Friday, 12 October 2012

Is Beautiful Better?


The other night I saw a report about the trend among high school girls to request a nose job surgery as a graduation gift. It got me thinking.

When it comes right down to it, I don’t think these girls—or any of us for that matter—want a different body for it’s own sake. Rather, because of the sin in our lives, we long to find happiness in the worship of others. We think beauty is our ticket to bliss. But it won’t take us anywhere. Beauty doesn’t satisfy. Proverbs says that it is “fleeting” (Prov. 31:30, NIV).

This is why the well-meaning advice to simply “learn to love your body” doesn’t cut it. Even wrapped in “Christian” packaging (“Jesus loves you just the way you are, so you should love yourself”)—it’s hollow. It doesn’t satisfy our desperate and sinful thirst for attention. Even if it seems to for a moment, it won’t last. You might as well hand an exhausted marathon runner an empty water bottle.
But there is hope—for these high school girls and for every woman consumed by the quest for physical beauty. There is hope for me. For “[Christ] died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Cor. 5:15).
Because of the Cross, we can be free from this fruitless and rebellious search to find satisfaction in receiving admiration for our physical beauty. We can live for Christ instead. And thus our hearts can be filled, with the true and genuine joy that can be found in Christ. 

                                                 ~Grace~

Making The Choice

Having the hunger—and finding—satisfaction in God, instead of in society's diversions, is simple, really. We must choose to close the laptop or shut off the phone, and we must choose to seek God through prayer and His Word.

For a long time I've needed to make that choice. I've had to choose to say “no” to this distraction! Resolved myself not to not look at email or blogs or headline news until after my time of Bible study and prayer. It may be a small thing but can make a big difference.
Whatever it takes, let’s be ruthless about not allowing anything to distract us from seeking God through His Word and prayer. We need to choose to sit at Jesus’ feet and find our satisfaction in God alone.
“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days” (90:14).

                                                 ~Grace~

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Honoring Your Parents


 The Bible says to “honor your father and mother” (Eph. 6:2). One New Testament commentary says that to honor someone is to “treat him with the deference, respect, reverence, kindness, courtesy, and obedience which his station in life . . . demands.”

For young children, this means obeying parents. For teenagers, it indicates showing respect for Mom and Dad even if you think you know more than they do. For young adults, this means including your parents in your life. And for those in middle-age and beyond, it means making sure that parents are cared for as they move into old age or their health declines. How can you honor your parents this week?

Bible verses that help you know more about what God expects from Christian teens and their parents:

Exodus 20:12 - "Honor your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." (NIV)

Exodus 21:15 - "Anyone who attacks his father or his mother must be put to death."(NIV)

Proverbs 1:8 - "Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching."(NIV)
Proverbs 10:1 - "The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother."(NIV)
Proverbs 23:25 - "May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice!"(NIV)
Proverbs 31:26-31 - "She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."(NIV)
Psalm 103:13 - "As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;"(NIV)
Proverbs 3:11-12 - "My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father [a] the son he delights in.(NIV)
Proverbs 23:24 - "The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him."(NIV)

                                      ~Grace~

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Grace in Guilt

                                                
That haunting memory. The boil of regret. Sitting paralyzed. Wasting away. I'm too often drawn back into my memory, reliving the past and remembering verbal blows exchanged. And some of the worst recollections involve thoughtless or harsh words. Words pack a punch, and the bruises they leave are not easily erased. How many of us wish we could change what we said in the heat of the moment? Words have started wars, broken marriages, destroyed friendships, and severed parents and children. Yet the damage from foolish words lay not only in those initial moments, but in the days of living with that memory embedded on our minds.

The memory is real. The pain is real. And the guilt is unrelenting.

