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Posts Tagged ‘faith’

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.

Becca

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!

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What’s more dangerous? A shark, or a vending machine?

I’d say a shark. And I’m assuming you would, too. Would you rather be in the middle of the ocean with a Great White shark, or in a cafeteria with a pop machine? Not much competition.

However, there are, on average, more deaths per year by vending machines falling on people than by shark attacks.

No one runs away from a vending machine, though. But if you saw a shark when you were snorkeling or something you’d try to get out of there. Even though you’re twice as likely to be killed by a vending machine than a shark.

Now here’s where I’m going to connect this to our Christian walk:

Too often we’re so scared of the “sharks” that we don’t even think about the “vending machines” in our lives.

As Christians, we focus so much on what are the “worst” sins, or the “most deadly” of sins. But we completely brush aside the littler, less dangerous sins.

We steer clear of things like drugs, drinking, homosexuality, fooling around with your boyfriend/girlfriend, porn addictions, etc.

But we forget about the smaller things, like lying, gossip, swearing, laziness (yes, it’s a sin), self-righteousness, selfishness, pride, vanity, and bitterness.

I’m not saying that the bigger sins aren’t to be pushed aside–even though I know that a shark is likely not going to attack me, I’m still going to get away from it as fast as I possibly can if I see one. It’s the same with sin.

But you know what? Sometimes the little things can be the most deadly.

That was the Pharisees’ problem. They were perfect when it came to the “big” sins, but they were as far from perfect as could be when it came to the smaller sins.

Be careful that you don’t underestimate the power of vending machines. They’re pretty heavy.

What do you think?

Becca

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Hey everyone!

So I found the verse I’ve been quoting for the last 6 months and had no idea where it was. Biblos.com is pretty amazing for finding verses, just saying. :P

But anyway, one of my life verses:

“So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16

Pretty weird life verse, eh? But it is so incredibly important.

God says right here that he would rather us be against him 100% than only 50% for him.

Let that sink in for a minute. That kid you know, the atheist, who refuses to believe that there’s a God–God is happier with them than he is with someone who goes to church on Sundays and then swears, lies, cheats, etc. on Fridays.

No matter how good you are at wearing the Christian mask, you need to come clean. If you’re only living 50% for God, you need to seriously reevaluate your life. God is disgusted when we call ourselves Christians and then live our lives glorifying sin. He’s not only unhappy, like we portray him–if we accidentally do something wrong, he’s not just going to sigh, be sad for a little bit, and then move on–he is furious when we refuse to take sides for or against him.

If you’re living your life only 50%, if you don’t take God very seriously, if you act differently at school than you do at church, you need to seriously think about where your life is headed. You may be fooling others, but you are definitely not fooling God. And that should scare you. That idea scares me.

But as soon as you decide to give your life 100% to God he will receive you with open arms. He will erase your past, and give you a clean start.You will experience love like no other, but you have to hand over your life first.

God hates lukewarm. The last thing he wants is for you to live your life without knowing his complete devotion and love, but he has given you the freedom of that decision. Are you going to take it? Or are you going to live your life in a way that disgusts your God, the one who is able to give your more love, more hope, and greater friendship than anyone on this earth?

