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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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.

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.

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.

July 9, 2012

Will you stand in the ugly usher dress?

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Sunday fashion ranges from the modest to the ostentatious. Somewhere in between is where most people probably fall. Nonetheless, there is a segment of Sunday fashion that is not meant to draw attention, but to serve as an uniform for a particular role within the Body of Christ. Choirs have their robes, nurses have their lab coats, and ushers have their usher dresses.

Usher-wear ranges, but there is a good segment of ushers who are suited up in very plain white cotton dresses that are typically to or over the knee. Again, the dresses are not the most fashionable, but it is meant to allow the congregation to identify the doorkeepers in the house of God. Ushers literally open the doors for those entering in the church, they give out fans, and guide the offering lines. In some churches the ushers take up the collection, tidy up the sanctuary, and they are always there to serve the congregation’s needs.

In my church, all the ushers are in uniform on Communion Sunday. We wear our uniforms for the Communion service and keep it on for the evening service as well. This past Communion Sunday, I had the opportunity to hang out with two of my favorite Christian teens, who happen to be on the usher board. I remember when they joined the usher board. They were about seven years old and so cute. The white dresses were a source of pride for them. They were finally big enough to serve the Lord as an usher. Fast forward about nine years and everything has grown and evolved, including their thoughts on the usher dress.

After church, their mother decided that we would go get ice cream by the mall. Sounds like a plan, right? It’s been a steamy July and ice cream sure would hit the spot. Now, I did mention that these are teen-agers, right? I did mention that the dresses are not the most fashionable, right? I did mention that the ice cream we were getting was by the mall, right? Do you see the dilemma? Yes they are “Christian,” but they are also teens-a key component in this tale of fashion meets fate.

My two young Christian friends are sisters and teen sister #1 is A-okay with being in her uniform. She’s a fashionista, but she seems to be handling the “ice cream by the mall in my usher dress” experience with a cool exterior. Teen sister #2 . . . not so much. That’s a bit of a different story. Her take on the experience is more like “OMG! People are going to see me.” Her mother, sister and I try to calm her down and play down the significance of being in the usher uniform.

“You just came from church!”

“Who care’s nobody’s looking at you.”

“Don’t be ashamed of being an usher.  Are you ashamed of God!”

As you may imagine, the last comment didn’t go over so well.

“I’m not ashamed of God, but I like to look good.

I don’t look good in this usher uniform. It’s ugly.”

I’m admittedly paraphrasing the conversation, but this is pretty much the gist. The funny thing about this whole experience is that God really does have unique, hand-crafted tests, just for us, at every level. For better or worse, He lets us know what is in us. When I tell you that this experience was hand-crafted, it couldn’t have fit my young embarrassed teen friend’s situation any tighter than Serena Williams infamous black catsuit at the U. S. Open.

During the course of our excursion, which first took us to the bookstore and then to the ice cream shop, these sisters saw four people they knew while wearing “the ugly usher dress.” One had a “Whatever!” attitude and the other was, dare I say, “freaking out.” It seemed like the more she freaked out, the more people she saw that she knew. She kept saying things like “Lord help me. . .” but I don’t know if she realized that He was. He was helping her to learn how to get over herself and stand as a representative for Him.

Every last one of us as Christians will have some kind of situation to experience to stamp out shame. We can’t be ashamed of who we are in Christ. We are Christians in church and because we don’t live in church, we are also Christians outside of the church. This young sister is a remarkably strong young person in Christ. God is using her now and be the Lord’s will, He will use her tremdously in the future, but God is such a marksman that He knows what areas need work.

It’s nice to get dressed up and represent the Lord, but every experience isn’t going to be a pretty experience. What if God wants us to roll up our sleeves and get dirty? Are we going to be worried about the way we look and who sees us? That’s a distraction and a hindrance to the work of Christ. So we all have to learn how to get over ourselves through our relationship with Christ. He will enable us to stand in that ugly usher dress (or insert your issue here) because bigger challenges are ahead.

March 23, 2012

‘October Baby’ tells the unlikely story of being an abortion survivor

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October Baby hits movie theaters on Friday, March 23rd, bringing up a topic that is rarely talked about — the survivors of abortions. It’s probably hard to picture that there could be survivors of abortion when the word baby is swapped for the less offensive word “fetus.” Nonetheless, thousands of babies survive attempted abortions. Unfortunately after surviving the abortion some babies are left to die, others are put up for adoption, while others survive the abortion procedure and are born at a later date (as was the case with real-life abortion survivor Carrie Fischer*). There is a consequence in many cases; some who survive are disfigured or suffer health concerns throughout their lives.

October Baby, which was directed by award winning duo, John and Andrew Erwin, and produced by Provident Films, the makers of Courageous, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants, revolves around a young woman named Hannah, played by newcomer Rachel Hendrix. After collapsing, Hannah finds out a very difficult and life-changing truth; the results of many medical tests concluded that the reason for her collapse was because of her difficult birth—the result of a failed abortion attempt by her mother.

