Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Light and momentary troubles

~Tuesday Thoughts~

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18  (NIV)

They don't seem light, those troubles. They sure don't seem momentary. But compared to the amazing things God has done and continues and will continue to do, they are. Let us fix our eyes on our Father!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Fall Apart

~Monday Movies & Music~

Josh Wilson has an amazing song "Fall Apart." Here are the lyrics.

   "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delivers them from all their troubles.
   The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
   The righteous person may have many troubles,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all;" Psalm 34:17-19 (NIV)

  "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? Are you going through a tough time? Are you leaning on God for help? 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

"Admitting it shows courage" and more quotes

~Saturday Stories~ 

"Everybody does things that they regret, Beka. Making a mistake and admitting it shows courage." - Renee, The Masquerade

"When you say 'If God loves me - if Jesus loves me,' that means you have some doubt. As long as you have that 'if', you're going to doubt the opportunities that Jesus puts right in front of you. I'm sure that bums him out. ... God loves you. There is no 'if'... That's why he sent Jesus to show us the way - he loves you that much. He's our Father - and you know how much a father loves his kids." - Dr. Peter, Sophie's World

"True peace only comes when God dwells within thee." -Mrs. Fry, The Thieves of Tyburn Square

"Prayer. When all else fails, or even succeeds, prayer can change things." -Pastor Ray, Faded Denim

How about you? Have you done things that you regret? Do you trust that God loves you? Have you experienced true peace or felt the power of prayer? 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Be kind

~Friday for Friends~

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” -Wendy Mass, The Candymakers (similar quotation available)

"Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2 (NIV)

Who can you show Christ to today? Who's burden can you carry? 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


~Tuesday Thoughts~

"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]" Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)

Never. Never. He will never leave. No matter who else does. No matter how lonely you feel. No matter how much you wish everything would be different. He will never leave. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Because of Winn-Dixie

~Monday Movies & Music~ 

Opal and her dad have moved again, and she can't find a single friend in this new town. Then she discovers a stray dog, Winn-Dixie, and everything changes. Opal makes friends with the librarian, the woman others believe is a witch, and a somewhat strange store manager, among others. But what will happen if, as her neighbor threatens, Winn-Dixie is given to the pound? And will Opal be able to bring together the very different people of the town? 

Because of Winn Dixie (trailer) is a great movie for children that explores friendships, growing up in a single household, and seeing other people's struggles. Although Christ is not the center of the movie, there is some Christian input. 

How about you? Do you see other people's struggles and try to help them with them?

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The battle is not with human beings

~Saturday Stories~

I wrote this after reading Shannon Dittemore’s amazing book Angel Eyes

The world is full of
Noises we do not hear
Sights we do not see
Truths we do not understand

We think this world is all there is
But how blind that idea
How ignorant, how destructive
Does God’s Word not warn us
That the battle is not with human beings
But with the powers of darkness
That we as humans do not see
But that are nonetheless existent
Yet let us not forget
A truth so bright it blinds in a new way
That God has power over all
And the enemy has no chance

Against the might of the Almighty 

"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." 1 John 4:4 (NIV)


Friday, June 17, 2016

Do nothing out of selfish ambition

~Friday for Friends~

"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)

Hard couple of verses. It is so easy to focus only on ourselves, to care only about our own successes and failures. But we are supposed to put God first and others second, no matter how overused that phrase might sound. We are to imitate what Christ has already done (Philippians 2:5-11). 

So what can you do today for others? 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

His energy

~Tuesday Thoughts~

"Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me." Colossians 1:28-29 (English Standard Version)

It's really not us being amazing and strong. It is God working through us. Praise be to God!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Who are we looking for?

~Monday Movies & Music~

OBB has a pretty great song, "Looking for a Girl." Here are the lyrics.

Whether you are a male looking for a girl or a female searching for a boy, this song applies. Really, it's not about make-up. It's not about muscles. It's not about good looks, good grades, good pretending to be perfect. It's about Who ignites us, Who we are made through and for.

Pick a date and then a husband/wife not just by how you are attracted to him/her, but also by how much they love God.

"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[a]? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?" 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 (NIV)

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight." 1 Peter 3:3-4 (NIV)

Find some more information on dating at Bibleinfo.com.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore

~Saturday Stories~

Typical Brielle: "Ali was eighteen, Dad. My age. A little bit younger, really." My body-my skin, even-feels so heavy with the icy weight of it all. "I could have stopped the whole thing."

