Author Archives: Tash Marie

About Tash Marie

Wife, Mum, Blogger.

Social Media Thursday : Do it all to the Glory of God

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10_31.png

Did you know that your online presence might be the first thing that people associate with your IRL (in real life) persona?

How you present yourself in photos, the language you use, the things you talk about all reflects on you as a child of God.

So, how do people see you?

Are you an encourager online?

Do you do everything online to the Glory of God?

Do you share the gospel, or would someone following you not know that you are a Christian?

Are you able to help a friend who is getting caught up in posting inappropriate photos or joining in with improper discussions?

God has placed you in the age of social media. Use it to be a witness. Use it well and connect with people and share the love of Christ.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

 

Praise and Wonder for an Almighty Father Creator

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At our book club we just finished studying “Becoming a Women of the Word” by Karol Ladd – a great book by the way! There were so many text references to look up during the study that I thought it would be a great thing to do in the holidays to go over some as I never managed to cover them all before. The one I started with was to look up Psalm 12, 96, 98, 99, 100 and notice all the times they speak of Worship and God’s Attributes. I have taken to writing out the whole Psalm and marking all the Worship and Attribute references. This helps me remember it better and as I write I find I have good focus to meditate on the words. Today reading Psalm 96 and 98 I had some thoughts to share:

These Psalms (96 & 98) are so full of praise, particularly praise to God who created the heavens and the earth. The Psalmist is bursting with admiration over creation: ‘The seas resound, the rivers clap, the fields are jubilant, the trees will sing, the mountains will sing…’

This really brought my thoughts to how much God’s awesome power and incomprehensible wisdom is displayed in creation. I often marvel at lifecycles, the ocean, the huge trees, the tiniest little creatures and the big blue sky. Just in my own yard I marvel at so much – a tiny seed given some water and soil sprouts into a beautiful healthy plant; the most beautiful birds in every colour coming to eat at the birdfeeder, and each breed takes it’s turn according to who seems to have most authority – it’s so interesting to watch; even the broody chook I have at the moment….she is created to do what she is doing. She will sit on those eggs, starving herself and forsaking all her own needs to protect her eggs. Even her call, her sounds are different than normal because that’s the voice she would use for her chicks. Then there are all the different plants and trees all flowering and blooming in their season. I recently heard that when the wind has finally blown all the flowers of the peppermint trees is when we can expect summer to really begin. And that’s just in my own yard! God has it all designed to work, to fit together, in harmony. It’s all good. He spoke and it was there. A scientist can study all his life to discover just some of the intricacies of creation and God….He spoke and it was.

And He continues to govern and uphold it. The plants, animals, weather patterns, tides, everything works perfectly and according to His Plan. These Psalms, along with many more, words full of praise and wonder go to the One who Created all things. Words of wonder for God who allows the Psalmist to see and enjoy it. It’s such a beautiful reminder for me that my praise and wonder too must go to our Awesome, Creator, God Almighty.

When watching nature shows I’m always in awe of the things I learn from those who have studied and captured close footage for us to see amazing details and facts of nature. I’m very quick to add while watching that it’s so sad they miss the Creator of it all, the One who should receive the Praise and glory – they miss the most beautiful thing. Yet I can see I’m guilty of not always properly acknowledging this either. In my admiration of nature I of course know that my God has all this in His hands but I could do so much more by stopping and truly Praising Him for it. If I take the time to admire and behold the beauty is one thing, but to acknowledge and give Praise to the Creator is so pleasing for Him to hear. He loves to hear the words off my lips expressing my amazement and awe as I sit on the beach in full admiration, or as I collect eggs from the chooks whose bodies are so incredibly created, or as I watch my plants grow so rapidly as they enjoy the water and sunshine, or as I sit outside and enjoy the warmth of the sun. I often think about how I can improve my prayer life in the way of spending more time praising and adoring my God and less time asking for things. After my readings and time in thought today I have just been encouraged and inspired how to do this.

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your Name in all the earth.

Psalm 8:1.

Cathy V

Craft Morning :: Polymer Clay

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Last week Saturday, some Girls of Grace gathered together to learn how to make our own polymer beads. It was a wonderful morning where we could learn, use our different talents, have fellowship together through a devotion and prayer and talk to one another while working our hands. My favourite part of the morning was that it was a random bunch of girls and I had a chance to talk to girls I didn’t really know that well. I also loved seeing all the different ideas that the girls came up with and how everyone has a different take on colours and shape of beads. Whether girls had done it before or if it was the first time, everyone had a good time (as you can see from the photos!). I encourage everyone and anyone to come to our next craft morning!

xx Kym

App Review :: She Reads Truth

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A few weeks ago a lovely young lady was asking about women’s devotionals on our Facebook group and we had some really great suggestions! One came up called She Reads Truth, an online devotional for women, with devotional plans studying the different books of the bible or different topics.

Today I am not going to touch on the doctrine of the devotions, as I have not had a good enough look through them for that. However what I would like to talk about is their App. Yes, a She Reads Truth App! And it is pretty cool!

This app can be downloaded on your devices, both IOS and Android,

so it can work on any tablet, smart phone or iPod. It is downloadable via the She Reads Truth website or via Google Play or iTunes.

