Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Book Recommendation - Do Hard Things

My good friend, Jacob, recently loaned me the book "Do Hard Things" by Alex and Brett Harris and this book has grabbed and motivated me to higher goals and expectations for myself - it really made me realize the depth us teenagers have let ourselves fall to in this culture. This is a book about rebellion against low expectations.  (Click on photo to go to the Rebelution website)

This book was written by Alex and Brett when they were only 18 years old.  It gives an amazing message about defining the teen years as the launching pad of life.  These years now as a teen can be the most important years of your whole life.  What you do with your teen years impacts (either expands or restrains) the rest of your life.

This book has totally changed the way I think.  I recommend this book to any and every teen who has a desire to make an impact - no matter how small an impact they may think it is!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Does God Think I'm Ugly?

I struggle with these same things as I'm sure many of you do too - I found this post on "The Rebelution" (a great blog that you need to check out!!!).  I have problems and struggles with feeling like I'm fat - but appearance really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things! :)  Hope this post is an encouragement to you as well!

"I struggle a lot with feeling ugly.

Every day I am surrounded by posters and advertisements that remind me that my skin is broken out, or my thighs are too big, etc. These posters convince me that perfection is the norm and cause me to constantly compare myself to others to see how I measure up.

I struggle a lot with caring about my appearance.

I know that my focus is supposed to be on Christ. I know my body is merely temporal, imperfect, daily dying. I know that God is supposed to be my refuge, rest, and strength.

But it is easy to be distracted by how I look.

For several years, I’ve been convinced that my acne is all people notice about me. Sometimes, when I talked, I caught people looking at a spot on my face that I knew wasn’t my eyes or my mouth. Other times (including just a few days ago), for a whole week I will be given tips and hints about how to get rid of my acne (in just 10 days!) by neighbors, acquaintances, and random strangers.

Times like these really discourage me. These reminders that I am not beautiful, that I am not attractive, that my acne distracts from who I really am crush me. People noticing and pointing out my acne convince me that my face is all I will ever be – convince me even that I am not useful in drawing attention to Christ because people will only see my blemishes.

I’ve heard all the messages about “looking to your inner beauty” and “appreciating who you are,” but they don’t help.

Inside, I’m not beautiful either. My soul is blemished too. Both my inside and my outside seem unworthy of Christ’s or any other’s attention.

All I can see is my ugliness. All I can see is my need for my Savior.
This past week, completely discouraged by the constant attention my acne received, I went to my room and cried out to God. I told Him how I was tired of caring. I told Him I was tired of being ugly. I told Him that I felt all people saw when they looked at me was acne. And I waited.

I have given you an unblemished soul.

He turned my heart to gratitude. I thanked Him that He does not see acne when He looks at me, that He does not see the much deeper, uglier blemishes of sin that often hurt and people notice. Because of Him, I have a snowy fresh soul because He was willing to forgive me and bear the consequences of my sin.
He died to give my soul a clean complexion!

When my heart wanted to dwell on the temporal, Jesus turned my eyes to the eternal realities that will never change – His love, His sacrifice, and the assurance He gives me of salvation.

For the first time in my life, I was grateful for my acne.

When I wouldn’t run to God as my rest and refuge because I knew it was right, my worries about acne and my appearance drove me to His presence for comfort.

And at His feet, I found comfort. Comfort, not that I was “truly beautiful within,” or that I somehow met up with worldly standards, but the assurance that Jesus Christ holds and loves my soul, and that He died to clear it of its imperfections.

Jesus Christ lives in and through me today, and He wants to use me to minister to the people around me. He loves me, guides me, and walks with me through all my troubles. He promises me a future and a hope, not just here on earth but especially in heaven. And He wants to have this relationship with the people that I meet every day.

When my focus is on people seeing Christ, not on seeing me, I forget my self consciousness, and I am given opportunities to share the gospel.

People will begin to ask, “Why are you so confident?”

What will I answer?

“Because I am on this program that will get my face clear in UNDER 10 DAYS!”

“Because my inner beauty shines through and that’s enough for me,”


“Because Jesus Christ is my anchor and my support, and He has saved me from all of my sin. My confidence and my hope is in Him alone.”

