Monthly Archives: June 2012

Day 10: Apostolic Beliefs: Our Crowning Glory!

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Yep. This post is about something vital to Pentecostal girls across the world. Hair. 😉

As you most likely know because it is so obvious when you spot us in crowds, we have long hair. This is because we believe that we should not cut our hair.

But in reality and all seriousness, this is actually a really important part of our religious convictions. Now, some of the previous posts in this series (about Oneness and the way to salvation) are strictly set for the majority of Apostolics, but some of these posts (about hair and holiness standards) really differ with the beliefs of each church’s pastor and that person’s personal convictions. Now there is slight variation in this, my church has a very strict no cutting at all policy, but a Pentecostal church across my town allows the women to trim their hair as long as it is small amounts and the hair remains long. (Personally, for biblical reasons I, and my church, do not agree with trimming because that is technically “cutting” your hair.)  So I want to stress right now, what I am about to say may not be the exact same guidelines that your female Apostolic friend down the street follows. We may even be in the same church organization and differ slightly in the opinions on hair.

Now, jumping right on in! Basically for each of these “Apostolic Beliefs” series I am doing, the subject is much more indepth and complicated than I specifically say. I am just trying to bring up the main points of why we do these things but I know for the previous posts I skimmed over parts and really could have gone on and on about some things. So just note that each post in this series could be an entire book! Actually, that is a great segue into something I wanted to mention…

A couple of months ago I downloaded to my Kindle Fire Lori Wagner’s book “Covered By Love” (published by the UPCI in 2011) which goes deeply into why we do not cut our hair than I will be able to and I greatly recommend it!! It BLEW MY MIND! I loved it and felt so much more knowledgeable about the biblical relevance to not cutting your hair after reading it. Seriously, it is a must read for Pentecostal girls everywhere or even if you want to gain an understanding of this!

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Now I will jump right on in to our reasons for not cutting our hair:

1. God made man and woman with specific differences and hair is one of those features. Rev 9:8 – “And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.” This shows that women have a certain type of hair and that it is different from men’s.

2. 1 Cor 11, the majority of the chapter is like a holy grail about hair!  So much is mentioned in this so I will go into some of it…

~We should be covered in order to have power and because of the angels (verse 10). Note, hair does not have power in itself, but it is a visible symbol of our power we have through God.

~Verse 15 says that hair is a covering! By wearing long, uncut hair we are submitting to God. As “Covered By Love” says so well “a woman’s outer covering reveals an inner acceptance of God’s plan. By her conduct, of her own free will, she gains power on her head.” God covers the things that He loves and are valuable to Him. (I should mention that while the verse does say “long hair” this means uncut hair, and is not referencing any type of set length. Hair is long if it is allowed to grow without cutting. So you could have 10 inches of uncut hair and it would be “longer” than 30 inches of cut hair. The length of the hair is not a judge for how “holy” that woman is.)

~Verse 5-6 say “but every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.” This means that if we cut our hair it is a dishonor to pray or prophesy uncovered, and since 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to “pray without ceasing” then we must have a never-ending covering on our heads aka our hair! Another thing I’ve learned is that the “shame” mentioned in verse 6 comes from the Greek word for “filthy” or “disfigurement” (much like if we cut off an arm we are disfigured, so too if we cut off our hair!)

~In verse 10 Peter says “for this cause ought the woman to have power on her head,” notice the use of “ought” and not “must.” The Greek for “ought” means “owe,” be in debt for,” or “that which is due.” So we women can CHOOSE to give God what He is owed or due.

3. We use hair to express what we are so to say. Rockers, goths, preps, hippies, they all have signature hairstyles to show what they believe in. So in a way, our hair is helping us to stand out and show people that we believe in and worship God. Our hair separates us from the world and sets us apart for God.

4. Biblical examples of women cutting or losing their hair are not not happy ones. In biblical times women never cut their hair, it was their greatest ornament, and if cut it was the greatest humiliation to the woman. Isaiah 3:24 is about how the daughters of Zion were “haughty” and “wanton” so He turned their “well set hair to baldness.”    Jer 7:29- “Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for the Lord hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath.”   Ezekiel 7:18 – “They shall also gird themselves with sackcloth, and horror shall cover them; and shame shall be upon all faces, and baldness upon all their heads.”  I do not want to be like those women!