Now, there are a number of reasons I love this app and I hope to list them out for you in the next few paragraphs.

  1. It has the full Bible

The She Reads Truth app has the full bible on the app in its own section so that you can access your bible when you are out and about as well as at home. It has the ESV, NIV and KJV, which are all acceptable versions in our Reformed Churches around the world, as well as a few others. Unfortunately there is no NKJV, however, it can be of great use to compare other translations like the NIV to your printed NKJV.

  1. You can take Notes

Another great element of this app is that it has an area where you can take notes on your devotions. These notes are dated and also allows scripture links so that when you reread them you can quickly access texts you are referring too.

  1. Bookmarking

You can bookmark inspirational texts or text that you want to refer back to in the future. Any text you find striking can be found back at the tap of a screen and your bookmarks can’t fall out like in a print bible. This one is a fabulous point for me; my bookmarks are always getting lost!

  1. Wallpapers

She Reads Truth has a bunch of lovely screen wallpapers to remind you of striking texts every time you look at your phone or tablet. I always love a cute quote picture and I am sure a lot you do too and it is such a great way to dress up our devices rather than having pictures of our latest celebrity crush or movie poster.

  1. Devotional Reminder

My personal favourite! Life gets busy and sometimes we keep putting off devotions until its too late and we are too tired. But with the She Reads Truth app you can set a reminder to spend time with God, and focus on your quiet time with Him. You can set the reminder for any time of the day, so if you want to be reminded to do your devotions you can set aside some time each day and get yourself into a routine.

  1. Devotional Plans

Although I said I wasn’t going to touch on the devotional plans I just wanted to make mention of how they are set out because they are really well planned. Some plans like The Bible In A Year are free, while others are a few dollars to purchase for your ‘bookshelf’. The Bible in a Year plan is a great one as it set you a plan of chapters of the bible to read to get you through the whole book in a year. Others have a passage and then a text and devotion to read which can also be a great as the scripture passage is right there. There is also a marked as read feature so that you can keep track of where you are in the plan.

All in all, I feel that this app is a great way to organize and follow your devotions, even if you are not using the plans they have given. It is a great way to keep track of your thoughts, read your bible on the go and bookmark important passages. It is also great for helping you keep a devotional routine where we can serve God and delve into His word each day.

Love Roslyn x

Believe :: The good reminder of 1 Peter 3:4

 

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The world we live in places such a big emphasis on beauty as being what we see on the outside; our appearance. What we as God’s children need to remember is that He looks at what’s inside us: our hearts [1 Samuel 16]. This is where true beauty comes from. A previous post on Girls of Grace by Lillian  focused more on this topic so I would like to talk more about the second part of this text.

Paul says that “…a gentle and quiet spirit are pleasing to God” [1 Peter 3:4] Well, I know for myself this can be hard. Having an outgoing and some (most) times boisterous personality, I need this text as a good reminder for myself to remember what is important. It’s not important to be the one who everyone remembers as ‘talkative’ or ‘energetic’, or even as ‘funny’ and ‘exciting’.

a gentle and quiet spirit are pleasing to God.. 1 Peter 3:4

All these things aren’t necessarily bad, but what should be most important is that people remember us as being devoted to God and that they can see this in us. We are temples of His Spirit [1 Corinthians 6:19] and so should reflect this by showing fruits of His Spirit [Galatians 5:22]. As girls, we might often think of ways to ‘get noticed’ by guys. But really, if these guys are worthy and suitable Christian partners, they will be looking for a young lady who is in line with what Paul says here in 1 Peter!

Beauty as the world defines it doesn’t last. The makeup will wear off, the curls will fall out (or the straight hair will turn back to frizz in my case), and the clothes will need to be updated with the changing fashions. But the beauty Paul describes in 1 Peter 3:4 is ‘unfading’. Let’s not forget that!

x Renée

Modesty for the Modern Girl

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I wrote this article back in 2011 as a reply to an article in the Contender. I have finally retrieved it with some help and decided to adapt it for this blog.

As you get older, modesty becomes something you have to address more and more. As your body changed and suddenly you get curves you have to think about how you are going to dress as a young Christian woman. The world tells us from a very young age to wear tight shirts and skirts, shorts that show some cheeks, crop tops that show off your stomach and more. We are told to dress this way so that we are attractive and confident and appealing to the opposite sex. So as girls of grace, how should we be dressing?

As a female, I must admit that when girls are wearing immodest clothing sometimes I have had the attitude of ‘Why don’t guys just look away then?’. But I have come to realise that that’s a bad attitude to have towards the males. Our attitude should be one of love. No, I’m not talking about romantic love here, I’m talking about the Christian love that we should be displaying towards people, and especially the people in our communion of saints. Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, wrote that we are not to be a stumbling block to others (I Corinthians 8: 9). In verse 12 he warns “But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.” Hear that? When one causes someone else to stumble in their faith causing them to sin, one is sinning along with the person who stumbled. So when you are wearing a short, tight dress and a guy looks at your body appreciatively and in a lustful way you shouldn’t be feeling good about that; you should be feeling guilty, as you are the cause of sinful thoughts. If you do not have that guilty feeling then you are not being a humble servant to your fellow believer.