Only one of those answers will take others’ focus off of me and onto Christ, to whom belongs ALL the glory and ALL the honor, and ALL the praise.

So the next time you find yourself looking in the mirror with tears in your eyes, leave it, go someplace you will be alone, and pour out your heart to God. He sees the true feelings of your heart, so don’t feel like you can’t share them with Him.

Trust Him to be your comfort and your sweet support. Trust Him to walk with you through every trial – even this one. Praise the God who cares for the little things. Little things like me. Little things like you.
Believe it or not, your acne, and how you respond, could open the door for you to introduce someone to our glorious Lord and Savior!"
“How beautiful are the arms that have embraced Christ, the hands which have touched Christ, the eyes which have gazed upon Christ, the lips which have spoken with Christ, the feet which have followed Christ. How beautiful are the hands which have worked the works of Christ, the feet which treading in His footsteps have gone about doing good, the lips that have spread abroad His name, the lives which have been counted loss for Him.” – Christina Rossetti.
“If any soul has any beauty, it is because Christ has endowed that soul with His own, for in ourselves we are deformed and defiled! There is no beauty in any of us but what our Lord has worked in us.” – C.H. Spurgeon

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Grand Design(er)

There's a designer to everything. Someone who creates something from nothing. Someone who takes the time and energy to create every detail. Creating something isn't always easy. I often look at things that my little brother or sister created, and think, "Wow! I don't think I have the patience to do that!" We all have our special gifts and talents that God has given us, and God loves to watch us bloom into the person that He created and formed us to be.
     Have you ever seen inside a pocket watch? To see how each individual spring is placed, and how it's all put together, to tell us time. It's incredible!
     I've often wondered how people don't believe in God, our Creator. To think of how God design's each part of us. He molds us into His grand design. We're told in Psalm 139: 13:16, "For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed..."
     In the Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary, the word "Design" is said to: Plan; to form an outline or representation of any thing. To purpose or intend; the general order of the whole; one who frames.
     When you have blueprints to create something, people come together to give their own idea's. They create something out of nothing; and therefore, create a Design.
     There's a designer to everything. However, God, is the ultimate Designer! God created each and every one of us! Our purpose in life, is to Glory God, and enjoy Him forever! As God molds us into who He wants us to be, He chisel's away, and creates a masterpiece. 
     "Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand has stretched out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand up together." ~Isaiah 48:13   

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Laugh Today :)

Here are some things to help you have a good laugh today :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

What Is A Lady?

 I found this great post on one of my favorite blogs Daughter Of Destiny and if you haven't ever been to Katlin's blog you should really check it out!
To me a lady is not frilly, flouncy, frivolous and fluff-brained, but she is gentle, she is gracious, she is godly and she is giving. You and I have the gift of femininity… the more womanly we are, the more manly men will be and the more God’s glorified. Be women, be only women, be real women in obedience to God.”  ~Elisabeth Elliot
     In today’s society, a feminine woman is not exactly valued. However, a woman who is making her own way in the big wide world, climbing the corporate ladder, whisking through the social scene, knocking out glass ceilings- this is the woman that’s held in high esteem.
     While Proverbs 31 mentions a woman who is business woman (she considers a field and buys it….” The majority of Proverbs 31 is talking about what kind of a wife, mother and homemaker she is.
     Sometimes it seems like the Proverbs 31 woman is a dream.  I mean, really… who accomplishes everything that is written about in that chapter?
     The quote above from Elisabeth Elliot gives us a good insight into what we should be striving for as a godly woman. We are to be gentler. (That means we shouldn't yell at our children all day long.) You may think that’s quite a challenge, but it can be done! ;)
     A godly woman is gracious. That means she is courteous, kind, and pleasant. Again, some days make this feel impossible, but it can be done!
     A godly woman is giving. She extends herself to others, but she is always mindful of the needs of her family. Nowhere does it indicate that the Proverbs 31 woman extended herself to others at the expense of her family. She knew how to balance the needs of her family with the needs of others.
     While the Proverbs 31 woman may at times seem like an unattainable dream, I believe God placed those verses in his scriptures to call us to vision of godly womanhood for the benefit of others. If we continue faithfully in our efforts to live up to her beautiful example, we too will find out families rising up and calling us blessed. 
     "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates." ~Proverbs 31:20-31~