1 Peter 3:3-4

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewellery or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. - 1 Peter 3:3,4

Friday, December 27, 2013

What will I do different?


 

Every day we wake up with a brand new day, a new sun spills its glory over the earth, and today has begun. A new day awakens. A fresh start.
As I start thinking about new years resolutions, of what I would have done different this year, and where I want to see myself in a years time, this quote plays through my head.
As a new year begins, there are but two things I want to go after with everything I have.

1. Live everyday. Live the height and width of every moment I get given to live. To enjoy the present, to relish every breath of every day. To be thankful just for the little joys in life, and start every day over, like it is the first day of my life. In awe of the wonder of it all.

2. Fall more deeply in love with my Lord. As I meet new people, have different friends come in and out of my days, and fall in love, I want to keep the Lord the focus of my love and adoration. I simply want to be more in love with Him.

I challenge you girls to live the fullness of everyday, and be happy and content with the little joys in life.


~ Meggie


Sunday, December 15, 2013

You Are More Beautiful Than You Think

A long time ago I stumbled across this video. I recently came across it again and I just had to share it. So many times we don't see ourselves as a beautiful woman that God created.

This video goes for just three minutes and I encourage you to take a look at it. May you know that you are beautiful. Maybe you're not seeing yourself as you should, take a moment to look at yourself from a different perspective. See how beautiful, precious and valuable you are not just in God's eyes, but in the eyes of others around you and hopefully yours as well :)

Follow the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpaOjMXyJGk

God Bless!
~ Taleisha 

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Thought for Today


Far-beyond my fairy tale imagination is God's perfect plan for me.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Worried?

Are you worried? Afraid about your future, your tomorrows? Worried by what will happen, what could happen?
You look out into the huge expanse of your future, and wonder, what is going to happen? Is everything going to turn out right in the end?
Because right now, life looks pretty stormy.
The clouds have rolled in, and you cant see the horizon, and hope starts to slip away.

Don't give up.

God is in control.

He has got you in His hands, and He is not about to let you go. He is holding your past, present and your futures. He knows your secret anxietys, He knows your hopes and your dreams.
He is a loving Father. He can take beauty from ashes. He can take everything bad and make it work towards good.

Everything is going to be alright.

There is hope. Right now everything might seem dark, with fears pressing in. A morning will dawn. Hold on. God is here. God is with us. And He has us in His arms.

 
~ Meggie
 

Monday, November 4, 2013

'Julie' Signed Book Giveaway!!!

A bully, an icy creek, and a big giveaway from Elisha Press 


Elisha Press, a publisher of Christian novels particularly suitable for home school families, is launching a new title this week. Julie: The Redemption Of The Backyard Bully is an all-new spin-off on The Reunion by Rachael McIntire. Both books are recommended as read-aloud material for the whole family. Solo readers of Julie should be twelve or older. 

Fans of The Reunion may remember Julie Greene, the Gladstones' troublesome neighbor who almost drowned in the creek. This new novel - longer and illustrated - tells Julie's story before and after that incident, through the now-aging eyes of "Grandma" Greene. How can a sullen bully learn to be a selfless friend? How can a jealous young lady learn to be grateful and contented no matter what life brings? What does it mean to follow Jesus in the practical work and play of daily life? All this and more is waiting for you within the pages of Julie

Author Rachael McIntire says that many elements of Julie are based on incidents from her own life. Growing up in the 1960's, she experienced firsthand the challenges of that tumultuous time. Though the sixties are now long gone, the principles of God remain the same eternally. It is her hope that some of these principles may penetrate young hearts and minds through the story of the backyard bully and her redemption. 

As part of their launch event, Elisha Press is giving away one autographed copy of Julie every day this week. By entering once, you'll have a chance to win each time (offer end Saturday at midnight). This is a 183-page softcover book with 19 black-and-white illustrations like the example shown here. The 

The sooner you enter the giveaway, the better chance you have to win - so don't wait! Click here and put in your email address to sign up. 

Enter now for your chance to win an autographed copy of Julie! 


God bless, 

~ Taleisha & Meggie 

Monday, October 28, 2013

You are Loved.

You are Loved.
You are Precious.
You are Wanted.

EVERY WOMAN in your life needs to hear this message. So share it with them. And follow it up with a love speech of your own.

Follow this link and watch the movie clip. Let the words really wash over you. Believe it!

http://www.faithit.com/if-ever-woman-in-the-world-heard-this-message/#.Umjl7PrM8y4.facebook


~ Meggie

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Picture of Perfection

- Molly Gibson

In Wives and Daughters, when Molly Gibson goes to visit with the Hamleys, she fits in with the family well, and thinks of them as her own relations. She  gradually falls in love with Roger, the younger son of Mr and Mrs. Hamley, and he with her. But when her father decides to remarry to give Molly a mother again (though she objects), the daughter of her step-mother, her new step-sister, Miss Cynthia, comes upon the scene.
Cynthia is charming, extremely handsome, wild, and full of life. Molly is plain, but pretty in her own way, is quiet but loves deeply. They both love each other as sisters from the very first and enjoy each other’s company exceedingly.
But the moment Roger sees Cynthia any growing attachment he had for Molly seems to disappear.

