A very important message from me to all of you! (Please watch)

The message (or gospel!) of Jesus Christ was never meant to be complicated. In destroying the works of the devil and overcoming the world, Jesus died so that in him we would have the power (and the privilege!) to repent and overcome as he did. The kingdom, or judgement and reign of the one, true and living God and His Son Jesus Christ is coming! So if we love them and want to be apart of the kingdom (of righteousness, peace and joy) we have to live right— according to THEIR standards. So, I hope that you choose life. God bless you and feel free to contact me through the blog or via email:coachbrandibond@gmail.com

How to choose Modest apparel

For this is God’s will: that you become holy, that you keep away from sexual immorality, that each of you know how to possess his own body in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4. NET)

If you haven’t read my post on how I dress as a Christian woman then you should also check that out because this post is just going to be about how to choose modest apparel.

Now, I know that there are a lot of “white washed” women out here but that doesn’t justify vanity or lack of discretion. Because either way,  a woman who is truly holy and God fearing will not present her body in a provocative (or worldly) manner.

Generally speaking , the outward appearance really is a reflection of the sanctification process that’s taking place within. I am a witness to this! I started dressing different because my MIND changed about what I used to believe was cute or appropriate for godly women. This is just one of the ways we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. Only then can we truly tell whether we are dressing appropriately or not.

 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

It’s like how is it that we think that we’re so set apart when we look (and behave!) just like the women of the secular world. It’s because we’re deceived! And I remember being in that place, not even considering the fact that my clothes didn’t match my profession (which was that I was a Christian woman who knew God). Looking back I can admit that I was all talk. Obviously, I did not know God or have His spirit because if I did, I wouldn’t have been so comfortable dressing raunchy and provocative.

But again, this post isn’t about the way I dress. I believe that we need to leave our own personal convictions (or decisions) out of the equation lest we cause division. Therefore, I’m just giving you some things to consider in general as you get dressed as a “Kingdom Ambassador”.

Because that’s the thing,  if anything, we are to be exalting God, not our clothing! If you are still trying to express yourself through “fashion” then you are still a little immature. And that just real.  That immodest heart (and mindset!) is all about emulating others and worshiping Self. It’s about drawing attention from men (and other women!) to your body and sexuality.  It is about trying to be beautiful and desirable when you are should be continuously dying to yourself (your will and desires). On the contrary, true Modesty is about humbling ourselves and exalting God. It’s about honoring our body (which is God’s temple), other people (especially other people’s marriages and children) and the scriptures. I can still be feminine without being vain or inappropriate. In fact, godly femininity doesn’t even require all of that.

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)

If I really want to dress Modesty then the Bible tells me exactly how to do that. We are even told what to “put on” spiritually!

  • This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:17-20)
  • Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:13-14)
  • Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  (Colossians 3:12-14)

So after we start there, we can began to assess whether or not our physical clothing is appropriate.  You may even find yourself  shopping at different places then you would normally. I am 5’9 and I weight about 135 pounds so right now, in the current state of this world, the only place I can find modest apparel for my body type is at the goodwill.

Eventually I plan on making my own clothes but for now this is where I shop and STILL I have to check myself. When choosing the right apparel it can be very helpful to ask yourself things like:

Why do I like this shirt, skirt or dress (etc.)?

Am I at peace with it or am I indecisive?

Does this cost too much?

Do I find self worth or value in designer items? Do labels puff me up? Would I feel some type of way wearing cheap or resale clothes?

What type of people usually wear these prints or trends (etc)? Am I emulating celebrities or will I be associated with ungodly groups of people?

Am I seeking the admiration or approval of men (and women!) or am I seeking the approval of God?

Do (or will) I look like I have an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ wearing this or would people assume that I am living the American dream or the night life?

Is this clothing too tight or see through in the natural light??

Are areas close to my private parts (thighs, stomach, cleavage etc.) exposed? Are my private areas showing? Would they show if I  bend/ lean over,  sit down, reach up etc.??

Do I feel sexy or fierce wearing this? Do I feel socially (economically) puffed up wearing this?

Do I get fashion inspiration from celebrities or from other people on social media who don’t know or love God?

These are just some things to think about. We should be asking ourselves these kinds of questions because not only are we to abstain from the appearance of evil but because Modesty is an attitude. So is my attitude concerning the way I dress selfish and prideful? or am I thinking of others?? And if the process has just begun, am I willing to let go of all my favorite clothes that do not glorify God because I love Him more than anything and I understand that I am not my own!?

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

So, now that we know that we are to dress with humility in a respectable manner not being inconsiderate or flashy, we do not seek to draw attention to ourselves knowing that our true beauty and identity comes from our godly character in Christ Jesus. I love you all my precious sisters and if you are able to, please share your transformation pictures and/or stories with us!

With nothing but love,

Brandi

 

Being a homemaker: Why I quit my job to stay home full-time

“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”(Proverbs 31:27)

In a generation where being a “boss” chick takes precedence over assisting your husband and raising children, it’s no surprise that quitting my job to stay home full-time seemed to be anything but noble.

I remember old friends and family members being a bit concerned because financially speaking, we shouldn’t have been able to make that move. But that’s the thing, I didn’t become a stay at home wife or a homeschooling mom to try and keep up with the Joneses. My husband and I understood the seriousness of fostering a godly family.

We knew that there was no way for me to truly be attentive to my husband (or available for my children) working a full time job with crazy retail hours. And for me, the solution wasn’t to just get another job because taking a step down (or working part-time) in some ways still meant neglecting my God-given responsibilities.

You see homemaking is so much more than just lounging around in your pajamas all day long, and it is certainly more than just cooking and cleaning or doing NEVER ENDING laundry. So I want to share what it is that I actually do at home, and I hope in the midst to encourage some of you who are either new to homemaking or weary in well doing.

So first things first, being suitable for the kingdom and for my husband.