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I get silly comments from people frequently so here is some biology for you (because I AM a bio major, haha) = cutting your hair does not make it grow faster, cutting does not affect the health of the hair at all because hair grows inside the skin!  Before hair even reaches the outside of the body it is dead, densely packed keratin. Cutting your hair does not make it longer for two reasons. First, it is obviously removing length from the hair, and second, hair has a programmed “terminal length” that it will not grow past no matter how often you trim it. Bam, biology! 

By choosing to not cut our hair we are submitting to and obeying  God and gaining glory, power, and a connection with angels. Wow. By letting our hair grow to its natural length we wear a covering that God made specifically for us, and I don’t want to alter what God made. We do not chose not to cut our hair in order to follow God, rather we follow God so we chose not to cut our hair. Think about that for a second…

I hope this helped you to better understand the Apostolic women’s choice to not cut their hair and I hope this blessed you in some way! Please feel free to comment! 🙂

❤ Passionate Pentecostal

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Day 9: Apostolic Beliefs: Holiness Standards (For Dress)

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I love this topic! In case you have not read the title yet, we will be covering the holiness standards for what we Pentecostals wear. (Tomorrow I want to talk about our hair and our holiness standards for our actions because yet again I went on in this post for longer than I thought and I was not able to talk about hair!)

You may have noticed that us Apostolic/Pentecostal girls, and yes even the boys, tend to dress a certain trademark way. I want to lay out the Biblical reasonings for this way of clothing our bodies. 🙂

Note: We DO NOT HAVE TO DO THESE to be part of the church! It is our personal convictions and we have found them within the Bible to be true and we want to follow the Word’s teachings! They are not required for salvation, only those actions mentioned in Acts 2:38 are. We are NOT a cult, we are allowed decisions and free thought! 🙂

Now, a couple of the previous posts in this series (about Oneness and the way to salvation) are strictly set for the majority of Apostolics, but some of the upcoming posts (about hair and holiness standards) really differ with the beliefs of each church’s pastor and that person’s personal convictions. So I want to stress right now, what I am about to say may not be the exact same guidelines that your female Apostolic friend down the street follows. We may even be in the same church organization and differ widely in these standards.

For example, here’s a little story to show my point! A couple of years ago myself and the majority of my church’s youth group went to our organization’s National Youth Convention (where all of the organization’s youth from across the United States get together for about a week and hold church services and fellowship). My church is kind of known for having slightly stricter standards than the majority of the others. This is because it is what our Pastor believes, through researching the Bible and letting God lead him, and so throughout the year he feels it is his duty to teach us what he believes. Therefore, we learn why the Bible says that us ladies should not wear pants, show cleavage, wear makeup or jewelry, etc as listed below. However, other pastors at other churches do not feel the same convictions on the standards of holiness and will not teach them to their individual congregations as our church does.  (This is of course only on issues that are not directly related to salvation, we all abide by Acts 2:38 for example.) So when we were at the National Youth Convention all of the churches across the country were there and after an emotional service with many tears shed, it became quite obvious what churches do not teach against makeup when my church’s group of girls saw another group with mascara and eyeliner smeared faces. Immediately one of our newly converted ladies turned to us girls, who were her friends and the same age as her, and gave us a confused look. Later in the hotel room the tight-knit group of the four of  us had to sit down with her and explain that their pastor did not preach against it and that those girls were not purposefully disobeying the standards of holiness. Long story short, standards differ!

Check out this cool YouTube clip by Tiffany Hubba about Apostolic Holiness!  http://youtu.be/hpKCzvNQYxM

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Here are the standards I follow and when applicable I will list what my church does and then variations that may be encountered:

~Ladies wear skirts that end below the knee in public and men wear pants that cover their legs in public. (Skirt length differs. My church says it only has to be below the knee, but some churches require it to be floor length.)

~In public, ladies do not wear shirts that show cleavage or stomach, and both men and women wear some form of sleeves. (The sleeves issue is widely different across all churches. Mine personally just asks for a sleeve that covers the underarm and is not a cap sleeve. I have seen a range from any type of sleeve, to a sleeve that must reach down to their wrists. Again, it depends on the pastor.)

