realize that advertisers, big business and broadcasters have an agenda. Can you really watch television these days and not see how there is a war going on and it’s all about swaying your convictions? Go on the Teavana website and see how they are promoting Winfrey’s “Super Soul Sundays” on the OWN network and a new “Steep Your Soul Series.” Steep it with what?!! Oprah-isms!

Unfortunately, many people just follow whatever Oprah trots out as golden—whether it’s Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson or Bishop T.D. Jakes—it doesn’t matter as long as it’s “spiritual.” If you are professing Christianity these mixtures of philosophies do not mix with Jesus. There’s only one way to heaven, no matter what you have been told by Oprah or anybody else.

In Galatians 1:8, the Apostle Paul is addressing the fact that some false teachers were trying to lead new Christian converts astray from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he said this: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”  In an earlier verse, he says this: “I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel…”(Galatians 1:6)

A divided mind makes for confusion and though she’s a billionaire, Oprah Winfrey is a confused billionaire. I will keep on drinking my African Autumn tea by Harney & Sons. It doesn’t have as many additives.

April 6, 2014

She used to be my friend

Filed under: Uncategorized — avonbeautiful @ 7:34 pm
Tags: , ,

woman walking

She used to be my friend 

in a time not so far gone.

She used to be my friend when the laughter was  so strong.

She used to be my friend

and without a chance to try…

the one who was my friend is gone without goodbye.

Tomorrow is not promised…give your roses today.

November 5, 2013

The Path for You is straight

Filed under: Christianity,God's promises,straight and narrow,Uncategorized — avonbeautiful @ 5:35 pm

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We can get discouraged at times because it looks like what we truly desire will never come, but there is encouragement in the word of God. His wisdom far exceeds anything we could possibly dream. So don’t look to your left or to your right! You might get mad. You might get envious. You might get sad. You might get turned around. You will definitely get distracted because whatever God has for you is not on the broad path. It’s on the straight and narrow path.

There are some that have veered off and gotten temporary satisfaction. They may have even received what you desired most, but if it wasn’t received in righteousness, there is a price to pay. You don’t want to want to pay that price. God is not a liar. You do reap what you sow, and sowing in unrighteousness brings unrighteous consequences even if reconciliation with God allows that person the grace to bear it.

God gives us His word as an encouragement to keep our minds stayed upon Him. Looking to the left and to the right or following the broad path brings confusion. It’s not where you were meant to be. Stay focused. Stay clean. Stay with your eyes and heart fixed on Him.

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.                            (Matthew 7:13-14)

June 24, 2013

The Ugliness of Perceived Perfection

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Beauty queens in Chinese New Year parade in Sydney. (Flckr)

At the Miss U.S.A. competition beautiful women from the United States of America compete to attain the title of Miss U.S.A., later qualifying them to run for Miss Universe. It’s admirable to watch these very polished, pretty, and talented women perform at their best in this pageant. Let’s face it, not everybody can be as poised under pressure. And with that statement. it really bothered me when a young woman from Utah was asked a question, which she did not answer well, so many newscasters and talk show host were noticeably vicious in commenting about her intelligence.

Granted, you should know current events and be well-versed in the topics of the day when you compete in such pageants, but sometimes you just make a blunder. It became evident that the young lady couldn’t speak about the given issue and became nervous trying think of something to say. It happens. The young ladies in these pageants are not perfect, even if we perceive that they look perfect. The reason for my concern stems from how unforgiving and callous our society has become. We were so willing to hang a young woman out to dry because she couldn’t answer a question well? Hmmmh, maybe we should check our compassion level because on this news-non-event many a commentator’s level was on “E.”

I noticed the same trend in other areas. I had a friend that so many of my male friends and family members found drop-dead gorgeous. Sounds great right? On the other side of  that equation was the shade I witnessed her receiving from women who didn’t even know her and decided not to like her. She is a very nice person, easy to talk to and her beauty made her a mark for hate. But what kind of ridiculous insecurity is that? The same kind of insecurity that got pleasure in seeing Kim Kardashian and Jessica Simpson being labeled “fat” and being constantly berated by news outlets, tabloids and entertainment shows during their pregnancies. Are you kidding me? How shameful!

