Worship: It’s What I Do

You WILL worship something…what will it be?

Sure, you don’t have a golden image sitting in your closet. But, you could easily devote too much time and energy to relationships, self-image, clothes, possessions, education, and entertainment. Slowly, anything can become what you praise and worship.

We were created to worship! (Revelation 4:11) But of course, God desires to be the only one you worship. When you worship and praise whole heartedly, it is SO satisfying! Because you are fulfilling the essence of why we were created!

Although it feels good and it’s one of the main purposes for our existence…why does worship make us feel uncomfortable? Why can it be so difficult?

The answer is simple. Let’s look at the story of King David…(2 Samuel 6:16)

David was worshiping the Lord and celebrating that the Ark of the Covenant was back in the Holy Land as he danced down the streets of Israel. He was so thrilled and grateful, he was acting a “foo”. Michal, his wife, was embarrassed and even disgusted by his behavior, for it was improper, undignified, and inappropriate for a King to behave in such a way. Worship requires humility. If you’re not having to humble yourself with how expressive, loud, and passionate you are worshiping… is it really a sacrifice? I understand we all worship differently, but either way, you should give your all in worship as King David did. He gave his all despite the opinions, observations, and influences around him. That’s why as young ladies, concerned about our appearance and image, we can struggle with worship (unless it’s the cute patty-cake golf clap). True worship requires surrender, shamelessness, selflessness, and humility.

The Bible talks about all kinds of expressive forms of worship that many may find embarrassing to do in service:

Dancing-Psalms 149:3, hand clapping-Psalm 47, hand raising-Psalms 63:4, singing- Colossians 3:16, shouting- Ezra 3:11-13, bowing- Ephesians 3:14-, and worship through music- Psalm 150.

I encourage you to be a beautiful example, portrayal of your testimony, and a grateful vessel of worship. Once you break through the pride, worry, and distractions, you will see how rewarding worship is to yourself and for your relationship with God!

about blogger

Charity Huba is a 24 year old Floridian, fond of the State’s hot summers and tropical beauty. She is a leader in youth ministry, music ministry, and Sunday school. She has her degree in Political Science and works for the government in the Division of Elections. She adores quality time with her loved ones, musicals, and moon-lit nights.

The Beauty of a Stop Sign

Picture this: You are driving down the road, in a hurry to get to your next destination, but what is that you see? A stop sign. “Ugh, I don’t have time for this,” you think to yourself. However, you only have two options: stop or keep going at the risk of hurting yourself or others. Of course you see the importance in stopping when driving a vehicle, but what about when you are traveling through life? How many of times have you been trucking through life, trying to get to the next destination, only to be stopped by those pesky red signs?

As a very busy and constantly going generation, we tend to see waiting as the worst possible activity. Whether it’s waiting at the doctor’s office, waiting in line, or waiting at a bus stop, we will always try to avoid this horrible task of waiting. And when avoiding is impossible, we distract ourselves in the meantime. I mean, that’s what scrolling through social media is for, right?

So what happens when God asks you to wait? What if God calls you to something, but it doesn’t happen immediately like you planned? What if there are stop signs standing in between you and your destination?

Did you know that David was anointed by Samuel to be king of all of Israel and then David waited TWENTY-TWO YEARS to be king of all of Israel? TWENTY-TWO. That’s longer than a lot of us have even been alive! I’m sure David became impatient a few times, but what David didn’t know is that he had to wait at certain stop signs before reaching his destination. David had to become ready for what the Lord wanted him to do; therefore, in the mean time, he prepared himself. He defeated a bear, a lion, and Goliath. He even became king of only Judah during his waiting period, but he didn’t stop there because he knew the Lord had promised him so much more.

You must see your waiting periods or stop signs in life like David saw his. Instead of distracting yourself with ungodly relationships, social medias, or your own plans, you must be intentional on how you use the waiting time God has allowed you to have. You have to take this time equipping yourself for the next step instead of being frustrated about your current step. You need to take this time to study God’s word, deepen your relationship with Him, and even find yourself in the beauty of His creation.

God designed every single destination, but He also designed every single stop sign. When you hit a stop sign, look around. Look behind you at what God has done. Look in front of you at what God is going to do. But most importantly, look beneath your feet at the foundation the Lord is building during your waiting period. And always remember to be brave and courageous and wait patiently for the Lord (Psalm 27:14).

about sarah

Sarah Barnhill, 21, is from Texas and is the middle sibling out of three girls in the Barnhill family. She recently graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with her Bachelor’s degree. Her favorite snack happens to be Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos!

 

I’m Going Where?!