~Both men and women do not wear unnecessary jewelry or any piercings. (There is varying strictness on jewelry, my church allows one ring on each hand and watches because they have a function. Other churches do not even allow wedding rings! In general though, no necklaces or bracelets, etc. Piercings do not vary however.)

~Ladies do not wear makeup. (As my anecdote showed, this varies. My church is okay with clear lipglosses and a small bit of powder to cover blemishes if needed but it should not be overly applied. Others allow light makeup but no heavy cosmetics.)

~Ladies do not wear colorful nail polishes. (Some allow a french manicure, aka white tips. My church does, although many within my church have personal convictions that feel that only clear polish should be allowed.)

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Now for Biblical and just plain life reasonings!

Deut 22:5 – “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.” ~Hence why we ladies wear skirts and men wear pants.

1 Peter 3:3 – “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel” ~This explains our lack of jewelry.

1 Tim 2:9-10 – “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” ~ We should be modest, and another reference to not wear jewelry.

In Biblical times Jewish men and women who were slaves were forced to wear earrings in their ears to show to the world that they were property! Egyptians wore makeup, and every woman mentioned in the Bible who “paints their face” aka wears makeup was labelled a harlot or, excuse my lewd term, a whore (ex, Jezebel). Up until relatively recently, only prostitutes wore makeup.

My pastor has also taught a couple of sermons about how when Adam and Eve were evicted from the Garden of Eden God made them clothing from animal fur. (Gen 3:21 – “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”) This was symbolic for many things, but also, the original term for “coat” in Hebrew or Greek meant an outfit that covered from the elbows to the knees, hence our desire to cover a portion of our arms and wear skirts below our knees.

One of the main reasons for these guidelines are that we should strive to be modest! We should not wear clothes that will distract those of the opposite sex from their walk with God. I would not want to be the reason one of my brothers in Christ struggled or fell! I would feel horrible that I could have possibly prevented it! Also, as a woman I do not want to be looked at in a vulgar way; it does not make me feel sexy, instead it is extremely uncomfortable for me!

In the end, it mainly comes down to the fact that God made us the way we are, and if we were to try and alter God’s creation, it is almost like saying “sorry God, You didn’t do a good enough job, I know better than you what I should look like so I am going to change the beauty that you have created.”

By following my personal convictions I am proudly saying “God, You made me beautiful and I am not ashamed to live the way you want me to as a virtuous woman!

I do this out of love and respect for God, not because I think it is necessary to get to heaven. This is one of my forms of submission to God. I have come to find that these things help to remind me throughout the day that I am God’s and it keeps me in a God-centered life.

God made us a “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9) and we should embrace that. God did not want us to be part of the world but rather to be separate from the world because in the end it is not our home but just a temporary stop! We should not want to fit in with this world that is full of hate, hurt, crime, adultery, pain, and so much sin. Who would want to be affiliated with that when you could be recognized as a child of God?

I hope this helps you understand the Apostolics you know a little bit better. I promise we are not some crazies in a cult! 😉

❤ Passionate Pentecostal

Day 8: Apostolic Beliefs: Acts 2:38

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Hi y’all! I had planned on writing three posts today to make up for the two days I missed because I went home for a short break (and we do not have internet at my family home). The last post was really long though so I am amending that to writing just these two posts today and writing two more tomorrow (also in this same series). I really, really want to write ones on the great and infamous hair issue and on the holiness standards, both of which make us Pentecostal girls stand out in a crowd! Those two will probably be tomorrow so look forward to that! Also, I really hope this series I am starting does not offend anyone or start a giant comment war; I just want you guys to know my beliefs and why I believe them. They are part of the core of my being and I want to share that otherwise I am not doing God any justice. If you haven’t looked yet, my Day 7 post was about my belief in Oneness doctrine. I hope you get something out of that post and I hope if nothing else you pulled out your Bible to dispute my verses! 🙂

This post, I want to briefly go over the Apostolic’s plan of SALVATION. This is summed up in the Bible verse Acts 2:38 where it states “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” So short and straight to the point, it is a perfect verse for how to become saved and is the go-to verse for Pentecostals.

1) Repent!! In other words, feel true sorrow for your sins and your actions and ask God for forgiveness.  It also includes turning away from those sins and starting a new life of following Christ.