- Mr Gibson and Cynthia

Like so many other good, decent men in the world, Roger gets led away by Cynthia’s beauty and charm. He remarks to his brother Osbourne one day that, ‘she is absolute perfection’.
But above all these things, put on love, which is the bond of perfection. – Colossians 3:14
Cynthia tells Molly: ‘I never have loved as deeply as you do for your papa, or anyone else. I have never cared for any one, I think you are the dearest soul in the world to me- even above mama.”
But here is the thing I got thinking when God gave me Colossians 3:14, Roger thought he was in love, Roger thought that this was the real deal, he had found the one, he couldn’t stop thinking about her, and thought her perfection.
But love is the bond of perfection, love- this is the love talked of in 1 Corinthians 13:4, the true love that suffers long, does not hate or envy, does not boast. The real love, this real love is the bond of perfection, the bond. Perfection is measured by love. But did Cynthia love him? No, she said so herself.

- Roger and Molly

Of course in the end, after a broken engagement with Cynthia, Roger comes to his senses of how much he loves Molly, and they are married at long last. But I was provoked to think about how this idea of perfection, today’s perfection is outward, it is ruled by imperfect girls, hiding their blemishes with make-up, plastic surgery, and digitial touch ups.
But above all these things, put on love, which is the bond of perfection. – Colossians 3:14
Perfection is not ruled by how low our top is, how tanned, how un-blemished, how skinny, how beautiful we are, real perfection is measured by love, true love. The only way to get that sort of love is through Jesus, and Jesus is the One who expels every sort of low-self esteem we have for ourselves. It’s not about loving yourself, its about loving others, loving God. He is the one that makes us beautiful, He is beautiful, and when He shines out through our lives in our actions and words, that’s what makes us ‘perfection’.

And if you thought of today’s hottest actress, would she measure up by Gods standard of love, the measurement and bond of perfection? Would she come out a jewel, or a piece of trash? A Cynthia or a Molly?
…for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7b
~ Meggie

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Go And Sin No More...

You are a sinner and I am a sinner. Each and every one of us is a sinner. I really want this post to be saturated in Scripture so people can see that this isn't just me saying something, but it's truth spoken in God's Word. So let the Bible verses begin! 

Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." When God created the world it was perfect. I can't even begin to imagine how marvelous and awesome it would have been. God created man to have an intimate relationship with Him, He even walked in the garden of Eden and had conversations with Adam! Adam had God literally walking by his side and could talk to God as easily as I can talk to my family. What a privilege it would have been! But what did we do? We sinned. We lied, murdered, cheated, stole, fornicated, hated, became our own masters and caused so much destruction around us. How God's heart must have broken when we did these things. Yet God still loves us? He still longs to be in a loving relationship with us. 'What?', you may say. 'He wants me, after all I've done?' He most certainly does! You. Sitting at the computer. God wants YOU! 

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
- Romans 6:23 

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." 
- Romans 5:8 

Even though we deserve to die, God sent His son as our Saviour. Jesus was God's gift to us, a way out of a life full of sin and the punishment that follows. Jesus said "I have come that you may have life and life to the full" (John 10:10). No matter what our sin, God is ready to forgive, all you have to do is ask. Jesus opened the way for us to talk directly to God, and He is waiting for you to come to Him.  

"Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
- Matthew 11:28 

"For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
- Matthew 11:30

"Jesus said to him, 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'" 
- John 14:6 

Christ was the one person who was not a sinner. He is the example God wishes for us to follow. He is perfect, but that doesn't mean He wasn't tempted. Sin was all around Him as well. It's such an easy trap to fall into, it's not sinning that's the difficult part. Jesus was an example of that. An example of how our hearts and lives should look. He was tempted in the desert by Satan, but each time he resisted. How? Because God was His strength. 

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." 
- Psalm 46:1 (NJKV)

Times will continue to come in our lives when we are presented with temptations in all kinds of forms. We can find hope in knowing when we are truly repentant, God forgives. Our slates are wiped clean. We can lessen the temptations around us by being wise and staying close to our Heavenly Father. Reading the Bible gives us wisdom (Proverbs is 'the book of wisdom') and also allows God to speak to us. Prayer is another way. It won't necessarily eliminate the temptation but will allow God to give you the strength you need to overcome it. All we need is God and when we fall back on Him, He becomes our strength. 

"For whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
- Romans 10:13 

"... and Jesus said 'Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.'" 
- John 8:11 

God bless! 
~ Taleisha 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Laptops dont go to Heaven

Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you." So we can say with confidence, “The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear.  What can mere people do to me?” ~ Hebrews 13:4-7 NLT

a calm sea in the midst of storms
The devil is out to get us, always tempting us to give in and sin. He is very good at tempting us to be unsatisfied with what we own. Think about it. No matter where we are, advertising surrounds us: “Life is just not worth living unless you have this product, you will be cool if you buy this, look at your old, daggy stuff- how could you keep that old thing, when you could buy this?” Ads don’t really encourage us to be content with what we own, and to remain satisfied with our own stuff. Dictionary.com describes ‘content’ as: satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else. Are you ok with the stuff you have, or do you wish you had more? Is there anything that you really really want, that has become a ‘need’ in your life? As I was writing this, I found myself on a website that sells books, and I started surfing it, wishing I had a little bit more money so that I could buy all that I want. Just a little bit more, and I would be content. I mean, I would be so happy- no one would be more satisfied than me, if I only had more money.
‘Come on, Meggie’, I thought, ‘Look at you, writing an article about being content, and yet still learning to be content yourself!’ The scary thing is, I didn’t realise I was thinking it. The devil has planted it into our society, the thoughts come so naturally, the desire to have more comes up and we don’t even notice it.

Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. ~ 1 Timothy 6: 6-10 NLT

Why would we bother with being content? Ads are yelling at us: ‘Stuff being content, you can have all you want, all you dream of having - if you just sign on the dotted line’. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, it is too good to be true. The more you get, the more you want, the more unsatisfied you become. People who long to have everything are plunged into ruin and destruction, and pierce themselves with many sorrows. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you have to sit in a corner and never buy anything or never enjoy anything; it’s about having the right outlook, and keeping your eyes completely on Jesus. We brought nothing into this world, and we can bring nothing out. Think about everything you wish you had; IPad? Music? Movies? Books? When you are in heaven, kneeling before the Lord, by the sound of angels worshipping Him, is it going to matter if you have the most recent technology? We cannot take anything to heaven - it is not going to last. Everything in this world is going to pass away. It’s gonna turn to dust; yet how much time do we take up buying things and wishing for things that we just don’t need? Catch yourself before you start listing off the things you wish you had next time, and remember, all of that is nothing compared with the riches of Heaven, and the riches of God.

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.” – Will Rogers

At the end of the day, God will be with us throughout this life, and the life to come. He is the only thing that is unchanging and will always be. In Him, we have everything we need. He has promised to provide for what we actually need, and He blesses us with so much more. He is our protector and provider.

  I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. ~ Philippians 4:10-13 NIV

Paul learnt that in Christ, he can be content no matter what situation he is in. Whether he was poor and hungry, or whether he was rich with a full stomach. I think it is time we changed our thinking and our outlook. We can be content in Christ if we see Christ as our everything. God is the thing of most value in our lives, not what we own. Make Him the top priority in your life - you are dead and buried, and now Jesus Christ lives His life through you. Tell Him, ‘You God are the only thing that will never leave me, and I decide to be content, because I know that I cannot take anything out of this world. I cannot bring my laptop to Heaven, and so I will regard it as nothing compared to You’. God will help you. At the end of those verses, Paul said that God was His strength. If you have no muscle, are you capable of lifting anything? Anything at all? Nope! Paul had no strength, but God gave him the muscle to be able to be content. Ask God to help you, ask God to give you the muscle, and He will. We need to have the proper attitude towards the stuff of this world. It will just become dust in the light of eternity, and that’s what we need to remember. It doesn’t matter if we have all the stuff we have ever wanted, it doesn’t matter if we are starved or if we’re full, it matters that God’s name is lifted high and that His name is preached. Don’t throw your life away wishing you had more. Be thankful for what you have today; and remember- God is the greatest treasure you could ever wish to have, and you already have Him!

  He has the most who is most content with the least. ~ Diogenes

 .content

- Meggie

Monday, September 30, 2013

10,000 Views!!!


Thank you! Thank you! Thank you all readers, people who follow and share our blog. We have hit 10,000 views this week! God is so good. Without His calling to ministry through the internet (who would have thought) and your constant support and love, Unfading Elegance wouldn't have had the amazing opportunities we have. 


Thanks again everyone! You encourage us to keep going when we feel we can't and prove to us that this is what God wants us to do. It's a privilege to be able to bring Jesus to our sisters in Christ all over the world! We have been blessed with the experiences we have and now we have the wonderful opportunity to share them with you to try to help those going through the same situation. We look forward to where God is going to take us and want to bring you all on the journey with us. So please keep reading, show your friends, send us topic requests, ask us questions (see email address), give us your feedback and please pray for us to go in the direction God wants us to go. We are so grateful for you guys. 

Our next post will be on Monday, so stay tuned!!

May all the praise go to God, for He made this possible. May God bless you all!

~ Meggie and Taleisha 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Beauty Beyond The Mirror

I'm sure many have wondered why there is so much pressure for women of all ages to look skinny. Every girl goes through self-esteem issues. The idea that skinny is beauty is a big stereotype that's constantly being advertised left, right and centre. All the diets tell us, models and celebrities 'prove it' to us, the world constantly tells us, even friends and family can sometimes tell us and make us feel that skinny people are more attractive than those with curvy figures. How is this suppose to help the larger woman of the world feel beautiful? It encourages the mindset that until we are petite and tiny, we aren't labelled as beautiful. It makes us feel like we don't fit the beauty criteria, and therefore are not beautiful. I am a curvy 17 year-old and I am guilty of thinking this way. I'm not as skinny as the girl next door, but should I let that determine my self worth and beauty? Absolutely not and you shouldn't either. 

This is a shout out to all the beautiful women of the world! Don't let the number on your bathroom scales determine the way you think about yourself. Each one of us is a UNIQUE! AND BEAUTIFUL! human being that God created in His image. I use to wonder, if God had made me trimmer or more beautiful, I would be able to do things for Him better because I would be able to step out in confidence. This is not only a big, fat lie but doubts God sovereignty over His creation in us. Thinking this way can become a habit that holds us back and keeps us from doing what we are capable of. God doesn't want that. God loves you girls, He seriously loves you with an insane love that we can't even comprehend!, and what we look like doesn't change that. 


