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LOVE THY NEIGHBOR

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Join us in sharing the love with Love Thy Neighbor and 28 days of Intentional Acts of Love! We’ll be performing “Intentional Acts of Love” and notrandom acts of kindness because we want our actions to be reflective of the intentional way God loves us, resulting in lasting relationships and impressions on the hearts of those involved.

Partner with us by taking up the call to action in Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

Here’s comes the fun! Consistently perform your chosen Intentional Act(s) of Love throughout the month of February. Document why you chose your act and how it affected you and the other party.Share your journey with GLAM Camp to be featured on our blog and social media, then share with others to spread the love.

We can’t wait to see how your lives are changed!

Check out these 28 ways you can Love Thy Neighbor!

1. Weekly one-on-one’s with a loved one, student, friend, or neighbor

2. Offer tutoring sessions

3. Become active volunteer at homeless shelter

4. Nightly bedtime stories with younger sibling(s)

5. Weekend meet-ups at children’s hospital

6. Join local coalition for issue you’re passionate about

7. Offer free graduation/prom photo shoot for high school seniors

8. Swap chores with a sibling

9. Commit to helping someone reach a goal they are working towards

10. Assist elderly with chores; ex. Mowing lawn, shovel snow, caring for pets, grocery shopping

11. Offer to carpool with teammates

12. Start a book club

13. Host a Bible study or Life Group

14. Volunteer your professional services

15. Commit to being a prayer/accountability partner

16. Sit with someone new at lunch

17. Collect and distribute toiletries for needy

18. Make a helpful introduction

19. Hire someone

20. Follow up; Be present ; Especially for those who have recently experienced trauma

21. Offer to help busy parents with dinner, chores, etc.

22. Pay someone’s bill

23. Donate clothes to someone in need

24. Assist in chores for new parents; Meal prep, laundry, babysitting, cleaning

25. Volunteer to organize classroom

26. Collect recyclable goods; turn them in for money and donate the money to charity

27. Start a new charity

28. Become a MENTOR! 


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Faith Beyond Feeling

“This is my prayer in the desert, when all that’s within me feels dry.  This is my prayer in my hunger and need- my God is the God who provides.” –Desert Song: Hillsong United


Moment of honesty: I don’t feel God all the time. 

*Gasp*

You may be wondering, as someone who’s writing devotionals to encourage others in their faith, shouldn’t I always feel Him?  While I would love to get to the point where my faith is so strong that I feel the Lord all the time, that’s not where I am right now, and you know what?  That’s okay. 

Now let me clarify: I’m not encouraging you to settle in your relationship with the Lord. You should always seek to grow and continue the process of sanctification.  But you’re not a “bad Christian” and you’re not going to go to hell if you don’t always feel the Lord. 

There are many instances in the Bible where God’s people could not feel His presence- even some of the greatest church leaders! Isaiah struggled with this, as he cried out, “You have hidden your face from us!” (Isaiah 64:1-7).  Right before Gideon destroyed the Midianite army, he asked, “If the Lord is really with us…where are all His wonderful deeds like the ones our fathers recounted us?” (Judges 6:13).  After David was anointed as the future king of Israel, he had to wait several years until anything happened. Think of Joseph when he was in slavery!  How many times do you think he cried out to the Lord, asking Him why he had to go through these trials, without reply?  All throughout the Bible are stories of believers who have had to walk by faith, not by sight, as they go through “desert” times in their lives.  The important thing is that they continued to trust the Lord, even though it wasn’t easy, despite their feelings or lack thereof. 

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I think our culture and even the Church has accepted the misconception that if you can’t feel the Lord all the time, you’re not a good Christian.  We’ve put too much of an emphasis on the emotional aspect of our relationship with God.  While feeling the presence of the Lord is definitely part of our faith, it is only a fraction of it.  As with any good relationship, it is based on more than just the emotion and feelings.  It relies upon commitment, trust, communication, spending time together, and many other components.  