2) Be baptized in the name of Jesus!! You must be baptized by being fully submerged underwater in order to be cleansed of all of your sins and receive forgiveness for your sins. Even Jesus himself was baptized in order to show us what we have to do to receive salvation, that is how important it is! In the previous post about Oneness doctrine I mentioned in more detail about why it must be in the name of Jesus, so I will just state here that Acts 2:38 specifically states “in the name of Jesus Christ” as a singular name and that name is Jesus. God’s name is Jesus and that is another reason why the Trinitarian “in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” is not biblically correct.

3) Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost!! This is evidenced by the speaking of other tongues. (Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”)

If you do all of these three things and continue to live a Godly life, I believe you are saved and going to heaven either when you die or Jesus returns and calls us up. I do feel I need to state that I do NOT believe “once saved, always saved.” People can (and do) backslide and can lose their salvation.

I really hope this helps you in some way and that God touches your life. 🙂

❤ Passionate Pentecostal

Day 7: Apostolic Beliefs: Oneness

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Hey y’all! So sorry for the two days I missed! I finished my final on Monday and called my mom to talk to her. She could hear that I was kind of getting homesick (and I think she missed me too! Haha) so we decided really short notice that I would go home for the two day break I have between my summer classes. We do not have internet at my house so therefore I was unable to post anything for those days I was home. Now, feeling refreshed, I am back at my apartment and ready to get back to daily posts!

To make up for those lost days I thought I would start a series about specifics of what Apostolic Christians believe! I hope you can learn a little bit more about us if you are new to this denomination of Christianity and I hope it gets you searching your beliefs and your Bible! 🙂

[DISCLAIMER: These are MY beliefs and I understand that we may differ in our Christian doctrines. I would appreciate if you could keep an open mind and be respectful. While I am open to discussions as long as they are religiously tolerant, I would not be rude to you about what you believe and I ask for the same courtesy. Thank you!]

The first thing I chose to talk about is one of the main tenants of Apostolic beliefs: Oneness. (This is where terminology is confusing because through research I have technically found that “Pentecostals” are Trinitarians, “Apostolics” are Oneness; yet people tend to group all of us together and collectively call us “Pentecostals.” Even Apostolics do this, my pastor frequently uses the term Pentecostal for us, even though we are in actuality Apostolics. Just a short lesson on word usage for you! In my blog, I use Pentecostal and Apostolic interchangeably, but I am really talking about those that believe in Oneness.)

Oneness is a belief/doctrine that there is only ONE God rather than the Trinitarian belief in three separate people who are God the Father, his Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Trinitarians believe that these three coexist and are equal, however they are completely separate people. For example, they say that the Father is not the Son or the Holy Spirit, the Son is not the Holy Spirit or the Father, and the Holy Spirit is not the Father or the Son; yet separately the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.

We Apostolics believe that there is one God who is manifested as a Father, Son, or the Holy Spirit. God is all of these things. Much as you can be a daughter and a mother at the same time, or a father to someone and a son of someone at the same time, so too is God.

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I will now go through some Bible verses (all in King James Version) to back up this claim of Oneness, and refute the trinity. This will be long but I will try to explain each one briefly. 🙂

Deut 6:4 – “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” ~This is just obvious! God is ONE!

Mark 12:29 – “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord” ~Jesus even says that He is one!

Isaiah 45:18 – “For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.” ~The Lord created everything, and there is NO ONE else. Yet again, God is ONE.

John 17:3 – “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” ~Hm, a little bit trickier, but it says there is ONE TRUE God, who sent Jesus Christ, which I take to mean who sent his form as Jesus. Not so tricky after all.

1 Cor 8:6 – “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” ~Now the Bible stated earlier that there was one God who created everything, and it says here that Jesus created all things, therefore we can see that Jesus is that one God.

Eph 4:6 – “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” ~Another plain one, God is ONE.

1 Tim 2:5 – “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” ~There is ONE God and he took the form of Jesus to connect with us humans.

Jude 1:4 – “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~There is only the Lord God, and then the Bible calls Jesus Lord, therefore there is only the Lord who can be both God and Jesus.

Jude 1:25 – “To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” ~This says there is only one God who is our Savior, and the Bible also called Jesus our Savior, so God and Jesus are one.

