It’s Fall, Y’all

Fall is one of my favorite seasons! So, in honor of the start of this new season, allow me to share a couple fall-ish thoughts, favorite things, and ideas with you!

There are so many things about fall that I love- from all things pumpkin to the crisp cool air and changing leaves. Living in Florida means summers are real, real hot and by the time August comes around I am ready to start feeling the cooler weather- unfortunately we have to wait until almost November until it cools down into nice breezy and chilly weather, but when September rolls around, fall decorations go up and pumpkin bread is in the oven! There is just something about coming home after a long day and lighting those delightful candles, putting on your favorite sweater, and watching a movie or reading a book while snacking on some fresh baked pumpkin bread that makes a heart full of all the warm and fuzzy feelings!

“Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.” -Elizabeth Lawrence

Take some time to cuddle up in your favorite cardigan and blanket with a cup of tea and reflect as we enter this new season. Maybe you just entered or will be entering a new season of your life. Maybe you can reflect on all of the times God has protected you from harm. Maybe you can reflect on the many blessings that are in your life. I encourage you to take a few minutes out of your day and pause, watch the leaves turn.

“The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go”.

Fall is a perfect representation of what change looks like, one day the trees are bright green, and you start to notice a yellowed leaf fall to the ground here and there, and before you know it the trees have changed their color. What about you, how have you changed? What do you need to let go of? What are the dead things in your life? I encourage you to embrace fall, not only the fun fall activities but also allowing yourself to let the dead things go in your life.

Happy Fall, Apostolic girl!

AG Fall

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Remembering Gramps

July 29th, 2019, around 2 a.m., my grandfather passed from this world into eternity. He was 83 years old and was blessed to have lived so many years. He had Alzheimers, but it was his failing health and pancreatic cancer that took his life. With what seemed to be just an upset stomach, Gramps began to fade and was gone within two weeks.

Carl Hockensmith was my only grandfather. My father’s father died when my dad was only 19. He was an alcoholic and an abusive man, so my Gramps was my one and only my entire life.

He wasn’t a complicated man. A simple man in the sense that he was easy to please, easily amused, and never anxious about anything. Farming in the hills of Kentucky had been his life. The rawness of manual labor and working in God’s nature was where he felt most comfortable.

As I remember my grandfather, I want to remember what he stood for and his outlook on life. Gramps often said, “No use in fussin’, so you might as well laugh”. And boy, did he live by that! My Gramps always had a witty remark and humorous comment. He loved to laugh at everything…even his own jokes! He didn’t get offended and happily received banter and play.

He chose to laugh instead of cry, smile instead of frown, to be friendly instead of isolated, to have joy instead of sorrow. He loved going to funerals, because it gave him a chance to share stories and to see old friends. If only we could have an attitude like that!

No matter how stressful a situation or tough a place I find myself in, I choose to be like Gramps. I will find the laughter and humor in the most disappointing or discouraging circumstances. I will not dwell on negativity. I will not let anxiety and fear steal the joy in my soul.

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Glenna Hockensmith, Carl Hockensmith (Gramps), and Charity

Proverbs 17:22 – A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

I love you, Gramps. Thank you for the countless giggles and laughs, the goofy times, and care-free moments. I will remember that life is not that serious…That there is something to laugh about in everything.

AG Blogger (1)

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

Voices of This World

Dear fellow Apostolic Girl,

We live in a world that tells you, as a woman, that to be feminine means to not submit to authority, that to dress like a woman makes you look weak, that when you become a wife and mother, and take care of your household, that you give up your independence, future, and opportunities.

This is my second entry as an Apostolic Girl blogger, and I want to tell you that you are powerful, that in your submission you are crowned with glory and anointing, and that you are beautiful. And in this world that tries to tell you otherwise, I admonish you to guard your mind and your heart. Jeremiah 17:9 says “the heart is deceitful above all else, who can know it?”

When you do not guard your heart, you make yourself susceptible to the influence of this carnal and sinful world. As some of you may have experienced in your past, this is a dangerous and vulnerable place to be. The principalities of this world will try and make you believe that you are treated unfairly, that you shouldn’t have to submit or be humble, that you deserve recognition for all of your accomplishments and acts of service. Thoughts and attitudes like these will begin to poison and darken your heart.

In contrast, submission and humility are exactly what we should strive for. God sees your private devotion and servant-hood.  He walks with you in every journey or path you take. When you submit, HE sees. When you are humble, HE sees. When you serve the kingdom of God without recognition, HE sees.

