Monday, February 29, 2016

Breathe

~Monday Movies & Music~


Jonny Diaz's "Breathe" is a interesting and often so-true depiction of our lives. Here are the lyrics

  "He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”" Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

Can you be still today?

Saturday, February 27, 2016

"You're so amazing, God" and more quotes

~Saturday Stories~


"You're so amazing, God! Thanks for caring about everything we're going through." -Mick, Grace Notes

"Now is always the right time for forgiveness." - Heather, So Over It



“And that’s how God sees us: dirty from sin, but worth the time spent standing on the porch watching for us to return. And He’ll wait until we’re ready to turn from our sin." - Pastor Scott, Worth the Time

"Thank you, God. I can see I've been a fool, and I'm really sorry. I'm not even totally sure what the next step is for me, but I pray that you will show me. I pray that I won't question you, and that I will obey. Thank you again for taking care of me. And once again I'm really, really sorry. Amen." -Caitlin, Becoming Me

How about you? Do you think God cares about what you are going through? Do you have somebody to forgive or somebody you should ask for forgiveness? Do you appreciate and thank God for waiting for you for so long? Have you cried out to God for direction?

Friday, February 26, 2016

Walk in love

~Friday for Friends~


"And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love." 2 John 5-6 (NIV)

How can YOU "walk in love" today? Who can you help? Who can you encourage? Who can you tell about your Savior? 

And/or 

Has somebody loved on you lately? Have you been encouraged? Have you been reminded of our Father's love? 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Forsaken?

~Tuesday Thoughts~ 


"1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me,
    so far from my cries of anguish?
2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
    by night, but I find no rest.[b]
3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
    you are the one Israel praises.[c]
4 In you our ancestors put their trust;
    they trusted and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried out and were saved;
    in you they trusted and were not put to shame."Psalm 22:1-5 (NIV)

Sometimes it feels that God has left us. But He never has and never will. Amen! 

""The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”" Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Alone

~Monday Movies & Music~


"Alone" is a song by Hollyn. Here are the lyrics. 

 "Do not hide your face from me,
    do not turn your servant away in anger;
    you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
    God my Savior." Psalm 27:9 (NIV)

""The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”" Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

He will never leave us. Amen. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The beauty

~Saturday Story~


The description is based on this picture by I. I. Levitan (seen by me without the frame).  

  As I stand on the bank of the Kama river, I marvel at the beauty of nature. The water glitters, reflecting the sun and woods. Somehow little birches and other trees manage to grow right in the water. The setting sun casts long shadows on the bank. Not far away a small old rowboat rocks back and forth on the waves. I wonder whose it is and why it is there. On the other bank, about a mile away, I can see little cabins.
  After a while, I go home, but this scene will never leave my mind.


"3 For the Lord is the great God,
    the great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,
    and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
    and his hands formed the dry land." Psalm 95:3-5 (NIV)

Isn't it amazing how beautiful God's creation is? 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Dishing out encouragement

~Friday for Friends~


I've heard (and can attest to the fact) that girls often want encouragement and compliments on how they look. I've also heard that boys like encouragement about a specific thing they did well. 

I'm not encouraging a huge ego. I'm just saying that sometimes we can encourage those around us in these ways, don't you think? 

"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)

Who can you encourage today?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Talk to God about it!

~Tuesday Thoughts~


Family 
Friends 
School
Sports 
Theatre
Etc., etc., etc. 

These are pretty cool things. However, they can also cause us a lot of stress. It is really amazing that we can go to God with whatever happens to us, big or small. We can bemoan the next test, the nearing production day, or family relationships that seem to never have a breakthrough. God's Word 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." Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

How about you? What (if anything) have you been stressing out about lately? Have you talked to God about it? 

Monday, February 15, 2016

What if we were real

~Monday Movies & Music~


"What If We Were Real" is a song by Mandisa. Here are the lyrics.

"Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:1-2 (NIV)

"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)

Can you be real today?  

Saturday, February 13, 2016

"B" is for Bad at Getting into Harvard

~Saturday Stories~


Typical Norie: "This was a common occurrence among the overachievers at King High. None of us could do everything that was expected of its brightest and best. ... I was right in there with them, scrambling to get the A's they were always telling us we had to earn to be worthwhile human beings- or at least to be better than each other."

Anything less than an "A-" is failure. That's what Norie has been told. Many, many times. So when a cheating ring breaks out amid the other overachievers, Norie is stuck. Isn't it okay to get one answer key to a chemistry pop quiz? Especially if the other choice leaves no chance of getting into Harvard?


"B" is for Bad at Getting into Harvard goes way into the pressured-to-be-perfect topic and shows that sometimes being the best isn't worth "whatever it takes." Norie's dad and King High itself create so much competition and stress she doesn't know what to do. At times like that, it helps to get quiet and listen to God. And have a group that supports you and prays with you all the way.

