Freedom Tax

Freedom. It’s kind of ironic, huh? You are free, but it’s not. We go about our lives having the choice to do certain things, go certain places, be certain people. Except the people who fight for that freedom are not.

You see, Jesus died for our freedom. As do the men and women we honor on this day. Why only today? It seems that national dog day is more important than those who sacrificed themselves for this country. What about pride month? Is it right that they, who are only 15% of the world, are more honored than our fallen and current veterans? Okay, well let’s talk about it. Everyone is worth their right to freedom. It matters though how and where you get your freedom. Everyone has freedom in Jesus name.

So how come we can’t lift our hands to the one who bought our eternal freedom? Everyday the Lord has made! Not just Sunday or Wednesday, but everyday. It’s not a sense of freedom that we strive for as apostolic young ladies, it’s the sense of worth and dignity in knowing we are bought by perfect love.

Proverbs 31:10 says it point on, “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.”

All women are worth the price of freedom. We just struggle in earning that freedom. It seems easier to feel free in the world, but you pay the price of eternal bondage. Our fallen veterans are known to deal with depression and other physiological damages. It’s disheartening to find that they turn to the darkness of the world in order to ease the pain. They forget that only one thing can help them through these times, and that’s the freedom Jesus bought them.

Imagine what freedom we could feel from this world if we truly knew how to sacrifice. Fasting is one way to start. It can even be a 5 minute prayer. You should want to return the debt of freedom to God. The type of freedom you choose is up to you. Just think about where your freedom will truly take you. Will you be free to worship in Heaven? Or will you be in bondage forever? Jesus gave us this choice because He wants us to have freedom. Just like all of Israel was set free, he wants us to be free to worship and dance in his presence.

Use your freedom because not everyone has the opportunity to freely worship God. Being modest can be a struggle, but we are saved. But being a proverbs 31 woman is not all it takes. Know where your freedom comes from!

Chelsea Hockensmith

I’m Engaged!

I don’t want to be that annoying girl. You know, the one that talks about her boo and relationship all the time? But, can you let a girl testify!

I recently got engaged to an incredible man of God and I never knew the human heart had the capacity to feel this much love and joy. I’m 25 and we dated for a year and eight months. This is a little older and a little longer than most traditional “church culture” relationships. But, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Why? Because it was God’s perfect timing. I would like to share a bit of advice to the woman who’s finger has yet to be graced by a ring.

I encourage you ladies to never compare and envy the women around you. That’s a dangerous thing to do. Because that’s when you try to take your love story out of God’s hands and write it yourself. But, I assure you- He’s a way better author.

Be content as a single woman. Do not wait for life to start. Before I met Jericho, I had my own apartment, had become our church’s youth leader, was finishing up college, and was pursuing God’s will for my life as an individual. Granted, I wasn’t against a relationship, but I wasn’t seeking it out either. If you are not content without a relationship, you never will be with one.

Expect God to surpass your expectations! I know many women have created lists, naming off each characteristic they want in their future husband. If you’ve done that, I don’t want to discourage you. But, God superseded my expectations and dreams. Jericho is not what I envisioned! Even the way we met. I am the pastor’s daughter of a small church in Tallahassee (a lot of people don’t even know that’s the capital of Florida). I would’ve never thought God would’ve led the love of my life through our church doors as a FSU college student from New Jersey, a new resident of Tallahassee, who found our church online.

Don’t settle for mediocre. Be with someone who wows you! Where you have to seriously ask yourself, is this person real? “Too good to be true” does not exist with God. It is true no matter how unbelievably amazing! If we truly believe God is miraculous and a miracle worker, why can’t we expect Him to display that in our future spouse?

There’s been a debate over if there’s “the one” or if it’s simply a choice and God blesses whomever you choose. I don’t want to get too involved, but I will say that prayer, fasting, and seeking advice from Godly counsel is necessary when dating and moving towards marriage. It is the scariest and most stressful decision ever! But, God confirms His Word. It may not be easy, but He will make His way known. He is not the author of confusion. Genesis 24 gives us a perfect example of that when the servant prayed for the spouse God wanted for Isaac. God led Rebekah to the well and made it known the individual He wanted Isaac to marry according to His will.

Be encouraged, ladies, no matter your age or situation. Fairy tales are real if you do it His way. Trust and believe. Don’t rush His timing or doubt His will.

“Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” – Psalm 37:4-5

To my darling husband-to-be, “I hold you in my heart, for we have shared together God’s blessings.” – Philippians 1:7 

Charity Huba

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

Fond of My Father

“My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.”

Father’s are some of the most influential people in our lives. From being there to teach us how to walk through how to change a tire, our father’s are a pillar of strength for us.

I am thankful for my father, who has sacrificed so much for my family and I! I know not everyone has been blessed with a dad like mine, those who maybe don’t have anyone to celebrate with this Father’s Day, and to those special Apostolic Girls, I want to remind you of something: you have a good, good father. Ultimately, we are all blessed to have a heavenly father who delights in giving his children the desires of their heart. A father that fiercely protects us and who is a provider for us. A father who loves us so much that he sacrificed his life for ours.

If on this Father’s Day weekend you find yourself feeling sad or alone, I urge you to find comfort in God’s word. Here are some verses to get you started- Psalm 27:10, Psalm 68:5, Psalm 89:26, Proverbs 3:12, Proverbs 4:1, Proverbs 15:5. Please know this girl- you are loved, you are cherished, you are chosen, you are not forsaken.

Father’s pillars of strength and protection around us, they guide us in wisdom. So, on this Father’s Day we say ‘Thank you’ to our dad’s who protect us, who care for us, and who provide for us!

Shout-out to my Daddio, Happy Father’s Day! I wouldn’t be who I am today without you.

dfb

 

Sabrina Hope

The Molder vs The Maker

There is a difference between making and molding. You can make someone happy, you can make a sandwich, you can make someone annoyed, etc. But, you cannot make someone a servant. You cannot make someone humble. You cannot make someone like you. You can’t magically change them. That’s just how it works.

Just like you can’t make someone do anything you want, God can’t make you worship. God cannot make or force you to bless your church. But, He can mold you into what He wants you to be, if you give up the things that He doesn’t want you to be.

“But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.”

Isaiah 64:8 KJV

Have you ever seen those clay videos on Instagram where people hold hands in a jar and they have to stand there while they pour the clay? And then they have to stay there while it dries. A lot of waiting, huh? They made them stay there because it’s what it took to have the final mold. They probably got impatient, but it’s what it took to get what they were waiting for.

“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

Job 23:10 KJV

God won’t make you do anything. But, He will keep you in a place sometimes to mold you into the humble servant He called you to be. To mold you for your future. People can make you change your mind about your calling. By influencing you. It’s a daily battle. You can choose who you want to fight. Are you going to be with the molder? Or with the maker? That’s up to you. But, God has promised something, and all He’s asking is that you wait and be still so He can mold you, in order to be ready for what He has made for you!

Chelsea Hockensmith

Beauty On a Budget

Every girl deserves to be able to nurture her skin, hair, and face, no matter the amount of her checking account. I’m a State worker, with rent and bills to pay, and every day expenses. But, I have found a few “tricks” to still get quality beauty care on a tight budget.

“Like” and comment below if you enjoyed this Vlog!

Charity Huba

 

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