There are so many voices in this world. And sometimes it can be hard to discern God’s. The most dangerous of these voices are the false ones that come from within the church. Those in whom you trust, that are giving you misguided direction. You will only be able to discern the voice of God if you build a relationship with Him. When you get to know Him, His voice, His thoughts.

You must be careful about what you open your mind to. Whether it be movies, books, or even educations that can lead you astray. Pray for your mind. Pray for your heart. Pray for the armor of God to be utilized every morning before you walk out your door. For without it, you are walking into the world without spiritual protection. Know that you are crowned with glory. That you are anointed and powerful. Do not let the voices of the world take that away.

Disney may say to “Follow Your Heart.”  But, please don’t. The heart will deceive you. The heart will make you feel emotions that are not of the Lord. Follow the Holy spirit that lives inside of you. The one that will guide you in the right direction. The voice that will speak clarity to you in the midst of the fog. Who are you allowing to speak into your life?

 

Bethany Marsh

More Than Enough

As a teenager, especially in our generation, you’re probably well aware of how you compare to your peers. You want to fit in and be your best which often means you want to be like someone else. When someone seems better at something than you, you may feel like you’re not good enough and that you need to be better in order to be accepted.

When we fail, struggle, or face obstacles, it can make us feel that we are not enough. Surely we must somehow be inadequate or this wouldn’t be happening. If only we could be stronger, do more, get better, then things would be okay. We would be okay. Right?

We as humans, become the judge and find ourselves lacking. We tend to compare and critique and then we tell ourselves, “I’ll never be good enough” or “I’ll never be like them.”

When you face rejection, your first question is “Why not me? Am I not good enough?” You start to compare and then doubts come flooding into your mind. You got all these questions and all these negative thoughts.

Believe me when I say that I have told/ask myself that phrase so many times. And sometimes I still do. Having doubts about yourself is inevitable. We’re still humans, you know.

I saw this post the other day. It said, “You will always be enough to the right person.” It’s true. With the right people in your life, you are enough. But most importantly, you are and always will be enough in the eyes of the Righteous One.

The Bible says in Psalms 139:14:

“…for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well…”

But, since we’re still in this world, humans will be humans, flesh will be flesh, and the devil will be the devil. There will be times where Satan will try and lie to you and keep telling you that you’re not enough. That you’re not worthy of anything. That someone will always be smarter than you, prettier than you, better than you.

Each of us are different. Your calling is different than the people around you. You’re different, she’s different. You have your own strengths and weaknesses.

But more importantly, do you ever realize that it is your flaws and your differences that makes you perfect? You are plenty. You are enough. No, you are MORE than enough.

I want you to give all your doubts to Him. Let Him show you the you that He sees. The one He thinks is enough. The one He thinks is worthy.

I want you to remember this: no matter what other people may say, no matter what you tell yourself, no matter what the devil tries to tell you, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords died for you and me. You are wonderfully made by the Great I Am and in His eyes, you are enough, you are worthy.

Francesca Vitug

A Woman to Be Praised

Today, we are bombarded with the feminist movement and the many different meanings it holds for people (don’t worry, this is not an article about feminism, that’s a whole different conversation). That the thought of being a Proverbs 31 woman is outdated and old-fashioned, or only for moms. But, I want to encourage us to not get caught up in that feminist mentality or argument that being a Proverbs 31 woman is outdated, but to focus on the women that God is calling us to be.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
Proverbs 31:30 NKJV

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Proverbs 31:30 ESV

The Bible says charm is deceitful. Charm is defined as “the power or quality of giving delight or arousing admiration”. A synonym for deceit is misleading. So, another way to interpret this verse would that arousing admiration is misleading, and that beauty is vain.
As girls and young women we have power, but we must be mindful of how we use it. We do not want to be a stumbling block for those around us, we do not want to be a distraction from what is truly special about us and what separates us, which is that we are chosen of God and we are filled with His Spirit.

I pray that instead of being girls who are focused on the material things, the charms and beauty we have, that we are girls who choose to become a woman who embodies the characteristics God desires of us.

To be modest – 1 Timothy 2:9

To be kind – Proverbs 31:26

To have self control – 1 Timothy 2:9

To fight for those who can’t fight for themselves – Proverbs 31:8-9

To be trustworthy – Proverbs 31:11

To be good – Proverbs 31:12

To honor and be honorable – Proverbs 31:25

To be willing to work hard and not be idle – Proverbs 31:13-15, 27

To plan and make decisions carefully – Proverbs 31:16

To be strong – Proverbs 31:17, 25

To be wise – Proverbs 31:26

Let us be girls, who are rising up to become Proverbs 31 women.

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Sabrina Hope