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Living holy lives for Jesus requires diligence in every area of life, particularly when it comes to relationships. God's command to "be holy as He is holy" (1 Peter) allows us to maintain our relationship with Him and hear from His heart without the roadblock of sin. But holiness-or purity, as they are essentially the same-does not come naturally to our human hearts!The hyper-sexualized culture in which we live ...

Living holy lives for Jesus requires diligence in every area of life, particularly when it comes to relationships. God's command to "be holy as He is holy" (1 Peter) allows us to maintain our relationship with Him and hear from His heart without the roadblock of sin. But holiness-or purity, as they are essentially the same-does not come naturally to our human hearts!

The hyper-sexualized culture in which we live is constantly sending us messages about dating. Without even realizing it, we receive these messages through music, movies, articles and images. As women seeking to honor God in our relationships, we have to be on guard against sinful influences. We must be prepared for the Enemy's attacks on a relationship that reflects God's intentions.

This takes intentionality. Below are five ways we can bring this intentionality to our walk of purity when it comes to dating.

 

1. Know your weaknesses.

Safeguards must be set up strategically. What works for one couple won't work for another for the simple reason that every couple has unique strengths and struggles. Both you and your boyfriend need to be aware of your weaknesses. You will need to be honest with one another about stumbling blocks in your relationship.

In Matthew 18:9, Jesus stated: "If your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away." That sounds pretty extreme! But that's exactly the point Jesus was making. Jesus wants us to be harsh with the things that cause us to sin, literally cutting them out of our lives-even when it's painful and difficult. If there is an area of weakness that is compromising your purity, be honest with yourself and set up safeguards to protect your relationship.

 

2. Communicate with openness and honesty.

This honesty goes beyond telling each other the areas that need boundaries. Good relationships are built on constant positive communication. To walk in purity, you will need to continually assess your progress and ask one another how you can help maintain holiness.

Try not to take these conversations personally. If your boyfriend says he can't come to your apartment anymore because it's too tempting to compromise, celebrate the fact that he wants to walk in purity! This kind of honesty and commitment honors God and honors you. And if you're the one who has to set boundaries, pray for your boyfriend to have an understanding heart that appreciates your openness and commitment to holy living.

 

3. Avoid compromising situations.

When you love someone, almost any situation can become an opportunity to compromise. Love is meant to act as an "on-ramp": As emotional love deepens, physical attraction grows. In marriage, that's a beautiful thing. But in dating relationships we have to be very cautious.

Set up standards for your behavior as a couple. If you know you're tempted to go too far when you're alone, stop meeting at one another's apartments. Go on public dates in parks and coffee shops. Some couples even take separate cars to their dates in order to protect their purity. When you know your weaknesses, you can set up standards to counter any opportunity for compromise.

When my husband and I were dating, we knew that if we kissed, we'd go too far. In order to protect our purity, we had to make the radical decision to save our first kiss for our wedding day. It was difficult, and there were times we really struggled to keep our commitment. But we did it, and we don't have any regrets. (You can read more of our story in this post: 5 Myths About Saving Your Kiss for the Wedding Day.)

 

4. Don't compare.

No two couples are the same. Though Josh and I knew kissing would be too much for us, we had many friends who were able to kiss without being tempted to go too far. You and your boyfriend need to honestly assess where you are as a couple-without comparing yourselves to others.

It can be difficult to be the "strict" couple-the couple whose standards are higher than everyone else's. But it’s more important to protect your purity than it is to please people. They might laugh or make fun of you, but God isn't laughing. He's smiling at your commitment to His Word and His ways.

 

5. Pray together.

Finally, the best way to protect your purity is to pray together. As you lift your relationship up to God, you are inviting Him into your love story. God's role in your story will be instrumental in keeping you on a path of holiness.

Why is this important? Pure relationships are free from the guilt and regret that inevitably come with sexual compromise. They also promote a God-centric foundation for marriage and strengthen the emotional bond without physical distraction. In other words, it's worth the effort to protect your purity.