When I remember the foolish, harmful things I've said to another person, I often dwell on how my words made them resentful. My mind can become so absorbed with the memory that I can think about nothing but my own failure and misery. It's a crippling feeling, stopping me from walking forward in life.
How do I get out of it? I often get stuck in it. Some say, just think happier thoughts because, what good does it do to get dragged into the dumps by something you can't change? But I can ignore it for only so long, pretending the guilt vanishes when it actually just hides in a dark corner of my heart.
I sometimes try to suppress it by watching a film to get my mind off the guilt. Combine that with a spoon full of nutella, and the distraction works for a time. But you can't ease guilt by shoving aside its reality. Rather, guilt pricks my spirit to make me aware of where I really stand in relation to our perfect, good Creator. In Psalm 38:3-8, David writes of the effect of sin and the damaging feeling of guilt:
 There is no soundness in my flesh
because of your indignation;
there is no health in my bones
because of my sin.
For my iniquities have gone over my head;
like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.
My wounds stink and fester
because of my foolishness,
I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;
all the day I go about mourning.
For my sides are filled with burning,
and there is no soundness in my flesh.
I am feeble and crushed;
I groan because of the tumult of my heart.

  Guilt is a gift, a form of God's grace to expose me to my true self and force me to take seriously my sin, whether it's a lashing tongue, a lustful thought or a lingering pride. God wants to break through my distractions, pull off my rose-colored glasses and show me the truth about myself and my future. The festering guilt can function for good, turning me to see my state before a holy God.

                                                ~Grace~

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

My Writing Aspirations



An excerpt from my latest journal entry:
"Dearest of Journals,
 I will say here, however it might disappoint those romantic souls who revere the intellect of anyone who takes pen to paper, that I have never seriously aspired to create, or unearth, an entirely novel way of expressing my own modest perspective - to find, as some would put it, my own voice. My ambitions are far more humble. Though of course, I have more than once allowed myself to entertain the thought of critical fame, I would settle, tomorrow, for far less. I would be content simply to see, on a single occasion a work of my own in print. This would be enough. There was a time, I must admit when my goals were somewhat higher - when I intended to publish book after book, a small library of my own making, beginning with collections of short, and then longer pieces, novels , trilogies - and to fill these volumes with the fruits of my own hard - won wisdom. Alas, dearest of journals, I might as well have wished for the moon."

As the pages of my life turn and I embark on a new chapter, my inspiration is far and few between. One of these days however, I will come up with something wonderfully inspiring for all of you!  

~Grace~ 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Feeling Overwhelmed?


Ever have one of those days (or weeks, or months) where you are just overwhelmed?  Life has turned upside down and you don’t think you can handle it all?  Struggling to stay afloat yourself, you don’t feel like serving others. You struggle to see God’s goodness in the “juggling” of your day. Life is too much and you just want to sleep for days.

To one degree, that’s where I’ve been tempted the past few weeks. I'm in the process of moving and have found my life completely thrown upside down.  Clothes and cans of food are in boxes, finding a basic everyday need is now a frustrating hassle. I’ve been angry a lot. I’ve struggled with the fact that God knows just what I need to start this season of my life well, and yet I find myself struggling with bitterness, anger and exhaustion. I want to hide from the world. I’ve spent a lot of time asking God what my response should be. I’m called to love my enemies. What about the times when I’m just tired and want to sleep? Do I have to care and serve then?  yes. What about when my plans are continually interrupted? Can I trust God’s control over my life then?  yes. But how do I do this?  I am one person and honestly don’t have the strength to do it all. That’s where I’m grateful for God’s promises…  it’s what I need to cling to at times like this when I am tempted to feel overwhelmed…

 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  (Psalm 46:1-3)

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. (Psalm 62:1-2)

No matter the season, no matter the events of the day, I can trust my God.  He is the foundation upon which everything else is built. So, with confidence I can both rest and walk forward knowing that my foundation is sure and my God is always faithful.

                                       ~Grace~

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Sisters



This is me and my younger sister, Brooklyn.