The verse that we created Unfading Elegance with is 1 Peter 3:3-4. Here is is again: 

"Do not let your adornment be merely outward - arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel - rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." (NKJV) 

This verse shows that God defines beauty as what our heart is like. I'm positive He didn't create us to be self conscious all the time. I'm not saying to completely let yourself go and not brush your hair or teeth or wear nice clothes.  I like to always look presentable, but try not to place value on my appearance, label it as important or take priority in my life. It's been a process, but I've now found peace in knowing that I am God's daughter and He loves me, pimples and all! I'm resisting the pressure of always trying to look thin. Curvy figures run in both sides of my family and I don't think it's anything to be ashamed about. I still try to be healthy and I think that's where the line is drawn. Being skinny and being healthy are two very different things. 

Please don't be drawn in to believing or thinking that beauty looks a certain way. Weight and dress sizes don't have a right to determine who you are or what you're capable of. I encourage all who are struggling with self-esteem issues to try and grasp and don't let go of the truth of God's Word and to find peace in the knowledge that you are beautiful, no matter how you look or what your dress size is. Walk with confidence and joy! Be happy in your skin :) 



God bless!! 

~ Taleisha 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Feature on The Boyd Sisters

Hi all!! A few months ago Meggie and I were asked to feature on a blog written by two sisters known as The Boyd Sisters. They have a blog (theboydsisters.blogspot.com) and are well known among Christian bloggers in the United States. It was a huge honour for us to be asked to do this and we see it as an exciting step for Unfading Elegance as our blog reaches others around the world. If you would like to learn more about my personal journey with Christ and life up until now, please follow the link below. Meggie should be featuring sometime in the months to come. Happy reading!! The did spell my name wrong but all has been forgiven :)

The Boyd Sisters: Inspirational Mondays - Taleshia Webber: Taleshia Webber of Unfading Elegance 1. Why did you choose Christ? I chose to live for Jesus Christ on September 18, 2005, when I was 9...

God bless!! Stay tuned for another post later this week ;)

~ Taleisha

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Live in Today!

 

 
You have no idea how many more todays you will have on this earth. Enjoy it! Live it, and bless the people around you!
If this was your last day on earth, how would you want to live it?
 
Every day is a gift from God.
Use it.
 
~ Meggie

Monday, September 2, 2013

The One Year Devo's For Teen Girls


Tackling our top concerns through daily five minute devotions, Dannah Gresh and Suzy Weibel, go through different topics like, friendship, guys, image, heaven, church, forgiveness, judging, government and everything you could think of. The devotions are easy and quick to read, but encouraging and challenging.

I personally really enjoyed reading through these. Every devotion is based off a bible verse, and these ladies really put it into everyday understandable terms. I liked how they show you how each bible verse affects your life as a Christian. At the end of each daily devotion, is an 'Action Step' that you can take each day to really live out your faith. This would be helpful for those who have read the bible and need a devotional to help connect their beliefs into life.

Rating: 9/10
Content: this is probably for more older girls.
Ages: 15/16 and up.

Check out this book on Amazon.

~ Reviewed by Meggie

Monday, August 26, 2013

So Long, Insecurity Teen Edition!



Author and Bible Teacher, Beth Moore tackles the issue of insecurity in this special teen edition of her best-selling book, So Long, Insecurity. She answers questions like:  What is insecurity? What does real beauty look like? How do I become the girl God meant me to be? How can I be happy and secure in who I am?
This book is written in a honest way. It's a simple, straight forward introduction to dealing with insecurity and how to be confident in being yourself. It is full of fun quiz's to test how you feel about different issues; it has answers from girls like you and me, and it is filled with bible verses to boost your confidence in Christ.
The book is laid out in an easy-read magazine style. I would recommend this book to younger girls who are just starting to struggle with these issues and need a bit of a fun introduction in how to deal with it.
The best way to use this book? Collect a group of your Christian girlfriends and read through each chapter together. At the end of each chapter, there are a list of thought-provoking questions you can use. I think it would be a lot of fun to do with your girlfriends and a good springboard to deeper discussions.

Rating: 6/10 stars
Content:  An interview references to drugs, alcohol, and pre-marital sex.
Ages: 12-14
Check out this book on Tyndale Teens, Twitter and Instagram.
~ Reviewed by Meggie

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's Our Birthday!!


Isn't it crazy how quickly time goes?! I remember clearly our 1st birthday! The fact that we are able to have a 2nd birthday is because of God and all of you. We want to thank all of our readers and followers for your constant views, prayers, comments and support. Without you, our blog and mission to encourage, empower and help our Sisters in Christ draw nearer to God wouldn't be as fruitful as it is now. It's a huge achievement for Unfading Elegance and we want to thank God for placing this form of ministry on our hearts. 


We would love to hear from you guys!! Shoot us an email or comment below with the things you would like Unfading Elegance to bring in the year to come, subjects you want us to cover or explain on a deeper level, if you have something you would like to say to us, a Word you would like to share or whatever is on your heart. 

To help us reach more young women, spread the Word of God and help where we can, please invite your friends to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and this blog! We would really appreciate it. May all praise and glory go to God, our Provider and Father!! 

Once again thank you to everyone who has been a part in UE's journey. May God bless you all!!! 

Love, 
Meggie and Taleisha! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Loving God - Part Two

Continuing on from Loving God - Part One... 

