Humility

I don’t want you all to think I am up here on a high horse, preaching at you. I myself struggle with being humble, I have to check myself often. I hope you all do too, it is so important that we are thinking about our actions and our words throughout our days.

Let’s look at some scriptures that tell us the importance of humility, because the Bible does mention being humble or humility often.

1 Peter 5:5-7 (NKJV) 5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to [your] elders. Yes, all of [you] be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”] 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

This scripture states that we are to submit ourselves, what does that mean? Some
synonyms of submission are complaint, obedient, meek, and yielding.
So this scripture is telling us to be obedient and compliant to our elders and to be humble, because why?

Because it says that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
I want God’s grace, and more importantly I NEED God’s grace. So I am going to do
what He says, I am going to submit to my authority and my peers, I am going to clothe myself in humility, I am going to cast all of my cares on Him because He can care for me better than anyone else.

Micah 6:7-8 (NKJV) 7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, Ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn [for] my transgression, The fruit of my body [for] the sin of my soul? 8 He has shown you, O man, what [is] good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

In this passage, someone is asking what the Lord will be pleased with- will God be pleased with thousands of rams, what about ten thousand rivers of oil, what about if I sacrifice my child for my sins.. but the answer is much more simple than that. It says that the Lord requires you to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him. The Lord requires this of us.

Luke 14:11 (NKJV) “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted”.

This verse is pretty cut and dry, not a lot of room for interpretation. It says that if you
exalt yourself, meaning you think about yourself in a position of greatness, you will be humbled. It says that if you humble yourself, you will be exalted, meaning raised to a position of greatness in God.
I don’t know about you, but I do not want God to have to humble me. Being humbled
hurts. I want to check myself, and humble myself, so that God doesn’t have to.
But you know what, if He has to do it, I would rather be humbled by Jesus, then not be pleasing to Him, and not be with Him for eternity.

Philippians 2:5-8 (NKJV) 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, [and] coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to [the point of] death, even the death of the cross.

When I read this verse, it hit me hard.

I want you guys to really grasp what this verse is explaining to us- it is telling us that Jesus, who is the form of God and equal with Him, came in the likeness of us; He did not come as a millionaire like He could have, He did not come as a King like He could have, He came as an ordinary baby, an ordinary man. He humbled himself, and wrapped Himself in flesh. He humbled himself and was obedient- even to the point of death. Think about that. Jesus humbled Himself, and was obedient enough to say okay to dying on the cross for us. And all He is asking us to do, is to follow His Word, to humble ourselves. He isn’t asking us to be tortured and nailed to a cross, He already did that for us.

We have established the importance of humility- but what is it really?

Most of us understand that pride is the opposite of humility. What is pride? Pride is when you focus on who is right and your own glory, it reveals your character. Humility is when you focus on what is right and God’s glory, it reveals God’s character.

Maybe you are not prideful on purpose, and you don’t understand how pridefulness comes into your daily life. Let me give you some examples of how it happens- pride comes in when you compare, when we think we are owed something. Pride comes in when you pity yourself, and only focus on your weaknesses. Pride comes in when you are self reliant, when we think that we have our acts together. Pride comes in when we want recognition or when we expect others to acknowledge us.

Humility is, like a quote which I recently read, not necessarily when we think less of ourselves, but it is when think about ourselves less. True humility can be understood like this:

H-honoring God above yourself

U-understanding your need for grace

M-mourning over your sin

I-illuminating God’s glory

L-looking for ways to serve others

I-ignoring your pride

T-trusting God’s plan over your own

Y-yearning to worship

The Bible says that Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom (Proverbs 11:2). So I want to challenge us to strive to be humble, be more aware of our actions and attitudes, and check ourselves and make sure we are pleasing to God.

Sabrina Hope

Mothers Mention

The term “mother” used as a verb is defined as “bringing up a child with care and affection.” Motherhood is more than a matter of fertility, but also a God-given set of skills meant to nurture those who need to be fed and cared for. The woman who fulfills this roll in our lives is not always our biological mother. Sometimes the Lord puts women in our lives to lead us, mentor us, and impart wisdom to us for our future.

I think as girls, it’s hard for us to understand why our mothers worry so much, or get on our nerves about the concerns they have for our lives. The truth is, our mothers always desire for us to go beyond and achieve more than they ever did, and so they care even more for our futures. They have experienced things we haven’t, and they see the bigger picture of how our actions impact our futures.

There is going to be a time where you are let go into the world and it’s likely that you, yourself will begin to invest in others the same way you were invested in. Whether it be your daughter, or a young girl who needed the same care that you, yourself needed.

