Saturday, May 30, 2015

"Never be afraid" and more quotes

~Saturday Stories~

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” ― Corrie ten Boom

“Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. It is the belief that God will do what is right.” ― Max Lucado

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” ― Jim Elliot

“God can't give us peace and happiness apart from Himself because there is no such thing.” ― C.S. Lewis

How about you? Which quote touched you? 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Take the time to... LISTEN

~Friday for Friends~

This is the first in the "Take the time to..." series. 

  "Stop listening to instruction, my son,
    and you will stray from the words of knowledge."Proverbs 19:27 (NIV)

"My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry," James 1:19 (NIV)

   "Sin is not ended by multiplying words,
    but the prudent hold their tongues." Proverbs 10:19 (NIV)

There are times to speak. And there are times to listen. Take time today to just be quiet and listen. 

What do you hear?  

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The world's in turmoil

~Tuesday Thoughts~ 

Not long ago my best friend forwarded me an email: Into Iraq #2: What the News isn’t telling You & Why We Can’t Afford to Pretend It’s Not Happening [Sozan’s Impossible Choice — and Our Very Possible One]. It's about what ISIS actually does to families. And, believe me, this is not the worst. 

The place that touched me the most was this: 

“We had to choose…” Sozan looks up at me. Mawra’s eyes are squeezed tight — like she’s trying to forget.

“We had to choose which children we could take — and which we had to leave behind.”

I have not followed up on the ISIS news. I do not know most of what is happening in Asia. But now I want to do better. 

The truth is we cannot afford to ignore the problem. We cannot sit around and hope it ends. There are enough people in the world doing just that. Let's not be one of them. 

But what can we do? How can we help these people and others like them?

1) Pray. And I mean it. The Bible tells us that "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." (James 5:16b, NIV). 

2) Donate. You might think that you don't have enough to give. But the widow did not have much to give, yet Jesus praised her. 1 John 3:17 declares "If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?" (NIV). 

3) Spread the word. Let others know that there is struggle in this world. 

Let's live out this verse in our lives: 

"Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:18 (NIV)

How about you? What can you do?   

Monday, May 25, 2015

Give me your eyes

~Monday Movies & Music~

"Give Me Your Eyes" is an AMAZING song by Brandon Heath. Here are the lyrics

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)

Look around you today. What do you see? Who do you see? How can you help?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

When trust backfires

~Saturday Stories~

Tessa Emily Hall does writing prompts every couple of weeks. Not too long ago I joined in.

I'd told one too many people what my dream job was. That meant I'd told exactly one and he told me exactly what I didn't want to hear. The evening was growing dark and the only light was my mom doing something in the kitchen. Swinging on the porch together I thought I might as well since we'd been together for about three months. And I'd prayed about it, right? That he -or somebody- would get it that my dream job wasn't just a silly ole cliche. But as I looked into his eyes and said that secret that nobody else knew I saw the spark die out in them. He was bored. He didn't care. He said that I made my own choices and, well, I didn't have to include him all the time. And then that guy slipped into silence for exactly three seconds before saying "I like another gal. Would you mind much?" So I guess boyfriends are just like an audition: about a thousand girls vying for that one that actually cares.  Only one gets him. It sure wasn't me. Anyway, on September 7th I stepped into New York on my own with absolutely no one beside me or cheering me on. Scratch that. I had God. I breathed in a sigh of relief. He knew. He cared. And He wasn't too bored to stick with me.

Have you ever trusted in someone just to have it backfire on you? What helped you get on your feet again? How has God proven to you that you can always trust Him and lean on Him?

Friday, May 22, 2015


~Friday for Friends~

Our friends do wrong things. Sometimes on purpose, sometimes not, but they do sin. Just like us. And the truth is that it's often easier to let it pass than to mention it. We don't want to be judgmental so we just don't say anything and hope it'll go away. 

Yes, we are not supposed to judge. But sometimes we need to rebuke.

"“If your brother or sister[a] sins,[b] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[c] If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector."" Matthew 18:15-17 (NIV)

"Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted." Galatians 6:1(NIV)

Here's some more on the topic.

It might be hard to decide if you should rebuke your friend or not. So pray! A bunch. And let God guide your words.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The new Book Reviews page

Hey, everyone!

