Dare To Be Different

Everybody wants to be the same.

Well, not everybody, but a lot of people want to be like everyone else. They want to be with the “in-crowd”; the “popular” people, the “cool” people. They all want to be the same.

But I don’t. I want out of the “in-crowd”. I want to stand out in my own unique way. I want to dare to be different. Do you?

A lot of people say “I’ll dare to be different next week so that I can go to this cool girl’s party”, or “maybe next year for my New Years’ resolution”. I know I’ve said that before.

But the truth is, time is invisible. Time is slick. It slips through our fingers before we can get a good grip on it. We spend so much time waiting for the right time, but we never realize that the right time is now.

Dare to be different. Not tomorrow, not next week, not for New Years’. Today. Dare to be different today.

anika

Courage, Dear Heart

Today I am going to be talking about courage. Courage is something that all of us have, but none of us have. At times, we’re more courageous than a knight or a lion, and others as meek as a little sheep.

Don’t you just love The Chronicles of Narnia? I know I do, but for more than one reason. One, it’s just plain awesome. Second, it’s a great retelling of an amazing true story – Jesus death on the cross and His rising from the grave. Now, that’s pretty cool.

A really cool quote C.S. Lewis used in his 5th chronicle, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, is “courage, dear Heart”. Aslan says those three, beautiful words to Lucy in the end of the book.

To me, those words have are real – as real as the device you are holding or looking at right now. They are words that need to be spoken to the girls of the world today, because we have a lot to live through, and we need courage.

A lot of girls don’t have that; the courage to stand up for what’s right, the courage to do what’s right. I know that sometimes I don’t. But I need to have courage, because someday, I’m going to have to stand up for what I believe, and I know that I’ll need a lot of courage to do that. A lot more than I usually have right now.

So, how do we get it? How do we get courage? First off, courage not something that you can just “get”. You can’t go to the store, buy a jar of courage, and eat it when you need it (although, that would be pretty cool 😉 ).

To have courage you need to remember that God is with you all the time and that He is protecting you from all evil. And when you need courage, remember that God is right there cheering you on, because He loves you.

anika

Be Still

I lie in my bed. My stomach hurts with that familiar, hollow pain. My heart rate has accelerated. I take deep, calming breaths, willing myself to understand that I’m ok, I’m safe. I slowly start to relax, and the hope rekindles that perhaps I will sleep at a somewhat decent hour.

A train wails outside my window.

I sit up straight with a gasp, and my heart rate climbs again as I glance once more around my room and lie back again.

It’s fine.

Everything’s fine.

Just a stupid train.

What am I so scared of, I wonder yet again. I don’t really believe in monsters. I don’t really believe that someone would break into our house right now.

I guess what I’m really frightened can be boiled down to one simple word.

Death.

I’m scared to die. And I’m scared of anything that would cause me to die. And so I suddenly find myself facing irrational fears, fears that really have nothing to do with the true problem.

Trust. Trust is my true issue. I haven’t fully learned to trust, to lean on my Savior, to know that He protects me. More than that, though, my heart hasn’t fully absorbed the fact that to be absent from the body means to be present with God.

But I’m learning. Day by day, hour by hour. I’m starting to feel a bit more peace in my heart. I can walk through the hallway with the lights out at two in the morning, and I can think about death without such a huge thrill of fear. Oh, I still fear–but I’m learning to truly believe that I’m going to Heaven when I do die, and that it’s wonderful beyond words.  I’m  not saying that I don’t still struggle. Because I do. It’s more than likely that I will go to bed and not relax enough to sleep until an hour or two before I’m supposed to get up.

But I’m making progress. I’m learning to Be Still and Know that He is God. I’m beginning to understand the merciful, loving side of God, and fully absorb that He has these attributes, too, and not only His need for justice.

Because He is the Savior who died on the “old rugged cross” I can come “just as I am” and know that I will be received because I have “victory in Jesus” and “this world is not my home”.

I am truly so blessed, safe, protected, and loved. No matter what.

“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” -1 Corinthians 15:55-57

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In the Mirror

Whenever I go into the bathroom, I can’t help but look in the mirror; mainly because it’s above the sink…but also because I want to observe myself. It may sound weird, but I sometimes look in the mirror for rather long periods of time, just staring at my reflection. I look into my own eyes and wonder what God sees in them that He wants to use. I wonder how I can make a difference because I KNOW I can. I want to serve God. I don’t want to waste my life. I see my Bible sitting on the piano and say “I can just read it tomorrow”, and go about my life. I don’t want to be the person saying that I read my Bible, but can’t say all the books of them in order. I don’t want to be the Christian that doesn’t read her bible more than once every week. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and say “where did time go?” I don’t want my last moments to be in regret.

I want to change the world. I want to live for my Lord and Savior. I want to make a difference. But wanting something and actually getting it are two different things. You have to work for it. If you want to make a difference, then sitting in your house hiding isn’t going to do that. You have to get out and do it. Sure, there’s a time for having fun, but there’s a time for getting something done. I’ve already lived 12 years without making a much of a difference at all. Well, not that I’m aware of. I want to step out. I want to be the change. I want to make a difference. Anyone can do it, but not anyone will.

Maybe you’re like Moses, telling God He’s chosen the wrong one for the job, that He’s made a mistake, that you maybe don’t think you’re good enough. Well God doesn’t make mistakes. Jesus can use any one of us Christians He wants for the job. And if He’s chosen you, then who are you to tell Him He’s wrong? God loves you. He died for YOU.  If you won’t even go out and tell the world what He did – If you won’t even go and make any difference for Him, because you’re too scared, then what kind of Christian are you? Are you going to be the Christian who doesn’t ever read your Bible, but goes to church on Sunday? Are you going to be the Christian that reads your Bible every single day, but never goes out to make a difference? Or, are you going to be the Christian, who reads your bible, prays, and tells the world about the good news? It’s your choice. God gave us those choices.

