The Power of a Wrecking Ball

Songs can be so catchy, can’t they?!

You find yourself repeating the same tune and lyrics through your mind over and over and over again… and eventually you start singing it aloud (which isn’t always a good thing for some people) wishing it would go away. Well today I  found myself singing Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus…. not so good.

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You know the whole “curiosity killed the cat” phrase… that was me. I like to be in the know.

So I will admit it – yes I did watch the music video…. sadly. If you have not seen it, I would NOT suggest following in my footsteps. Images do not erase out of your mind easily/at all. But one thing that did come out of the song for me personally was the thought of redemption. I know this may sound a little silly but bear with me. Some members from our AMH team recently were talking about the power of redemption, and as Christians we can either shun away from all the things of this world, become a part of this world, or try to redeem it. For instance in this song, Miley sings:

“I came in like a wrecking ball, I never hit so hard in love. All I wanted was to break your walls. All you ever did was wreck me.”

This is a powerful image that is full of emotion and energy. When asked about the song Miley said if “you actually look at me, you can tell I look more broken than even the song sounds.”

This is a song about a destructive relationship between two people where they jumped into something without truly knowing the other person and came out hurt (at least that is my interpretation).

But look at it with me from a different perspective.

If we take the analogy of the power behind a wrecking ball and how it demolishes even the hardest of walls, then instead look at the resurrection power of Christ coming into someone’s life. When God enters our heart he comes with all the power of Heaven, walls crumble in the presence of our Lord. Sometimes you hear people pray to God – wreck me in the best way possible.

It is sad to look at how Miley has allowed the world to overcome her life, but God has said in his word that HE has overcome the world (John 16:33)! We have a powerful God and I think we can overlook God’s strength when we only focus on his love. They are synonymous – one and the same. God’s love is like a wrecking ball when it enters our life. He came in like a wrecking ball, by breaking down your walls. He only wants to free your heart. So you can fully love Him.

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Dear Jesus, Thank you for being a redemptive God who is jealous for our love. I pray that you would powerfully move in these girls lives this week that they would be able to give up some of the strongholds in their lives to your wrecking power. Please wreck them in the best way possible that they would feel the power of your love.  Help lead them in your paths that they do not become over powered by this world but would bring your redemptive love to the world. Thank you for all of their beautiful hearts and willingness to follow you! In Jesus name – AMEN!

Epic zits of giant proportions

We’ve all had those days. The ones where we wake up in the morning, feeling pretty good about ourselves, and then, we look in the mirror. And, we see it. The red, ominous dot on the center of our face… the zit.

Anyone who has been to an Across My Heart retreat, probably remember’s Ashley’s stories about zits. Getting a white head so big that it squirts the mirror and sprayed her in the mouth…. or the time she was too embarrassed to open the front door for her next door neighbor because she had terrible acne and hadn’t put on any make-up for the day. Yeah… embarrassing stuff. But, hopefully you also remember the point to those gruesome stories.

The punchline goes like this: When we find our confidence in what we look like, we freak out. Because, no matter how pretty you are or how pretty you think that you are, it’s inevitable that you’re going to have one of “those” days. If we find our confidence in what we look like, we’ll be disappointed.

But, when we find our confidence in who God is, we’ll never be disappointed. If we realize that his plan for our life is bigger than a bad hair day or a zit on our face, we don’t have to freak out over our outward appearance. Instead, focus on who you are inside. Because who you are is what God cares most about. And, he has great plans for you.

Does it have to be itsy bitsy?

itsy bitsy yellow polka dot bikini

The itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka-dot bikini…. we all know the lyrics. But do we know what these lyrics actually meant for bathing suits lining the seashore? With the turn of the fashion world and the women’s rights movement, the bikini became a tool used for female empowerment. But, fashion designer Jessica Rey reveals the shocking research on the male brain that shows otherwise.

