Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas in Haiti

Morning wake up call: little baby ants crawling all over you
December 23, 2011

This trip has been such a blessing because it has taught me how to be humble before the eyes of the Lord spiritually, emotionally, and physically. This morning I woke up in the middle of my dream feeling something on my neck and face. I didn’t think much of it, kind of thought it was my hair but decided to open my eyes and at least check to make sure. As I opened my eyes I realized it was ants on my neck and face. I just went ahead and terminated all of them and attempted to fall back asleep. You would think at that moment, if I had not gotten used to ants by now there would have been some sort of scream or shriek, an outburst of gross-outedness or some other fashion of exclamation or proclamation that having ants on your face is the worst thing in the world! But I have grown used to it in the time that I have been here. We wake up with ants all around us. We go to sleep soon after the sun goes down, and we wake up soon before the sun rises (at least some of us). We go to sleep amidst many sounds, but yet One thing remains true no matter where we are in the world: Jesus Christ is Lord of Lords and many many years ago He was born to a virgin.

Christmas in Haiti
December 24, 2011:

Silent night holy night,
All is calm,
All is bright,
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child,
Holy Infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in Heavenly peace,
Sleep in Heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight

Glories stream from heaven afar

Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia
Christ, the Saviour is born

Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night

Son of God,
love's pure light

Radiant beams from Thy holy face

With the dawn of redeeming grace

Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

The words of this song ring softly in my ears but the noises of Haiti overcome the music. It’s about 4:20 am and I can’t help but lay in bed wide awake staring at the stars out of the window of my tent, and just marvel at the glory and infiniteness of our Heavenly Father. Do you know what 4:20 am in Haiti is? It is when I am wide awake because I have slept more then enough time to function. It is when I can begin the day with my sweet Jesus. It is when the stars are shining there last bit of brightness before the greater Star overcomes their shining by rising in the east. But it is also a time when I am perfectly still, before the throne of God, content in where He has brought me, yet working out in fear and trembling the salvation of my soul. My thoughts quickly take me from worship and praise of our Father, to an acknowledgement of my utter inability to understand the concept of eternal hell or eternal Life.

And then it hits me.

I love Haiti.

I love Haiti so much that I am willing to wake up with ants on my face, I am willing to walk a little ways to go to the bathroom, I am willing to take a shower “outside,” I am willing to wash my clothes in buckets, I am willing to suffer a few sicknesses here and there, I am willing to eat the food that is almost impossible to palette.

But if I am willing then what left is there of Christ?

It is not me that is willing. It is Jesus Christ Alone. IT is the Author, the Perfector of our faith who is willing to go. It is the Jesus of the Gospel of Matthew,  (4:19) who says, “come follow me and I will make you fishers of man.”

“And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31)

So, then it really hits me, I love Jesus Christ.

I love Jesus Christ so much that I wanted to come down here with these precious four girls and serve His children at OLTCH.

And my how each of these girls has been imperative to this team. Today I have seen how our Maker long before time was time knew the four of us would be here together working, and He created each of our gifts to work specifically together for this 11 days in Haiti. It blows my mind how incredible our Lord is to be able to create human beings to be the body of Christ, to work perfectly in fellowship, sharing in the suffering of the Saints, and proclaiming the Name of Jesus Christ.

Truly it should be said of my sisters Kayla, Lauren Beuker, Kelli, and Kathleen: “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in Him in all speech and all knowledge—even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you—so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were calling into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:4-9

December 25, 2011
And then there is Christmas day.

Have you ever seen the sun rise on Christmas day? Have you ever seen the sun rise over Haiti on Christmas day?

There is nothing like it I will tell you! There is nothing like being a child of God and sitting in wonder of Him, reading through and seeing the truthfulness of,

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
And the government shall be upon his shoulder, and His name shall be called:

Wonderful Counselor
Mighty God
Everlasting Father
Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) and knowing that He is looking down now, that Jesus Christ is sitting at the right hand of God and that His Spirit is dwelling with in us.

