Hey you! :)
I no longer write here! But I really would love it if you came and visited me at my new blog:
Hope to see you there! :)
Hey you! :)
I no longer write here! But I really would love it if you came and visited me at my new blog:
Hope to see you there! :)
Hey everyone, I know it’s been a while.
I was at a youth conference last weekend called Acquire the Fire. It was in Toronto, and I went with my youth group.
It was an amazing time–what it is, in essence, is 27 hours of straight worship. No games, no goofing off, just straight-out worship and speakers and talking about God!
There were some speakers who were hilarious, some that were really serious, and the worship was amazing. School of Worship was in charge of that part, and the girl on the band could sing! :O
The theme of the conference, though, was “Normal’s Not Enough”.
That raises the question: What is normal? What does it mean to not be normal?
We talked about this in youth group tonight and to me, this phrase means that we need to choose to live apart from the world. Christianity is a leap of faith–we’re giving up the things of this world for the hope that there’s a better world to come.
But as a Christian it’s easy to slip into a “Christian-by-name” phase.
What God did for us was not normal. It was anything but normal. And we think that giving him only part of us is acceptable.
How blind are we, anyway?
When you go sky diving, there is no middle ground. You’re either on the plane, or you’re out. It’s the same way with faith–the normal way is to play it safe–to stay on the plane. To say we’re a Christian, go to church, have our Christian group of friends. But the way God wants us to live is to be on fire for him, to proclaim his name to whoever will listen. To be joyful even in the midst of suffering–to have an attitude of surrender, of complete and utter trust in God.
Normal is easy. Different is hard.
We’re standing on the edge of a cliff. Right now we’re standing on solid ground, the stuff we can see, feel, taste, hear–the things of this world. But on the other side is what is unimaginable–God, and his glory, his splendor.
It’s your decision to jump or not. God is waiting, ready to catch you. You are the only person who is stopping you from having the most amazing experience of your life. Normal is not enough–living a normal life is not enough. Who wants to be remembered as someone who didn’t do anything special? God has so much more in store for you. You just need to jump.
God wants to catch you.
But you need to jump.
I haven’t written in a while, I know. And I promised someone I’d write a post a week ago, so here it finally is. :)
I’ve been talking to some people a lot recently about the future. What they want to do. Whether the work is worth it.
As humans we get discouraged so easily. There’s always someone smarter than us, more beautiful, more talented, more successful, friendlier, has better faith, anything. It is so easy to compare ourselves to others, and when we do that, we forget about what God has given us.
I know many extremely talented people. Many people who have a huge future, and people I know God is going to use in big ways if they’ll let him. While talking with them I just keep remembering Luke 12:48:
“…Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.”
God gives us our talents, our gifts, our personalities. Depending on how much he has given us, he will expect us to use those gifts and talents to further his kingdom.
It’s amazing how often we can forget about what God has gifted us with. When I hear some of my friends talk about themselves it’s hard for me to imagine that they can’t see themselves for who they really are. I look at them and I see that they* are smart, beautiful, loving, determined, musical, and have a real heart for God but they so easily forget what they’ve been gifted with. They are exceptional people.
God doesn’t just give us talents so that we will be “more special” than other people, though. That’s not what I mean at all. For all the other superhero nuts out there, remember what Uncle Ben says? “With great power comes great responsibility.” Because you have been entrusted with much, God will expect much of you.
You have been given gifts. Those are not for your glory, those are not to build up your pride. Do not let them define you, and do not use them as a weapon to bring other people down.
Rejoice in them, but not in a prideful way. Rejoice in them because you know that God has gifted you for a purpose. Because you know that God has given you talents to carry out his will for your life.
But also be prepared to answer his call–he has much planned for you.
* this is a generalization :) obviously we’re all going to have different talents. Just because you might not be musical or whatever does not mean God has not given you gifts to use for his kingdom.
You know that feeling when you dare to hope for something?
You finally give in, and you think your dream might be reality?
The time that your spirits soar and you can’t help smiling?
It’s an amazing feeling, isn’t it?
And then there’s the time that with a few simple words that’s all gone. And in its place is confusion, disillusionment, sadness, sometimes even depression.
And sometimes you have to stand by and watch it happen to friends, with nothing you can do to help.
I’ve frequently asked God “why would you do this? Couldn’t you bring your plan to life through another route? Why did he have to hurt so much? Why did she have to go through that? Why did you trick me like that?” and the like.