It's not always easy, but it's God's design. God blesses those who follow His plan for relationships. By upholding purity, you're reflecting Christ not only in your relationship, but also into your world.

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[Image: Project Inspired contributor Christi Given with Bethany, a PI Girl at Vanguard University of Southern California] Many people may ask: “Why should I attend college? Is it worth it for me to obtain a degree and is it worth the financial investment?” For me personally, the answer is yes. Yes, it is WORTH the cost financially and time-wise because you will develop skills you otherwise wouldn’t have. The ...

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[Image: Project Inspired contributor Christi Given with Bethany, a PI Girl at Vanguard University of Southern California]

 

Many people may ask: “Why should I attend college? Is it worth it for me to obtain a degree and is it worth the financial investment?” For me personally, the answer is yes. Yes, it is WORTH the cost financially and time-wise because you will develop skills you otherwise wouldn’t have. The other reason is you will find out more about yourself and will meet people that you otherwise wouldn’t have. For me, college was such a growth period in my life, not only academically, but also spiritually. I really learned to trust God in all things from finances and personal life to grades and my future career and calling in life.

 

So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church. (1 Corinthians 14:12)

 

One aspect of this article is education, but I am also a firm believer in following your dreams, passions and talents. We need to not only have a degree to provide the credibility in our field, but also need to use and discover the God-given abilities we have to share the Gospel and to be a light in a dark world.

 

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:10)

 

The other reason why I believe it’s important to follow both of these important facets of life is because they can very much go together. While you follow your dreams you can get an education, and sometimes being in college can birth those passions or you can discover what it is that you really want to do. Maybe you’ll take a photography class and realize you have a passion for photojournalism, or you may take a Christian Worldview course and find that you have a passion for missions, or you may take a health class and want to help people. Make sure to follow both your educational path and your passions so that you can take care of yourself later in life as well as do what God has called you to do. I recommend going to a Christian school to really get that kind of education that is set apart and that can pour into your life not only within academics, but spiritually as well.

 

Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. (1 Corinthians 7:17)

 

One thing that I see people do is follow their passions, but when in school, they put them on the back burner and consider the two separate. You weren’t created to be miserable or to be forced to do something you despise doing. You were created to be free and to use the gifts God gave you, to not only glorify Him, but to bless and to serve others. What is it that you are passionate about? Ask yourself this question and then take classes based on your dreams, passions, future ministry or calling, and become an expert in your field.

 

Tips on Following Your Dreams and Getting an Education

1. Find out what you love and just do it! Follow your dreams and God-given abilities. Become an expert in that field.

2. Realize your education can complement your dreams: Having a degree makes you an eligible professional in that field. If you intern or gain experience, you will be further along than someone who has no degree or experience. Do what you love! An education and your dreams go hand in hand-don’t separate the two and don’t major in something you can’t see yourself doing in life. Write down your dream and find a major or minor complementing this area of study or field of work.

3. Don’t major in something you dislike: Why put yourself through the ringer when you know what it is you’re passionate about? If you don’t know what you want to do, find a few different classes, talk to a school counselor and pray for clarity. If you do know, then follow that dream. I wanted to do something in entertainment, television or writing, so I majored in communication with an emphasis in journalism. You can do it!

4. Do internships and start networking: In college you may find that you’ll be connected to a network of people in your business or ministry, and you also may be allowed to do internships in your field. Internships are KEY in college and I HIGHLY recommend them. Getting hands-on experience really can clarify for you whether you see yourself doing that career in life. If you don’t see yourself doing that full time, then you’ve just saved yourself a lot of time and money. If you do see yourself doing that job, you’re building experience and gaining job contacts for the future.

5. Invest in your future: God says we reap what we sow (Galatians 6), so it’s vital we invest in our dreams, passions and education. Ask God for guidance. Talk to your parents, counselors, advisers, youth leaders and mentors that you trust and really seek out God’s will for your life. I truly believe this is important in living out God’s perfect will for you and to be fruitful in your gifts and talents.

 

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-12)

 

PI Girls, do you agree that your education can go hand in hand with your dreams? How can I pray for your education and future career? Comment below!