Becca

So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.aga

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Hello girls,
So I was just reading Amber’s blog and she posted this verse:
“If you who are a Jew live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel Gentiles to live like Jews?” Galations 2:14
She then went on to say that it’s the same with Christians–if we’re Christian, but we’re living a lifestyle that is anything but holy, how are we going to show people what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ?
This verse is extremely important, in my opinion. So many Christians believe that they need to become one with our culture to be able to accept new teens into youth groups, young families into churches, etc. We lower our standards for our churches, youth groups, and for ourselves to an extent that there is no difference between us and the culture surrounding us, except that we claim one more lie: we’re Christians inside and out.
If you are a Christian, your number one priority should not be what others think of you. Your number one priority should not be to have the cutest boyfriend. If you go to a Chrsitian youth group, it should be reverent to God and to the church. I don’t mean that you always have to wear a long, white dress to represent purity and give up makeup and cute clothes to constantly chant prayers from the 16th century. But I do mean that if you’re fitting in extremely well with the culture, you need to step back a little.
What is the point of Christianity if we’re the same as everyone else? What is the point of believing in God if he isn’t able to completely switch your life around? If you say you believe in God, make sure you’re ready to follow through with that statement. God says it himself that he will spit the lukewarm out of his mouth–he would rather you be against him than only somewhat-for him! Do we get that?
I have friends who aren’t Christians, and it breaks my heart. It really does–I pray so hard that they will begin to understand my faith. But they won’t if I act the same as they do. Do you get it? If we’re not different, there’s no point to change. When people become Chrsitians, they’re saying goodbye to their old life.
But if Christians give the impression that you can live the sinful life and be a Christian, what’s the point of faith?
And what about you? Are you letting God radically change your life so that you can 100% live your life for him? God won’t work against our will. But do you really want to let him?
God can do so much for us, but only if we let him change us. And when he changes us, our lives become utterly and completely different–but you experience a peace that you will never know otherwise. People will see a difference in you, and they will want it. They’ll see joy, peace, contentment, and a purer love than they can ever imagine.
It’s time to start living the Christian faith, girls–and I know that it’ll be worth it in the end.
Becca

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Abraham Lincoln once said that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” I completely agree.

I’m an extremely happy person. It can actually be pretty annoying at times, I admit. Last week I got told at a youth group I go to by one of the newer leaders that he didn’t know what I looked like when I wasn’t smiling or laughing.

I’ve had an easy life, though, too. I haven’t had to face sudden death of a friend, divorce, times where money is short, or any of that kind of stuff. So to many people it seems that it’s easy to be happy if you’re in my situation.

But the funny thing is that I don’t see a lot of my friends who come from extremely bad situations moping about their lives. I see people whose biggest problem is that their parents don’t let them go to parties with their sketchy boyfriend depressed about their lives.

I still don’t really understand why teenagers are so dramatic. Although I have to admit that I can be. Yes, I cry over stupid things. Yes, I have to control my whirlwind emotions at times. But I’ve always been able to control them. Unless they’re about grades. But I see people living their lives hating their parents (who are very nice people—most of them I absolutely love) and making up their minds to be as miserable as possible all the time.

And then I see some of my friends who have faced more than enough trouble for anyone, and they’re smiling and they’re praising God for what he’s done in their lives. They’re making friends, they’re talking about how much they appreciate their friends and family, and they focus on all the good in their lives.

I’m naturally bubbly, as I’ve mentioned, but I have had purpose for being sour towards life. My brother died when I was about 1 ½ years old when he was only 29 days old. I’ve had a close friend be diagnosed with AIDs. I’ve been told by people that I’m ugly (long time ago, almost over it don’t worry) and for a long time I believed them. I’ve seen a beautiful 6-year-old girl die of a brain tumour. But you know what? No matter how terrible these things are, God is sovereign. There is reason to be joyful, because we know that God has it under control.

I don’t mean that you have to always be smiling. I don’t mean that you have to always feel like laughing–and I definitely don’t mean that you need to forget the bad things in your life. How could I ever forget about Christopher (my brother) or the little girl I knew before she died? It’s impossible. But God calls us to be joyful–and we can be with his healing power. 

You have the ability to love your life or hate it. It’s up to you, and no one else can make that decision for you. But let me tell you—if your problem is with your parents, you’re likely in the wrong. They know what they’re doing—they’re older than you, they have experience, and they’re wiser. Yes, they can be annoying. Yes, they can make mistakes. Yes, they are embarrassing. But no, they do not hate you, and no, they are not trying to ruin your life. I’m not trying to belittle anyone’s suffering, anyone’s problems, anything. But the truth is, we as teenagers can blow situations out of proportion so easily.

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” How happy are you deciding to be? Are you deciding to focus on the good, and on God? Or are you going to focus on the parts of your life that you hate?

Becca

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Whenever I go to retreats or speakers or even worship with a whole bunch of Christian kids I usually see a ton of people crying because of how much they feel God.