At some point in life, we all question our purpose, or calling. Often, we can go through seasons where we just can’t figure out what it is that we are supposed to be doing. And if there’s anything I’ve learned in my 10 years in the Apostolic church, it’s that there is a season, or a waiting period, for everything. Some come and go as quickly as a whisper in the wind, while others last for days, months, or maybe even years. I’ve met many people that found out quickly what their calling in life was, while others were still searching.

That goes to show that no two people are the same. If you have already figured out your life’s calling, if you’re already building on it, then that is great! But if you are still searching for an answer about which path your life is supposed to take, know that you are not alone. You can rest in knowing that God has called you to something. Matthew 22:14 says, “For many are called, but few are chosen.”  So whether you are 10, 20, 30 or older, you are called to be great! Don’t be discouraged if you haven’t figured it out just yet.

There is a time for everything and everything is in God’s time. God’s word tells us in Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” That alone tells me, that if I focus on God, on seeking Him and building my relationship with Him, that anything and everything else that I need will be taken care of. When the time is right, He will tell me just what to do and where to go. And then you’ll find yourself asking not “where am I going?” but instead, “I’m going where?”.

about blogger haley

Haley Ivey, 24, resides in Bryant, Arkansas, where she and her husband serve as assistant youth leaders at Solid Rock Pentecostal Church. She enjoys photography, travel, writing and spending time with family.

Girls With Curls

If you have naturally curly hair, you know the struggle is real! Your hair has a mind of it’s own most days and it NEVER seems to do what you want it to do. Instead of trying to straighten your beautiful curls, this is a blog post dedicated to girls that want to embrace the curl!

Here is a hair how-to just for you:

How do I tame the frizz?

Okay, friends. I have a confession: You never completely tame the frizz. Frizz is a part of curly hair, but don’t worry, there are ways to TRAIN the frizz!

Get the right hair products for your hair type!

Did you know there are hair types? Neither did I! There are actually hair types ranging from 1 to 4 and knowing your hair type is imperative to determining your plan of attack. Go look up your hair type and research hair products appropriate for your hair type. Embrace trying different products until you find what works for you! Curly hair is a journey and you probably won’t find the perfect products the first time. Do your research, try new things, and if you find something that works, always share your secrets with your curly haired friends!

How-To Videos!

There are many curly haired girls that have walked this journey before you, so ALWAYS seek advice! Go watch curly hair how-to videos & try out new techniques. Sometimes you don’t know until you try it, and if you don’t like it just wash your hair and try something else! How-to videos will explain great products and techniques tried and proven to produce the best curly hairstyle.

*PLOPPING*

Plopping is a great technique to use for curly haired girls! If you’ve never heard of plopping, watch the YouTube below!

Plopping is my go-to curly hair technique! Using the plopping technique can help the hair products put in curly hair settle and soak in, which can help control the frizz. Also, if you like to wash your hair at night, using plopping is great. You can put all of your products in your hair, plop your hair, and then sleep on it all night. I definitely recommend trying this technique on your beautiful curly locks!

Embrace the Curl!

Always remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made! God chose for your hair to be curly so I encourage you to embrace your curl. Curly hair may seem like a burden, but I promise you, girl, it is a blessing! Have fun trying new techniques, shopping for new hair products, and researching hair routines. Enjoy your curly hair journey & if you find techniques and hair products that work for you, make sure to share your discoveries with your friends!

about sarah

Sarah Barnhill, 21, is from Texas and is the middle sibling out of three girls in the Barnhill family. She recently graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with her Bachelor’s degree. Her favorite snack happens to be Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos!

Framed as a Failure

I enjoy writing for AG.com, not just so I can preach at you and throw some scripture. But, I enjoy writing for this blog because I get to be open and hopefully relate to you! We are all alike in more ways than you’d expect. So, I don’t mind being a little vulnerable about my life experiences.

I’ve always felt like I was two steps behind. In school I struggled to keep my grades above a C average. I was good at being friendly and conversing, but what good was that?! I knew I had strengths, but they seemed worthless in areas that mattered. For example, I was carefree and good tempered (a strength), but it would cause me to be more susceptible in forgetting and lacking concern for due dates, responsibilities, and important events. My family consists of talented, gifted, and intelligent people, which left me feeling inadequate at times in my youth. After high school, I decided to get a better job, save money, and volunteer in my community with my free time. I would see my friends on social media at their prestigious universities or going out of the country on some exotic trip. And I would ask myself, “What’s wrong with you?”

I am grateful for where God has brought me to! But, maybe you can see why I felt like a failure many times when comparing my life to friends, family, and the image of success by society’s standards.

