Tuesday, March 31, 2015

9 reasons to drop everything and go read your bible

Because if you're like me, you probably wont just listen to someone telling you what to do unless you have a real good reason. Or nine.

• • •

1. You could start a new habit. 

Don't they say it takes 21 days of repeating something for it to become a habit? If you start today, you will accomplish day-1 and you'll only have 20 days left to see if "they" are right.

2. You will get encouraged.

Believe it or not, God loves you and He wants to show you how much he loves you. So he filled His Word with a bunch of little secrets that reveal just how epic you really are.

3. You're not doing anything much more important.

I know you're a big deal. We just established that. But let's be honest, you had time to click this link so you probably weren't doing much other than sliding through your social media feed to see what your friends are up to. 

Besides, I could always save you some time and just tell you what your friends are doing. If you're on Facebook, someone is pregnant. If you're on Instagram someone is eating and someone else got a new hairstyle.

You're welcome.

4. You get to.

The bible is banned in some parts of the world. People can even be killed for spreading the gospel. But chances are, you are free to pull out your bible anywhere in public.

And though people may look at you like you just set off a bunch of explosives in an innocent coffee shop full of people...they still can't kill your for it.

Ok well at least they shouldn't. They probably won't. Hopefully. Don't quote me.

5. You need all the help you can get.

Life is confusing. Like I wore a t-shirt on Saturday, but it also snowed, confusing. Like I think I'm going to the right college but there are also 4,000 other schools that could also be right, confusing. 

Like when you understood the math professor in class, but the exam is not what you discussed confusing.  Like when people try to force you to grow up and actually become "responsible" confusing.

6. You will get peace.

With a million things on your mind, life can make you very, very anxious. God's Word provides peace to handle even the most stressful situations. 

7. You can hear from God about the big things. 

You know, like what His purpose for your life is, what it means to be a follower of Christ. Why He went to the cross and died for your sins and why on earth He has you here.

8. You can hear from God about the small things.

You know, like what you should be spending your time on and what goals you should set. What jobs you should apply for and what church you should attend. And unlike people, God never gets tired of you turning to Him for answers. 

Oh, and remember. Nothing is too small for God.

9. You will become a threat.

The bible basically arms you with every weapon you need to be a total threat. And because most people don't read the bible, you will be at a slight advantage.

Still not convinced? 
You could always try reading the newspaper instead.

But I cant make any promises.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

5 times I didn't want to do God's will

There are times when God's purpose for your life seems perfect. Like spot on. It is exactly what you have always dreamed of doing. You could skip around your backyard singing,
 "Your will be done, God."

 Without an ounce of fear that He might actually…listen. There are times when His will makes perfectly legitimate sense.

And then there are times like these.

• • •

5 times I Didn't Want to do God's Will 

1. When the path was a little too narrow.

When God said the gate was straight and narrow, I didn't know he meant microscopic. Seriously, like the world's smallest gate.

At a college with nearly 30,000 people, sometimes it felt like I was the only one who kept going straight to the ridiculously small gate, when the rest of the world veered left and had it up in the wide gate.

 Only to find out...I could hardly even fit.

 Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
[Matthew 7:13-14]

2. When it didn't seem profitable.

God I can hear what you're telling me to do, buttt...I'm not too sure how this plan is not going to leave me starving and homeless?

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
[Matthew 6:25]

3. When it didn't seem possible.

So let me get this straight. Having a totaled car, a change of major, a pile of backed up bills and no place to live is going to work out for my good AND bring You glory.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
[Romans 8:28]

4. When people called me extreme.

God, You told me to fast regularly and to not even listen to "love" songs, but even the people that I trust told me I was taking this holy thing too far.

And I felt so alone.

And you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.
[Leviticus 20:26]

5. When I didn't spend time with God.

Because I thought I could do it on my own. And with all these plans God has for me, how am I supposed to make time for Him?

But in actuality, I was just burning myself out because without time in God's presence, I never knew where to go next. I was like a fish without water.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
[Psalm 91:1]

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

5 Benefits of Blamelessness

1. You are not a stumbling block.

Everyone has their weaknesses. Different people are tempted by different things and we all stumble in certain areas. For example, paying tithes may be the easiest thing God ever asked you to do.

