Saturday, January 30, 2016

"Lord, please give me the words" and more quotes

~Saturday Stories~


"Lord, please give me the words." -Gracie, Grace Notes

"Not making a decision is the same as making one. It's like saying you like how things are going, that you want to keep heading in the same direction. But I think that's a bad choice. I mean, why would you want to live a life that makes you miserable? It makes no sense." - Andrea, Harsh Pink



"If it wasn't valuable, why would God waste time giving you the talent?" -Abbie, So Over It

"Oh, believe me, I have no illusions, I'm certain there'll be more hard times ahead - I mean, you just never know what a day might bring. But what I do know is that God can see me through. I can't wait to see what he does next!" -Caitlin, Becoming Me

How about you? Have you made a decision for Christ? Have you ever asked God to give you the words? What talents has He given you? Are you waiting to see what Christ does in your life? 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Loving

~Friday for Friends~


"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." 1 John 4:8 (NIV)

We are called to love others, enemies included. And this can be hard. However, if God loved us so so so much, we know it is possible. Hard, but possible. 

Dear God, there are people who are very hard to love. At least for us. We want to get by by ignoring them or being semi-polite, but that is not what you called us to do. Help us to LOVE others, God. Thank you so much for loving us first and giving us the strength we need to do what you told us to. Amen. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What should we wear?

~Tuesday Thoughts~



"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;" 1 Timothy 2:9 (King James Version)

What do you think this means? How should we interpret this in our lives? 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Love Feels Like

~Monday Movies & Music~


"Love Feels Like" is a song by TobyMac. Here are the lyrics.

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)

Who can you show love to today?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Gift of Vulnerability

~Saturday Stories~


    Arielle maneuvered through the crowd following Mrs. Hale to a table. “Talk to me,” the teacher’s voice flowed softly. Arielle sat down drumming her fingers on the table. Her heart constricted with relief, while her mind screamed at her to run away.
   “You said you felt jealous, stupid, and ugly.” Arielle glanced at Mrs. Hale for a second, then turned away.  A number of months had passed since she had first caved in and called herself stupid. Too many beautiful, smart, and outgoing people had surrounded her to think that she would ever measure up. She had never met the expectations.
     “The devil’s feeding you a lie.” Arielle shook her head. She could not, would not believe that. How come, then, no one cared at all? Scenes of crying in bed, screaming at herself, and shrieking just to let the emotions out passed through her mind. She should stop the conversation. Had she not vowed to never go all vulnerable on anyone?
     “God loves you.” Mrs. Hale peered into Arielle’s eyes. Arielle played around with the table top. She believed it, but rarely felt it. Even so, the fact that God loved her did not mean she needed to value herself. She had not found any passage in the Bible that commanded people to accept themselves. Maybe God had crafted a lovely brilliant kid, but then she screwed it all up.
     “I care too,” Mrs. Hale’s deep soft voice permeated through Arielle’s slowly dissolving bubble. “I love you.” Arielle’s throat clogged up. She closed her eyes for a second. She had longed for a conversation like this for years yet had never allowed herself to fully trust others.
     “You are beautiful, Arielle. You are loved.” Through the blur of tears, she searched Mrs. Hale’s eyes for sarcasm or falseness but found none. She bit her lip. Did she dare? She opened her mouth, and words spilled out. Between tears pouring down and sobs ringing out Arielle spoke of her hidden emotions and troubles, opening the door to her story.
     Peace and love, two of the Lord’s many gifts, penetrated Arielle’s heart that day. The process of healing had begun.


How about you? Have you ever struggled with who you are and why you are here? How has God helped you? Did He place specific people in your life?  

Friday, January 22, 2016

Trust

~Friday for Friends~


 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
  in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.[a]" Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

This can be very hard. So often we want to place all our confidence in ourselves and "tough it out." We want to solve our own problems, to be self-sufficient. However, what we need to remember is this:

God has a wonderful plan for us (Jeremiah 29:11). We can come to Him with whatever stress we have (1 Peter 5:7). If we confess our sins, He will forgive us (1 John 1:9).

Amen! Amen! Amen!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Who we are

~Tuesday Thoughts~


"Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—" John 1:12 (NIV)

"he[a] predestined us for adoption to sonship[b] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—" Ephesians 1:5 (NIV)

"Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God." Romans 15:7 (NIV)

We are children of God! 

Lord, please help us accept ourselves and others as You want us to accept them. Remind us that we can be Yours and help us share that message with others. Amen. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

He said

~Monday Movies & Music~


"He Said" is a song by Group 1 Crew. Here are the lyrics.

"No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

Isn't it awesome that God won't let us be burdened more than we can bear?  

What has happened in your life that seemed like way too much to stand? How did God help you? 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Faded Denim by Melody Carlson

~Saturday Stories~


I have had the pleasure of having my book review also posted on the online magazine Pursue.

Typical Emily: "But here's what totally rocks - I feel powerful. As I'm working out, and really going hard at it, I feel like I finally have some control over my life. ... And, I realize as I'm jogging on the treadmill, this is just the beginning."

For a while Emily has been gaining weight. But that's about to stop. Her best friend Leah, a beautiful, thin girl, is trying to help her out. She encourages Emily to eat healthy, exercise, and drink water. But that's not working fast enough. So Emily resorts to more drastic measures. Will she realize just how far she's taking it before it's too late?


