Friday, 18 November 2016

Dress For Success.






So let's talk about it.

I'm so done with where the world is with regards to dressing. I'm so tired of all the photoshopped bodies that cinch in waists and plump out butts. I'm tired of the "selfies" that show us parts of "self" we have no business showing the world. I'm done with "dresses" that barely cover vital parts and leave the rest all hanging free and wild. Social media has sold us a lie and we have bought it without even stopping to get a receipt. It has become cool somehow to wear one outfit that is bodycon-cut-out-low-back-plunging neckline-above-the-knee at the same dang time. Like we leave our homes and are literally naked. I'm still trying to decide whether we actually leave the house like that or we just dress up and take the picture for Social media for some likes. What's worse are the comments. HUMAN BEINGS LIE!!! You will see people hyping these pictures that leave us far from covered all commenting #Goals, "Yaaaaasssss!" "You slay!" and so much more, but at the drop of a hat, these same people will gather together in a circle and tear down your entire being. Yes, I know we shouldn't care what people say, but is it worth it to destroy our witness though?

I don't know about you but my own body is God's temple. It literally doesn't belong to me. I am just a manager. It is my responsibility to take care of this temple and watch what I allow it do. We are stewards of all that God has given us. Besides, what's the point of showing what you don't intend to share? We advertise our bodies and then have the nerve to be offended when an illegible customer cares to buy. Guys are VISUAL BEINGS!!! Who is your audience really? You talk about wanting a serious relationship and settling down, let's check your social media and see what your closet is saying 'bout that. What really is your motivation when getting dressed? Is it to cover up insecurities you have by trying to convince the world you are worth something? We like to say that we are dressing for ourselves but can we be honest? How hard do we truly believe that? Let's be real. I like to feel good when I dress up. I like getting compliments because who doesn't. Now don't get me wrong. We have received freedom from Christ undoubtedly, but 1 Corinthians 8:9 rightly states that "you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble." This freedom we have received is the enablement to live beyond our fleshly desires. If we are all being real, even I struggle at times with what my flesh wants because there are just some clothes that just speak to you. It's a battle. 

As a Christian lady who is intentional about her walk with Christ, I am very deliberate about my outfits. Earlier this year, with a group of others I was opportune to facilitate a group for the recovery of addicts (of all kinds). It was then that I became really conscious of my outfits (especially if I was leading the class). I didn't want unnecessary attention on me, or to hinder their progress unnecessary. I couldn't be standing in front of a group of men who were struggling with lust, and telling them to respect women because they are valuable (while I stood there looking far from credible). 

There is a time and a place to channel your inner vixen (save it for your husband, not bae). You may be asking just how you should dress. I can't give you do's and dont's because that's not why I'm here. It's not a dress code, but an attitude of the heart. You have the Holy Spirit who does a good job of checking people. When you put something on, the Holy Spirit starts checking you and then you start adjusting the outfit as if the fabric will stretch enough to where it needs to be. Let's listen to Him. We don't need to prove anything to the world. We aren't here for that. We aren't here to draw attention to ourselves, but to God. We are valuable. Always have and always will be worth more that precious gems. It is not okay (never has, and never will) regardless of what society, social media, and everyone else that influences you. This is not a long post to talk down at you, but to encourage you to rise up and take your place as the godly woman that looks elegant, stylish and classy. You can show other ladies that it is in fact possible to look good while covered. #CoveredIsTheNewNaked. (Why not?!) If you intend on getting married, it's also a good time to start looking the part before you get there just so it's not too hard a transition. Forget what "celebrities" say on dressing up, partying, fetting drunk, kissing strangers and what not; encouraging 20-somethings to live young and wild and free. There literally is no time for that. Besides, we will account for every action made on this earth. Your man will put some respek on you when he knows you carry yourself like you're worth something. Except of course your man isn't jealous enough to care what you look like, and doesn't mind you exposing your body parts...which I doubt, but hey! who knows. Let's get back to the place of looking LIT (while being covered of course). We can't influence the world by trying to look like it. There must be a demarcation. I'm here for looking good any day--on a budget LOL. 