If you don't understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child.  ~Linda Sunshine

  Let me give you a little background before I launch into my blind-leading-the-blind advice about sisterly bonding. Little me was born into a family with four older siblings in their mid teens, I was the baby and treated as such. Having just turned four, I'm pretty sure I was envious of my new sister. I'm the type of person, even now, that adores the center of attention. I don't strive to put myself in it the way some do, but when I find myself there, I am quite content. Therefore, I was probably not so pleased when I received a little sister, her adorable chubby cheeks and little tiny toes stealing all of my attention. I had a problem with tattle tailing and she had an issue with biting. Who knew that adorable face could cause so much damage! Though we had some great moments, we could have had a lot more if I had been able to share. If I'd been happier with myself and didn't feel the need to put her down. But, as we all know, this blog isn't about the past. It's about the PRESENT. And being positive in the moment, right now. So while I can't go back to the days when my sister tortured me and I provoked her, I can do this: I can work on being a better sister right now. I can work on strengthening the bond between us and undoing whatever pain I may have caused her. Here are my ideas for building a better relationship with my sister(s). 

Four ways to strengthen relationships with your siblings:  

Let the past go.
This is a LOT easier said than done (especially if you were the one that was hurt more often in the past), but, as I've stated It's not coming back. That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt us or cause pain, but it's over. Consistently dwelling on it really doesn't help anything. If you can't let it go, talk it out. Talking about it, getting it out on the table and into the open, might really help the relationship (even if it's painful). The quote "Sisters never quite forgive each other for what happened when they were five" may be true, but siblings can work on forgiveness. Forgiveness, like most worthwhile things, takes work and consistency.

Acknowledge the now. You are a different person than you were when you were a child. You have changed. Your sibling has changed. Be aware of that. I've often thought "If we weren't sisters, would we be better friends?" Sadly, I think we would. Try to think about who you are now and try, if you can, to think of your sibling as a friend. 

Be open to communication. Listen to each other and really try to understand what the other wants from you. Maybe one of you wants to be BFF. Maybe the other would rather have very limited contact. Try to find a compromise and, to do this, you have to communicate. Communication really is KEY. 

Look for the positive.
I bet you could see this one coming a mile away, but it really is important so I couldn't leave it out. If you've read this far, you obviously have a desire for a good relationship with your sibling so stop thinking and focusing on the things that bother you. Think, instead, of the things you love and enjoy about them. I'm going to start right now on this one. Here are some things I really love about my younger sister: she gets so excited about silly things (like spiders and cars), she has the BEST laugh in the whole world, she is fiercely loyal and loving, she calls me out on things that no one else has the nerve to do and always supports my music and writing.

                                                                ~Grace~

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Q&A: Guy Friends



Q: As a young woman of 17 I would like to know how to be "just friends" with guys, but don't know how. Any advice? 

A:  It wasn't to long ago when I was navigating through my teen years and into early adult hood. Actually, I still am. Throughout these years the one issue that has always been a mystery is "friendships with guys". How much time should I spend with them? How do these relationships differ from those with my girlfriends? Is is okay to hang out or talk on the phone? I've always wished for a simple set of rules. Just a little list of "do's and dont's" that I could carry with me to refer back to. These rules would guarantee a great outcome, and no longer would I have to worry about that little conscience of mine - however, I've learned that this is a wisdom issue, and that the Bible is the main source for that wisdom.

A verse I often refer to regarding this topic is 1 Timothy 5:1-2 where Paul tells Timothy that he should, “Treat…younger women like sisters, in all purity.” Now if guys are called to treat us as “sisters in all purity,” then we should in turn must act like sisters, in purity! Here within this verse is the wisdom we're looking for. Ask yourselves—do I treat my guy friends as I would my own brother? Am I behaving in absolute purity toward guys?

I also quickly learned that my friendships with guys needed to look rather different than my friendships with girls. I was discussing this topic with a trusted mentor once and they said  "Grace, guys read into things just as much as girls do. When a girl shows consistent attention to one guy, it can cultivate affection in that guy’s heart." While I may have been considering my guy friends as brothers, they quite possibly could have been thinking that there was something more. I also remember having someone tell me to relate to all guys as "another woman's husband."  I found this little phrase to be very helpful in relating to my guy friends.

