Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Does size matter?

~Tuesday Thoughts~


Jamie Grace has an interesting video about church size and if it should really matter as much as we usually try to make it matter.

"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)

How about you? Do you gather with others and encourage them and be encouraged? 

Monday, March 28, 2016

By God's Grace

~Monday Movies & Music~


Chris lost both his parents and his sister that night. That Christmas eve night. Now he's running his father's business as best he can, ignoring all the advice anyone would want to give. Ignoring everyone who ever meant anything to him. Can he change before everything gets A LOT worse? 

"By God's Grace" (here is the trailer) is a modern retelling of the "Christmas Carol." The story is beautiful, with many openly Christian truths in it. It is a bit slow, but nonetheless worth telling. A story of change and a story of giving, "By God's Grace" is a movie you won't want to pass. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Masquerade by Sarah Anne Sumpolec

~Saturday Stories~


Typical Beka: "I swallowed the rest of my tears and pushed everything he said aside. I still had seven hours of school to get through. I adjusted my backpack, stuffed everything down inside, and walked into Bragg County High School determined to be okay. Whatever that meant."


Beka was there that day. Actually, she was driving the car. And now she doesn't know what to do and where to go with all the guilt and confusion she has after her mom's death. She can't talk with her family; they will never understand her. So she throws herself into school, auditioning for the musical and becoming friends with the most popular girl. But there is more to the story. She just hopes her secret never gets out.

The Masquerade was a very gripping and somewhat depressing book - at least at the start. Beka found herself trying to hold more and more of her feelings inside, and that played out on her relationships in the family. The turning movement at the end seemed too quick, and most of the  Christian content is only at the end of the book. However, Beka's story of how opening up can bring healing is well needed in this world.


The Masquerade is the first in the Becoming Beka series. The others are The Alliance, The Passage, The Reveal, and The Encore.

For more on Sarah Anne Sumpolec visit her website.

Friday, March 25, 2016

She had changed; I had changed

~Friday for Friends~


My stomach pinched and tears were about to slide down my face. She had been my best friend and now I didn’t know what to say to her. I turned my head away. I had waited so long to see her, and now what? My mouth felt dry. She had changed; I had changed. At 12 years-old rekindling old friendships seemed an impossible hurdle. I painfully let go of that friendship that had meant so much to me.

Even though I've made friends since then, that pain left a deep scar.

How about you? Have you ever had a painful experience with a friendship? How has God helped you through it? Or, if you still feel the pain, what bits of encouragement have you heard/felt/read from Him?  

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Faith expressed in love

~Tuesday Thoughts~


"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." Galatians 5:6 (NIV)

What about you? How can you love others today? 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Believer

~Monday Movies & Music~


Capital Kings has a pretty cool song, "Believer." Here are the lyrics

"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

How about you? Do you have any ideas about how you can be a light? 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

"You did this" and more quotes

~Saturday Stories~


"You did this, didn't you, Lord?" ... "Thanks. Thanks for helping me say what I needed to say and hear what I needed to hear." - Gracie, Grace Notes

"Please, God, help me....I don't know how to do anything.... Please make me stronger. Make me better." - Abbie, So Over It



"When I discovered that God has a plan for me, and that I can have a personal relationship with Jesus, and that Jesus has forgiven me and given me a new life, yes, I knew I'd found the answers." - Andrea, Harsh Pink

How about you? Have you ever asked God for help? Have you thanked Him for what He did? Have you felt His forgiveness?  

Friday, March 18, 2016

Sharing...

~Friday for Friends~


"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13 (NIV)

Do you have friends who do not know God's joy and peace yet? How can you try to share it with them? 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Praise Him!

~Tuesday Thoughts~


  "Lord, you are my God;
    I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
    you have done wonderful things,
    things planned long ago." Isaiah 25:1 (NIV)

How about you? What can you praise God for today?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Live with abandon

~Monday Movies & Music~


"Live With Abandon" is a song by Newsboys. Here are the lyrics

"“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”[a]" Galatians 2:19-21 (NIV)

Knowing how much you are loved, what can you do for God and for others today?  

Saturday, March 12, 2016

A reason to fight

~Saturday Stories~


You go to school, 
You come back
Five hours of homework 
In your backpack 
And you try to smile at Dad 
When he asks
How you're doing 
Cause you don't want him to know that

Life sucks at the moment 
And it all seems hopeless
And you're putting up a fight 
But don't remember what the point is 
And you're tired of the pain
And you're tired of the bruises 
And the pills in the cupboard 
Get more and more use now 
Might've not hit rock bottom
But it's worse than normal 
And you're trying to find a reason 
To live until tomorrow

Look up now, look up now

There's a reason to fight
There's a reason to hope 
There's always, always a reason to go on
There is Someone to hope in 
There is Someone to trust 
Not sayin' life will be perfect 
But it's better than what you've got 
There's a reason to fight 
Look up now, look up now

You go to school, 
You look around
Five hundred lost kids 
Milling about  
And you smile at Dad 
When he asks
How you're doing 
Cause you want him to know that

Life's awesome at the moment 
And it all seems hopeful 
And you're putting up a fight 
But you know what the point of is 
And you're tired of the pain
And you're tired of the bruises 
But you know the One 
Who'll help you stop using 
Might not be extremely happy
But it's better than normal 
Cause you've found a reason 
To live until tomorrow 
Look up now, look up now

There's a reason to fight
There's a reason to hope 
There's always, always a reason to go on
There is Someone to hope in 
There is Someone to trust 
Not sayin' life will be perfect 
But it's better than what you've got 
There's a reason to fight

Cause we've had our low spots 
We've all had our dark days 
We've all had our storms 
That didn't seem to pass away. 
We've all had our nightmares 
We've all had our hearts split 
We've all had a time 
When the devil seemed to win 
But. Now. We. Know.

