Wanted: REAL Christian Fashion Bloggers

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As you may have noticed, “Guest Feature” posts have been incorporated more for the past couple of months now because I no longer want fmG to be a selfie blog of, well, me. After almost five years of trying to output as many #OOTDs as possible (remember those Just Jireh days?) quite frankly it gets old and tiring. This summer God has placed in my heart for fmG to become more community based where His other daughters can share on their faith, personal style, or both. It’s been a wonderful few months while networking with other Christian fashion bloggers and those whose testimonies have inspired me.

But I feel like I’ve come to a roadblock. Why? I can’t seem to find any more faith-based fashion bloggers. And I mean the real and passionate ones. Those who pick up their cross on a daily basis and have a raw desire to share a discovered Love that they can’t contain because they’ve been made new.

I’ve searched through the Facebook groups. I’ve searched through Instagram hashtags and the suggested people. I’ve searched through Twitter lists and feeds. Maybe I haven’t searched that hard enough? I don’t know. All I know is that I desire to connect with people who don’t just add “Christ follower” or “Jesus lover” to their bios then only post “But first, coffee.” “Fri-YAY,” and high-contrasted photos of high heels, midi-skirts, and a new favorite fall nail polish. Don’t get me wrong, that’s fun and great and all because I like to do the same thing, too. But teach me something. Convict and challenge me. Share with me what God is doing in your life. Be somewhat vulnerable so I can be inspired and motivated in my own struggles. Remind me that I’m not alone in my walk with the Lord, that good and hope can be found on this earth, and that through Him I can overcome anything.

When the Bible says that we are to be a light, the “light of the world- like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden…” we are more than a flicker of a candle. We are to be the highest voltage and strongest wattage; a beaming and radiant light shining because of the transforming power and love of Jesus Christ. And that can be reflected in what we post.

I believe the Internet and social media has enough desk flat lays and contoured faces to last someone’s screen for a lifetime. I’d rather see more of what I can actually take into eternity. So my fellow faithful fashionistas, if you’re out there, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or to be a voice on earth representing God’s Kingdom in general. This nation, this industry, this world needs to hear you. Don’t dim yourself.

Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 10.51.41 PM“Proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.”
– Acts 28:31

Teenage Missionary: Taryn Vlad

Taryn VladThere are some people who leave you in awe. Typically they are people who are older than you that you look up to. But in this case, a 15-year-old has made an impact on me. I’ve seen her grow and mature in her relationship with Christ over the past few years and she has more boldness and courage than I’ve seen in most Christians, both young and old. Her heart is on fire for the lost and the fact that she is a teenager determined to share Jesus is a very rare thing to find in today’s society. But behind all testimonies, there’s a powerful story. Here’s Taryn’s.

I wasn’t really planning on sharing my testimony with anyone. I have actually never shared it with anyone before. But I can’t say no to Jireh, so my testimony is now on the Internet, available to the whole world. My name is Taryn Vlad. I don’t see myself as an extravagant person, but I love the Lord and the person that I have become because of God’s powerful love. I am 15-years-old and I am a sophomore at Brandon High School. I don’t really do anything crazy. I play on my school’s tennis team and I am on the leadership team of my school’s Youth Alive, a registered bible club. I spend my time by doing homework, going to church, taking pictures, and I clean every now and then. I really love my life and the opportunities that I have gotten from God.

Tragedy Strikes

My life hasn’t always been flowers and sunshine. When I was 10 years old tragedy struck my family. My father passed away for the effects of a car accident. I wish I could say that he died instantly and felt no pain, but that’s far from the truth. He suffered for two weeks before the internal bleeding finally took his life. For about one year I blamed God for his death. I was so hurt. How could God let this happen to me? How could God let anyone go through this? I blamed myself for the accident; many call this survivor’s guilt. I played the scene in my head over and over again; each time I would find a new way to prevent my father’s death. I refused to show my hurt on the outside. My anger, my sadness, my shame, my guilt- all of these negative emotions were raging inside of me. But I eventually found Christ. My siblings eventually found Christ. But my mother lost her soul mate. Her pain is different. I knew my father for 10 years. They were married for close to 35 years when he passed away. To this day, five years later, my siblings and I are praying for a softened and healed heart in our mother.