All things aside, friendships with guys are not wrong. Actually, I would argue that friendships with godly young men during this season of life are a gift and something to be enjoyed. As one of four girls (aside from my two older brothers 16 yrs. before me) I'm very grateful for the guys that are my "brothers" during these years. If we pursue the principles of purity and brotherly love displayed for us in scripture, we can be free to enjoy godly friendships with guys as blessing from our heavenly Father.

                           ~Grace~

*Do you have any questions that you'd like me to try and answer or a topic that I could give my opinion on? Feel free to send them to me in a comment or via email at foreverhisalone@yahoo.ca

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Knowing Love


Loving others and being loved is what makes life worth living. Countless people have gone through times in their life when they felt unloved or had no one to love. If they consistently dwell on those thoughts, it can cause them to end up extremely unhappy and depressed. Some are influenced to the extent of suicide. 

Love is the energy of life. It's what motivates us to awake each morning and keep going. Love gives life meaning and purpose. Society is looking for love, but they are really looking for God, because God is love. So many of us look for fulfillment in different ways that seem beneficial, but often leave us feeling frustrated, disappointed and empty. Only by putting love into action, continually reaching out to show love through various acts of kindness can we find the true fulfillment we're all so desperately seeking.    

                                            ~Grace~
Photo From Google Images

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Society's Optimism and Christian hope


 On the surface hope, and optimism appear to be two different terms for the same concept. But deeper research shows that they are two very different concepts. Although both are generally thought of as positive, both have different qualities and are not interchangeable! What is hope? Is it an emotion? Or a state of mind? 

I recently saw these words on a sign: It said, "Hope Is Real." I pondered it and (clearly) agreed with the statement. But as I thought about the seemingly simple little phrase, I came to realized that for an astonishing amount of people hope is not real. This is one of the most influential gifts we can give to one another, the gift of hope. Someone who is hopeless and alone generally cannot help themselves out of their situations. They have a mass sense of loss and helplessness. We must as believers come alongside and bring the good news of Jesus Christ and all that He has to offer. 

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10 NIV
   
One particular definition for hope I found was: To look forward to with confidence or expectation. We need to bring the Word of God packaged in all its hope for someone who does not know it is real. When we deliver hope, we also deliver life. It is life changing to at long last believe again.

I've thought for a long time that one of the biggest issues we have in society is there are so many people who have lost hope. There seems to be so many troubles, financial problems, political concerns, etc. It feel's like the world has no hope. Aside from God, this place is place is hopeless. But with God's assistance, we can make it. You should know that no matter what situation you find yourself in at this time, there IS hope. You may not be able to see or feel it at this time, but it is there for you. How do you find it? There in only one place to truly find hope, and that is in Christ Jesus.

                                         ~Grace Nation~


Thursday, 1 March 2012

The power of Words

Source: Google Images

Words have a huge impact on all our lives. I know people who have lived a life of damaging insecurity because words of judgment and failure were spoken to them on a regular basis. These people can only be healed through God's unconditional love. They have been wounded in their souls (their inner selves, their mind and emotions), a place to which only God has complete access. However, once they are wounded by the words of others it takes time to rise above the wrong image they have of themselves. This is why it's crucially important that we learn to use our words for blessing and building up others, not wounding and tearing others down. Like Ephesians 4:29 says "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word that is good for edification according the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear."
As Christians we should not tell people something unless we want them to become what we're saying. Words create an image inside of us, Proverbs 23:7 says that "as a person thinks in his heart, so is he." Believing the best in people and speaking words that build them up is one way of loving them. Think of these words and then ponder about how they make you feel:

Ugly     Stupid     Failure     Insignificant     Hopeless     Unworthy     Clumsy

Do they make you feel uplifted, exuberant about life as though you can be a success at anything you attempt? I am sure they don't. Now consider words like:

Attractive     Intelligent     Blessed     Creative     Talented     Hopeful     Lovely

I am sure such words affect you in a much more positive way.
Finally, read and consider these scriptures in light of the power of words:

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down, but an encouraging word makes it glad." -Proverbs 12:25 

"Pleasant words are as honeycomb, sweet to the mind and healing to the body." -Proverbs 15:23

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it (for death of life) -Proverbs 18:21

You can see why words are so important in the life of the person who genuinely desires to walk in love toward others. 