John 4:24 – “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” God takes the form of a Spirit.

1 Tim 3:16 – “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” ~God was manifest as Jesus and the Spirit! God is ONE!

John 14:10 – (Jesus said) “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” ~Jesus admits that He IS the FATHER! Jesus is the Father and the Father is Jesus. Both are manifestations of God. God is ONE.

Isaiah 44:6 – “Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” ~God is the first and last, the only, there is no God other than Him!

Isaiah 43:10 – “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” ~There is no God formed after Him, therefore Jesus IS HIM.

Matt 1:20 – “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” ~Jesus IS the Holy Ghost, this goes against the Trinitarian idea of three separate persons!

Matt 1:23 – “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” ~Even Jesus’s name shows that He is God.

John 1:10 – “He (Jesus) was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.” ~This says that Jesus made the world, and one of the above verses says that only God made the world, therefore Jesus is God and He is ONE.

Isaiah 9:6 – “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” ~ Other names for Jesus are God, Son, and Father. He may have different names but He is ONE!

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I could seriously keep going with verses but I know you are probably tired of reading them! In conclusion, God is not three people but there is ONE God who has three manifestations. God is the Savior, and his saving name is now revealed to men as Jesus, so Jesus is the name of God not another person.

If the trinity were really the answer wouldn’t the Bible have specifically made some reference to it? The word “trinity” is not in the Bible even just ONCE! The doctrine was made up at the Council of Nicaea around 300 years after Jesus died. Just because humans decided something definitely does not mean it is correct! I don’t know about you, but I am trying to go by what the Bible tells me!

What I hear quite often is “but what about the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19?!” This is so simple! Matthew 28:19 says “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” This verse says “in the NAME” which is SINGULAR!!! If these were three separate persons of God, then it would have said “in the nameS of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” but it does not! It says there is ONE NAME. Well, we know from all of the above that there is ONE GOD with ONE NAME and that name is JESUS. The name of the Father is Jesus, the name of the Son is Jesus, and the name of the Holy Ghost is Jesus! (This is why we Apostolics baptize ourselves “in the name of Jesus!”)

This definitely became longer than I had imagined it would, but I really hope you look into the Bible verses I listed and research this for yourself. I wanted you to know that this is what I believe and that I have strong reasons for this and I feel it is the correct path, but I really want you to make your own decisions about this and examine what you think is the truth. I hope this blesses you. I know it did me.

Thank you God for helping me to grow strongly in you so that I am able to back up my beliefs! I hope that You may use me to reach out to others and share Your truth. In Jesus’s name!

❤ Passionate Pentecostal

Day 6: Pressing the Pause Button

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In this world it is a constant go here, go there, oh I need to run this errand, and of course my Facebook absolutely MUST be attended to. Sometimes we get so “busy” that we push You aside. With my weekend spent frantically studying, (and yes, freaking out did occur), I was worried this would be that type of situation for me God. Then, like always, you made a way and calmed my fears. You are so reliable God.

Here was the scenario yesterday: I was walking from my apartment to campus carrying three bags and a giant tripod (Don’t ask. Okay, okay, I have a drama class that I had to record a monologue for!). Anyway, I had to turn in the video equipment by a certain time or get a $30 fine per hour, which I definitely can’t afford. I was doing the typical head down, plodding along when I glanced up because a jogger needed to pass me. You used that upward glance to reach me. You use so many mundane things to touch our lives; how many of them have I missed? When I glanced up I saw gorgeous green trees, sniffed the smell of gardenias, and saw the bright blue sky spread out above me. Yet again, You hit me with a revelation. I could have been using that long, tedious, boring walk to talk to You! Instead of worrying about stuff that couldn’t be dealt with anyway while walking, I could be enjoying the beauty you put on this earth and getting an intimate moment with You.

Well I heard Your call, so for the rest of my walk I prayed to You and gave thanks. It was quite a long walk uphill in midday so I was just tired and gross, but I turned that into praise to You in that moment. Thank you God for giving me healthy legs to make it up that hill, thank You for no rain, thank You for giving me lungs to gulp down breath, thank You for the air conditioning I was looking forward to. So many seemingly tiny things to us, but to someone across the world or down the street, those were things worthy of thanksgiving! I overlook so much that You give me and I am so ungrateful some days. I pray that You continue to raise my eyes from the ground and show me Your glory. 