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So many of you ladies were inspired and encouraged by our previous post on fun and creative ways to get your prayer journal started that we thought we’d share more cool finds you’re sure to love. Enjoy! 1. Write letters to God. This idea from Kathryn Shirey is such a great way to practice accountability in communication with God by writing out your requests and recording any answered prayers! ...

So many of you ladies were inspired and encouraged by our previous post on fun and creative ways to get your prayer journal started that we thought we’d share more cool finds you’re sure to love. Enjoy!

 

1. Write letters to God. This idea from Kathryn Shirey is such a great way to practice accountability in communication with God by writing out your requests and recording any answered prayers! You’ll be surprised by how encouraging it is to keep track of these things in a journal.

Prayer-Journal

Find the full tutorial here.

 

2. Make your own prayer binder. Here’s another excellent way to organize specific prayer requests for yourself, others and your personal ministry. Definitely look into it!

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Find more details at Orthodox Mom.

 

3. Create one-tab-a-day prayers with specific themes. This is a powerful way to dedicate each day to focus on a specific theme for prayer, like your family, your friends, your country, etc.!

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Find the full tutorial at Stone Soup for Five.

 

4. Make a printable prayer journal. It’s not exactly DIY, but it can make a great addition to your prayer binder if you’re seeking some solid organization that will edify you!

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Find these printables at Marie Osborne.

 

5. Don’t forget your affirmations! How uplifting is this?! Add declaratives and scriptural promises to your journal that reaffirm the power of God’s Word at work in your prayers.

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Find more ideas like this from Gina Duke at Churchtown Ministries.

 

Do you girls have a prayer journal or have you thought of starting one? Share your ideas below!

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There is a lot of shame these days: fat shaming, skinny shaming, mom shaming. To shame someone is to make them feel bad for their choices or their identity-at least that's how our culture defines it. But shame has deeper roots than what people think about us. It goes back to the very beginning of time.This world wasn't created to embrace sin and shame. It was created to hold ...

There is a lot of shame these days: fat shaming, skinny shaming, mom shaming. To shame someone is to make them feel bad for their choices or their identity-at least that's how our culture defines it. But shame has deeper roots than what people think about us. It goes back to the very beginning of time.

This world wasn't created to embrace sin and shame. It was created to hold a perfect union between God and man. There was only one stipulation in the garden Adam and Eve called home: They could eat from any tree but one. That tree was the "knowledge of good and evil" (Genesis 2:16). Before the Fall, Adam and Eve did not know evil. They knew God, who is perfect and all-good. The moment they chose to distrust God and know evil for themselves was the moment shame entered their lives-and consequently ours as well.

The knowledge of good and evil is what brings shame. As soon as Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they knew what they had done was wrong. Shame entered their hearts and they hastily covered their naked bodies with leaves. Shame and sin always walk hand in hand. Sin-whether our own or committed against us-is the source and cause of shame, and the Enemy loves to use it to divide us from God.

As believers, shame is not our identity. Guilt is not our destiny. But in order to live unashamed, we have to get to the root of the shame itself, and that's sin.

Our culture gets offended when anyone issues an objective standard of right and wrong. When we stand on God's principles of righteousness, there will be people who feel the shame of conviction and blame God-or His followers-for making them feel bad. Shame does feel bad. No one likes it. But that uncomfortable feeling is meant as a warning: a warning to turn back to God and His plan, walk in His ways and maintain a relationship with Him.

Just as Adam and Eve ran from God as He walked in the garden (Genesis 3:8), we often run from God when we feel guilt about our sin. We forget that God is the only solution to the problem of sin-and that Jesus was sent expressly to conquer it! We do not need to be captive to the sin and shame of our past or our present. The life God has for us is one free of shame and guilt, but we have to ask ourselves some questions to embrace that freedom.

