Monday, May 29, 2017

Christian Music Playlist Project

~Monday Movies & Music~


Hey, guys! I am working on an on-going project on YouTube, making playlists that are full of Christian music. There is everything from Britt Nicole to Matthew West, from Manafest to Adelaide

Not only is there a more general "Christian Music" playlist that songs get added to, but the songs are also sorted by message - "Christian Songs on Trials," "Songs of God's Forgiveness," "Christian Songs on Relationships" and much, much more. The ultimate goal is to have all Christian songs that are on YouTube on these playlists. 

I have done my absolute best to see that only the artists' or the labels' videos are on the playlists, not somebody else's videos with the artists' songs. This way you can more easily find more of their work and the artists and labels can get the "views" and "likes" for their amazing songs! 



Please head on over and immerse yourselves in truth-filled worshipful music as well as rap that glorifies our Savior. Because no matter the style, we can always praise our Almighty God with music

Saturday, May 27, 2017

There is only God's love

~Saturday Stories~


"Love isn't about what you do or don't do. It's about who you are. They love you because you're their daughter and sister. Your actions aren't going to change that." -Renee, The Masquerade

“You may have had some small part in setting the events of that night in motion, Kirsten. There are things you could have done differently so perhaps the accident wouldn’t have happened. More than likely it still would have. But whatever your share of the blame . . . why do you think we celebrate our communion and pray in the garden and go on with the work we’ve been given to do? Because we’re all forgiven. There is no shame, Kirsten. There is only God’s love.” -Frankie, The Merciful Scar



"Fighting isn't going to give you true, lasting happiness. Only knowing that God loves you can really do that." - The Fight

How about you? Do you easily forget that you are loved unconditionally - by God? Can you give God your shame and accept his love? 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Free to love

~Tuesday Thoughts~


"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh." Galatians 5:13-16 (NIV)



How about you? How can you serve and love someone today?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Whole Heart

~Monday Movies & Music~ 

Brandon Heath has a fun truth-filled song, "Whole Heart." Here are the lyrics. Be sure to check the song out! 

"1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever." Psalm 136:1-3 (NIV)



The more we get to know and see God through Scripture and our own lives, the more we want to give Him our entire selves. He is an amazing Creator and Father who has always loved us, even before we loved him. Let us rejoice and rest in this eternal truth. Our Father is so worthy of our praise and love!

How about you? Have you trusted God to see you with all your sins, mess-ups, and disappointments? Have you learned of His unending love and mercy?    

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Praising Him as mourning turns to joy

~Tuesday Thoughts~


Just wanted to share a psalm that I like with you. 

"Psalm 30[a]
A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple.[b] Of David.

1 I will exalt you, Lord,
    for you lifted me out of the depths
    and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 Lord my God, I called to you for help,
    and you healed me.
3 You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
    you spared me from going down to the pit.
4 Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;
    praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
    but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
    but rejoicing comes in the morning.
6 When I felt secure, I said,
    “I will never be shaken.”
7 Lord, when you favored me,
    you made my royal mountain[c] stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
    I was dismayed.
8 To you, Lord, I called;
    to the Lord I cried for mercy:
9 “What is gained if I am silenced,
    if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
    Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;
    Lord, be my help.”
11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
    you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
    Lord my God, I will praise you forever." Psalm 30 (NIV)



When was a time God helped you through your difficulties? When did a night of weeping become the morning that was full of joy? Let us not forget those moments as we praise our Lord and Savior!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Grace Unplugged

~Monday Movies & Music~


She's sick and tired of being her father's sidekick. It's annoying, tiring, and definitely not as cool as others think. Trying out on her own, signing, singing, and "blowing people away with [her] music" - those are her goals. And now she can make them happen. But it might require more from her than she could ever imagine. 

Grace Unplugged is a beautiful movie about a girl passionate about something. It was amazing to see Grace love music, be invested into it. This all made her struggle to keep God at the center of her life so much more realistic and relatable. The movie was gorgeously done: very enjoyable with the Christian truths portrayed well, not pushed down the throat yet not watered down. 



Making Him the center of our lives is one of the hardest things we can do. Grace Unplugged reminds us why it is so important.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Forgiven

~Monday Movies & Music~


Sanctus Real has a beautiful song - "Forgiven" - that reminds us of the forgiveness that God offers us. Here are the lyrics

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9 (NIV)



His forgiveness overwhelms and cleanses us! Let us take this truth to heart. Let us confess and then live as forgiven. And let us tell others about this.

Have you been living in the reality of forgiveness?

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Captives by Jill Williamson

~Saturday Stories~


"Otley sighed. "Remember what I said, men." He turned in a circle, pointing and panning his finger over the enforcers. "One kill each. Sleep the rest of the village.""


It is 2088. Just outside the walls of the dangerous and deadly Safe Lands, three brothers live in a small village. Levi is a great hunter and a well-respected man but with a temper; Mason is a doctor-in-training within a community who thinks his job is feminine; Omar is an amazing painter whose weak body is always looked down on. While living in the village suits most, one of the villagers will turn everyone in to the enforcers of the Safe Lands so that he himself can live there. With so many dead and captive and surrounded by people with the thin plague, is there a way that they will get out of this alive? Or maybe the Safe Lands are not as dangerous as they were taught to believe...

I  enjoyed Captives tremendously, especially the last quarter or so. I read the book on my kindle device and literally have 151 notes and bookmarks throughout the story. Jill Williamson did a great job of building the story world into something both believable and amazing. The concept of the thin plague, that so many had it, and that it was hard to have an uninfected baby was genius. I also enjoyed her portrayal of the city's mentality: so much was fixed on pleasure. It was at the same time fascinating as a concept and absolutely sickening when you thought about it. I am so glad that that is not quite what reality is for us!  


Throughout their village life and later their captivity, the characters lean on God and trust Him. Jill Williamson weaved faith in beautifully, especially when talking about Shaylinn and her struggles with accepting herself for who she is.

One of the central problems in this book is the Safe Lands nationals not being able to conceive. That is why they needed the people from the village in the first place. That being sad, there are many - many! - references to this problem. While the only actual sexual encounter in the whole story is not given in detail, there are many references to getting pregnant (through scientific means, not through sex) and to making out (part of the "pleasure" of the Safe Lands life). I do not recommend this book to anyone under 18 for that reason.



This is the first book in The Safe Lands series. The next two are Outcasts and Rebels

For more on Jill Williamson visit her website and Facebook page. She also blogs regularly at Go Teen Writers.

Have you read this book? What do you think of Jill Williamson's style? Which other books would you like to see me review? Comment below!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Stress AFTER finals?

~Tuesday Thoughts~


So, it's finals week. 90% of the people between 18 and 23 are extremely stressed, and the other 10% are already done. I've had a crazy couple weeks, with a paper due last Monday, last Thursday, and this Tuesday, along with a number of tests. But now I am nearing the end of the semester - only one more final left and an easy one at that.

I've done a lot of stressing this semester. Way too much. But it's interesting that in these early moments of feeling free from school for more than 3 months, I am still anxious. I am still stressed almost every moment I am not doing something productive. It is more than just a school thing now. And it's annoying like crazy. Because, yes, some stress is useful and pushes you to do things. But there is also stress that is anything but!



"“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”" Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

What have you been stressing about lately? Share below any instances where God helped you through it!