It seems like we wait for this day all year long, and then when it finally comes it’s over before we know it!

This day, this year, is especially different because we are running around preparing for over 100 people to be here at the orphanage and preparing for all of them to receive gifts.

Although we were all burnt out of energy, we knew there was one thing to keep us going.

The day ended by enjoying a wonderful homemade meal of cooked goat and turkeys (all alive yesterday morning) "angeled" eggs, and many many assortments of cookies!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Poorest country in the Western Hemisphere

When I stepped off of the plane into Haiti, my heart raced, as I realized I had grown to love this place as more then just another place to come and visit. I realized I considered this place my home. The couple hour drive into Leogane was beautifully broken. We passed by person after person carrying a gallon bucket on top of their head to provide water for their family. We passed by a super market that was filled with people just sitting around not really doing anything because they didn’t have an opportunity to do anything.

I shared with the girls that Haiti’s life-expectancy is 32 years old. I asked them if they noticed how there weren’t hardly any older people when they looked out the window.

This is the truth:

Haiti is located in the Caribbean.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas.
Haiti is 27,750 square kilometres (10,714 sq mi).
Haiti’s capital is Port-au-prince.
A majority of Haiti’s population speaks Haitian Creole.
Haiti was hit by 7.0 magnitude earthquake on January 12, 2010.
Haiti’s earthquake left 316,000 people dead, and 1.6 million people homeless.
Haiti had an outbreak of cholera in October 2010.

And even among all of these things Jesus is still the Christ. He is the center of everything. He is worthy of all of our praise. He remains in this country even though it seems impossible to see Him. He is here. He is good. He is sovereign. And when He comes again He will reign above all and through all and in all with the Father, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. 

I consider this country my home. 
I am drawn to it in a way I am not drawn to any other country. Maybe it's the people, maybe it's the place, or maybe it's just Jesus.

But I believe with my whole heart that it is Jesus. I believe it is Jesus Christ inside of me begging me to stay here. 

I believe the Lord created my heart to live in this simplicity. I believe He made me to feel more at peace here then in the United States. Someone may say, God doesn't want you to be comfortable. And that is the truth, I do not ever want to be comfortable, but I want to be content wherever I am. I know the Lord has called me to finish school in the United States, but I believe that in the next year I will return home to Haiti, and I will call this place home for a long time. People always ask me where I am called or what I am called to do. I honestly don't know. I know at the moment I am learning Arabic. I know at the moment I am studying religion. I know that at the moment I am also studying graphic design. I know the Lord has the ability to use any one of these things in my life, and I pray He does. I also know there is a beating in my heart that cannot possibly stop. I know it is beating so fast it won't stop. I know when I take a breath when I am here in Haiti that it feels deeper and deeper the deeper the Lord goes. I know I am not tied down to any place even though I have been studying Arabic. I know I do not NEED anymore school to share the Gospel. But I also know the Lord may call me to seminary. I know the more and more I fall in love with Jesus Christ the more He calls me to make a sacrifice.

I think and feel it may come true, while wearing $2 overalls, I shall buy a one way ticket to Haiti.

Glory be to God.

Today was a blessing partnering with Jasmine and helping wrap Christmas gifts! We have almost finished.

We are enjoying worship tonight, and praying for a wonderful day tomorrow!

We also got to sing happy birthday today to Gideon, Catinie, Argentine, and Daveson!

Monday, December 19, 2011

An Angel in the "outfield"

Our prayer for this trip: The High Priestly Prayer (John 17)
- we are longing for the opportunity to share the Gospel the entire way to and from the trip, and also, of course while we are in Haiti with the children. We pray the Gospel may be the only desire of our hearts, and that our own selfishness may not get in the way. Praise God for Kayla Kelli Lauren Beuker, and Kathleen being specifically ordained to join me. Wowee! We are in Haiti!!!