 

1. Is there a sin in my life for which I need to repent?

As stated, shame is a result of sin, whether committed by us or by someone else (being told you will never measure up, being sexually abused or being otherwise mistreated). We must regularly check our hearts against God's Word and His Spirit's leading, repenting of anything that would cause a breach in our relationship with God. 1 John 1:9 says, "If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive them." It's that simple! By confessing our sins to God and asking for His forgiveness, the sacrifice Jesus paid on our behalf covers what we have done. He took our shame when He died on the cross (Hebrews 12:2).

Perhaps your shame is not caused by a sin you committed, but by one committed against you. Satan loves to use the abuse of others to define us, making us believe we have nothing to offer God's kingdom. This is a lie! You can reject the thoughts of inadequacy, impurity or whatever the enemy speaks over you, claiming Jesus' name-and His sacrifice-as your new, pure identity.

 

2. Am I trying to please people or am I seeking to please God?

Sometimes we feel shame because we are living for people, not for God. This kind of shame is one we put on ourselves by idolizing the opinions of others. People-pleasing seems harmless, but it causes us to idolize what people think and say over what God thinks and says.

When you’re tempted to do something out of guilt or pressure, ask yourself: Am I doing this for the glory of God or to please man? (Galatians 1:10) This doesn't mean we stop serving people! It means we serve with the correct motives: out of love, not out of guilt.

 

3. How can I "take captive" my thoughts and live unashamed?

The enemy wages his battle for shame in our minds. Our emotions are directly linked to our thought patterns, so if you feel ashamed, take a look at your thought life. Are your thoughts "true, honorable, just, pure and lovely" (Philippians 4:8)? Or are they burdened with guilt, shame and regret?

Remember that shame and guilt aren't God's intention for our lives. They point us to Christ, who came to remove our shame. If you've repented of anything that would separate you from God, replace all thoughts of shame with the truth of who you are in Jesus. Here are a few ideas to help with this:

  • Buy a spiral stack of index cards and write down verses about your identity in Christ and His love for you. Set your stack where you can see it and work on a verse a week.
  • Pinpoint what area of life you feel the most shame about and find verses that deal with that issue. Perhaps you feel ashamed of your body. Find verses about beauty, such as Genesis 1:27 and Psalm 45:11, and stick them to your mirror. Read them every day.
  • Whenever a shameful thought enters your mind, immediately reject it. Satan cannot read our minds, but he can hear our words. Some people find it helpful to state out loud: "In the name of Jesus, I reject these thoughts." There is power in the name of God (Jeremiah 10:6, Proverbs 18:10). Fill your mind with truth to replace the lies of the enemy.

 

Shame is not God's will, but it can draw us into a deeper and stronger relationship with Him. Shame is not our identity. Guilt is not our destiny. God's mercy is our hope.

 

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:6)

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Looking for some ways to bring glory to God while celebrating Valentine's Day? Whether you've chosen to date or wait, here are some things you can do to have fun on February 14!

Looking for some ways to bring glory to God while celebrating Valentine's Day? Whether you've chosen to date or wait, here are some things that you can do to have fun on February 14th!

 

1. Bake heart-shaped cookies and deliver them to a homeless shelter. Include a card signed "God loves you!" Imagine how much joy this simple gesture can give others.

2. Make or purchase cards to send overseas to the troops. Remember to remind them of how much God loves them, too! What a way to brighten someone's day!

3. Make goodie bags to share with your children's church or youth ministry. Don't forget to make one for your pastor or Bible study teacher!

4. Write a love letter to God! Tell Him how much you appreciate Him and all the wonderful things that He does for you. Then read your letter aloud. God will be overjoyed, as He loves to be in the presence of His children as we praise Him.

 

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalms 100:4-5)

 

5. Volunteer to babysit for a couple so that they can have a night out. This is a great way to demonstrate love for others!

6. If you've chosen not to date, try a girls' night out (or in). Grab a couple of buddies, decide what you want to do and then have some fun! Be sure to use wisdom in your activity choices.

7. Get together with your siblings (or do it yourself if you're an only child) and plan a Valentine's Day surprise for your parents. You might want to cook dinner, save your allowance and send them to the movies, or arrange for a family portrait. There are a TON of things you can do to bring a smile to your parents' faces!

