Dressing up for Prom and dressing down for Worship Part 2

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Dressing Up for Prom and dressing down for worship!

 

Part 2

 

 

Today many feel it is better to dress down for worship so everyone will be comfortable. They think that this will put everyone at ease? But if you are attending a Sweetheart Dance, Prom or Fashion Show or celebrating Valentine’s Day it’s proper etiquette to dress up. When Christmas or Easter rolls around you can dress up if you like as well.  You want to look nice for those pictures with Santa or the Easter Bunny. However you still might get a few stares if you come to worship looking like you are wearing your tithes and offerings!

 

A little humor is always good!

 

Worship adoration, devotion and praise are important. We ought to worship and praise our Lord daily. Imagine if every believer really did. What a grand marvelous time we would have whenever we all got together! Sunday is important! CHRISTmas is important! Resurrection Day is important! Honoring God is important. It is a time for reflecting upon all that the Lord has done for us. Jesus Christ’s sinless life, crucifixion, death & resurrection are all very important.  Every time we come to together it is important to worship the Lord! Sunday Worship really is the ultimate Red Carpet Affair! Jesus Christ shed His precious blood for the sins of the world! What is more important than that?

 

How important is it to dress for worship?

 

Whatever happened to proper etiquette or being well groomed? Just because? We have thrown it out the window and replaced it with “dress down.” It is the new way to express you. To show that you are humble? Or is it just plain laziness? Or is it conforming to the world’s standards? Here is the dilemma it is hard to tell sometimes where am I.  Am I in worship or am I on a cruise?    No I do not have Alzheimer’s; if I did it wouldn’t matter!

 

God is The Most High God above Him is no other. Worship is about us recognizing Him as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!   The Word teaches us; “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what GOD’S WILL IS – HIS GOOD, pleasing and PERFECT WILL.” Romans 12. So why have we; God’s Church begun to conform to the dress standards of the world?

 

When we dress up we look like we are material right? Well clothes are made out of material. Just because you have on a pair of jeans and a tee shirt does not mean that you are any less material!  Have you seen the price of some of these jeans & T shirts? You can be material and have nothing…

 

Did you know that children behave better when they are dressed? Taking the time to dress them tells them you care. If it is just in a T shirt let it be neat and tidy.  At the park let them at least go in clean if they come out dirty fine… They feel better about themselves when they know you give them TLC as well!  Even they know innately that when you are in certain attire you need to stop fooling around and pay more attention.

 

I know when you are dressed up it means that you are too cute to worship? Lord Help us!

 

Notice how the Royal family in England is always fit for the occasion. Even when they dress down  they properly present themselves. Unless you catch them under the privacy of their own residences under a camera you will not see them dressed scantly or inappropriately. In their private residences they should have the freedom and privacy to walk around as they please even if it’s nude.   Remember Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed. How would anyone know unless they infringed upon their privacy rights. We can learn a thing or two from them. Well, guess what nothing or no one is more important than GOD!   Through Jesus Christ we are a part of The Most High God’s Royal Family!

 

It is hard for me to believe that Solomon via God’s instructions built that first magnificent Temple for seven long years;  then said dress down or wear your sweats. Notice how detailed the temple and its contents are described in the Word. I do not think in its entire splendor that the people came dressed like “ragamuffins” when they came to worship!

 

We have missed the point!

 

When slavery was prominent in America the slaves even knew that on Sunday or during worship that they dressed up and presented themselves in proper attire. It was a time to leave the tasks and hardships of slavery, lay them aside momentarily and focus on worshipping the Lord! Even if they did not have shoes they took the time to clean up well and present themselves in their best attire!   The African American worship service in general continues to encourage dressing up to a degree in your better attire. Some opt to dress down in the warmer months; however I believe that one should still dress no less than they do for work or school.  As people of color we were taught to recognize that it’s important to continue to present yourself   in proper dress attire!