So, summer will come around again. One summer, I needed new bathers and I’m not at all comfortable wearing bikinis but everywhere I looked there were bikinis. And if there were tankinis they were really low at the front or VERY expensive. Yes, it was very hard trying to find bathers and I was ready to give up. But when I expressed my frustration to one of my guy friends he said that guys really do appreciate it when girls dress modestly, even to the beach. This encouraged me and I was able to find a decent pair of modest bathers. You see, it is hard trying to find modest clothing amongst all the short skirts, low tops and skin tight pants but it is worth it. If you look hard enough, thinking of your guy friends and male believers in brotherly love, you will find clothing that works: that makes you look good but not immodest.

But it’s not just for the guys. It’s for ourselves too. As females, do we really want guys from age 13 to 80 looking at us in lust? Do we really want them to tell us we look hot and sexy? I don’t. I’d rather hear that I look beautiful and I know you do too. Purity is important. It should be part of our walk of life in thankfulness to God. It’s in the 10 commandments! The commandment ‘Do not commit adultery’ includes men looking at women in lust and women dressing so that men can look at them in lust. It’s wrong and it’s unchristian. Lord’s Day 41 states that we are temples of the Holy Spirit and therefore we should keep ourselves pure and holy. God does not smile upon the immodest clothing found in our wardrobes. Instead, He is pleased when we dress thinking of Him and of our fellow brothers in Christ.

Kym x

Truly Beautiful

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Dear Girls of Grace,

When you think of your own appearance, what are the first three words that come to mind? What is the first thing you notice when you look at yourself in the mirror?

For many of us, a typical day might go something like this… (I use the name Amber as an example, not referring to any specific person!)

The first thing Amber does when she wakes up in the morning is to look in the mirror at her reflection. She notices the lumps and bumps in places where they shouldn’t be, the splotchy skin, the dull hair and the cellulite. Every time she is reminded of these physical flaws Amber feels disheartened.

When Amber goes out, she finds herself comparing her own appearance to other girls around her. She notices one girl with an enviable figure, another with silky long hair and yet another with perfect skin and a lovely smile. She immediately feels inadequate and jealousy rises up within her. Her discontentment often leads her to feel unhappy…

Can you resonate with Amber? Is there anything about her story that reminds you of your own? I would be surprised (and incredibly happy for you!) if your answer to this question is no. We girls seem to have it in our nature to be unhappy with our own appearance and jealous of each other’s. It’s one aspect of our lives in which we can never seem to find contentment…

Being a Christian girl in a society that is so strongly focused on outward beauty is hard, and it’s incredibly challenging to not get swept up in ‘wordly’ ways of thinking. We all want to be beautiful and deep down many of us believe that if we were just that little bit more attractive we would be more lovable, accepted and just generally happier. We are often willing to work very hard to achieve the look we desire so badly; restrictive diets, excessive exercising, always needing to wear the latest fashion, wearing a lot of make-up… sound familiar?

Our negative thoughts and feelings about our appearance can become so frequent that they start to seem normal, but let me tell you that this is not how God intended it to be! Let me remind you of something very important, something that happened quite a long time ago and that should be the basis of every thought you have about the way you look: God created you in HIS image (Genesis 1:27). Do you know what God sees when He looks at you? He sees a creature He designed intricately and uniquely, with care, love and for a very specific purpose. When God looks at you, He sees a reflection of Himself! And that is exactly what our task is here on this earth, to be a living reflection of who God is (Ephesians 5:1). That means that we should be striving for a very different kind of beauty than the one I’ve been describing. The true beauty we should long for is not outward beauty that attracts other people to us, but inward beauty that attracts other people to God!

Inward beauty is shown through kindness, generosity, humbleness, a loving heart, peace, faithfulness, wisdom, patience, joy etc. These are the attributes that God (and other people) look for in you. God has given some of them to you as part of your personality and others may require a little more work with the help of the Holy Spirit. They make you a beautiful person, and they have far more meaning to our lives as Christian women than any physical attribute we may desire to have.

When we strive for outward beauty, we never find true happiness and fulfilment. There will always be something about our appearance that we’re not happy with, or someone who is more beautiful than us, and society’s ever changing and highly demanding standards can just never be met. At the end of the day we will find ourselves worn out and empty. Instead of striving to be loved by people, we can be assured that God’s love comes at no cost to us.

God loves you exactly how you are, and if He, the Almighty Creator of the entire Universe can do so, then what excuse do you have not to?! One of my favourite passages from scripture comes from Psalm 139:13-14. These verses perfectly sum up the message I want to share with you through this blogpost: “For you formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvellous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.”

I encourage you all to pray yourself and for each other. Pray that God will help you to see yourself in the way that He sees you! Pray for peace and contentment. It is not until you realise that you are exactly how God wants you to be, that you can begin to live a life that radiates inward beauty.

So next time you look in the mirror I hope the three words that come to mind are very different… I hope that you remember your Creator, and that you are a reflection of His image.

Loved, Worthy, Beautiful.

Lillian x