8. Volunteer at a youth center or an after-school program. While you're there, you could help younger children make Valentine's Day cards for their parents.

9. Surprise someone who is feeling a little down with a special Valentine's Day treat. Try leaving him or her a gift card, some cookies or an uplifting card. Be anonymous and leave a note that only says "Jesus loves you!" This will keep the spotlight on God’s love for this person!

10. Apologize to someone you've wronged or forgive someone who has hurt you. What better way to show the love of God during this Valentine's season?

 

Valentine's Day is supposed to be about love. "God is love" (1 John 4:8), therefore everything we do should demonstrate the love of Christ. Allow the love of God to trickle down through YOU to someone else this Valentine's Day!

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 According to sources, Hillsong’s youth band Young & Free is being featured on the MTV website and music channel, which is known for more secular genres and artists.For those of you who have followed my posts, you can see that this is more evidence that I believe “Holywood” is on the rise-a term God shared with me regarding a revival that would soon take place in media and ...

 

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According to sources, Hillsong’s youth band Young & Free is being featured on the MTV website and music channel, which is known for more secular genres and artists.

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For those of you who have followed my posts, you can see that this is more evidence that I believe “Holywood” is on the rise-a term God shared with me regarding a revival that would soon take place in media and entertainment (not necessarily a geographic location, but a move of God).

Check out my media blog about the movement that I feel is taking place in the media, in film and in music called “Holywood Scoop.”

The MTV website describes the youth worship band as “One of the many groups affiliated with the Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia, Hillsong Young & Free release[s] worship music with a target audience of teens…”

 

It is kind of shocking, wouldn’t you say, seeing a Christian worship band on such a secular channel? It’s one thing to have gospel on BET or even country landing on the pop charts with some Christian lyrics, such as Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel,” but to me, this is on a whole different level, which is quite exciting! We are starting to see Christian music become “relevant” and culturally accepted in some ways.

Do you find this surprising, PI Girls, or do you think this is a fluke thing? I find it to be evidence of the power of God sweeping over Hollywood, culture and the entertainment business. We live in exciting days and we need to keep up the good work of the Lord regarding praying for our youth and for the Gospel to go forward.

From another perspective, do you think it’s bad for Hillsong to be broadcast on MTV? I personally don’t, because we have to shine light in dark places. The same goes for artists like Lecrae being interviewed on secular channels and radio stations. I see that we are beginning to bridge the gap and able to really reach people outside of the four walls of the church. Let’s pray people receive the Gospel (the good news that Jesus Christ (John 3:16-17), the awaited Son of God, died for the sins of the whole world, and that death has been abolished). Let’s use social media, emailing, technology and what we have to infuse the system.

Watch the Hillsong Young & Free “Where You Are” official music video here:

PI Girls, remember that you are a light and leader, too! YOU too can change the culture by posting verses on social media, being different and being set apart, and by swimming against the current showing the world there is HOPE and that Jesus Christ is indeed Lord of all.

 

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)

 

PI Girls, what are YOUR thoughts about Hillsong Young & Free being on MTV?

Find my blog for more posts about what's new in Christian media at holywoodscoop.wordpress.com.

If you would like to contact me, need prayer or want to message me:
Facebook.com/ChristiGiven
Twitter: @ChristiGiven
Instagram: ChristiGiven

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It happens all the time! One minute you're just friends, goofing around, and the next minute it's like you're seeing him or her for the first time. (For me it was always: "Those eyes! How have I never noticed those eyes before?!")I'm a huge fan of having good friends of the opposite gender. I think it adds a lot of perspective on life and helps us learn more about ...

It happens all the time! One minute you're just friends, goofing around, and the next minute it's like you're seeing him or her for the first time. (For me it was always: "Those eyes! How have I never noticed those eyes before?!")

I'm a huge fan of having good friends of the opposite gender. I think it adds a lot of perspective on life and helps us learn more about ourselves. But these friendships do come with this difficulty:

It's really easy to start to like each other, and the feelings can come out of nowhere!