                                      ~Grace~

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Infatuation



    You've probably experienced it - the continuing thoughts about someone who has sparked your interest,  the heart flutters whenever that person walks by, hours are spent daydreaming of a future with that special someone. It's infatuation, and I know it well, having been hit myself. Far to many of us have a hard time seeing infatuation as potentially harmful. But when we're hit with this rush of emotions we need to examine it carefully, because when you really ponder it, infatuation can be a sinful response to attraction. 

Any time we allow someone to remove God as our focus of affection, we've gone from harmless appreciation of someone's beauty or personality to the dangerous area of infatuation. Rather than making God the object of our longing, we wrongly direct these feelings toward another human. We bow to someone other than God, hoping this person will meet our needs and bring fulfillment. When infatuated with someone it's our tendency to build up that person in our imaginations as the perfect guy or girl. We think we'd be happy forever if that person would return our affections. Of course, we can only sustain our silly crush because we've exchanged fantasy for all the information we lack about the person. However, as soon as we get to know that person's true identity and discover that our "perfect" man or woman is just like everyone else, our dreams fade and we move on to a new crush.

To break from this pattern of infatuation, we must reject the idea that a human relationship can ever deliver complete fulfillment. When we find our hearts and minds slipping into the world of fantasy we must pray, "God, help me to remember that no human can ever take your place in my life. You are my strength, my hope and my reward. Bring me back to reality and help me to focus on you".   

                                             ~Grace~

Photo copyright: Lara @ a million pieces 

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

A gift wrapped in love


   I often wonder why God gave us so much. We could survive on far less. He could have left the world flat and grey; we wouldn't have known the difference. But he didn't. He put orange in the sunrise and splashed the sky with blue. Did he have to make puppies so furry? Was it necessary for birds to sing? How about the funny way that chickens sprint or the beauty of lightning when in strikes? Why give flowers fragrance? Why give food it's delicious taste? Every gift that He bestowed reveals the vast Love he has for us. But no gift displays his love more that the gifts of the cross. This gift came not wrapped in paper, but in love. 

                                             ~Grace~
My beautiful cousin took this photo on the beach in Maui, Hawaii (Thanks for letting me use it!)

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Our Hearts


   I've come to realize that the human heart doesn't like taking orders from the mind. The time will come for all of us when we don't feel like doing the godly, sensible thing we've decided to do. But how will we respond when our hearts lean toward a full-scale rebellion? If we don't prepare ourselves, we'll feel tempted to run from our morals and standards. The sooner we become acquainted with the contents of our hearts, the better. Far too many of us are happily unaware of how deceitful the core of our beings can truly be. When we think "heart", we picture cute, cutout valentines. But often if we really dig through out hearts, we'd find selfishness, lust, envy and lies. The effect is like discovering that the sweet old lady living next door is on FBI's most wanted list. Though we might be shocked, God is not. I believe he not only understands how delicate our hearts are, He knows how easily it can be pulled in the wrong direction. 