Now I married a man who loves God and is seeking His kingdom and His righteousness, so that means that he is often a target for hatred and ridicule. My job is to not only BE but to create (and maintain!) a peaceful, loving and godly place for him to rest and to regroup after a hard exhausting day.

Now I don’t know about you but there is NO peace or love or gentleness or GOODNESS in and of myself. I get these qualities from walking very closely with the Lord. If I were still out  working some stressful and unfulfilling (or exciting and “fulfilling”) job, I wouldn’t have the time, energy or even the desire to spend my extra time praying and reading the Bible or marriage blogs. And I’m just being honest! Staying home allows me to go as deep as I want with the Lord, without any vain distractions or divided loyalty between Him and work . The Lord is my foundation. So first of all, I spend my days at home seeking Him and His ways. THEN I can begin to built or “make” my life and marriage pleasant with a renewed mind and with fruits of the Spirit.

“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” (Proverbs 14:1)

Discipling my children

Before I got married I was a single (and working!) mother of 3 children, so I understand that you have to do the best that you can do. But now that I am married with a working husband there is no need for me to work or to desperately allow my children to be raised by daycare providers and teachers unbelievers.

This world is blatantly pushing Satan’s agenda and I would be a fool to just volunteer my children over to the system. Mothers have been given such a big and awesome responsibility to primarily raise the children upright in the fear and admonition of the Lord. And I don’t care what the world says,  I know from experience that you can NOT do that wholeheartedly at work.

It’s like we’re always looking for some grand opportunity to witness to somebody as we overlook our very own children who also need to hear AND SEE the gospel. And by no means does this mean that my children are perfect (or exempt from anything) but that’s okay because I’m not raising them upright for my own pride or glory anyway.

This life is not a game. And even though ultimately they have to live their own, my job as a parent is to lead them (by example!) onto the right path in hopes that they’ll go on to follow Jesus.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

So yeah, basically, that is why I quit my job to stay home full-time. And what a blessing it is to be able to serve and to commit like this!

Much love,
Brandi

♥♥If you’ve enjoyed this post, you’ll probably enjoy the conversations in this video as well.

Being Natural: Why I no longer wear makeup or hair weaves

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Now I want to address this topic because there are a lot of women coming forth saying that God told them to stop wearing makeup, and there are also a lot of women who are truly pursuing the Lord and just want to know if they could or shouldn’t be wearing it. Now unfortunately, this is a very controversial topic and everyone’s opinions seem to be very biased but we have to be careful not to try and justify OUR OWN desires because our desires apart from God are satanic. They’re carnal!

We as Christian women really need to mature in the Lord because painting our faces and wearing hair sacrificed to idols (research Tonsuring and Chudakarma) shouldn’t even be up for discussion. Wearing makeup is worldly and it doesn’t produce any truth or righteous fruit. So no, I no longer wear it. What’s the use?

It’s vanity, which has no place in the lives OR HEARTS of those claiming to be like Jesus.

 “But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

What’s in our hearts plays a major part in influencing the way we carry ourselves. So if you want to talk about the issue of the heart the issue of the heart is pride, no matter how you try to spin it!

We want to adorn our flesh because we aren’t abiding in the Spirit, and some of us are just so insecure that we’re seeking validation from this world.

I don’t care what’s trending or changing with the “culture”, the holy Spirit has never and will never inspire us to modify or to pervert God’s creation—that’s satan. When we try to “enhance” ourselves, in our hearts we believe that God didn’t make us good or “fun” and appealing enough. But who told you that!? Again, that’s a LIE straight from the devil himself!

Now am I saying that those of us who don’t wear makeup are going to heaven?  No. Not necessarily because being natural alone does NOT make you holy. God desires that we repent of living sinful lifestyles so understand that throwing out your MAC and bundles just a start! It’s been about 2 years now and I’m STILL transitioning so I can assure you that if you won’t even give up a tube of lipstick you have not truly given your LIFE to Him.

With love,

Brandi

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Why I left the “church”

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

 (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1)

Now first of all, let me just start of by saying that this post isn’t really about why I left the “church” I was attending. It’s more about why I left the congregation of professing Christians in general.

See, there once was a time when I would shy away from admitting that I didn’t have a church home (as if going to church makes you a true believer) but what I’ve learned is to be bold and unapologetic about it because the true church has left the building.

Yup, that’s right! True followers of Jesus Christ are not hanging out in some government building being spoiled by philosophy and by vain deceit after the rudiments of this world or THE TRADITIONS OF MEN and not after Christ. So therefore, I have left the “church”, or I have forsaken the assembling of myself with church people—people who claim to know (and love!) God but are manifesting works of the flesh rather than fruits worthy of repentance.

I mean, what fellowship does a bible believing Christian have with contentious, carnal people who are not obeying the Lord’s commands but are busy building their own kingdoms (or brands!) here on this earth in the name of Jesus? I have met the REAL Jesus and I can assure you that the majority of professing Christians have not had a real encounter with (or revelation of) the living Christ!

These people are not truly seeking the Lord. They’re pursuing the pride of life while I choose DAILY to count it all dung that I might win Christ. And I’m not saying that i’m perfect or that I’m the only one. What I’m saying is is that I’ve been there and done that and have gained NOTHING.

I choose to live right. According to God’s standards, not according to people’s thoughts and/or feelings.

I’ve spent YEARS seeking the Lord and what I found is a HOLY God who isn’t interested in Sunday rituals or lip service.

And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.

(Isaiah 29:13)

He requires true REPENTANCE, we have to come separate! And that includes from vain, proud and ignorant congregations. So, with that being said, if you don’t take anything else away from this post just know that I’ve decided to quit playing church and to wholeheartedly follow the Jesus.

