Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Girl Behind The Blog-iversary.

5ohwifey

TheGirlBehindTheBlog-iversary Prompt
Time limit: Vlogs should be 2-3 minutes long
Introduce yourself and your blog
How many of these linkups have you participated in (and if this is your first one, GREAT!)
Whats something that's been on your heart lately or that you feel like sharing with us?



Link to the Mocha Club for more info :) 


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currently.


watching:I finished watching multiple seasons of the Vampire diaries while crafting. Since I have been working hard on all my store products. Since finishing that, I've been having several throwback moments and watching Dawson's creek haha! I don't usually watch that much TV, can you tell?

listening:I have been trying to listen to my new cds I got over Christmas, but lately the two songs I have had on repeat are A Thousand Years by Christina Perri and Hide Your Love Away by Anthem Lights. 

reading:The hubby and I have been reading Forgotten God by Francis Chan with our small group which has been such a great book to go through with others. To share thoughts and hear others perspectives on the topic. I've also been busy reading through some photography books to improve my skills there.

eating:Lots of fruits and veggies for us. Part of my #30daybuttkick has been to eat healthier as well. So more of our food budget is on those, when hungry I have been munching on those yummy healthy things instead of snacking on junk food (which I've actually stopped keeping in the house). Avocados as well are one of my favorites.

looking forward to:Summer. Definitely. Spring is teasing us here in the midwest right now with a beautiful sunny day with weather in the 40s. Gorgeous! And you can see all the buds appearing on the trees. Might I add we are all on winter storm watch too over the next few days. Sigh. But hopefully it will be the last snow of the season and then spring will appear. I'm hopeful anyway.

thinking about:Summer still. And volleyball tournaments, softball too. I can't wait to get back outside again. Playing in the sun, having more daylight hours. Still thinking about it. 

loving:The beautiful friendships I have found here in the blog world, new friendships I have found at church and the long lifetime friends who I have been able to talk to lately.  

How are you guys doing? Sorry I haven't been around much!
Once my stores are in full swing again, I hope to be back here more often.
You can find the Print Store on Etsy here.
And Accessories on Storenvy here.

Much Love,
L

{Post inspired by the lovely illy @ much love,illy}

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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Pearls & Tunes Vol 15.






'The clothes we wear are what people see. Only God can look on the heart. 
The outward signs are important. They reveal something of what is inside. 
If charity is there, it will become visible outwardly, but if you have no charitable feelings, 
you can still obey the command. Put it on as simply and consciously as you put on a coat. 
You choose it; you pick it up; you put it on. This is what you want to wear.'
~ Elisabeth Elliott 


Little different today with a quote I'm loving instead of a song.
I don't know about you friends, but I am ready for Spring. The cold howling winds and snow flurries can be so fun. But I am pretty much at the end of being able to find the joy in the cold cold winter days. 
But its almost the end of February, so no fear right? Spring is almost here! 
So I've been heading out in the snow with the hubby for photoshoots in the snow, going for walks and glimpsing beauty in the middle of the hard season like the berries above. 
I'm determined to keep seeing these 
even though I'm desperate for a new season.
Trying to enjoy every season and stop always wanting whatever the next season will bring.
He is good ALL the time.


Much Love,
L


Dress: Maquarie Plaid Button Up Shirtdress (StitchFix), Belt: Thrifted, Hairband: Claires, Bracelet: The Shine Project
Leggings: Kohls, Boots: Famous Footwear, Nails: Essie



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Monday, 18 February 2013

Heart Stirrings.


Hey sweet friends! So I have avoided writing on the topic of Valentines Day since I wasn't really sure what to say. I honestly I have also been avoiding talking about marriage on this space and the way in which the Lord wrote my love story because I have been afraid of upsetting so many single girls who may be struggling with discontentment. I remember being in that situation and really the last thing I want is for someone to interpret my joy as 'rubbing it in' over where God has you in your love story.

Yet, I also don't know if I am doing any single girls service by not talking about how the Lord scripted our story. Because while waiting one of the most precious things was hearing how others waited on the Lord for an answer on who He had for them, struggled through the trials while waiting but saw joy in the end, and hearing about how He had orchestrated a love story. Yes, there may have been a little tinge of jealousy. But at the end of the day, it was so encouraging to hear how someone else had waited on the Lord and watched Him fulfill His promise of having perfect plans. It gave hope knowing He had perfect plans for me also.