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Bethany and Her Mother

I’m so thankful and blessed to have a mother who cares about my future and the choices I make. I would challenge each of you girls to not only honor and love your mother on this Mother’s Day, but to also find someone who has invested in you and had a strong impact in your life, and honor them. Happy Mother’s Day!

Bethany Marsh

The Attitude Check

Philippians 2:3 – “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

Jesus Christ is love. If we truly want to reflect Him, we will be what He is. We will never be as perfect, but we can try! Christ put others before Himself. The scripture above is a reminder that He desires us to uplift, encourage, and even put the needs of others before our own.

Ephesians 4:31-21 – “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

‘But, Charity- I’m just sassy. I’m just sarcastic. I’m just real.’, you may say. But, scripture clearly says that if your attitude reflects bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour (aggressiveness), or evil speaking (gossiping)- you’re doing it wrong. God does not want that a part of your “personality” or nature.

Proverbs 29:11 – “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.”

It is not wise to say everything that comes to mind. You must practice self-control and maintain your emotions and temper. Before you speak, you need to contemplate on it and ask yourself- “would God approve of what I am about to say?” If you feel it is necessary to say what is on your mind, the verse says keep it in until afterwards. So, after dwelling on it and seeing if it would be beneficial to share… then you may speak at the appropriate time.

Ephesians 4:14-15 – “ That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:”

It’s good to be honest and speak truth, but scripture says to do it in love. If one of my friends come up to me and asks, “Do you like this dress?”, and I think it’s the most hideous thing I’ve ever seen, I will give her truth IN LOVE. I will word myself in a way to not hurt her feelings but be honest in that I am not a fan of the dress.

Mark 3:25 – “And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”

Don’t let a bad attitude and an unchecked spirit divide the Kingdom. Division, offense, and “drama” amongst the people in church displeases the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:10-11).  God is coming so soon. We do not have time to get caught up in bad feelings, gossip, jealousy, and judgment. His Kingdom is more important that all of that!

No one is exempt from an attitude check! Even I have to self-reflect from time to time and make sure that my frustration or anger doesn’t get the best of me, especially in how I treat others. We must check our attitudes and see if there is any area in us that isn’t truly reflecting Christ. And if there is, we mustn’t be afraid to acknowledge it and work on changing it. As I continue to work on myself, I also encourage you to not forget your daily Attitude Check.

Charity Huba

Remember Your Roots

Dear Fellow Apostolic Girl,

Remember your roots. When you look at a statement such as this, you may think that I am referring to remembering your family tree and heritage. But in this case, I am referring to the roots that have sustained us and built us up from our personal pasts and experiences. The roots that grew as a result of your testimony.

Often times, we look at our past, and the mistakes we’ve made, or what we’ve been through, and try to bury them away. We want to hide from those feelings so we push them away from us. Many times, we were put through a time of trial or testing and in that time, we learned some hard life lessons, or grew from hard experiences where we had to learn to trust on the Lord. For those of you who may be going through something like that right now, let me encourage you that there is a bigger picture that goes beyond what we can see or comprehend. Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

We often use the scripture from Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Let’s look at that scripture in a different translation to give more perspective. “For I know that thoughts that I think towards you, declares the Lord. Thoughts to prosper you and not to harm you, thoughts to give you a hope and a future.” The Lord can map out our lives according to His specific will, for each moment in time. No matter how much He has done this, He will never force you to follow His will, so… when we step outside the will of the Lord, we then take control of our own lives, and may get caught up in something that was not planned for our lives. BUT the mercy and grace of the Lord is never-ending and never-failing. Praise God! There is always room for another chance for us to fall back in line with the will of the Lord. And when we do, the result is a testimony of what the Lord brought you out from.

Victor Jackson said this, “God factors your failures into your future.” What an incredibly true and encouraging statement. As a child, I was always told that “God uses the bad things that happen, for good.” And it is true. He takes those experiences and trials we’ve been through and uses them to reach others. Sometimes, I think to myself that the Lord may have put me through something for the sole purpose of being able to reach others who are going through the same thing. The important thing to realize, is that no matter the mistakes you’ve made, the trials you’ve suffered, God can and will use it as a testament of where He has brought you from, and it then becomes your job to share with others as the Lord leads. Our testimonies should be used as an encouragement to those around us. They give us opportunities to reach and relate to people we would have never related to before. Testimonies glorify God and are a constant reminder of His grace, mercy, and mighty works.