We are sitting on a plane amongst people from all over Haiti from all different backgrounds. And more importantly we have already been confirmed numerous times that we are walking in the will of the Lord.

The drive down to Miami went very smoothly and we arrived safe and sound in a semi “stranger’s” home to stay in last night (Kelli and Kathleen’s friend’s cousin’s house) She was an incredible sister in Christ who is laboring for the Gospel in Miami!

This morning we arrived at the airport at 5 am. WE rushed to get everything inside the airport to get checked in and as we walked up to the line, the lady told us we were not allowed to have bags heavier then 40 pounds. We had packed our bags for a 50 lb weight limit not 40 lbs. Immediately we all began to pray and seek the Lord’s guidance and providence in providing the money to pay for the extra fees required to get these bags on the airplane. Beuker waited in line as we figured out how to rearrange the bags to get at least 3 of them to be only 40 lbs. As she waited in line we realized how long it was taking and that our 7 am departure was coming soon. The line was really long, and at every moment one or more of us was worrying about whether we would make our plane (although I don’t know why we worry). We had already felt confirmed we were walking in the will of the Lord but we still questioned what was going to happen when we arrived at the counter to weigh our bags. We realized with limiting out 50 lb bags to 3 and making the other 3 40 lbs, we would still have to pay about $150. I was about to walk up to the counter where this lady was helping a man, but instead a young man named Alexander Perez invited the next customer to come up to the counter. As we walked up I was awaiting when he would tell us how much money it would be exactly to pay for the extra bags. But as I was standing there we were having a small conversation. He said he was a baseball player from the Dominican Republic and he played in Huntsville, Alabama! Small world right? We continued talking and he proceeded to ask why I was going to Haiti. I told him about our sweet babies in Haiti and about the orphanage, and it seemed to put a smile on his face. After setting the bags onto the scale we watched as the number climbed and I looked to see if he was even paying attention. HE DIDN’T AT ALL! We were supposed to at least pay for a 6th bag and he completely ignored that we hadn’t paid for it! He was literally an "angel in the outfield." The Lord provided as always promised. We had all 6 of our bags on that plane without having to pay a dime. Once we arrived in Haiti, it was as always utter chaos trying to get out of the airport. None of us girls are the strongest but we each had multiple bags to carry. I believe it was a culture shock, the heat, the being stared at, and the weight impossible amount of weight we had to carry. But every single one of the girls pushed through it and we finally found our driver. He helped us carry the bags then we jumped in the van and headed on our way! (All that to say I now realize how much of a blessing it is to have guys on your trip with you). 

This afternoon was wonderful! We arrived safely at OLTCH around 12:30 and unloaded the car and reunited with the beautiful children we had missed so much! We worked a little in the classroom trying to get everything set up for Christmas, and of course wrapped many many presents. The girls are now sound asleep in our tent, after spending the day traveling and being awakened to utter depravity in Haiti.

That is it for the update but if you want to keep reading I am just going to share personally what I felt when we arrived in Haiti and after we witnessed the miracle this morning.

I had been praying to see a miracle in Haiti. I wanted to see God’s providence, I wanted to see Him reach His hand down and say I am with you. I wanted to see His glory and His Name shown to all who were near enough to see. I wanted the joy that comes from witnessing a miracle of Christ to light up our faces for the rest of the day. The Lord didn’t just answer one of these prayers though, He answered ALL of them. And why am I so surprised that if we are walking in the will of the Lord that He will provide for us? He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. He does not waver on providing for His children.

He showed us the miracle.
He gave us the overwhelming joy.
He gave us the ability to walk throughout the rest of the day no matter what was coming for us, to shine His Name.

And His providence was ever before us. On the way down to Miami, I was overcome with the Spirit when I realized Kelli, Lauren, Kathleen, Kayla, and I were all ordained to go on this trip before time was time. Before the Lord formed us He knew we would be on this trip together. Each one of us has a gift that makes this team so perfect. I am so blessed to watch as my sisters pour out the love of Christ upon all of those who are gathering around us. I will tell you, they are some God-fearing, Gospel-sharing machines! Blessed be the Name of the Lord for their sweet sweet souls.