A perfect example of a relationship that requires more than just emotions to sustain it, is marriage.  If you get married, you’re not always going to feel “in love” with your husband- there will be times where you can barely stand him!  But it’s the deeper part of love, the commitment, that keeps people together despite their changing emotions.  Love is more than a feeling; it’s a verb.  It’s an action that is still carried through even though the feelings aren’t always there.  I’m sure your parents don’t always “feel” like loving you, but they still show their love by taking care of you and meeting your needs.  Loving despite our emotions allows relationships to thrive in both the good and the bad.  

In the same way, we don’t always “feel” the love of God or feel like loving Him, but we’re still called to be faithful despite our feelings.  Even when we go through those “desert” times and can’t hear His voice, we can still show our love through our actions.  Do your devotions, pray fervently, commune with other believers, go to church, and pour into His word.  Continue to devote yourself to Him, even though you don’t feel or hear Him.  He’s using this time to refine, grow, and teach you.  Trust in God’s promises, that He’s always there and prepares the way before you, over your feelings.


Raelene-Intern.jpg

Raelene Harris is a spicy as they come- in her faith, her hobbies, and her style!  A lover of the arts and aesthetics, she seeks to use her passions such as photography and music to glorify God and build relationships.  As a 2017 intern, she is thrilled with the opportunities to expand His kingdom. 

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What Are YOU Thinking About?

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What Are YOU Thinking About?

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things” –Philippians 4:8

“For the mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” –Romans 8:6


“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.  Watch your words, for they become actions.  Watch your actions, for they become habits.  Watch your habits, for they become your character.  Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”  I’m sure many of you have heard this saying or stumbled across it on Pinterest at least once.  And even though it’s become more of a cliché quote that’s splattered all over Tumblr, it still holds an important truth: THOUGHTS HAVE POWER. 

Just as the quote says, everything is an out flow of our thoughts: our attitudes, our words, our actions, etc.  So, if you have good, uplifting and encouraging thoughts, your actions and life are bound to follow that line of thinking.  And conversely, if your thoughts are negative or unwholesome, your actions are likely to be so, too.  So the question to ask yourself is: what are you thinking about?  

I’ll be honest, I tend to be more of a pessimist.  I struggled a lot with thinking negatively and always “expecting the worst,” and this was reflected in my attitude and actions.  If your thoughts are negative, judgmental, cynical, prideful, angry, etc., you will become those things.  So first of all, it’s important to recognize what thoughts you’re thinking and decide whether or not they are beneficial or harmful.  

Then, it’s up to you to change your thought process.  Now you may question: “How can I change what I’m thinking?  It sort of just happens and I can’t help myself.”  While it may seem like we have no control over our thoughts sometimes, the truth is that we do have the ability to regulate and train our thinking.  I’m not saying that it is easy, because it’s not.  It takes a lot of work, determination, and going to the Lord in prayer to change the way that you think.  But it is possible.  

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Now there’s no clear cut way with a bunch of steps that you have to follow in order to transform your thinking.  Everybody is different, and different things work for different people.  But listed below are some of the things that I found helpful in training my thoughts.


WAYS TO TRAIN YOUR THOUGHTS:

  • Going to the Lord in Prayer 
    This is definitely the most important aspect when you’re trying to focus your mind on what is “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable."  In our own strength, we can’t control our thoughts, because we’re human and have a sinful nature.  But if we go to the Lord and earnestly ask Him for help in transforming our minds, He will hear our requests and help us through the process- supplying us with His aid, strength, and revelation.

 

  • Praying Continually
    On top of asking for the Lords help and guidance, we should be talking with Him throughout the day. This is a great way to help change your thoughts.  If you’re spending time with Him, you don’t have time to be thinking negatively.  And, the more time we spend with Him, the more we reflect His characteristics. 

 

  • Memorizing Scripture
    This is similar to the previous one, where if you’re spending time focusing on God and His Word, you don’t have time for unholy thoughts.  So if you are meditating on Scripture or memorizing a verse (I’ve started memorizing one every 1-2 weeks), your thoughts are solely on the Lord and on what is good- not what is bad.  