~Modesty is the new elegance. -Coco Chanel.

Love you ladies. Let's get back to dressing right and looking like a bag of money, shall we?
You are beauty-full!

Favor O.
x

Friday, 9 September 2016

Missed Opportunities



It was 5.25pm and I was running late for a church cell-group meeting I've been assigned the responsibility of leading, but I needed to quickly get some refreshments before this meeting that is slated for 6.00pm. My mission was simple: to pass by a store, and with laser-focus grab all the items I need and head right with no distractions whatsoever. I mean ZERO distraction. Isn't it amazing how we think we have life figured out that we somehow think we run the show? God always likes to remind us He's the boss doesn't He? Anyway, so I get to the store as planned and briskly walk straight to the entrance, but there's a distraction. "Excuse me 'Ma!' Please come and help me beg my wife!!!" (He looked somewhat disheveled as he pleaded with his wife for whatever wrong he had committed, while his wife was reversing out of the parking lot) "Keep on begging her! You're on the right track," I said, as I kept on walking to this entrance refusing to be side-tracked at all costs. I was on a time-schedule. He still called out to me "Please! I've been begging her, just come and help me." I urged him to keep on begging her, but I did nothing else. As soon as I walked into the store I, and a friend instantly felt selfish, irresponsible, guilty, but most importantly, the cloud that hung over me was the reality of a missed opportunity.

I had just missed an important opportunity to minister grace, and who knows maybe even lead this couple to Christ. I kept on picking up the items I needed from the store, but my conscience kept on pricking and yelling at me. My peace was distorted--and there's nothing I dislike more. Do anything to me, but don't mess with my peace. After picking up the items, I stood at the check out queue but I kept thinking of this missed opportunity so I asked the friend I went to the store with to please pay for the items so that I could rush out to see if I could find this couple. I hurried outside, but they were gone. Oh the guilt that flooded my heart. I sat in the car, and said a prayer for this couple.

I'm reminded of the story in Luke 10:38-42. Jesus went to visit Martha, and Mary her sister sat at His feet soaking in His presence and just being with Christ, while Martha was too carried away preparing a big feast. She believed what she was doing was more important and as such Mary should be with her in the kitchen. She even came to ask Jesus to send Mary to help in the kitchen, but Jesus let Martha know she was DISTRACTED by what she felt was the important thing. He further told her that Mary had found what truly counts, and it won't be taken away from her. I was placed with an opportunity that truly counts to God, but I saw it as a distraction. Who knows if getting the snacks was the real distraction, but I was focused on the wrong thing. I totally missed a moment to restore a relationship in whatever way I could which is the heartbeat of God...focused on the wrong stuff. I repented!

We are presented with so many God-opportunities on a daily basis to be the hands, mouths, feet, ears, and hearts of Jesus. Do we accept these opportunities or reject them? I'm reminded of a day last week, I was driving home from work around 7.00pm and I saw a little girl walking down the street with a bucket in her hand, crying deeply. I was so tired, and all I could think about was a hot shower and climbing into my bed, and again I didn't want ANY DISTRACTION. She looked back at me as I drove past, like "Are you going to stop and help me?" No I didn't. It nudged at my heart a little, and I totally forgot about it as soon as I got home. Lord, I repent! One thing I have come to realise is compassion interrupts, and distracts. Craig Groeschel said, "To say you care but not act, is to not care at all." Every time the word compassion showed up in the Bible with regard to Jesus, it was always backed-up with a corresponding action. "Moved with compassion...He touched...(Matt. 14:14). He had compassion...He healed their sick. Matt. 20:34" 

We find ourselves praying for God to use us, and we want to be His vessels, and a million other similar prayers but the opportunities He has given us have been frustrated. I thoroughly repented last night, and by God's grace with my spiritual eyes I will learn to grab opportunities to represent Christ well. Open our eyes Lord. Quench the selfish desires in us. Let us burn with passion to minister to your people on a daily basis. Keep our eyes focused on what matters most. You are ALL we want. I repent for all the opportunities You've placed in front of me that I have been blind to, or I have turned down. Forgive me, and be merciful to me. I aim to do better. So help me God!