                                               ~Grace~

My own photo taken in Maui

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Lord, Teach Me

I want to ask you a question: Do you believe your prayers are really making a difference? Think about it: deep in your heart, do you ever wonder if God is hearing you when you pray? When your finished praying, are you convinced that your prayers have accomplished something? Are you satisfied with your prayer life? If you are like many others, your are saying, "Yes!" Since Interacting with others, I've realized that people really want to pray; they want to know that God hears them and that their prayers are effective. In fact, I recently read about a survey done in 2005 on more than eight hundred pastors in the United States. The survey revealed that only 16 percent say they are "very satisfied" with their prayer lives. That leaves an overwhelming 84 percent who feel their prayer lives could definitely be better. Like the pastors in the survey, I believe there are countless others who are un-satisfied with their prayer lives. They're not sure God is really listening when they talk to Him; they don't understand why some prayers seem to go unanswered and wonder if their praying 'right' or praying enough. One of the most important prayers a person can ever utter is: "Lord teach me to pray." As I've heard before; it's not just, "Lord, teach me to pray," but, "Lord, teach me to pray." I believe many people today are asking the same questions the disciples asked nearly 2000 years ago: "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1). Even though they spent a great deal of time with Jesus, listening to Him, learning from Him and watching Him work miracles, they still felt the need for His instruction on prayer. The disciples went to Jesus as a group asking Him to teach them to pray, but as I made that same request as an individual, God answered me and brought a wonderful improvement to my prayer life. Such as: 
-I have moved from praying panic-driven, selfish prayers (prayers that come from one's mind, will, or emotions) to Spirit-filled, faith-based prayers. 
- No longer do I approach God in fear, wondering if He will really hear me and send an answer to my prayers. I now approach Him as His Word teaches me to do, and with great expectation. 
I believe if you will ask God to teach you to pray, you will also experience great changes in the way you pray, tremendous satisfaction in your relationship with God, and a refreshing freedom.
 ~Grace~ 
I took this photo on a beach in Maui, Hawaii. During my time there I had some of the most amazing experiences with prayer and seeing how God can use His breathtaking creation to move us deeply.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

One day at a time

      I sat at my desk this evening to try and make sense of my busy schedule. It ended up being a rather frustrating task. In the middle of feeling overwhelmed by a heavy load of future responsibilities and being weighed down by the continuing demands of life, I sensed God telling me, "Take one day at a time". When I listen to friends share their struggles and anxieties, I often find myself saying, "Keep your eyes on Jesus, and take one day at a time." It sounds so simple. Yet there is great relief in realizing that our lives are in the Lords hands. We need to live today as much as we can to the glory of God. The Lord asks us to hand our burdens into his care, for He knows what we need.
 "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."  Matthew 6:34

                                               ~Grace~ 
My own photo (taken last spring)

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Humility

I have come to the belief that I've been born into a very proud and egotistical generation. People now consider it acceptable even normal for others to praise themselves, promote themselves and put themselves first. I could almost say that in today's society many consider pride a virtue, as a result they view humility as a weakness. It seems that everyone is screaming for his or her own rights and is desperately striving to be seen as somebody of importance. The intense preoccupation with self-esteem, self-love and self-glory is obliterating the fundamentals on which our society is built. I strongly believe that no culture can survive with pride running rampant, for all of society depends on relationships. And when people are completely committed to themselves relationships disintegrate. Is this not what's happening to our culture, as friendships, marriages and families fall apart? 

Sadly the preoccupation with self has found it's way into the church. Possibly the fastest growing marvel in modern Christianity is the large emphasis on pride, self-image, self-fulfillment and other aspects of selfism. The Scripture is clear, however, that selfism has no place in Christian theology. Jesus repeatedly taught against pride, and with His teaching he continually lifted the virtue of humility. I have found that this is most clear in John 13. This passage of scripture is clear that it was the day before Jesus' death, and instead of being totally preoccupied by thoughts of His death, He was consumed with his love for the disciples. Although He knew He would soon go to the cross to die for the sins of the world, Jesus was concerned for the needs of those twelve men. It what was literally the last hours before His death and Jesus kept showing the disciples his love over and over. There is a great lesson in this whole account: Only complete humility can generate complete love.

                                                 ~Grace~

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Complete Joy



       One of the main elements of a complete life in Christ is fullness of joy, which is a result of abiding in the True Vine. Jesus says in John 15:11, "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." God wants us to be consumed with joy, however, as I have observed, few Christians are. Many people are bitter, discontented, and are complaining within the body of Christ. The Christian life is often portrayed as a deprived, sheltered way of living. Like if they accepted the Love of God they would be consenting to take a bitter religious pill. It is when we violate God's design that we lose our joy. If we abide fully, we will have full joy. 