With nothing but love,

Brandi

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Our last Easter Sunday, 2016

If you’re interested, I shared how to choose the right congregation to fellowship with here

DIY Lavender Body Butter

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Last week I shared some of my natural beauty tips as well as my must have beauty products. So I thought that I would also share how to make my DIY body butter that was mentioned. I do not buy lotion or use anything other than Shea butter (or carrier oils) on my skin. So here’s the recipe and of course, you can tweak it to your liking.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of each raw Shea butter and unrefined Coconut oil

1 Tbsp each  Jamaican black Castor oil, Avocado oil, Extra virgin Olive oil

About 7-10 drops of 100% pure Lavender Essential oil 

Directions:

Melt all of the ingredients (accept the essential oil) in a double broiler or in a glass Pyrex boil on top of a medium sized saucepan (with about an inch of boiling water).

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When everything has melted and blended together, turn off the heat and stir in your drops of essential oil(s). When the bowl is cool enough to handle, store in the fridge (or in the freezer if you’re in a hurry!) to solidify for a couple of hours.

When your mixture is solid. Bring it to room temperature. You don’t want it completely soft but you should be able to leave a little finger indent. Then, whip your mixture on high speed until you’ve reached your desired consistency. For me, that’s about 10 minutes.

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Again, you can adjust this recipe to suit your needs. Each and every ingredient in this mixture works wonders for my hair and skin (together and separately). Also, I like a creamy (and slightly oily) body butter because I have thirsty hair and skin. So if you find this recipe a bit too greasy, don’t use as much of the carrier oils or just keep your body butter stored in the fridge. Anyway, I hope you try it. And if you make any homemade hair and body products let me know. I’m looking for a good DIY deep conditioner.

Your sister, Brandi

♥♥ By the way, here’s some relevant posts:

My natural beauty tips for Christian women

Why I don’t wear any makeup or fake hair

How I dress now after my encounter with Jesus

How to choose modest apparel

My Headcovering experience

Abusing Grace and Once saved always saved

Well first of all, let me just start off by saying that we can not abuse grace. We are either continuously maturing in the Lord and being sanctified or we are deceived. And like the apostle Paul, I would not have you to be ignorant concerning these things. So I want to talk a little bit about Grace and how it doesn’t just “cover” sin but it cures it.

In Romans, we learn that the freedom of God’s grace doesn’t allow us to be lawless but frees us from the bondage of sin to be servants (or workers) of God and righteousness (aka DOING or should I say living out good works).

  For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone.Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous. God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him.When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires.Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous livingBecause of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 5:17-6:23)

You see, people who love the world and their sin more than they love Jesus want to believe that grace excuses sin but it doesn’t. We are not saved by grace alone. We are save by grace THROUGH FAITH, which produces fruits of repentance and holiness (living separate from this world and set apart for God.)

 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

And the whole point Paul was trying to make (and MADE for those of us who aren’t trying to justify sin and weaknesses which we’ll talk about in a minute) was that we can’t  be proud because we’re overcoming sin and living (and thinking!) right because we didn’t (and couldn’t) quicken ourselves. God changed us! Therefore all glory belongs to Him. And this, my friends is the power of the resurrection. We WERE dead in our sin (remember the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life). So for those of you who claim to be in Christ but are still comfortable with sin and in living a worldly lifestyle, you may have a form of godliness but you are denying the power thereof. From such TURN AWAY (2 Timothy 3:5)!

Now concerning our sinful natures, yes, we are susceptible to this world. Paul said that no good thing dwelt in his flesh but the difference (between him and these hyper grace believers) is that he knew sin would hinder him in serving the Lord and ultimately cause him to go to hell (be “a cast away”). He didn’t want to remain that way. He tried to pray his thorn away but God assured him that even in that, His GRACE WAS SUFFICIENT. We too have serious issues and unpleasant circumstances that get the best of us but in Christ we have the power to bring those things into subjection and walk in righteousness (continuously doing what is good and right).

Nothing excuses sin and God does NOT tolerate it. If you are truly struggling with something then either your will is behind it or you haven’t been truly born again. Trust me, I’ve had to come to terms with both! So I hope you consider what I’m saying. Let go of all traditions of men (and doctrines of devils!). There’s no such thing as once saved always saved, we have to ABIDE in the HOLY Spirit we’ve been given.

With nothing but love, Brandi

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:11-14)

Amen♥♥

3 natural beauty tips for Christian women+ my must have natural “beauty” products

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Now if you didn’t know,  I don’t wear any make up or fake hair. I believe all of that stuff is ungodly and you can read more about that here. But just because I don’t wear makeup or dress in certain ways, doesn’t mean that I don’t have or understand the desires we as women have to look and feel pretty.

I never said that holiness equates to homelyness. No, we’re not supposed to obsess over our outward appearances but it is not a sin to look nice or presentable (according to what’s nice and presentable to God of course). So, I just wanted to clarify that and share 3 ways that I personally take care of my physical appearance.

1. By embracing our uniqueness

Let’s face it! We are called to be different. We are God’s very own representatives on the earth and God is HOLY. When you accept that painting your face is not of God and how we are told not to “fashion” ourselves after this world, then the holy Spirit can (and will) begin to direct you on what is and isn’t lovely and/or appropriate for those professing godliness.

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2, NLT)

As individuals,  we also have to accept what we were born with. For instance, I would prefer super long and thick healthy hair but my hair is super thin and currently shoulder length (I’m working on it!) but the point is, we may never have someone else’s skin tone, hair texture, body type etc. So we have to be content with who we are and in what we have.  And if it’s something you can naturally fix like your weight or my hair length then we have to be PATIENT. It didn’t take one day to gain 100 pounds  or to damaged your skin (or in my case hair!). So it’s going to take more than one day, one month or possibly even longer than one year for us to properly heal.