How can we show God we love Him? What can we do every day? 
Taleisha: For me I LOVE to sing. The way I can best connect and feel God is through worshiping Him with music. It's common for me to grab the guitar and just sing praise and worship songs in my room. Because I love playing the guitar and singing, and I love God, it's a blessing to me and gives me an amazing feeling when I can sing my love to God through something else that I love. I've written songs for God, it's my way of explaining to Him how grateful I am, with lyrics from the heart and words of gratitude. Find something you love and are passionate about, use your talents to glorify Him! If you like to draw or paint, draw or paint something for God! If you like to dance, dance for God! If you like to sing, sing for God! Using the talents He's given you to worship Him. Show Him you love Him in the small things like reading your Bible and spending time in His presence. Soak up His love, be filled with it and then spread it with others with your overflowing joy! Think of the things you like to do and find ways to turn it around so the glory goes to your Father in Heaven. 


Meggie: I find when I spend unscheduled time with God just because I feel like it, I grow closer to Him. Kind of like when two lovers just meet up because they want to. They don't necessarily want to do anything, or talk about anything, but just be with each other and enjoy each others company. 
I heard of a girl once, who on Valentines Day, set up two chairs and a table, and set it all up with flowers, wine glasses, and candles. And she had a date with God. As weird as that sounds, I think sometimes just hanging with God brings me so much closer to Him!


What are some ways we can worship God? 
People have different love languages, which means there is no specific way to worship Him. We are able to use our love language to love God. 
- We can love Him in our actions by doing things that honour Him. Like; helping someone when they fall, making something for someone, feeding the homeless and clothing the naked (Matthew 25:35). 
- We can praise him with our words by singing to Him, we can share the Gospel and tell others about Christ and his love (Psalm 9:1). Even prayer is a form of worship! 
- Music is another way we can worship God. Words don't even have to be sung. If you play an instrument, playing songs that uplift the name of God. 
- Reading your Bible and spending time with God shows Him that you want to be with Him! 
- Tithing is a way to give back to God and show Him you're grateful, you can bless Him too. 
- Serving others and putting their needs above your own is another way you can honour God and worship Him. 
- Our lives are a gift and if we dedicate them to God and His will, God can use us in remarkable ways. Living a life of purpose is pleasing to God! 

"God’s unfailing love for us is an objective fact affirmed over and over in the Scriptures. It is true whether we believe it or not. Our doubts do not destroy God’s love, nor does our faith create it. It originates in the very nature of God, who is love, and it flows to us through our union with His beloved Son."  - Jerry Bridges 

Sadly, this concludes our Love Series, but we hope you were able to be touched, spoken to and/or helped through learning about different relationships and the ways we can love ourselves, our families, our friends, unbelievers, fellow Christians, guys and God. 

We pray that God will be with you in all of your relationships. Be blessed and love!! 

~ Taleisha & Meggie 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Loving God - Part One

"God is love ". (1 John 4:8) Where would any of us be without God's love?! If God didn't love us, He wouldn't have sent Jesus to die for us. In the first days of man, there was direct communication between God and humans, but when humans betrayed that privilege and brought sin into the world, we lost that intimacy. God could have destroyed it and created a new and better  place, but He didn't because He loves us. When we brought adultery, murder, thieving, abuse, blasphemy and pain, He could have destroyed it all! But He didn't, because He loves us. Humanity has fallen far from where God intended us to be. We have let Him down generation after generation, but He continues to love us! 


Have you ever heard the song Christ In Me by Casting Crowns? There are two lines that I love! 


"How refreshing to know You don't need me, 
How amazing to find that You want me..."

Have you ever really just sat down and thought about how great God's love actually is? Has it ever occurred to you that He doesn't need us? He chooses to love us. GOD WANTS US!! THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE WANTS YOU!! Not to add to His 'collection of followers', but to have a relationship with the children he created. It's a magnificent love!! An unconditional love!! A love we can't even comprehend!! 

What does the Bible say about loving God? 
Taleisha: Scripture says to, "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." (Deuteronomy 6:5 and again in Luke 10:27) Why doesn't it just say to love God with everything? Because God wants us to love Him with every part of us. Our hearts are secret and only you and God know what is in there. In order to love Him with all our hearts we need to remove all sin from it, cleanse it, fill it with pureness and love so that the Holy Spirit may dwell within us. With our souls means our entire being and existence  We exist for God and His purpose so we need to serve Him with every thing we are made of. Our strength refers to our physical body, with everything we are capable of doing, we need to do it for the purpose of God and serve Him through our actions and everything we put our hands to. There are many Scriptures that talk about loving God, here are some more: Deuteronomy 7:9, Psalm 85:15, Psalm 136:26, John 13:34-35, Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:4-5. 

Meggie: Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment." - Matthew 22:36-40
This is a similar verse recounting the same situation that Taleisha also said, but I just want to draw your attention to the fact that Jesus said 'this is the first and greatest commandment'. Falling in love with God isn't just a maybe. Jesus said it is the first thing we should be doing. We have talked about loving others, but before we can ever love others, we need to focus on loving God. I think we forget the importance of it! Of all the things your doing in your Christian faith, is loving God your top priority?


So what can we do for God? How can we thank Him for His unfailing love? Find out in Loving God - Part Two  on Monday!! 

Love and Blessings! 

~ Taleisha & Meggie 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Loving Guys - Part Two

Continuing on from Loving Guys - Part One... 