Salvation

I started attending church on Sundays about one year ago. Before that, I went to youth group. My youth group went to Michigan Youth Convention in Grand Rapids in November 2013. I was in 7th grade. I decided to give my life to Christ during that trip. It was absolutely insane. I called out to Jesus, “Come into my life! I surrender! I give You everything. Please, just make me brand new!” And just like that, I was made new. I felt the negativity and the weight of my sin get lifted off of my shoulders. Ever since that moment my life has been completely different. God has revealed to me the path He wants me to walk on. I’m not saying that I haven’t messed up since because that’s definitely not the case. I have sinned and I have had my fair share of doubts. But now, when I mess up, I can call out to my Father. He forgives me every time even though I deserve judgment!

Things have definitely changed. I now regularly attend Bridgewood Church. I am plugged into multiple groups at the church. I attend the youth group. I serve in the children’s ministry. I am saying this in humility. I can’t believe that God has given me the opportunity to be involved in a church like mine. He has given me mentors and friends and another family. God provided me the opportunity to go to LA on a missions trip this last summer. Fundraising itself was a life changing experience. My family doesn’t have extra money for trips, so a mission trip seemed impossible. But God revealed himself multiple times during my fundraising. Not only did He fund my siblings trip and my trip, but He gave us $1,000 extra to go to future mission trips.

In LA, God truly impacted my vision. Yes, I still have glasses. But my eyes were truly opened. During this whole trip God was speaking to me. He taught me how to love like never before. I loved on the homeless, the poor, the hungry, the children. It was life changing. During this whole trip, as I was walking the streets of LA shocked by what I saw, God was working in me. He told me, “They’re not different from you. Their present is the same as your past. You are all broken, in desperate need of a Savior.” I have never experienced homelessness. I have never starved. I have never been without a roof over my head. But I understood those people. I am just like the homeless people in LA. I am broken. I am in need of a Savior. I need forgiveness. God opened my eyes.

Future

God has laid people on my heart. I want to spend the rest of my life bringing souls to Christ. I plan on attending a bible college after I graduate high school, but I don’t plan on beginning my soul saving journey after college. I have already started. I am in high school, the biggest mission field that I will ever be on yet. Every day I encounter at least 100 young people that are in need of a Savior. I plan on spending the rest of my life sharing the Gospel.

Follow Taryn!
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“But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not say, “I am only a youth”; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.'”
– Jeremiah 1:7

Sisterhood: The Power of Fellowship (VIDEO)

Hello, weekend!

After my “September 11: Our Revival” post, I realized how much I’ve missed sharing my heart like I did almost weekly prior to the summer ( check out fmG’s “Faith” category). As I enter a new life season, I’d love to continue to share with you through video format since I’ve missed vlogging so much!

I am no preacher, pastor, theologian, etc.; I am imperfect in many ways. But when God is teaching me new things- things that rattle and shake me to the core that leads to the brink of character change, something tells me that I’m not the only one that feels like this. I’m still trying to find my groove in these types of videos, but I pray they inspire and maybe even challenge you just as God is challenging me.

God bless!

Jireh

Bringing Hope to Inner City Kids: Tay Copeland

Tay CopelandMonday September 14, 2015, 11:31 am. I step into Starbucks with two cameras, an iPad, and a fully charged voice recorder (aka my iPhone) in hand, expectant and eager for my long and overdue meeting. The aroma of coffee quickly fills my nostrils as I mentally order a grande vanilla iced coffee with milk and a pink cake pop. Thinking I’ll wait for my interviewee since I’m a half hour early, I come to find him with a table secured and a strawberries and cream frappuccino. He quickly stands up to give me a hug with the biggest smile as he always does at church. We have a lot to catch up on. Introducing, Tay Copeland!

My name’s Tay, I’m from Pontiac [Michigan] and grew up in Pontiac. I go to Oakland Community College; my major is Business Management. I made my official decision [to come to the Lord] the summer of my seventh grade year going into eighth grade and that’s when I really decided to be all in and commit to doing it. I got baptized that August and it’s been amazing ever since then.

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fashion meets God: You’re the first menswear feature for fmG! How would you describe your personal style?

Tay Copeland: I feel like my style’s a white-boy, hip-hop type swag. That’s how my family sees it too, they’re like, “You dress like a white boy.” I’m like, “I feel like I dress like Tay,” (laughs). But that’s what I think it is, or, some type of “classy swag.”

fmG: I love how eccentric your outfits can be. I see you at church and you’re usually in something bright and different or you put two things together and layer. Where do you shop?

