Finding God in Pop Music

I love music. I love listening to it through out my day as I do everything from cooking to cleaning. It’s something that I just have in my everyday life. What a lot of people don’t realize is that I have a very wide variety of music that I love. I love everything from Country to Sinatra. If it’s a mostly appropriate song with minimal cuss words I will like it, this goes for even some pop songs. As I listen to these songs and to the lyrics that they have sometimes I hear a different meaning then what they may have been intended for but in a good way. There was one song that truly caught my attention in this way. The choice may shock a couple but I believe that it actually can show how God feels about us, particularly before we even become Christians.

*Warning there is some sexualized content and hints at nudity in this video. Digression is advised*

Now I’m sure that most of you are looking at that and say how could that song possibly even promote God’s love for us and for the lost? It’s a dance song with a risque video that I don’t even feel comfortable watching. I know that I personally have a hard time watching some of that video. The dancing parts are pretty cool but the rest does make me uncomfortable. This is important though so hold on to those thoughts for just a couple of minutes and I promise it will all make sense.

Now I felt all those same feelings that I said earlier. One thing that stuck out to me though, the lyrics don’t match anything else. It doesn’t match the music, the dancing, or the video. Sure it’s a catchy song that I personally love but it doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s very personal lyrics matched up with this very impersonal dance music. This bugged me for a while until I found this next version and suddenly it all made sense.

This version is so pretty, so intimate and so much more fitting to the lyrics. Now watch it again and envision God singing/saying this to a person who doesn’t know Him yet. Listen to how intimate it is. How much He loves us. How he sees the pain that we each go through, that he sees it. He doesn’t blame us for how confused we are at times. He doesn’t blame those who come from hard backgrounds of abuse or being abandoned. How people from those situations might have a hard time believing in a love that He can offer.

God just “Wants to be the one that reminds us what it is to smile” and “to love us till we learn to love ourselves”. How beautiful is that? It’s something that actually brings tears to my eyes. Now how does this song go from a dance club mix to one that truly can show someone how God loves them? Well that’s the problem in our society, often we rely on other people to fulfill the things that only God can. We put the pressure on the boyfriend/girlfriend to fix everything like in the first video. We make it an upbeat happy song to hide the deepness of what a person is really looking for. The lyrics don’t fit that.

They fit the fact that a person can’t fix all of our problems. It’s God that does that. While yes this video also a boy singing to a girl (and they do date in the show) it’s different. He is also singing to everyone else in the room and you can see their reactions too. This is exactly what God does for us. You see the people that hear it and smile because they already know it and love it. You see her because this is her first time hearing it and it’s overwhelming for her because she didn’t know that kind of love was even possible. You also see those that doesn’t care what He has to say to them. This video and song have such a profoundness to me that when I look at as God serenading us I really do cry.

It’s amazing where you can find God’s voice. Are there any songs that you have heard that has made a profound impact on your life?

 

Much Love .

Emily Grace

Do I even have time for God?

I’m sorry for how long it’s been since the last time that I posted on here. Time seemed to slip away from me and I was never able to get back on to type another post. I suppose that it happens to all of us. There is always something to pull us away from the commitments that we have made. The commitments to ourselves, to our families, to our friends, to our church or even to God. It’s a scary thought for me to even think about. Our commitments show where we place value in our lives, and the only way to truly show that is by how you spend your time.

My Pastor taught on this very subject this past Sunday and it really hit me hard. I was putting relaxing in front of the T.V. after a long days work before the blog that I had not only committed to but committed to God. See I had let busy days get ahead of what God wanted from me. There is always the excuses like “I’ll do it when things quiet down” or “When I feel caught up I’ll do it”. The problem with that is that things will never quiet down in life. That’s just not how it works. There will always be an extra shift at work, a broken sink, dogs getting loose, and kids drawing on the walls. 

What if we never had all of these “distractions” in our lives? Well other then being horribly dull it would also be empty. You committing to something when you have nothing else going on doesn’t show that you’re committed. You would have nothing to stop you from doing it. You would never have to fight for the choices that you had made. You would never have to rearrange your schedule or drop everything to do it. You would be able to just do what you needed to and move on to whatever else you wanted to do in your boring life.

I’ll take it even one step further. God knows everything. He sees everything. He knows every person who has ever lived personally, so much so that He has had a relationship with each one even if they don’t know it. He controls all of Heaven and Earth. He has all this going on and He can make time to be with YOU. He doesn’t make excuses of why He can’t be there, He doesn’t bail on you last minute, and He never ignores a call even if it feels like He does sometimes.The God of all the universe never leaves your side.

Matthew 6:33 says “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” . Keeping your commitment with God and those commitments that you have given to Him (children,spouse,career) and He will bless you. It will completely change your life and the priorities that you set for them. 