2. Eating well

Now this is also a very important tip. And as Christians, we should understand the concept of “FROM THE INSIDE OUT”. God, in all of His kindness and wisdom provided everything we need (through WATER, and every herb bearing seed and trees) to look and feel good physically. In addition to Genesis,  I know this to be true because I’m a vegetarian (well I guess a “Pescatarian” now because I just introduced salmon into my diet!) and I usually eat my food raw or cook every meal from scratch.  Now I don’t do much physical exercise other than indirectly through household chores, but my husband has been my motivation to start working out.  He looks (and says he feels) SO good just from doing daily push ups and of course, eating well.  If you’re into fitness, I would love to hear what works for you. And if you’re interested in what to eat (or in what I eat) just let me know and I’ll share all of that in an additional post.

3. Using Natural Products

Now this goes hand in hand with number 2 because the products we use on our bodies are just as important as what we’re eating.  I try to just stick with organic products that can also be used to cook with. But of course, just like every other woman I get enticed by lovely smells and by beautiful packaging 🙂 So whenever I do buy commercial products, I just make sure to read all of the ingredients and labels. You will never look and feel your best if you’re continuously dumping poison into your skin and gut.  So I encourage you to just stop and think about that. You may think that someone vain is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen but just wait until they take off all that make up and weave and all of that “trendy” clothing. It’s a deception. They don’t even want to see themselves like that. They might even be a man! It’s all lies and stumbling blocks. Beauty as we know it is NOT of God.

But anyway, that’s a whole’nother post. I  hope that you’ve enjoyed this one, and I want you all  to know that embracing (godly) femininity isn’t a crime, It’s a must!

With nothing but love, Brandi

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Now I literally just “woke up like this” (clear skin)

 

♥♥Here’s a list of my favorite, must  have products

Skincare:

African black soap and Shea Moisture’s Olive oil and Marula baby wash

My DIY Lavender body butter and my DIY Peppermint (or lemon) sugar scrub
Raw Shea butter
Unrefined Coconut oil
Avocado oil
Extra virgin Olive oil
Sweet almond oil
Castor oil
Vitamin E oil or capsules

Essential oils (100% pure essential oils can be expensive so I am slowly but surely building my collection. I have a few essential oils mainly for DIY household cleaning products but the ones I often use for bath and body are Lavender, Eucalyptus, Lemon and Peppermint.)

Hair care:

I am currently using ( and loving!) Shea moisture products on my hair.  I definitely plan on making my own but for now it’s just trail and error. I  also use some of the oils on my hair that were mentioned above.

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♥♥Side note: If you’re interested, I also blogged on how I dress and How To choose modest apparel!

Delusion, the part of God’s judgment we overlook

 Even him (* The Antichrist), whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:” ( 2 Thessalonians 2:9-13, *my own interjection) 

So I just got through reading an article on Lauren Daigle. And I don’t know why i’m saying that like I didn’t literally just learn about her 5 minutes ago! So if you don’t know who that is, it doesn’t even matter. Just know that she is a sell out. And that’s what all of these so called Christians are in the entertainment industry. They claim to be of God but either compromise or cower out and deny our Lord when they’re confronted on sound doctrine. But anyway, what inspired this post was the fact that she (like many others!) don’t want to offend or call sin what it is. But we can not side step sin. People  have to know the truth in order to be saved. And for those who know (or have been exposed to) the truth but still choose to reject it (because they love sin and the world too much), God will (if He hasn’t already) turn them over to themselves. And this is something we rarely ever think about. We always talk about hell and the lake of fire but we forget that the wrath of God already abides on the unbelievers.

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36)

So, I just wanted to share my thoughts with you. May the Lord be with us in these “unbelievable” times.

Your sister, Brandi

(Romans 1:16-32) “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.”

Knowing God is knowing His ways

“With all my heart I have sought You, [inquiring of You and longing for You];
Do not let me wander from Your commandments [neither through ignorance nor by willful disobedience].” (Psalm 119:10, AMP)

If you’re anything like me, you have this desperate desire to know God  more intimately. And if He’s drawing you to Himself then you MOST DEFINITELY have this same longing for Jesus too.

A few months ago, I decided to get serious about seeking the Lord.  So I  google every scripture I could find on seeking God and printed them out. As I began to read through the packets I created, I began to realize (or rather it was revealed to me ) that seeking God meant learning and walking in His ways.

When we learn right from wrong (in His eyes) and what is true and what is not, we are walking with Him if we allow those laws and truth to govern our lives. But if we believe that we know God and are still walking in darkness, then we have deceived ourselves. We aren’t in fellowship with Him or His Son. We don’t even know them!

Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.” ( 1 John 3:6)

Or “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” ( 1 John 1:5-7)

So, if you are seriously seeking the Lord, I encourage you to read all of Psalm 119 because here we find David (a man after God’s own heart) loving God through learning and obeying His law.

With love, Brandi

♥♥Side note: I created an additional page to the blog where I will be simply reading through the New Testament. If you’re interested, be sure to check that out. I would LOVE for you to join me!

Preparing for the end of the world and NO pre-trib rapture

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened (*Shortened not escaped). Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it notFor as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man beFor wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:21-31, *my own interjection)

Now, before I write (or type up!) anymore posts on being prepared for the end of time, I  thinks it’s very important to let those of you who may not know that there will be no pre-tribulation rapture. Not only is the term “rapture” not in the bible, but the idea of it goes against what the Bible actually teaches (making it a false doctrine). And the danger of being misinformed about the second coming of the Lord is that you will not be prepared for his arrival or for what is coming upon the earth FIRST.

And war broke out in heaven, Michael [the archangel] and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought, but they were not strong enough and did not prevail, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the age-old serpent who is called the devil and Satan, he who continually deceives and seduces the entire inhabited world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom (dominion, reign) of our God, and the authority of His Christ have come; for the accuser of our [believing] brothers and sisters has been thrown down [at last], he who accuses them and keeps bringing charges [of sinful behavior] against them before our God day and night. And they overcame and conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, for they did not love their life and renounce their faith even when faced with death.  Therefore rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them [in the presence of God]. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you in great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time [remaining]!’ And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who had given birth to the male Child.  But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time (three and one-half years), away from the presence of the serpent (Satan). And the serpent hurled water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon had hurled out of his mouth. So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went off to wage war on the rest of her children (seed), those who keep and obey the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus [holding firmly to it and bearing witness to Him].” (Revelation 12:7-17, AMP)

So here we see that the great tribulation is the wrath of satan. It is not the wrath of God which of course we who are in Christ are not appointed. And I think that’s what people who believe in a pretrib rapture are arguing. They think that Jesus is going to come gather us together with him in the clouds which he WILL (on the LAST day) but their timing is off.