 

  • Get Rid of Influencers
    We all have certain triggers that begin our descent into bad thoughts- this could be music, movies, books, and even friends.  I would encourage you to get rid of these bad influences in your life.  The more you are around them, the worse your thoughts will become.  Now, I’m not saying to completely get rid of negative friends, though in some cases you may have to. Just be aware that they’re influencing you and try to direct the conversation or monitor your time with them.  

 

  • Have a Go-To Verse/Song
    Whenever I start going down that path or my thoughts go where they shouldn’t, I immediately go to my “go-to” song: Lift Me Up by the Afters.  Part of the chorus says, “You lift me up when I am weak. You’re arms wrap around me.  Your love catches me so I’m letting go.”  I chose this because in those moments, I’m weak and I need the Lord to help me through the situation! I’ve turned to this song so much, that it has just become instinctual whenever something happens.  So choose a verse or song that you can turn to whenever you start going down that path.   

 

I pray that you girls will be able to focus your eyes, thoughts, and lives on Him!


Raelene-Intern.jpg

Raelene Harris is a spicy as they come- in her faith, her hobbies, and her style!  A lover of the arts and aesthetics, she seeks to use her passions such as photography and music to glorify God and build relationships.  As a 2017 intern, she is thrilled with the opportunities to expand His kingdom. 

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Unashamed

 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.” -Romans 1:16

It’s back to school time, and you know what that means: early mornings, stressful nights, and that familiar feeling of being surrounded by hundreds of students as we maneuver up, down, and around the hallways to find our new classes before the bell rings. This year would be different. 

My church group and I took a trip to my high school to pray for the upcoming school year. As we prayed, I began to consider what I could do differently to make the most out of my senior year. Seeing all of my friends collectively coming together to pray for the teachers, students, and families moved me, and set my heart ablaze. I felt an immense tugging in my spirit; it told me that this year would be the year I make Jesus known. My spirit told me that, although I am young, I have been given an important mission. That mission: to proclaim the gospel, to share my story—and above all—to love others. 

Oftentimes, young Christians like us struggle with proclaiming their faith while they are at school. We pray openly and freely when we are among our friends in youth group, but as soon as we step foot on campus, our faith is silenced. Today, I want to remind you that you have a special and specific mission: your mission is to love God and to share God and his Word. I want to encourage you to be bold-in-faith this school year! Here are some useful and practical tips that will, hopefully, help you live out your calling.

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#1- Know what you believe

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” -1 Peter 3:15 NIV

It is crucial that we know what we believe. We may not have all the answers—nobody does—but that is okay. To know Jesus, however, requires us to dive headfirst into the Word. When we begin to learn the Gospel, we begin to learn and know Jesus. I personally love the Gospel of Matthew because we are able to catch a remarkable glimpse into Jesus’ life while he performed his miracles. The Gospel of Matthew is also teeming with verses I apply to my own life, and you can apply to yours! Cultivate your testimony so God can use your testimony in others’ lives. To do this means discovering how and to what degree Jesus has impacted and ultimately changed your life. Know why you believe what you believe in, so you can go into this school year more confidently and better prepared if someone asks you why you follow Jesus.

 

#2- Live out the Bible

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice.” -Philippians 4:9 NIV

You are called on to love one another, encourage one another, and pray for one another. All of these demands require action. Each action that you take with a teacher or a student will be the culmination of what your Bible studies have taught you. When we’re at school, it can feel daunting to talk openly about our faith for fear of rejection or ridicule. In those moments, I encourage you to “speak” with actions. If a peer looks like they are having a rough day, go to them and lift their spirits; offer to pray for them. If a teacher seems stressed, offer them a helping hand, too. There are so many different ways we can “live out" the Bible! When we put what we’ve learned into actions and apply it to our lives, we are being obedient to God because we are being loving towards our peers and teachers. 

 

#3- Unashamed

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave or forsake you.” -Deuteronomy 31:6

Be unashamed. Be strong and courageous. Each day, God will present you with challenges, which give us more opportunity to grow. When we proclaim His name, we grow. Take care to make proper use of these opportunities and don’t let them slip away! There are many students and teachers who are silently battling their own demons, and God purposely placed them in our paths to inspire a change in their lives. God has given you the authority to be the light. So, shine that light and never fear, because God is always with you. 

