Going Through the Motions

Sorry this is a few days late!

Discipline is important. Without it, you would never get anything accomplished. However, discipline by itself can sometimes be a bad thing. Are you just going through the motions of everyday life? Do you have no emotions or feelings or thoughts about what you do each day?

If you are just praying and reading your Bible because your mom told you to, or you want to impress someone, we could call that going through the motions. Doing what you are doing because you have to, or just checking things off your to-do list. It’s when you do something while not really believing in what you are doing. Not putting all your effort into it.

If this description matches you, try to stop and enjoy the everyday moments. Put all of your effort into everything you do. Worship God with everything you have in you. Love Him with all your heart. Going through the motions will make your life seem boring and not exciting. If you trust God and put everything you have into everything you do, you will see the true blessings God has given you. You can safely say you are not going through the motions. 🙂maris-rose

Walking with God

 

 

Have you ever felt like you’re not progressing in your walk with God? I know I have. Do you ever wonder if anything can be done about it? Well I have an answer for you. Don’t worry. God wants to be closer with you, and if that’s what you want too, He can make it happen.

Of course you’ll have to do your part as well. God wants you to really want it. If you work hard for it, it will mean a lot more to you than if you just sit back and expect God to do everything for you.

First thing to do : Pray. Ask God to help you grow in you walk with Him. Praying is underrated nowadays. It has much more of an effect than you would think. However, God doesn’t want you to ask for help one time and forget about it. He wants you to be persistent. He wants you to want it, and to ask, ask, ask. Here is one of Jesus’ parables showing that we need to ask and never give up.

Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘[a]Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will [b]give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will [c]wear me out.’”And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge *said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, [d]and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find [e]faith on the earth?”

 

Second thing to do: Make sure nothing is hindering you from progressing. It might be a love for material things, sin, or having too busy a schedule. Now I’m not saying loving something or someone other than God is wrong. Definitely not. God commands that we love our neighbors and enemies. I’m just saying that we should not love something or someone more than God.

 

Third thing to do: Read the Bible. I won’t go in-depth about this, since I have already in another post. I would like to say this though: the Bible will encourage you, teach you, and keep you from temptation.

 

Fourth and last thing to do: Get away. Spend some time alone with God. Find a special, private place inside or outside that you can talk with God in peace away from noisy siblings or TV’s. Lay all your troubles at his feet.

 

Alrighty! I think that’s all for now! I hope you will think about those things I said…and also have a great day!

 

maris-rose

Good Enough

We try so hard to fit in.

We give up so much to be accepted. We surrender our purity, our confidence, our joy, our morals, our identity, the very core of who we are. We erase our faces, physical and spiritual, to draw a facade that matches theirs. We force our hearts to beat a certain rhythm, our feet to move a certain way, our lips to spill certain words, and our bodies to fall into the line which they’re all following, a line which leads to a horrible darkness shrouded by fake smiles. We sacrifice all that is good and holy and beautiful in ourselves, all that we have been blessed with, an identity worth more than anything this world can give.

Beautiful, you were not created to blend with the crowd. You were not created to live up to their expectations, to strive to fit the mold they demand for you, to live a life blinded of the loving Father and Savior who died for you.

You know that burden society presses upon your shoulders? Don’t pretend you haven’t tried to meet it before. We all have, at some point in our lives.

All of us have been tempted to believe the lies:

You must be pretty enough. You must be smart enough. You must act like this, talk like this, walk like this. You must do this, be that. You must be accepted. You must be good enough.

But the haunting whisper always follows:

You have failed. You will never fit in. You will never be good enough.

These lies push us to shame. They leave us in the dirt, confused, shattered, and having lost sight of our identity. There is the lingering question: Do I have any purpose at all?

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My friend, I cannot measure your purpose. I cannot even begin to express the enormity of the life in store for you. You cannot even dream of the plans He has for you. There is so much goodness, so much accomplishment, so much joy that your mind cannot begin to fathom it.

Guess what? You can live that life. You can discover your true purpose, behold the unbelievable plan He has for you. You don’t have to try to meet society’s impossible expectations. You don’t have to sacrifice all that you are, strip away your identity and your true beauty, in order to be another face in a crowd. You don’t have to wear a fake smile.

Instead, you can trade it for a real one.

You are good enough. Darling, you are more than simply “good enough.” Why? Because you have been created by the Creator of every ounce of beauty, of magnificence, of brilliance, in the entire universe. You have been created by the Creator of the mountains, of the sky, of the ground, of every living thing and every mystery even science has yet to understand. You have been created by the hands which cradle the stars, the hands which bled for you.

The face you see when you look in the mirror? The face behind layers of makeup you may hide it behind? There is absolutely nothing wrong with that face. There is nothing wrong with those features, no matter what the world tells you. There is a reason behind everything God does, and God does not make mistakes.