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep (*dead), that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain (*on the earth!) unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (*precede) them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (*or “raptured”) together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord (*Eternity). Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, * my own interjections)

In context, Paul was not encouraging us with a false sense of security from end times persecution. He was encouraging those who were grieving over the death of believing loved ones. There will be nothing occultic (secret or hidden) about the return of Jesus. Everything is going to go down publicly and globally, once and for all on the same day.

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” (Revelation 1:7)

All of creation will see and the ones we admire (like the angels, prophets and apostles etc.) longed to know more about the end and this blessed generation of the faithful saints. Praise God, for letting us play a major part in history instead of trying to carnally ESCAPE these things.

How pampered (in the western world) and self righteous are we? To believe that we are too good or “holy” to  go through tribulation and be persecuted. God shows no partiality. Besides, there are true believers with obviously more faith and dedication than us (Americans) being martyred RIGHT NOW in other countries for testifying to Jesus and his gospel. Why haven’t they been raptured? I’ll tell you why, because the rapture is false doctrine. We who remain on the earth until the last day WILL experience the greatest tribulation we’ll have to endure in order to be saved.

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sakeAnd then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:3-13)

So, I hope you pray about these things. And will be overjoyed when his glory is revealed because you were a partaker of his sufferings.

With nothing but love, Brandi

♥♥ These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

 

Preparing ourselves for Tribulation and Judgement

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” (1 Peter 4:12-19)

As we’re approaching the end of time, I am beyond obliged to share the gospel. It’s like the majority of Christians are fooling around waiting on some rapture but by the grace of God I am here to remind you of what the Bible actually teaches.

We WILL go through the tribulation, and I’ll talk more about that in the next post because that is what the (which I believe is this) last generation of believers have to endure in order to be saved.

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Matthew 24:9-13)

But like I said, we’ll talk about that in another post. Today, I just want to warn you that JUDGEMENT IS COMING. Are you ready? Are you prepared to stand before the Son of Man? And I’m talking about blamelessly. Not with all those excuses you’ve been telling yourself.

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The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10)

Personally, I’ve been working on getting my own self together. So I want to share 3 areas with you that I am targeting.

1. Repentance and holiness (being set apart)

Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” (1 John 3:7-10)

The deception is REAL. We have professing Christians out here living sinful lifestyles and scoffing at holiness. It is time to lay aside every weight and sin that weighs us down. And if there are any idols in our hearts we need to surrender them NOW. It is also time to forgive. Seriously, this is the last call to come separate and purify ourselves.

So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.  For the Scriptures say, ‘You must be holy because I am holy.’ And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.”” (1 Peter 1:14-17, NLT)

2. Prayer (and taming the tongue)

Praying consistently (and fervently) is also something that I am working very hard on. It takes discipline AND DESIRE to spend most of your time talking (and trying to listen) to an invisible God. But prayer builds faith. Which is vital now and will be when you’re drinking your cup of suffering.

Also, I want to address talking too much. Some of us (especially me) are displeasing God by being mouth almighty. A word to the wise is—Silence. Because we will give an account for all these malicious, idle and careless words we’re speaking. So, we would do good to SHUT UP. And remember that ALL liars will have their part in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:7-8).

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Matthew 12:34-37)

3. Productivity

I remember when God first starting dealing with me concerning the end times. I became so fearful like the servant who hid his talent in the ground. But God let me know that He still expects us to live good (as in peaceful) and productive lives. So we have to make it our business to carry out the commands as well as any individual tasks we’ve been assigned. For me, that’s edifying others through the blog and being a good steward of the gifts and people He’s entrusted to my care.

So, I hope that you consider these things. May the Lord finish the good work he started in us all!

With love, Brandi

♥♥Side note: I created an additional page to the blog where I will be simply reading through the New Testament. If you’re interested, be sure to check that out. I would LOVE for you to join me!

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

Obsessing over demons and conspiracy theories

Do not participate in the worthless and unproductive deeds of darkness, but instead expose them [by exemplifying personal integrity, moral courage, and godly character];  for it is disgraceful even to mention the things that such people practice in secret. (Ephesians 5:11-12, AMP)

Now I purposely shared the amplified version because I think that in “exposing” evil or in being “enlightened” we can get a little too caught up and miss the whole memo.  YES, demons are real and things like population control and the New World Order are obviously not just theories. But as followers of Jesus Christ, revelation and understanding are given so that we can overcome. People of the world are also interested in these things but the difference is (or should be!) that we aren’t afraid or obsessed with these things. The entire world is under the trickery and wrath (TRIBULATION) of the devil. IT IS WRITTEN! Therefore we know these things ARE and WILL come to pass (happen).

So, the point of this post is just to remind you not to get lost in the rabbit holes. Studying demonic entities and governmental conspiracies (or ungodly celebrities etc.) is as Solomon would say, ALL VANITY. At the end of the day, these things are not edifying. And I know from personal experience that they produce more fear (and idolatry!) than anything.  So, if we must, let us simply expose these things by living out the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not by telling any and everyone who will listen to our fascinations. The bible says that it is a SHAME to even mention what these occultic people are doing.

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” (Ephesians 6:11-12)

So again, we need to just simply accept the truth about these things and move on. Not being ignorant of satan’s devices. And remembering that knowledge puffeth up but true wisdom (and understanding) will cause you to fear God and live right in the midst of it all. I hope you understand what I’m saying.