See, we as humans have this uncanny ability to pin all blame to God.
Someone’s girlfriend cheated on him, it’s “Why did you give me feelings for her, God? Why didn’t you let us just be friends?”
A person is diagnosed with cancer, and people wonder why God would do that to them.
But I think we have the wrong attitude.
Having our hopes crushed while we stand there watching is probably one of the worst feelings in all of life.
But too often we ask God “Why?”
Does it really matter why God’s allowing it to happen? Think about it. Even if you knew why God was letting it happen, would it change anything?
Our attitude should not be one of blaming God, but instead saying “nevertheless.”
You’re going through fire, nevertheless, God will bring you through.
You’ve never felt greater heartbreak than this, nevertheless, God is still there, waiting for you with open arms.
You don’t know whether or not you’ll be able to face another day. Nevertheless, God still has a plan for your life.
I ask God “why” a lot. As if I think that even if I heard his plan I’d be able to comprehend it. But it doesn’t help to ask “why” unless you’re honestly searching for answers. Blaming God will never bring healing–only more hurt.
But seeing that he’s still there–that brings comfort. God will always be there with you. Even when there seems to be no hope left.
I found this post from a while back and apparently never posted it.. well I desperately needed to update again so I’m glad I found it!
Hey you guys :)
So as a lot of you know, I do this awesome thing called Bible Quizzing. Basically a bunch of teens get together to quiz on a book of the Bible that we’ve memorized inside and out.
Like, actually memorized inside and out. All of us who were at internationals this year know all of the book of John–every verse.
It’s really fun. :) haha
What I really love about quizzing, though, is the people. You will never find a group of better kids anywhere on this earth. Everyone is really encouraging, strong Christians, respectful, and really everyone’s like a big family.
I have a friend who I really appreciate (out of many)–he always gets me to think about things I would never have thought of before. All through internationals last week he was telling me about how God had taught him different lessons, and he got me thinking about what God was trying to show me this week.
So I came up with a list.
First, God showed me to be humble. It isn’t all about me, and when I get into that mindset I can hurt others around me. People I really love.
Second, he showed me how to value the friends that I have. I realized how lucky I am for all of my friends–especially the ones who were on my team this year. I had an amazing team, and I’m going to miss the ones who graduated so much.
Third, he showed me where my priorities should be. I have a good friend from a district in New York who is always putting God first in his life, and he was a real inspiration to me this past week. God showed me through him how I need to have more of a mindset like he does, rather than focusing on friends or myself rather than God.
Fourth, God showed me once again how much he’s blessed me with. God has given me quite a few great friends who texted me or e-mailed me encouraging notes just because they were thinking about me and my sister, and it meant so much to me.
Fifth, he gave me some new amazing friends, who I cannot WAIT to see again. :) There’s a group of girls I met who I already miss SO much. (If you’re reading this you’ll know who you are ;) )
Obviously he taught me a lot more than that, but I wanted to give you guys a bit of a taste of what he’s been doing in my life through quizzing. It’s amazing what happens when you really learn His word. :)
This was more of an update post of why I haven’t been writing a lot recently, but hopefully *crosses fingers* I’ll get weird bursts of thought that I decide to write down and then make a blog post out of sometime soon :)
Have a great day!
So I read quite a few other teen girl bloggers. (If you guys know of any good ones (guys or girls) please let me know!)
Anyway, a very common trend I see going around is writing letters to your future husband.Some girls post them on their blogs (or, at least parts of them) and to be honest, they’re really sweet.Basically they write them and save them until they get married, upon which they will present these letters to their husbands saying “Look, I was thinking about you all along.” It’s an adorable idea. :)
But I see so much of this infatuation girls have with weddings everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, I want to get married as much as any girl. It’s going to be really fun finding that guy and getting to know him better than starting a life with him.
But I really think that Christian girls can become way too obsessed.
In the the church, every single girl is told that God has a guy out there for her. I personally do not think that belief is Biblical. (now hear me out…) In 1st Corinthians 7 Paul points out multiple times that women can be called to be single! He actually says that if a woman remains single she is able to be 100% devoted to God instead of being torn between God and her husband. As Christian teen girls, we’re told to be excited to get married, which I completely agree with. I think marriage is wonderful, and I really hope to get married some day (honestly, which girl doesn’t?) But the problem happens when we aren’t prepared if God calls us to be single.