I love you. Mean it. Let's hunt for God-opportunites and make the best out of them. The world needs us!



Remain beauty-FULL! 

Favor O.
xx

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Re-defining Purity.

Purity [pyoo r-i-tee]: the condition or quality of being pure; freedom from anything that debases, contaminates, pollutes etc.




I've been thinking about this for a while and it only made sense to extend the thought to whoever finds this. We live in a culture that formerly highly promotes virginity and "saving the self," but hardly ever does the conversation extend to purity of the mind and spirit. It always seems to end at "no sex" and "close your legs" without caring to let us know why. Why are we so focused on the physical purity? as if it's not more detrimental to have a contaminated mind and spirit. Okay, so you've managed to keep yourself as a virgin but should you still be applauded if your mind and spirit have been compromised? Let's remember Matthew 5:28 that says LOOKING at someone lustfully is sin enough. 

Who creates these demarcations that prioritise one aspect of purity over the other? What really is the purpose of your purity? To say you "waited" and obeyed your mother or to be in subjection to obedience from God? Your walk with God is dependent on your purity levels. When did it all of a sudden become "cool" to explore the fields of sexual activity outside marriage? More importantly, when did it become a thing of shame to own virginity and purity? (This is the real cool) Society has sold us a lie and we've bought it and fed it to others. A while ago, I shared with a couple friends on how I wasn't going to engage in any sexual activities in my relationship, and somehow it became a joke to them. They made me plainly understand that I was setting myself up to fail for that sole decision. After all, I would be cheated on and "a man's got to do what a man's got to do" right? Wrong. Who said man was made for sex? The only thing we need for to be alive is air in our lungs. Fast forward to a couple of years of waiting and with God's help, maintaining purity and my relationship has progressed, but these friends have not been able to secure stable relationships. I must be doing something right. Believe it when the Bible says that God always rewards obedience.

On the other hand, why is this lesson of virginity only taught to girl-children? Men are leaders of the home, and they have an equal role to play. So, if they are not educated on the importance of obeying God in this issue, who's to tell where else they will disobey God? I don't think the Bible instructed the lesson to be taught only to a select gender. Our collective purity as a whole, is our power. We have the responsibility to promote purity of the mind, body and spirit to all who have breath in their lungs. 

Matthew 5:8 blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. God is interested in our purity of heart. Purity and purpose go hand-in-hand. It's not okay to just disengage from sexual immorality on the physical. What's the condition of your heart? Are you masturbating or watching "soft pornography" (you know the kind where a sex scene just happens to be in an innocent movie that tends to last a bit longer than necessary, so it's not exactly porn) or blown out porn? After all it's easily accessible? So you lay in bed at bedtime and out of the whole 2-hours long movie you watched, you start replaying this select scene over and over again. Next thing you know, you're texting this person you have NO moral basis to text...talking about "I miss you!" and "You just forgot me" Yeah, we all know how that ends. We must screen the things that enter our eyes, and ears. Yes! This means that we MUST screen everything that enters our eyes and ears. Be intentional about your life.

Hebrews 13:4a let marriage be held in honor among all. Let's get back to the heart of the Father. This is His perfect will. That marriage is kept sacred and uncompromised. That we go back to the order of things. Let's have a throwback and encore of morals we left in the 90s. You know how you were shy to hold that boys hand when you were dating? And the first time he "mistakenly" brushed his hands around your waist you called your best friend to tell her about it? Yeah! Let's go back to the innocence of the time. Define clear boundaries in your relationships. Let the other know we will not rub and touch and kiss and even hug too long. It's a war!!! Let him earn you. *Put some RESPEK on your self* Someone said "how is sex before marriage making LOVE when God is love, and God isn't in it?" The boundaries of sex should only be discussed in the boundaries of a marriage. Let's be eager to get married, so that the day we put on that WHITE (signifying purity) dress, we can beat our chests and say "Verily, verily, I earned this white dress!" Lets stop this behavior of desecrating our lives, living black lives but wearing white dresses.