Commit yourself to making a change this school year. You have been blessed with the ability, the talent, and the personality to leave a lasting impression in the lives of those you touch. Leave the legacy of Jesus within your school walls. I pray this encourages you to be unashamed of the Gospel. I hope this inspires new ways for you to think about how you can be the light that shines at your school!


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Bianca Herrera (aka B), is part of The Crew - the 2017 GLAM Camp for Girls internship. Her passion is helping girls realize that they are beautiful and that beauty comes from Christ. She loves dancing, eating weird foods, and all things gold. You can probably catch her hanging out with some type of animal. Always remember to stay classy!

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DIY Earring Holder

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DIY Earring Holder

Getting ready for the school year, I did a thorough cleaning and organizing of my closet and room. Here is one of my favorite DIYs that I used to organize my jewelry. This is a project that’s both cute and practical - and it's easy to create!

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Supplies Needed

  • Picture frame

  • Piece of material two inches wider and longer than the size of the picture frame (if picture frame is 8x11, material should be 10x13)
  • Stapler

Directions

  1. Cut the material so that it is almost an inch longer than the frame on either side
  2. Remove the backing from the frame
  3. Staple the edges of the material into the frame- make sure that the material is taught/tight
  4. Cut off extra material that hangs over the edges
  5. Put you earrings in the material & enjoy!

Raelene-Intern.jpg

Raelene Harris is a spicy as they come- in her faith, her hobbies, and her style!  A lover of the arts and aesthetics, she seeks to use her passions such as photography and music to glorify God and build relationships.  As a 2017 intern, she is thrilled with the opportunities to expand His kingdom. 

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Trusting Beyond Comfort Zones

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." -Acts 1:8


These past couple of years, the Lord has been teaching me a lot about comfort zones- more specifically, stepping outside of them.  It can be hard when the Lord asks us to do something that we’ve never done before, something that’s unfamiliar or difficult.  We tend to be anxious, fearful and resistant to the change at hand; torn between our desire to obey God and our desire to stay safely within our comfort zones.  This is the position that I found myself in this summer.  I was torn between wanting to return to Haiti on a missions trip and God leading me to go to the Dominican Republic.

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The thing is, Haiti had become my comfort zone.  I’d gone there for the past two years: I knew the people, I was good at what we were going there to do (teaching English and running a VBS), and I knew exactly what to expect.  Haiti was safe for me.  Haiti was comfortable.  And as typical… whenever I get comfortable and I’m not growing as much, the Lord asks me to follow Him beyond my comfort zone.  And the Dominican Republic was out of my comfort zone.  

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I had originally planned on going in June with one of my college groups.  I was a little bummed that I was going to the DR instead of Haiti, but I tried to make the best of it.  I was in charge of organizing the VBS, I knew the people who were going, and I was looking forward to seeing one of the students that we sponsored.  But then once again, the Lord changed my plans.  My grandfather passed away the day before I was supposed to leave, and I was unable to go.  (My grandfather was a very strong believer, so we have a peace because we know he’s with his Savior!) 

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Thankfully, we were able to get all of the funds and the airline tickets transferred over to another trip, but this trip was even further outside of my comfort zone.  It was a medical mission trip made up of all nursing students/practicing nurses… and I’m in the business field.  So there I was, getting ready to go on a trip with a bunch of medical students I didn’t know (who were all 5+ years older than me), to a place that I’d never been, to serve people in a field that I had no knowledge about… and did I mention that almost everyone else knew each other?  To say the least, this was out of my comfort zone.  

