12.28.2016

12 Beautiful Scripture Verses

Hello! 
This Wednesday I'm going to be posting 12 scripture verses. You may have heard most of them, but scripture is living and active and I've found that a verse I may have heard many times can take on a whole new meaning and speak to me in a completely new way. I think we all could use a lot of scripture filling our minds as we head into 2017. :) I hope that you are encouraged by these verses!



 



















Have a wonderful week and happy 2017!!!

12.21.2016

The Better Part II



As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10: 38-42
 
Only one thing is needed. 

How many times do we forget what that one thing is? We get so busy, distracted, and worried, like Martha, that we forget that that one thing is Jesus. Time sitting at His feet. We get so busy serving Him that we forget Him and lose all our joy. We get worried, busy, and distracted, and push Him aside. "I'm just trying to serve you Lord!" We start to get angry and upset and we wonder why serving Him isn't giving us any joy. But what if we've gotten thing's in the wrong order. That seems to be what Jesus is saying. He's whispering to Martha to come and sit at his feet instead of being so busy and distracted. 

But isn't service important? 

Totally! Jesus clearly commands it many times in His word. So...why did Jesus rebuke Martha?   

" Martha's fault was not that she served, but that she forgot him and only remembered service." 

I think there is something to this. She forgot Him and only remembered service. I think this passage can really help us get things in perspective. From what I understand of this passage, Jesus seems to be saying that service is important, but not the most important thing. Only one thing is needed. And that wasn't what Martha was doing...rushing around, worried, busy, and distracted. It was what Mary was doing. Quietly sitting at His feet and listening to His every word. 

"Only one thing needed...and that was found in living room intimacy, not kitchen service. Serving Him is so important, but not the most important thing."

Waiting on Him To Reveal His Will
I'm going to talk more about service in my next post in this series, but I want to touch on something that Mrs. Weaver (in the book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World) brought out and that really struck me. She was talking about how "While there are many things that need done, things that I'm capable of doing and want to do, I'm not always the one to do them." This really has been something God has been teaching me lately. How I'm not the one to fill every job, provide for every need, accept every opportunity. 

"I still tend to rush in, presuming to know his will rather than waiting to learn what he desires." 

Wow. I think that really freed me somehow. I'm not supposed to do everything. God is not calling me to accept every opportunity and become so busy I can't find time for Him. I'm so much like this. When an opportunity arises I just presume it's God's will, jump in and then later lose joy, and get worried and distracted. 

"But when we put that thing first (time with Jesus) he delights to reveal His will and our part in fulfilling it."

When we put Jesus time first. When we are still before the Lord and "Wait patiently for Him" he delights to reveal His will. When we rush into things without knowing that they are His will we can easily get worried, busy, and distracted instead of having joy in doing them and keeping our focus on Him. I don't want you to walk away from this post thinking you're just off the hook in serving Him and working hard, but I also want to encourage you to not rush into things. Be sure it is His will and then you can find delight in however you are serving Him because you know you are following His will for your life. 

Jesus is our anchor. Let us not ever think we don't have time for Him. Can we trust Him that if we make room in our life for Him, He can make room in our life for everything else? Let us put the "one thing" first and trust Him to reveal His will in all the other parts of our lives. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this post! Can you relate? Do you struggle with putting Jesus first in your life as well? Do you often rush into opportunities without being still and waiting on Him? (and if you do you're not alone:)

12.14.2016

8 Impactful People + Sad Announcement

Happy Wednesday! 
I am going to be having another post in the "Impactful" series, but first I'm making a big, sad, yet good announcement. Starting from February I'm no longer going to be blogging. This is something that I've thought and prayed a lot about and feel a real peace about doing. I'll share a few reasons here (not to justify myself, but just so you know:)

1. I feel God is calling me to really step out from online things and focus on things here. Possibly getting more involved in our church, starting a girls group, being more intentional with international friends, or volunteering someplace. I feel very excited about this step away from online and to where I live and also feel an amazing peace that it's time.