I've worked some and now have a new page for my book reviews. Instead of the reviews being shown one after the other, there are now a few lists. The reviews are classified as "Books I enjoyed", "Nonfiction", "Fiction:by age", and "Fiction: by genre." Do check it out! The link's also on the right-hand sidebar in the "pages" place.

God bless you guys!

"When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[a] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross." Colossians 2:13-14 (NIV)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Should we be ourselves or not?

~Tuesday Thoughts~

So often we struggle to be like everybody else. We wear ourselves our trying to fit in. And of course every setting has its own expectations, so we try to please all.

But what about being an individual, a  maybe-strange but definitely-unique person? Somehow that seems even harder.

Abby O. has a great post on Nancy Rue's blog about this. Do check it out!

It's hard to remember sometimes, but we really are wonderfully made. We are loved and we are forgiven.

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)

"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 (NIV)

Amen! Hallelujah!

Monday, May 18, 2015

The good fight

~Monday Movies & Music~

Good Fight is a song by Unspoken. Here are the lyrics.

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7 (NIV)

That might seem like a hard thing to do. And it is. But...

"I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

Let's pray God helps us fight this good fight!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

You Can't Sit With Us by Nancy Rue

~Saturday Stories~

Typical Ginger: "“Now, tell me the names people call you. Think of them as the labels they put on you.” I didn’t remind her we only had fifteen minutes left. “Annoying,” I said right away. She wrote Annoying on one of the notes and stuck it on the front of my T-shirt. “What else?” “Loser,” I said. That went on a note and then on my shirt. We continued with Smelly, Not Girly, Loud, Obnoxious, Klutz, Weirdo, Fat, Freak, Bullhorn, Stupid, and Ugly."

After all that had been done about anti-bullying, Ginger thought she was finally safe from the Pack's tauntings. Wrong. Kylie and her friends have resumed their bullying - now undercover. They have ways to hurt her without anyone ever being able to pinpoint it to them. And this time Ginger can't tell others about it... or something worse might happen.

Ginger's voice was really authentic. I liked getting to know more about her and what she felt about her mom dying years ago and their family's constant moving. It hurt when she couldn't sit with her friends anymore because the bullies said so. The way Ginger grew and matured throughout the story is simply beautiful.

Bullying isn't a joke. It's real and it's out there. You Can't Sit With Us deals more with the word-bullying than the hit-and-punch bullying. The type of bullying that leaves you feeling like a loser and a nerd. The type that threatens a girl through email and spreads rumors on Twitter and vandalizes her dad's car. The type that's hard to pinpoint and that's easy to miss for the adults. But it's still there.

You Can't Sit With Us is Nancy Rue's second book in the anti-bullying series. It is told from the bullied girl's point of view. Ginger learns that sometimes bullying won't go away and that she can't give away the power to be herself even when it's hard. There is also discussion on how to do that.

If you want some great fiction with an even greater message, you might enjoy this book. The first one - So Not Okay- is told from the bystander's point of view. Sorry I'm Not Sorry, the third book, is told from the bully's point of view.

If you'd like more information on the anti-bullying campaign you can visit the movement's website. For more on Nancy Rue, visit her websiteFacebook page, and blogs for tweensteens, and new adults.

Friday, May 15, 2015

He. Will. Not. Leave.

~Friday for Friends~

My best friend is miles and miles away from me. We haven't seen each other face to face in years. There's email, but that's not the same thing. Maybe your friends are far away too. It hurts - a lot. But the good news that can comfort us is that no matter where we are God is with us every step of the way. 

""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)

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”[a]
  So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?”[b] Hebrews 13:5-6 (NIV)

""And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”" Matthew 28:20b (NIV)

This news is amazing! 

How about you? Do you know He is beside you? Do you feel His presence? 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Deciding factor

~Tuesday Thoughts~

It doesn't seem fair sometimes that teachers can take one assignment- the test - and base your whole grade on that. What about that whole other time? Didn't all your homework matter?

It is somewhat similar in our lives. We can do a thousand good things, but if we don't know God it doesn't matter. If we die before we know Him, there's only one place to go, no matter how "good" we were. Maybe you think that's unfair. That all our good deeds should count towards something. And I'm not saying not to do anything good anymore. I'm saying that if He's not our God and we're not His child, it's not going to save us. Only one thing can.

There is only one way to get to heaven and to be with God. That's His Son. Only God can save us. Only Christ's death and cleanse away our sins.

"Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6 (NIV)

This doesn't mean that we shouldn't do good things. We should. And we're even promised rewards.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)

But that reward is something so small compared to actually being with God forever and ever. And we get that by mercy and grace.

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9(NIV)

In the end, only one thing decides if we'll spend eternity with the Creator or not.

Yes, it isn't fair. It is mercy. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Who I am

~Monday Movies & Music

"Who I Am" is a song by Blanca. Here are the lyrics.

There are times when we might feel worthless and unloved. But there is good news. We are God's children! Can you imagine that?

"Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God." John 1:12-13(NIV)

It is not because of something we have done, but because of His great love.

"he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit," Titus 3:5 (NIV)

Praise God for His awesome gift!!!! Who can you tell this today?

Saturday, May 9, 2015

"God prepares us" and more quotes

~Saturday Stories~

“Funny how sometimes God prepares us for things without us even realizing it.” ~Connor, Out with the In Crowd 

“It's important to have friends you can be yourself with. Friends you can be goofy, sad, and honest with. Friends who like you exactly as you are and encourage you to be yourself.” Jenna, Heart to Heart

“There will always be a million reasons not to reach out to someone. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and do it.” ~Heather from Me, Just Different 

“Whatever guilt you feel, whatever you did or failed to do, God saw it all, and he’ll find a way to make you whole again. That’s what grace means.” ~Josh, Like Moonlight at Low Tide

How about you? What quote do you like most? What are some quotes you can share? 

Friday, May 8, 2015

No reason to be afraid

~Friday for Friends~

God is with us. The one and only God tells us not to be afraid.

""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)

He is always with us - every single minute!!! What an amazing Friend!

Who can you encourage today with the words God Himself has said?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

He looks at the heart

~Tuesday Thoughts~

"But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”" 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

Isn’t it amazing that God doesn’t judge us on our appearances? He doesn’t ignore us because we aren’t pretty enough or are too sloppy or can't concentrate on one thing for more than a minute?

He looks deeper – right into the heart. Of course at first He sees a big mess. But when He cleanses our hearts they become more beautiful than we can imagine. All because of grace and love.

"“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord.“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;though they are red as crimson,they shall be like wool."" Isaiah 1:18 (NIV)

Isn't that cool? 

Monday, May 4, 2015


~Monday Movies & Music~

“Overwhelmed” is a song by Big Daddy Weave. Here are the lyrics.

Our God is really so amazing!!!

"Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" 2 Corinthians 9:15 (NIV)

How about you? What can you praise God for today? 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Like Moonlight at Low Tide by Nicole Quigley

~Saturday Stories~

Typical Missy: ""You mean I’m not good enough for him.” I held my eyes on his face until he finally turned my way. I willed him to explain it. I wanted to hear him say it for himself: I wasn’t good enough to be his girlfriend. I wasn’t good enough to be Sam’s either. I was the ugly duckling, with a wild mother and a brother who walked around dazed half the time."

It's junior year and Missy is coming back to her home island. Three years away was not enough for the cool kids to forget what a loser she used to be. Only this time Sam King, the popular guy she's had a crush on for years, likes her. Is it worth it? Is there any way to escape being a no one?

Like Moonlight at Low Tide is touching and opening. It delves into two topics that are not often discussed in Christian fiction: bullying and suicide. With a painfully true view on both, it shows the way to redemption. Missy doesn't have a father, and her mom is constantly changing boyfriends. With this background, Missy often feels worthless. Ever so slowly she learns that she is precious and loved for who she is.

The book contains about half a dozen uses of swear words and two detailed near-sex encounters.

I wish there was more about God in the beginning and middle and that Josh -Missy's friend- was less shy about his faith. However, Missy's coming to God in the end was so beautiful.

For more on Nicole Quigley visit her website and Facebook page.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Can sacrifices be small?

~Friday for Friends~

Self-sacrifice was perfectly exhibited in our Christ Jesus dying for us. That's who we learn from, that's who we want to copy.

That said, self-sacrifice doesn't have to be huge. You don't have to wait until something awful happen or until you have more to give. Self-sacrifice can be small. Like helping someone out when you have other things to do. Or taking the time to comfort others. Or stepping out and sharing the Good News although you're shy.

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:16-18(NIV)

How about you? What can you to for others today?