This is what makes you beautiful. Society has such a twisted definition of “beautiful,” and you are not to believe it. Beautiful is not just a word, not a social label. Beautiful is what we all are, beneath our masks. Beautiful is you. Beautiful is what society calls your “flaws.” Beautiful is the face you should have no shame to hide.

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You know, people like to tap you on the shoulder and brightly reassure you, “How you look on the outside doesn’t matter! The inside is what’s truly beautiful!”

Only the outside actually does matter, just not how society claims it should. It matters because God created your outside to appear exactly the way it does. Please, do not believe you are “ugly.” Don’t even joke about it. You are unique, sculpted by the King to be just who you are.

However, the inside is what matters most. It takes a beautiful person on the inside to recognize that they are a beautiful person on the outside, and not just that but why they are a beautiful person on the outside. A beautiful person on the inside is a person who has given their life to Jesus, a person who has sacrificed their fleshly desires to live the spectacular life in store for them. A heart that has been given to Jesus transforms you from the inside out, leading you to live that life. 

Yes, Jesus does tell us over and over that there will be suffering involved in this life. There will be sacrifice. There will be pain. Despite this, Jesus promises that He will never leave us. His joy, His peace, and His love are always right there beside us, even in the worst of tribulation. This tribulation is not eternal, but will someday end, and when it does there will be an ultimate reward in store for us.

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You, my sister, are beautiful. You are loved. You have a purpose.

You are not alone, and you are worth it.

Please, do not believe the lies pressured upon you. Instead, turn to your Savior. His arms are always open for you. You don’t have to be “good enough,” because you are so much more than that.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”

1 John 3:1-2

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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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If \\\ A Discussion Post

IF.

That’s all I have to ask you: if.

Actually, no, it’s not. I have a question for you girls, and I have a challenge.

Here’s my question:

IF you were to DIE TODAY, WHERE do you THINK you would go?

WRITE YOUR ANSWER TO ^THAT^ QUESTION DOWN BEFORE FINISHING THIS POST. You might wanna get a pen and paper or pull up your notes app on your phone cause you’re gonna need to write A LOT of things down.

Okay. See those capitalized words in the question? Those are important. Let’s discuss them one by one.

IF.

There’s not too much to discuss IF because we all know what it means. So, that means that you’re probably not going to die today, but IF you were…

DIE.

That is a strong, powerful and sometimes scary word; DIE.
Here’s a good question for you to write down:

Are you scared of dying?

WRITE YOUR ANSWER DOWN BEFORE FINISHING THIS POST. Are YOU scared of dying? Write your answer down.

Okay, on to the next word:

TODAY.

If you were to die TODAY. Not tomorrow, not next week. Not in time to drive down to Florida and see your Grandma. TODAY.

WHERE.

Okay, this is where it get good. WHERE as in what place. WHERE as in Heaven or Hell. Or maybe just someplace in between? Here’s another question for you to write down:

Where do you think most people go when they die? Do you think that there’s more than one place, or just one? Or three?

WRITE YOUR ANSWER DOWN BEFORE FINISHING THIS POST. WHERE do you think most people go when they die? Do you think that there’s more than one place, or just one? Or three? Write your answer down.

Last word:

THINK.

The difference between THINK and KNOW is HUGE. And, we have another question:

When you die, do you THINK you will go to (PLACE) or do you KNOW you would go to (place)?

WRITE YOUR ANSWER DOWN BEFORE FINISHING THIS POST. WHEN YOU DIE, DO YOU THINK YOU WILL GO TO (PLACE) OR DO YOU KNOW YOU WILL GO TO (PLACE)?

Now, we have discussed the capitalized words separately, let’s discuss the WHOLE sentence.

IF you were to DIE TODAY, WERE do you THINK you would go?

Look at the answer that you wrote down, and if you’re a Christian, you should have a pretty confident answer. If you’re not a Christian (or if you are and you just wanna read the rest) keep on going. The rest is for you.

Hi, my name is Anika and I am a 12-year-old Christian girl. If someone asked me this question:

IF you were to DIE TODAY, WERE do you THINK you would go?

I would say;

“I don’t THINK I’ll go somewhere, I KNOW I’ll go somewhere. And that place is Heaven.”

I KNOW that I will go to Heaven and spend eternity with Jesus Christ because he came down from his throne in Heaven, became a human and died on the cross for the sins of the world because HE LOVES US. He loves us stupid, sinful people enough to DIE in our place. If He hadn’t died for our sins I would answer this question differently. I would probably say ‘I think I’d go to Hell’ because I would probably have no hope. But Jesus gives us HOPE.