 

God Bless,

 

Emily Grace

Is beauty more important?

The other day I was so flustered because I hadn’t grabbed a couple of pictures of my self for my Young Modesty post. I wanted to grab a picture of me in a nicer looking outfit and look presentable before putting those pictures on the internet for all the world to see. It struck me at that point, why was that such a huge problem for me? Why was I afraid of people seeing me dressed in my outfit I wore to work that day? It was modest enough. So what was the problem? Well it was covered with flour and all sorts of food from working the whole day away at the restaurant, but is that enough to get between me and this ministry I do here at my blog?

I’m not saying anything about anyone else but myself in this post. I just feel that sometimes the focus is too easy to shift from bringing glory to God to bringing glory to myself. I can get so caught into my own wants of how I look that I forget what God wants us to focus on and what He sees in us. Proverbs 31:30 – “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting: but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”. 1 Samuel 16:7 – “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 

ImageSo here I am posting pictures of myself after getting off a 10 hour shift. I have messy hair, awful looking work shoes and flour on me. Honestly it’s ok by me though. Beauty isn’t something from the outside. God finds it in our hearts. In our devotion to Him and in our love of those around us. When it is put in those terms worrying about the other things feel so small.

ImageColossians 3:17 – “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

ImageWhat I wore:

Skirt: Zulily

Shoes: Work safe non-slip sneakers

Shirt: Walmart

Cardigan: Walmart

How do you stay modest at work or when working around you house?

Much Love

Emily Grace

Young Modesty 1/13/14

Hey Everyone!

I hope everyone has been having a good week and has recovered from the holiday season pretty well. It was a long one for my family but it was so worth it. It has been a busy season for my family as we opened a restaurant two days before Christmas. We have been working 6 days a week doing it but we know that this is exactly what God called our family to do in this season. That being said I plan to post more often in the coming weeks as we get our schedule settled and get into a routine. 

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We have had the strangest weather this past week. Last Tuesday it was only 7 degrees outside with a windchill of about -15. It was so cold our kitchen sink froze. Then this past Saturday we went up to the 60’s. Now on this coming Wednesday we are going down into the 20’s and getting snow.

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So I have had to be creative with my clothing this past week. I wore this on one of the cooler days that I for the most part stayed inside. It kept me very warm and I was able to run errands no problem. I love this skirt. It has an awesome flow to it and works for both winter and summer. I wore fleeced lined leggings underneath it to add extra warmth and it worked.

ImageI also want to give a shout out to my wonderful Grandfather John. Today is his birthday! His is a loving grandfather to me and my sister Lexi as well as to my cousin Vincent who is to be born later this month. With out his help we would have never been able to open our restaurant which is one of the many reasons he is a blessing to us. 

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Here is an extra little picture. Lexi has enjoyed the restaurant as well. 🙂

What I wore:

Sweater:Walmart

Shirt:Rue 21

Skirt: Zulily

Boots: Rue 21

Fleece Lined Leggings: Zulily

How did you stay warm in the super cold last week?

Much love,

Emily Grace

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Frozen Mistake

It is absolutely freezing down here. Living in Georgia, it may get cold for a few weeks out of the year but rarely do we ever get the weather to go below 0 degrees. The past couple of days have been frigid, going with the wind chill to -15 degrees last night. I can’t remember it being this cold down here in a long time. As you can imagine the south freaks out in this weather. I mean freaks out in the most literal term. People drive like a blizzard is coming, the stores are a mad house and all of the shelves are cleared of any basic necessities.School has been canceled two days in a row now. The radio stations were all issuing warnings of frozen pipes. Reminding people to drip water in their pipes over night to prevent them freezing.

My family however doesn’t act like this. My father lived in Connecticut for almost a decade and has seen far colder and snowier. I also lived there for a time with family that I have there. I walked to and from school everyday for a year in weather like or worse than this.My Grandfather that lives with us was raised in rural West Virgina where he tells stories of walking to school in colder weather up hill both ways. So hearing that this weather was coming my family was not worried at all. We made sure that all of our animals were safe with the cold weather and that was about all we did to prepare.

Well through all of our combined experience that we had, we still managed to make an over site. We forgot to drip water down our pipes to prevent them from freezing. As you can guess our kitchen sink is frozen now and we wont be able to get any water till it thaws tomorrow (hopefully). How could we forget that when we knew better?We were even reminded that we needed to do this. Well isn’t that something that we as humans do all the time? God tells us His plans for us and what we need to do to follow His plan. However we don’t always follow His plan. We know better then some of the thing but we do them anyway and then are surprised when it blows up in our faces. We know the outcome of these events but we expect them to change because we are the one doing it.