Brielle is coming back from the city, the city that offered so much for her talent. Everyone keeps telling her that it wasn't her fault, but she knows... She knows she could have saved her friend. Now back in Stratus, Oregon, Brielle can't seem to find peace anywhere. The the new boy in town starts hanging around with her. Jake isn't a normal guy. With healing hands and an intense heat radiating from his body, he intrigues Brielle. But will she accept the gift Jake reveals but only God can give? Is she ready to see the world for what it really is?

Angel Eyes is a beautiful and captivating story. The plot keeps one intensely invested, and Shannon Dittemore makes her prose come alive in every sentence. Brielle's struggles are real and easy to relate to.

The story idea itself - a girl who can see the Celestial, the angels and demons - could easily have become just another story to add to this world's ever-growing collection of horrors and thrillers. Yet the author keeps her story as Biblically grounded as can be. Although obviously some license is taken, little or nothing contradicts Scripture. Shannon Dittemore depicts the battle going on between angels and demons, making the concept outlined in Scripture come alive in the imagination.

One thing that could be improved, though, is mentioning Jesus Christ. The book contains at most one allusion to God's incredible gift of Jesus' death and resurrection. While Brielle learns to accept God's existence and sovereignty, her attitude toward Christ is not described. However, Angel Eyes did an amazing job of reminding of the truth that is easy to forget, that the real battle is the one we do not see.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

Angel Eyes is the first of the Angel Eyes trilogy. The second and third books are Broken Wings and Dark Halo.

For more on Shannon Dittemore, visit her website and Facebook page. She is also a regular contributor to the Go Teen Writers blog.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Love, show, remember

~Friday for Friends~

"Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." Hebrews 13:1-3 (NIV)

How about you? Are you loving others? Have you shown hospitality to people you know and to strangers? Do you remember those who are in prison, those who are suffering, those who are alone

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

He will be there - I promise

~Tuesday Thoughts~

Okay, so sometime life seems pointless. And you're hurt like crazy and wonder if anyone ever ever ever will care the tiniest bit. But we need to remember that through it all God loves us so much. It feels like you're all alone, I know. But you're not. And because of God's love, you never will be. 

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

What anxieties can you give to Him today? 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Where Hope Grows

~Monday Movies & Music~

Calvin Campbell could have made it big in baseball. Operative word - could have. After freezing up during an important game and being fired, he drinks to try to drown his despair. His daughter Katie despises his drinking and, in protest, dates a guy her father disapproves of. Colt isn't that bad, is he? But then things start going even farther down, with a friend constantly reminding Calvin of his failure and Colt pressuring Katie to have sex. How long will it be before one or both of them crack?

Where Hope Grows (trailer) is a movie full of both despair and hope, with hope coming triumphant in the end. Produce, a Christian man with Down Syndrome helps both Calvin and Katie realize that the way they're heading has nothing good in store. Though tragic, the ending brings father and daughter to new paths. The movie is not as Christian as some, but it does show the role the church has in transforming peoples' lives.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

"You can't expect yourself to turn it off like a light switch" and more quotes

~Saturday Stories~

"Dear God, help me. I feel like I'm lost in the wilderness trying to find my way and I'm not even sure which way to turn." - Caitlin, Becoming Me

“That’s the power that comes with allowing God to have control of your life. You’re capable of so much more.” - Heather, Me, Just Different

"So, do you think that fashion and beauty are sinful?"
... "I'm not really sure, Emily. I just think that getting obsessed with it is wrong. I can feel that inside of me. And trying to make myself look like something I'm not... well, that was wrong too." - Emily & Leah, Faded Denim

"You've been into one way of thinking for so long, you can't expect yourself to turn it off like a light switch. Was there a time when you would have done it without batting an eye?"
"Then you've made progress. Let God forgive you and get on with it." -Ms. Race & Norie, "B" is for Bad at Getting into Harvard

How about you? Do you feel like you're lost? Have you seen that through God you can do so much more than without Him? Have you been obsessing about fashion and beauty? Have you been expecting yourself to turn around very quickly and been disappointed with how long change can take? 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Keep spending time with friends

~Friday for Friends~

Now that it's summer, we might be investing a crazy amount in our friends. Or perhaps, since we don't see them every day, we kind of forget about them. There's a ton of things to do, isn't there? And it's kind of hard to schedule a day with two people free of the million things the summer is full of. I would like to encourage you - and myself! - to keep spending time with our friends. 

And, if nothing else can work at all, let us at least try to say what Paul and Timothy told the Philippians: "I thank my God every time I remember you." Philippians 1:3 (NIV)

God has blessed us so much with the friendships we have! Let us keep the ones that encourage us in our walk with Christ. 

How about you? Have you been spending time with good friends? When was a time you were particularly thankful for friendships?