We have to do better. When someone is slandered we should not be so quick to pick up a stone. I remember a story about a woman found guilty of adultery facing a group of pious men getting ready to stone her for her impropriety. However there was One who stood there with wisdom and knowledge that far exceeded the pious men and they asked Him if they should stone her since what the woman did was clearly wrong according to the law.  They asked seeking an occasion to accuse Him because of their own insecurities; however, the Wise Man—who was Jesus,—said this:

“…He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”~ John 8:7-11

Yes, it’s true Miss Utah messed up on her answer, yes it’s true that Kim Kardashian and Jessica Simpson put on weight during their pregnancies (by the way that’s what women do during pregnancy), but why such a rush to judgment? They never claimed to be perfect. Perhaps if you are the kind of person  that rushes to cast a stone at people, then the perceived perfection is on your end.

June 15, 2013

Suit Up in God’s Word!

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These kids are sharp in their beautiful tuxedos and gowns, but God has a different kind of garment for daily spiritual living.—the whole armor of God.

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted on my blog, but life happens. It’s been six whole months—not cool. Nonetheless, I love writing, so in the midst of life happening, writing has to happen too.

This post will be short but sweet. I am writing about something I heard in a prayer the other day. It was a child who talked about how God’s word should be like a language to us. It was so simple but very profound. I thought about how Christ followers would always have a word of encouragement to speak if the word was as familiar to us as our native language. Being a sojourner here on this earth, we should learning as much about heaven’s language as we can. That should be our aspiration. Learning French or Japanese is great, but it simply can’t compare to talking God’s language and communicating to Him through His word.

And while I was just sitting here in one of my favorite bookstores, drinking coffee and being a Wi-Fi hog, I thought about how God’s word should clothe us as well. Now, of course I didn’t make this up. I’m not that deep. God already gave Paul this revelation in Ephesians a couple of thousand years ago. God talks about how we should be clothed with the whole armor of the Lord on a daily basis in Ephesians 6:10-18.

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Do you have your shield of faith with you today? Don’t leave home without it!

If we seek God, He has our gear already to go so we can be suited up and ready for the world. Anything this unstable and ungodly world can throw at God’s saints, we are prepared for when we clothe ourselves in Him. So even if Gucci turns your head or Prada makes you smile. Even if Jimmy Choo’s are on your must-have list. Let me tell you what is truly essential gear—the whole armor of God is a must have and it’s never outdated in any season of your life.

Ephesians 6:10-18 (ESV)

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and takethe helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.

December 5, 2012

Everything old is new again but there’s still nothing new under the sun

Filed under: Uncategorized — avonbeautiful @ 7:56 pm

Ballerina flats were popular in the 80’s along with a lot of other trends that have resurfaced. A dramatic color on the bottom will definitely make a statement, but this is not the first time around for this trend.

It’s true! Everything old is new again, or more precisely, as Solomon put it, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Take, for instance, all these pants that are so popular right now-the vibrant colored ones. I heard someone call them statement pants. They come in a variety of colors from the richest of purples to the most exotic of greens. No more limiting ourselves to just the basic black, gray and brown bottoms. Now we have options, but I specifically recall these same kind of options more than two decades ago.

The year was somewhere between 1983 and 1985 and a similar style took place with colored pants but specifically for Lee jeans-yes kids, there was a time when Lee jeans were actually in style. They were especially in style at my catholic school where the option of a plaid skirt was a distant second to the very liberal dress code of any pair of green pants. So you guessed it-green Lee’s for everybody.

I wasn’t one to jump on fads (sidebar: to the people thinking about my virgin bracelets, key earrings or jheri curl, we are not counting the 80’s), but I did put a bid in for a pair of colored Lee jeans. Huge…since I hardly ever asked for anything. With a little bit of asking, the deed was done and I had a brand new pair of red Lee jeans, my sister had a pair too, though I don’t remember the color.

I also remember the ballet shoes, the leg warmers, the Mohawks, the flare/bell bottom pants. There are so many things that hAve come and gone and then came again. Nothing new under the sun. For every generation who thinks they are inventing the wheel-not so-you”re just putting a new tread of tire on the old wheel. Even the person who put the first wheel together was only able to di it from the knowledge of God, Who is ageless, and according to Proverbs, gives knowledge of witty inventions.