But for someone else, letting go of 10% of their income is a struggle every single week.

We may not know what others are tempted by, but it is our responsibility not to tempt them. There is a lot of freedom in Christ, (heck, that's why I'm here) but we can't let our freedom be a stumbling block to others [1 Corinthians 8:9.]

Sometimes, when we think we're just chillin…we are actually causing someone to stumble.

For example, the way a woman dresses can cause a man to lust. While we have freedom to wear whatever we want, it is important to be mindful of others' weaknesses and dress modestly.

When you walk in blamelessness, you are presenting yourself as honorable before men and you don't really have to worry about leading anyone to fall. Who knows? Maybe you can even catch someone on their way down.

2. You can confidently claim what's yours.

When we do something we know is wrong, we end up feeling guilty. We feel worthless opposed to entitled. 

Example. You cheat on an exam. You still only get a 79% because the person sitting next to you apparently didn't study either. (Ugh. They are so lazy.)

After the exam the professor allows you to argue a question to receive points back that you missed, but because you cheated, you don't even know how you got "your" answer in the first place. So you're just sitting there like

One point is all you need to go from a C to a B but you no longer feel worthy of a better grade.

When you walk in blamelessness you can constantly claim what is yours. And even if you're not 100% sure how you got your answer, you got it…and that B is yours.

3. Blamelessness breeds excellence.

Or maybe it's the other way around, but there is definitely some correlation here. The Word teaches us to strive for excellence in all things. When you are blameless you are free from blame or guilt. If you can't be blamed, naturally...you're pretty great.

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.
[Philippians 1:9-10]

4. You will be in a position of influence.

Let's take this back to the classroom. Well lecture hall. Unless you're at a small school or in high school or middle school or something, in which case, classroom. But I'll just say lecture hall.

So let's take this back to the lecture hall. No that sounds weird.

Ok whatever! School analogy coming.

No one looks up to the student who is always failing. When you are getting good grades, you can influence others because they actually trust that you have wisdom.  Walking in blamelessness is synonymous with walking in influence.

As a role model, even when you fall and get injured, (again) people are rooting for you to get back up.

it was too easy

5. God is always watching.

Ultimately everything we do is for God. God sees everything we do and even knows every intention of our heart.

He is the only One we have to answer to, the only true Judge. So if doing it for people can't convince us, maybe doing it for God can.

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.
[Colossians 3:23]

Thursday, March 5, 2015

5 signs you are a radical Christian

Miracles, signs, wonders, speaking in tongues, deep words like "revival."

How do you know someone is a radical Christian? I put together a list to help you spot a radical Christian anywhere.

 5 signs you are a radical Christian 


1. You feel conviction.

You know that feeling when you do something that seems pretty legit at the time, but turns out didn't really please God. Sometimes it takes a little while to hit you, other times you feel it right away.

That, my friend, is conviction. Conviction is a blessing. It is a sure sign that you hear God's voice and if you think about it…that's pretty radical.

2. You spend time with God.

You're busy. Very busy. You love God, but when the time comes to pray and read your Word it's like a million time sensitive things come up.

And spending time with God when you have an exam coming up or a baby to take care of…

But not you. You refuse to listen to the voice of the enemy. You know you can never be too busy for God. At this moment, everything else can wait. Nothing matters more.

When the whole world is knocking at your door, you only answer for God. Now you gotta admit…that's pretty radical.

3. You fall short.

The idea of taking a big risk can be really scary. There is so much to lose. So many mistakes to make. So many opportunities to…fall.

But God says he wants to transform us into His image, from glory to glory [2 Cor. 2:18.] And sometimes moving to the next level requires stepping out on faith…even it that means falling a few times.

4. You pray.

Nothing screams "radical" like a person who prays.

When you pray you prove that you trust God to follow through with His promises. You believe that prayer actually works and you are allowing God to bring Himself closer to you.

5. You repent.

When you feel conviction (with ya radical self!) you repent.

Repentance is the key to salvation. Repenting means humbling yourself and admitting you were wrong.   Even if you're "never" wrong.

Repentance doesn't always mean you are publicly humiliated, repentance can be something only you and God know about.