There's a reason to fight
There's a reason to hope 
There's always, always a reason to go on
There is Someone to hope in 
There is Someone to trust 
Not sayin' life will be perfect 
But it's better than what you've got

There's a reason to fight 
There's a reason to hope 
There's always, always a reason to go on
There is Someone to hope in 
There is Someone to trust 
Not sayin' life will be perfect 
But it's better than what you've got 
There's a reason to fight 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Friendships... hard stuff

~Friday for Friends~

Jamie Grace has a video about friendships: "Friendships... Sometimes They Hurt".

I have a story about giving up on a friendship I could have still worked on.

How about you? Have you had friendships that hurt? How did God help you through? 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Hope and Someone to live for

~Tuesday Thoughts~


 I get it. You feel stupid. Useless. Guilty. Worn. Not good enough. I can’t even count how many times I’ve felt that way too. It’s crazy. But you know what? There’s always this Someone I can turn to when life sucks. God. And I know this might seem weird or trite or just an easy excuse not to solve a problem, but it’s none of that.

  You see, God loves you like crazy. You think you love someone? I tell you, that’s nothing compared to how God loves you. He’s not delusional; He knows you’re messed up and I’m messed up and that every single human being is ridiculously messed up. He knows that and still loves us. Even better, He made a way that we can get out of this pit, this darkness that constantly envelopes us, these mistakes we make again and again and again.

  The Way to get out of it is Jesus. I know you might have heard about Jesus before. I wouldn’t be surprised if you have wondered about who He is and what He did, but then, looking around at all the people who call themselves His followers, decided it was a big joke. But it’s not. Because even though His followers aren’t perfect in their behavior, Jesus is perfect. He is God, yet He also became a human being. How? To be honest, sometimes you don’t know exactly how some things work, but you still know they’re true.

 So, Jesus came to Earth, lived on it without making any mistakes at all, and then paid for our mistakes with His death, resurrecting on the third day. He paid the debt we owed for messing it up. It’s like if you owed $100,000,000, to someone, and then that person went out of his way to cancel that debt. Now all you have to do is sign that piece of paper that says you believe him, that it’s a done deal. God can make your life into something way better than you ever imagined, and all you have to do is say that you believe He canceled your debt. Plain language, no double meaning, just talk to Him.

   Will life be painless? No; I did this at six, and life has been anything but painless. But you’ll have hope. Hope and Someone to live for, because that Someone died for you.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Beloved

~Monday Movies & Music~


"Beloved" is a song by Jordan Feliz. Here are the lyrics

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love." 1 John 4:7-8 (ESV)

You are loved!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Grace Notes by Dandi Daley Mackall

~Saturday Stories~


Typical Gracie: "Gracie trudged into Big Lake High alone, imagining that she was as invisible as the humid air that pressed in on her from all sides. Inside, the halls buzzed. ... Gracie took out her recording notebook, leaned against her locker, and observed."


Gracie has always been invisible. She doesn't really belong anywhere either. But that's okay. She has her website, where she is free to open up and share her insights. Anonymously. Exactly how she likes it. But then someone figures out it's her, and she has to do something before everyone knows. Because then... then nothing will be the same.

Gracie likes to observe people and notice different body language signs that betray what someone really thinks or feels. However, people are harder to deal with in-person. Gracie has to learn to open and ask for forgiveness. She learns that it is good to belong somewhere and NEED people.



Grace Notes is a pretty good and light read. It also contains some truth about God, though not much.

Grace Notes is the first in the Faithgirlz/Blog On! series. The later ones are Love, Annie, Just Jazz, Storm RisingGrace Under PressureUpsetting AnnieJazz Off-Key, and Storm Warning.

For more on Dandi Daley Mackall, visit her website and Facebook page.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Do good

~Friday for Friends~


"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." Galatians 6:9-10 (NIV)

Who can you do good to today? 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Be still!

~Tuesday Thoughts~  


"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)


Soccer season starts this week. There's a concert our choir class is doing on Tuesday. There is a job fair in our town on Wednesday. I am fundraising on Saturday and meeting with a friend on Sunday. 

Oh. My. Goodness. I should survive, but do I even want to know how many hours a night I'm going to be NOT sleeping? 

Still, in this and other crazy times, God is with us. He does want our time and our attention. So, hopefully even in our crazy periods of life, we'll remember the One who did way more for us than we can ever imagine . I hope we are still, and I hope we praise Him! 

How is your schedule? Do you take time to read the Bible, to pray, and to listen to God?