**Most of this blog is for girls only! Any boys, please only read the posts linked to in the "For Boys" page on the sidebar. Thank you.**

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

I am Cassie, the girl who... {an authenticity post}

 Hey guys! I've been inspired by this post! (Go check it out before you read mine.)

 It can often come across as if we bloggers are perfect, or at least better than we really are. So this post is an 'authenticity post.' I'm going to let you in to my life a little, and tell you a bit more about the real me (not that I've tried to distort who I am in the past!). I know this is a bit out of the ordinary, seeing as I try not to write all about me and my every-day life. But I think that, as an exception, it would be a good idea to show you some of who I really am. To give you kind of a more three-dimensional mind-picture of me.
 {I give you my solemn word that I have not edited this post, apart from spelling corrections (and making sure you will actually get what I'm trying to say).}

I am Cassie, the girl who... writes all the posts on this blog (apart from guest posts, of course!).

I am Cassie, the girl who... accepted Jesus as Lord in October 2001, let Him truly ignited the desire to live His way in 2008 and had a spiritual growth-spurt in 2010.

I am Cassie, the girl who... lives in a 'large' family (by the world's standards), loves babies, books and baking.

I am Cassie, the girl who... hates sin, dislikes secular music and sleep in people's eyes. :D

I am Cassie, the girl who... desires to be a radiant, Christ-like servant, be used by the Lord and get married.

I am Cassie, the girl who... loves her friends, music, dancing, letters, worship, heart-to-hearts, forgiveness etc etc.

I am Cassie, the girl who... had a crush, but can see how mightily God has worked through that.

I am Cassie, the girl who... still sometimes gets side-tracked and distracted by romantic thoughts and handsome and Godly boys.

I am Cassie, the girl who... has not much of a clue about popular actors or singers. And who doesn't follow fashions.

I am Cassie, the girl who... is a modesty fan. My opinion: why wear something potentially immodest if there is a better option?

I am Cassie, the girl who... complains about bush-walks, but likes them anyway, wishes she could go to Europe and the U.S.A. and doesn't like computer games, DVDs, or rides that have too much tension or scariness... and that means not much at all!

I am Cassie, the girl who... loves accents, especially American ones!

I am Cassie, the girl who... was heart-broken when she moved city and cried gallons of tears, but can see the Lord's incredible faithfulness and love as a result.

I am Cassie, the girl who... loves lists and tidiness... unless it's Bibles, commentaries, concordances and journals scattered over her bed!

I am Cassie, the girl who... wishes she could be more active, but can't seem to get up the commitment to do regular exercise.

I am Cassie, the girl who... is not always kind, loving, joyful, obedient, selfless, gracious or gentle to everyone, especially her siblings.

I am Cassie, the girl who... does not always trust her Lord or obey Him.

I am Cassie, the girl who... is a LONG way from where she wants to eventually be in her character, has messed up big time and 'little' time, has been hurt and miserable, but who knows that Jesus is there the pick her up again and again. "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" (2 Corinthians 9:14)

Your fellow sister in Christ and imperfect human,

Cassie xoxoxo

P.S. Hey, in relation to my previous post, go check out this amazing post about boyfriends! Oh, and while you're there, check out some of the other post's on the blog. They're really neat. I especially like the 'From a Guy's Viewpoint' series!

Monday, 21 January 2013


 No, this is not a post about guys being selfless! It's about us being 'selfless with guys.' Not acting in a 'servant-hearted' manner around them, not being simply a servant in general. It's about using our power over guys in a Godly way and protecting them.

 When you saw that sentence, maybe you went "WHAT!! We, like, have power over guys!? Since when?" Or maybe you thought "Yeh, I knew that." Or maybe it was more like "Use my power in a Godly way? What do you mean?" And a slim possibility may be that you thought "Why should I?"

 So, first I want to establish that, yes, we have a measure of power over guys. But by 'power' I mean the ability to spur them on, build them up in Christ, and protect their minds and hearts to some extent, OR - as many girls do - to tear them down and erode their hearts and minds. We also have a degree of power over a guy's emotions and heart if he is not purposing to be 100% steadfast for the Lord (and if he is, we have power to make it very hard for him!). It is in that way we have power over guys... power that we must use only for the LORD's purposes.

 I *LOVE, LOVE LOVE* the song "Courageous" by Casting Crowns. It urges Christian men to stand up and be courageous (surprise surprise! :D). There is a line that says "Let the watchers become warriors; let the men of God arise!" While this song was written for men, I believe that we, as young women, can play an instrumental part in either encouraging or hindering them from arising. The choices we make about what to do with our measure of power can help either fulfil that song, or bring the men of God further down.

 Sisters, we must, must, MUST strive to honour God by building up His men. We must also realise that while we have power, we do not own a guy, his heart, or his emotions.

 I'm going to share a story that Sarah Mally told at the Radient Purity Conference that I attended. (All credit to Sarah for the original story, but I'll paraphrase, plus add some little bits of my own.)

