Monday, July 29, 2013

Love of God // in Hawaiian Dress

Howdy! It's a great day to be alive, isn't it? Our family had a fabulous day yesterday worshiping the Lord and fellowshiping with His saints. It was sad as we had a going-away party for some great friends, but a wonderful time none-the-less.

Our sermon text yesterday was Romans 5:5-9, still focusing on rejoicing in tribulations. I am astounded at how much encouragement can come from just a few short verses week after week. I wanted to nod and amen the whole sermon! We focused on verse 5 first, still in the portion of Romans where we are hearing the benefits of our justification:
"Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
When we are going through tribulations, oftentimes they are awkward, difficult to talk about, or paint us in a bad light, even if it's not a trial from something we have done.  Hope does not disappoint, disgrace, or cause us shame because we know the Lord is working in our lives. We should not shirk from these things, but recognize how the Holy Spirit is ministering to us in our trials. Our pastor broke it down into 4 points: 
1) The Holy Spirit is doing a work of God in our hearts. Most of our troubles come from external circumstances, do they not? Or, at least we feel that way, so we try to change what's going on around us to alleviate the pressure that has come. We manipulate our schedules, cut out activities, stop visiting stressful news sites, etc, thinking that the problem is the outside stuff. This may be partly true, but if the internal steel of the pillar is not strong, shoring the outside with more or taking away concrete is not going to make the pillar withstand the pressure of the roof better. Changing your circumstances is just cosmetic work. God will give us the inner strength that we might endure. 
2) The Holy Spirit pours out God's love in our hearts. We need to have an unshakable confidence that God still loves us when these hard times come. Romans 8:35-39 encourages us here. Verses 38-39: 
"...For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
 God loves us in our trials without interruption.

3) The Holy Spirit ministers to us individually. Particularly me. personally. We have been given the Holy Spirit to live in us. Are we completely yielded to the Spirit, allowing Him to work in us? We need to be filled with the Word of God. Verse 6-8 of Romans 5 is trying to pound into our heads how totally powerless we are before Christ: "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
We need to KNOW this. The amazing thing is that this word "demonstrates" is in the present tense. Right now, in the midst of our trials, He is showing His own love toward us!
4) The Holy Spirit ministers the truth of our salvation to us. Isn't it amazing how every time the Gospel is preached it gets a little bit sweeter to us? In spite of our ungodly character, the Gospel is more potent encounter after encounter. Verse 6 is so powerful-- Christ died for- instead of- the ungodly-- that's me! ME!

When we just want the answers, we question God's love, y'know? We cry, "Lord, why don't you just remove these trials from us?" When we don't get the answer we want, we shouldn't question the Lord's love because Christ died for us while we were still dead! That is our foundation.  Our hope. This love He has for us, He works through us also so that we can love as He loved-- unconditionally, even our enemies and those who have sinned against us. Because that's how He loves us.

When we are crumbling beneath the pressure, we need to go back to the truths of God's love. It will sustain us from the inside, strengthen our inner steel. Let's not be forgetful hearers, okay? Let's surrender to the spirit of God so that He may minister to us.

I'm on the fence about this dress. I love it because it's comfortable and fits perfectly, but the print is just not my normal level of "classy". If it was in a black or solid blue cotton it would be the greatest thing since sliced bread. But it's not and the Hawaiian flowers are growing on me. :D It does wrinkle though, as evidenced in these pictures. The best part of this outfit? The most expensive item I'm wearing is my earrings...

Dress: Charity Shop: $1 (No alterations from me and it fits like a dream. :))
Halftee: c/o
Shoes: Charity Shop: $2
Earrings: Forever21: $3
Headscarf: Belt from a pair of jeans my sister got when she was 8. :P

Hope y'all have a lovely day! What was your sermon about?

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  1. I love that you put a tee under this. I get encourage my daughter to put a tee under all things that don't go over the shoulder. I get a lot of flack from people who don't understand the concept of modesty (most of the world). She is only 11 years old, and has already had kids at school as her why she always has a t-shirt under a tank top or a shrug type sweater on. I hope she carries these lessons through as she gets older and experiences more of that flack from the secular world.

  2. "Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

    Just what I needed to hear today. Well, and every day. But especially today.

  3. You look awesome in that dress!! What kind of church do you go to? Y'all seem to always have great sermons!!

    1. Haha! I am *very* blessed with an excellent pastor. Our church is part of the Covenant Presbyterian Church denomination. :)

  4. Hello Olivia!

    I'm Hannah and I have been following you for about a year or two now! I've often noticed that you are wearing head-coverings/headscarvs. I was just wondering, are you starting to wear them because of biblical covictions? Or are you just wearing them for style? I would love to hear your views on this matter!