Romans 6:11a So, you must consider yourselves DEAD to sin and ALIVE to God. Dead to sin! Alive to God...Dead to sin. Alive to God. DEAD (lifeless, desensitised, unresponsive) to sin. ALIVE (living, responsive, functioning, active, existent) to God. Yassssss! THESE are the true goals. Forget what social media says. We are a light that can never be dim. They can only try to shut our mouths, but the truth can never be silenced. We have no business experimenting with sin. Maintain purity in your body, but most importantly in your mind. You don't have to be popular in the world's eyes. God's approval is really all that matters. Respond only to the voice of the Spirit. If you fell along the way, ask God to forgive you and become committed to living life the right way. Purity begins in the mind, and out of the overflow of the heart it reflects in our bodies. The road won't be easy but P-R-A-Y! Ask for the Holy Spirit to help you guard your life.

Your body is a temple. Save it for the worthy one God created you for, and when the time is right you can have "Undefiled Worship."

*I STAND FOR PURITY OF THE MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT!* DO YOU???

I believe in you. We can all do it. Let's hold each other's hands. 


I LOVE YOU. MEAN IT!
Favor O.
x

Friday, 20 May 2016

What's Your Distraction?

Lately, there's so much crazy all up in the air. So many things to complain about, and not enough time to really sit back and acknowledge what's going right. If we really check it, there are grounds to complain based on facts and figures, but is that really why we are here?

Are we allowing the times to dictate our praise? are we moved by what we see? Not for the believer, and definitely not for an iVow lady. We don't base our worship on situations. It's an unconditional state of mind. In and out of season our worship remains uninterrupted. So because our little plans are not going according to what we projected and imagined we shift the anger to God as if He sent us in the first place. All He really cares for is that we seek His kingdom and His will in all things, and He will take care of the others. You know your life more than I do, and you know where the shoe hurts. What in your life are you allowing to distract you from sitting before God and surrendering to Him? Is it that job that sucks the life out of you, but God forbid you quit because you need to maintain status? or is it that relationship that dishonors God in every single way but it's God's will for you to be married so you'll manage with the lot you've assigned to yourself? What really is worth you compromising God's place and presence? These are real questions.

The distractions in this life are never going to stop, so when do you plan on restrategizing?

Selah!!!

I love you! mean it. Don't let anything distract you from what matters most. As Tasha Cobbs said: "PUT A PRAISE ON IT!"

Favor O.
x

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

When It Makes No Sense.



"In all things, give thanks" they say. "God's ways are higher than ours." "Don't let your situation dictate your worship." Trust God. These are all too familiar sayings. But, Lord I don't understand. How do I trust you when there's no glimmer of hope in sight? There are no rainbows after my rain. I come out every morning with a surge of hope and still, there is no seeming hope. Only to pick up from where yesterday ended in the same gloom and I don't feel you as close to me as before. What do you do when there is no will left? When there's no more "fight" in you, where do you go?

Life takes us through so many seasons that have the potential to cause us to doubt God and His promises for us. Life tries to suck out all the light and hope left in us, but we must keep our heads above the waters. We must still wake up and show up. We must counter every thought of the devil with the VOICE of God's word. We must pick ourselves up, as broken and frail as we might feel and put a praise on every situation that tries us. Yes, there are those times when you don't even want to open your mouth to sing any song of worship or praise because that's the farthest point your mind is at! Let me challenge you (and me), crank up the volume of whatever device you have and let the voice of worship and praise saturate the room you're in, and watch that situation and presence melt away and flee into nothingness.