Stress is real. Cheating is real. And there's more that can be done than just ignoring it, or being pressured by it, or letting oneself cheat every once in a while.

B is for Bad at Getting into Harvard is the second in the Raise the Flag series. The first is Don't Count on Homecoming Queen. The rest are I Only Binge on Holy HungersDo I have to Paint You a PictureFriends Don't Let Friends Date Jason, and When Is Perfect, Perfect Enough?.

For more on Nancy Rue, visit her websiteFacebook page and blogs for tweens and teens.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Refresh others

~Friday for Friends~


  "One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
    another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
   A generous person will prosper;
    whoever refreshes others will be refreshed." Proverbs 11:24-25 (NIV)

Who can you refresh today?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

God's holiness

~Tuesday Thoughts~


Our God is HOLY! Here are some of the places in the Bible that declare His holiness. 

  "' Who among the gods
    is like you, Lord?
Who is like you—
    majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory,
    working wonders? '" Exodus 15:11 (NIV)

"“Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy."" Leviticus 19:2 (NIV)

"And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”" Isaiah 6:3 (NIV)

  "'I am the Lord, your Holy One,
    Israel’s Creator, your King.'" Isaiah 43:15 (NIV)

"Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:
“‘Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,’[a]
who was, and is, and is to come.”" Revelation 4:8 (NIV)

  ""Who will not fear you, Lord,
    and bring glory to your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
    and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”[a]" Revelation 15:4 (NIV)


Praise God for His holiness!!!

Monday, February 8, 2016

War Room

~Monday Movies & Music~


Not so long ago my family watched a pretty good recent Christian movie - War Room. Here is the trailer.

Elizabeth just can't do anything with her husband except fight him. It hurts so much, yet she can't seem to stop doing it. So she hides it under the cover of a happy and competent career-woman. Until she is confronted by someone who's been there too and suggests something totally different. Praying. Praying with passion. Praying with continuity. Praying with a strategy. Can Elizabeth pray for the one who has cause so much bitterness in her heart?

War Room is a movie filled with the truth. Prayer indeed is powerful (James 5:16), and we know that God will answer when we pray according to His will. That doesn't mean He will always say "yes" and make a perfect story of our life, but He will always be there.

War Room was made by the creators of Courageous, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants.

Do you have a strategy for your praying?

Saturday, February 6, 2016

So Over It by Stephanie Morrill

~Saturday Stories~


Typical Skylar: "But when I came back from Hawaii - if I came back - I'd no longer need fixing up. I'd be strong, peaceful, and focused. And over him."

Skylar has had a rough year, and all she wants to do is get away from it. Away from Jodi, who pretended to change only to get Skylar's boyfriend; away from Connor, who chose Jodi over her; away from Eli, who remained a invitation to get back into partying. Okay, so she had accepted that invitation a few times over the spring. No big deal, right? Now, however, she has a chance to leave Kansas for a while and refocus. She'd come back and she wouldn't need any of them. She would be self-sustained and... But it's not as easy as it seems. And maybe, just maybe, she'll have to learn to forgive, not just forget.


So Over It is a great story that teaches that leaving isn't always the answer and that opening up can help us. Skylar has to face what she wants to avoid and recall what she wants to forget in order to heal. She is a very real character, and her hurts almost always echo in the reader's heart.

I wish the story would have more about God and about how only He can heal us. However, it was still an enjoyable and thought-provoking read.

This is the third in the Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series. The first and second are Me, Just Different and Out with the In Crowd. Stephanie Morrill also has a novella, Throwing Stones, free on her website.

For more on Stephanie Morrill visit her website and Facebook page. She also is the founder of Go Teen Writers, a blog with lots of writing advice.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Loving and sticking together

~Friday for Friends~


  "Friends love through all kinds of weather,
    and families stick together in all kinds of trouble." Proverbs 17:17 (The Message)

Do you have friends who will always love and family that will stick close by? Are you a friend that will always love others and a family member that won't back away from helping in a time of need?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Careful!

~Tuesday Thoughts~


"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

It is so easy to fill our minds with the often-gruesome things of this world. This verse doesn't mean that we should shut out our eyes to the world's pain. No, we are sent into the world. However, we do need to be mindful of what we think about throughout our days. Very mindful.   

Amen!

Monday, February 1, 2016

King of my heart

~Monday Movies & Music~


"King of my Heart" is a song by Love and the Outcome. Here are the lyrics

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7 (NIV)

  "I will exalt you, my God the King;
    I will praise your name for ever and ever." Psalm 145:1 (NIV)

Who is the king of your heart?