We live in a society that is obsessed with success, promotion, and profile elevation. I have noticed a common theme with many story lines about the modern woman. The girl that is the main character usually lives in a nice city apartment, has a degree from an ivy league, and works for a magazine company or some Fortune 500 corporation. For her to be an exciting and inspirational heroine, she must have this image. It’s like society knows to truly be successful, you must obtain accolades, degrees, titles, and money.

The principal behind a success hungry mentality is not all bad. After all, we want to do our best with the life God has blessed us with! But, what is true success?

What the world may view as failure or unsuccessful is fruitful when you are in God’s will and bringing Him pleasure.

When you want to “grade” your success, ask yourself these questions:

1)              Am I following the Word of God and pleasing Him in my lifestyle?

2)              Am I taking advantage of the opportunities God has given me?

3)              Am I looking for ways to better myself (especially spiritually)?

If you answered yes to all three, I can’t see why you would ever view yourself as a failure.

I Corinthians 3:6-8 (KJV)

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.”

A “faith without works is dead” kind of scenario. If you don’t labor and work hard in this life…there will be no increase! If you don’t apply yourself, wither it’s pursuing a degree, a career, or ministry, you will have nothing to show for it.

“Okay, Charity. But, what if I have worked and tried really hard and I’m just not moving forward?!”

Proverbs 16:9 (KJV)

“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.”

He is going to say no at times. He is going to say yes when you weren’t planning to move. Simply because He has something better in your future and/or is protecting you from growth stagnation. God is wiser, smarter, and knows all. When we take matters into our own hands, we are judging and concluding from a very shallow perspective.

This doesn’t mean stop planning and preparing for your future, because God wants you to be passionate about the life He’s given you! But, it means to understand why some doors close and why some open. It’s like God gives you a little shove here and there to keep you on the path of His perfect will!

Psalm 18:33 (KJV)

“He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.”

Overall, if you don’t have a high paying job, a degree to hang on the wall, intelligence, a hefty bank account, extraordinary good looks, or great social skills- you are not a failure! Don’t listen to those around you. Read God’s Word and see what is successful to the One who created life and the essence of dreams. Please God, follow His guidance, and take opportunities He presents. That is true success and the secret to a satisfied and content life.

about blogger

Charity Huba is a 24 year old Floridian, fond of the State’s hot summers and tropical beauty. She is a leader in youth ministry, music ministry, and Sunday school. She has her degree in Political Science and works for the government in the Division of Elections. She adores quality time with her loved ones, musicals, and moon-lit nights.

Fixer Uppers

Exasperated and tear-soaked, I flung my tired body onto my bed. Sighing into my pillow, I blubbered: “I just can’t do this anymore!” The waves of emotion moved over me: frustration, irritability, bewilderment, wanting more with less work– the experience needed to be over!

I laid there as the moments passed until, defeated, I dragged my hand across the pillow top, fingertips searching for the crisply untouched sheet of paper. I let my watery eyes absorb the Swedish Title and followed the illustrated instructions, trying to complete my IKEA furniture. Picture by picture I did what was told of me, the tears soaked back into my skin, and there– there was my finished Kullen dresser.

The mystification I was overcame with moments ago has resided to smiles, accomplishment, and neatly folded clothing. I had all the materials. I had the prior experience. I had the confidence. But I ignored the instructions. All of my own qualifications weren’t enough to complete the task ahead of me, I simply could not fix the situation!

This desire to “fix things” isn’t so unnatural. In fact, I think we all feel it. There’s an idea of what we want for our lives, and so we use our limited resources to achieve that goal! There are little Chip and Joanna Gaines inside all of us! But I have a belief that this “fix it” mentality stems from this question: how do we trust God’s plan when we don’t know what it is? Our desire to fix things is a result of not knowing the end, not knowing where God is leading us. It feels like being in the wilderness, and simply desiring more than clouds and fire.

In living positive, Christian lifestyles, it is natural and God-given to have big dreams (shout-out to the Josephs on AG!), but our life-instructions aren’t Swedish pictures with nuts, bolts, and wooden planks– it’s so much bigger! It’s the Word of God! The Lord beckons us to have faith and trust in Him! Trust the process! Yes, even in the “quiet-times,” He sees us. He’s always there.

Here are some Biblical promises that have practical applications that help us in trusting the process:

  1. God has all power and all authority.

There is nothing that He can’t do! Situations often seem impossible and like there is no way out. In the big ways and the small ways, these seasons of being “backed into a corner” are overwhelming by nature, but there is comfort in knowing that nothing is impossible for Jesus. He can make a way in every situation.

