Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Not an exception

~Tuesday Thoughts~


"Do everything in love." 1 Corinthians 16:14 (NIV)

How often do we find excuses for this? How easy is it to think that our situation is so hard that this doesn't apply? That other stuff doesn't apply?

Nowhere in the Bible is it said, "Love always but if you're the new kid at school you can take a break." Or "love always but if you're being bullied, then you don't have to." Or even "love always but if you're being killed, you can hate the guy/gal."

Love is a VERY important thing and we, no matter how hard our situations, shouldn't take a break from expressing it.

"I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
"We love because he first loved us." 1 John 4:19 (NIV)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Made to love Him

~Monday Movies and Music~


"Made to Love" is a song by TobyMac. Here are the lyrics.

"Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]"" Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)
What about you? How can you share love today?

Saturday, September 26, 2015

In desolate places, through hard years

~Saturday Stories~


Here's something I wrote from a prompt:

 We are driving through a desolate place, and I'm about to tear up. Because I know this place. Every rock, really. My gaze sweeps the five dilapidated houses stuck in the middle of nowhere. My everywhere. God, why is this so hard?

 We stop, and Lily whispers softly into my ear. "Get out, Katrina. It'll be okay." I take my time opening the door, stepping onto familiar ground. I point. That's where I lived. That's Joanna's house. Kory's little hut that was also used as a church. The brown spot of ground where Jim's old RV trailer used to be. Everyone else back then were adults, but these kids were my life. Now I am an adult, and returning to Clay Village is something I don't know how to do. God, help.

 I ran the familiar half-mile track a couple times. There. I am home, if only for a little while. I come back to the car to where Lily holds the camera. "I'm sorry, Kat." "There was a drought. There was nothing we could do."

 A sudden quiet peace comes over me as I realize that, although God did orchestrate that drought He also saw me through the years that followed. All those hard years. I smile and reach out. "Let's go take some pics."


How about you? Have you had unwanted changes in your life? How has God seen you through?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Do it in love

~Friday for Friends~


"Do everything in love." 1 Corinthians 16:14 (NIV)

Just think about that for a second. All you do. As in, every single thing. Washing the dishes. Doing your homework. Chatting with a friend.

That sounds impossible.Where can I get enough love to shine for Christ even when I want to hide? Where can I get the love that will make others see that I am His disciple? From God, who Himself is love. From the One through whom we can do everything.

Let's take a moment to pray for Him to give us love. What can you do in love today?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Actually speaking

~Tuesday Thoughts~


  " I will give you thanks in the great assembly;
    among the throngs I will praise you."
Psalm 35:18 (NIV)

   Sometimes we're scared about telling others about Christ. We live our lives and perhaps try to do good works so that others "may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16, NIV). And that is a good thing.

But sometimes we should do more. We should actually speak.

"Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." Luke 9:26 (NIV)

Who can you tell about God today?

Monday, September 21, 2015

In God's eyes

~Monday Movies & Music~


"In the Eyes" is a song by 1 Girl Nation. Here are the lyrics.

"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."  1 John 4:9 (NIV)

We are loved! Let's "live through him!"

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Catie Conrad by Angie Spady

~Saturday Stories~


 Typical Catie: "Then I got to work on cutting out fabric for Sophie’s apron. Whenever Mom sees fabric on sale, she buys a few yards of something she thinks I might like. Sophie’s favorite color is orange, so I picked out a fruity print in orange and pink, and I’m going to paint an orange S on the pocket. I can’t wait to see her face when I finally finish it."


 Life would be SO much easier without any brothers and their pet skunks, classmates who think they're the best, and moms who say "no" every time you ask for a new phone. Katie tries to be patient, but it's so hard when the Germ (a.k.a. little brother Jeremy) is driving her nuts. And upon all that "normal" stress there's a dance to get ready to and an art show Caries absolutely has to enter. She IS the next famous fashion designer, right?

 Catie Conrad: Faith, Friendship and Fashion Disasters is written as a diary full of illustrations. Sometimes the constant capitalization of words made it hard, but the story was still interesting. From spa disasters to mission trips, it is full of a sixth-grader's secret thoughts.

 The good news is that the book is founded in Christian truths. Catie learns that God is in control and that she should be less selfish.

 This is the first in the Desperate Diva Diaries Series. The second is Catie Conrad: How to Become the Most (un)Popular Girl in Middle School.