But the Lord is faithful and the Lord is good.  And the thing is, when we trust Him beyond our own ability and control, we’re able to experience His provision. In this case, I was able to trust Him despite my apprehensions, and experience His faithfulness.  The trip ended up being phenomenal. I was able to connect with the team, find a niche in the medical clinic, and above all- be God’s hands and feet.  It was utterly amazing seeing Him work through the week.  We were able to see around 1,200 patients in four days, treating illnesses, giving medications, and testing vision.  I had the opportunity to meet some amazing people while I was there.  One of the nights, a bunch of the Dominicans and some of the members from my team just sat around sharing our testimonies and what God is doing in our lives.  It was humbling to be a part of such an amazing community and mission.  

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But the only reason I got to be a part of something so amazing was because I trusted God beyond my comfort zone.  I pray that you girls will allow the Lord to work in your lives, and that you will follow Him beyond what is comfortable and familiar.  I know that it’s hard and it can be nerve-wracking, but the Lord will bless you and take you farther than you could ever imagine. 


Raelene-Intern.jpg

Raelene Harris is a spicy as they come- in her faith, her hobbies, and her style!  A lover of the arts and aesthetics, she seeks to use her passions such as photography and music to glorify God and build relationships.  As a 2017 intern, she is thrilled with the opportunities to expand His kingdom.

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Say Goodbye to "Flashback!" | Makeup Tips for Better Selfies

 Have you ever taken a selfie with the flash on and noticed the residue of a white mask on your face left from your makeup? That effect is called a “flashback,” and once I learned what exactly that meant, I knew I needed to find makeup that wouldn’t have the same irritating effect once applied to my skin. So I set out on a hunt for three particular foundations (all of which didn’t give me the flashback I so deperately wanted to avoid), and wanted to share them with you! 


These foundations are perfect for any instances which might feature flash photography; like senior portraits, professional event photos, and even some of your every-day selfies. To begin, I apply a primer prior to my foundation. Next, I apply my foundation with a damp makeup sponge (any brand will do), and then I pair my makeup with a powder that most closely resembles my skin tone. 
 

Some tips to consider when looking for anti-flashback makeup products:

  1. Look for foundations that match your color or are a shade darker to lessen the chances you’ll get the white mask residue.
  2. As much as I love a good “highlighted” look, you can avoid flashback by using a lighter (1-2 shades) concealer to highlight your face.
  3. Avoid products with sunscreen! They will definitely give you flashback.
  4. Avoid products that contain the ingredient “Silica,” as this will surely give you flashback as well.
  5. Avoid using “translucent” or white-setting powders. It never works out when flash photography is involved.

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First on our list (and my personal favorite) is Maybelline New York’s “Fit Me!” Matte + Poreless foundation. Its matte foundation formula features micro-powders to control shine and blur pores. It’s a pore minimizing foundation that is dermatologist-approved and allergy-tested, and most importantly, it’s also non-comedogenic (meaning it doesn’t give you pimples)!

This foundation is perfect for oilier skin because it maintains its matte status all day! It is custom made to fit normal to oily skin, and comes in 40 shades (mine is the 128 Warm Nude Beige). I recently tested this product when I took my senior portraits just last week. Before applying this foundation, I applied a primer by Elf and my pores were invisible. The foundation was lightweight and didn’t cake on at all after I applied a couple of layers to get my desired coverage. Most importantly, no flashback included!

Now, let’s talk prices. Since we are young, we cannot afford to spend all of our money on just one foundation. I paid $7.99 for my foundation at my local CVS, but depending on where you buy your makeup, the price may increase or decrease. 

Note: Maybelline also has a convenient shade finder on their website! I thought this was a super cool idea, so I took the test and luckily discovered that I had purchased my “correct” shade color. The test asks you questions about the condition of your skin in the morning and after a day of wearing foundation. You can find the foundation match finder HERE.  

Overall, my rating is a solid 5/5 stars for Maybelline’s “Fit Me!” foundation! Considering its affordability, how closely it matches my skin tone, and that it’s anti-flashback makes this pick a no-brainer! 


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Next on the list is L’Oréal’s “Infallible” Pro-Matte 24-hour foundation. This foundation has a semi-matte finish, is long-wearing, and has an air-light texture. It is also oil-free and retails for $12.99. There are currently 12 available shades to choose from. 