David cried out, "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me"(Psalm 51:12)
When David sinned, he no longer sensed the presence of God. 
He had allowed sin to restrict his abiding relationship with God. He did not lose his salvation, but he lost the joy of his salvation. That joy returned when David repented his sin to God and accepted the consequences of it. His guilt was then removed; he returned to a pure unrestricted abiding relationship with the Lord. God had made his joy complete once again.
As long as we abide with our whole heart in the True Vine, our joy is unaffected by our external circumstances or the disappointments of life. We can experience the same constant joy that Jesus had, because His joy flows through all those who rest in Him.

                                              ~Grace~

Photo Copyright: Tristin @ The Bookworm's Reverie

Monday, 16 January 2012

Youthful Passions


 Why I ever bring myself to watch a Jane Austen movie is beyond my current comprehension. All it ever does is indulge me into a world full of fantastic words, handsome men and beautiful dresses. It truly does leave me in a state of self pity. I swear I was born in the wrong era! I do believe that I would fit quite nicely in the world of Jane Austen, however materialistic it may be. Some times, I dream of beautiful heroines in books, what a thrill their everyday life is! But, nevertheless, daydreaming only really feeds the want and desire I have for excitement. I find that nearly everyday I need to remind myself to "Flee from youthful passions..." 2 Timothy 2:2

                                              ~Grace~
Photo Copyright: Kelsey  @  Freely Feminine

Monday, 9 January 2012

Marks of Manhood

When does a boy become a man? The confirmation to this question must go further than biology and age. The Bible defines manhood as a functioning reality, carried out by a man fulfilling his rolls in  leadership and responsibility. Dr. Albert Mohler suggests thirteen "Marks of Manhood" continuously revolving around maturity and spiritual growth. 

1. Spiritual maturity sufficient to lead a wife and children. 
2. Personal maturity sufficient to be a responsible husband and father.
3. Economic maturity sufficient to hold an adult job and handle money.
4. Physical maturity sufficient to work and protect a family.
5. Sexual maturity sufficient to marry and fulfill God's purposes.
6. Moral maturity sufficient to lead as an example of righteousness.
7. Ethical maturity sufficient to make responsible decisions.
8. Worldview maturity sufficient to understand what is really important.
9. Relational maturity sufficient to understand and respect others.
10. Social maturity sufficient to make a contribution to society.
11. Verbal maturity sufficient to communicate and articulate as a man.
12. Character maturity sufficient to demonstrate courage under fire.
13. Biblical maturity sufficient to lead at some level in the church.
  
All rights from the "13 Marks of Manhood" reserved to Albert Mohler.
Please visit this page for the full description under each "Mark of Manhood":  http://www.therebelution.com/resources/marks_of_manhood.htm

                                                 ~Grace~ 

When I say...



 WHEN I SAY, "I AM A CHRISTIAN"

When I say, "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting, "I’ve been saved!"
I'm whispering, "I get lost!
That's why I chose this way"

When I say, "I am a Christian"
I don't speak with human pride
I'm confessing that I stumble—
Needing God to be my guide

When I say, "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong
I'm professing that I'm weak
And pray for strength to carry on

When I say, "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success
I'm admitting that I've failed
And cannot ever pay the debt

When I say, "I am a Christian"
I don't think I know it all
I submit to my confusion
Asking humbly to be taught

When I say, "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are all too visible
But God believes I'm worth it

When I say, "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartache,
Which is why I seek His name

When I say, "I am a Christian"
I do not wish to judge
I have no authority...
I only know I'm loved

Used by Permission
Copyright 1988 Carol Wimmer 

Carol Wimmer is truly a beautiful soul and a faithful follower of our Lord. Please visit her website to be encouraged through her writings as I have. http://carolwimmer.com/

                                            ~Grace~