Saturday, January 31, 2015

"We cannot love too much" and more quotes

~Saturday Stories~

"He said " I have loved you." We cannot love too much."- Amy Carmichael

"God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." - John Piper

"Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them." -Elisabeth Elliot

"The church is not a dormitory for sleepers, it is an institution for workers; it is not a rest camp, it is a front line trench." - Billy Sunday

How about you? Which quote do you like best? What topic is nearer to your heart? What quotes can you share?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Doing good

~Friday for Friends~

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." Galatians 6:9-10(NIV)

"Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can." John Wesley (disputed)

Good works do not save; we are saved by grace. However, when we know Christ and are filled with His love it should be natural for us to love and help others. Sometimes it will be hard; sometimes it will seem totally crazy. But it's worth it.

How about you? How can you share God's love today?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Slowly but surely

~Tuesday Thoughts~

January 6th I decided to learn to play on the synthesizer. By my schedule, I have half an hour devoted to it five days a week (although it doesn't always work out at all and sometimes I do more). Thirty minutes isn't much, right? But, by and by, they add up and become hours. And hours of learning make a surer hand and a brain that's faster to read those notes.

Sometimes we don't have a lot of time in our lives where we can just relax and talk with God and tell Him of all our troubles and worries. Or maybe we just don't feel like doing it.

But spending just 20-30 minutes studying  His Word and talking with Him and listening to Him every day are worth it. They add up and, before we know it, they can blossom into a relationship more beautiful than we could have ever imagined.

God will always have time for us. The question is... do we make time for Him?

Monday, January 26, 2015

All this time

~Monday Movies & Music~ 

"All This Time" is a song by Britt Nicole. Here are the lyrics.

God will always be with us. What an amazing truth!!!

How about you? What are some times when you treasure this truth? Do you know any more songs on the topic?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Escape into the Night by Lois Walfrid Johnson

~Saturday Stories~

At the shore of the river, Libby stepped down, expecting to find ice. Instead, cold water rose around her feet. Suddenly she yelped. “Hush!” came the quick warning from above. Libby leaped from the water to a foothold in the bank. Just then a voice cried out. “Over here!” a man shouted. “Get him!” called another. The slave catchers!  Like the cold water, terror washed over Libby.

Twelve-year-old Libby Norstad lives on a steamboat, where her father is the captain. There is only one other kid her age: Caleb, the cabin boy. As much as Libby wants to be friends, Caleb always seems to be hiding something. When a fugitive slave comes aboard, Libby starts guessing what Caleb is keeping back. Should she tell on him? Should she help him?

Genre: historical, adventure. For those 14 and under. Issues dealt with: slavery, equal treatment, helping others.

Escape into the Night mentions God only about 3-5 times. The characters say that they do what they do because of what they believe. This story will certainly not help strengthen your relationship with God, although it will entertain. This is book 1 of The Freedom Seekers series. The other books are Race for Freedom, Midnight Rescue, The Swindler's Treasure, Mysterious Signal, and The Fiddler's Secret.

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." James 1:22 (NIV)

For more on Lois Walfrid Johnson visit her website and Facebook page

Friday, January 23, 2015

He's always there

~Friday for Friends~

No matter how much we love our friends or our friends love us we just can't be with each other 100% of the time. Sometimes we can't even be in the same city, state or even country. And that can be so hard because -big suprise!- emailing and skyping, etc. just isn't the same as hugging and chatting.

But there's a Friend who's with us everywhere we go, One that will not leave us. We can turn to Him whenever with whatever problem we have. Amen!!!

"'Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.'" Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

How about you? Do you have friends who are far away? Do you forget sometimes that God is the Friend who will always be there? Who can you remind of this truth today?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Living for Him

~Tuesday Thoughts~

"For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (NIV)

We should live for Christ not for ourselves.

Instead of waking up, spending the day, and going to bed with "what should I do for me?" we should think about what we can do for Him.

What can we teens do? How about...

1) Sharing the good news with family, friends, and the people that all around us;

2) Helping those who have less than we do;

3) Doing little deeds of love and speaking love - mentioning why we're doing it;

4) Just doin' and sayin' things we feel He's calling us to do and say. So it can be hard to know for sure that it's Him and it can be scary, but we're living for Him, right?

How about you? Do you want to live for Christ? What are some other ways you can do this?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Just be held

~Monday Movies & Music~

"Just be held" is a song by Casting Crowns. Here are the lyrics

Sometimes we think we have to be strong. Or at least appear strong. We think we need to figure this all out ourselves and rock it. Or at least survive it.

But God wants us to depend on Him. He is the One who has all the answers, who knows how this will all turn out. And He loves us. We should trust Him.

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

How about you? Do you have times when you think you need to do everything yourself? What happens when you surrender it all to God?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Shadow of Doubt by Terri Blackstock

~Saturday Stories~

Typical Celia: Celia reached for a tissue next to the bed and blew her nose. "I read about all those martyrs in the Bible who walked into furnaces and lions' dens and were crucified and beaten and beheaded... and I kept wishing that I had some greater purpose for my suffering, too. ... But there isn't any grand purpose here, Allie. There's no greater good. It's all just a mistake."

Celia's husband had died of arsenic poisoning.  And she was accused - though not convicted. And just when Celia thought the nightmares were over, her second husband gets poisoned too. Who is the killer and why would he want to do this to her again? Doesn't anybody believe that she's innocent?

Shadow of Doubt is not only a mystery but a Christian one. Throughout the story, Celia learns to trust God with the battle instead of trying to do fight it herself.

