Sold-Out

When I go to a clothing store, I often head strait to the clearance. Before you judge, I got a Zara dress from Marshalls for NAYC for $12. That was a steal. It would be so easy to buy everything on sale. It may take a while to find the good stuff but it’s less stress to have to pay a full $50 for a dress you’ll probably only wear a couple times.

But, what happens when we get snags in our cheap $12 dresses from Marshalls? It’s just wasted money. Quality over quantity. That can go for many things in the life of an Apostolic Girl. But today, we’re gonna be talking about being sold out on yourself, for yourself, in honor of the King.

If you’re wondering why so many people go strait to the clearance, it’s because it’s cheap! They know it won’t last but it’s there and it’s cheap. That’s the only reason they’re there for it. If you have a bunch of guys “hitting” you up all the time, think about it. Self worth is so important because Jesus paid it all. You were and still are worth the blood of Jesus. Nobody deserves it, but He still paid it all. Maybe you like the attention, or you just want to be nice. But, in the end, you’re wasting your attention on not just these guys, but people who just want an easy friend. Don’t settle for the closest guy you see because he knows it won’t last. He knows why he’s there.

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans‬ ‭8:38-39‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Be sold out on God! Be sold out and confident in who you are. I’m not saying don’t give any guy a chance. Not every guy is looking for what’s cheap. But you may view yourself as that if you let them view you as that too. Girl, you ain’t cheap. God gave us all the things he did to remind us daily that we deserve to be taken care of by the right person. But, in order to be sold out on a guy, you have to first be sold out on God, and then yourself. Like the scripture says, “nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God…”. If you’re sold out, nothing can get in between you and Him.

I may be only fifteen and have never had a boyfriend, or talked to many guys, but I know that putting myself down for it puts another opportunity down to confine in God. Just because you’re available, doesn’t mean you’re cheap. If you just wait on His will, I promise you He will send you the right person. Jesus knows the desires of your heart. You just gotta be sold out on yourself for now. The rest will fall in line, babe. 😉

Chelsea Hockensmith Bio

Bloom & Boom

When you plant a seed, whatever plant it may be, it grows with the right natural elements such as sunlight and water. You can also buy things to help like Miracle-Gro. Put a seed in the right soil and it will just grow and keep growing till it is fully grown. But, if you try and plant something in a drought without watering it because you are waiting on rain, it won’t grow. It will just die with the potential of what it could have grown up to be.

“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

Psalms 1:3 KJV

If you feel like you can’t grow where you’re at, it’s because you are trying to grow something without nurturing it and eventually you are robbing yourself of that blessing or calling. God plants you in places on purpose. You are where you are at for a certain reason. You cannot sit in a drought and expect God to grow you. You have to nurture your calling in that season of doubt or fear or whatever you’re going through. If you feel like you’re not good enough, pray about it because you can grow from that feeling if you pray through it. Like the old saying goes, “You grow through what you go through”. And it’s the truth. If you feel stuck in where you’re at, just keep praying for growth. Keep practicing if you’re a musician. Keep praying for wisdom if you want to be a speaker or a writer in His kingdom. Keep serving humbly no matter what you want to do. Because that is what you have to do in your season of drought or else you will be left with a seed that had so much potential, but unfortunately died. Nurture your faith. Nurture what God gave you or you’re left with less than what you started with. If you can’t appreciate what you have to nurture, how will you appreciate more?

“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,”

1 Peter 2:1-4 KJV

Instead of letting sin and evil things grow in your dry season, let love and the fact that God chose you to serve Him grow. If we forget the feel of His presence, sin can come in and grow just as quick as blessings. We often let this feeling of being lost from His presence keep us from feeling Him in the midst of our chaos. When all along He is right there. Just reach out and say His name. You are precious in His sight and you only need Him to grow.

Daily prayer and reading your bible repeatedly isn’t just good for your spiritual growth. It is also good to keep you planted in what good works He has brought you to. If He has called you to do something for His kingdom, you need to know more about Him before He can use you. It’s kind of like turning in a resume to a company you have never heard of and don’t know anything about the position you are applying for. If you don’t know where to grow, let God plant you. And just bloom where you are. That’s all it takes.

Chelsea Hockensmith Bio

His Promise Still Stands

There is a pattern to the life of faith that often follows a sequence of promise –> excitement –> waiting –> doubting –> testing –> refining –> reinforcement and –> eventual fulfillment.  This is essential to grasp if we ever hope to serve God as mature  women in the faith.

Instant gratification and impatience have become hallmarks of our society. We only have to “tolerate” 5-15 seconds of advertising before getting to a Youtube video. We are promised “instant weight loss,” “instant success,” and “3 Easy Steps…” to achieve just about anything.

Waiting, enduring, and learning patience, exercises of the will and character that have been integral to Biblical faith for thousands of years are not exactly hot topics in an age where we can scroll through our boredom at the rate of 13 Instagram pictures a second.

For now, I just want to highlight 3 appropriate responses to God during a season of waiting, waiting….and maybe even waiting some more:

1)     Gratitude for God’s Abundant Mercy

When God asks you to wait for His perfect timing you have to recognize that this is actually a form of His mercy to you.  By forcing us to wait, God protects us from becoming spoiled children and develops our character.  We will never be effective servants of the King if we are too much like the spoiled rich girl who has Daddy wrapped around her finger and always gets what she wants, right when she wants it.