When we understand that we have not created anything, it will allow us to be humble and experience how it feels to be a conduit for inspiration and greatness. God is great. God is good and all good and perfect gifts come from him. In fact the word of God tells us that everything that was made, was made by Christ Jesus. We have nothing to brag about because He’s the only Original. Nonetheless, our God only requires that we give glory to Him, and He’s so good to us that He will make us look good sporting His creativity.

November 24, 2012

Parents do know a thing or two without us

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When you were born, you did not know which way was up or down, you didn’t know your head from your rear end, and if your parents didn’t feed you, then you would have laid around crying like a—well, like a baby! Thank God for parents. Through all the ups and downs, it’s seems that if a parent is present,  you can breathe just a tad bit easier.

However, somewhere in your teens is when you started to question, “Do they really know?” All of a sudden their style of dress was horrendous, their rules were outrageous, and their personalities were impossible! Do you remember those days? In retrospect, you ought to feel like King David when he found out that he, was the offender in the scenario Nathan laid out for him, saying “Thou art the Man! (read about this in 2 Samuel 12)” Yeah, looking back you were the one that was horrendous; you were outrageous, and you were impossible!

The twenties were a little better because now you had to live life and make choices. When the choices didn’t pan out,  God’s divine order showed you that you weren’t as smart as you thought and your parents were more knowledgeable than you knew. That’s when you  began to appreciate their wisdom a little more. Unfortunately, some of us had to bump our heads on a few cabinets and fall into a few ditches, in order to get the lesson.

ImageNonetheless, you still hung on to some thoughts about your parents lack of hipness. You even marveled when they bought a computer and actually learned how to work it without your guidance. When you saw the flavored creamers in the refrigerator you wondered “Who told them about that?” And when they signed up for Facebook and requested you as a Friend, you nearly fell out of your chair. How arrogant can we be to think that they are not  capable of finding out how to do things without us?

Another crazy twist of life is when you begin to see your parents aging. It can be a scary scenario, especially if your parent isn’t saved.  Believing in Christ unto righteousness, might have been something you were taught by your parents, but sometimes God blesses us with that knowledge in a separate experience and it is the greatest gift that we can offer to them. Nonetheless, seeing your parents age makes you really appreciate that life, even its longevity, is so very short. It’s not like God didn’t tell us. He uses James to write it saying, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away (James 4:14).”

With the shortness of time in perspective and the fragileness of health being revealed more and more, it’s tempting to treat our parents like they are the children. Yet, there is still a lesson to be learned from them. Yes, there bodies may lack the strength that they once had, but don’t underestimate their minds. They are still just as fierce about protecting you as they were when you were that helpless baby depending on their every move. Don’t sleep on their words. Words are more intentional as you get older. Who has time to mince when time is not promised.

Listen to mom. Listen to dad. Honor them, and search for the gems in their speech. They speak with the purpose of planting a covering for you—one that will shade you from the winds, the sun, and the storms. Are they always right? No, but ask the Lord to give you a discerning ear, so you can know what to take and what to leave. Listen closely and you’ll find that parents do know a thing or two—things that will enrich you and sustain you. God made them to be blessings for us all the days of our lives.

October 31, 2012

Age Appropriate

Do children understand age-appropriate dress?

I know it’s all the rage. I know it’s “cute” and  it’s “cool,” but riddle me this…is it right? “What?” you ask.  Letting children dress upwards of their age. Not to be a fuddy-duddy, but just because everybody is doing it, does not make it a good enough reason for your child, godchild, neice or little cousin to do it.

I was walking in the shoe department at Burlington and I tell you it almost broke my heart to see a pair of heels for a child that couldn’t be more than four years old. They just learned to walk and be balanced and now we are expecting them to manage a heel. I can hardly manage a heel and I’m in my forties. Their bones are still forming and shaping and we allow them to wear a heel because they want to, or it’s “cute” or because Suri Cruise’s parent’s don’t know how to say “no” to their child.

Stop the madness! (Picture from style.chariweb.com)

I blame the consumer for this continuing trend because the supply is only there because there is a demand. The fact that this is the second time I saw this trend in a Burlington Coat Factory and there have been a good amount of months in between the first time I saw the trend to my recent visit —this tells me that the demand has not weaned.

Okay, maybe you agree with me on the baby heels, but this might go down a little harder. Why are little girls walking around in costume jewelry that looks like they should be going to a night at the Met. Forever 21 is one of the stores that teens and preteens get their trough of spectacular bling. The store is called Forever 21, but you will note that ages 12, 13, 14, and 15 through 45 are in this store.