This isn’t a new phenomenon though. Samson knew that he was not to share the secret to his power. He knew that it would lead to his down fall but he told Delilah anyway. This led not only to his arrest but also his own death (Judges 16 1-31). He knew better but when she betrayed him, he was shocked.  David, the famous king David, also made this mistake. David was the man after God’s own heart yet he as well suffered this fate. He became both an adulterer and murder in his lust over his lover Bathsheba (Second Samuel 2:11). Israel time and time again turned away from God. They knew that His was the only way and yet they tried be the Lord in their own life.

Why is it that we as humans we always seem to do this? We are not perfect. We are humans. We make mistakes. We think we know what is best for us. We think we have all the information ( like how to not freeze out pipes when it’s cold outside). We in reality don’t know everything. We make mistakes and we turn from God’s hands sometimes. It is in our human nature. This is something that we will battle all of our lives.

So what do we do? We need to trust into God’s knowledge and His plan for us. When we follow God’s plans for us we very rarely have things blow up in our face. Also accept God’s forgiveness. If you turn away from God’s plan for us such as David did, you mess things up. David ended up murdering his lover’s husband. When he returned to God he was given forgiveness. Understand that even when you receive forgiveness that you will still have to face the consequences. Just because you have been forgiven doesn’t mean that you will get out of the consequences. Our pipes will remain frozen and have the possibility of bursting now. Samson lost his eyes and eventually died.

When we listen to God we prosper as all His plans are for our own good but when we turn away we bring trouble upon ourselves. Do you have any stories of making a mistake despite knowing better (like freezing your sink)?

Much love and stay warm!\

Emily Grace

God gave me a free coffee

I love coffee. I don’t mean that I kind of enjoy it every now and then or that I am a one cup a day person. I am a coffee every day person. I can drink coffee any time of the day (I grew up in a family that gave coffee to us in sippy cups diluted with milk) and have a caffeine tolerance better then anyone I know. I will drink plain coffee,cappuccinos, lattes or espresso. Everyone who is involved in my life knows how much I love coffee, in fact my best friend got me a gift card to a coffee shop for Christmas! It is just one of the great loves in my life, behind God and my family. On New Years Eve God decided to gift me a wonderful coffee and show me that He fulfills promises.

This past year has been a big growing year. I have learned a lot about myself and about the direction God has me going. I have had some really down moments in the last couple of months though. I lost my GPop two months ago. My family is still learning to cope with out him and get through our first holiday with out him. Then last month while I was on vacation visiting my other side of the family I got a call saying that my Yubby passed away. She was my sister’s Grandmother and I have known her most of my life. It hurt me to know that I was unable to attend the funeral or really make a goodbye.

I started to question  where God was in all of this. I mean I lost two very important people in my life with in a month of each other.I cant lie, my faith was shaken for a few weeks. I lost family and at the same time lost friendships that I had placed a lot of importance in. I felt isolated and that God wasn’t listening to any of my prayers in a time that I really needed Him.I kept praying through it as it says in 1st Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” and in Joshua 1:9  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

While going through this I found a blog where a girl talked about how she was given advice to remember how big God was. She was reminded that God was able to answer any prayer, even one as simple as getting food. She only had to ask and have the faith of a mustard seed. She decided to try this prayer and that same day she was given a free bag of rice that she had really wanted to have for dinner.

I really needed to see God. I needed to see Him in my life today. To see that He had my back (which He always does) and so I prayed the same simple prayer. That God would provide food or a drink for me today. On the way home from work my mom decided to stop for gas and I decided to go grab a quick coffee before we went home to get ready for a New Years Eve party. As I went to check out with my coffee I looked at these little candies that I wanted to buy for my mom and sister who waited for me in the car but I only had the money to buy the coffee. Then out of no where a woman walked up to me and with out a word handed me a coupon to get a free coffee. I have never seen this woman before in my life and I didn’t even have the chance to thank as she disappeared right after she gave me the coupon.  I decided to that with the money I saved I would go ahead and get those candies for my family only to be floored by the fact that it came out to be the exact same price as my coffee would have been.

God gave me a free coffee on a cold and long day.On the same day that I asked for Him to provide a drink or food for me. He showed me that He still answers my prayers and that He has never left my side through everything. That He knows everything about you and what would make you the happiest and that He is a God that cares about Him people.

Do you have any amazing God stories?

Much love and Happy New Year!

Emily Grace

 

Update

Hey Guys!

Sorry I have been away for the last few weeks. It has been amazingly busy around my house both with the holidays and with work. We recently opened a restaurant as a family just before Christmas. It has been crazy trying to get everything ready for the opening and now trying to get the schedule set up right for the store. That all being said I will be returning, tomorrow, to posting on a regular basis. Thank you for your patience and Happy New Year!