2. I feel like I've shared on most "big" topics. This is not a huge reason as I know I'll always be learning and growing, but I do feel like I've been able to talk about so many aspects of the Christian life and hopefully encourage you all. 

And there's some little reasons, but mainly #1. I feel God is calling me to step back from online things and get more involved here. I'm not sure what that will look like, but I'm excited to see what he will do! I'm not planning to delete my blog and so feel free anytime to look back at old posts and if you want to ask me something or just check in anytime I'll keep my contact form up for that. I'll still be reading and commenting on the blogs that I follow and so you'll still see me around, but I won't be blogging anymore. But, I will still be blogging for almost another 2 months and so it's not quite so soon. But I wanted to give you all a heads up just so I don't shock you. :) I'll miss you all very much! 

Anyway, let's move on to happier topics such as impacting people. :) I got this great idea from a friend and I'm excited to share with you some people that have impacted me and if you'd like to read more about them you can check out the books/movies about them. Enjoy!



Corrie Ten Boom
This may be my favorite missionary of all time! Corrie grew up in the Netherlands and her family hid Jews during World War II. For that reason they were captured and sent to a concentration camp. And yet through endless persecution, death of her family members, and so much more she continued to trust God. And when she was miraculously released she traveled the world sharing her story and once when she was telling her story, a man who had been especially cruel to her and her sister in the concentration camps, came up and asked her forgiveness and she forgave him. She is such an amazing example and inspiration. 

There is a movie about her life called "The Hiding Place" as well as two books written about her life by her called "Tramp for the Lord" and "The Hiding Place". 

Leslie Ludy

Leslie has been so impacting to me! Her beautiful love story and how she and her husband remained pure has inspired me as well as her amazing commitment to Jesus Christ. She (as well as her husband) have written many amazing books. Here are a few of hers...

Authentic Beauty
Answering the Guy Questions 
Set Apart Femininity 
The Lost Art of True Beauty 

Elizabeth and Jim Elliot

These two are such amazing examples! First, how they waited so long to finally get married and were committed to Jesus Christ first. And then their sacrifice as Jim was in so much danger from the Auca's, but he wanted to reach them and was eventually speared because of it. Then how Elizabeth went in and actually lived with the tribe who killed her husband and loved and forgave them. It's such an amazing story! Many books have told their story, but here are a few that Elizabeth has wrote:

Through Gates of Splendor
Let Me Be a Woman
Passion and Purity
Shadow of the Almighty 

Lillian Trasher
Lillian is such an incredible woman! It was a week before she was to be married and she felt God calling her to be a missionary. So she called off the wedding and went to Egypt where she served for 50 years (through World War II) without a furlough. She started an orphanage which, when she died, had 1200 children and it continues to help children today. Here is a book about her life -

Lillian Trasher: The Greatest Wonder in Egypt

Eric Liddell
Eric Liddell grew up mostly in Scotland while his parents were missionaries in China. He became an amazing athlete and broke records in the Paris Olympics. However, even though he was incredibly popular he went back to China and served as a missionary until his death in a prison camp from a brain tumor.  There is a good movie about his life called Chariots of Fire. Also some books about his life are - 

Eric Liddel - Something Greater than Gold 
Complete Surrender - A Biography of Eric Liddell 
Eric Liddell: Pure Gold 


George Muller 
George Muller is known for his faith in God. He rescued many orphans and started a whole orphanage for them. He lived by faith and never asked people for money yet God provided in so many amazing ways. There's a very good movie on his life called Robber of the Cruel Streets. Here's a few books also-

George Mueller: The Guardian of Bristol's Orphans 
George Muller: The Children's Champion 
Robber of the Cruel Streets: The Prayerful Life of George Muller 

Sabina Wurmbrand 
I honestly haven't read a book about this lady, but from what I've heard she is a remarkable woman. Her and her husband were severely persecuted and endured so much and yet have a rock solid faith in God. They both started the ministry Voice of the Martyrs which is a really amazing ministry. 

She wrote one book called The Pastors Wife. 