I wasn't ready for the length of the book -370 pages - and would have liked a faster-paced novel. However, I'm not the targeted audience, which would probably find the length acceptable. The story is told from multiple points-of-views. About halfway through I thought about it, figured out who the murderer was, and later had the satisfaction of saying "told ya." I wasn't prepared for how smart he was, though.

This is the second in the Newpointe 911 series. The first is Private Justice, and the rest are Word of Honor, Trial by Fire, and Line of Duty.

For more on Terri Blackstock visit her website and Facebook page.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Running to Him

~Friday for Friends~

“'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.'" Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

God wants you to run to Him. He is the greatest Friend of all. 

How about you? Do you run to God with your problems and worries? How has He helped you through the hard times?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

4 ways to learn to be content

~Tuesday Thoughts~

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." Philippians 4:11-12 (NIV)

Being content is hard. In this world of advertisements, TV, and Internet we constantly come up wanting more and more. 

But being content is worth the effort. 

What are some ways to help ourselves be content? 

1. List the spiritual blessings God has given you. He has saved you! He has redeemed you! You are His child! As you read and reread the Bible you'll find more and more of these. 

2. List the big blessings in your life: your family, your talents, your aspirations, etc. As new things come up, add them to the list. 

3. List the day-to-day blessings God has presented you with. Whether it's a trip to Burger King or your first on-stage thing ever write it down. I use the calendar on my phone for that. Looking back, it's neat to see all the small things that have happened.

4. List the hard times in your lives that God has used to teach you or strengthen you.

God has blessed you, child of the King!!! Let us remember His love!

How about you? Do you know of more ways that encourage contentment in your life?  

Monday, January 12, 2015

Change my life

~Monday Movies & Music~

"Change My Life" is a song by Ashes Remain. Here are the lyrics

God can change our lives. That is a truth worth remembering!

"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6 (NIV) 

How about you? What are some of the areas in your life you'd like Him to change? Are you ready to do your part?

Saturday, January 10, 2015


~Saturday Stories~

A while ago I wrote a paragraph for a writing prompt at Red Lettering.

He wheezes another cough and tries to lift his hand to my face. He can’t quite reach it. I wipe my tears and grasp his hand. “Don’t go” I whisper. He smiles his soft smile and breaks into another coughing fit. I watch as the only brother I've ever had dies on the bed beside me. It shouldn’t end like this. We should have fought more, stronger. We should have given him the best medical care there is. Forget the cost. “Mel, you don’t get it” he’s struggling to say every word but I hear the softness in his voice. “I’m gonna be”-his body shakes as he coughs once more- “in heaven.” His eyes are as blue as they have always been, staring straight through me, knowing what is inside - fear, hurt, and anger. “Kris’ll take care of you”. I can’t watch him slowly fade away, but I have to. I watch as what’s left of the color in his face pales.  He takes in a breath as if gathering his last strength to say the thing that really matters. “God… loves… you”. And with a last smile, he passes away. This is it. I stand up. I want to scream, to run away. This can’t be happening. As I turn to get out of the room, I bump into Kris. He holds me. And I cry out all I haven’t cried out yet. He is gone. My brother is gone. Forever.

Even though it can hurt so much to lose someone we love, we Christians have hope. We know that if (s)he also knew Christ we’ll see each other in a place far more glorious and wonderful than this.

It is okay to miss him/her. It is okay to feel that awful sense of loneliness - for a bit. But we can remember that the same God who was with us before is still with us now. And someday "He will wipe every tear from [our] eyes” (Revelation 21:4).  

"Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him." 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 (NIV)

Friday, January 9, 2015

When friendships aren't perfect

~Friday for Friends~

Author Nancy Rue has a blog post on friends: "Friend Foes." It talks about how friendships aren't perfect and what we should do with that. How we should come to God with that. 

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

What about you? Do you have problems with your friends from time to time? How has God shown you that He cares?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

He keeps us

~Tuesday Thoughts~

“‘“The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
   the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
  the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.”’ Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV)

Friends, how awesome is it that God can
1. bless us
2. keep us
3. make His face shine on us
4. be gracious to us
5. turn His face toward us
6. give us peace

Oh, what great love!!!

How about you? Do you need a reminder every once in a while of the mercy and love God has lavished on us? Who can you remind today that God keeps him/her?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Keep your candle burning

~Monday Movies & Music~

"Keep the Candle Burning" is a song by Point of Grace. Here are the lyrics.

When life is hard and there seems to be no one around you who can help, God will be there and will keep you going.

"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
   my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
   my shield[a] and the horn[b] of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18:2 (NIV)

How about you? Do you feel lonely and hopeless at times? What Bible verses and songs encourage you? 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

"I will prepare" and other quotes

~Saturday Stories~

“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.” - Abraham Lincoln

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” - Winston S. Churchill

“We often miss opportunity because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work” - Thomas A. Edison

"Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right." - Lincoln

How about you? Which of these quotes do you like? Do you have any to share?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Starting the year with our Savior

~Friday for Friends~

"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." John 15:15 (NIV)

Jesus Christ has called us His friends. Jesus, the God of all, the Lord Almighty. Us, the terrible sinners with no way out of our mess except through Him. Isn't that amazing?

This year let'stry to spend more time with Him who gave His life to save us.

How about you? What are some ways you can spend time with God this year?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The highlights of 2014

2014 has been a year of both hard times and abundant blessings. I pray that 2015 will bring to both you and me more joy from knowing our Christ and Savior and trusting Him no matter what.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13 (NIV)]

Here are some highlights from 2014:
How about you? Which blog posts did you like best? What blog posts of your own are your favorite? What do you think of 2014 and what are your hopes for the new year?