    ~Hannah. (almost 18 :P)

    (Hope your not offended.)

    1. Hey Hannah! Yes, I wear a headcovering every Lord's Day for the worship service (If I don't have one on I took it off for the pictures and/or because the pictures are after lunch :)) based on 1 Corinthians 11 and Paul's exhortation that a woman should cover her head during public worship. is a new site with some great articles on it explaining the verses that many find confusing. :) Hope that answers your question!

    2. Wow Olivia! I had a feeling you were, and I am so encouarged that you are taking a stand for the Lord when many people don't agree! My mom wears a head covering, I however find it confusing if I should because I am not married. But I have been thinking about it lately wondering what I should do. Thank you so much for taking your time to anwser my question.

      Have a wonderful week!


    3. My thoughts on the married/not married thing is that even now when I'm not married, I am still under authority-- my dad's. The creation order shows us that women are always to be under the authority of the man in their lives, so why not show that with a headcovering? I know it really helps me put on a worship-ful attitude and submissive-to-the-Lord spirit as I don it each Lord's Day morning. :)
      Anyway, just my take on it.

    4. 1 Cor. 11:15 says " but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as A COVERING" (NIV, emphasis added) some manuscripts translate verses 5-10 to mean that a woman should have a covering of hair and that it is just as shameful for a woman to cut her hair as it would be if she were shaved bald. This is why I do not cut or trim my hair. However, I have Mennonite cousins who wear coverings and in no way do I mean to insult those who have a different understanding of these verses.

      As for the idea that it is necessary to trim your hair to keep it healthy, I have not found that to be the case. I have knee length hair(that has never been cut) and it stays very silky and manageable as long as I condition, avoid brushing when wet(this causes breakage, use a wide tooth comb instead), and avoid hairdryers(mostly) I know this is not a mainstream view, but I hope that it will encourage someone.

  5. Wow! A long, modest dress for my $1? You are fortunate. :)

  6. Your sermons are SO similar to our sermons these days! We had a sermon about Romans and the Holy Spirit moving in us (+ Spiritual gifts.)
    That dress fits so nicely! Although I admit that the Hawaiian print is a teeny bit questionable (I like it though.)

  7. The shape of the dress is absolutely amazing on you! Have you considered dyeing it a solid color? That might solve your hawaiian flower conundrum....

    1. Thanks! Yes, I have thought of dyeing it and originally bought it with that in mind. I'm not sure how it would do since there are so many different colors and shades. My sister thinks the current blue is pretty with my eyes and I'm always trying to find stuff that brings them out, so I hesitate to change it. Hmmm...

  8. Don't worry that your outfit may not look classy. I think the bright colors are perfect for you. I love that dress!

  9. If you don't feel comfortable in the floral print, you could make a pattern out of the dress and make it any color you like. Just a thought. I really enjoy your blog keep it up.
    Emma Rose

  10. Cute dress! I like the flowers, actually... :D The outfit is great, I just was wondering something...
    I totally understand not letting your shoulders show (I don't wear sleeveless clothing either) but I wonder if in this case a shrug or something over the dress might have looked a bit more "put-together" than the tee. The brown tee underneath just doesn't seem to mesh. But that's just my take on it...keep up the good work!


    1. Thanks! Yeah, totally agree about it not meshing. I couldn't find my black half-tee, which probably would have looked better and I don't have any shrugs, actually, and a loose jacket would have been cumbersome. :-/ Can't be fab all the time, unfortunately. :D Thanks for the suggestion, though! I didn't really think of a jacket. I almost wore it without the shirt underneath, but decided for church I should just be on the safe side. :)

  11. Cute, as always, Olivia!
    A Modest Fashion Blog:

  12. You have a very good sense of style love your outfits they are so cute!!!! God bless you :-)!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ~Shelby Kirkpatrick

  13. I would like to see a shorter version of this dress. It is really cute!

  14. If you like the fit, what about taking a few inches from the hemline and making cap sleeves, or short sleeves? The dress would still be long, and you'd have your shoulders covered in all one piece. I think it's cute!

  15. Hello Olivia,
    I really like your blog and I like that I can get plenty of ideas for my own wardrobe. My mom will be doing a session on modesty at our churches family camp, and I was wondering if I could use some of your pictures on our modesty slideshow to show girls that modesty can be flattering,beautiful, and fashionable. I will give you the credit for the photos, and direct the girl to your blog as the source.

    1. Thank you for asking! That is just fine with me- I hope they can encourage folks! Blessings!

  16. Hi Olivia!
    You have been nominated for an award at my blog! Please accept it!:)


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