You've probably heard people say, "Guys and girls can't be just friends. It's impossible." I disagree, but I also understand why some people say that.

At some point, almost every guy-girl friendship will lead to at least one of them wondering if they like each other as more than friends.

Then there's this awkward tightrope walk of "Well, what do I do now? I feel like I really, really like this person, but it could totally ruin our friendship if we try this and it goes south. So what do I do?!"

The answer is different for each person, but here are some questions that I hope may help you figure out what to do.


Question #1: Do I truly like this person or am I just putting myself into situations that feel romantic?

Here's the thing: A person can develop feelings for almost anyone.

I'm serious. You could be totally uninterested in a person at first, but if you put yourself in enough romantic situations with that person, or start thinking/wondering about them in a romantic way, you can easily develop feelings for them.

If you're out on a walk, just the two of you at sunset, and snowflakes softly start falling, and you stick out your tongues and dance in the first snow of winter…chances are, you're probably going to feel some sort of emotional connection creeping up on you. (After all, that's what happens in the movies! So obviously, this must be love!)

Let alone that people also say to marry your best friend. Which adds even more pressure to the mix.

So, if we can end up liking virtually anyone, then we must deduce that just because we like a person doesn't necessarily mean they're right for us, or that it will lead to a lasting relationship. (Brilliant deduction, Watson!)

That's why I encourage you to first ask yourself: “Why do I like this person? Is it because I really like him/her as a person or because I'm in romantic situations?” Or maybe everyone is just telling you ALL THE TIME how cute your babies would be and how perfect you two are together…and you're unconsciously being persuaded.


Question #2: How long have I liked this person?

Feelings come and feelings go. If you're anything like me, you've experienced this phenomenon at least a hundred times. And for me, there was never just one guy I liked. There were usually three boys I was crushing on at the same time!

The amazing thing is how intense these feelings can be when they do come! And then when they disappear, they're just gone. Absolutely nothing left. Which is surprising, compared to how overwhelming they used to be!

If you've just recently started liking your best friend, give it a little time. Wait and see if you keep feeling interested or if this is just a passing phase. If the feelings persist over the next few weeks or months, then move on to the next question.


Question #3: What do my friends and parents think of this person?

Ask your friends and parents if they think it would be wise for you to pursue a relationship with your friend.

If you're anything like me, you'll be tempted to hold back any negatives and only present this person in their best possible light. But that won't help at all in the long run. Instead, share it all-both the things you like and the things you don't like-with a few people you trust, to see if they think it’s a smart choice for you to date this person.

On the same note, take some time to pray about this. There have been many times when I didn’t feel right about getting into a relationship, and afterward I found out God protected me from a whole lot of trouble by keeping me out of that relationship! (And not just regular trouble. Think Taylor Swift's kind of “trouble”!)

On the other hand, with my now-husband, James, I prayed about it and felt so strongly that this was a relationship God wanted to bless.

That said, when it comes to relationships, I always, always seek advice from other people as well, because it's so easy to confuse my emotions with God's will.

To read more about signs of healthy versus unhealthy dating relationships, click here!


Question #4: What are the benefits of moving this friendship to a relationship? Are those benefits worth the risk?

Everyone gets nervous about the risk. It's only normal. Once you date someone, it has the potential to change your friendship forever.

If your relationship doesn't work out, you could feel like you’ve lost your best friend, at least for a little while as you give each other some distance to heal and re-figure out your relationship. Or, if your relationship does work out, you could keep your best friend for life!

Are you at a stage in life where it makes sense to take this risk (age, time available, geography, etc.)? What is your motivation for wanting to move from a friendship to a relationship at this point? If some of these factors don't line up, it may make sense to wait.

That said, there's no perfect time to start a relationship-just some times that are wiser than others. So if you think you're in a good situation and have a good motivation for wanting to be more than friends, then keep reading….


If you decide you want to let your friend know that you like him or her:

Try to do so in a no-pressure situation. Be honest and straightforward about how you feel, but don't put any pressure on your friend. Give the other person time to think about it, and let them know that even if they don't want to pursue a deeper relationship, you still want to stay friends.


