You see, sometimes we aren't honest. Not in the least. We dodge the questions; we speak half-truths. What they don't know can't hurt them, right? We hide away from sharing what we feel; lame "feeling well"s will have to do. When did it pay off to be vulnerable? We try to go away to cry; we do not want to be weak in front of others. They won't understand, will they?
What? Why? Sometimes we hide too much, and when all the emotions boil, we do not have anyone to share with us the soup of discouragement, shame, and fear. What if we actually SHARED a part of ourselves? Went all out and showed them we cared about them and opened up about our own stuff?
Scary? Oh, yeah. Worth it? Definitely
"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." Romans 12:15 (NIV)
This is the third post in the series on Colossians 3 and 4. The first is On Things Above, while the second is Put to Death Your Sins . The first category in the NIV Bible for this passage is called "Living as Those Made Alive in Christ." Let us do so!
"Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:11-14 (NIV)
Woah! Hard passage! So many things we are called to do. But God has loved us first, and, with His power, we can do this too!
Typical Heather: "I clenched the Bible until my hands ached. These pages held the words of life, but how many would have to die to preserve them?"
Heather's dad just got arrested. The government had tracked the Bible to their house. Now alone, Heather struggles to know what God wants of her. Should she try to help her dad, and how can she when the government has the general population tricked? But with the underground Church and friends that never leave, Heather is about to learn about God's amazing power. And she might not be the only one.
Counted Worthy, though set in the future, reminds of the drastic reality of persecution many people face today. Their faith is illegal. A Bible, if found, could get them killed. In times like this, the people can only call out to the One who has delivered others before. Never sure of their present deliverance, they can know that their Savior has died for them and will be waiting for them on the other side of death.
Though a little slow at the beginning, the story picks up and causes one to turn pages later on. A story reminding of a difficult truth, Counted Worthy will help you value God's Word.
""For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”" Matthew 18:20 (NIV)
There is so much uncertainty in the world. So much tragedy. So much horror. Wherever you look, it seems like something bad is happening. But we know that our God is stronger. Always has been, always will be. He has not failed us before. He won't now.
Try to always trust God because He is always faithful!
Will you pray for healing for those in turmoil? Will you receive the healing God offers YOU?
"“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”" John 13:34-35 (NIV) To whom can you show love today?
"I just hope I have the strength to do what's right. Hopefully, I'll actually know what's right when the time comes. And I'll keep praying that God will show me. I'm sure that he will." -Caitlin, Becoming Me
"It has always seemed to me that we who consider ourselves God's servants must be prepared to do part of God's work. And the Bible tells us to bear one another's burdens." -Elizabeth Fry, The Thieves of Tyburn Square
How about you? Are you being too hard on yourself? Do you allow yourself to cry? Have you had a time when you were unsure about a choice? Are you prepared to do God's work?
"Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured." Colossians 4:12 (NIV)
This is the second post in the series on Colossians 3 and 4. The first is On Things Above. The first category in the NIV Bible for this passage is called "Living as Those Made Alive in Christ." Let us do so!
"Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[a] You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator." Colossians 3:5-10 (NIV)
God calls us to give up the sins we like. Some of the ones listed above that I struggle with are lust, greed. anger, and filthy language. What about you? No matter which sins we have been entangled in before, God delivers us. We are being renewed.
"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)
How about you? What sins are you entangled in? Have you asked God to help you with them?
He doesn't have a place to stay, so she lets him in. But well-known designer Leigh Anne Tuohy can't help thinking it was a mistake. What would the homeless Big Mike do in a huge house where she lives with her husband and two kids? And how come, once he's inside, he's changing her life more than she is his?
The Blind Side(trailer) is a pretty amazing movie full of serious topics: family relationships, academics, living in the slums, and reaching the poorer. It's about the change one can make on another's life. How when one tries to bless someone else, he gets blessed in return, more than he ever thought possible. It's a story that's not sugar-coated but brings amazing hope and inspiration.
How about you? Who has blessed you recently? Who have you blessed?
I just finished reading a story
That was bursting with hope
And, sure, it was dark sometimes
But everyone pulled thru in the end
I wonder if that’s because
It’s just a story
Or do things really happen that way
And can I, in moments of despair,
Assume that the words before “the end”
Will be happy ones
No matter how dark our stories are, God always knows what He is doing. He love us so much.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us." Romans 8:28-34 (NIV)
"But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." Luke 6:35-36 (NIV)
Who can you love today? To whom can you do good? To whom can you lend? To whom can you be kind and merciful today?
This is the first in the series on Colossians 3 and 4. The first category in the NIV Bible for this passage is called "Living as Those Made Alive in Christ." Let us do so!
"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." Colossians 3:1-4 (NIV)
There is a reality in this world that we often forget about. There is a truth that we often choose to push to the back of our minds. But let us remember today! Let us remember whose we are and that He has chosen us. And let us set our minds and hearts on things above. For our "life is now hidden with Christ in God."
As Americans celebrate the amazing opportunity to be a part of a great country, let us not forget that we are first of all God's. And no matter what happens in this or any other country in these tumultuous times, we will be His. Let us tell others about this amazing truth; let us show them who we are by our love.
"'By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”" John 13:35 (NIV)
Typical Sophie: "Sophie closed her eyes and listened to the clip-clop of the horses' hooves. Antoinette LaCroix peeked from inside the carriage, her face half hidden by the hood of her cloak. All around her colonists hurried to and fro..." A trip to Williamsburg sends Sophie's already very active imagination even further. She needs to help the colonists! But her delightful fantasies only land her in trouble. And now her dad thinks she needs to see a counselor. No way! He'll just say the same thing everybody does, that she's weird and should stop. But could there be a better way out of this trouble?
Sophie's World deals with a number of issues: family pressure, popular girls, friendships, being true to yourself, and asking God for help. Sophie is thought strange by almost everybody, and she wonders why they just can't understand. Sophie learns to control her daydreams a bit but stays herself throughout the story. In the end, her fantasies even help someone out! This story is awesome for middle-school girls struggling with who they are.