We should take advantage of those random moments in our lives when we think we are swamped but there are really minutes of peace. Really there is always time for Jesus. Stop surfing Facebook for just a teeny tiny five minutes and thank God for the luxury of internet to be able to connect to all of your friends. Turn off your television and read a single chapter in the Bible, they are not long! How much more would our lives be blessed if we reached out to Him and showed Him a portion of the love He deserves? 

1 John 5:14-15- “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”

Now I am off to pull basically an all-nighter for this biology exam tomorrow morning that is worth %50 of my grade! Please pray I do well, I know I will be! 🙂

❤ Passionate Pentecostal

Day 5: God Changes Us

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Today I watched a “cardboard testimonies” video on YouTube (watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mS5KdRa5Akw) and felt your presence so strongly. I was sitting alone in my room watching the video and I just had to lift my hands and praise you. Tears were running down my face I was so moved. [Being away at college for so long (I live in a dorm during the normal school year and now I am currently living in an apartment and doing summer school) I rarely get to go home and attend a real-life service, so I reach out to God in other ways, like writing this blog or letting the Holy Ghost take hold of me over a YouTube video.] But back on topic, this video brought to my eyes Your magnificence; watching how You have touched others makes me think of how You have changed me and it shows we how much You love me. You love me. That in it self shocks me some days! I know I don’t deserve Your love or Your sacrifice on the cross, yet you forgive my faults and give me so much more than I deserve! Thank You! I see that You are slowly changing me to be a better follower of You, and I want You to know that I will step back and let You guide me. I look forward to what You will uncover within me and the powerful things You can do if I just let You reign in me.

Those cardboard testimonies were so moving for me because they show where we were before God, and what we have become through God. That is such a severe and humbling split. We are nothing without God in our lives. Before His salvation, we were hell-bound. Before His unending love, we were continually suffering. Before His redemption, we were meaningless. When watching, I began reflecting on my life in Christ, and wondering what I would have put on my piece of cardboard. There is so much God saved me from that it was extremely hard to narrow it down. I finally settled on this (and I think I will make this an entire post one day): “Lost my father and looked for answers in science… found THE answer in my everlasting Father”.

What would your cardboard testimony be? 

Luke 18:9-14: “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

Please share what you would have put on your piece of cardboard! 🙂

On a totally unrelated note, my class load is really stressful right now. I had my lab final Thursday and now I have two more finals on Monday (one of my biology finals is worth %50 of my grade! Ah!). Jesus, I ask that you calm my nerves, clear my head, and help me to conquer these exams. In Jesus’ name!

❤ Passionate Pentecostal

Day 4: An Outspoken Christian

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(Note: This blog was written in my prayer journal before I got the blog, so that is why the count of days may be wrong. Thanks!)

Tonight I have had a mini video marathon after I discovered jezuzfreek777 on YouTube. (http://www.youtube.com/user/jezuzfreek777). He posts videos about Christian topics and has a straight forward attitude. A lot of the comments he gets are hateful but he never lets it stop him. I think his videos will hopefully bless my life in You.

Many of his videos touched me but one in particular has, and it has revealed to me that I need to be a more outspoken Christian. I need to tell people “may God bless you” or “I will pray for you” and mean it! I need people to see the evidence of the value I place on You in my life God. Help me to be more outspoken and represent Your kingdom in a positive and loving way!! Previously, I thought I should keep religion separate from my college life (because I go to a very liberal university where the majority of the people argue against religion) but in reality I am just scared of the reactions I might get. Will they question me and will I fail at answering? Will they degrade my beliefs? Will they gang up on me and rip me to shreds with words? But those are just excuses I am using and they are not acceptable! If I trust You, You will guide my words and actions to reach out to others. If I do get persecuted then it is a sacrifice I am willing to make and it will help me to grow spiritually.  You walk with me Lord and I need to lean on You.

1 Peter 3:15-17 – “But sanctify the Lord God in your hears; and be ready always to give an answer to everyman that asketh you a reason of hte hope that is in you with meekness and fear: having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well being, than for evil doing”

❤ Passionate Pentecostal