If you decide to stay "just friends":

This is where it's important to guard your heart and mind.

Where you let your mind go, your emotions will follow. If you start imagining this person as your significant other, your heart is going to head in that direction. If you start doing all sorts of romantic, date-like things together, your heart will begin to feel as though it's "falling in love."

If you've decided you really, truly want to be just friends, guard your mind and heart. Also, guard your friend's heart and mind by genuinely treating them like a friend instead of sending mixed signals.


At the end of the day, this decision can be like choosing your coffee at Starbucks. If you're anything like me, making a decision is the hardest part of any situation. Even ordering my coffee at Starbucks can become a stressful dilemma, full of second-guessing myself and wondering what the best choice is.

My husband likes to say that at the end of the day, if you're in high school and you're trying to decide whether or not to let your best friend know you like him or her, it's kind of like choosing your coffee at Starbucks.

Do you want a latte or mocha?

It's important, but not earth-shatteringly important. I know it feels like a huge and overwhelming decision, but really-you could go either way and still be okay. And there's still time to make a different decision later.

I hope this was helpful!


What are some other things that have helped you figure out whether or not you wanted to date your best friend? Comment below!

 

[This post was originally featured on Tiffany's blog.]

Tiffany Dawn speaks across the United States on the topics of body image, eating disorders and healthy relationships. She’s written two books for teen girls: The Insatiable Quest for Beauty and Boycrazy: And how I ended up single and (mostly) sane. When she’s not escaping winter through cross-country tours, she lives in upstate New York with her husband, James. Her not-so-secret dream is to one day be recruited as a spy, but in the meantime she makes do with Starbucks, road trips and shopping. You can learn more at tiffanydawn.net.

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Hello my loves and happy “love” month to you all! With Valentine’s Day on our minds I thought I would share a fun get ready with me video! In this week’s video I am sharing my outfit of the night, my easy to achieve makeup look, and collaborating with a fellow amazing Youtuber and friend […] Read more...

Hello my loves and happy “love” month to you all! With Valentine’s Day on our minds I thought I would share a fun get ready with me video! In this week’s video I am sharing my outfit of the night, my easy to achieve makeup look, and collaborating with a fellow amazing Youtuber and friend […] Read more...

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 According to sources, Hillsong’s youth band “Young and Free” is featured on the MTV website and music channel, which is known for the more secular genres and artists.Again, for those of you who have followed my posts, you can see that this is more evidence that I believe “Holywood “on the rise. A term God shared with me regarding revival that would soon take place in media and ...

 

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According to sources, Hillsong’s youth band “Young and Free” is featured on the MTV website and music channel, which is known for the more secular genres and artists.

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Again, for those of you who have followed my posts, you can see that this is more evidence that I believe “Holywood “on the rise. A term God shared with me regarding revival that would soon take place in media and entertainment. (Not necessarily a geographic location but a move of God.)

Check out my media blog about the movement I feel that is taking place in the industry, media, in film and in music called, “Holywood Scoop.”
[www.holywoodscoop.wordpress.com]

From the MTV website, they describe the youth worship band as, “One of the many groups affiliated with the Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia, Hillsong Young & Free release worship music with a target audience of teens…”

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[Source: http://www.mtv.com/artists/hillsong-young-free ]

It is kind of shocking, wouldn’t you say seeing a Christian worship band on such a secular channel? It’s one thing to have Gospel on BET or even Country landing on the pop charts with some Christian lyrics such as Carrie Underwood’s, “Jesus Take the Wheel,” but to me this is on a whole different level, which is quite exciting!! We are starting to see the rise of worship and starting to see Christian music become, “relevant” and culturally accepted in some ways.

Do you find this surprising PI girls, or do you think this is a fluke thing? I find it to be evidence of the power of God sweeping over Hollywood, culture and entertainment business. We live in exciting days and we need to keep up the good work of the Lord regarding praying for our youth and for the Gospel to go forward.