All that to say, my heart is in encouraging others in purity, waiting and pointing others to Jesus. Falling in love with Him and learning that He is your first love. At the same time, I don't want to be ungrateful for the beautiful love story He scripted in my life by not sharing it to encourage others. So if I do share I want you all to know my heart in this. To encourage you that our God is in the business of writing individual beautiful romances.
So maybe it is finally time to share our love story with you friends. I'm not planning on doing that this evening, but maybe in the near future I will share how I found myself married to my sweet husband in a story that couldn't have been written by anyone other than our God.

So all that said.

I wanted to share a little about Valentines Day. Not because its a special day, but I think that often these holidays have a way of reminding us how we should be cherishing relationships throughout the rest of the year. I totally agree that we should be loving our spouses and family members on a daily basis.
Yet I find my heart stirred on this 'special' occasions almost as though they serve as beautiful reminders to keep cherishing what we should be cherishing. How an anniversary, valentines day or birthday can remind us to see the blessing that another person is in our lives. How Christmas can point us to worship because of God's gift of His son. Something we should worship Him for daily, but Christmas serves as that wonderful reminder to help us, same for Easter when we focus on the Cross. So its not that these holidays are the only day we do these things, but at least for me they help my heart. Help me focus on what I should be focusing on, worshiping God and counting Blessings in life.

Our Valentines Day wasn't particularly eventful. But it was time where we could get dressed up, go out to dinner, enjoy seeing each other delight in little cards and gifts. And have that reminder that we should cherish each other. Whether its with a spouse or your family, its a great reminder to love one another and something we can do no matter what relationship status we are in.



Every year on Valentines Day I return to the same article written quite a few years ago now. I wanted to share my post from last year here again:


This is perhaps more of an {On My Heart} post, but since it is Valentines Day, I thought it appropriate to share an article I return to every February 14th since reading it a few years ago.
It was written by a wonderful Sister-in-Christ who shared what the Lord taught her while she was praying through her ideal husband.


Having written a similar list myself (when I was 16), I am a huge advocate of this idea. Being able to prayerfully consider what qualities you desire your husband to have (and even from yourself before you get married).
Then pray and ask the Lord to help grow your future husband in these ways.
When a guy then comes into your life and doesn't display these qualities, trust the Lord that this may not be the guy for you.
If he is, the Lord will show you.
I found this super helpful as it showed me any 'red flags' in a guy and helped keep my heart in the right place when meeting someone who I was taken with.


With that in mind, this sweet girl was praying through her list of qualities and felt that the Lord was answering her:


I prayed for a man committed to God.
Jesus smiled, “I and my Father are one.” John 10:30

I prayed for a man that would be a spiritual leader.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No man cometh
to the Father, but by me.”  John 14:6

I prayed for a man of high standards and integrity.
 “He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.”  I Peter 2:22

I prayed for a man of the Word.
 “I am the living Word, and
I came to live with you.”  John 1:14

I prayed for a man that knew how to be a servant.
 “Jesus made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.”  Philippians 2:7

I prayed for a man that was full of spiritual life.
“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”  John 10:10

I prayed for a man of faith and prayer.
Then I watched with amazement as He went out and spend all night in prayer...for me!  Luke 6:12

I prayed for a man that would provide for my needs.
He not only fed the five thousand long ago, He also feeds me today! Mark 6:41, Philippians 4:19

I prayed for a man that would be the head of the home and a leader. Someone to look up to spiritually.
 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:9

I prayed for a man that knew how to love others...even the unpleasant outcasts.
Jesus replied, “In that while you were all yet sinners [the lowest outcast],
I died for you.”  Romans 5:8

I prayed for someone that would help me walk closer to God.
And the more I got to know him, the closer I drew to God.  Psalm 23, Matthew 6:33

 {Adapted from The Perfect Valentine, Set Apart Girl Magazine, Feb 2009, Used with Permission}




What a beautiful reminder sweet friends, that all we desire in a relationship can be found in our first love.
In Christ alone. He alone satisfies.
Not even an earthly relationship compares.
Life is not more satisfying once you have a husband in your life.
He alone satisfies our every need.

Valentines Day is a day we can spend remembering our Love for the Lord
Don't get depressed, remember His promises on this day.
He has beautiful plans for you and longs for relationship with you.
If you want a love story today, start an eternal one with your prince. 
He won't let you down.

You are loved more than you will ever know, sweet friends!

Much Love,
L









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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Pearls & Tunes Vol 14.



Dress: Thrifted from Platos, Cardigan: Old Navy, Necklace: StitchFix, 
Leggings: Kohls, Boots: Old Navy, Nails: Essie, Cami layered underneath: Old Navy


Definitely used this song before, but can't deny these lyrics spoke strongly 
to me today.