Is it okay to hug a guy? What is appropriate in the physical side of the relationship? 
Meggie: Its important that we protect the guys in our lives as much as we protect our own hearts. For me, the hardest thing that I have had to face with my guy friends is, to keep physical touch to the bare minimum. I found this hard because my love language is physical touch. The way I show people I appreciate them, is I will give them a hug. But even though guys in my life are 'friends' we need to be aware of what touching the opposite sex does to ours and their minds! A lady told us that a hug, or a touch from the opposite sex actually sets off hormones and emotions in our physical bodies. It arouses and awakens physical emotions in our bodies, whether we think we have control over them or not. It is how we were made! So, even though I love my guy friends, I have to be watchful over the physical contact I have with them.

"Promise me, O women of Jerusalem,
     by the gazelles and wild deer,
     not to awaken love until the time is right." 
- Song of Songs 2:7

Don't awaken those feelings or emotions until its the right time!
Taleisha: Yes it's okay to hug a guy, but we need to be aware of what physical contact does to both males and females, and like Meggie said, protect our hearts. In regard to what's appropriate and what's not, personally I think a hug is okay but keep it short and sweet. I hug my guy friends if I haven't seen them in a long time as a greeting or when I leave them knowing it will be a while until I see them again. Keeping physical contact to a bare minimum is wise.  There is no need to put yourselves in the kind of situation where there is a misunderstanding on one part. A simple hug that goes for too long, or hugging for no specific reason, can stimulate all kind of hormones in both sexes. It can become dangerous and lead to impure thoughts and fantasies about what it would be like to be with the other person, lead to temptations and can even seriously damage a relationship. Be wise in your actions! We need to respect them as much as we would anyone else.

"But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, 
or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper 
for God’s holy people.” 
- Ephesians 5:3 


If you haven't already, have a read of this article by Gabrielle Pickle called 'We're Not A Couple, We're not Family, We're Friends':   http://unlockingfemininity.com/2011/11/16/were-not-a-couple-were-not-family-were-friends/ . It covers the topic of having guy friends very clearly and thoroughly from a Biblical point of view. It's a great read! 

We hope this was helpful! If you find yourself in a situation where you're not sure what to do, seek God's wisdom and guidance, pray and trust :) 

On Thursday we will be posting Loving God, the last topic in the Love Series. 

God bless! 

~ Taleisha and Meggie 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Loving Guys - Part One

Have you every struggled with keeping your relationships with guys healthy? How about being friends with a guy and nothing more? Today Meggie and I give our advice on some common struggles we can face when it comes to having male friends. 

It can be hard having close guy friends because others see your friendship as being flirty! How do I make sure I'm being friendly, not flirty?

Taleisha: There is definitely a fine line between friendly and flirty. It can be really tough. Unfortunately there is no correct answer as to what the line between the two is. Some people see certain things as flirting while others don't. It would come down to your personal conviction and what you see as an appropriate way to act with a guy. Relationships can look very different to different people. Pray about your relationships and that God will give you the wisdom and discernment that you need to have a healthy  friendship with your male friends. Act how you would if your mother, or Jesus, were standing in the room. Treat them as a Brother in Christ and respect them.

Meggie: In my guy friendships, I find that I have to look at my motives. Was I really just having fun with him, or do my comments mean something more? Why are you saying the things you are to your guy friends? Prayerfully have a look at your motives. Flirting is going to  make you feel different than if you are just joking around.

Is it okay for your best friend to be a guy?
Taleisha: This is tricky. I am leaning towards a no, simply because it can cause problems and temptations. It can work for some people but I personally believe that if you want to eliminate temptations and be God honouring then it is wisest not to have a guy as your closest friend that you tell everything to and do everything with. Gabrielle Pickle explains this very well in her article about relationships with the opposite sex:

"... Applying the “like a brother” label (while it may be true that we currently have brotherly affection for him now) often tempts us to operate outside the boundaries of accountability. I mean, why would a person need accountability for a relationship with someone who is like a brother? Well, because he isn’t your brother and you want to honor God with your life. I have seen many girls fall into sinful relationships with guys who are like their brother, because they viewed those relationships as “safe” and “above temptation” for emotional, physical and spiritual affairs (Ephesians 5:3, Hebrews 13:4 ).

Baring your heart and soul to a guy friend is not honoring and respecting our future husband or marriage. Having an emotional affair with a best guy friend to meet the needs that only God should meet during singleness does not make room for God to bring along your future husband. Even friendships with a guy who is ‘like a brother’ should be checked regularly within accountability."

To access the full article go to: http://unlockingfemininity.com/2011/11/16/were-not-a-couple-were-not-family-were-friends/. It's a fantastic article, it covers all the areas and comes from a very Biblical point of view. I highly recommend it! 

Meggie: I agree with Taleisha. Having friends of the same sex matters a lot! It's fine to have girl and guy friends but I don't know where I would be without my best girlfriends. Guys are great fun but the relationship is different. Guys aren't necessarily going to understand you like a girlfriend would. Relationships with our Sisters In Christ are special. 


If there are questions you have about friendships with guys then send us an email at: unfadingelegance(at)gmail(dot)com or comment below. On Monday we will be continuing Loving Guys and we would love to help and give any advice, Bible verses and articles where we can :) 

Stay tuned for Loving Guys - Part Two on Monday!! 

God bless you all! 