 

 

Revelation gives us an excellent visual of the “New Jerusalem”   the Holy City in Heaven. It is fabulously splendid. It is absolutely Awesome, so much so that the streets are paved with translucent gold. The walls are made of fine gemstones of sapphire, emeralds, sardonyx, chalcedony, jasper and…   The twelve gates are made of a fine single humongous pearl! WOW!   Think about it! Hmm just does not seem to me that throwing on a wrinkled T shirt and a pair of old baggy jeans, skirt or leggings would be appropriate!   No wonder why the ambiance in worship has drastically changed right along with the dress code!   Many do not respect the sacredness of worship anymore.

 

They are now trying to pass laws so that it’s okay if you have a gun license you can come packing a gun!

 

Foreign countries uphold a better standard for worship than we do here in the United States. For example when we visited Vatican City in Rome we were told that in order to enter St. Peter’s Basilica the women needed to be covered properly and would not be able to enter unless they were properly attired! They maintain a standard that one must at least be presentable.   After all is not the Church the Bride of Christ! Ponder and think about that for a moment! Would you dress up if you were meeting the President?

 

Ponder this for a moment. You are welcome to disagree. I know it’s because I am a child of the 50’s! Everyone wore a tie and dressed up for most occasions way back when. No, it’s because there is nothing, no occasion, dance or prom or no one more important than God! Therefore we need to put our best self forward.   God knows us all from the inside out! We are not fooling Him. At least we can honor Him in how we present ourselves for worship!   There is always an exception to the rule.   If you are homeless that’s different,   if you are mentally ill that’s different, if you really do not have anything to wear that’s   different too.

 

“Come as you are!” Yes, but you will not “Stay as you are!”  The Word of God transforms us from the inside out. At some point you will begin to feel better about yourself and want to step it up a bit! Why is that? Believers are supposed to live each day as though the Lord was going to return. If Heaven is going to be your Eternal Home I suggest you begin here on earth getting prepared for Kingdom living!  Even if you decide to wear jeans and a T shirt, let be done neatly!

 

“Your will be done Lord! Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.” Lord we are down here waiting on your return when everyone will see  you breaking through the sky!   Come Lord!

 

 

 

 

 

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Dressing up for Prom and dressing down for Worship Part 1

Dressing up for Prom and dressing down for Worship!  Bride

 

 

Part 1

This 21st century is becoming progressively more interesting in a very bizarre manner. We are living in a time when just about anything goes! We can go almost anywhere and expect to see some of everything! You can see multiple piercings on the ears, lips, forehead, eyebrows, cheeks, neck, and head or just about anywhere on the body. Let’s not even discuss the places that we don’t see.

You can see glitter glam clothes or faces. Pink, royal blue, purple, burgundy, yellow and even green hair on both male and females. It has become acceptable for many to even walk around with their pants sagging below the buttocks! You can go to the shopping mall and see many clad in pajamas and slippers and guess what they are just out shopping; so what does it matter? The old shorter than short “Daisy Duke” shorts are even trying to make a comeback. WOW!

I know everyone wants to be comfortable or they just want to as the ole song says “Express Yourself!” So it has become tolerable to just dress down whenever or wherever. After all we are not hurting anyone.

Think about for a moment or two!

What is the most important event or occasion that you will attend? Is it a wedding, red carpet affair, birthday party, funeral, job interview or perhaps a prom? How do you dress for the occasion? If it is a wedding, you probably want to wear your best? Or maybe not? Why is that; because it has become acceptable to dress just any kind of way; right?

Well, what about going to worship? You should just “come as you are.” If you have not been a part of God’s Church it is understandable. But if you have been a part of the Church for a while you might want to ask; to whom or where do you present your best other than at worship?

Did you know that the Church is the Bride of Christ? The Church has begun to blend right in with the world.

It’s okay if you wear a suit and tie or business casual pantsuit, dress or blouse and slacks to the office if you are a manager or a CEO or CIO! But if I want to wear flip flops and cut offs it should not matter especially since I still get my work done. I just want to be comfortable and I don’t want to wait until casual Friday. What happened to the basic dress code? It really does matter how you present yourself!

