December 5, 2011

"Christians practicing Yoga": an oxymoron???

**Update 8/8/2012- I am still extremely torn on this topic. I don't want to do demon worship but I've become more acquainted with BodyRock TV on Youtube and the yoga poses are so strengthening and amazing. What is the alternative? I understand Mark Driscoll's point but ugh!! What gives? 
I was introduced to Mark Driscoll not too long ago via YouTube. This guy goes hard! You never have to wonder where he stands on an issue. I appreciate his fervor and his confidence in what God has taught him. However, the clip I saw today made me feel a little sad. I really like going to yoga. I feel longer and more relaxed by the end of each session. It really helps to relax me after a long day.  I've heard Christians say that it's demonic and that I shouldn't do it. I never understood that argument because I just thought, "God has way more power than the devil! Why give the devil so much power over something that feels so great for me physically?" Mark Driscoll has been the only one to effectively make the argument to the point where I'm ready to research more on yoga and not just evaluate it based on how I feel by the end of the session. If it's really as bad as he says it is, I've got to stop.  Meanwhile, I will now also do a background check on Pilates. I really love the feeling of control and strength that Pilates brings. I hope it's okay!!! Either way, here's the video. Check it out below:

mon{diy}day: Custom Dry Erase Board

I haven't done a DIY project in a while and honestly, I've been making things but I've been totally forgetting to post them on here. I found this dry erase board idea on another blog. I can't remember the name but I was so impressed with how simple it was that I decided I would do it myself one day! Well, the day has come and gone. I made this board maybe two months ago?!? It's been a while. However, I had a blast doing it. 

I went to Michaels and purchased a picture frame (you can def. get them cheaper elsewhere. I was just being lazy). I used a scrapbooking frame in this instance but you don't need all that. I purchased an interesting piece of scrapbooking paper, dry erase markers, as well as sticky letters & numbers.

This project took me all of five minutes to make. It's really really easy to stick the letters on, snap the newly designed scrapbooking paper back into the glass frame and actually use it. I love that instant gratification! :)

Here are pics of the finished product:

Can't forget those dry erase markers :)

Nice project! Lots of fun to personalize the background so easily and have such a jazzy dry erase board! Fun! Fun! Fun!

December 2, 2011

Worry Warts: The Conclusion of Matthew 6

(25)"Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? (26)Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add on cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing?
Consider the lillies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
- Matthew 6:25-34 Taken from the New King James Version

So today marks the conclusion of the Matthew 6 series. What a journey/blessing it's been! I have no doubt that God wanted me to study Matthew 6 for such a time as this.

What to take home from this message:

  • Work hard. Do what you can. Leave the rest to God. 
I once heard a preacher say to work as if prayer as nothing to do with it and pray as if work has nothing to do with it. Work hard. Pray even harder. Sometimes, God really is looking at us to take some initiative. While these verses are encouraging us to lean on Him, let's not forget to work hard and be diligent. Excellence in our work honors the God we serve. Don't be lazy and expect Him to do the things He's given you strength to get up and do yourself. 
  • Trust God to take care of you and provide provisions. 
Once you've done all you can and you've put it in His hands, leave it there. Oftentimes, we put our problems into God's hands and then take them right back out. Imagine wearing a designer garment and getting a snag in the fabric. The actual designer of the garment tells you that she can fix it for free. You give it to her but then decide to take it back because, even though you can't sew,  you'll figure out a quicker way to do it. It's absurd. That's exactly how we treat God. 
  • Remember that God can really hook you up. Whatever the desire is, just know that He won't play you. 
Your worry may not be "what am I going to eat?" or "what am I going to wear?" Your worry could be, "when am I going to get a raise/job?" "when am I going to find a mate?" Putting these worries in the hands of God can be hard sometimes. We're not always worried that God couldn't find us someone though. Sometimes, we're afraid of WHO God will choose: i.e. a total square. God's not like that though. He knows your taste better than you do. Let Him take care of the picking. Just follow His lead. 
  • Stop stressing!!!!
I say that almost every day but I recently found a picture of myself from junior year in college and felt the tears coming. There's something behind that smile that's been long gone. There's nothing like looking at picture of yourself and recognizing that something has changed. I remember when I took the picture and what time in my life I was in. I was dancing a lot that semester in preparation for a student government performance. I was finding my own little niche on campus. Life gets hard but don't let it get you to the place where you don't recognize who you are without stress. Give it to God. Take a dance class. Practice some pilates moves. Lift some weights. Soak in the beauty of nature. Go swing on a swing. Integrate more spontaneity into your life to take the edge off. 