Check out Jessica Rey’s fashion line for modest and super cute swimwear http://www.reyswimwear.com/

Just A Glimpse

Artists strive to make a statement with their paintings. Each brush stroke, each color mixed on the palette is an intentional effort to create something beautiful…. something meaningful.

Every moment of our lives we have the opportunity to create something beautiful too. Every person we talk to, every smile we give, every time we answer the phone, we make a statement.

We often care so much about what other people think about us… our friends, our family, our co-workers and classmates. But we very rarely think about the glimpses a stranger catches of us. We very rarely care about the way we treat people we don’t know.

The person standing behind you in line, the women sitting across the room at Starbucks, the old lady walking behind you through the door… all of these people are strangers who just catch a glimpse of who we are.

This video shows 500 years of women in artwork, each one unique and each image shown only for a moment. As I watch this beautiful video of women through history, I can’t help but think about the statement my life makes. Surely, these women were known and loved by people at that time. But today I catch just a glimpse.

Years from now, when people look at your life, do you want them to see just another pretty face frozen in time, or a life that brings glory and honor to your King. Our life can say something about who we are, but better yet, our life can say something about who He is when we find our identity in Him.

Philippians 2:15 says we can shine like stars in the sky by being children of God. When we reflect who He is, it’s hard for anyone not to notice.

After all, you can see a star shining bright… even when you catch just a glimpse.woman

Photo Shoots… Good Clean Fun?

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It’s fun to take pictures with your friends. Candid shots of laughter can capture a memory. Goofy photos on the webcam never seem to get old. But what I’ve noticed a lot of girls doing lately are photoshoots…. a full session of photography with a few friends with different poses and different backgrounds often revolving around a specific theme. I’ve seen quite a few girls upload these photos to facebook… sometimes creating a whole new album with up to one hundred photos. The photos are usually fun and artistic, showing the creativity of the photographer by thinking outside the box.

Unfortunately, many of these photos don’t exude a sweet and innocent fun time. Sometimes these photos include seductive poses of teenage girls trying to look sexy. I’ve seen way too many pictures of thirteen year old girls and girls my age with pouting lips and heavy make up looking longingly into the camera lens. Even if they are fully clothed, photos like this create a sense of seduction and give the wrong impression.

But it’s easy to have a photo shoot that fun and creative without compromising your innocence. Getting a few of your friends together to create a series of photographs should be a fun and artistic activity! And it can be! A few of us from Across My Heart ministries got together to show you just how fun photo shoots can be!

We picked a theme, got some props from the 1970s, donned a few old school outfits, and made lots of memories! Check out some more of the photos from our 1970s photo shoot below!

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Fun photo shoot ideas:

Pick a decade like we did…. love the 1950s? How about the 1980s? Dress up in your favorite checkered dress or neon leggings and don’t forget the bouffant!

Pick a fun background… whether you are a country girl or a city girl, there is a place for you!

Blow bubbles or balloons… props can be a lot of fun to play with and add an awesome visual effect!

Recreate your favorite movie… take snap shots while acting out the plot line and role play as your favorite character from the film!

Dove Real Beauty Sketches

Dove is a leading provider of women’s beauty products and has made it their mission to enhance women’s natural beauty rather than cover it up with fake cosmetics. In this video project, Dove showed each of these women the truth that they don’t see about themselves.

It’s true. Often times, we don’t see the beauty that others see. We are too busy picking ourselves apart in the mirror that we don’t realize the beautiful woman standing right there in front of it.
According to Dove statistics, only 4% of the women in the world consider themselves to be beautiful. This lack of self-confidence in our appearance often comes from an obsessive, almost compulsive, focus on our appearance. We become so perfectionist about how we should look, that we don’t appreciate the beauty that’s already there.
This video shows how blinded we are by our insecurities. Instead of relying on our own self-image, we need to place our security in who God says we are.

YOU ARE ACCEPTED….

John 1:12 I am God‘s child.

John 15:15 As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:19–20 I have been bought with a price and I belong to God.

