Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Music for Him

~Tuesday Thoughts~

This is the fifth post in the series on Colossians 3 and 4. The first four are On Things AbovePut to Death Your Sins, No Gentile or Jew, and Peace and Thankfulness . The first category in the NIV Bible for this passage is called "Living as Those Made Alive in Christ." Let us do so!

"Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts." Colossians 3:16 (NIV)

Music is amazing. When we listen to music or write it or play it or sing it, something happens that doesn't normally happen. An excited energy seems to invade us, leaving us dancing or closing our eyes or mouthing the songs or just thinking about the words or the beat.

We can use music to God's glory. When we listen to music that praises His name, or at least is clean. When we write songs that are about Him. When we lead others in worship. And when we sing to Him. When we remember who He is and who we are and how much we owe Him and express it in song. 

This week how can you use music to bring glory to God? 

Monday, August 29, 2016


~Monday Movies & Music~

Tenth Avenue North's new song "Overflow" has a great message. Here are the lyrics.

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."1 John 4:7-12 (NIV)

Today, remember to praise God for His love! Share that immeasurable love with others!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

"Stop listening to the Enemy" and more quotes

~Saturday Stories~

"God does love you. He's been trying to show you that. Nothing is so bad that He would stop loving you. ... You have to stop listening to the Enemy." - Renee, The Masquerade

"Not everyone is called to be a Quaker. But everyone is called to receive God the Savior." -Mrs. Fry, The Thieves of Tyburn Square

"You need to be really praying, Em. And reading your Bible. And you may need to talk to someone at camp, someone who can be kind of a prayer warrior with you, you know what I mean? Someone you can talk to about this." -Leah, Faded Denim

"Gracie talked to God as she walked, grateful she wasn't going into this alone." - Grace Notes

How about you? Do you believe God loves you? Have you received God as Savior? Do you have someone who can be your prayer warrior? Are you grateful that you aren't walking through life alone?

Friday, August 26, 2016

Give what you want

~Friday for Friends~

I'm in the middle of watching an interesting video recommended by a friend, "Give What You Want" by Holly Furtick. Sometimes we don't feel like giving. Or we feel that we have given so much that people owe us. But can we break the 50/50 "rule" of relationships?? 

"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.

Judging Others
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”" Luke 6:35-38 (NIV)

Watch the video and tell me what you think! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Calming the storm

~Tuesday Thoughts~

"That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”" Mark 4:35-41 (NIV)

Our God can calm physical storms. He can also calm the ones in our hearts. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

You are

~Monday Movies and Music~

Montell Jordan has a great song, "You Are." Here are the lyrics.

"11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”" 1 Kings 19:11-13 (NIV)

Our God is so amazing! Let that truth wash over you tonight! 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

You know that pain

~Saturday Stories~

1. You know that pain
That you don't let yourself feel
You know that ache
When you try to make yourself numb
You know that hurt
That you don't remind yourself of
You know...

So you box if up
In a neat, neat box
And send it far away
I don't want to deal with this now
So you block it off
And you build a wall
No one can see and you're all alone
No, I don't need any help right now

2. You know that pain
That invades you when you're all alone
You know that ache
When you can't take it anymore
You know that hurt
That haunts you in your dreams
You know...

Still, you box if up
In a neat, neat box
And send it far away
I don't want to deal with this now
So you block it off
And you build a wall
No one can see and you're all alone
No, I don't need any help right now

3. That pain, that ache
You know how much it hurts
Those screams, those tears
When you think no one else will know
Those cries for help
Uttered in the darkness

Please don't box it up
In any box
Open it up
You need to deal with this now
Please don't block it off
Or build a wall
God sees you when you're all alone
We all need help right now

What if you said
I can open up now
What if you said
God, help me with my healing x2

I won't box it up
In any box
I'll open up
'Cause I need to deal with thiis now
I won't block it off
I'll tear down that wall
God sees me when I'm all alone
I need help right now

Friday, August 19, 2016


~Friday for Friends~

Remember those days in elementary school when you declared that someone was going to be your best friend forever and ever? And maybe that's still working for you. But for a lot of us, it's not. 

I had an amazing friend in first and second grade. But, then, you know, life happened. I moved. That slow fade of our friendship hurt so much. Fewer and fewer emails got to my inbox, and fewer were sent by me. I tried to make yourself think that when we got together everything would be fine again. 

And then it wasn't. 

We both had changed. And not necessarily for the worst. Just not for each other. And it hurts. Oh, my, it hurts. And it's really nobody's fault. And it's kind of both of our faults. 

But you know what? It happens. It turns out to be okay. Even if we rarely see each other. 

  "God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1 (NIV)

It might hurt for a very long time, but God's amazing love can always help us through the hard times. Through family, friends, and especially through His Word, He can bring us peace we never thought we could have.  

How about you? Have you had some friendships fail? How has God helped you through the tough times? 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Scheduled chaos

~Tuesday Thoughts~

A lot of us have either started or are about to start school or college. And that's a huge change from the somewhat-slower usually-more-fun three months of summer. There are earlier wake-ups, more scheduled days, and homework-filled evenings. While on paper it might all look neat and organized, we all know how chaotic it'll feel for the two weeks that it takes us to readjust to the new normal.

I want to encourage you - and myself - that amid this chaos and confusion we can also often find laughter and hearty congratulations on a job well done. We can look at our grades and sometimes be happy with them. We can look at something we've been training in and realize just how much better we are getting to be in them. We can spend incredulous amounts of time laughing with friends we wouldn't get to see if it wasn't for school.