Now, as much as I love this foundation, it is not my favorite because it does have an orange undertone to it. My skin has a “cool” undertone, so if you have fairer and cooler skin this won’t perfectly match your skin tone. However, I would still recommend this foundation because it is lightweight and gets the job done without leaving me any pesky flashback. I, again, applied a couple of layers of this foundation to get my desired coverage. 

The shade I purchased was the “105 Natural Beige” at my local Walmart. I did not need to apply any powder throughout the day of testing this product because thankfully, as advertised, the oil was effectively controlled as I went about my day. Unfortunately, I was unable to wear the product for the full 24 hours, but it did manage to stay intact all day and into the night.

In the end, I give L’Oréal’s “Infallible” foundation 3.5/5 stars based on the higher cost and having less of a selection of foundation colors to choose from in the series. However, it does have a beautiful finish to it.


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Although my last foundation pick is costlier and considered “higher end,” I wanted to leave you one final option to consider. Clinique’s “Acne Solution” foundation is a non-irritating, oil-free makeup that blends blemishes and diminishes redness. It features an ingredient called “salicylic acid” that is used to treat acne and helps prevent pimples and blackheads from coming back.  

This product is allergy-tested, and you can apply multiple layers to get your desired coverage while still maintaining a “natural” finish with cool undertones. This product comes in 16 shades, and my shade is the “03 Fresh Natural.” Anytime I notice that pimples are about to form I love using this product, but its higher price makes it harder to obtain. It’s currently selling for $28, but Neutrogena might have a similar foundation for a cheaper price.

Overall, I give this product 4/5 stars because it helps combat my acne and matches my skin tone perfectly; its only drawback is the higher price.


I am someone who loves makeup, but it is important to keep in mind that makeup is not meant to make us beautiful; it is meant to enhance our already God-given beauty. Matthew 7:25 says that the house did not collapse “because its foundation was on the rock.” Let Jesus, our rock, be our true foundation so we will neither collapse, nor be shaken. God doesn’t measure our beauty by how much makeup we wear, but by those “who hear words of [His] and act on them.” Whomever does so will “be like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24). I encourage us all to build our self-image in Jesus’ name by knowing that with or without makeup, we are still loved. 

You are lovely. You are a masterpiece, and you are wonderfully made.


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Bianca Herrera (aka B), is part of The Crew - the 2017 GLAM Camp for Girls internship. Her passion is helping girls realize that they are beautiful and that beauty comes from Christ. She loves dancing, eating weird foods, and all things gold. You can probably catch her hanging out with some type of animal. Always remember to stay classy! 

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Saved Through Love, Not Law

What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.
-Galatians 2:19-21, The MSG


Growing up, at least in every place outside of my house, I was called “goody-goody,” “angel child," “goody two shoes,” “the good child,” “the polite one,” etc. Whether I liked it or not, I was identified by my actions.

In the Old Testament, only priests were able to enter God’s presence, and we were separated from God by a veil. Before Jesus’ death we were bound by laws and regulations because we didn’t have access to God like we do now. That veil represented all of the rules we had to abide by, including the sacrifices we had to offer as a consequence. But the moment that Jesus died, that veil literally tore and we no longer had to live by rules, but by conviction and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Jesus became the price that paid for our personal relationship with Our Father, and now we don’t have to worry about doing the right thing, we just need to draw near to Him, and the conviction and desire to do what’s right will follow. We have been saved through love and not law! Just doing what’s right and living through actions won’t bring you happiness, the same way that your mistakes won’t define your future.

When Jesus was resurrected, the first thing He did was fellowship with His disciples; He walked with them, ate with them, and it wasn’t until then that they realized it was their resurrected Savior. They recognized Him through His desire to just be with us, not keeping score of what we do right and wrong.

Our God loves us so much that He would look past what we’ve done and accept us just based on the openness of our hearts. I am so thankful that we don’t live for a “Santa Claus God” that judges us based on our actions!

You can do good and not be convicted, but you can’t be convicted and not do good. So focus on your relationship with the Lord and everything else will fall into place.