He wants us to be people of character who recognize that the world does not revolve around us.  So He often asks us to wait and learn patience.  You should thank Him for this, because when God asks you to wait, He is actually doing you a favor.

As Paul says, when we are waiting on God,

“we also rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame.”  (Romans 5:3)

2)     Hope in God’s Anticipated Action  

Although this is one of the more counter-intuitive aspects of our walk with God, it is actually the case that the longer God makes you wait for something He has promised the more your faith and expectation in the fulfillment of His Word should grow.

The longer you wait, the closer He is getting to fulfilling His word and the more that reality should propel you to even more faith and hope in what is about to come to pass.

Even as you are waiting on God don’t miss the opportunity to praise Him for what He is about to do.

For “salvation is nearer now than when we first believed” (Rom 13:11).

Even though seasons of waiting can tend to wear us down, forcing us to face our own doubts, fears, and insecurities, always remember to praise the Lord in the midst of your waiting.

3)     Surrender to God’s Perfect Purposes

We all start out in our relationship with God wanting to be more or less in control of the operation. This is called idolatry.

Yes we want God, but we kind of want Him on our own terms.  We want a God we can fashion and shape, a God who will serve our needs and our agenda.  It is especially in the moments of waiting on God to do things His own way, in His own time, that reveal to us just how deeply entrenched the idolatry truly is within our hearts.

Part of why God is making us wait, is for us to fully let go of our own will.

And in that surrender you will find a comfort in knowing that God is God, that He does not need your advice, that His ways are higher and better than your ways, and that He is good to the deepest core of His being.

“Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.  For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised” (Hebrews 10:35-36). 

And the Joy of Fulfillment is coming…

Whether you are currently waiting on a personal promise God has given to you specifically, or are simply longing for the promise of eternal salvation and deliverance that we all share as followers of Jesus, always remember that no waiting on God is in vain.

He never forgets, He never goes back on His Word, and the joy you will experience on the day of your vindication will be that much greater simply because you waited well.

“And it will be said in that day, “Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us.  This is the LORD for whom we have waited.  Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation” (Isaiah 25:9).

“So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD.  As surely as the sun rises He will appear.  And He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth” (Hosea 6:3).

Francesca Vitug Bio

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

The Season of Waiting

In Ecclesiastes, we are told that there is a season for everything. In fact, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 provides a long list of the seasons that we might face. There are seasons of joy, seasons of weeping, seasons of love, seasons of peace, seasons of loss, and even seasons of silence. It is explained that every season has a purpose, but what about those seasons that are almost unbearable? What about those seasons of complete frustration? What about those seasons where we feel like nothing will ever work out? What about the seasons of waiting?

We all have goals. Some goals are small, like only drinking one cup of coffee a day or making it through finals week. However, most of our goals are big ones that we dream and Pinterest about constantly. Goals such as owning your own house, having an actual career, getting married, having children, or travelling the world. These big goals are the ones we find ourselves constantly thinking or worrying about. These are the goals that we wish to obtain ASAP. These are the seasons we wish would just hurry up. Unfortunately, instead of being in those grand seasons we dream about, we are sometimes met with a completely different season. This is the season of waiting.

The season of waiting is not a very glamorous season. I mean, who has ever looked forward to sitting in a waiting room? The season of waiting can be uncomfortable, frustrating, and even a little discouraging. Maybe you are waiting to graduate high school, for a job opportunity, to go to college, to pay off loans from college, or to get married. No matter what you are waiting for, the season of waiting is never easy. It’s uncomfortable not knowing your next step. It’s frustrating not being able to do exactly what you want to do and when you want to do it. It’s discouraging to see everyone else’s plans work out while your plans are still on hold. The season of waiting is a hard season; however, there IS a purpose for this season.

When we are waiting on the Lord’s perfect timing, we must remember that the season of waiting is a significant time. It’s a time of building trust in God’s will. It’s a time of casting every single care on Him and believing that He will work everything out. It is a time to build strength and break down distractions. When the Lord ushers us into the season of waiting, this season is not meant to be a punishment. The Lord is using this season of waiting to remind us to look at Him, trust in Him, and follow Him. Lamentations 3:25 says, “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” This reminds us that if we wait for the Lord and His perfect will, He will bring so many good things into our lives. Isaiah 40:31 reminds us that those who wait on the Lord will have renewed strength and will mount up with wings like eagles. Those who wait on the Lord will run and not be weary; they will walk and not faint.

So again I remind you, there is a season for everything and every season has a purpose. When you pray for the Lord’s will, He will bring you into the season He chooses. We must trust in His timing and wait upon the Lord. We must find purpose and beauty in the season of waiting for “…God has made everything beautiful for its own time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).”

Things you can strive to do during your season of waiting:

  1. Create a routine every day for reading your Bible and praying
  2. Establish good habits
  3. Examine your life and discard worldly distractions
  4. Pray for the Lord’s will
  5. Remember that the joy of the Lord is your strength
  6. Be a light for Jesus
  7. Get involved in church and volunteer activities
  8. Prepare yourself for the next step in your life
  9. Memorize scripture
  10. Glorify God in everything you do and everywhere you go!

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!