Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Ongoing Battle

     The Bible clearly portrays the apostle Paul as a man who struggled daily with his sinful flesh (Romans 7:18-20). However, God motivated Paul to be a man of action, and his demonstrations of his faith—the works he performed out of love for Jesus—give validity and credibility to his writing. For when he writes about the true marks of a Christian he says,
     Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer (Romans. 12:9-12). 

This passage is paralleled with Paul’s letter to the Galatians, saying, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22). The Spirit and the flesh are two opposing forces, and for the Christian—those in the Spirit—it is a constant battle. Paul’s letters reveal his firsthand experience fighting this battle. Yet it also expresses the victorious truth that we have the greatest force on our side, Jesus. He is the one who humbled himself for us, empowers us to act against our flesh, and to keep in step with the Spirit. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

I'm Out of Control!

 On Sunday, the worship leader said something that struck me. He said,

"When I'm in control, I'm out of control."

     The truth is, when we allow the Lord to envelop us in his love and guidance, notice his work in our lives, and pray diligently, our lives begin to order themselves. It may not be an easier life, but when faith is placed in Him it's a more joyful one!

Notice God's Magnificence Poured Over the Earth

   We notice God’s truth sprinkled in every nation and area–but it’s not just sprinkled, it’s poured everywhere. The whole earth is drenched with the evidence of our King, and we, as Christians, spend our whole lives striving to notice the magnificence of God. In truth we've only found a drop of water, when there is an entire ocean, a wonderful sea to discover. I encourage you to start a God journal--try to write down one thing you noticed God doing in your day every day for as long as possible. Noticing Him allows us to love Him more. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Three Essentials for Successful Bible Study

There are really only three things you need to possess in order to study the Bible in a new, deep, and exhilarating way. You need:

1) A Bible
2) A willing heart
3) A journal to record questions, thoughts, prayers and brainstorms.

While diving into a study of a certain book or chapter remember Luke 10:27,
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’"
 Unquestionably, loving the Lord involves loving His Word as well. It is not just something we process with our head, but something we love with our heart. Remember this as you begin to study a book of the Bible!

Sunday, January 3, 2016


     Have you ever seen the movie Princess Bride? It is an incredibly cheesy movie, the "bad guy"-- who is very silly-- always says, "INCONCEIVABLE!" when he is astounded by something, which is very often in the movie. Hopefully a picture was formed in your mind, or you imagined the voice in your head. It's a great family movie by the way, but that's a different bunny trail to hop down sometime. 
      In all seriousness, do you know what truly IS inconceivable? Paul reminds us of an undeniable truth, one we need to be often reminded of. Titus 3:5 reads, "he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercyHe saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit" (NIV). 
     I certainly cannot say more than that verse says there. I just want to add, that nothing fulfills EVERYTHING like the Word. God bless your New Year. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Life Everlasting: The Season to Rejoice in!

     What a beautiful time of year. As we are fully immersed in the school year and life is busy in so many ways, we are able to delight in the beauty of the Lord. The leaves on trees changing from green to beautiful hues of red, orange, yellow, and purple. Once their beauty has reached its peak they fall-- one by one they pile up on the ground, waiting to be raked up by people like you and me.
     The changing of seasons can represent so much, and fall, slowly fading into winter, is no different. I think the falling of leaves can be such a beautiful image for Christians. As we watch the leaves fall we can see such a beautiful imagery taking place. We live our lives day by day, we delight in the joys and sorrows of loved ones, we enjoy the company of our friends, strive to learn and grow in our studies, and work diligently at our jobs.
     The greenness of leaves can be seen as new life, youthfulness, or birth, for although we are clueless as to how long each of our lives will be, we have been made new through Jesus. But as we live, we reach our point of beauty,  just like the leaves achieve their brilliant hues; eventually the LORD calls us home to him, similarly to the leaves falling and taking their place on the ground. It is not morbid, or sad, but a delight! With love for Christ, we will reach our point in heaven and the beauty of our earthly life will be magnificently changed into the beauty of heaven! That's not to say, however, that heaven is our only goal -- the life on earth is to be lived in love for the Father, and Him alone.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hello Y'all, 
     I'm so excited to share with you a discovery that was new to me, but first I'd like to ask you a question: Have you ever doubted or questioned the Lord? I am growing up in a Christian home, and up until a year or so ago I NEVER thought for myself in terms of my personal faith. If your story is similar, have you ever wondered why that is? Let me put it simpler: as a homeschooled student I tend to think about public schools, and how the teens attending them often are exposed to peer pressure and often they "go with the flow." Living out my life and experiencing regular Sunday school, Bible classes, youth group, and confirmation class, all my questions were answered; weren't they? See, in the past few years I have begun to find answers myself, re-affirming those answers I received in Sunday School. I am finally beginning to understand so many more things for myself, like baptism and the Lord's Supper. 
     Maybe I went "with the flow" for some years, but I am so grateful for my Christian parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, Sunday morning church, Bible studies, the list goes on. By the grace of God I am a Christian, but God certainly used those previous things to shape and strengthen my faith. Obviously though, my faith is not perfect, so when I start doubting I automatically feel terrible, feeling as if I have betrayed my Father in heaven. But is doubt really bad? That's what I'm excited to share: doubt is not bad!
     Read Job. Job doubts, questions, and even mocks the Lord. I began reading the book of Job,  and when I was halfway through I thought to myself, wasn't Job supposed to be a faithful man? Why does he question his Lord? Read it yourself and come to your own conclusion. What I realized is that the Devil often places doubts in our minds, and many Christians push them away, refusing to acknowledge them. I pushed them away, I didn't want to doubt! But isn't that being dishonest with God, hiding your heartfelt feelings? It is SO important to acknowledge those doubts and questions so that the Lord can use them to strengthen your faith! Don't hide them away and let them torment you, that's what Satan wants! Talk to the Lord and honestly spill everything out, then listen.