I challenge you to share your testimony, and let it be a constant reminder of who God has called you to be, and where you would be without His love. I challenge you not to hide from your past, but to share your experiences with those who are in need of hope, encouragement, advice, and love. Most importantly Sisters, I challenge you to trust in the Lord, and let Him direct you.

Bethany Marsh

 

Celebrate Love

Valentine’s Day is a day of celebration for love and the only way to enjoy it is you must have a boyfriend! Wrong! Yes, this day is a celebration of love but it is not just between a boy and a girl. It is about spending time with your loved ones like your friends and family. As a single young lady, it was hard for me to be “single.” I would always joke with my friends that I was on a record setting “single” streak; Single September, Only Me October, No Man November, Don’t Date December, Just Me January, and Forever Alone February. This joke made for some great laughs but there was always this discouraging voice in my heard declaring that I was truly forever alone. Would there ever be someone I could love during this holiday? I would see couples together and roll my eyes because I was again reminded that I was single. I then began to question if I should even celebrate Valentine’s Day.

The year it all changed for me was when God gave me the revelation that all my other girl friends were also single and it was not because of anything we had done wrong – it was because we were not in that season of our lives. God answered my question and said, “I have given you numerous friends and family to love. Do not miss out on this time with them just because the world deems this a ‘couples’ holiday.” Ever since that moment, I treat Valentine’s Day like I do any other holiday and I make sure to be surrounded by family and friends that I love and who love me. I chose to not wallow in self-pity (I can be very dramatic sometimes) and instead celebrate with all my friends!

God will place people in our paths for us to love and to be loved in return. God has shown us this promise – when He brought together David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel – of always bringing special people in our lives at the moment we need them. So instead of looking at this holiday as a reminder that you are “single” like I did,  learn how to show God’s love to all those around you. And if you are reading this but you are not single, it is always a good reminder to remember all your friends and family that might want to share your love on this special red and pink holiday!


Valentine’s Day is perhaps my most favorite holiday besides Christmas! I am a romantic at heart and am very sappy when participating in the festivities. I want to share with you a couple things that always brighten up my Valentine’s Day!

First, we all know that a great outfit can set our entire mood throughout the day (FACTS. HA!). For every holiday I always dress in festive colors and for this holiday, anything pink or red goes! Here, I have paired a red Zara shirt with a Target jean skirt and a pink purse from TJ Maxx. This is a simple but festive outfit to run around town in or have a Valentine’s Day brunch with my girls!

PICTURE ONE

Another tradition I enjoy is getting my friends Valentine’s cards. You can buy these Valentine cards (or others like these) at TJ Maxx for a reasonable price. These specific ones are the brand “Meri & Meri” and cost only $7.99. Valentine’s Cards are simple but perfect to let all your friends and family know you were thinking of them!

PICTURE TWO

I pray you enjoy this Valentine’s Day with all those you love and who love you! Please share some great ideas you do for Valentine’s Day in the comments below.

 

Alisha Eason

It Takes Time

Remember when you were a kid and you would get a cut and want it to go away as soon as possible? So, you’d pick at it or try to cover it with a band aid. Your parents would get on to you and say that you’re just making it worse or you’re just making it heal slower. Well, they were right.

The more you try to pick on your wounds the more it will take longer to heal. Covering it with a band aid won’t help either because no wound heals overnight. They say that time heals all wounds. It’s true.  You see, healing does take time. It doesn’t have a timeline.  But what does this word “healing” actually mean? According to Google, it means, “the process of making or becoming sound or healthy again.” So now the question is, how long does someone have to wait until they can finally say “I’m healed”?

Healing happens over time. It’s something that cannot be rushed. It’s an everyday process. You got to be patient with yourself and push yourself to be brave enough to heal. Healing is hard and I will tell you this, there will be days where your mind will be full of questions and you will feel desperate for answers that do not exist. There will be moments where all hope is lost and you will feel like you have not made any progress. Healing is messy and can get ugly. Sometimes it can be breaking and painful. But, there will also be days when you feel free and hopeful, even when you thought you had no hope left. There will be moments where you will feel supported and loved by the people around you and that healing won’t be too far away. And those moments are the ones you should hold on to.

Healing also happens when you’re alone at night or when you’re sitting in your car at a red light and suddenly you remember everything that hurts, and it feels like you’re getting stabbed in the chest repeatedly. Now your whole body just feels heavy, your heart and everything inside you hurts. Because, healing is pain, but it is also triumph. To be honest, you will always scar, but it will serve as a reminder that you made it!

The bible says  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” -Romans 8:18

It takes time. It takes pain. It takes hopelessness. It is not an easy process. But, healing will come. And when this pain is over, the joy that He will bring in your life will be incomparable. He has a plan for your life. God brought you this far and He will get you through.