So, let us enjoy this reunion of schedules and chaos. And let us do all we're supposed to. And let us do it for God's glory.

"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)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Through Your eyes

~Monday Movies & Music~

Britt Nicole has a new and great song, "Through Your Eyes." Here are the lyrics.

"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:1-7 (NIV)

God is so good!

How about you? With whom can you share this amazing truth? 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Fight by Luke Wordley

~Saturday Stories~

Typical Sam: "Yep, these boys were going to be trouble. Sam had seen them across the street, talking and staring when he and his mum were moving into their flat. The next day the oldest one had knocked on the door and asked if Sam wanted to play football. Sam had refused. He knew what they were trying to do  — lure him out. A fight was just a matter of time."

Typical Jerry: "Jerry didn’t fret. His passion was to see young lives turned around, as his own had been many years earlier. In his mind, success in the ring was of only secondary importance."

Sam used to have a pretty good life with his dad and mum. But now that his dad is dead and his mum is quickly becoming an alcoholic, Sam gets angry at the world. He starts fights, most of the time when the odds are stacked against him.

Jerry could have made it big in boxing... He tries to squelch the memories and puts his all into training other boxers. God has turned him around, and he wants to see others turned around too. But when Sam comes across his path and Jerry sees the future the boy could have, who will win - Jerry's pride or God?

The Fight is an amazing story, full of the truths we often don't hear represented. Here is the story about the bad side of town, about fights, drinking, and threats of rape. Yet this is a story overwhelmingly full of God's love and forgiveness. Sam learns more about Christ, and Jerry's faith strengthens, and then fails, and then strengthens again. The battle rages in both hearts, reminding the reader that God's forgiveness will never stop. (The book does include a bit of swearing.)

For more on Luke Wordley, visit his Facebook page.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Iron sharpens iron

~Friday for Friends~

" As iron sharpens iron,
    so one person sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)

Who can you help by being kind but honest about something in their life? Whose advice can you listen to? 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Peace and thankfulness

~Tuesday Thoughts~

This is the fourth post in the series on Colossians 3 and 4. The first three are On Things AbovePut to Death Your Sins, and No Gentile or Jew . The first category in the NIV Bible for this passage is called "Living as Those Made Alive in Christ." Let us do so!

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." Colossians 3:15 (NIV)

Peace... It seems like such an elusive thing these days. And being thankful? Seriously? Right now?
So many things make life hard that it seems like there is nothing to be thankful for.

But with God's help, we can overflow with both peace and thankfulness. Perhaps when we do, the people around us will recognize that both of these things are God's gift to us. Not something we earn. Not something we could get by ourselves. But some of God's amazing gifts.

Monday, August 8, 2016


~Monday Movies and Music~

Matthew West has a great song, "Mended." Here are the lyrics.

"On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”" Mark 2:17 (NIV)

"For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
  as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us."
Psalm 103:11-12 (NIV)

How about you? Have you ever felt that you were beyond redemption, healing, and love? 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

"God began a very good thing" and more quotes

~Saturday Stories~

"God began a very good thing when he made you. I know he's very proud of you." -Dr. Peter, Sophie's World

"It has occurred to me today that it's definitely God's will for me to remain a virgin until the day I marry (that is if I ever marry - and who knows?). And so, on this day (May 26) I am making a vow to God to totally abstain from having sex until my wedding day." - Caitlin, Becoming Me

"If we wallow too long in our sin, we’ll start believing that’s as good as it gets.” - Pastor Scott, Worth the Time

"It's very easy to feel hopeless when we are in something all by ourselves. When we invite other people in to help us, it spreads out the burden, and things don't seem as awful anymore." -Renee, The Masquerade

How about you? Do you believe that God began a good thing when He formed you? Have you decided whether or  not you will abstain from sex until marriage? Have you remembered that it is not sin we need to focus on, but God? Have you let others help you? 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Spur one another on

~Friday for Friends~ 

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)

Whom can you spur on? Whom can you meet? Whom can you encourage? 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Is truth relative?

~Tuesday Thoughts~

In this world we’re constantly told that truth is relative. “It depends on what circumstance you are in,” the world whispers into our ear.

But truth is NOT relative. And it is found in the Word of God.  We know that “all Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16, NIV) and that God does not lie.

"in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time," Titus 1:2 (NIV, emphasis mine)

It is not bad to find more of God’s truths in nature or society. However, if something contradicts Scripture we know what is correct: God’s Word.

Monday, August 1, 2016

To Save a Life

~Monday Movies & Music~

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

Maybe if Jake was a better friend, Roger wouldn't have killed himself. Jake Taylor's near-perfect life is shocked by the suicide of his childhood best friend. A million thoughts swirling in his head, Jake doesn't feel that being the basketball star with the beautiful girlfriend is as fulfilling anymore. What if he gave Christianity a chance? What if he made his life about something more than just himself?

To Save A Life (trailer) has an amazing script and incredible acting. It deals with topics many Christian movies shy away from: suicide, sex, cutting, and family pressure. It discusses them in an amazingly Christian way that portrays both the reality of these things and the reality of the God who helps one overcome it all.

"At some point you got to ask yourself, 'What do you want your life to be about?'" -To Save a Life

I do not recommend this movie for anyone under 15. But if you're older, this movie can you remind you of truths you'd like to forget and inspire you to do something about them.