You can make a difference now. God chooses some for the bigger things. But not everyone is going to do the big things. You don’t start with the big things. You have to start small before you can go big. Every famous person in the world started small before they became big.  Some of them never even became famous. A tree starts small before it gets large. You have to be that sapling that grows into a huge tree.

When I think about these things, I want to change the world. I want to change lives. I know God put me here for a purpose. It doesn’t start with changing the world. Changing one person, then two, three, four and on and on! It’s not going to seem like you’re changing the world. And you can’t, and won’t, change the world. The world can’t change. But the people in it can. When I’ve had the opportunity to make a difference, I put it off. I don’t want to be the person that does that anymore. I want to change. And I’m going to change. I’m taking the steps into change. I want to live my life for Jesus and make Him proud. I don’t want to be one of the people He looks upon and says aren’t ready to serve. I want to be one of the ones that catch His eye. One of the ones that He smiles upon. I want to praise God in everything I do, and I want to help others to do the same.

Ou pastor gave the example (he taught about sharing the Gospel with others – after I had already written this post the first time through): If you had 100 dollars, and you gave 50 to your friend, you would only have 50 left. But with the Gospel, if you have information, and you give it all to your friend, you still have the same amount as you started with. It would be like having 100 dollars, then giving 100 to your friend, and still having 100! then they can give 100 to their friends, and it will just multiply, bringing so much money all around. But the Gospel is worth SOO much more than money. So share the Gospel with YOUR friends, so that they can share it with theirs.

Anyone can be the change. Anyone can make a difference. Anyone can change lives. But not everyone is willing to take those steps. It’s scary, I know, but I want to do it still. Don’t you think if it were you, it would have been hard for you to get on that cross and die for SO many people, knowing everything that was ever going to happen? Knowing that some people wouldn’t even care what you did? Well, Jesus still did it. Next time you look in the mirror, remember that God put you here for a reason, and know that you can change lives. When you look into your own eyes, see eyes that are observant, loving, and kind. When you look at your face, see someone who is loyal, brave, and wanting to serve. When you look at your mouth, see a mouth that is edifying, careful with what it says, and caring for others. When you look at your hands, see hands that work for the Lord, hands that are used to flipping pages in their bible, and hands help others in what they do. And when you look at your attitude, see an attitude that respects others, loves the Lord, and wants to use their life to glorify him in everything they do. You may not feel like you’re worthy to be chosen to change the world, but it comes with time, thought, effort, prayer, and a lot more. When you see yourself in the mirror, tell the person staring back at you that they can change the world. Because they can, if they have the desire to.

Mat 22:37
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

k-a

Going Home

Hello, ladies! Today I have for you, a short story I wrote a little while ago.  I hope you enjoy!

Going Home

The large set of wood doors opened and two soldiers pushed a girl through the doors. Her arms were tied behind her back and her dark brown curly hair was knotty and wet. She was soaked to the skin and her long grey dress was wet and muddy from the rain. The soldiers led her through the grand foyer of the castle. There were marble floors and dark stonewalls. Chandeliers were hung up high from the cathedral ceiling. There were no windows, which made the room feel dark.

She was led into the throne room. There sat the King on his throne, his long, red velvet robe covered the steps before him. His white fur collar covered his long neck and the gold crown studded with jewels was placed ever so neatly on his head. He wore a gaudy looking ring on each finger and necklaces of gold and silver hung around his neck. His black glove covered hands gripped the arms of his tall throne.

“So,” the King began, in his deep and dark voice. The soldiers flung the girl to the floor. Still, she held her head up high. “I hear you have decided not to bow to your king,” the wicked king said sternly.

“That’s right,” replied the girl courageously.

“Do you know what the punishment is if you do not bow to me?” the King asked in all of his might.

“Death,” said the girl abruptly. “Kill me if you must, but I shall not bow to a king who wears a crown studded with jewels of every life he has ended,” the girl said fiercely. The King grew angry. “For me to live is Christ, to die is gain,” the young girl said quoting Philippians 1:21. “I shall not bow to a king who refuses God. I would rather die for Christ then live for the devil.” As the girl spoke those words the king continued to grow angrier and angrier.

“Then you shall face punishment by law!” the King exclaimed. “You will be hung for treachery towards your king!” he shouted.

The King stood up and walked towards the girl. He pulled out his sword and lifted the blade under her chin. “You will die a cruel death. Mark my words,” the King said under his breath. He slid his sword back into its sheath then walked back over to his throne. As he sat in his seat, he made sure his long robe fell in just the right place.

“Tomorrow, at dawn, Aerial Monington shall hang.” As the king said this, the guards took Aerial by her arms and lifted her to her feet. With her head still high, she walked out of the throne room and the two soldiers took her to the dungeon where she would stay until dawn of the next morning.

She lay awake all night that night, praying to God. She stayed faithful to him even when she knew she would be killed for it. But she wasn’t afraid to die. She would be going home. Home to Jesus, and that’s all that mattered to her, everlasting life with Christ.

The next morning came and the soldiers took Aerial out of the dungeon and to the hanging tree outside of the castle. Lot’s of people stood nearby. The king sat comfortably, waiting to watch the girl die.

The soldiers looped the rope around Aerial’s neck. She stood there, fearlessly looking straight ahead. She closed her eyes and began to pray. She started to pray out loud to where everyone could hear her. The people were amazed at her faith. She wasn’t scared to die. Her time had come, and she was ready. There she hung, and the people cried as they watched. Aerial didn’t stop praying.

“Precious Lord, Jesus, I am yours. I am ready. Take me home.” She breathed her last and was finally going home.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I hope you enjoyed this!

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