TC: Ooo, a variety of places. I actually have a motto. It’s called, “Shop Cheap, Look Expensive.” I know where to find cheap things and just mix-and-match; I’m really good at mixing-and-matching. I shop at a variety of places like Rue 21, H&M, Forever 21, and anywhere I can get my hands on [cheap clothing]. But every now and then I treat myself to Guess or Express. Can’t always go cheap!

rue 21 mens joggers

fmG: You are involved with Power Company Kids Club. What exactly is Power Company?

TC: Power Company is a kids organization that was established 23 years ago by John Gunn. It is all because of a knock on his grandmother’s door that saved him and his family. Then [he had] this vision when he got older to help the inner city kids of Pontiac and bring them to Christ.

We bring them to our building in Pontiac every week; over hundreds of kids for two sessions. [We] play games but then have a lesson time for the last 10-15 minutes and give them Power Points and memory verses. Then we send them home with candy or some type of food. It’s fun, it’s great.

fmG: What is your specific involvement with Power Company?

TC: Right now I play two roles. I am currently an intern so I’m learning the ropes of how the ministry works and what it takes to get a Saturday [session] going or a school assembly. Other than that, I am a team leader and run a route in Power Company. We have 12 different routes and I run Route 10 (whoop whoop!). I visit that section of Pontiac, tell the kids what’s going on that week, and just love on those kids and those families.

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fmG: I’m sure you hear and see a lot of brokenness in kids’ eyes when you’re involved with Power Company. How do you encourage them and how do you keep yourself encouraged?

TC: That’s simple. It’s really just God’s love. It can’t get any simpler than that. Just loving on those kids and letting them know that everything’s going to be better. When they come see us they know that they’re in a happy place; this is their escape for them. Just to see the smiles on their faces and encouraging them- that’s all that keeps me encouraged. I know that I’m doing God’s work and doing it right.

Recently, I just heard a story about this lady, she’s older now. [Power Company] asked her, “Is there any moment in life when you were happy?” And she was like, “I remember when I was younger I would go to Power Company.” [Power Company] affects these kids and to know that it’s with them in the long run is just amazing.

fmG: You went on a missions trip to South Africa with Power Company this past summer. How was your experience there?

TC: It was so great. It was great getting to be on different land; that was my first time traveling outside of America. It was such a different atmosphere. The trip was so great. I got to meet new people, learn new things. It made me open my eyes to things I never thought about. Living in America, we take so many things for granted but when you go and do [mission trips] it really changes your perspective on things. People need to do it. It’s something that you need to experience.

fmG: What would you say to those who believe that Pontiac and other similar inner city communities are hopeless to restore?

TC: If there’s one thing to say about an inner city where people think that there’s no hope- there’s always hope. As long as we’re serving a good God, a living God, there’s always hope. I grew up in Pontiac and I grew up through Power Company…these types of ministries reach out to the kids when they’re younger to train them and to become champions. That’s our motto at Power Company, “Empower children, building champions” and that’s what we’re doing. There’s never a moment where there’s no hope. There’s always hope in the root of all the mess. There’s hope everywhere and hope happens here.

Tay Copeland

Thank you Tay for sharing your style and story! Continue to be a radiating source of God’s light and love to the children and community of Pontiac!

Denim jacket: H&M • Shirt: Champs • Pants: Rue 21 • Shoes: Kohl’s

Follow Tay:
Instagram: @tay_cope

For more information on Power Company Kids Club, click here.

“And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:14

The Walgreens Dress

autumn dressHello guys and welcome to another week!

I had a pretty freakin’ amazing weekend, not gonna lie. I went to SpringHill Camp in Evart, MI for a women’s church retreat not knowing what to expect- but God, yet again, swept me off my feet as He reminded me of my identity in Christ and that every single one of us has a purpose and that purpose cannot be fully fulfilled if we are trying to be something or someone God didn’t create us to be. But more on that retreat later this week! How was your weekend?

You know what else is awesome with having blessed friendships? When friends lovingly give you clothes because they know you are into fashion. One lady from church blessed me with this dress which is from the drugstore, Walgreens! Who would have thought??

jireh de jose-3 meijer dressI love how this dress is transitional into seasons. Because of its leafy, tropical print, it could be easily worn with a sun hat and some sandals; it’s warm color palette with hues of red, orange, and brown, make it perfect for the fall. For winter temperatures? Just pair it with some tights and a brown or black cardigan and you’re good to go!

fall fashion-2 forever 21 bootsfall fashionHow do you transition summer clothing for the fall?

Have a great Monday!

Hat & shoes: Forever 21 • Dress: Meijer • Earrings: Dominican Republic

Photography: Isaac De Jose

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”
– 1 John 3:1-3