Hmm I guess God is not interested in how we dress? “Therefore, I urge you, brothers in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Romans 12. What does this have to do with how I am dressed? A lot! It’s clear here that we are not supposed to conform to the ways of the world. Notice how The Church has begun to pattern its dress after the standards of the world. This has even filtered over into going to worship! I guess we should really just want to hang out. sip a cup of coffee and be comfortable here too?

There is nothing wrong with freedom of expression. But what is proper and improper and who determines when or where? Does it matter that I go to worship looking like I’m on my way to the beach. Or if I look like I just woke up and threw on my most comfortable outfit! Or perhaps I was going to mow the lawn and decided to come to worship first. Or just perhaps I am going bowling after service and don’t want to make a change? It’s okay to wear a suit and tie sometimes if you are a pastor, minister or part of the praise team. Well maybe not because since its March madness everyone can just come in their Jersey’s representing their favorite team. By the way ladies it’s okay to just pull on a pair of leggings because the jersey’s are as long as some of the dresses and tops you wear? Oh my! I have just stepped on some toes! What’s wrong with wearing jerseys? Hmmm tell me when did going to worship have anything to do with your favorite football or basketball team? I am for team JESUS!!  But  do not penalize me because I do not wear jerseys! Hmmm what happens if I show up in causal dress when everyone else is dressed up for a special occassion or program? I know I am just too ole fashion or just plain judgmental? Maybe so!

Worship is supposed to be about GOD! Worship is supposed to be about us being thankful and grateful that JESUS died on the cross for us! He overcame sin in the flesh, lived a sinless life, died, was buried and rose from the dead with all power and authority! We are to give Him the GLORY! What is so casual about that?

It’s okay to pray at the altar and ask for healing, restoration and or some of our physical, emotional, mental or material needs. Its okay to  sit in  your  seat  if you  prefer. It is okay to shout, scream, laugh, run around or do whatever? It is the posture of our hearts that GOD is looking at… GOD can and will supply in HIS time whatever is in HIS Will for us! But worship really should not be about us asking for something all the time. It should be more about GOD and us thanking HIM. Worship is devotional time to praise and adore the Lord; for all that He has done, is doing and will do!

Now how should we present ourselves? Look to the Lord and let Him direct you and not to the masses. I know we ought to be comfortable. We want to make everyone else comfortable too. We don’t want anyone to feel like they are being judged or unworthy, or that we are looking down on them? The truth is we all are unworthy. Jesus sacrificed His life on the cross for   us all  and at least we should make and attempt to put our best foot forward!

His Blood has priceless cleansing POWER!

What if Jesus returned today? Would you want to run home and change?

What if I do not have anything to wear? Well what did you wear to that dance you went to, or to that wedding, or the ballet, or that sorority or fraternity dinner, or to the prom or any other dress up event? Right; that’s different. Think about this for a moment. But you want to “dress down” when you come to worship God!

Check it out

The Old Testament gives us a vivid description of the Temple and the clothing that the priest was adorned in. It is clear that they put their best foot forward. Many went through purification rituals to prepare for worship. Leviticus has a plethora of laws and regulations that had to be adhered to prior to worship. There has been a gradual shifting down of the dress code as well as the moral behavior… No wonder sin is abounding and “anything goes!” Just perhaps all this dressing down has put the Church in such a relaxed mode that it’s made many feel that there is no need to change because we are to just “come as you are!” Yes indeed come as you are! But we are not to stay as we are! God is all about transforming our lives from the inside out!

See Part 2

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I confess I am judgmental! – Part 1

January 10, 2014 by  
Filed under Archives

Judgmental

Once we make the decision to accept Jesus Christ into our hearts we embark upon an incredible “New Life” in Christ! It is important to know that this is a “Walk of Faith” that is not always easy. In the eyes of God we are ageless children always in need of our Savior. Each day we can decide to choose to embrace God’s principles for life and living or the ways of the world. This is why it is imperative that we each develop an ongoing up close and personal intimate relationship with the Lord through Jesus Christ.