Anorexia nervosa is real. Trying to be thin is a problem many girls face. Craving good looks is just one of the causes of both anorexia and bulimia. Find out more about both anorexia and bulimia.

Faded Denim: Color Me Trapped is an interesting read, filled with truths about God. It addresses the problem of thinking more about outward looks than spiritual growth.

This is the 9th book in the True Colors series. The rest are Dark Blue: Color Me LonelyDeep Green: Color Me JealousTorch Red: Color Me TornPitch Black: Color Me LostBurnt Orange: Color Me WastedFool's Gold: Color Me ConsumedBlade Silver: Color Me ScarredBitter Rose: Color Me CrushedMoon White: Color Me Enchanted, Bright Purple: Color Me Confused, and Harsh Pink: Color Me Burnt.

For more on Melody Carlson, visit her website and Facebook page.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Love, pray, greet

~Friday for Friends~


"“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."" Matthew 5:43-48 (NIV)

Which part of that can you accomplish today with God's strength?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Secretly or not?

~Tuesday Thoughts~


"“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."" Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)


"“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
  “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."" Matthew 6:1-4 (NIV)


These two passages from consecutive chapters look like they're contradicting each other. How are people supposed to see our light if we do it all in secret? I am not entirely sure myself about how this is supposed to work. 

But we can do good without getting the trumpets out. We can be kind to others and let them see something different in us. 

So, how about trying that? 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Soul Surfer

~Monday Movies & Music~


Surfing. It is her first love. It is her passion. And she's got the skill to become a pro. At least she did. Surfing one day, Bethany gets attacked by a shark. Blood is lost in crazy amounts. She is rushed to the hospital. And although she survives, her left arm is forever gone. And with only one arm, pro surfing seems doubtful.  

But Bethany isn't about to give up. After tons of hard works, she faces the waves again abd declares to the world that nothing is impossible with God. 


I had seen a movie trailer of Soul Surfer a while ago and was pretty excited to watch this. Although I wish it was developed a bit more, it spoke of a great - and true! - story. Bethany Hamilton is a real person who lost her arm and is now a pro surfer. Praise God, who does such grand things!  

Have you ever felt that something is just way too hard? Nothing is impossible with God (Philippians 4:13), and it just might be that God will use your story to touch and inspire others.  

Saturday, January 9, 2016

"God knew how I'd ached" and more quotes

~Saturday Stories~


"God knew how I'd ached." - Skylar, So Over It

“Jesus told his disciples in the book of John that people would know we are His by our love for each other. Not how we look or how much we do for His Kingdom, but by our love. It all comes down to love.” -Scott, Worth the Time

"Seriously, if God hadn't intervened in my life, well, I don't know where I'd be right now. Maybe I'd be dead like Lisa." - Andrea, Harsh Pink

"You're going to make enemies, you two."
"It's about time." .... "I never thought I was going to get any enemies here." ... "I figure if nobody hates me, I'm being too wishy-washy."  -Mrs. Abbey & Wyatt, "B" is for Bad at Getting into Harvard

How about you? Have you ached? Have you shown Christ's love or noticed it in others? What has God saved you from? Have you made enemies while standing for what is right? 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Who to be friends with

~Friday for Friends~


"Walk with the wise and become wise,
  for a companion of fools suffers harm." Proverbs 13:20 (NIV)

Think a moment about who you are friends with. Who do you "walk with?" How do they effect who you are? 

There is the fact that Jesus associated with "tax collectors and sinners" (Mark 2:15-17). So it's not horrible to be friends with non-Christians and influence others for Christ. However, you need to think about each specific friendship,

Who is influencing whom? Are you being a light? Or are they dragging you into darkness?  

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

What does your fasting look like?

~Tuesday Thoughts~


I know it's somewhat of a long read. But it is worth being read.

 "“Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
    Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
    and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
2 For day after day they seek me out;
    they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
    and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
    and seem eager for God to come near them.
3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
    ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
    and you have not noticed?’
“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
    and exploit all your workers.
4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
    and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
    and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
    only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
    and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
    a day acceptable to the Lord?
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
    with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
    and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
    Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
    and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
    and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
    and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the Lord,
    and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
    and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken." Isaiah 58 (NIV)


How about you? How can you fast today?

Monday, January 4, 2016

Do You Believe?

~Monday Movies & Music~


Our family watched an AMAZING movie "Do You Believe?." Here is the trailer

A mom on the streets with her daughter. A pregnant teenage girl. A man who's been to prison. Grieving parents. A pastor's wife who can't have children. A former military man. 

Twelve stories weave into a beautiful tapestry. Each person sees God work, whether it be in a place to stay or a new friend.This is an awesome movie of hope, forgiveness, and love.  

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Only a number of days

~Saturday Stories~


There are only a number of days
That we will live on Earth. 
There are only a numvber of days 
That we will jump and play in, 
Work and laugh and dance in, 
Sing and talk and argue in, 
Hope and thump and zip in, 
Dream and love and be happy in. 
So do not waste these days 
On doing something boring. 


"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10 (NIV)

How can you live today to make a difference? 

Friday, January 1, 2016

The highlights of 2015

2015 has been a year of both challenges and incredible joys, I pray that 2016 will bring you and me more joy and help us to depend fully on our God.

"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)


How about you? Which blog posts did you like best? What blog posts of your own are your favorite? What do you think of 2015 and what are your hopes for the new year?