 Basically it's goes like this: One day a girl (who we'll call Lucy) meets a boy (who we'll call Josh) at church. Josh likes Lucy heaps right away, but Lucy knows that he wouldn't be someone she wants to marry. However, since they see each other every week, they begin to develop a friendship. Lucy likes the fair bit of attention Josh is giving her, especially as her relationship with her dad is not going great. She soaks it all up and begins to look to Josh to meet her emotional needs. Meanwhile, she also justifies the relationship by saying, "We're only friends, nothing more. It's not like we're dating or anything. I really don't have to worry about it." Their 'friendship' continues to develop, and soon they are emailing and chatting on the phone. While Lucy continues to justify their relationship and her actions, Joe is falling in love with her. Then one day at church, he tells Lucy that he loves her. Lucy realises that while she soaked up the attention and justified the relationship (which she intended to be casual) she was leading Josh on, acting like she owned his emotions and, ultimately, had hurt him.

 Sarah went on to say that this is a common mistake that we girls can make: encouraging a guy to be interested in us simply because we like the attention and/or power. (Now, may I add that most examples are not as extreme as the story. We may never email or call a guy, and most likely the boy doesn't fall in love. But I know that it is very easy for us to soak up any attention (healthy or unhealthy) that a guy gives us, or selfishly act like we own his emotions and heart, or exercise our power over them and their emotions in a sinful way. Not good (or Godly) at all.)

 Now, I doubt that I can give you specific advice on how not to use your power in a wrong way.... because everybody's different! But maybe you can chat about it to your mum/parents. But basically, watch for any hint that you are 'taking control.'

 HOWEVER, I can give you some advice on how to use you power in a good and Godly way! But again, every person is different and in a different situation. Maybe you know nearly zero guys... only your brother's friends, really. Maybe the guys you do know are so immature you never interact with them. Maybe you know heaps of guys. Maybe you are close (in a casual way) to a few guys. Maybe you would never dream of being close to a guy now! Perhaps you are shy. Or are you outgoing? But no matter what, we can seek to build up... and prepare to build up!... the guys around us. Here's some suggestions:

  1. Pray for them! 'What?' you say. But it's true! One of the best ways to build a guy up is to pray for him! If you don't know any guys your age... it doesn't matter! Pray for your dad! Or your brother's friends! Or your future husband!
  2. Thank them! If you do have contact with guys more often (like you co-opers out there!), thank them for anything nice they do for you. Like holding a door open for you. Or carrying that fold-up table. And don't just mumble 'thanks' - make the effort to raise your head and look them in the eye. Let them know you actually do appreciate it, instead of it just being something that your parents have taught you to say.
  3. Encourage them! Now, often this is really good, but sometimes it can just come across as too 'forward.' My hints: (1) Think it through well, and eliminate any 'suggestive' words or attitudes. Often it's best just plain and simple.'Hey, I saw you help that lady pick up her change. That was really nice of you.' Keep your attitude, tone and face honest, with no 'hints.' (2) Ask your parents. (Sometimes you can just tell whether it's appropriate or not, sometimes you have check.) They can give you better specific advice than I can! And if it turns out it may be too forward, you can always encourage your brothers and dad!

     Having said that, though, if you reckon you're in a good place to encourage a guy... don't chicken out! Your encouragement could work wonders! Especially if one of the guy's top 'love languages' is 'words of affirmation.' (I know that sounds weird, but it just means that the guy feels most encouraged when people encourage him with words.) And if you're wondering what the Bible has to say about encouragement... it says a whole lot! Check out this post for Bible verses and more on encouragement. I would also like to highlight two verses. Deuteronomy 1:38 says: "But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see"! (emphasis mine). Encouraging a guy could do something big! Samuel 19:7 also says: "Now go out and encourage [the] men. I swear by the Lord that if you don’t go out, not a man will be left with you by nightfall." I know my example is a bit extreme, but the concept still holds! If no-one encourages young men, how will they stand the storm?}]
 So, let's make it our goal to:
  1. Use our measure of power over a guy for the right purposes.
  2. Never act like we own any part of a guy.
  3. Pray for guys.
  4. Thank them.
  5. Encourage them (if it's OK).
  6. Check stuff with one or both of your parents (I suggest both). Like how we can behave better. Or whether it's appropriate to encourage a guy. MOTTO: IF IN DOUBT, CHECK WITH PARENT/S!
Yours in Christ,
Cassie xoxoxo

P.S. Check out this great video!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Clear Conscience

{Foreword: any ideas, words, points etc enclosed in double square brackets ( [[ ]] ) Sarah Mally has allowed me to post directly from her matterial. All credit to her for them, and much thanks!}

 Ever felt guilty? Have you known the feeling that comes when you confess something? It's great to be relieved of a guilty conscience, isn't it! And... it's actually disobeying the prompting of the Spirit when you don't confess something that He wants you to.

 It's very important to have a clear conscience before God. For one thing, it's not nice having God prodding you! For another, if we have wronged someone, we need to make amends and ask forgiveness. And if we have sinned, often we simply need to let our parents (or others) know of the wrong we did. I'm going to tell you about some times that I've had to clear my conscience in different circumstances.