God’s Word is our awe-inspiring “Life Manual!” Here is where we can glean a better understanding of God and the history of mankind. God has not left us alone to merely fend for ourselves. His Holy Spirit is the Comforter, Guide and Spiritual Teacher available to help us along the way upon this marvelous spiritual journey. As we grow spiritually we better understand what is expected of us! However it is important to keep in mind that it will, at times get a bit complicated. You will not always be understood or accepted. Things will not always work out as we expect. It is during these times we can better identify with those in the Word who have gone on before us. Trust God embrace your faith and know that in His time He will “work everything together for the GOOD!”

You will of course at times be thought of as being judgmental when you express what the Word says about life and living. Confronting others in love with Truth is par for the course. When you decide to stand on the Lord’s Word you will also often be thought of as thinking you are “holier than thou.” It is within these times we must again hold on to the profession of our faith and keep our focus on the Lord. We too must “walk the walk we talk about!”

The Word teaches us that confession is good for the soul. Therefore I want to confess to being judgmental. WOW! Now there I have said it! I have thought and pondered much about this. At this point in my life the fear of being misunderstood is not greater than my need to express this point. There truly is liberty in the Lord! I have determined that no matter how hard you try someone will misunderstand you anyway. So why not try to live to please God! I accept being judgmental. According to the Word of God we the saints are to judge. Say who!

“Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to the law before the unjust, and not go before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the small matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to life? If then ye have judgments of pertaining to this life set them to judge, who are least esteemed in the Church?” I Corinthians 6: 1-4 (KJV)

Having the Lord within our lives truly makes a difference. Does this mean that I think that I am always right? No of course not! It does mean that I do not have to make a judgment to determine what God has already said is wrong! We must study the Word of God so we can learn how to properly resolve conflict and disputes. God doesn not need us we all need Him and HIs Word! According to His Word we are taught that we must even learn to judge righteously. We should also be aware that the way in which we judge others is the way in which we too will be judged! I believe all of God’s Word! As members of God’s Church we all have a responsibility to abide by and uphold the principles of His Word. When we sincerely commit to “His Will & Way” our marriages, families and overall relationship dynamics will greatly improve. Christianity is meant to be a daily lifestyle where we who claim we are believers are supposed to be governed by the Word of God!

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The Apostles Creed

February 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Archives

What Do You BELIEVE?

THE APOSTLES CREED

I would like to share with you the APOSTLES CREED. It is such a wonderful and meaningful creed, which dates back as early as the 6th century. A half century after the last writings of the New Testament. It has been recorded in history that on the day of Pentecost directed by the HOLY SPIRIT the Apostles together composed this wonderful creed! It is the oldest of All creeds! It is said that each of the Apostles contributed to its composition. I personally think that it is a brilliantly written spirit filled “work of art.” It contains (12) twelve articles which affirms the Lord Jesus Christ and the TRUTH of GOD’s WORD!

Keep in mind that we have free access to the complete Holy Scriptures in the form of “The Bible” this was not the case in the earlier centuries. The Bible consists of the Old and the New Testaments. The Old Testament was written primarily originally in Hebrew and some in Aramaic. It was then translated to Greek! There are over 5,600 Greek Manuscripts to validate the New Testament!

Did you know that the Bible contains 1,189 chapters and 31.102 verses. It was written by over forty authors. The original manuscripts were not divided into chapters and verses. It was Cardinal Hugo de Sancto Caro who began this process in 1244 to about 1248. He at the same time was creating a concordance of the Latin Vulgate to help people have the ability to look up the scriptures. The modern version was revised by Stephen Langton an Archbishop of Canterbury in England. This was also used by the Wycliffe English version that was eventually circulated in 1382. The current system we use was first published in the Geneva Bible in 1560 prior to the King James Version which was published in 1611.