Well  I am actually falling asleep so I will share more on arriving in Haiti tomorrow!

Love and peace from Haiti,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Lamb is worthy of His spouse, may I too be worthy of you my beloved husband

Today I feel called to respond to a quote I recently rediscovered in my journal from last year. It is by the Vicar of Medeley writing about his wife, Mary Fletcher. It is from the book Christian Womanhood, which if you have not read it, you should look into reading it. It shines light on many of the problems of women today.

When I rediscovered this quote I realized how important it was for all of you, my sisters, to read this and pray this may be said about you as well, by your husband.

"I am married and have a new opportunity of considering a great mystery, in the most perfect type of our Lord's mystical union with His Church. I have now a new call to pray for a fulness of Christ's holy, gentle, meek, loving spirit, that I may love my wife as He loved His spouse, the Church. But the emblem is greatly deficient. The Lamb is worthy of His spouse, and more than worthy: whereas I must acknowledge myself unworthy of the yoke-fellow whom Heaven has reserved for me. She is a person after my own heart; and I make no doubt we shall increase the number of the happy marriages in the Church militant. indeed, they are not so many but it may be worth a Christian's while to add one more to the number.
God declared that it was not 'good for man,' a social being, 'to live alone'; and therefore he gave him a help-meet for him.
For the same reason our Lord sent forth His disciples two and two.
Had I searched the three kingdoms, I could not have found one brother willing to share, gratis, my weal, woe, and labour, and complaisant enough to unite his fortune to mine. But God has found me a partner, 'a sister, a wife,' to use St. Paul's language, who is not afraid to face with me the colliers and bargemen of my parish, until death part us. Buried together in our country village, we shall help one another to trim our lamps, and to wait, as I trust you do continually, for the coming of the Heavenly Bridegroom."

May I Lord, and all of mine sisters gathered around me be, "a wife who by her discretion and prudence, shall bear the whole weight of his domestic cares; while, by the natural activity of her mind, and her deep acquaintance with Divine things, and second his ministerial labours with success."

And may it mutually be said of us:
"They cannot give anything to one another, for everything that each has or is belongs equally to the other.
Even those outside find it almost impossible to think or speak of one apart from the other.
One Spirit, one motive power seem to actuate them in their movements in life, for truly they are "no more twain, but one flesh."

And it is this oneness that enables such to give up one another cheerfully when it is not possible to perform any little service, religious or social, in outward companionship, for there can be no separation of spirit to those who are thus bound together.

Lord, I pray, present me with a husband who,
"never thinks of his own ease or comfort. May he have a passion for souls, and may he seek early and late to warn the sinner, and to welcome the prodigal returning to the Father's house. May he give no rest to those who will to remain in sin."

May I daily find joy in working and praying hand in hand, side by side, with my husband.

May he believe and respond when interrupted, 'oh, my dear, never mind that. It matters not if we are but ready to meet the will of God. It is conformity to the will of God that alone makes and employment excellent."

May the cause of God, lie near to both of our hearts as we walk throughout the world, whether in Haiti, in Uganda, or in the Middle East, sharing the Gospel with the lost, and making disciples of all nations. (Matthew 28:18-20)

More to be said at a later date...

Surrendering your wardrobe for the Gospel

The writer in me, the Holy Spirit inside of me, simply cannot and will not allow me to study until I have written all He would like to say.

I feel first I must respond to the comment that was left on my last post, "You cannot serve both God and Jeggings."

My sister, Melissa said I did not offer a solution. I do want to disagree with her, and second what Jasmine said.

I can share with y'all all day on how the Lord has spoken to me and how He has called me out of my sin and into a better understanding of modesty. But I feel a lot of things the Lord has spoken to me must stay between Him and I. I will respond by sharing with you the solution the Lord gave me. Please do not take what I am saying as the ultimate truth for you indeed are supposed to "work out your own salvation in fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12)

Yes we can share with each other how the Lord has taught us, but the Lord wants you to first consult Him before anything or anybody else.