'So don't let anybody tell you that you're not loved
And don't let anybody tell you that you're not enough
Yeah there are days when we all feel like we're messed up
But the truth is that we're all diamonds in the rough
So don't be ashamed to wear your crown
You're a king you're a queen inside and out
You glow like the moon, you shine like the stars
This is for you, wherever you are'
~ Britt Nicole, Gold ~



Much Love,

L




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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Valentine Blogging Party: Gift Exchange.

I apologize for being a little late to the party when it comes to linking up 
about this sweet exchange I participated in. 
I love things like this. Like the one I hosted last year with sweet Erin from SweetnessItself.
More on that soon ;)
So fun getting to know someone new and send them a sweet package to brighten their day.
I'm particularly a huge fan of these in the winter time.
Well for this Midwest girl who finds the winter blues tough anyway. 
So let me introduce you to the sweet friend I made through this exchange.


I had so much fun getting to know this sweet girl. In love with Paris, girly things, from the South.
What's not to love ;) Not to mention she had one of the prettiest outdoor vintage weddings I have seen (see here). Oh and she's pretty much the best DIY-er. I know I will be looking up tips from this sweet friend when I attempt a project in the next few weeks. 

You can Find Elyse in these places:

So you're probably wondering what this sweet girl sent me in my package.
She definitely read my personality pretty fast.


She sent me the sweetest card, chocolate bar and a Love Pin from Ten Thousand Villages.
The chocolate bar is not shown as it may have been somehow consumed before I got around to taking the pictures for the post. oops ;)
My heart for Africa is loving this gift from sweet Elyse.
More about the organisation behind the pin, from their website:

'OUR VISION

One day all artisans in the developing countries will earn a fair wage, be treated with dignity and respect and be able to live a life of quality.
OUR MISSION
Ten Thousand Villages' mission is to create opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to our markets through long-term fair trading relationships.
OUR NAME
The inspiration for our name—Ten Thousand Villages—came from a Mahatma Gandhi quote: "…India is not to be found in its few cities but in the 700,000 villages…we have hardly ever paused to inquire if these folks get sufficient to eat and clothe themselves with." To us, each village in the world represents a unique, distinctive people…offering extraordinary products born of their rich cultures and traditions.'



I can't wait to find a place for it on one of my bags or coats. 
Maybe it will be an awesome conversation starter or remind me to pray for Africa and more heart specific burdens, as I see the pin.

Thank you SO much sweet friend for being my valentine!
You are a gem!!

Much Love,
L


Photobucket

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Monday, 11 February 2013

Glossy Magazine Covers & God's Truth.


You know its so funny. I really think we are all our own worst critics when it comes to the way we look. How many of us see a picture of ourselves and immediately see the bad things. My leg looks funny in that picture, my thighs are huge, my clothes aren't sitting straight and well I won't even start on what's wrong with my middle. 
Even a professional photoshoot, I am sure that so many of us ladies would see something wrong in so many of the pictures. Even though they are professionally done, and everyone else probably thinks we look great. 

Picking up magazines and seeing the latest celebrities who are upheld as the leaders of fashion and body image definitely don't help us in this department. I'm sure you've all seen the amount of photoshopping that goes in to those glossy supermodel covershots. I've seen several bloggers comment on this issue, and couldn't agree more. We are being fed an image of beauty that doesn't even exist. Maybe with the help of surgery, fake tans, teeth whitening and intense software to remove the other flaws that can't be taken care of in real life we can get there. But all that will lead to is a fake looking body. 


I'm pretty sure that almost every woman compares themselves to these images. Wishes they were thinner, their hair was prettier, just insert your body issue here.
It's a daily battle to be content with the way God made us. 
But choosing to battle these issues can lead to a healthy outlook of the way God wants us to see ourselves. Not as someone to be compared to the latest version of what is beautiful today. But as a woman with value, created in His image. 




 We are beautiful in His eyes. But I also believe we are called to care for ourselves physically. 


'Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? 
You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. 
So glorify God in your body.'
~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ~

Lately, for me this has been pursuing regular exercise and eating healthy. I recognize that I will never be more loved by God for doing this, He loves me just as I am. But caring for my body is a way of obeying His word to glorify Him with my body. Caring for it as I only have one for my whole life on earth. Filling it with junk food daily just wouldn't be a good idea and wouldn't give me the energy I need to do God's work.
That's not to say that I can't eat junk food occasionally. But I should probably work on doing that in moderation. Choosing food to give me useful energy instead.