I’m sure that Forever 21 knows the ages of the people who come in and buy their jewelry.  It’s their business to know that sort of thing, but it is not their business to tell teens and pre-teens that the jewelry they are buying is not age appropriate. You might be able to gather that from the name of the store. After all, everyone knows that 21 is that age kids want to get to because they are legal for pretty much everything and yet they are still not old. Heck, some adults would go back and stay at 21 if they could. Not me . . .been there, done that and have plenty of pictures, so I don’t need the tee-shirt.

I’m not saying that it’s wrong for them to shop there, but I’m saying that some of the pieces are just too grown, and who are they modeling themselves to look like anyway? Behind every trend there is usually a celebrity or video girl who little girls are trying to emulate. How do I know? I was a teen and the Bible tells me “there is nothing new under the sun.” I wore Madonna’s virgin bracelets, a key earring to be like Janet Jackson,  had my hair styled in a bob to look like Whitney Houston in the video “How will I know.” These were my top three influences and if you think your child hasn’t admired Rihanna, Beyonce or even Miey Cyrus or Taylor Swift you are probably wrong.

Sasha and Malia have a great example of dress in First Lady Michelle Obama.

The first daughters, Sasha and Malia are pictured with their parents. Both are lovely and very age appropriate…like mother like daughters. (Picture from the Boston Globe)

As a woman, be a good example. for the girls in your life. Give them an example of style and class at an early age. Show them how to dress appropriately for their age and express to them that there are times that they can graduate to receiving cetain privileges. Heels may be 16 or maybe 17, depending on their maturity. Then, when they are able to wear the heel, let them know what type of heel they can wear. A low heel should come first. Then explain the different types of heels. Certain heels are classy, some are funky, and some look like the person wearing it  just got off from the evening shift working the corner. Let them know that they don’t want to look like that.

People do treat you according how you are dressed, and no you may not feel that it is right, but it’s reality. Why should you want to dress like something you are not anyway? If you walk like a duck, expect  to be treated like one. And no, I don’t believe that people have the right to touch you or yell rude and nasty language at you because of your clothes, but the fact is if you don’t dress that way you don’t have to worry about it.

I still remember wearing a very revealing blouse (as I usually did before Jesus became my Savior) and I was quite annoyed as one of my coworkers talked directly to my breast. Yes, that was a jerky thing to do and I addressed him about it, but in retrospect, I realize that the girls shouldn’t have been out there. People have freedom to look, even though men disrespect themselves  as a gentleman when gawking. I mentioned that I stopped wearing blouses like that when I got saved. That was not a decision anybody told me to make, it was the conviction of the Holy Spirit who guided me to see that it wasn’t how I wanted to represent myself or the Lord. He even showed me how it looked when I had to serve someone who came up to me with everything out there. As much as I didn’t want to look, I couldn’t help looking because it was in my face.

Clothes come with attitudes. You walk a little different in certain shoes or when your bust is exposed. You feel a little sexier when your jeans are tighter. But my question is what is a  teen/pre-teen doing feeling sexy anyway? It’s not their time for all of that.  They should feel cute or pretty, but sexy is not for kids.

Again, women—be their example. Let them desire to emulate you. Let their friends say “Your mother/aunt/ cousin/godmother sure does dress well.” They’ll see a respect that can’t be gained with “cheap” and “half-naked.” Besides those things are a dime a dozen these days. Style and grace, however, will always turn heads. Add humility and the beauty that only God can give and you are untouchable at any age.

August 28, 2012

Note to Self: Don’t take the lazy walk

“Note to Self” on just a few things to ponder.

Note to Self: Dont take the lazy walk

He tells me all things are new, but I’m continually clutching old things.

He’s given me a seat in heavenly places if I stand in this earth.

He challenges me to run, but I’m more comfortable with walking.

He tells me  to keep up now, so I can keep up when the Jordan overflows.

You don’t have the time you think you have. Choose today who you are going to serve.

 If you choose to serve your flesh, just know you are choosing to serve the devil.

Get in the race!

The race is not given to the swift or to the strong, but to those who will you endure to the end.

You are a winner in Jesus.

Don’t take the lazy walk.

Endure.

Written through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit through the word of God.

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