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Naia is a fifth-generation follower of Jesus. Music and performing arts - singing, especially - is her passion, and she lives for late-night talks about the Holy Spirit. She recently moved to SoCal and is excited for the new doors God is opening for her and her family. Naia is one of our 2017 interns at GLAM Camp for Girls.

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4 Game-Changing Ways to Have a Powerful Prayer Life

Prayer is our connection, our way to communicate with the Lord.  We can bring our requests, our joy, our grief and everything else to Him.  Yet despite this amazing opportunity to commune with God, it seems like our prayer life is often lacking.  We get distracted while praying or get stuck in saying the same routine prayer over and over again.  Whatever it is, our prayers often lack the zeal and focus that our conversations with the Lord deserve and require to grow in Him.  So listed below are four game-changers that will transform your prayer life. 

Pray For Your Prayers

It sounds kind of ironic, doesn’t it - praying for your prayer life to become stronger?  But remember, we’re to bring our requests and desires to Him- if we bring our desire for a better prayer life to Him, He will continue to aid us in our efforts.  So before you begin your prayer time, ask that the Lord would prepare you so that you can be concentrated while praying.  Pray that He would prepare your heart to receive His word and love.  

 

Praising and Thanking Him

I realized a couple years ago that my prayers were selfish; they were all about me.  I kept asking for Him to help me through this, to help me feel better, to help m, etc.  Asking the Lord for help is not a bad thing, He wants us to come to Him and rely upon His strength.  But, it becomes dangerous when we view prayer time through a “what can you do for me?” lens.  So, in addition to bringing my requests to God, I focus on bringing my praises and thanks to Him, too.  I praise Him for all that He all he has done, who He is, and thank Him for all the blessings He’s given me.  It’s important that we remember who we’re praying to, and that we are mindful of who He is, and of who we are not.  

 

Keeping a Prayer Journal

Keeping a prayer journal is one thing that completely transformed my prayer life.  It not only kept me focused on the prayer at hand, but it also served as a reminder of how faithful He is.  I could go back and look at all the prayers He’s answered and see how He has continued to work in my life.  It’s also a huge encourager to me because I can see how much I’ve grown and matured in my faith and as a person.

 

Using Scripture

Incorporating scripture into our prayers is powerful.  When we pray with scripture, we are praying the very words of God- referencing His promises, His love, His commitment.  I find that even just speaking a verse out loud gives me joy and power. 


Raelene Harris is a spicy as they come- in her faith, her hobbies, and her style!  A lover of the arts and aesthetics, she seeks to use her passions such as photography and music to glorify God and build relationships.  As a 2017 intern, she is thrilled with the opportunities to expand His kingdom. 

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Sweet Summer Sugar Cookies

Who doesn't love a good sugar cookie?! They're such a classic! This recipe is sure to make your summer a little sweeter! This easy-to-follow recipe will have you munchin' on some cookies in no time. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.

Beat in egg and vanilla.

Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.

Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto un-greased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden.

Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks. Enjoy!


Naia is a fifth-generation follower of Jesus. Music and performing arts - singing, especially - is her passion, and she lives for late-night talks about the Holy Spirit. She recently moved to SoCal and is excited for the new doors God is opening for her and her family. Naia is one of our 2017 interns at GLAM Camp for Girls.

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I Promise

In an ever-moving, uncertain world, it almost seems impossible to know anything definitively.  It feels like things are always changing, like life is a roller-coaster with a bunch of unexpected twists, turns and drops.  This can be absolutely exhausting! But the thing is, even when the world changes, our God doesn’t.  He is our Firm Foundation.  He is our Constant.  He is our Forever.  And on top of that, He has made several promises to us; about His character, His aid and His love.  So even though you might not be able to know everything that will happen, you can know His promises are true and that they will be present in your life.  Listed below are some of the promises that the Lord has made to us.