Continue reading on Examiner.com ‘October Baby’ tells the unlikely story of being an abortion survivor – Baltimore evangelical | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/evangelical-in-baltimore/october-baby-tells-the-unlikely-story-of-being-an-abortion-survivor#ixzz1ptpJBVxg

March 12, 2012

Stepping into Your Calling

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Yesterday evening, I had the pleasure of seeing God bring a very young woman, in her twenties, into a calling that is even older than Methuselah. It’s not a light thing because her life will forever be changed. Nonetheless, realizing that your life  doesn’t belong to you is the first step in the road to  your callinImageg.

God tells us “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you;” however, if you know anything about being an adult in your twenties, thirties, forties, and so on…you also know that we have our own thoughts and plans for ourselves. We  also  do not take kindly to anyone changing them. See, but the rest of the scripture in Jeremiah 29:11 tells what the Lord says His thoughts are: “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”  That doesn’t mean the road of life is going to be padded with rose petals and marshmallows (I like marshmallows a lot), but it does mean that God will be with us all the days of our lives, when we put our trust and faith in Him. We couldn’t be in better hands.

Not everybody will be called to be a minister or a pastor, but like John the Baptist, will we be able to decrease and direct the focus of our lives to the True Light, Jesus Christ? We were created for Him, By Him, and  for His purpose, so it’s just makes sense that He would know how to direct us best.

The road is narrow. Jesus tells us that. He also tells us there will be persecutions. Of course, because the servant is not greater than the Master. However, we have an expected end that is filled with joy, and the blessed assurance that we will be able to see our Lord and Savior and Loving Father face to face.

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January 23, 2012

Single—are your eyes and heart single?

“You are married to the Lord.” Most likely, every Christian single has heard that at one time or another, and it is true. Jesus is our husband, He died for His church, “the bride,” and it is an honor to be part of the church. It is also an honor to know that Christ prayed for me, specifically. He doesn’t just look at me as one of the many Christians—He loves me, specifically; He died for me, specifically; He was raised for me, specifically, and He calls me “His bride,” specifically.

That being true, many singles do have a desire to be married, have children, and have that one person on earth who they are one with in the eyes of the Lord. That’s real talk—not the so heavenly-minded conversation that you’re no earthly good jibber jabber that singles hear so often. Single Christians can acknowledge that they have desires; marriage is a holy desire that requires no shame. (Read the rest of this article on Examiner.com)

May 13, 2011

Lip Service (based on I Corinthians 13—The Love Chapter)

Before I share this scripture with you, I wanted to let you know that I was inspired by something that someone said. She spoke about a particular person (unnamed) giving lip service. I thought to myself, “God I don’t want to be a person who gives lip service.”  I especially don’t want to be a person who gives lip service to God. That means I am perpetrating. That means that the love of Christ that I should have, I don’t. It means the prayers that I pray are for vainglory. Lip service is probably the ultimate in offense to God. It’s sounding brass and tinkling symbols thinking itself to be sweet music to God’s ears.

Image from zazzle.com

   “...If you love someone you say it, You say it right then, out loud, Or the moment just passes you by.”

I also thought about how I love others. There’s a line in the movie, “My Best Friends Wedding” where Dermott Mulroney, the romantic lead says to Julia Roberts, “…If you love someone you say it, You say it right then, out loud, Or the moment just passes you by.” Granted, he was talking about loving someone romantically, but I can apply that in other ways as well. If you love someone (mama, papa, sister, brother, friend, Uncle Joey, Aunt Kate, Grandma Alice, Grandpa Tommy) they should not have to guess that you love them. Show it. Say it. Do things that reflect your love. Love is an action word or else it’s just lip service. I’ve been a person who has provided lip service instead of love, but thankfully God’s mercies are new everyday and He gives us ample opportunity to get things right in His sight.

Read the following scripture (In the scripture charity means love.) but at the end, note what it says: “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

I Corinthians 13

 1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

 

April 6, 2011

What make-up can’t hide

Cosmetics are such a blessing to women around the world. Want to cover a blemish? Grab some foundation! Want to extend your eyelashes? Mascara to the rescue! But have you ever thought about what make-up can’t hide?

You can have on all the make-up your face can hold, but if your heart is sad, it can be seen in your eyes. I know this from personal experience. What’s the remedy? Don’t  apply extra eye-shadow. You won’t fool anyone with that. What’s needed is time spent in the presence of your Father in the word. Only Christ can mend a broken heart. Only He can permanently wash away your tears, whether you cry them inside or out.

Who the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36), so being in bondage to sadness is against the will of God. He came for you and me to have life more abundantly (John 10:10). That doesn’t mean we will not experience sad times, but it does mean that we shouldn’t be consistently sad. How do I know? Because Christ is all powerful and there are no limits to what He can do. If we live defeated, it’s because we choose to.

I’ve been there, and when I go there it’s only because I’ve taken my eyes off the Lord and placed them on myself or on my troubles. But here’s the thing, God says what we go through is a light affliction (2 Corinthians 4:17). And if we’re not going through for Christ, we are talking feather-weight. Ever been nailed to a cross? Now that’s a heavy burden!

So before you put on your make-up,  go before the Lord, and ask Him for His joy. It is your strength. It will give you the gleam in your eyes that only God’s love can provide.  Bring Jesus the ashes of your life and He will turn it into beauty (Isaiah 61:3) — the kind of beauty that overshadows make-up.

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