Much Love,

Emily Grace 

Young Modesty 12/16/13

Hey Guys!

Man it has been a busy few weeks around our house down here. With rushing around at work and getting things done at home to get ready for Christmas it has been absolutely crazy. We have the house decorated and I have all my present shopping done. I can now sigh and relax for the next few days leading up to Christmas. However that only lasts so long. Our Christmas starts on the Sunday before which is when our Church is doing the Christmas service this year. After that on Christmas Eve we do dinner with our extended family at a upscale Chinese food place. It is a tradition that we do every year, and to be honest I love it. This year is a little different as I am cooking for my family on Christmas day, both breakfast and dinner. My mom and I long ago decided that we would split the holidays. She got Thanksgiving and I got Christmas. This year is my first year cooking it and I could not be more excited.

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It has gotten pretty cold the last couple days around here so I had to dress a little warmer for Church this Sunday. I went for the thicker sweater and the scarf. It worked really well, though I should have worn my fleece lined leggings for extra warmth.

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I am so grateful for jean skirts as well. I asked for a couple new ones on my wish list for Christmas this year. I get so much use out of them as they go with everything. I have heard a ton of other bloggers say that they find some good ones at thrift stores however I have not been so lucky with my search but I’ll keep looking.

 

What I wore:

Sweater: Good Will

Skirt:Zulily

Boots:Rue 21

Scarf:Gift from Mom

 

What all does you family have left to do for Christmas preparations?

Much Love,

Emily Grace

Are we supposed to face trials?

Lately I have been looking around at my friends and seeing that they have been having troubles. I’ve seen marriages struggling, people unable to find jobs, deaths in the family (my own as well) and mission trips that don’t seem that they will get funded. It’s amazing how much has gone on over the last few months of this year but it really made me think as well. I used to lead a small group for high school girls and used to deal with all sorts of questions such as ” Does being a Christian mean that there will be no troubles in your life?”.

When we come to Christ it usually focused on the forgiveness of sin and the change of your life. The decision changes your whole life and in most peoples life it makes everything feel rosy for a while. However at some point we come across some sort of troubles or challenges to our faith. At this point some people walk away from God because they thought that when they came to Christ meant that they would have no troubles or depending on the troubles that someone faces (death) they can’t deal with a God that would allow for such things to happen.

Over the last few years I’ve seen people walk away from the faith because they have had problems in their life and it truly made me ask what the Bible has to say about this.  1st Peter tells us “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you”. James 1:2 tells us “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds”. Between these two verses alone it tells us that we can expect to have trials in our lifetime on Earth but also that as Christians we are to look at the trials with eyes of joy.

Why do we have to face such trials in our lifetimes though? Roman 5:2-5 answers this very well: “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”.

Our trials grow us. They teach us about ourselves, God and faith. It is a fire that our faith is hardened in that produces those of great faith. He also provides for ways to face our trials so that we may grow and not fall back in our faith. 1Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it”.

Well if we know that we are going to face these trials and temptations then why should we not be worried? James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him”. God promises that those who stay strong under these trials will receive the blessing that God had promised to us as Christians. Romans 12:12 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

When we are Christians we expect the world to have changed or that because we are in His fold that we will never face hard times again. In reality though the world has not changed but us. We have accepted the Lord of all creation into our hearts and we have changed while the world has not. The world is just the same as before but you are not. So hold fast in your trials and pray to God. You will make it through and given high reward from Him.

What verses do you use to get through trials?

Much love,

Emily Grace

Young Modesty 12/9/13

Hey Guys! Hope everyone had an awesome weekend and is enjoying the Christmas season so far. My family has our season successfully underway. We have the lights up, eggnog, some presents under the tree and baked goods coming this week. To me that is not the best part of the season. I love spending time with my family, particularly while watching Christmas movies. We have been watching all the classics including Miracle on 34th Street and The Bishops Wife. I loved watching them partially because of the fashion and the houses. I love the old vintage style houses. More notably was the clothing the women wore. They were classy and yet still very fashionable even 60 or so years from when they were filmed. 

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I took the pictures on Friday as we were on our way out to dinner and to go look at Christmas lights. It was unseasonably warm and rained for the last couple of days. It has only just gotten back down to winter like temperatures again. The night didn’t turn out as well as we had hoped but it was still fun.

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My little sister who is only four loves to take pictures and just had to get into one of these to show off her outfit as well. 🙂 It took like 15 pictures to get a good picture with us both as I closed my eyes and she couldn’t stop moving around.

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What I wore:

Skirt: Rue 21 (Sale)

Shirt: Old Navy (Sale)

Sandals: Wet Seal (Sale)

Scarf: Good Will

Make up: None

 

Much Love,

Emily Grace

 

 

 

 

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