Example 1: Clearing my conscience because I wronged (or possibly wronged) someone.
 I had to do this recently. But it happened 6 months ago. I had flirted with a guy. (See, I told you I'm not perfect!) And recently, God had been bothering me about it. So, I came to the realisation that I had to repent and apologise. First, I told Mum and Dad, so they would know what I was doing, and also just to let them know what was going on/had gone on in my life. Second, I wrote the guy a letter apologising.
 Now, this guy may not have remembered what I did. It may not have hurt or distracted him at all. But I can't know that. I had to obey God. And that's what I find: clearing you conscience is often more of an 'obedience to God' step, than a 'I definitely hurt someone and I have to apologise' step.

Example 2: Clearing my conscience because of something I said when the person was not around.
 I was waiting outside of ballet with another girl and her dad. The dad saw our car come down the road, and said something like, "Someone's flying to get you!" And I said, "That would be my Dad. He always drives fast." And that night, what I said bothered me. Even though Dad wasn't around when I said it, I knew I should apologise because I had said something critical/mean about him. So I did.

Example 3: Clearing my conscience about something 'trivial.'
 I think God often convicts us of something to test whether or not we will obey Him. That was certainly the case in this example.
 A {tall} girl at my youth group was saying to one of the guys that she was nearly taller than him (he was slouching). I took that further (wondering how much hight actually did separate them) and told the guy to stand up straight. When I saw that there actually was not much difference in their hight, I did what I can only really describe as a snicker. I really don't know why I did, but I did. And guess what? It started to prick my conscience. I knew that it would never have hurt the guy, but God was telling me to apologise. And I knew I should do it face-to-face. This was probably my scariest confession ever. I was so nervous I was shaking. But I knew I had to do it. And God gave me the opportunity and enough courage not to faint.  :D But afterwards? I felt exhilarated, despite still shaking.

Example 4: Clearing my conscience because of something I did.
 This time, I had read something in a book of Dad's I had picked up that was not at all good. And even though I'm not sure why these type of sins need to be confessed, God simply lets you know that they do. So I told Dad. And that was a load off my conscience.

 Now, let me make this clear: asking for forgiveness and confessing are very hard things to do! But if God wants you to, He'll let you know via the prompting of the Spirit in your 'conscience.' I'd also like to point out that not every single sin needs to be confessed to anyone other than God. But if He tells you that it's necessary, obey. And, there's some added bonuses!

  1. The person you confess too and ask forgiveness from will respect you more (most likely). 
  2. You feel stacks better! 
  3. You gain practice in obeying God in the little things. 
  4. [[You will start a new, fresh and clean page in this relationship.]]
  5. [[You will get great practice in humility!]]
  6. [[You will have more strength to overcome future temptations. (Next time you are tempted to commit the same sin, you will remember how hard it is to ask forgiveness!)]]
  7. [[You will be free from hypocrisy.]]
  8. [[You will have good testimony to others.]]

 By the way, what does the Bible say about all this? Well, it states at least twice that David was conscience-stricken. (And that he repented.) Paul also says in Acts 24:16, "So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man." And as for confession and repentance, there is a whole lot! Psalm 32:5 says, "Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity  I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord' - and You forgave the guilt of my sin." The Bible is also filled with the promises of good that will come to those who repent - and the bad that happens to those that don't. Check out Proverbs 28:13: "He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy." God also promises that "if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). And it also has stacks to say about humility!

 Now, here's some tips on how to clear your conscience:
  1. Confess to God. Ask His forgiveness before anyone else's.
  2. Make a conscious decision to do it ASAP. Don't put it off. Don't ignore it. You may not be able to do it immediately, but make a choice to do it AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. And not only that - determine when you will exactly. (In some circumstances, you may just be waiting for the right opportunity... but make sure you seize it!)
  3. Decide whether to apologise face-to-face, over the phone, in an email or in a letter. Most times, face-to-face is best. But in some circumstances better to do it another way. For instance, in example 1 I decided to do it in a letter. This was because 1) I didn't know when I'd see the guy, and I didn't want to let it wait. 2) Over the phone honestly would be too awkward, because the guy would have to respond immediately, which I didn't want him to feel pressured to do. 3) I didn't realise I had his email address until I had written a letter. Besides, an email always seems slightly more trivial.
     You may need to talk to your parents about which one is best, and it's often best to let them know what you're doing if you can't do it face-to-face. You may also want them to double-check any letter or email you send.
  4. Pray. Ask God to give you humility and courage!
  5. DON'T sift blame, shirk your responsibility or make out that you only may have been wrong if your actually were. Humility is accepting your part and yours alone. For example, in my letter to they guy I flirted with, I could have said, "I don't think I hurt you, but I'm sorry if I did." Now, that's true: I wasn't sure I'd hurt him, and if I had, I was sorry. But that's still not accepting and confessing my full sin. Instead I phrased it, "I flirted with you, and I'm sorry." Notice a difference?
  6. [[Show humility and sincerity when asking for forgiveness. When you ask for forgiveness  your words must show true repentance. Plane your words in advance.]]
  Maybe, reading this, God has laid on your conscience something that He wants you to repent of. At any rate, it's bound to happen in the future! My advice: obey His prompting, no matter the pain or difficultness.

Your sister in Christ,
Cassie xoxoxo