For many it has become a ritual that is simply repeated during worship . But if you listen attentively you will hear and see that it is so much more. It vividly gives one a great descriptive synopsis of Jesus’ origin and purpose in our lives.

The Apostle’s Creed is an affirmation of one’s FAITH! Before repeating one first is usually asked “What do you believe?” upon stating:

“I Believe in God the Father Almighty! The Maker of Heaven and Earth. And in Jesus Christ the only Son of our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified died and was buried. The third day He arose from the dead! And He ascended into Heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I Believe in the Holy Spirit! His Holy *Catholic Church! The Communion of saints and the Forgiveness of sins. The Resurrection of the body and LIFE everlasting. Amen!”

*Catholic meaning God’s universal worldwide Church!

I TRULY BELIEVE!!!

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Trapped In Addiction

When a person has an addiction it can be totally devastating. It not only affects the addict but anyone they come in contact with. It causes fear and insecurity to dominate the lives of their family and often friends as well. It often paralyzes them in a cesspool of co-dependency, inhibiting them from taking a lawful stand.

Intervention when properly initiated can be a catalyst for repentance in the addict. You see we don’t really like to confront problems. We tend to take the ostrich approach, burying our heads in the sand. Guess what? The problem won’t just go away. We often think of love as not making someone feel bad. (Except when it comes to punishing children) But we must be careful not to unconsciously support any wrong behavior. An addict is a devotee to whatever substance they are controlled by. They surrender their will and allow themselves to be habitually, obsessively controlled by the proclivity of their desire. Their addictive need is compulsive and they will do whatever is necessary to fulfill that need.

Buried underneath the layers is really a diamond in the rough! How ironic? God can take their faithfulness to what ever their desire is (alcohol, drugs, food, sex, dirt, etc.) and turn it too good. The process is really miraculous to watch. But it will never happen as long as we keep our head in the sand. God will not force His way. Remember their allegiance is just inappropriately designated. Do you know why it’s easy to abet them in there slow but sure death? They can appear so loving and talk about the life of the party! Who needs a party? They are a party all by themselves. They can be so compliant and giving. But right around the corner lives Mr. or Mrs. Tyrant. . They can embrace the reigns of violent and destructive behavior like sugar to an ant. Talk about a roller coaster! Except this ride is not very amusing. Living on the edge is their theme.

The deepest emptiness and a gulf of shame awaits the departure of each subsequent binge. But don’t be in total despair. There is hope. You see God really does make the difference. Just know you can’t change them. But you can and should abandon providing them a security blanket in any form. Begin to shift your focus to God. He’s the ultimate COMFORTER. He will direct your paths as you truly learn to trust HIM. Begin to develop your role as their faithful prayer intercessor. The chronic abuser allows freedom to his love ones. Freedom to know you can’t depend on them. This freedom can cause you to take on their responsibilities. Oftentimes this can cause one to reach for situations and people they can dominate just as the addict controls their life. To the other extreme, it can also cause them to look to someone who will stroke their insecurities. What a cycle! One can become enmeshed in a sea of burdens. But I’m glad there is a burden bearer. The scripture says: “take my yoke upon you and learn of me for my yoke is easy and my burdens are light”. Easier said than done huh! But it is really possible. Begin to transfer this burden to the Lord. Embrace the scriptures daily to spiritually equip you for warfare. Ephesians is a book that let’s the child of God know that you have been sealed and deliverance is at hand. The mighty weapons of God are not carnal.

You cannot change anything that has happened. Don’t overindulge yourself in a guilt trip. But don’t jump in the quicksand of denial. The noose of addiction can be broken. Jesus did not die in vain. He can resurrect any life. He can peel away the layers of sin by the cleansing power of His BLOOD. It takes only a little light to dispel the darkness. We all have sinned and fallen short of His glory. That’s’ why we need a SAVIOR. TO SAVE US FROM THE POWER OF SIN. Reach out to the Lord. He can and will be there for you TWENTY/ FOUR / SEVEN.

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