Here is how the Lord has taught me to dress, and though I have tried to abide by His will, there have been many times in the past year and a half where I have fallen short of His glory.
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)

When I was on mission trips I would always wear really long skirts, with t-shirts or other loose fitting shirts. I would also wear loose-fitting overalls. In August of last year when I started listening more and more to the Lord speaking to me about my modesty, I began to realize how weird it was that I would dress completely different when I was on a mission trip then when I was at home. I have known ever since I became a believer that I was called, as a Christ follower, to make disciples all over the world, so why would I be one person in Africa, and Haiti then be another person in the states. So after I returned from Christmas break in Haiti last year, I resolved again "to know Him and the power of his resurrection, that I may share in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead." (Philippians 3:10-11) This meant I would be willing to sacrifice anything I had to portray Christ alone as my Lord and Savior. So I surrendered my wardrobe. I faithfully asked the Lord to "clean out my closet" and rid me of anything holding me back from being able to share the Gospel. I replaced many of my clothes with simple long skirts and plain high neck t-shirts (most of which I found at the thrift store). I didn't feel I was becoming legalistic, I felt the Lord was redeeming me and showing me that His glory is all I desired.

To be honest with you, I wish all of us would dress as Muslim women dress, completely covering ourselves (minus the head-covering). After spending two months in a Muslim country, I learned the importance of covering myself and not misleading or misguiding anybody around me.

By the grace of God alone, I now stand (normally) daily in a long skirt and t-shirt or some other type of shirt that does not give a way any part of me. This is not what all of you will feel called to wear. There are many "positive dress solutions" out there, you just have to ask the Lord.

Here is a story the Lord really used in my life to take me to the next step of obedience in modesty.

One morning I was getting dressed to go to school. It was about 6 am and I knew whatever I put on I would have it on until the end of the day. However, at the end of the day I had a young gentleman ask me to get coffee with him. So I stood in the mirror, not seeing myself but feeling and knowing my Father was looking at me, wanting to make a decision for His glory. I had on a purple dress that was semi low-cut but it hung past my knees. I was trying to decide whether or not to wear a tank-top under it to make it come up higher. I knew the colors I had did not really match, but the Lord spoke loudly and clearly to me and said put it on. His voice was not angry, it was respectful and honest (sorta like our earthly fathers, when they tell us we need to do something or not do something, because they love us). He only told me to put it on because He loves me. At that point, I couldn't not put it on. I would have been acting in complete disobedience, had I decided to not wear the tank top. All day as I was pondering the the beautiful nature of the Spirit, I felt completely comfortable and whole before a living and breathing Holy God. I was blessed to be held accountable by my Father, and even more blessed to feel His desire to continue to form me into the woman He wants me to be.

So as you work out your salvation in fear and trembling, and come to a better understanding of who the Lord wants you to be as His disciple and disciple maker; ultimately think about how you may be portraying the Kingdom of God.

Praise be to God the creator of all things.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

Monday, December 12, 2011

You cannot serve both God and Jeggings.

Gospel Centered Modesty
for Gospel Centered Christians.

“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.” Song of Solomon 2:7

IN the past few months the Lord has been ripping and tearing sins and unrighteous deeds out of my heart and has been replacing them with Gospel centered ideas and thoughts. He has made me to see the sin I was brought up in, and the sin I have entertained for years. He has placed my own selfishness in front of me and has said to me as kindly as possible, “stop being a hypocrite, and start looking to the cross.” (Matthew 7:5)

So my question today is what does that mean to constantly be looking at the cross? Would it affect our life every day if we did? Yes. It did, it does, it will. As I was looking at the cross this summer I realized how vain I really was. I realized not only was I doing some of the work in Africa to be seen as righteous to my Father, but I was also doing some of the work in Africa to be seen by America. What did my Father have to offer me after I completed that work? He said, “You all have become like one who is unclean, and all your RIGHTEOUS DEEDS ARE LIKE A POLLUTED GARMENT. You all fade like a leaf, and your iniquities, like the wind, take you away.” (Isaiah 64:6) and “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness (Matthew 7:23). And what did He have to say about me doing this work for America to see me? “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father is this (YES) to visit orphans and (YES) widows in their affliction, AND TO KEEP ONESELF UNSTAINED FROM THE WORLD.”

