Introducing…Tirzah Magazine!

Tirzah launch

Hello, beautiful!

Happy New Year!! I hope you had a beautiful Christmas surrounded by the ones you love.

Today is one of the most exciting days of my life. My heart is humbled to the core as we launch Tirzah Magazine.

Originally, I was just going to rebrand this blog, Lovely Thoughts, on a self-hosted site, but the more work I put in, the more God prompted me to dream bigger. So, I bought the domain name and with a whole lot of prayer, got to work.

I’ve dreamed of starting a Christian magazine for young women since I was a little girl, and as this blog began getting more visitors, God showed me that my blog had become my ministry. That in this virtual mission field, the words I write have influence and are making an impact, because this is His plan. 

There are so many blogs, websites, and magazines out there today that claim to promote Christian values for young women, but I’ve found that many of them are shallow and often fall short of edifying Biblical standards. I get so frustrated when I visit one of these sites, only to find the same stuff that I would find on the pages of any secular women’s magazine: beauty how-tos, the latest fashion trends, diet tips and relationship advice. The only thing that’s different is all of this is wrapped up in religion with a few Bible quotes and a self-proclaimed Christian focus.

wo All that other stuff isn’t bad, but it promotes a shallow way of life that so easily causes many young women to focus on worldly, superficial things instead of their faith and calling on this earth.

That’s why I pray this magazine fills in this gap online to talk about the stuff that really matters. This is not yet another site with beauty tutorials or dating advice. Instead, we talk about inner beauty that can’t be found at Sephora and the kinds of love stories that are pure and Godly.

Click here to read more of my letter from the editor about the vision I have for the new website, learn about our newly launched Princess Academy (a virtual school for girls to learn more about living a set-apart life), and enter to win an iPhone 5 case from Bodacious Cases in your favorite colors!

iPhone 5

I will continue to keep this site running as my personal blog to document future adventures (although I probably won’t post over the next few weeks as my focus will be on Tirzah Magazine).

Please note that if you subscribe to this blog by email, you’ll have to re-subscribe on my new site (there is a follow box in the right bottom corner) in order to get emailed updates about new posts.

I can’t wait to see what God has in store for this new venture! Thank you so much for all of your support and patience over the last few months! Y’all are awesome!

Love,

YB

The start of something new

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Hey, lovelies!

I will be taking a short hiatus for the month of December from this blog to do a little rebranding, so please be patient as we prepare for a complete re-launch of Lovely Thoughts in January! Not only am I working on a new website design/layout, but lots and lots of new content!

I’m quite nervous about it since I’ve haven’t done very much web design, other than tinkering with what wordpress offers, so if you have any tips, please share.

I’ve loved creating this space – writing lovely thoughts and getting to know some of you and your stories, but for awhile now, I’ve been praying and dreaming about expanding this space into something more. And, I think it’s time for something new – to stop talking and dreaming, and start DOING.

I would love to get your input in this rebranding project, so please stay tuned for a survey to go out in mid-December. If you’re interested in voicing your thoughts on the new look (content, design, mission, etc…), make sure to like our page on Facebook and/or subscribe by email in the sidebar.

In the mean time, I will be posting (almost) daily on the Lovely Thoughts Society facebook page – devotionals, interesting articles, encouraging quotes and personal testimonies. Or, you can browse the archives here for past content as we wrap up 2013!

Happy holidays!

-Yelena

Just because she is pretty doesn’t mean you’re not

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We’re quite good at seeing beauty in other people, and although that’s marvelous, it can also be incredibly dangerous. I don’t know about you, but when I see a beautiful girl, the first thing I usually feel is a pang of envy, followed by great bouts of inadequacy before I begin to slightly dislike the girl, no matter how sweet she may be.

Let’s call her Jane – she’s stunning, smart, outgoing and everything I think I’m not – all the girls want to be her and the guys swarm to her like bees around a honey pot.

Now, imagine a freaky Friday moment and you wake up in the morning in Jane’s body – with one strike of lightening and some thunder for theatrical effect, suddenly, you are the girl you dream of.

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A testimony about the work of a great God

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Every time my phone vibrated, I would eagerly check my email. Maybe today was the day, I thought. But, days turned into weeks, and then the weeks turned into months and there still was no answer.