If he called me to be single I don’t know how I’d respond, to be honest.
I disagree strongly how much girls are taught in the church to think about marriage and weddings and all of that. Purity is important. Modesty is important. Both are not stressed enough, I believe. But when they are stressed we are told that it is because we want to save ourselves for our husbands. Although I agree with this statement, there is so much more to it than that. But we, as Christian girls, are taught to put everything in terms of marriage and our husbands.
We don’t flirt because we don’t want to give any of ourselves away to another guy other than our husband
We don’t wear immodest clothing because we’re saving ourselves for our husband
We stay pure so we can give everything to our husband
I have heard so many modesty/purity talks that I really can’t count them. And I have never heard one that didn’t focus on our future husbands.
The reason I try not to wear immodest clothes is that it distracts brothers in Christ and is a selfish thing to do. The reason I’m gonna stay pure is that God says so, and really I don’t think we need any other reason than that. (Of course, saving yourself for your husband is extremely important, but what I’m trying to say is that we shouldn’t only follow God because there’s something in it for us at the end)
The real reason this all bothers me is that our focus is not on God anymore–it’s about what God can give us.
We need to start following God simply because he is God. Not for any other reason.
I firmly believe that God has a guy out there for a lot of girls. I hope he has one for me. And guys, I’m sure he has a great girl out there for you, too.
But the point is this: if he didn’t, would you still give your life to him? Or do we focus more on what God can give us rather than God himself?
Guys, I’m sorry this was really a post directed towards the girl readers… :P But what do you follow God for? Is it because he has something to offer? Or because he is God?
Don’t you hate it when you suddenly realize something about yourself that you were trying to avoid?
When you realize that, all of a sudden, you aren’t so perfect as you thought in that one area in life?
I got a bit of a wake-up call this weekend while hanging out with some amazing friends of mine, and getting to know two other awesome girls. I’ve been working on something for a really long time (which I’m not going to post on here) and I just realized this weekend how far I am from conquering it.
We all have something in our lives that we wish could just go away. Vanity, selfishness, lack of confidence, flirting, lust, gossiping, and tons more.
But no matter how hard we try, and no matter how long we succeed for, it always seems to come back, doesn’t it?
I was positive I had conquered this area in my life. But after hanging out with a bunch of different people I realized I hadn’t. I was ashamed of how I was acting around them at different points of time, because it’s not the way a daughter of God should be.
For a long time I’ve been justifying it by saying, “It’s not a sin. You didn’t do anything wrong, Becca, so snap out of it.”
But then I remember my verse… Revelation 3:16, which I quote all the time. “So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
I really hate how the Christian life can’t be lukewarm. Wouldn’t that be a lot easier?
But it’s not. And you know why? Because when we live on fire for God, giving up those habits is worth it. But if we only give up half of ourselves, we’re never going to understand all that he has planned for us.
We are not perfect. You will never be perfect. So STOP TRYING. But we can be righteous. Righteousness is for the followers of God not only in heaven, but while we’re here on earth, too. Being righteous doesn’t mean that you never sin–we all sin. But it does mean that we have a heart yearning for God, and living for him every second of our lives.
God will help you conquer whatever you struggle with. You may go back into old ways once in a while, but with His help you will conquer it completely. And no matter how much I wish God could hurry up and help me, I know that His timing is better than mine, and that I really do need to learn patience anyway…
Today was Pentecost Sunday.
My pastor was giving his message today and something that he said struck me. He said,
“As Christians, we are told to strive for righteousness and holiness. What are you striving for? Are you striving for righteousness, or for money? For holiness, or for fame?”
And I realized that I’m not striving for righteousness. I automatically had a list pop into my head of things that I strive for.
Friends. Beauty. Love. Acceptance. Good grades. Happiness.
And none of them was righteousness. Now, none of them are bad things. In fact, most of what I strive toward are gifts from God–friends, love, and beauty are all good things to be appreciated. BUT not to be prideful of, and they are not to take a higher place than God.
I have decided to try and strive for righteousness. We’re only on this world for about 90 years, probably less, and we don’t even remember the first 4-7 years of it. I know people who were my best friends last year that I never talk to anymore not because I don’t love them, but because you grow apart from people.
But God will always be there. And personally I don’t want to have to explain to God why I put people above him.
So I challenge you: strive for righteousness with the same effort you put into other things.
It’s not easy, but hey–sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.