Tag Archives: Christ

Dear God ~ Little Reminders

Dear God,

It seems like school sucks all the time out from my day and my thoughts only consist of “What is due in 4th hour?” “I need to study those terms.” “I need to ask the study group about question #12.” It seems like I don’t have any time to think, let alone write.

But thank You, Almighty Father, for reminding me to slow down and having me talk to You. Thank You for getting me back into the habit of praying while I walk to my classes instead of counting off of what I have to do for homework. Thank You for Your Christian songs to replenish me when I am studying. Thank You for other Christians at my school and that they are open about sharing their faith with me. Thank You for reminding me to read all the Bible verses I have written out that are around my house, not just pass them by but to read each one.

Thank You, God, for Your little, and big, reminders to not look in, but to look up to You.

With love from your daughter and best friend,

praying dear God

Pixabay/waldryano

Priorities, Textbooks, and Bible Verses

My mother does a sign out by the road at our church and on the first week of school – just as reliable as teachers giving out syllabuses – she puts on the sign: It’s time for A B C and G O D.

One of the reasons why we go to school is to hone our talents to better use them to serve God. So then throughout the school year we should keep this in mind. If we set up our priorities the first day of school, then the rest of the school year will follow those priorities. God comes before grades and even in itself, learning. God should come first before anything in our lives.

Now I’m not speaking from a high self-righteous pedestal, but instead as someone who slowly let my strong and close connection with God slip due to different factors, priorities and school included.

I’ve always said that God comes first before anything but sometimes you need to take a step back and see if your actions line up with your beliefs.

For years I’ve always had Bible verses hanging up on the inside and outside of my locker. Before homeroom, during passing time, before and after lunch, at the end of the day, I would read and recite my locker’s Bible verses. They would give me strength and refreshment for the next part of my day.

This past year I didn’t hang up Bible verses. I only put a magnet with a Bible verse on the outside of my locker.

I knew that I was going to be taking harder classes than I ever had before and I needed to use every spare second of my time to study. My textbook was my bus buddy and my lunch date. So I figured that I wouldn’t put up my locker Bible verses because I would need to study instead.

Remember how I had said that I needed every spare second to study, well, reading my Bible verses were not spare seconds, they were needed seconds.

I wouldn’t say that I lost my close connection with God, I just let it slip. Instead of growing my relationship with Him, I let it go stagnate. I grew in my academic knowledge, but was stagnate in my relationship with Christ. However, I firmly believe that people can be pursuing God and life and grow in both. We just need our priorities straight.

I also had an “un-reconciled spiritual difficulty” and I had figured that time would fix and heal it. I was wrong again. Problems won’t go away with time but solutions need to be actively sought. Just like God needs to be actively sought to keep and grow a close, strong connection.

So this year I’m actively seeking God with my locker Bible verses, inspirational quotes and Bible verse cards, Bible magnets, reading extra devotional books, talking more about my faith. It is not easy, but it is simple. Focus on God.


“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

-Jeremiah 29:13

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

-2 Corinthians 4:18

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God’s Glory

God’s glory is on tour in the skies,
God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
Professor Night lectures each evening.

California_High_Desert_Sunrise

Wikimedia/Jessie Eastland

Their words aren’t heard,
their voices aren’t recorded,
But their silence fills the earth:
unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
God makes a huge dome
for the sun—a superdome!

sun-rise-693384_960_720

Pixabay/user:Radoan_tanvir

The morning sun’s a new husband
leaping from his honeymoon bed,
The daybreaking sun an athlete
racing to the tape.
That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies
from sunrise to sunset,
Melting ice, scorching deserts,
warming hearts to faith.

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Pixabay/

The revelation of God is whole
and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear
and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
and easy on the eyes.

Compass_align

Wikimedia/Shyamal

God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate
down to the nth degree.
God’s Word is better than a diamond,
better than a diamond set between emeralds.

Gold_Ingots_on_white_background

Wikimedia/Szaaman

You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
better than red, ripe strawberries.
There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger
and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
Or know when we play the fool?

Strawberries

Wikimedia/Brian Prechtel

Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins,
from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words in my mouth;
these are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them
on the morning altar,
O God, my Altar-Rock,
God, Priest-of-My-Altar.

~ Psalm 19 MSG

Lessons From a High Ropes Course

Yes, I will be following the trend of writing a blog post after completing a high ropes course. And yes, I will be following the trend of telling you that I learned more life lessons than physical strain or balance. So, let’s get rolling with all that motivational writing and inspiring speeches! 😉

First, like many other bloggers, I figured out why I am a blogger and not a monkey.

I got stuck two or three stories up in the air and called out for my mommy.

Well, let’s begin at the beginning first though. I was born at Genesys Hospital  . . . Okay maybe not that far beginning. 😉

I went to high ropes course with my sister and my cousin. I had already completed three lower level course, I was feeling pretty bold so I went for the challenge.

I got challenged alright.

I was half way across the obstacle when I figured out that I was stuck and was getting tangled in ropes. I also knew that I couldn’t go backwards, so the only way was to go forwards. First motivational/inspiring/life lesson: when you feel tangled in life or just want to go back to better yesterdays, the only thing you can do is keep moving forward. You can’t live life looking in the rear view mirror. Neither can you live life looking backwards on a high ropes course. Instead of looking back at a haunted past or better memories, use those to fuel you in your journey forwards. Instead of looking how far you have to go on the high ropes course, look at how far you have come.

So I untangled myself and felt quite pleased that I had thought about that life lesson. I took a few steps . . . and fell off the rope.

Don’t worry, I didn’t fall three stories, I had a harness on.

That harness was actually still caught on the rope. Just enough for me not want to get it off the rope and just enough for me to wish it hadn’t been caught. With the harness caught I couldn’t wouldn’t move because it was an extra safety. So I did the only logical thing to do, I called out for my mommy on the ground below.

Oh, and did I mention that my hat had fallen off, my hair was all in my eyes and my glasses barely stayed on my face? So I put my glasses in my pocket, and without them I can’t see five feet in front of my face. Well that is if I could see at all because of my hair. Oh what a pretty sight I must have been.

Second motivational/inspiring/life lesson: do what the Bible says. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “For we live by faith, not by sight”. I took a deep breath and just closed my eyes, tried to find a way to get myself back onto the course.

Third motivational/inspiring/life lesson: God is like a high ropes course harness. God is always hanging on to us as we navigate the obstacles of life and will keep us from falling when we make a wrong step. It is okay if we make some mistakes because we know God has our back.

Fourth motivational/inspiring/life lesson: to move forward you have to trust God and sometimes that means letting go of what little control you have. To move forward on the course I had to let the harness slip off of the rope. I trusted my harness and it didn’t let me down.

So I finally made it through that obstacle, only to watch my cousin zip through what I had struggled so hard on.

She’s a monkey, not a blogger.

Of course all of this happened a year ago. Don’t be silly, I wouldn’t showcase my masterful failure days after it happened, I need time to lick my wounds! 😉 Fifth motivational/inspiring/life lesson: it is okay to admit mistakes and problems to others. 2 Corinthians 1:4 says, “[Jesus] who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” Admitting troubles can be an outreach tool.

A couple weeks ago I went back to that same high ropes course and tried that same obstacle. I don’t know if I deserve that old saying though, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”.

I watched others complete the obstacle and analyzed what worked and why. I then compared what I learned with what I did wrong last time. Sixth motivational/inspiring/life lesson: self-analysis works. ‘Nuff said.

I completed with course not in record time, but I did complete the course. I had three secret weapons though: past experience, watching and learning from others, and I prayed the whole time. Knowledge is power, but God is all powerful, so I’d rather take God over knowledge.

Seventh motivational/inspiring/life lesson: God cares about and listens to even our little problems. Prayers don’t have to be all about world peace and finding the cure to cancer, prayers can be about everyday things or even about high ropes courses.

Eight motivational/inspiring/life lesson: facing old struggles with God can be empowering. You not only feel accomplished but also good because you relied on God.

Once I finished the course my mom’s first words out of her mouth were, “So when are you going to write a blog post about the high ropes course?”

Yep, I’m a blogger, not a monkey, but more importantly I’m a Christian. Thank you God for being my harness.

high-ropes-course-58665_960_720

Pixabay/user:Hans

Your Grace ~ A Cento Poem

Each line from the poem below is a lyric from a Christian song about grace. Please feel free to click on the links to listen to the songs!


All these pieces
Broken and scattered
In mercy gathered
Mended and whole
Empty handed
But not forsaken
I’ve been set free
I’ve been set free

From the creation to the cross
There from the cross into eternity
Your grace finds me

It’s deeper, it’s wider
It’s stronger, it’s higher
It’s deeper, it’s wider
It’s stronger, it’s higher
Than anything my eyes can see.
You’re grace still amazes me

’Cause it’s grace,
and there’s nothing I can do
to make You love me more,
to make You love me less than You do.
And by faith I’m standing on this stone
of Christ and Christ alone.
Your righteousness is all that I need,
’cause it’s grace

A gift I could not earn
Your open arms are undeserved
Enabled by Your grace
Now to live is Christ alone

Saved by Your mercy
Found in Your grace
Totally surrendered to Your embrace
And there’s nothing more than You

 

grace

Flicker/Art4TheGlryOfGod by Sharon

To You Who Gave Me Writing

To you who gave me writing

To my mother who spent hours with brightly colored flashcards

taught me that a semi-circle shape was a “C”

To my grandmother who would trace letters on my back

taught me the touch of words

To my parents who wrote down in my daily journal I what I told them to write

taught me the recording power of words and that my words mattered

To my mother who on that just beginning to cool, hot summer evening in the kitchen

taught me the letters in my name

To my father who would read to me comicbooks from his childhood

taught me that I can be enthralled in compelling stories and heroic characters

To my mother who persevered against my whining in forcing me to read beginner level “Bob Books”

taught me that I can be a critic of what I read but I still have to respect it

To Miss Griffin, my kindergarten teacher, who after reading a story about ducks

taught me that “ing” means action, a verb

To Mary Pope Osborne who wrote Magic Tree House, the first books I ever read and enjoyed by myself

taught me the joy and accomplishment of reading

To Ms. Hinds, my fourth grade teacher, who gave me an assignment to give a biographical speech about someone famous

taught me how empowering public speaking can be

To Ms. Benford, my elementary school librarian, who found for me my favorite childhood author

taught me to try new genres and that “different” can bring some of best things

To Margaret Peterson Haddix who was my favorite childhood author and filled my childhood with characters and situations and words and choices

taught me how other’s writing can touch my life

To Ms. Burke, my fifth grade teacher, who gave me an assignment to write a mystery story

taught me the power and excitement of my own fiction

To Ms. Cothran, my public speaking coach, who saw potential in me and changed a shy, analytical girl to a animated girl and a lover of poetry and my own writing

taught me that my writing impacts others and that I have a voice, so use it

To Ms. Mihocko, my seventh grade teacher, who critiqued me hard

taught me that my style is not enjoyed by everyone

To Pastor Randy who gave my first chance to preach a real sermon

taught me to follow my dreams and to work for the Lord

To Ms. Conley, my freshman english teacher, who opened my eyes to the wondrous world of writing and analyzing literary devices

taught me why and how I love the written word

To WordPress who gave me a way to share my writing

taught me that others value my work and that I should take pride in it

To Economics summer test that hours upon hours spent pointless stem and response that no one will ever glance at

taught me that purpose of writing is to convey a meaningful message that will be read

***

To you who gave me writing

and to all I left out in this poem

I thank you dearly

for writing

allows me to create my world

both in fiction

and not

***

To God who created the heavens and the earth and everything in between

for giving me something to write about

To God who gave me a mind to comprehend writing and all of its glorious intricate relationships

To God who gave the world writing at its perfection, the Bible

To God who allows me to spread His Word through my words

***

To you who gave me writing

To you who gave me the power to change the world

To you who gave me the power to change my life

To you

 

words

Know. Act. Live.

It was an absolute joy to hear Nicole Nelson preach again. Proclaiming Christ’s Word certainly is her future. I’m glad to know that Good News is still being told. Her sermon is called Know. Act. Live. She talks about growing in our relationship with Christ and following His Word in our daily lives. I think she has a really good message about hypocrisy and evangelism. Enjoy! 🙂

Click here to see her sermon on Know. Act. Live.

Not A Spectator Sport

Every day we are bombarded by the media of conflicting ways to think, act and live in today’s world. These opinions are so overwhelming sometimes that we have no idea what to believe, who to turn to. No matter what is going on in the presidential election, terrorism, or shifting of the stock market, one path never changes: God’s way and will.

Societal pressures comes from worldly temptation, wanting to take the easy way out, wanting to fit in instead of standing out and standing up. We naturally don’t want hardship, yet as Christians, hardship is in the job description. Our beliefs are often in contradiction with the rest of World and we have to face the fact that we will have to fight for what we believe in, which means we can’t fit in. Resisting societal pressures is often a sign of tough choices being made. Continue reading

No Earthly Power

It is more powerful than Pharoah’s soldiers

It is more powerful than the false god worship of Baal

It is more powerful than the Roman’s aqueducts

It is more powerful than European conquests’ vessels

It is more powerful than the Hover Dam

It is more powerful than anything in or yet to be in the universe

1 Hydrogen

and 2 Oxygen

produces

water and life as we know it.

I learned about elements and the Periodic Table in Chemistry,

but this. . .

This was something new entirely,

this is power unlike anything I have ever seen felt before.

With the raging roar vibrating in my ears and to my very core,

I think know no earthly power could create such a monstrous force,

no matter what the scientists say.

No earthly power,

my God’s power.

He, and he alone,

created the molecules to forge such a force.

But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being.

Romans 1:20 (MSG)

 

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Niagara Falls on a recent vacation