Don't try to understand why you are where you are. Refuse to converse with the voices in your head that make you feel worse. Get out of your head and plunge all your trust into God. He has the capacity to hold every bit of us. He desperately wants to have all of us. I dare you to try Him! Proverbs 3:5 admonishes us to trust in Him with our whole hearts, and lean not on our understanding...because our understanding can fail us, and it's not even our place to understand. Our reasoning is flawed and finite, but God has all power in heaven and on earth.  Don't try to figure it out. Let God work it out.

It's always the right time to be joyful.  While life convinces us that there are times reserved for sorrow and heaviness of heart and spirit, there are no specific times reserved for joy. It's always a good time to radiate from within. In the midst of your pain, you will be tempted to ask, joy for what? Well, joy because you know you are simply going through and will come out on the other side. Joy because your faith has carried you on its wings of promise to the desired end God has for you. Joy because "the sufferings of this present time ARE NOT WORTHY to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us." (Romans 8:18). Joy because your happiness is of more significance to any semblance of depression. Joy because God expects it! Lord I will trust you, even when it makes no sense to me.


Have a joy-FULL week. (This is me preaching to the choir, but someone else needs it me thinks)
I love it. Mean it!
Favor O.
xx

Monday, 11 January 2016

Dear You.

Dear Survivor. You came this far regardless of the days when pain seemed like a weight too heavy to carry. Times when memories crushed all the life you have left, you fought through tears and weary and hurt. Remember nights that refused to turn to morning, but as soon as you shut your eyes to make time pass there was a ray of sunlight piercing through the blinds as you reconnected with light and morning. Those scars that brought you to your knees will one day tell your story of the beautiful and resilient warrior you are. Thank you for not giving up, and shutting the book before the story was finished. Thank you for wearing strength and honor with grace, and for digging deep into your reservoir of courage to push through each day, even when pushing meant crawling.

Fearer. How did you let time pass you by while you were held captive? You woke up with shivers down your spine at the possibility of another day that brought along a unique set of uncertainties. You lived a half version of yourself because fear securely held the other part of you. You fell head first into worry and anxiety and didn't give life your full potential, but somehow you remembered it won't always be like this. You remembered that God didn't give you a spirit of fear...(2. Timothy 1:7), and that if you called on Him, He will answer... (Psalm 55:22). You decided to give fear an eviction notice and began to live the life God designed for you without apology. I see you! I'm proud of you.

Past. You're so bold and have a way of sticking out your ugly head at the worst times don't you? The moment you saw us soaring and living the sadist in you couldn't take it so you tried to break us down. You tried. Kudos! For so long we tried to hide you, after all who would love us if they really knew or were exposed to our scars? Who would like the unfiltered version of us? While time will reveal the one worth showing our shame to, we have decided to acknowledge our past. Yes! We had moments we aren't proud of, but we refuse to be labeled by negativity. We can't fix you, but we know that all the while God wanted us to give him our cares so that in His might and ability, He would fix them. No longer will we cringe at the memory of you because the shame we once attached to you has been defeated. We hold onto the beauty that is today, and embrace the promise of hope. This is goodbye. Forreal!

Dear Future. Our time has come. We don't know what you hold, but we rest in the One that is able. We are dedicated to pulling out our best selves and fighting through each day. On days when we seem unsure and not fully trusting, we will find God in the stillness and quietness of our hearts and make it. If God gave it to us, we have enough grace to walk through it. Every day we spend alive is a promise of hope, and another chance to get it right. We may never be 100% fearless based on the unknown, but at least fear knows it's not our boss, and definitely not welcome in our lives. If anything, we fear being outside the will of God. We are committed to the journey ahead, but please be nice to us. If you decide not to be nice, sit back and watch us create a masterpiece of what's left of us.

2.0.1.6 WE'RE COMING FOR YOU!!!

Favor O.
xx