With nothing but love and lots of prayer,

Your sister, Brandi

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:11-13)

♥♥Side note: I created an additional page to the blog where I will be simply reading through the New Testament. If you’re interested, be sure to check that out. I would LOVE for you to join me!

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

Forsaking family for Christ

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39)

Now I’m not going to go all in depth on this because everyone’s situations and circumstances are different but what I will do is remind you that at the end of the day, coming separate from the world includes ungodly family members. And this seems to be where a lot of us either compromise or draw the line because quite frankly, we ourselves are still worldly or we’re COWARDS and are ashamed of the gospel. And I know because this was something that I struggled with. I didn’t want to keep coming off as a “know it all” or offend. But the truth is what it is and besides, I  was sick and tired of my spirit being vexed after interacting with certain family members.

I’ve learned that family can be a MAJOR hindrance to your relationship with the Lord, especially those who claim to be Christians and/or are church goers. They may have a form of godliness but their carnal mindsets (and ungodly lifestyles!) deny the power thereof. FROM SUCH TURN AWAY! And if you want to make your close friends and family members an exception to the rules, then you have a bigger problem on your hands and it’s called idolatry.

How can two walk together lest they agree? It doesn’t matter if they’re your mother or your brothers if they don’t believe what you believe (meaning what  is taught in the Bible). As Christians we should be following the examples of Jesus Christ and he considered his family to be those who DO the will of his Father.

As Jesus was speaking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, and they want to speak to you.” Jesus asked, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!” (Matthew 12:46-50)

So don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about leaving your family behind. Remember when Jesus told a disciple who wanted to care for his father first to let the dead bury the dead (Matthew 8:18-22). We have to leave our civilian affairs behind. Like those enlisted in the military, we belong to the kingdom of God now! Family will try to own you and demand your loyalty. Even over what is fair, and what is right or what is TRUE.

So, we have to make sure that our identity is in Jesus Christ, and not in our families or in anything else. Sever those ties!

With nothing but love, Brandi

Are you ready for the return of the Lord?

Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrew 3:12-13, ESV)

(Featured image provided by pexels.com)

Have you ever been doing something (whether it was good or bad) and you were just so focused that you hadn’t even realized that someone was standing right there? Well there’s this misconception that that’s how it’ll be when the Lord returns but that’s not what the scriptures teach concerning the elect.

We are told time and time again to be watchful and ready so that day doesn’t catch us off guard like that. And even though we don’t know (and we won’t know!) the day or the hour, we have been informed of all the things that will precede his arrival.

Now I don’t know if you’ve noticed but prophecy is rapidly being fulfilled. It is more than likely that we are that last generation that will experience the Lord’s second coming. And I’m not here to draw you into any end times rabbit holes.  I’m just here to remind you that we need to get ourselves together.

Many are caught up in the affairs of this world (trying to live their best lives now). While others have turned away from sound doctrine unto fables and just straight up LIES (doctrines of devils). But to those of you who still have an ear to hear, it’s the same ol’ message it’s always been—Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.

We have been fooled by wolves (and by Hollywood!) into thinking that Jesus is passive. We’ve forgotten about the lion because we’re so busy exploiting the lamb. But make no mistake about it, sin and worldliness are NOT, have never been and will never be acceptable to God the Father or His son, Jesus Christ. WE HAVE TO TURN FROM OUR WAYS, and we have to abandon this world’s satanic systems and customs. As well as any idols which can be anything that we love, trust and/or esteem more than God.

The bible is clear. So beware of all these unbelieving Christians scoffing at holiness as if righteousness (living right, according to God’s standards) is impossible or better yet, optional. DON’T FALL AWAY.  Be watchful AND PRAY as you fix your minds, hearts and lives on the Lord. He’s coming back, REAL SOON.

I love you guys,
Brandi Collins

Do this, knowing that this is a critical time. It is already the hour for you to awaken from your sleep [of spiritual complacency]; for our salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed [in Christ]. (Romans 13:11, AMP)

3 Tips on making a godly marriage work

So yesterday was my anniversary and in honor of us entering into our 4th year of marriage, I thought it would be fun (and helpful!) to share 3 things that have strengthened our relationship.

1. Being selfless

My husband and I have both come to the knowledge and understanding of the Lord Jesus Christ. So self denial (denying the flesh) has been essential to every part of our lives, including (or especially!) our marriage. We are ALL selfish and self absorbed by nature but unfortunately most of us don’t even realize that we are and have always been until we get married. So, with that being said, my first tip is to put your spouse’s needs above your own without conditions and without any expectations.

2. Communication

Now my husband and I talk and have always talked about any and EVERYTHING, to the point where we had to repent and start holding each other accountable for idle conversations and just straight up gossiping. But at the end of the day, we have to express ourselves in order to make sure that we are on the same page (or at least working toward the same things). Also, we have to not only acknowledge but HONOR the fact that men and women usually communicate in different ways.

3. Integrity

There is so much peace and joy in the home and in the marriage when you and your spouse are trustworthy. And this doesn’t just happen because you’re in love. You have to fear the Lord and walk in His ways first.

4. Encouragement (A bonus from my husband)

As I ran through an overview of this post with my husband, he told me to mention how it is also important to allow your spouse time to grow. Looking back,  I can’t even believe that my husband and I hooked up because we are nothing like the people we once were.

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This is a witness to the fact that God can and will change those who are willing. And it only gets better as you’re continuously being refined and conformed to the likeness of Christ. So basically, what he’s saying is, let God be God (and let satan be satan!). Our jobs as wives are to HELP not accuse or hinder our husbands.

So, I hope that you consider this post and if you have any tips on a healthy marriage please let us know!

Much love, Brandi

Being judgmental

With my most recent post being about things like who’s a Christian and who is not,  I am well aware that many will assume (probably in general) that I am being self righteous. I mean, my own mother has called me overzealous and judgmental! But here’s the thing, we HAVE to judge people by their fruit lest we become deceived by our own feelings or their speech.