Scripture Reference:

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37

“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Matt 19:26

“For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.” II Corinthians 13:4

“Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.” Job 42: 1-2

  1. JESUS LOVES YOU!

So much more than the song we sing in Sunday School, God is crazy about you! He loves you more than anything, and that can never change. He will never love you more. He will never love you less. He. Loves. You! I know for some of us, the question of trusting God’s plan has less to do with “can” he do it, but rather, “if” he will do it. However, this concern is of no value when we trust in His love. Whether He moves in the way we expect isn’t the heart of the matter, it’s knowing that when you’re trusting God, praying, fasting and seeking, it is not in His nature to leave you! He cannot do it! He is bound by his word. He loves you so much.

Scripture Reference:

“If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?” Luke 12: 28

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” I Peter 5:7

“Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations” Deuteronomy 7:9

  1. His ways are higher than our own.

Along the vein of “things not going my way,” there is a deeper understanding that what I feel is — and what may be — “my good” is not necessarily God’s good. We love to quote Romans 8 where it says, “All things work together for THE GOOD of those who love him and are called according to his purpose,” but, it’s to note that it’s not necessarily MY good. It’s God’s good. For the betterment of His kingdom, so that souls might be saved.

C.S. Lewis makes an relates this concept well in the Chronicles of Narnia. The Pevensies, new to Narnia, are learning about Aslan. They keep asking the beavers if he is a “nice lion,” to which they glossily reply that he’s not nice, but he is good and he is just. As is God. Niceness gives us what we want (and because he loves us, God does deal with our wants and desires), but God’s goodness gives us what we NEED.

Isaiah 55 reminds us that his thoughts are higher than our own. Time does not exist for God, and He is always looking at the big picture. He sees the end and the beginning AT THE SAME TIME. He has never been surprised! There’s comfort in knowing that what I want, God will withhold because he knows what I need.

*Side bar: If I got everything I’ve ever wanted, I would be a Candy Land princess, married to Han Solo. Praise God I grew out of that phase, haha.

Scripture Reference:

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

“Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.” Psalm 147:5

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

Ultimately ladies — have patience. He sees you and he loves you. The season of patience you’re in is preparation for the greater things God has in store. David says that “surely goodness and mercy will follow me” — and surely goodness and mercy will follow you! He has not forgotten you, but the desire to “be a fixer” and to take matters into your own hands may rob you of the joy of the season you’re in. So break out your Life-Instruction-Manual (ahem, the BIBLE), snuggle into God’s open arms, and keep trusting in the carpenter who not only fixes things, but also creates it right the first time. He loves you.

about alexys

Alexys Rea Griffin is a 23-year-old coffee connoisseur, bibliophile, Disney aficionado, and fresh-flower-lover. Seeking her English Literature degree from Florida State University, Alexys devotes her time to the Campus Apostolic Ministry at FSU as well as youth ministry, kids ministry, and music ministry at her local church. Do you do Instagram? ‘Cause so does she: @alexysasalways

Texas Strong

I sit here, watching the rain come down just thinking about my Texas. My Texas is filling with water. My Texas is structurally falling apart. My Texas is hurting. My home, the place where I was born and raised, is hurting and my heart is breaking. With every passing hour, there is another picture of homes being torn apart and another picture of people crying out for rescue. With every passing hour, there is more destruction happening in my Texas.

But in every passing hour, I see hope, I see love, I see unity, I see God. I see God in a man carrying children out of the water and into safety. I see God in mothers shielding their children from the rain. I see God in strangers grabbing their boats and heading into disaster to rescue their neighbors. I see God in companies supplying basic needs. I see God in people sheltering each other from the storm. I see God in people loving others. I see God in Houston today. My state might be hurting, but God’s love is more evident than ever.

Today as I stare at the rain I can’t help but think of Matthew 5:45 and Isaiah 43:2. The Bible says that it will rain on the just and the unjust. Rain will come whether it is actual water falling from the sky or metaphorical rain in your life, you must expect rain. However in that rain, God promises in Isaiah 43:2 that when you pass through the waters, He will be with you. He will be the emergency responder heading into the storm to rescue you. He will be the family offering you shelter. He will be the neighbor sharing food and water. He will be with you wherever you go, even unto the end of the earth (Matthew 28:20).

I am proud of my Texas. I am proud of the unity I see in this beautiful state and in this beautiful country. I am proud to call myself a Texan and an American. I am proud of my fellow Texans and Americans helping those in need. I am praying for my neighbors in this time of need. Along with others, I want to be light for God in the midst of this time of darkness. I want to represent the Lord and represent Texas Strong.

about sarah

Sarah Barnhill, 21, is from Texas and is the middle sibling out of three girls in the Barnhill family. She recently graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with her Bachelor’s degree. Her favorite snack happens to be Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos!