11.30.2016

9 Impactful Movies

Hello again!
I have sort of made this a series, haven't I? I love doing these posts though. :) And I'm planning a few more of them. This Wednesday I have some impactful movies to share. We literally don't watch hardly any movies and so these are about all the movies I've watched...hehe. jk. They are all very good one's though! Enjoy!
 
Facing the Giants
 The next 4 movies are the Kendrick brother movies and they are all very good. This one is on football and the subtitle says "Never Give Up, Never Back Down, Never Lose Faith." :) A very good movie! 

Flywheel
Flywheel is another great movie. It has some funny parts and a big message is letting God be in every part of your life and following Him even if that means great cost. 
 
 War Room
War Room is very impactful! The message is on prayer and really is an amazing reminder! 
 
Fireproof
This Kendrick movie in on fighting for your marriage. I think there is so much for single's to learn though!

Not a Fan
This is not your typical movie style. It is actually hard to follow along and there is a bit of talking throughout it, but the message of it definitely makes up for the not-that-great style. It really impacts you on giving everything for Jesus and not just your Sunday morning. Worth watching!

Gods Not Dead
God's Not Dead is another really good movie! It impacts you on standing up for your faith even when faced with opposition and putting Jesus 1st in your life even above hopes, dreams, family and friends. Impacting for sure!
 
Soul Surfer
This movie really is impacting! It's the story of Bethany Hamilton, the girl who lost her arm in a shark attack. I watched it this past week and it was a really good movie. It showed that even when things don't make sense and we question God he truly is working all things for good. I have to say I would not recommend it though for any guys as the whole movie has tons of ladies in bikinis. The other note is depending on your preferences there is a bit of violence around the shark attack. But overall it is a very good movie and Bethany's story is so inspiring! 

 Ring the Bell
This is a wonderful movie! I think what impacted me was going to "The Well" for my satisfaction instead of the world. 

 Anne of Green Gables
Sorry. ;D I just couldn't help but put it! Anne of Green Gables 1 and 2 are my favorite movies in the world. They did "impact" me in the sense that I loved them way too much. If you haven't seen them you just absolutely have to! They are the best!!

What are your favorite impactful movies? I'd really love to get some recommendations! =)

11.23.2016

Not Your Normal Post On True Beauty


"...the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit...
is very precious in the sight of God..."
1 Peter 3:4 

Have you heard that verse before? I have heard it maybe hundreds of times...;) Around the beginning of the semester I watched a Leslie Ludy sermon on "True Beauty". I was expecting it to be just what the Christian culture emphasizes..."Accept yourself, love who you are, feel good about yourself" kind of message. I've honestly been tired of hearing it and yet that message is everywhere in the Christian culture. But Leslie Ludy came out with a completely different message that challenged me and convicted me. This post is based off of her message. Things she said are in quotes(not the short quotations, but the longer ones:) I hope that you are challenged in how you think of this area!

Inner beauty - a myth of the culture. The culture tells us that we need to have a certain body shape and look a certain way. Because of this women are walking around insecure. And so the Christian culture came up with inner beauty. It tells us that if we would just tap into this "inner beauty" and embrace it we would be these amazing Christian women and all our insecurities would melt away. Women are attracted to this message of "feel good about yourself"..."embrace your inner beauty" because they're insecure. Inner beauty is like the world's solution to insecurity. Leslie Ludy tells a story of how when she was younger her youth pastor got up in front of everyone and told all the young people to go home, look in the mirror, and say to themselves "I Love You". He told them "God wants you to feel good about yourselves" and so..."You need to love yourself". But Leslie says however many times she tried to look inside herself and find her "inner beauty" she just felt as insecure as ever. 

The modern definition of inner beauty is: "being confident in who you are; having a positive "sense of self"; appreciating your own uniqueness and personal qualities." That sounds good...what's wrong with it?

It's unbiblical. 

"If a soul has any beauty it is because Christ has endowed that soul with His own, for on our own we are deformed and defiled! There is no beauty in any of us, but what our Lord has worked in us."
- Charles Spurgeon

There is no beauty in any of us...except what our Lord has worked in us. This doesn't mean that we don't have any value to God, quite the opposite. "But when we try to find our own beauty, except a beauty of a life fully surrendered to Jesus Christ, we do not have any because of sin."

Now let's go to incorruptible beauty. The definition being: " Uncorrupted(pure) and immortal (of heaven, not earth)." That is the biblical meaning. "God is asking us to cultivate a beauty not of this earth, in other words, reflecting the purity and heavenly nature of Jesus Christ in and through your character and conduct." 

The main thing wrong with the inner beauty message is not that God wants us to feel terrible about ourselves, but that we bypass that any beauty within us needs to be the beauty of Christ. Christianity is not about esteeming self, but denying self and esteeming Christ."

The Bible says in Luke 9:23 "Then he said to them all: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Not esteem themselves...deny themselves. Deny is to "forget oneself, lose sight of one's own interests". How different is this than what we hear today? "Do what makes you happy, make all your dreams come true...it's all about me, me, me." But the Bible says to let all your dreams and pursuits get swallowed up in Him. 

"Our joy should be complete when we see Him, not when people see us. This doesn't mean you won't have unique personalities and gifts. They were given to you by God himself. But when you use those gifts to draw attention to yourself instead of Jesus Christ then they are out of their place. When you say how can I get more out of the way so He increases and I decrease that's when incorruptible beauty shines through

Proverbs 9:13 says that a "foolish woman is clamorous". The definition of clamorous is "to makes noise, to draw attention to oneself, to cause a stir." Now that doesn't mean mean you're outgoing. Having a Facebook page, blogging about yourself, having Pinterest boards, and most of social media can all "create a stir". And yet we naturally love it. It's wonderful to get a nice ego boost...and yet drawing attention to ourselves Proverbs says is foolish.  

Now lets go back up to the verse at the beginning. For most of my life I've wondered if this verse means that everyone should have this quiet personality...I knew that couldn't be true, but it just seems to say that. Mrs. Ludy brought it to a whole new level for me. She said that this verse does not mean that we all need to have this "quiet, shy, mousy little personality", but that a quiet spirit means that self is quiet.  Isn't that challenging?

And so by now you may be thinking...okay this is wonderful...and yet how do I apply this to my life? I totally understand where you're coming from. I have heard these amazing quotes and teachings and yet when I'm done I'm like "Wow. That was amazing...but...ummm...how do I apply that to daily, practical life?" Leslie Ludy didn't end her message though by saying that "we should all try to keep self quiet". She ended her message by sharing practical ways we can cultivate this incorruptible beauty. 

"Cultivating It:
1. Exchange Self-Promotion For Godly Humility
2. Exchange Idle Chatter for Godly Edification
2. Exchange Temporal Distractions for True Satisfaction"

#1: Exchange Self-Promotion For Godly Humility

Our culture finds so many ways that we can promote ourselves and have people look at us...here are a few.

Social Media - Look at ME
Posting Selfies - Look at ME
Online Dating - Look at ME
Sensual Clothing - Look at ME
Flirting - Look at ME
Pinterest Boards - Look at ME

Leslie said that she's not saying that we should completely take away all social media, but we must make sure we are guarded and not promoting ourselves. 

And so I want to really challenge you. 

In blogging how are you drawing attention to yourself? 
In writing how are you drawing attention to yourself? 
In conversations how are you drawing attention to yourself? 
In friendships how are you drawing attention to yourself?
In social media posts how are you drawing attention to yourself? 
In emails how are you drawing attention to yourself? 

I know you may be thinking "Oh, I couldn't do that. Everybody would think I'm crazy. You're not actually expecting me to not talk about myself a lot are you?" I think Jesus isn't expecting us to never talk about ourselves, but a better question would be 

Do I think Jesus would be more pleased if I posted selfies or didn't?
Do I think Jesus would be more pleased if I blogged about myself or about Him? 
Do I think Jesus would be more pleased if I talked about myself on Facebook or didn't?
Do I think Jesus would be more pleased if I talked about myself with my friends and in my emails and chats or talked more about Him?
...we should live for His applause only...for in Who's presence will we be for eternity? Let's be radical. 

"What I am called to be is nothing. Jesus made himself nothing."
-Elizabeth Elliot

11.16.2016

Footprints: A Poem


Footprints
 (Mary Stevenson)

 One night I dreamed a dream.
 As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
 Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
 For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
 One belonging to me and one to my Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
 I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
 I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
 especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
 there was only one set of footprints.
 This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.

"Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
 You'd walk with me all the way.
 But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
 there was only one set of footprints.
 I don't understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me."

He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
 Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
 When you saw only one set of footprints,
 It was then that I carried you."


 --------------♥--------------

 It was then that I carried you. The thought brings tears to my eyes. Through the hardest times...when we feel so alone, God is carrying us in His arms. I think of one of my favorite verses that shows the tenderness He shows to each one of us "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." (Isaiah 40:11) Whatever trial you're going through, whatever suffering you're facing, don't ever forget that you are held by Him...he's carrying you.


"You will be safe in His arms. You will be safe in His arms
The hands that hold the world are holding your heart
This is the promise He made, He will be with you always
When everything is falling apart, you will be safe in His arms"
 Safe - Phil Whickham

11.15.2016

"Beyond Suffering" Bible Review




There is hardly a person who doesn’t know someone dealing with a disability, disease, chronic illness, or other form of personal suffering. The Beyond Suffering Bible is the first study Bible to directly address those who suffer and the people who love and care for them. From bestselling author, singer, and radio host Joni Eareckson Tada and the experts at Joni and Friends Christian Institute on Disability, the Beyond Suffering Bible is filled with thousands of notes and features that invite readers into a conversation about suffering and its place in each person’s life. Each feature has been carefully created to provide readers with valuable information, meaningful encouragement, and challenging applications as they encounter God’s Word.

This Bible is so wonderful! It's a different translation(it's NLT) than I use which I know I'll enjoy reading. There's Bible reading plans, maps, tons of little notes on verses scattered throughout, stories and notes about living people and Bible characters, as well as much more. If you are someone who has gone through emotional suffering or physical suffering this Bible is packed with hope and answers. The only negative thing is it's a bit hard to read sometimes, if you're just trying to read the Bible, as there's a lot of notes and extra things scattered throughout. But I'm sure I'll love reading in it whenever I'm going through a difficult time! 

*I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers for the purpose of this review*


11.09.2016

Practical Tips on Witnessing


Witnessing. Doesn't that word give you fear? It has always sent a bit of fear into my heart. I mean...step out? Look different? Be stranger than most Christians we know? And yet Jesus has commanded us to witness. I read a very amazing, impacting, practical book called "Will Our Generation Speak?" on witnessing and so this post is going to be pretty much based off of some of the things I learned in that book. I would highly recommend it if you want to practically know how to witness! And I also want to tell you that I am not a good "witnesser". I can most embarrassingly tell you that I really don't witness much. And so I'm sharing things that I've learned from this book, but not things that I have down. So please don't think I'm any better than you! 

Only One Chance To Be Young!

The first point Grace(the author) brought up is that we only have one chance to be young. We will never have the same amount of free time(probably) once we go to college(if you're not already in college), start working or get married and have kids. These younger years of our lives are sooo important and we should not waste them. She also brought up how their are so many advantages of being young. I think people often will not think of you as being too bold or forward because you're just "kids". When others see how different we live, how strong we are in our convictions, and how serious we are about our faith it will not go unnoticed. We have an advantage when we're young. When you get older, people may not listen or be as interested and intrigued as when they see young people passionate about sharing Jesus Christ. So be encouraged! 


Excuses, Excuses, Excuses...

We all have them and we all must fight them. She shared a bunch of excuses that really hit me hard. Here they are:

I'm not in the mood...
I might be doing it from the wrong motive...
They look grumpy...
I need to pray about it first...
If God wants to save them(he will)...
I have to be friends first to share the gospel...
I don't have the right personality...
I might make a mistake...
I don't know enough...
I don't have the gift of evangelism...
They look busy...
I tried and it doesn't work...
I don't have time...
I can't communicate well...
I'll just let them see my life...

Are you guilty of any of these? I know I'm guilty of a lot of them. :) But I think we have to face the fact that Jesus has given the call. And excuses are not the right way to answer his call. Let us be courageous with the gospel! I think it is completely normal to be scared, but courage is not not being scared, but doing it anyway.

"Ok, I'm going to do it.", you might say..."But how?" I love how Grace broke it down in her book...

Who?

Who should I witness to? Well obviously your friends if you have unsaved one's, but when you're just out and about and witnessing, then who do you witness to? I think it's very true that we should let the Holy Spirit guide us, but sometimes we're not going to feel a nudge toward a certain person or an audible voice telling us who to go to. Grace brought out a good point that we should make choices based off of God's word. I've heard Proverbs 16:9 many times, but she brought it to a new depth for me. It says-

"A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps."

She was saying how sometimes we need to plan our ways and trust that God will direct our steps to the ones he has for us. So here's a few things to take into consideration:

Gender: Grace said that it's best to witness to someone of your own gender. She said that she actually thinks that guys are more open-minded and easier to discuss things with, but she said that they often don't get your motive right. ;) So be very careful witnessing to someone of the opposite gender. 
Age: I think young people may listen a bit better to someone older than them and so trying to witness to people around your own age isn't a bad thing. But be open as well! 
Safety: We should be willing to share the gospel with difficult people, but we still need to use common sense. I don't think it would be wise at all to go witness to someone who looks a bit dangerous or wild. So use common sense! 

Where? 
Parks, towns, festivals, farmers markets, public sidewalks, anywhere you are. Rest stops, stores, parks. Any place can be an opportunity to witness if you want it to be! 

How?
Go up to people and ask how you can pray for them, draw illustrations, use analogies, get to know them a bit and be personable, share your testimony, be simple, go in pairs, and aim to disciple. Other ideas would be...give them something(tract, questionnaire). Wear an illustration. She said one girl wears a pin that says "If". Whenever someone asks her about it she asks them a question "If you were to die today, where do you think you would go?". Another person wears a white sock and a black sock and says one is for his old life and one is for his new life. ;) So be creative! Also answer ordinary questions in an non-ordinary way. Like "How are you?" "I'm doing well. I was really encouraged by an answer to prayer recently..." Other ideas would be...go door to door, meet needs, and witness in third person. Like you could share with someone the "interesting" conversation you had with someone(*wink*) and then ask them "What do you think?". 

----- -----
So there's some ideas and suggestions for witnessing! I'll share some quotes from the book below that are so powerful: 

"Whether they respond or not our job is just---to speak Jesus."

"Most of us set life goals that we think we can reach. But if we can reach them in our own strength it means they are far too small."

"The world says "Make yourself happy", Jesus says "It is more blessed to give", The world says "Pursue your dreams" Jesus says "Lose your life", "The world says "Reward yourself", Jesus says "Take up your cross".

"He is concerned that are hearts are faithful in the daily grind. The person we are when no one is watching is the person we truly are. The "smallest" things are sometimes the hardest--mundane acts of service, efforts no one else sees, time spent in prayer, and consistency in our walk with him. A true hero is the one who is a conqueror daily in the little things. God cares more about who we are than where we are."

"Imagine this. We are in heaven, listening to amazing stories from missionaries throughout history who gave their lives for the gospel. But, what if, looking back, we realize we totally missed the real spiritual work, because we were blinded by distractions? What if we realize that, while others were fighting true battles, we were wasting time on ourselves?"

"We will also be able to see the fruits of our labors. All the things we had completely forgotten...we will find that the Lord did not forget! Small acts of kindness, tears of struggle, surrendered dreams, acts of obedience."

These quotes are so powerful! Will we live our lives "blinded by distractions"..."wasting time on ourselves"? Or will we make it our goal that everything, our words, our thoughts, the books we read, the movies we watch, the blog posts we post, the time we spend, be done on things that truly matter? Things that will count for eternity? Will we waste time on ourselves? Or will we live out His call, courageously, to share the message of the cross with others?

11.05.2016

10 Impactful Quotes + Announcement

Hello to all my readers! 

2 weeks ago I posted 8 songs that have impacted my life and today I'm going to post 10 quotes (I couldn't just pick 8;) that have impacted my life. Words have so much power as you know and these are quotes that have made me think or just encouraged me. But before we jump in I have an announcement to make. :) I'm switching my posting day! I'll be posting every Wednesday instead of every Saturday. It was suggested by a friend (thank you, Hosanna!:) that so many blogs post on Saturday that it's just hard to keep up with them. Wednesday is a day that not near as many bloggers post on so that will be my day. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this change in the comments! =) Anyway, enjoy!



"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God" 
-Corrie Ten Boom

"If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is we were made for another world." 
-C.S. Lewis 

"It is a safe thing to trust Him with the desires He creates." 
-Amy Carmichael 

"Your attitude towards others, work, and your daily life is a reflection of your attitude towards God." 
-Elizabeth George 

"God can't give us peace and happiness apart from Himself because there is no such thing." 
-C.S. Lewis

"If all the prayers you prayed this week were answered, how many babies would be saved from abortion? How many persecuted Christians would find comfort? How many tribes would hear the gospel?...Are my prayers small and self-centered or are they big and moving the hand of God in this world? Am I praying for the impossible? If not, why not?" 
-Grace Mally, Will Our Generation Speak?

"When God allows something to be taken from you, He replaces it with something better." 
-Janette Oke 

"For love to real, it must cost, it must hurt, it must empty us of self." 
-Mother Teresa

"Just make sure that the thing you're living for is worth dying for." 
-Jill Williamson

"God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." 
-John Piper 

Of these quotes, which is your favorite? What are a few quotes that have impacted your life? And what do you think of my new posting day? I'd love to hear!!