1 Corinthians 12:27 I am a member of Christ‘s body.

Colossians 2:9–10 I am complete in Christ.
Remember, who you are is more important than what you look like.

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With warm weather approaching (okay… keep your fingers crossed on that one), girls will be wearing less and less clothing. Pants turn into capris which turn into shorts which turn into super short-shorts. Sweaters turn into tank tops, and parkas turn into bikinis. Too many girls throw out their winter clothing… and their modesty goes right along with it! It’s easy to be modest in the winter. But it gets a lot more challenging as things get hotter.
This blog post from “a single drop in the ocean” gives some great guidelines on dressing modestly as warm weather is on it’s way!

Originally posted on A Drop in the Ocean:

It’s not easy trying to dress modestly in the 21st century. With the “anything goes” attitude toward clothing nowadays, it can be rather difficult to go against the tide and find clothes that fit, are beautiful, and not reminiscent of cotton sacks grain used to come in. Too often now, I see beautiful, respectable girls dressing immodestly. I know dressing modestly does take a little extra effort, but it’s worth it. You owe it to yourself and the world around you to dress nicely.

You

Modesty has to begin within yourself. Dressing modestly tells the world that you are beautiful, and you know it. You know that beauty is much deeper than body parts. You want people to see you for more than your body, so you draw attention to what you want people to see: your character, your sense of humor, your generosity, your passion in life, and so much…

View original 1,178 more words

Discounted Candy & Cheap Romance

One of the best things after Valentine’s Day? Getting a sweet-tooth fix… for cheap.

Just walk into Target and you’ll find aisles of discounted Valentine’s Day chocolate. Pink colored m&m’s, a box of Russel Stover’s candies, heart-shaped Sweet Tarts…. they’ve got it all.

Unfortunately, it’s not just the candy that is devalued  post-Valentine’s Day. It’s the relationships too.

How many broken hearts do you think there have been since Valentine’s Day?? (and I’m not talking about the strawberry filled ones)

I’m talking about real hearts, hearts that were supposedly head-over-heels “in love”, pumped up on the artificial flavoring of  Valentine’s sweets, thinking it was the real thing. But insincere love is only sweet for a moment.

Valentine’s Day is over. The candy goes on sale. And just like so many girls buy the cheap candy, they buy into cheap love. They trade long-lasting love for a sugary rush of the moment. They make excuses for guys that don’t treat them the way they should. They date a guy that doesn’t respect them for who they are. They settle for second best.

Don’t get me wrong, some girls experience the type of Valentine’s Day that everyone dreams of. It’s sweet, you spend the day with an amazing guy God has blessed you with, and you make memories that will last forever.

But whether you were single, are single, or in a relationship, always seek God’s best for you: a relationship with Jesus Christ.

There is no greater love than Love that comes from God.

His love is never cheap.

It cost Jesus his life. He paid everything, laid down His life, for us. That’s not a cheapened romance. That’s true love.

Showing her talent…. and then some

Why do talented women like Beyonce think it’s necessary to “flaunt it if they’ve got it”? It’s hard to appreciate her beautiful voice when skin-tight leather and provocative dance moves are flashing across the screen. Beyonce is good enough to get attention just with her musical talent, but she competes with her body for the attention when she flaunts it like that. Beyonce shows off a Superbowl

She knows how to entertain.  But, if entertaining is thrusting her body in suggestive positions and saying “whoa oh oh” over and over again instead of showcasing her beautiful voice… her true talent may be confused with her sex-appeal.

Over the past two months, Beyonce has had the chance to represent our nation. First at the Presidential inauguration and now at the Superbowl. The spotlight has been shining on her. She’s been given center-stage. And,without a doubt, her performances will be remembered. But rather than being remembered for an impeccable melody or a beautifully rhythmic dance routine, she’ll be remembered for her leather leotard and body language. Instead of gaining respect, she’s selling her body for worldly applause.