Final projects were turned in. The first semester finals schedule was posted. And all that remained of my student loan money was not even enough to cover the next month’s rent, let alone make it until the next semester’s loan disbursement.

Faith whispered, “God will provide.”

Logic grew frustrated, “He had plenty of time to provide, now the semester is over and there is still nothing.”

A year before even starting law school, I spent A LOT of time praying, fasting and making pro/con lists. Law school is a big decision – it’s expensive, takes three years of your life and with the current legal job market, good legal jobs can be hard to find…so you better be sure you really want to be a lawyer.

I had a bigger dilemma though – figuring out if law school was God’s will for my life. Some people, even Christians, scoff at the idea that God has a plan for each person – careers, spouses, countries to live in, but growing up, I’ve seen the hand of God in every part of my own life and that of my family’s so I have no doubt that He has an amazing plan for my life.

I felt the calling to go to law school though. It was terrifying, but I packed up my stuff and moved away for a dream so much bigger than myself.

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The power of three

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“Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” -Ecclesiastes 4:12

I’ve only heard this verse referenced at weddings, so when one preacher began to talk about it during his sermon last Sunday, I was skeptical. By the end of his message though, the Holy Spirit had convicted my heart so much that I walked away with a whole new perspective on this threefold chord.

To overcome evil, and bring forth fruits of the Spirit, we must weave together three things into our lives every day:

  1. Do good. 
  2. Pray.
  3. Fast.

It sounds so simple and looking at that list, most Christians can smile and nod, saying, “Why, yes, I do those things!” But, it’s not about doing those things independently or even on a regular basis.

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Youthful passions, lusts & indiscretions {guest post}

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Love, relationships, marriage and all things related take up so much of our hearts, thoughts and lives. Especially for women, because we were created to love and be loved. Through my personal friendships and all the young women I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with and mentoring, the most popular topic of discussion is boys and love. 

I’ve wrote about my personal thoughts and experience with love, but today, I’d like to share another view point – of a lovely young woman who made a mistake once upon a time, but found redemption and hope in an entirely different relationship.

We serve a God of second-chances and forgiveness, don’t you ever forget that. Whatever you’re going through, whatever you’ve done in the past – when you kneel in forgiveness before Him, you will be transformed and given a brand new life. 

Thank you, Shannon for sharing your testimony. You are a beautiful soul. I hope this testimony inspires many other young women to fervently protect their hearts and bodies, because you’re worthy of it

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If your church is anything like the churches I attend on a regular basis, sex is a much-avoided topic. I wish that my generation would change that, and I’m hopeful that if some of us speak up, the rest will follow.

I grew up believing sex should be reserved for marriage-but I don’t really know where that came from. Since then, I’ve had a couple of experiences that have taught me a lot. Bear in mind- these relationships I had when I wasn’t a Christian, when I didn’t know God. I want to share with you my testimony-and why I think reserving sex for marriage is always a good idea.

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Five Smooth Stones

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Since the church I currently attend doesn’t have service until 2:00 pm on Sunday, I’ve tried to make an effort to find other ways to spend my Sunday mornings in the Lord’s presence, usually reading the Bible, praying, reading a Christian non-fiction book or listening to a sermon online.

Last Sunday, I listened to Eric Ludy’s sermon and it spoke so much to my heart that I just had to share it on here. Over and over, I would hear a phrase or idea in this sermon and just scribble it down in my journal in excitement. It’s like God was speaking to me directly through this sermon and explaining so many things I’ve been questioning about my faith and the faith of people around me.

It’s a lengthy video (almost 2 hours), but please take the time to watch it, even if it’s 20 minutes each day as you’re getting ready in the mornings.

Some of my favorite parts if you’d like a Cliff Notes Version:

The return of the Irish Elk 

The Irish Elk is an extinct species that stood 10 feet tall with an additional five feet high antlers sprawled twelve feet wide. Today, we’re so used to the regular elk we see that if we see one while driving, we’ll pull over and admire the elk that stands five to seven feet tall. “Did you see that?” we’ll ask in admiration. But, what about the 15 foot elk?!

“True Christianity today has been lost. We have a dwarfish, little version we’re impressed with. We stop on the side of the road and say, ‘We’ve seen Christianity.’ Are you sure you’ve seen the triumphant Christianity of history past? We’ve been shortchanged and we want to see the return of the Irish Elk.” Continue reading