But before we get caught up in discussion over the specifics of how that looks in your life. This battle does start in the mind. 
'We must try to build our self image around what God thinks of us' ~ Rebecca St. James
How do we do that? By spending time with Him, reading His word and filling ourselves with truth about how He sees us. Not by allowing the world to feed us lies about how we should be prettier and 30 steps on how to get there.

Anytime I am upset by something, my sweet hubby always asks me if I am telling myself truth? He always wants to know if I am believing a lie or believing the truth. Because it is so easy to hear lies. I wrote a post about that a while ago here.
So I want to encourage you friends, to rest in the knowledge that you are beautiful the way you have been created. You are precious in our heavenly fathers eyes! He loves you just the way you are! So do care for yourself through eating healthy and exercise to honor Him, but know that you are already loved and beautiful to Him! 
Don't believe the lies.
You.Are.Loved. 
You.Are.Beautiful.





Back in college I wrote on my bedroom mirror to remind myself of these truths everytime I looked in the mirror. If you need the reminder, why don't you try the same thing. (eyeliner works great for this). Or your bathroom mirror, wherever you look daily. 
Then when you see the words about how precious you are, how much you are cherished by God, choose to believe those truths.
And Shine brightly for Him! One day at a time. 




Much Love!
L



Some more verses about body image:


'You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? 
No one will get by with vandalizing God’s temple, you can be sure of that. God’s temple is sacred—and you, remember, are the temple.'
~ 1 Corinthians 3:16 ~
(The Message)


'Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.'
~ Psalm 139:13-16 ~
(The Message)


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)


“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, 
promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”
~ 1 Timothy 4:8 ~
(NLT)


“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; 
male and female created he them.” 
~ Genesis 1:27 ~
(KJV)


“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 hope and a future.” 
~ Jeremiah 29:11 ~
(NIV)


“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, 
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” 
~ John 3:16 ~
(NIV)


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Friday, 8 February 2013

Glorious Angel Moments.

(Find me on Instagram @ GloriousWithin)


Last week, I decided to start a hashtag community on Instagram called #GloriousAngelMoments.
Sharing those little moments throughout your week where you see the Lord at work, see His grace in something. As a way to share the little things He does in our lives, to build community with you ladies.
I have loved seeing your pictures this week. Seeing how each of you sees Him in the everyday.
Its precious and beautiful! 

Some precious friends shared these moments:


I am so thankful we are able to encourage one another as we seek to see the Lord at work in our daily lives. 
Its such a privilege to do this alongside you guys.
I'm so thankful!

Life is slowing down to a more normal routine for me finally.
So hopefully that means I can get in gear for sharing my super long list of blog post ideas that have been gathering dust during our move, sorry about that!
Maybe a tour of our little home soon too.

Here's some weekly highlights for now.
Follow along on Instagram for more.



Have a great weekend friends.

Much Love!
L


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Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Pearls & Tunes Vol 13. My First Stitch Fix.

 



Well I finally decided to use my Influence Conference code and order from Stitch Fix.
I was impressed with all five items they sent. Definitely my style.
Unfortunately outside of my price range so I didn't keep any of it.
But I loved seeing some new things on me that I never would have thought to try.
Plus the light snow falling outside and perfect lighting made for a fun photoshoot. 
Thanks hubby for some fun pictures! 
My tunes for the week is an oldie from last winter, but I love these guys.



Much Love,
L


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Tuesday, 5 February 2013

SuperBowl Disappointment.


I'm not a huge football fan, there isn't really a particular team I cheer for. 
Our local team I guess, 
but lets just say they weren't up to the skill level involved for the SuperBowl
I do love how sports are encouraged and promoted in this country. 
Driving through the neighborhood in the summers and 
seeing families out back playing together or at the park 
throwing a football or shooting hoops. 
Its an active lifestyle I really enjoy or at least want to enjoy more of. 
I love the programs for kids here, the local adult teams, big nationwide professional competitions in a variety of sports. 
At least in places where I grew up, there are less of these. 
I am a huge supporter of encouraging kids to be active, 
learning how to play as part of a team, 
learning how to get along with others in this way, 
learning good sportsmanship. 
I think its really healthy for them to get exercise and learn all those great life skills. 
So yesterday, we were watching three young boys and happened to throw a SuperBowl party. 
The older two are totally into football, on weekends they enjoy watching the game and cheering for their favorite team (it might be based on the team colors ;) haha). 
I also enjoyed seeing the top ten ads from the SuperBowl in previous years. 
A lot of them have been really funny and again I just love the sports aspect of it all. 




This year I was excited to tune in and watch the game. 
Even if I don't follow football at all. 
But I honestly couldn't remove my jaw from the ground most of the time from the content. 