But repentance leads you to change from the core. It allows God to become alive in you all over again and I have no idea, but I think that might be revival.

Monday, March 2, 2015

3 things I secretly did for pleasure that interfered with my relationship with God (+ &100 J.Crew giveaway)

1. Drink wine.

Surviving a long week of school, work and all other necessary evils, can feel like quite the accomplishment. Every single Friday. The joy of finally getting home from your last real obligation on a Friday evening is like Top 5 Best Feelings. All time.

At one point, I had a Friday night ritual. Grab a glass of wine, usually cold…usually white, relax and watch a *show. (*can also be replaced by: any other activity that does not require brain power.)

I didn't see anything wrong with drinking wine and I had lots of reasons:

1. Before I got saved, I drank much worse. - Wine is nothing compared to hard liquor, am I right? And the way I used to have it up, I know I could never get drunk off wine. Pshhhh. Can wine even get you drunk?

2. I don't drink it every day.
3. It tastes good.
4. It has no effect on me.
5. I'm 21.
6. Chill out, even Jesus drank wine.
7. Don't judge me.

But eventually I had to ask myself? (Ok. Someone had to ask me. Whatever.) What is wine really adding to your life? Could having it in your kitchen cause others to stumble? What are you really, like truly trying to get out of an "innocent" glass of wine?

My answers to these questions shocked me. Wine was only adding headaches to my life. Alcoholism is real and I have a lot of guests over that I would never want to tempt. 

And- I was getting a buzz off wine.

Sure I was allowed to drink wine, but it wasn't bringing me any closer to God. 

It was actually separating me from God because I was turning to it as a way to relieve stress, or take the edge off an exhausting week when I should have turned to Him.

It took God's love, comfort & grace to break this habit, but ultimately God used it to allow me to draw nearer to Him and looking back…that's exactly what I asked for.

2. Listen to oldies but goodies and feel good music.

You know, those old "love" songs that you couldn't forget all the words to if you had the little memory eraser thingy from Men in Black.

Or the ones that mention God or have some other positive or at least "non-negative" message. Yeah those ones.

So, I learned that when I pray scripture, my prayers are like one thousand million times more effective than when I just pray randomness. The problem I had with praying scripture was that…I didn't know enough.

I know that God, who as a man on earth named Jesus, was tempted by ALL things. Therefore, His Word must make at least some reference to all things. So that should pretty much cover all my prayer points.

I realized that I need my mind to be focused on Christ and all things pertaining to Him and what better way to do so than to only listen to music that clearly and without question, glorifies Him alone.

Not to mention, old "love" songs could take me to a weird emotional place that had more of an effect on me than I wanted to admit. I am pretty sure if I still listened to those songs today, they would negatively impact my relationship with my fiancĂ© and would have made it more difficult for me to meet him and accept him. 

No man of God is looking for an emotionally wrecked wino.

3. Watch too many TV shows.

Scandal is not the only show planting seeds of destruction in our hearts. Scandal is just the only show that was generous enough to give us a heads up in the title. Come to think of it, thanks Scandal.

You gave discernment the day off.

For that reason, I've never watched Scandal, but I have watched some less obviously scandalous shows that lead me to some false realities. 

I started thinking it was perfectly fine to handle situations by freaking out at first, and saying whatever I wanted to say.

Similar to music, watching too many unedifying TV shows can really have an effect on the way you see things. What's on TV, especially on reality shows, is not real.

God showed me that there are actually edifying things to watch out here. Like Chase God TV aka What is Joe Doing? He is an extremely talented man of God with a serious grace to make videos for our Christian viewing pleasures.

So basically I was this confrontatonal, emotional wino.

----- END -----

I teamed up with some amazingly beautiful women of God to bring you a chance to win $100 to J.Crew. No big deal.

My honorable, awesome, stylish sister in Christ, Downtown Demure , made this whole thing possible. Her modest fashion blog has helped me tremendously in the style department.
So when you win, thank her :)

Here are the ladies and the links to their blogs.

And their respective links:

The Everyday Elegance -- Coffee with Summer -- Eyeliner & Erasers 
Downtown Demure -- Primarily Inspired -- She Lives Free

a Rafflecopter giveaway

May the odds be ever in you favor! Hehe. Happy entering people!