~ Taleisha and Meggie 


Monday, August 5, 2013

Love your Enemies


But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. - Luke 6:27-28 NLT

In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. - Matthew 5:45-48 NLT

We are seriously called to love our enemies. Now I'll admit, I don't know anyone who I would label 'enemy'. There are some people I get along with, some people I don't. There are some people I like, and some people I don't. But even if your enemies look different to mine, we need to love them. One of the most important ways to love our enemies, is to forgive them. Forgive them for what they do to you. And we all have people in our lives who are unkind and hurtful.

I want to share a story from Corrie Ten Boom, a lady who was put into a German concentration camp with her sister Betsie during the Nazi occupation of Germany. She shows us that sometimes forgiving our enemies is a choice. A choice to forgive them; and asking God to supply the love.

Corrie had just given a talk about forgiveness, when a guard from a concentration camp she had been in came up to her. He had become a Christian, and had come to Corrie to ask forgiveness for what he had done to her and her sister, Betsie.

“Now he was in front of me, hand thrust out: ‘A fine message, Fräulein! How good it is to know that, as you say, all our sins are at the bottom of the sea!’
“And I, who had spoken so glibly of forgiveness, fumbled in my pocketbook rather than take that hand. He would not remember me, of course—how could he remember one prisoner among those thousands of women?
“But I remembered him and the leather crop swinging from his belt. I was face-to-face with one of my captors and my blood seemed to freeze.
“ ‘You mentioned Ravensbruck in your talk,’ he was saying, ‘I was a guard there.’ No, he did not remember me.
“ ‘But since that time,’ he went on, ‘I have become a Christian. I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well. Fräulein,’ again the hand came out—’will you forgive me?’
“And I stood there—I whose sins had again and again to be forgiven—and could not forgive. Betsie had died in that place—could he erase her slow terrible death simply for the asking?
“It could not have been many seconds that he stood there—hand held out—but to me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I had ever had to do.
“For I had to do it—I knew that. The message that God forgives has a prior condition: that we forgive those who have injured us. ‘If you do not forgive men their trespasses,’ Jesus says, ‘neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.’
“I knew it not only as a commandment of God, but as a daily experience. Since the end of the war I had had a home in Holland for victims of Nazi brutality. Those who were able to forgive their former enemies were able also to return to the outside world and rebuild their lives, no matter what the physical scars. Those who nursed their bitterness remained invalids. It was as simple and as horrible as that.
“And still I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. But forgiveness is not an emotion—I knew that too. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. ‘… Help!’ I prayed silently. ‘I can lift my hand. I can do that much. You supply the feeling.’
“And so woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes.
“ ‘I forgive you, brother!’ I cried. ‘With all my heart!’
“For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely, as I did then”

- excerpt from the book 'I am still Learning to Forgive', by Corrie Ten Boom

Sometimes choosing our enemies is a choice. A choice; and something we have to do with God, because how can we learn to forgive without Christ helping us? How can we do it if we try to do it by ourselves?

Is there anyone you feel you need to forgive today?

"When He tells us to love our enemies He gives, along with the command, the love itself." - Corrie ten Boom, the Hiding Place.
 

~  Meggie


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Loving Fellow Believers

I was struggling to clearly state why it's important to love Christians in particular when we are instructed to love everyone. Then I came across this blog post by Paul Steele. He explains this very clearly. 

'"For God is not unfair. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other Christians, as you still do. Our great desire is that you will keep right on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and patience." - Hebrews 6:10-12 

     In this passage we notice the writer of Hebrews encourages his readers to love their fellow Christians. It is through this love, he says, that we demonstrate our love for God. I find it very interesting that he states that we are to “care for other Christians”. After all shouldn't we love everyone equally?

This is a valid question because we have been told that God loves everyone. I have no doubt that God loves everyone and He desires them all to be saved. The Bible tells us this much. The Bible is also very clear that we are to love other Christians first and foremost. Is this a contradiction?

... A teacher can love all the kids in her classroom, but the love she has for them pales in comparison to the love she has for her own children. A guy can love all his friends and buddies, but that love is nothing compared to the love he has for his wife. The fact that God loves the Church differently, and expects us to love other Christians differently, doesn't mean that God doesn't love the rest of the world, but simply points out the special relationship that the Church has with God.

This might seem unfair, but in reality when Christ Followers love other Christians first it makes the Church a very attractive group to be a part of. The world is a hard place... Many people are searching for a place to belong and be loved, regardless of who they are or what they have done. By loving each other the Church becomes a place of hope in a land of hopelessness.

It also appears from this passage that by loving each other we grow spiritually. The best way to grow in our faith is through experiencing life with other Christians. When we are able to do things with other Christians because we enjoy their company and have their best interest at heart we begin to develop the heart of God. We desire the things God desires and we become spiritually sharp and full of passion.

It is by having this heart of God beating in our chests which moves us down the road of becoming the people God created us to be. When we care about the things He cares about we become a little more like Him. The people of faith of old were set apart because they had this heart. They were willing to sacrifice in order to do what God wanted them to do, because they wanted the same thing God wanted.

In our quest to become more like the people God wants us to be we have to start loving other people. First, we need to love the Christians who make up our Church family. This is helps us develop a heart like God’s which allows us to love the hurt and lonely people of the world." 

God has a special relationship with us. Believers, Christians, people that want to follow God. Loving and spending time with other Christians helps us draw nearer to God. When we are with each other we fellowship, we uplift one another, we pray for one another, we encourage one another. It's a very spiritually fueling place to be when you are surrounded by other Christians. 