Do you KNOW where you’ll go? If you don’t, I know of a way that you can KNOW that you’ll go to Heaven and live eternally with our Heavenly Father forever and ever.

You can go to Heaven, or Hell. It’s your choice. I’m not trying to push into becoming a Christian, I’m just trying to lead you out of the path of destruction. And if you follow, you follow. If you don’t, you don’t.

The path to Heaven may be harder, and you may struggle more with it. There may be more rocks on the path and blisters on your feet. But, once you get to the end of the road, it’s all worth it because Jesus will wash your feet, and heal them, and make you new. Because you are HIS children, and He loves you.

You can pray and ask Jesus to lead you down his path, or you can ask a parent or a Christian Adult if your parents aren’t Christian. You can have assurance TODAY that you will be in Heaven with Jesus instead of in Hell with the Devil when your time comes to leave Earth.

All you have to do is pray. And if you don’t know how to pray, just talk to God like He’s your Friend, and your Father, because He is both of those things. And, whenever you’re feeling like you need to ask Jesus to heal you again, you can, because He’ll always accept you no matter who you are. I have asked Jesus into my heart seven times in my lifetime, and after each prayer, I just feel so GOOD! But, I’m gonna do it again, because this post really helped me as I wrote it because I was having doubts in God because my family is going through some really hard times right now.

Dear, God.

I’m a horrible person. But I don’t want to be horrible anymore. Would you please come into my heart and heal me, and make me new? I want to live for you, and I’m so sorry if I ever do anything bad. I know that I may have doubts in the future like I have in the past, but I don’t want to have doubts anymore. Thank you.

Amen.

Now, I’m gonna pray for all you who read this post, and we’ll close (isn’t this starting to sound like a sermon? I’ve always wanted to write one of those… 😛 )

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for putting all these things on my mind. I couldn’t have written this post without You. Thank You for all the beautiful young ladies (and men) who read this post. I really REALLY hope that the words that You put in my pen touched their hearts today. Please bless each and every one of them, and touch their lives with your light, Lord Jesus. I’ll love you forever and ever,

Amen.

Now, I want you to look at the answer you wrote down for this question again:

IF you were to DIE TODAY, WERE do you THINK you would go?

And I want you to see if your answer is the same now as it was it was before you read this whole post.

Okay, this post almost made me cry (which I almost never do), and I hope it touched your hearts and your souls. Share this post with friends and family who need it.

Chat with me down in the comments! I guess I’ll give you some questions to answer:

Are you a Christian? What was your answer at first, and what is your answer now? Ask me questions, answer my questions, or just chat! I’d love to hear from you. 😀

anika

This Is Your Time, This is Your Dance

Hello ladies!

I was listening to some Micheal W. Smith CD’s that I had pulled out of the car today, and of course, I was enthusiastic about THAT CD because it was the one called “This Is Your Time”. Which includes my all-time favorite song, This Is Your Time.

Basically, it’s about Cassie Bernall who was shot in the Columbine Shooting in ’99. She was shot because she said that she’s a Christian to the gunman’s face.

This song upsets most people I know. They always say, “Oh, switch the song. This one is the sad one.” But I disagree. I took aa snippet of the song and placed it down below to show you something. Here it is:

~

(1st part)

It was a test we could all hope to pass
But none of us would want to take.
Faced with the choice to deny God to live,
For her, there was one choice to make.

This was her time. this was her dance.
She lived every moment; left nothing to chance.
She swam in the sea; drank of the deep;
Embraced the mystery of all she could be.

~

  The test was ‘to deny, or to not deny God.’ They call it sad. But honostly, I call it joyful. I call it amazing. Because she said yes. She said the words that determined life or death. What would be sad, would be if she said no. That would be tragic. Here’s the second part. It’s a snippet from another part of the song, not following directly after part 1.

~

(2nd part)

What if tomorrow, and what if today,
Faced with the question,
Oh what would you say?

~

   For a long time, I didn’t know what I’d say. Because I was afraid of death. But I’m not anymore. I was afraid, because I didn’t know where I stood, what I believed for a fact. So, I didn’t want to be ‘hasty’ and die for something I didn’t really believe. But I’ve realized something. I am the LORD’s child, and I always have been. I just didn’t know it yet. I know what I’d say now. I know where my hope lies. What a better way to go, then to go for Him?

  Here’s the link to the song on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgX0tghvz4A

  And here’s the link on Spotify, if you have it:

https://open.spotify.com/track/5J3qI4ePULdCSvq8BkOdRj

~

  Think to yourself. What would you say? If I were you, I’d right this question down in your journal or prayer book or something. That’s what I’m doing. But you don’t have to, of course. 😉

So, this is your time. Worship the Lord. Believe it. Breath His Word.

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