The deception is real! This how people end up BEING and following false teachers. Many claim to be children of God but they aren’t walking (or living) those statements out.

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Jesus said that FEW will be on the right path so we’re already deceived if we’re considering those few to be the majority of our own families. Out of the whole entire world, you mean to tell me that everyone in your house, or on your job or at your church or even in your country is in Christ!? I think not. And we have to be honest with ourselves. We have to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. So when I notice a fraud, it isn’t to condemn them to hell as if I were God. It’s to keep my own self from falling or from being drawn away from the true gospel. Bad company corrupts good character and despising the truth gets you put under a strong delusion (2 Thessalonians chapter 2).

So, I thought that I would just clarify some things and encourage those of you who are truly seeking the Lord not to be ashamed of calling it like you see it. We ARE to judge righteously. What we are not to do is judge before the time or hypocritically.

With nothing but love, Brandi

Before you go, here’s a few scriptures to consider!

(1 John 1:6) “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:” 

(James 1:22-25) “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

(Titus 1 :15-16, NLT, For those who scoff at holiness) “Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.”

(Matthew 7:16-23) “Beware of false prophets (*and a prophet is just anyone who claims to know and communicate with and/or for God), which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”  *My own interjection

(1 John 4:1,NLT) “Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God…”

Do you really believe what the Bible teaches?

In addition to the previous post, I just want to encourage us all to examine ourselves. As I mentioned, many claim to believe the Bible to be true but are contradicting their professions with their own interpretations and lifestyles.

You see, we have deceived ourselves when we begin to pick and choose what commands (and directives) to obey. The bible can not just be true to us to an extent (until it becomes inconvenient). We have to accept it to be true (and right!) in its entirety.

I remember my mother bringing a couple young ladies over my house for what I thought would be a little Bible studying. Then she told them to just go through the scriptures and pick out what they like. After I explained how we have to read the scriptures in context, she told them that they don’t have to be (and I quote) “A radical Jesus person”. Um.. First of all, low blow. And second off all,  YES WE DO! That’s the main requirement of being a  FOLLOWER OF JESUS. We have to lay down our lives in order to follow Christ. And as “believers” and Bible readers shouldn’t we know this!? Unfortunately, many like my mother think that you are judging them when you propose things like truth, obedience and holiness. They will say that they aren’t any less of a Christian just because they don’t believe or live like you do. But friends, don’t be deceived (and if this is you, don’t deceive yourself). True believers of Jesus Christ don’t pursue their own standards of righteousness. In fact, you who oppose are really the ones being self righteous by living by your own standards of what’s right (or good enough!) regardless of what the Bible teaches. The scriptures are for training in RIGHTEOUSNESS. They are not self serving affirmations or demonic laws of attraction prompts!

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousnessThat the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (1 Timothy 3:16-17)

Personally, I just simply read the Bible as a guide.  I obey the Lord’s commands as I surrender my life and MY OWN desires. I seek to continuously be sanctified knowing that righteousness in Christ isn’t optional or unattainable. So,  if you claim to believe in the God of the Bible (the same God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob), then again,  I challenge you to really examine what you say that you believe because the Bible teaches holiness not lawlessness or once saved always saved.

With nothing but love, Brandi

3 ways to identify a real Christian

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35)

So recently I blogged about coming separate from this world, and I mentioned how a lot of professing Christians are actually still unbelievers. In this post, I’m going to specify 3 things that I  believe are (but aren’t limited to) indications of a true believer. So let’s get right into it.

#1 They believe the Bible to be completely true AND RIGHT!

In addition to the opening scripture, true disciples of Jesus Christ are deeply rooted in sound doctrine.  The bible is clear on what is sin (and what is and isn’t appropriate for those professing godliness). Therefore true believers take into account the full counsel of the bible without cherry picking.

#2 They come to repentance and are born again of the Spirit

“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” 1John 3:9

True followers of Jesus Christ are not sinners.  They do not live in a constant state of sin or worldliness (pursuing the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh or the pride of life). They understand that grace does NOT excuse sin and that there is no such thing as once saved always saved.

#3 They’re always concerned about the things of God

Real Christians are set on helping others also live upright because they know that this is the end of the age and that the whole world lies in wickedness (1John 5:19). They are not concerned about their everyday lives. They seek the kingdom of God first, denying themselves the “pleasures” and luxuries of this life.

Ultimately, there’s no distinction between mainstream Christianity and the world. They look a like, act a like, and pursue the same things making true children of God seem insane. Which is expected since they are a peculiar people 🙂

Much love, Brandi

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How to come separate from this world

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

 I want to take some time to talk about coming separate from this world because recently I had to come to terms with the fact that I was lukewarm. And a lot of us are lukewarm— claiming to be Christians when our lifestyles are no different from those who blatantly reject God. But before I get into coming separate from this world, I want briefly explain what I am referring to as “The world”.

When I mention the world, I am talking about the society’s system of resources, values, priorities and philosophies that are influenced by the devil. Since satan is the god of this world (according to scriptures like Matthew 4:8-10), he is the one orchestrating the ideas and moves of the people. Whether they know (or believe) it or not, those who aren’t in Christ (and Christians who aren’t abiding in the Spirit!) are being deceived (and employed!) by the devil.

We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one. (1 John 5:18-19, NLT)

Therefore, being a friend or in agreement with the ways of living AND THINKING like the world (or the cultures around us) puts us in direct opposition to God and His standards (which are clear in the bible).

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (James 4:4)

So what am I saying? Am I saying that we have to live like the Amish? No, because Jesus sends his disciples out into the world (John 17:6-26, Matthew 28:16-20). What I’m saying is, is that we have to repent, and stop living like we don’t know what the bible teaches!

Like I mentioned above, this is how a lot of us have deceived ourselves into believing that we are Christians when in reality we are enemies of God.

 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (James 1:22-25)

Since we know that coming separate isn’t literal (because again, Jesus sends us out into the world), we know that it means forsaking fellowship with unbelievers (fake Christians!) and being delivered from evil.