(Thankfully none of the three young impressionable boys I was caring for had any interest in the game on Sunday. They were playing in another room, which was totally a blessing from God.)



Because we tuned in for some family friendly fun SuperBowl viewing and we were subjected to numerous sexual innuendos and promiscuity during the ad breaks than I would probably feel comfortable with in a movie. The GoDaddy commercial alone was so disturbing, I was thankful the kids didn't see it. Not to mention the Doritos ad, Best Buy, M&M commercial all had inappropriate sexual content. And this was a football game.

I would almost expect late night TV to contain inappropriate content, but not from an event viewed in millions of homes across the country....where kids were watching.   
Perhaps this was my bad from assuming that we were tuning in for a game alone and not just a large dose of the new direction American culture is going. 



Talk about awkward conversation when a GoDaddy commercial came on when sitting with my husband and two of his friends. We laughed it off and called it inappropriate, but really!!! Was it necessary? It saddens my heart to think culture in this country is going in such a direction. To a place where we are no longer guarding and caring for young hearts and minds. It used to be proper to not talk about certain things in front of your children. To keep certain things for the bedroom alone. There was an understanding of the importance of innocence and not growing up too fast, while still teaching responsibility from a young age. I am fearful of where we are headed when no subject is taboo while kids are present. Like including a halftime show where a beautiful woman is stripping off her clothes and thrusting her hips. (I read an article about my home country where kids as young as eight are now being pressured into being sexually active by peers at school! This is outrageous!!) 

(We can't possibly shield our children from every form of media without living in a bubble)


I do understand the sad fact, sex sells. But why do companies feel the need to stoop to that level to sell their products. 
Why make something like Doritos chips or a hamburger seem sexy to make money.  
People really can choose to view all kinds of things. 
And where your boundaries are with regard to content of movie, TV shows and internet content are your own concern, 
I'm not trying to tell anyone what's right and wrong about a variety of content. 
(I believe those are personal convictions)

But honestly, I don't want to have to be on guard about what I'm going to view on daytime sports TV
This to me was not a personal choice, 
it was pushed on me while watching a sports game.
I've seen the comments about averting your eyes and guarding what your kids watch and changing the channel. 
And I am all for those ways of protecting purity as it is unfortunately necessary. 

I implement these ideas on a daily basis, although I am not claiming to be perfect. 
But all I'm saying is why should I have to keep up my guard on what I or my husband or kids are about to see during a football game? 
The game itself was perfectly suitable for any audience.


Yes, if I had made a decision to allow kids to stay up past their bedtime to watch an R-rated movie, I wouldn't be able to say anything about the content they were subjected to. You are making an informed decision on that part. But the Superbowl halftime show or commercials don't come with a rating, they are on daytime TV. It was about 7.30pm on the east coast during halftime and 4.30pm (!!) on the west coast. Hardly after kids should be in bed asleep! 


My heart just breaks at how the halftime show played out. I really respect Beyonce, she is a beautiful woman who is in amazing shape after just having had a baby. I'm just saying that the show was anything but family-friendly. And I don't know why I would have known ahead of time that just because it was Beyonce, it was going to be otherwise. The actual game itself was fine in content, the ads and halftime show were not. And why??? Why the need.
I just wish that we weren't alone against the culture in guarding our hearts and minds to things we don't want to see, and those of our children. I wish we didn't have to worry about what commercials might come on daytime TV while young impressionable eyes might see them.
(On a slightly side note, I really enjoyed the funny Tide commercial, Jeep ad supporting the troops and Ram farmer ad, what amazing choices! I applaud you guys! These were totally family friendly!)



I really hope someday to be able to teach my little, impressionable children to value the precious gift of sex. To encourage them to view women differently than what the ads are showing them. To teach my daughters that you don't need to strip off your clothes to gain the attention of a man. That they are all worth far more than what the media tells them. 
Honestly, I am afraid of how I am supposed to protect them from viewing pornography from a young age when a lot of ads/commercials/halftime shows are becoming increasingly X-rated in content. It concerns me as a someday mommy. So I can only imagine how a lot of you mommies feel already! 


I share these thoughts today, because my heart has been burdened with them since Sunday night, not to start an argument over Beyonce or a particular company. So please don't hear me digging for an argument. I am just stirred and troubled as a wife, pursuer of purity and hopefully someday mommy by the media. 
And I always said I would share things near and dear to my heart.

Lets be in prayer. We need it striving to live life for Jesus in this world.


Much Love,
L



"Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to Your word."
-Psalm 119:37

 "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people."
- Ephesians 5:1-3 1



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