 For more on Angie Spady visit her Facebook page.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Choosing friends wisely

~Friday for Friends~


Sometimes for lack of friends you just want to go with whoever will take you. But it's good to choose friends wisely.

"Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”[a] " 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)

 "Walk with the wise and become wise,
    for a companion of fools suffers harm."
Proverbs 13:20 (NIV)

What about you? Who are your companions? Do you put thought into who you're friends with?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A different type of beauty

~Tuesday Thoughts~


In today's world it is hard to rip yourself away from the opinion that being beautiful means having silky hair, piercing or sparkling eyes, an extra thin body with long legs, etc.

The Bible, however, says that that's not where beauty cones from.

  "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." 

Proverbs 31:30 (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)

How about you? Have you concentrated on the world's version of beautiful for a while? Can you ask God to change that?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Every move

~Monday Movies & Music~


"Every Move I Make" is a song sung by Integrity Music. Here are the lyrics.

Seriously, without God we can do nothing.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5 (NIV) 

 Let's praise Him for all we can do only in His strength!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

"They know they've been forgiven" and more quotes

~Saturday Stories~


"...the only difference between them and you is that they know they've been forgiven." - Josh, Like Moonlight at Low Tide

"Our pain can help others." - Beth, The New Recruit



"Not making a decision is the same as making one. It's like saying you like how things are going, that you want to keep heading in the same direction. But I think that's a bad choice. I mean, why would you want to live a life that makes you miserable? It makes no sense." - Andrea, Harsh Pink

"Remember that God made you in His image, and therefore, you are beautiful." - The dedication in Skinny

How about you? Which quote touched you? Can you share some quotes you like?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Sharing

~Friday for Friends~


There are times when sharing is the last thing we want to do. We earned this, got this, deserve this - why should we share? Give freely to people who did nothing to earn something we worked hard for? There is a good reason - Jesus's example.

Jesus gave us something we did absolutely nothing to earn. In fact, we did a lot to earn the opposite of His gift.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 6:23 (NIV)

And if everything we have is from God anyway, can we do less than share?

How about you? What is something someone shared with you? What can you share today?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Loaded down

~Tuesday Thoughts~


With school going full-strength, there are apt to be times where we feel bogged down, sinking under the weight of school, sports, and homework. And we might feel like we don't have time to do the things we want to do.. or time to spend with God.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) says,
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Sometimes we need to let go of our anxiety, busyness, and stress and take the time to just be with Him.

How about you? Do you take the time to just be with God?

Monday, September 7, 2015

Step by step

~Monday Movies & Music~


"Step by Step" is a song by Rich Mullings. Here are the lyrics.

Christianity isn't just one leap (with God's help) from unbelieving to being perfect. It's also about doing, not just listening, about picking up our crosses and following. Through God we can do anything, and He can lead us day by day, step by step.

"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)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

"Yes" and "no"

~Saturday Stories~


Sometimes you need the courage,
The courage to say "no."

When you want to spread,
Spread the gossip,
Say "no."

When you feel the urge,
The urge to swear,
Say "no."

When you are offered,
Offered a drink,
Say "no."

When you're together alone,
Alone and unmarried,
Say "no."


Sometimes you need the courage,
The courage to say "yes."

When you want to give,
Give out encouragement,
Say "yes."

When you feel the urge,
The urge to smile,
Say "yes."

When you're offered a chance,
A chance to share,
Say "yes."

When you can love God,
Love God more than anyone,
Say "yes."


There's a time to say "yes."
And there's a time to say "no."
We always need the wisdom,
The wisdom to tell the difference.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Encourage others!

~Friday for Friends~


"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)
Sometimes we have these down moments, and life feels like a huge failure. Sometimes we feel that we’ve messed up way too much to be forgiven. Sometimes we hole up and don't let anyone in because it's really hard to trust others.

And God holds us through. And sometimes He uses others to encourage us. And sometimes He uses us to encourage others.

So how about you? Do you feel the need for encouragement? Who can you give encouragement to?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

God of the Jews and Gentiles

~Tuesday Thoughts~


"Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.Romans 3:29-30 (NIV)

How amazing is it that God has loved us too! He chose Israel as His nation, but now we also can be saved. Praise Him for His power and mercy!