After seeing these old pictures, I've decided that I need to make some changes: change of pace, scenery, weight, food, people, sleep, etc. and return to these pictures. I felt much better back then. Stress will not put me in an early grave. This is my public charge to change myself. 

December 1, 2011

For the Love of Money: Matthew 6:24

Photo c/o:Shutterbug81

"You can't worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you'll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can't worship God and Money both."
- Matthew 6:24, The Message Bible

"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
- Matthew 6:24, The King James Version

I felt it necessary to give two versions of this text. I always like the Message translation and how literal it gets but I also wanted to hear from the King James.

I believe we can worship God by being generous with some of the following tools:
  • Time- We spend time with God through prayer, reading our Bibles, devotion...
  • Talents- Using our talents and spiritual gifts (singing, encouragement, hospitality) with His children
  • Money- Returning a faithful tithe and offering, giving to the less fortunate.
I believe we can worship money by generous with some of the following tools:
  • Time- We develop an unhealthy obsession of crafting plans to get more money.
  • Talents- We devise ways to exploit our talents to get more money. 
  • Money- We become hoarders of money who totally ignore those who are in dire need.  
Our society is all about materialism. When I think of the rapper 50 Cent, I think of the slogan he used. He encouraged his fans to get rich or die trying. Money is easily seen as the god in this instance. However, what about success? For a lot of people, success is equated with lots of money. Some may deny it but it's true. You're not just being successful to be successful. You want the fruits of what you consider success and oftentimes, the main fruit is money. There's nothing wrong with wanting success or even wanting money but when it becomes the thing you put before God, then you have a problem.  I can't tell you how many motivational videos I've seen where, on the surface, they look and sound great. However, don't be deceived. There is a danger with some of the videos and the mindset of "success" obsession that's encouraged.

My problem is that I've seen quite a few motivational videos that encourage a lack of sleep. When you're trying to motivate people to live the life they've dreamed of, violating health principles shouldn't be a part of the mix. Our bodies need sleep. You can still be successful and get to sleep at night. Granted, some nights may be filled with more sleep than others. However, this whole "I don't sleep and that's why I'm successful" business is beyond me. It's another way of creating an idol of success. When there is lack of sleep, there is lack of judgement. How can you possibly think straight? God isn't glorified in that. I welcome someone to prove me wrong on this one...really. I love the hustle. I think it's beautiful to see people work hard and achieve their dreams. I am doing that myself. However, I have seen too many people be successful in their own right and get plenty of sleep to know that the "no sleep" logic is off. With that being said, what I've said unfortunately doesn't apply with the entertainment industry.  It seems as if that industry is built for people not to sleep. I don't agree with it but that's the only industry that I can honestly say that in order for you to be the average standard of "success", you're not getting any sleep.I could be wrong and/or you could be the pioneer in the industry that gets sleep. I pray it's the latter.

 One of my close friends in college is one of the smartest people I know. She was 2nd in our graduating class. She was a Finance major with a minor in Spanish. During our senior year, she was in leadership roles, had a part-time tutoring gig, carried a full class load, was planning her wedding, studying for the LSATs and applying to law schools. How and when did she get sleep you ask? She would go to bed early (think 8pm) and wake up early in the morning (think 4-6 am). She always said that her mind was most clear and able to comprehend more in the morning. Her dedication to God and hard work paid off but she didn't have to sacrifice her sleep to miss out on her own success. Understand that the sleep conversation was to point back to success and money. They're all connected.

The reason why a lot of us love money so much is because we look at it to solve our problems. I am guilty of this. When I look at each issue I have, I feel like the solution is money. Even as I type this, I'm being rebuked. God is the solution. God can work out situations in ways that money can't. He doesn't need money to bless us. A friend once reminded me to stop looking at my issues as problems that would never be able to be solved simply because of my lack of money. I'm looking at the wrong thing to fix the equation. After I've done all I can do in His strength, I need to leave it to God. He knows our needs. He answers prayers. 

Money cannot save us. If we put money in the position to save us, we will be lost. 


dreams demure [#5]

"A dress should be tight enough to show you're a woman but loose enough to prove you're a lady." -Edith Head

You just don't see a lot of modest fashion nowadays. It's out there though. Perhaps a weekly reminder might help. Keep in mind that body proportions play a HUGE role in what's okay/not okay for each individual. Here's my interpretation of how individual style is executed well while still being modest. I may not wear each and every style shown but I can def. respect the brainchild behind each look:

(love the idea of black jeans with a mini-dress like this)

Photos c/o:,,,,,