You simply cannot have one without the other. If I was visiting orphans and widows in their affliction in order to be seen by America then I was simply stained by the world. There were moments in Africa when I was simply doing what the Lord asked me to do because I wanted to be in the center of His will. All other times, if I was doing anything for my own glory the Lord does not see those moments. All that to say, the Lord convicting me of modesty is not an attempt for me to be seen. This is a conviction I do not boast in. I boast solely in Christ. (Galatians 6:14) I would not share this unless I felt many of my sisters and brothers around me needed to hear this. I believe with all of my heart the Lord convicts some people of things much louder and clearer then He convicts others, however this is one thing that I believe every sister of mine should be praying about.

We are surrounded by a new generation. We are giving in to the idea of “changing times converts the Gospel, to fit better with the world we live in.” We are buying the idea that our bodies are not worth anything, and that idea is being transferred all over the world. A wise woman once told me, “you are a princess of Heaven. You are a daughter of the Kingdom.” The Kingdom of Heaven is not so distant as we make it. We pray Lord, “Let your Kingdom come, Let your will be done..” but do we know what that would entail? It means, As the Kingdom is drawing near, we are being seen more and more clearly either as a true citizen of Heaven, or a citizen of the world.

Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not of this world. If my Kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world. Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth LISTENS TO MY VOICE.” (John 18:36-38)

We belong to this Kingdom He speaks of. We belong to the Kingdom, the Truth, the Love, the Joy, the Eternal Life, God our Father, ruler, Sovereign Majesty, Glorious Savior, Jesus Christ. And if we are of the truth, we shall listen to His voice, the Shepherd, calling our Name telling us to be reminded we are citizens of Heaven. “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to Himself.” (Philippians 4:20-21)

So as we come into full acceptance and humility in our citizenship in the Holiest of Holies, we realize who we are in front of the Living, Breathing, Merciful God our Father

We see ourselves made clean only by the blood of the Lamb (“and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7) “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7).

So this inward cleaning, do we not allow Him to clean us completely from in the inside out? If we do, how does this affect the way we dress? We are Princes and Princesses of Heaven. We stand before a living God, having been made clean. But do we stand in a mini skirt and a low-cut v-neck shirt? I do believe, the Lord says come as you are, come all ye sinners. However once we have come into the presence of the Living God and the Lamb, Jesus Christ, we do not walk away unchanged. We reflect the price of the citizenship of Heaven, and this price was the blood of the Lamb. Now stick with me: if we are citizens of Heaven, standing in front of a Living God, the Lamb, only because of the price that was paid by the blood of the Lamb, then how can we not be eternally changed inwardly and outwardly by the Glory of God?

As I was sitting with my spiritual mentor in the galleria this past Friday night I was asking her about how I had in the past year been convicted of modesty. I asked her if this was normal, because I haven’t noticed any of my sisters being convicted of the same thing. She said it was normal, and she asked me to do an exercise with her. Each person who walked by, she asked me, “would that person be acceptable in the sight of the Lord?” At first I didn’t understand how I had the right to judge that person and say anything, but then she helped calm my heart and helped me to understand we are only seeing the person from the outside, as a reflection of what is on the inside (just an exercise, not factual in any way). Person after person walked by and I realized how many no’s there were and how few yes’s there were. A Muslim woman walked by and I said yes (because she was completely covered). A 16 year old girl walked by with shorts on and I said no. A mom wearing leggings as pants with a short shirt walked by and I said, no. She then proceeded to ask me why each of those people would not be “acceptable” in the sight of the Lord. All that could come through my mouth is the fact that because of what they have worn, they most likely have caused somebody to sin, and therefore have committed the sin themselves. Whether it was shorts or leggings, any man walking behind them could imagine EVERYTHING that was underneath either the shorts or the leggings.

