Friday, September 30, 2016

Spending time with the Best Friend

~Friday for Friends~



"...The pastor at church said that if you want to grow as a Christian, you have to let the Lord into every area of your life. Otherwise it's like inviting someone into your house and making him stand in the corner the whole time. If you never invite him to sit down or eat with you or do any of the things you'd do with a real friend, then you'll never get to know him." - Katie, A Whisper and a Wish


"'Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.'" Revelation 3:20 (NIV)

Can you spend time with the Lord today?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Come to Him

~Tuesday Thoughts~


Tired. Too much stress. Not enough sleep. Trying to push through, but could you remind me where the finish is? 



"“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)

While our lives tire us out, let us run to Christ!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Move

~Monday Movies & Music~


Audio Adrenaline has a cool song, "Move." Check it out! Here are the lyrics


"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”[a]" Romans 10:14-15 (NIV)

Is God calling you to share the gospel with someone? 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Whisper and a Wish by Robin Jones Gunn

~Saturday Stories~


Typical Christy: "No! No! Why can't we live here! Why didn't anyone tell me the dairy was so far away? ... Maybe Dad's job will fall through, and we'll have to go back to Wisconsin. What am I thinking? I want to live here, not Wisconsin!"


Christy's family is moving to California, the place she absolutely loved getting to know during the summer. But nothing is turning out as she planned. Christy has to start her school year away from all the friends she made over the summer, and she feels all alone. Soon the popular girls in school take Christy in, but just how much will their friendship cost her?



A Whisper and Wish explores serious topics: moving, good and bad friendships, eating disorders, and more. Christy learns that, no matter where she is, she can trust God to be there with her. A Whisper and a Wish is the second in the Christy Miller series.

For more on Robin Jones Gunn, visit her website and Facebook page.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Trouble (but take heart!)

~Thursday Thoughts~


"“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”" John 16:33 (NIV)



Recently I got the chance to see people I don't see that often anymore: my parents. It was an extreme blessing. But then they left again, and it hurt so much. I know this is definitely not the hardest trouble anyone has ever had, but it still hurts to miss someone so much. 

What has been hurting you? Can you lean on God for help?

Monday, September 19, 2016

First

~Monday Movies & Music~


Lauren Daigle has a great song, "First." Here are the lyrics.



"'But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.'" Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

It's hard. It's hard. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

"It's okay to be broken"

~Saturday Stories~


"It's okay to be broken. You know that, right?" -Mr. B, Angel Eyes

"It's like that first step. You have to take that first step, and then, if you want Him to, God can help you with the rest of it." -Renee, The Masquerade

"The key to everything is knowing that God loves you, and he shows you that love through Jesus. If you really want to believe that, you need to get to know Jesus better - not just in your imagination, but from who he is ... God has a book..." - Dr. Peter, Sophie's World



"Whatever His purpose, I understand something now I didn't before. A righteous God isn't bound by time. He has an eternity to make things right. In this moment I know. Even if He never reveals His reasons to me, even if He never explains why He allowed my mother and Ali to die, I'll still fight against the darkness so His light can spread." -Brielle, Angel Eyes

How about you? Have you ever felt guilty for being broken? Have you taken the first step and asked God to help with everything? Have you taken the time to get to know Jesus? Can you tell God that, even if He does not explain everything to you, you will still follow Him? 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Who has the influence?

~Friday for Friends~


"I still think you should try to have friends that aren't Christians, because how else can you witness to them?"
"True, true," ... "But the key question is, are they bringing you down? In other words, are you having an influence on them, or are they having the greater influence on you?" - A Whisper and a Wish



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

Who are you friends with? Are they dragging you down or are you bringing God's truth to them?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

If God is almighty then why…

~Tuesday Thoughts~


Our God is omnipotent (Job 42:2). Amen!

That, however, does not mean that every occurrence in this world is from Him. Satan “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8). Man is sinful and continues to do what is wrong in God’s eyes (Romans 3:9-18).

God has given everyone a choice: they can believe in His sacrifice and follow Him or they can continue in their wrongdoing. At the final judgment He will judge us by that choice. “Whoever believes in [God’s Son] is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:18 (NIV).



Sometimes we suffer as a consequence of our own or someone else’s sins. Sometimes it is not because of our sin (Job and the blind man, for examples). Whatever happens, we know that God is in charge. We might not understand Him – His ways are way higher than ours- but He is in charge. Also, He has plans for us – good plans. Plans for our good. How amazing and incredible is that?

It might be hard to grasp His hand and to hold tight when the trials come. Yes, it might be hard. But it is worth it. He is God and He is love.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Love is action

~Monday Movies & Music~


Tauren Wells, previously in Royal Tailor, has a great song, "Love is Action." Here are the lyrics. Check it out!



"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." John 15:13 (NIV)

How about you? How do you express you love with actions? 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Being nice while being honest

~Saturday Stories~


Sometimes we just want to
Drop the mask that says we're all alright
But we do it in a way
That shows everyone that
We're ticked off
We're #nofilter
In the ugliest way
But we justify ourselves
By "just being honest"
Seriously?
If we can't be nice when we're honest
Perhaps we should keep the happy mask on
Or if we want to be true
Can we not hurt anyone in the process?



"“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”" John 13:34-35 (NIV)

Sorry to everyone I've hurt lately.

How about you? Are you ever rude to people that are near to you? 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Fellowship!

~Friday for Friends~


My pastor preached this week on 1 John 1. One of the points he made was that when we walk in the light we have fellowship both with God and with humans. Christianity should never be a solo act. Yes, each relationship with God is personal, but it is an amazing blessing when personal relationships help us grow in our faith and leave us all feeling encouraged and loved.



"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[a] sin." 1 John 1:7 (NIV)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Giving back to God

~Tuesday Thoughts~


Sometimes it's hard to tithe or give offerings. We remember all the hours we poured into each paycheck. All the times we were really really tired but had to work. Those times we pushed through seemingly insurmountable difficulties in order to get the job done. And we have to give some of that money away?! What?!

Back when my only source of money was allowance and presents, it wasn't that much fun giving from that somewhat meager amount. But someone told me that it doesn't get easier as time goes by. You'd think it would, since we can make more and have more than we used to. However, our love for money can sometimes grow with our bank accounts. So if we don't start disciplining ourselves to give back to God now, we can be assured that it won't get easier when we're making a solid income.



The Old Testament tells us about tithing, giving ten percent of everything you have (verse). In one of the notes in this Teen Study Bible (I believe) it is mentioned that that command is not repeated in the New Testament. However, the New Testament does urge us to help the poor and to give willingly.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27 (NIV)

"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (NIV)

For more on giving based on the New Testament, read this article, "Why You Should NOT Tithe.*"

Sometimes it is incredibly hard to give, but let us remember that every good gift is from above and that essentially we are just giving back to God a small portion of what He had blessed us with.



*I may or may not agree with every detail of this article; please compare its details with Scripture before taking any action.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Untold

~Monday Movies & Music~


Matthew West has a touching song, "Untold." Here are the lyrics and the website dedicated to the movement



  "For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb." Psalm 139:13 (NIV)

How about you? What do you think about the period between conception and birth? Do you think it's life or not? Share in the comments! 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Stuck in the Sky by Lissa Halls Johnson

~Saturday Stories~


Typical Jacie: "I couldn't do it. I had the perfect chance, and I couldn't think of the words. All the things I know suddenly sounded stupid and awkward and what is real to me suddenly disappeared from my head."


Art? Stale with no opportunity to grow. Faith? Real, but very very hard to share. Everybody expects Jacie to be perfect in both these areas. She can't! She just can't! The only person that seems to see that is the "bad" boy in town, who, really, isn't all that bad. Of course, he might not be a Christian, which would complicate matters. But not if she keeps it a secret. The secret weighs on her heart, and she tries to mask it. Is there even a way out of this mess?

Stuck in the Sky deals with issues many teenagers face: family relationships, guy/girl relationships, and sharing your faith. The way Jacie's emotions and feelings about the boy were described depicted mine so well! The books also declared that sharing your faith can be done in more ways than one!


Stuck in the Sky is the first in the Brio Girls series. The other eleven are Fast Forward to Normal, Opportunity Knocks Twice, Double Exposure, Good-Bye to All That, Grasping at Moonbeams, Croutons for Breakfast, No Lifeguard on Duty, Dragonfly on My Shoulder, Going Crazy Till Wednesday, When Stars Fall, and Bad Girl Days. There are other authors also involved in the making of these books.

For more on  Lissa Halls Johnson, visit her website and her Facebook page.

Friday, September 2, 2016

If one falls down

~Friday for Friends~


"9 Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV)


Do you have someone to pick you up when you fall? Do you have someone you can pick up?