Friday, April 28, 2017

Lofty goals

~Friday for Friends~

"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." Ephesians 4:1-6 (NIV)

Those are some pretty lofty goals, aren't they? Let us strive to attain them, all the while seeking God's help! What is something practical you can do in the next 24 hours?

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Gospel

~Monday Movies & Music~

Guys, this is such a great song! Ryan Stevenson recently uploaded "The Gospel" (lyrics).  

"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)

The gospel is such a great thing! How can you let others know about it as you go about your day?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Knowing for sure (that you're loved)

~Saturday Stories~

In my room I sit alone 
Wondering what it feels like 
To know for sure that you're loved 
Because in my mind there's always
The possibility of them just being polite

I'm polite sometimes 
Who is to say my friends
Don't simply feel sorry for 
The girl with the dry humor 
Who does not know when to shut up

Who is to say that the times 
I hug my friends they are not wishing
That I go away and leave them alone
Maybe it would be better for everyone  
If I left before they asked me to

I was told today
That that wasn't true
That when he talked to me
It was because he wanted to 
And not because of duty 

God, I don't even know if I can
Believe that anymore. Open my eyes 
And remind me that Your love is incredible 
And You can use others 
To show me that love on earth. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Avoid sexual immorality (what a fun topic, right?)

~Tuesday Thoughts~ 

"It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body[a] in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister.[b] The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit." 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 (NIV)

Hard, sometimes. But God has a beautiful design for sex - that it should be between one man and one woman within the grand structure of marriage. That is what sex is meant to look like. 

And, yes, this means warding off comments from others about how we're "missing out." And, yes, this means setting precautions and not needlessly tempting ourselves. And, yes, this means we should consciously stop mid-thought and thinking of other things. And, yes, for some of us this means we'll never get to experience it, because, chances are, some of us will never marry. 

But God knows what He's doing. He knows why this is better for us. And He'll hold us through all the temptations, all the failures, all the prayers for forgiveness, and standing up again. 

Monday, April 17, 2017


~Monday Movies & Music~ 

One of Mandisa's new songs, "Unfinished" (lyrics), is a beautiful reminder that God is still working on us. 

"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

God is making something beautiful out of you. He won't leave you mid-way. Don't ever forget that! 

P. S. Mandisa has a new album coming out next month. Be sure to check it out. Do you know of any other Christian albums coming out soon? Please share!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A New Birth through the One who Conquered Death

~Saturday Stories~

"You asked why I would make such a big deal about promising my life to Jesus if He were dead like Buddha or Mohammed. Well, that's the thing! Jesus isn't dead. Yes, He died on the cross, but then He came back to life and He's still alive today. I can't explain it, but He's living inside me. He's as real as any person I know. I don't know Him as well as I want to, but we're getting better acquainted. I've always prayed - you know, talked to God. But now I'm starting to read my Bible, which is like listening to Him." -Christy, A Whisper and a Wish

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," 1 Peter 1:3 (NIV)

Our God is alive! Whether it is Saturday or Sunday for you now, can't you feel that anticipation, that delight in the fact that God has risen? Christ has risen! Amen!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Excruciating Pain

~Good Friday~

Something I heard on K-LOVE and also thought myself is that on Good Friday it is easy to think only of the good that came out of this week. Honestly, with the knowledge of the upcoming incredible death-defying resurrection, it is easy to gloss over the atrocities of Friday. And, of course, Sunday is indeed incredibly important, a day without which our faith is utterly useless. 

Yet we dare not forget the pain, the excruciating pain our Savior went through on Friday. Imagine a time when you hurt physically. He felt that and more. Imagine a time when you were lonely. He felt that and more. Imagine a time when you did someone good, and the recipient slapped you in the face. He felt that and more. The amazing Creator, without whom nothing would have been made, the Healer, whose incredible love extends to prostitutes and taxpayers, the teacher, who taught of the possibility of rebirth, became the SAVIOR of humankind by HIS DEATH and resurrection. 

"For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross." Colossians 1:19-20 (NIV)

This is not an easy day. Let us remember that as we rejoice in our Savior's death and the upcoming defeat of death! 

Monday, April 10, 2017


~Monday Movies & Music~ 

"Unforsaken" is a beautiful song by Adelaide.

""Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”" Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

This is a beautiful piece of Scripture. It really is. But what I want to draw attention to today is that God's unending presence and forgiveness were bought at a price - a huge one. In my community group today, we read from Matthew 27. Jesus is hanging on the cross: 

"About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[a] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).[b]" Matthew 27:46 (NIV)

It is so easy to forget that God holds us in His hand, that He is loving and forgiving, but also JUST. He didn't just throw away the idea of human righteousness, did not say that He would leave sins unpunished. No, instead He was the One punished for the countless sins we do. 

"God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV)

It is easier to remember this truth this Easter week, but I want to encourage you to remember it after as well. I want you to wake up next Monday still reveling in God's amazing love, death, forgiveness, and resurrection!