Tag Archives: prayer

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 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 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

Day 3: Being Different

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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!)

Well after a day by the pool with my best friend and getting a horrible sunburn, I am going to jump right in. This devotional comes from kendrathaler-hair.blogspot.com. She’s Apostolic and her story about how our dress makes us feel isolated and different struck home with me. She turned my mindset around when she talked about how she was walking through her college campus and it broke her heart to see no other girls like her (Kendra, I can relate so much!! I never see any other “skirt girls” on my university campus either!). I however, never really thought about how sad I should be for these girls. I focus on how much I stand out and look different but I never thought about those girls who will probably never know the real truth of God! I feel so badly for those girls who won’t know You and I wish I was brave and strong enough to reach out to them. Also, Kendra talked of how we should thank God that we do not blend in because we get to be a witness for God! Our dress and actions should never make me ashamed because I am made in Your likeness and image. By acting a certain way and showing respect for our bodies we sending a signal out to others that tells people that we are Yours, and that is something to praise!

~Kendra chose 2 Corithians 4:3-7 for the Bible verses, here are some snippets: “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.” “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”

Lord, help me to represent You proudly and without shame. Help me to be brave enough to reach out with Your word to others. Let me be content to stand out for You and not succumb to worldly things that tempt me.

❤ Passionate Pentecostal

Day 2: Give Thanks

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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!)

Well God, I just want to say THANK YOU. Mama does not have cancer (for blog readers, my mom struggled with health issues for four months and doctors told her they were almost absolutely positive it was cancer. Let’s just say I have prayed constantly over these four months and so have my loving church family. After three separate biopsies of the tumor not one cancer cell was ever found! They have decided it is severe pancreatitis.) I fully believe it was Your healing power! Thanks for hearing me and releasing Mama from that stress. Your will be done on our lives, because I trust You and know You do not forsake me. I pray that I follow You for the rest of my life.

~Today’s Bible verses come from Yahoo answers and I know You were guiding my hand there because they are so relevant to my life.

It is Psalms 103: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s…”

It continues even more and I really recommend you read it because it is beautiful. It is so comforting…

Please God help me to live a life that pleases You, that is what I strive for. I love You. I trust Your timing and Your divine will so I put the problems I have into Your hands. Help me to be content in the life you have for me.

❤ Passionate Pentecostal

Day 1: Be a Dedicated Runner

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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!)

And so begins my devotional blog, or prayer blog, or just my “desperate need to reach out, feel God, and share with others” blog. I was listening to Dara McLean’s song “So Good to Me” and the lyrics “His eye is on the sparrow, He’s even living in the little things” made me feel a crazy urge of try this. Is it You God urging me toward this? I hope so. All I know is I feel so isolated from You while I am away at college and I hate it. I need to work harder at my connection to You. I waste so much time everyday and I never try to swim out of this current that is drowning me. Wow, Pandora radio is really on track today, every song has correlated to the sentences I wrote (Francesca Battistelli”s “Constant,” Remedy Drive’s “Heartbeat,” and now Kerrie Roberts’ “No Matter What”). Okay, I hear you God. Thanks. No matter what, I’m gonna love you and trust you.

I really want to read a passage of the Bible and at least write one sentence about it every day. So God, here is my hope that this happens. “Still the fire burns, lighting up the room. I know You’re here with me, You wrap me in Your arms, like only You can do. I know You’re all I need. With You, I’ll always be home…” (Dara McLean, “Home”)

Today I took this from the Apostolic Lady’s Devotional on Facebook, which has a short story about how Christian life is a race, and a successful runner is a dedicated runner. So true.

Hebrews 12:1  “Let us lay aside very weight, and the sin which doth easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

I don’t want to be a fake Christian, I want to live for you. God give me strength.

❤ Passionate Pentecostal