 When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. (1 Corinthians 5:9-11, NLT)

It’s a sanctification process. This is what being holy and set apart (or separate!) is all about!

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2, NLT)

Just think of how many commands and directives (like women wearing head coverings to church) have been tossed out the window because we’re evolving with the culture. When we’re of the world, we think like the world. God is the same God of Israel. He’s still holy and His desires haven’t changed. If we truly want to be followers of His son Jesus Christ then we have to DENY OURSELVES and walk in righteousness. We can’t be worried about our own opinions or interpretations and social rankings.

 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:31-32, NLT)

So basically it all boils down to this, if you want to come separate from this world, just read your bible and with the power of the holy ghost start DOING what it says. The results are inevitable.

Much love, Brandi

When staying home becomes boring and/or stressful

Homemaking is a blessing but it can be challenging so I want to briefly share 5 things that I believe can help combat that burnout.

#1 Staying connected

Community is everything! Even if it’s just chatting online with bloggers and YouTubers. Surrounding ourselves with other homemakers keeps us focused on what it true and important. You are not alone. We are each other’s motivation and inspiration.

#2 Getting rest

Whatever that looks like for you. It could be reading, working on a hobby or literally taking naps.  The point is, we have to rest on the regular and being at home gives us the liberty to do so.

#3 Eating well

To piggy back on #2, whole foods and good sleep are necessary. They go hand in hand. Try meal prepping the things you like (so all you have to do is grab and go).  We can not afford to skip out on what gives us energy.

#4 Getting dressed

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Hanging out in my pajamas!

To be honest,  this is something that I am still working on. Sometimes I don’t even get dressed at all especially if I don’t have any errands to run. But we all know that we feel better when we look better. So perhaps we’re only feeling as crazy as we look. For some, getting dressed is a must. And I’m sure that they’re much more productive (and attractive to their husbands).

#5 Having an agenda

Speaking of being productive, we all know that a day started without a plan will most likely be wasted. So if you are an inconsistent person, start by writing down the tasks that you would like to accomplish within that week. As long as you’re getting stuff done you don’t need an overwhelming detailed daily planner or calendar.

So, I hope that these tips help. I’m praying for you all because I know that everyone’s situations and families are different.

With much love,

Brandi

Strawberry Chia Jam recipe

As I transition into a more “homesteadish” lifestyle, there are some things including fruit preserves that I have decided to stop buying. This recipe is not only good (and easy!) but it’s guilt free! So I hope that you try it and if you do let me know what you think.

 

Ingredients

2 cups chopped strawberries (or mixed berries)
1/2 cup honey
3 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Directions

Heat the berries in a medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat stirring occasionally until the berries begin to caramelize and get all syrupy (about 10 minutes). Mash the strawberries with a potato masher to your desired consistency (I like chunks of fruit in mine).

Turn the heat off and move the saucepan to another burner then pour in the lemon juice and the honey (feel free to add more honey to your liking). Now, stir in the chia seeds and allow the mixture to cool down completely before canning.

This recipe makes about 10 ounces (a little over a cup) which will last my family about a week but you can definitely store it in the refrigerator for up to a month. Also, this jam will not thicken as much as those with pectin (and loads of refined sugars!) would but the chia seeds will swell and thicken it up good enough. Yum (just thinking about it). Don’t believe me just ask my son!

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(My son)

When desires become idols

(Featured image provided by Pexels.com)

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
(Matthew 6:21)

Writing this is bittersweet because I feel like I’m constantly dethroning idols that have infiltrated my heart. And publicly sharing my understanding of this will not only hold me accountable but leave me with no more  excuses.

See we can not seek (or love) God with all of our hearts, when part of it is seeking other things (including someone else). We have to beware of what we set our hearts on because even good and godly desires can become idols.

An idol is anything more important to us than delighting in or serving God (alone). They are our deepest longings. Whatever we are lusting after. Some common idols that I have personally worshiped were things like Control and perfectionism, Prestige (recognition and validation from this world), Beauty, Natural health and wellness, organic food etc. Beautiful homes, My children, My husband (and marriage in general), Entrepreneurship, Ministry, Happiness.. Just to name a few.  And what I’ve learned is that through convictions and restlessness, God frustrates my ideas making it nearly impossible for me to pursue my idols. This is how we know that (or when) a desire has become an idol.

If you (or I!) want something (or some things!) so bad that we begin to sin when we don’t get it (or to attain it), then we have a MAJOR problem and it’s called an idol.  Even if what you want is good! Because I’ve learned that in reality, what I personally desire is only as good as my patience and trust in God for it. If I can’t continue to love and to EXALT God in the meantime, and I become discontent and miserable then I  am not committed to (or delighting in) the Lord. In fact,  I am sinning because my affections, and appetite or cravings shouldn’t be on anything but Him, His Son and their coming kingdom.

Everything (and everybody!) will always be competing for our affections. Especially in this era of technology and consumerism. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with genuinely wanting a house or a child. It’s not the end of the world, but will it be to you if you never get them? Becoming angry (especially toward the things of God ), frustrated, manipulative, covetous or full of self pity are all results of idolizing our desires. So is rebellion. I was notorious for seeking temporary comfort and relief from God’s chastising. In my pride I would turn to things like food, sleep, shopping, TV,  Social media etc. And I don’t know if it’s just me but it’s like I can not worship anything other than God. Of course it’s sin but it’s also tormenting spending all of my time, energy and money daydreaming about, planning for and longing after idols. And the worst part is that they don’t even truly satisfy! Once conquered, we’re always wanting MORE—Bigger or better!

Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied. (Proverbs  27:20)

So, I just wanted to share my thoughts with you . May we all just delight solely in the Lord in obedience and in hopes that He’ll find our hearts “empty” enough to start storing up His own perfect desires♥♥

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. (Psalm 37:4-5)

Your sister,
Brandi