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money {jeggings}” lose the world, look not like the world, and serve God, by serving those still in the world and your brothers and sisters who are citizens of Heaven.

I know at this point some girls could be angry with me for saying this. I have come to this conviction by the grace of God. However I have personally asked my brothers in Christ some questions to confirm what the Lord had placed on my heart. Last week I was talking to my brother in Christ asking him how he felt about girls wearing leggings as pants (otherwise known as Jeggings). His face immediately sank, and with all honesty he looked at me and said, “Lauren, they might as well not be wearing anything.”

“every one who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)

“The eyes I the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness.” (Matthew 6:22-23)

Ladies, a man standing behind you, if you are wearing leggings, short shorts, really tight jeans, or any other form-fitting piece of clothing, HE CAN IMAGINE EVERYTHING UNDERNEATH. And I PROMISE YOU that is not how you want to be seen. Many of you sisters long to be kept pure for your husband. Many of you long for your husband to be the only man to see you, so PLEASE HEAR THE CRY OF THE LORD, cover yourselves. When you put on your clothing in the morning, go before the Sovereign God and ask Him if He accepts what you are wearing. I promise you the convictions you will feel will help you to understand DAILY what it means to be a citizen of Heaven. And soon you will realize how incredible it feels to know every single day, you are not causing any one of your brothers to sin.

About one year ago, the Lord spoke to me about my clothing. I had a dream that I arrived in Heaven. I was standing before the throne of God, and one of my brothers in Christ was standing next to me. The Lord looked at him and said, “when you looked at your sister in Christ that way, you were committing adultery with your eyes.” When He said that, I turned my back and slowly was walking away when the Lord called out my name and said to me, “Lauren turn around, for you are the very cause of your brother’s sin. You did not cover what I had promised only for your husband.”

“Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.
I don’t know what this vision does for you, but I assure you, it has completely changed my life.“ (Romans 14:13)

I am not by any means perfect, and the Lord definitely has work to do on my heart and my purity, but I want you to know that when you change your outward appearance to reflect the inner truth of your heart, more people around you will see Jesus Christ ALONE. Men will be forced to only look at your heart to know whether they desire to pursue you. Men will also know they must seek first the Lord to have and find your heart. You will find your identity solely in Christ. And it will be said of you,
“but let not your adorning be external—the braiding of the hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the IMPERISHABLE beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)

And you shall reflect daily on the Truth of His word, spoken to you, daughter of Heaven:

“Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you.” (Isaiah 43:4)
And you shall not love the world,

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is NOT FROM THE FATHER but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

With that said, do not listen to all that I have said. Go to the Word, Go to the Father, Go to the Son, Listen to them, Obey the Holy Spirit. Do not give up on the Lord molding and forming you.

Many people will say to me, how could you write that? Isn’t that a little “harsh”? What makes you think you can say that? And my answer to all of those questions:
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to live a perfect life, that we may obey His teachings and follow Him; came to die a dreadful death consuming all of our sin upon the cross; and He came to RISE from the grave, that we may eternally be reconciled by the Blood of the Lamb.
The Blood of the Lamb, washes you.
It is not for me to convict you, but to share with you how the Lord has convicted me, if through His word He convicts you, listen to Him, and obey Him.
Also, I humbly accept every word of Romans 14:1-12 and do not pass judgement on anybody around me who wears leggings as pants, and whole-heartedly believe, “so then each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (v. 12)

I also acknowledge with a crying in my heart and resounding notion from all of my brothers, SISTERS:

“Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” Romans 14:13-23

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