It is also our duty as Christians, that if we see brother or sister in Christ sinning, that we help them walk in the ways of God and get back on the path of Life. 

"And now abide faith, hope and love, these three; the greatest of these is love." 
- 1 Corinthians 13:13 

God bless you, ladies!
~ Taleisha 

PS. So sorry for the highlighted text. I couldn't find the option to take it off! I hope you still get the message :) 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Loving Unbelievers




I love my friends. I love hanging with them, spending time, chatting, just having fun. But something always comes up at some point- whether they believe in God or not.  Faith in God can either drive your unbelieving friends away, or bring them even closer to you. I don't know about you, but I have found it a little difficult in being friends with someone who doesn't believe in God. I want them to become Christians, but I don't want to drive them away either.

Here are three things that God has taught me about loving our friends who don't know God.

1. Pray for them.
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. - Colossians 4:2-4

The best way you can love your unchristian friends is to pray for them. Pray that God will reveal Himself to them, pray that you might have opportunities to talk about God with them, and pray for all their needs. Maybe they need help in a test, maybe there having family problems... pray for them, and believe God will work wonders.

2. Live wisely.

Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.  . - Colossians 5:6

Whenever I do or say something wrong around some of my friends, they are quick to jump on my faith. 'Oh, the Christian said that' they will say. Whenever it happens I realize how much they pay attention to how we live. Our actions speak volumes. But sometimes we talk like a Christian, I believe this, I believe that, but our actions do the complete opposite! We say, but we don't do. Our actions and speech don't line up.
People are watching, whether we know it or not. We need to make sure we are living out what we say we believe. We need to watch what we say and do around unbelievers, because how can they trust what we say, if we don't also do the things we say?


3.  Love- don't judge!
 
It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.  God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you." - 1 Corinthians 4:12-13

This one of the most important things, and one thing that we have to remember. Love them, dont judge them! God is the Judge of heaven and earth, its not our place to tell them if they are doing something wrong, that's Gods place.

We are told in the Bible that if we see another believer sinning that after praying about it, we should humbly bring it to their attention so that they can turn from their ways.

Its easy to say, 'you shouldn't do that', 'you know that's wrong' and other things like that. We need to respect other peoples viewpoints. God convicts. God shows people when they mess up, not us. We are there to love them, to pray for them and to help them!

So...
Make a point of praying for your unsaved friends, live out your beliefs, and respect your friends beliefs. Be a real friend, and love- don't judge.



~  Meggie

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Loving Friends


Friends. I'll admit that loving your friends can be a whole lot easier than loving your family. Why? Friends are chosen people who we know, love, get along with, like and share a bond with, this is commonly known as a 'friendship'. It is up to us who we make our friends. This is a good thing but can also be a negative thing when the wrong friends are allowed into your life. Often enough the people you surround yourself with rub off on you and help shape who you are. Friends and family usually play the biggest role in that. Our friends are people we want to invest our time into, people we like to hang out with and can also be our role models. Friends learn from one another and have a great influence on how we act, who we are and who we will become. It's EXTREMELY important  to surround yourself with friends that will speak into your life, encourage you to make wise decisions and help you in times of trouble.

Here's what the Bible says about friendship:
Proverbs 12:26
"The righteous chose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray."
This adds to what I mentioned earlier about surrounding yourself with friends that are good for you, not friends that will lead you astray. This could be people who blaspheme, smoke, fornicate, do drugs. The Bible and I aren't saying you shouldn't be friends with people that do these things. As Christians we shouldn't judge them (Matthew 7:1), simply encourage them to do the right thing and not allow their actions to turn into our own.

Proverbs 17:17
"A friend loves at all times."
We make mistakes and our friends do as well. We should love people, even with their imperfections. We have been instructed to love as Christ has loved us (John 13:34). This can even go beyond friends! Love is a language that doesn't need to be spoken. We should never stop being friends with someone because they made a mistake, this is where we can practice forgiveness Colossians 3:13).

Proverbs 27:6
"Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but the enemy multiplies kisses."
This has happened to me many times, but when it does, it's when I value the friend even more. Telling the truth to a friend can be very difficult, especially when you know they don't want to hear it! I had a really close friend on a school camp and she was always causing a scene and making it difficult for others to enjoy it. She was always very bold and good at voicing her opinion, but she wasn't a Christian so I knew I could pull out the 'What would Jesus do?' card. As much as I didn't want to, I ended up telling her that she was ruining peoples camps. School camps were a time when the class would get to know each other better and form closer friendships. She was mad at me for a day or two but she soon came around and realised she was ruining the camp for others. She even thanked me. Meggie has often given me advice, and it hasn't always been what I wanted to hear, but later I could always see the wisdom in it. A true friend will give you advice when you don't want to hear it, but you can always trust that they're looking out for you.

John 15:12-13
"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."
This verse pretty much wraps it up and is pretty self explanatory. The love between friends is a special love and shouldn't be taken for granted. Friends are a gift from God and the bonds between them are something they will always cherish and never forget!


"A friend should be one in whose understanding and virtue we can equally confide, and whose opinion we can value at once for its justness and its sincerity." - Robert Hall


Thank you Jesus for our friends and for putting them in our lives at just the right times :)

~ Taleisha