In other perspectives, do you think it is bad for Hillsong to be broadcast on MTV? I personally don’t because we have to shine light in dark places. The same goes for artists like Lecrae being interviewed on secular channels and radio stations. I see that we are beginning to bridge the gap and able to really reach people outside of the four walls of the church. Let’s pray people receive the Gospel (the good news that Jesus Christ (John 3:16-17) the awaited Son of God died for the sins of the whole world, and that death has been abolished. Let’s use social media, emailing, technology and what we have to infuse the system.

Watch the Hillsong Young and Free “Where You Are” official music video here:

PI girls, remember that you are a light and leader too! YOU too can change the culture by posting verses on social media, being different and being set apart and by swimming against the current showing the world there is HOPE and that Jesus Christ is indeed Lord of all.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

PI girls, what are YOUR thoughts of Hillsong being on MTV?

Find my blog for more posts about what's new in Christian media at www.holywoodscoop.wordpress.com

If you would like to contact me, need prayer, or want to message me:?Facebook.com/ChristiGiven

Twitter: @ChristiGiven

Instagram: ChristiGiven

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Now that we are in a new year, many people have New Year’s resolutions and goals. One of mine is to grow closer to the Lord and to deepen my faith. I thought you would be inspired to know 10 ways to grow deeper in your faith in 2016. 1. Be part of a Bible study: I am gathering with some friends this year to do a women’s Bible study ...

Now that we are in a new year, many people have New Year’s resolutions and goals. One of mine is to grow closer to the Lord and to deepen my faith. I thought you would be inspired to know 10 ways to grow deeper in your faith in 2016. 

1. Be part of a Bible study: I am gathering with some friends this year to do a women’s Bible study on the book of Esther with Bible teacher Beth Moore. You can find a group through school (Christian club) or through your youth group. You can find good books online to study and/or deepen your faith. Some Bible studies even have workbooks that really help! Right now I am finishing one called Girls with Swords by Lisa Bevere, about putting on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6). A great example of a Bible study or book for teens is Lies Young Women Believe (And the Truth That Sets Them Free) by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh.

2. Make time: Set your clocks or your phone, or pen it into your calendar. We make time for everything else, but above all, we must make time for God and His Holy Word. Making time for hearing God’s voice is VITAL in growing deeper in the Word. 

3. Stay connected: How can you grow if you don’t stay plugged into the vine? (John 15:5) We need to be plugged into the vine like a plant’s branch is connected with water to grow. Think of the Word as living water nourishing your soul. We need to stay focused on God’s Word so we can spiritually grow to make good fruit. 

 

Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. (Matthew 7:17-20) 

 

4. Make flashcards: Memorizing scripture is very biblical; in fact, the Bible tells us to write God’s Word on our hearts and minds (Proverbs 7:3).

5. Post Bible verses on your room wall or in your binder: Posting scripture where it’s easily accessible will remind you of God’s truth more frequently, which will increase your faith and help you to go deeper. 

6. Get a Bible app: If you have a smartphone or tablet, you can download a Holy Bible app and read it daily. 

7. Find a reading plan: Commit to a reading plan or Bible study book and see how much you will learn. If you do download the Bible app, then there are reading plans with daily reminders, which totally help when you get caught up in the busyness of life! 

8. Listen to podcasts: Do you prefer to learn by listening versus reading? Listen to your pastor’s sermons on your church website and help advance your knowledge of Jesus Christ. 

9. Watch sermon videos: I love watching sermons from JUCE TV or itbn.org (the Trinity Broadcasting Network). They really have a variety of pastors and topics, and I really enjoy T. D. Jakes’ sermons, which are powerful. Check out the JUCE TV app-it also has a Bible reading plan included in the app-and/or download the TBN app to get the biggest Christian television network in the world right on your phone or tablet.

10. Listen to audio CDs: I’m currently listening to a pastor in my car via audio CDs from a dear friend of mine, and I am getting very encouraged and learning so much! This is a great way to learn, especially if you’re on the go all the time like me! 

 

PI Girls, how do you grow deeper in the Word of God? 

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