  • He Will Fight for Us: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” -Exodus 14:14

 

  • He Give Us Strength: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” –Isaiah 40:29


“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” -Isaiah 40:31

 

  • We Do Not Have to Be Afraid: “Have I not commanded you? ‘Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  -Joshua 1:9

 

  • He Will Help Us:  For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’” -Isaiah 41:13

 

  • He Is with Us:  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”  -Isaiah 43:2


For where two or three are gathered in My name, there I am with them.”  -Matthew 18:20


The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave your nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  -Deuteronomy 31:8

 

  • He Will Always Love Us: “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” -Isaiah 54:10


“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  -Romans 8:38-39

 

  • He Will Give Us Wisdom: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”  -James 1:5

 

  • He Will Forgive Us: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sin and purify us from all unrighteousness.” -1 John 1:9


“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  -2 Chronicles 7:14

 

  • He Is Working for Our Good: “For I know the plans I have for you’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future’”.  -Jeremiah 29:11

 

  • We Are Free in Him: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  -John 8:36

Raelene Harris is a spicy as they come- in her faith, her hobbies, and her style!  A lover of the arts and aesthetics, she seeks to use her passions such as photography and music to glorify God and build relationships.  As a 2017 intern, she is thrilled with the opportunities to expand His kingdom. 

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The Pride of Independence

“The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled)” -Isaiah 2:12


I’ve always been a very independent person. Even when I was younger, I always told my parents I could do it “I by self.”  I love figuring out how to do things on my own, trying to find a solution or making things work.  I pride myself on my ability to blaze my own trail and enjoy the fact that I “don’t need help.”  For the longest time, I’ve considered my independence to be a great asset, and it is to some extent; but have realized that it is also one of my greatest weaknesses.  
 

Don’t get me wrong, being independent is a great thing! The Lord even asks us to do it when He says “separate yourselves from them” (2 Corinthians 6:17) when He’s referring to setting ourselves apart from sinners.  At the same time, independence can lead to one of the seven deadly sins: PRIDE.  When we’re independent, we are doing things by ourselves, typically in our own strength.  Since we’re doing it “on our own,” we tend to take the credit when we experience success- whether we will admit it or not. 

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In my case, my successes were experienced in school.  The Lord gifted me with intelligence and I have always worked my hardest to make the best of that gift.  However, I began to attribute my success to all my hard work- the long hours, the studying, giving 150%, etc., instead of giving God the glory.  Outwardly, I would give Him the praise and credit, but a little part inside of me always believed that I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for what I had done.  


The more independent I became - not wanting to let others help me, trying to do everything perfectly, and relying on my own strength - the prouder I became.  I would look back and see all that I had done.  I didn’t see what He had done for me, nor did I see the gifts and opportunities He presented me with.  All I could see was what I had accomplished “I by self.” 


This pride is what kept me from seeing what He was fully capable of doing in my life.  The thing is, it takes realizing how little we can do, in order to realize how much He can do.  I hadn’t realized how little I could actually do.  That was until I read Job 12.  In this chapter, Job is outlining just how much power the Lord has, that He can crumble empires with one word.  Can I do that?  Well…no.  When the full magnitude of God’s ability and magnificence hit me, I felt ashamed.  Here I was, holding onto my little achievements, all proud of what “I” had accomplished, trying to compare that to what God had done.  Needless to say, I felt like I was comparing my scribbles to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.  I was completely and utterly humbled.  


But once I was humbled, I was finally able to experience the fullness of God’s blessing and provision.  I realized how little I could do, and that’s when He began showing me how much He could do.  I had always tried to do everything on my own, but the thing is, I didn’t have to!  God wants to help us and wants us to be successful- not in ourselves but in Him.  When we realize that He is the one who has gifted and blessed us so richly, we’re able to assume the correct attitude: humility.  
 

Humility is what will keep our independence in check.  Humility is what will prevent us from gaining a false and haughty pride.  Humility is what will allow us to experience God’s provision to the fullest.  


Raelene Harris is a spicy as they come- in her faith, her hobbies, and her style!  A lover of the arts and aesthetics, she seeks to use her passions such as photography and music to glorify God and build relationships.  As a 2017 intern, she is thrilled with the opportunities to expand His kingdom. 

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