Katie Davis 
Still young and serving the Lord today, Katie Davis is a remarkable women. She was everything in high school. Homecoming queen, class president, and top of her class. But around her 20's she left home and went to Uganda and started helping people there. She adopted 14 girls while single and now she's married and running Amazima ministries. 

She has written a book called Kisses from Katie which shares her story.

                                              --------------------------------------------------------------------------

These are all ordinary people with sin and weaknesses yet they all serve an extraordinary God with all they have and all they are. Let's be inspired. 

12.07.2016

The Better Part I


As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10: 38-42

This has to be one of my favorite passages in the Bible. I don't know why, but I've fallen in love with the story of Mary and Martha more and more and ultimately the story of Jesus interacting with them. I've also been reading a book called "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" that has been really good and has so many points and things that have been challenging and just really good. So I'm going to dive into this passage as well as a few others in some upcoming posts and talk about things I've learned in the book, etc. 

Let's start with the beginning. Martha. Welcoming Jesus into her home and scurrying around with preparations.  Mary. Sitting attentively at his feet clinging to his every word. Martha, upset at her sister for not helping, comes scurrying into where they were reclining and quite boldly says "Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” I can imagine Martha really wanted Jesus to sympathize with her and say "Sure. Come on everybody, let's all pitch in and help" or at least "Go ahead Mary. I'll be fine." But that's not what Jesus said. He said "You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed." Let's stop there for a second. 

Worried and distracted. This can describe a lot of us. In the book "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" the author was talking about the difference between concern and worry. She said 

                                 "Concern draws us to God, but worry pulls us from Him" 

Concern will make us run to God with our fears and questions, but worry will make us focus on our situation instead of focusing on the One who is in control of it. It's something that is so easy to fall into...the habit of worry. 

Now, let's move on to another area of this passage. Martha's openness. This was something I had never thought of before. But I think it's something we can learn a lot from. 

"Martha spoke her secret fear aloud and we can too. But, like Martha, we must stick around long enough to hear the sweet reassurance of his answer."
-Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World

Martha was bold in her question. "Lord, don't you care?" and Jesus wasn't mad or upset that she was that bold with Him. He wasn't offended that she was that straightforward. His response shows his gentle care and correction. I think the same is true for us. In Psalm 62:8 it says 

"Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge. " 

Pour out your heart before Him. Don't be afraid to tell Him all those secret fears, secret longings, secret failings. Don't be afraid to tell Him exactly how you're feeling. Don't be afraid to tell Him if you're upset with Him or doubting his goodness and love. But wait around for the sweet reassurance. Be like Martha who boldly questioned Him, but stuck around long enough to hear his answer. Because he truly does care about what we are feeling and He truly wants us to be completely honest with Him.

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
1 Peter 5:7 

And this is another aspect of it, but can't you totally relate to Martha? She thought it was unfair that she was doing all this service for Jesus while her sister just sat at his feet.  I struggle with this often. How life is just not fair. Why do I have this struggle and they don't? Why does life seem so easy for this person and not me? Why doesn't God make life fair? After all he is a just God, right? And yet sometimes we need to accept it. We need to understand that he knows life is rarely fair. He was the King of Kings without any sin and yet he was brutally killed. How fair was that?? But He saw the bigger picture. What good would come out of the injustice. And when we want to just scream "Lord, don't you care?" we must step back and see the bigger picture. We must trust Him so much that we can say "Thy will be done" even when life is not fair. And how do we gain that trust in Him? I was so impacted by this quote

"We only trust people we know. If you're having a hard time trusting God it may be because you don't really know God."
-Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World

Wow. If we're struggling in the area of trust the best thing we can do is to fill our mind with truth about who God is. That was such a thought provoking quote for me! 

So I know this is such a jumbled post, but I hope you learned something from this story! I'm going to have a couple more posts on Martha and Mary stories and I hope these posts will encourage and challenge you like they have me! Have a wonderful week! 

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         "The fact is until we stop doubting God's goodness we can't experience God's love."

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