So this New Year, I pray for everyone that’s in the process of healing. Don’t give up on yourself! Keep pushing. Give your broken pieces to the Healer. Little by little, every day, as healing slowly finds its way to you and as your wounds become scars which will be proof of how gracefully you healed, your heart will be full of joy, hope and love. You will be better than okay.

francesca vitug

What Ministry Is Not

I grew up in a pastor’s home. I lived with parents that eat, sleep, breath ministry and working for God’s kingdom. From scrubbing baseboards and painting the church, to studying, praying, and fasting for each sermon and lesson, to dealing with all kinds of people as counselors and psychiatrists, advising with Biblical and Godly wisdom. And you know what, my parents LOVE it. All of it. The good, the bad, the ugly. I was raised in an environment where the mentality was: it is a joy, an honor, and a privilege to serve God’s kingdom as ministers. Not one time did I hear my parents grumble or complain about the burdens of ministry. When my parents faced a challenging situation, they never vented or involved me and my sisters. There are things that happened to my parents that I didn’t find out about until I became an adult, because they wanted to protect us and never give us a hazy outlook on ministry. I am eternally grateful for that. I know of others that are pastor/minister’s kids who grew up to resent ministry. They knew about the drama and attacks upon their parents, their parents would be gone all day working at the church, and would pour so much of themselves into their ministry that there was hardly any time or energy for them.

The definition of ministry is literally: servanthood. But, unlike the maids and butlers of royalty- being a servant to God is so rewarding, a blessing, and a powerful experience. Being a servant to God feels like being royalty. Ministry is anything that somehow benefits the kingdom. Yes, some ministries put you on a stage for people to see. But, at the end of the day, God sees ministry as a thing of the heart. If you scrub that church toilet until your fingers bleed, God values that more than the guy who jumps behind a pulpit and didn’t prepare his message (real talk).

Ministry was made to be a practice taken on by a follower of Christ. First you follow, then you serve. When God went looking for disciples, He didn’t stop at asking them to follow. He told them he’d make them fishers of men and that they would have to take up their cross. Ministry is supposed to be something we do because we love God, we want to benefit His kingdom, and want to devote our time and energy as His devoted servants.

Ministry, as satisfying and honorable as it is, is not a relationship in itself. It is supposed to be a product of a relationship.

In church culture, we tend to glorify ministry. We tend to treat it as a status symbol or a fancy title. I remember being a teenage girl and that being the pick-up line guys would use to attract the women, “Yeah, I’m going to be a minister”. When in reality, that probably wasn’t the most pure-hearted statement.

But, for those that are genuinely in ministry (and not trying to pick-up a date), sometimes we feel a pressure to always produce. Like, give a progress update at the end of every day of things we’ve done, people who have been filled with the Holy Ghost, or how many followers we got on our ministry’s Instagram. Without meaning to, we can start behaving like ministry is a job and we are being rated on our performance. Subconsciously we will compare our ministry to others and our work to other churches. Sometimes we wake up stressed and go to bed stressed thinking about our ministerial responsibilities. And that, is simply exhausting and not the way God ever intended ministry to be.

Burn out is a real thing. I have seen it firsthand. Marriages fall apart, churches crumble, and minister’s spirituality suffer. All because a servant of the Lord gave and gave and stopped being refreshed from the fountain. People get spread so thin, trying to pour themselves into ministry with juggling work, school, family and friends, that they eventually breakdown.

It is okay to take a break or even to pull-out of ministries. Yes, you heard me right. I believe whole heartedly ministry is something EVERYONE should be involved in. It’s so rewarding and a blessing to the congregation. But, I have to remind myself that God rather have His relationship with you be priority, strong and thriving, than have you hanging on by a thread doing His work. Your walk with God is so much more important than what you do for Him. Although your local church and pastor appreciates your help (especially in a small church), make sure you are thinking of your spirituality and mental well-being first.

Are you getting burned out?

Do you feel like you have nothing else to give?

Do you find yourself more often stressed than uplifted when helping in the kingdom?

Does it feel like an obligation instead of a privilege?

These are hard questions each of us who are heavily involved in church need to ask ourselves.

Galatians 6:9 “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

What God truly desires from us is communion, intimacy, meditation on His word, and to be priority in your life. Yes, that even means priority over your ministry.

Don’t find your satisfaction in what you do for Christ or the roles He has given you in His kingdom. But, in Him alone. Be thankful for the honor and opportunity of leadership that has been bestowed upon you. But, never let that fog your vision of what is most important…your one true love.

charity