It’s absolutely amazing how much God can be a presence in a room. But whenever I go to those conferences, whenever I see those people crying, I’m not one of them. I hardly ever am that person who’s weeping because of what God’s been showing them—I’m the one who will go home and write to God about it in her prayer journal.

For a while because of this, to be honest, I felt like I was a lesser Christian. Why didn’t I feel God in the way that other people did? Why wasn’t I so amazed by his presence?

I struggled with this for a while, but then, after reading an author’s blog post, I realized that God is not an emotion.

That being said, that does not mean that God isn’t an emotional God. He displays himself through emotions, he causes emotions, and he has emotions—but he is not an emotion.

Just because I don’t always cry because I loved a speaker or a song or a message doesn’t mean I didn’t experience God. The problem I find with a lot of teens is that they get so caught up in the rush that you get when you feel God’s presence that they forget about being his servant even when you can’t feel him. When you can’t feel God, when you can’t be sure that he’s there by relying on your feelings or senses, it’s a lot harder to believe him.

I know a lot of teenagers who are extremely emotional when they hear speakers or songs, but do not follow God during the rest of the week. I think everyone does.

Let me say this: just because you are extremely convicted after a message enough that you begin to cry because of God’s presence, or just because you get extremely emotional whenever you are in a church setting does not mean that you are a better Christian than someone else. It does not mean that you understand God better. It doesn’t even mean that you are a Christian.

Christians are not meant to follow God only when we can feel him—we are told to follow God even when he is silent. Even when it feels like he’s abandoned you—because he never has. You are a Christian when you do something about those emotions that God has given you—when you follow where he wants you to go. When you refuse to live your life in sin, but surrender everything to Him. You can’t do that when you rely on God as an emotion.

Feeling God’s presence is an amazing experience—don’t get me wrong.

But unless we can follow him when we can’t feel him, we’re not worthy for God’s kingdom.

I believe in the sun

Even when it`s not shining

I believe in love

Even when I can`t feel it

And I believe in God

Even when he is silent

(Barlowgirl–I believe in love)

Becca

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First off, thanks so much for all the comments and encouragement from my last post! It means more than you could ever imagine. Thanks to all the people who linked back to my blog, and for all the people who subscribed. :) It means a ton to me, and really gave me a new desire to keep writing!

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Have you ever thought that if there were no trials in life, there would be no reason to believe in God?

Emily just wrote that in a comment for my blog after my post “Life in Freefall” which was my last journal entry.

She’s absolutely right, though. If there were no trials, then why would we need God? If there were no hard times, why would we turn to God for comfort?

It reminds me of a verse in 2nd Corinthians, which goes like this:

Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God, who raises the dead. (2nd Cor 1:9)

That’s my favourite verse. It gives me hope—extreme hope. Not the hope that my life will be perfect, not the hope that I’ll never have to face the death of a friend, not the hope that I’ll have the perfect job—none of that. But hope that even if I have to live through the worst heartache imaginable, even if I have to see people turn away from me over and over again, even if nothing goes right and I feel like a failure that I have a God to rely on. Even if my life reaches the lowest point imaginable I have a God who raises the dead. I have a God who will raise me up to be all that he wants me to be. I have a God who will use that heartache, will use that failure, will use that rejection to further His kingdom and to bring Him glory.

Don’t you see? Being a Christian doesn’t mean that we have a pain-free life, it just means that the pain is for a reason. The pain is not meaningless—but is a tool that God will use to bring him glory.

And you know what? When God is glorified, his subjects are glorified.

Not many people in North America have gone through as much as Paul did. But still he was able to say that all the pain was worth it in the end. He doesn’t call us to be happy all through the pain—he says himself that in his heart he felt the sentence of death.

But we are called to have faith. And we are called to believe. And the reason we believe is because God is sovereign. God is not passive—he is active. God is able to use your heartbreak, your pain, your rejection, your failures—and he is able to use them in a way that you could never even imagine.

God is sovereign. Are you willing to hand your pain over to him?

Becca

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