Month: June 2018

Please Read the Gospels

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Photo by George Sharvashidze from Pexels

Have you ever heard a story that you loved so much you could listen to it over and over again? Is there a book that you’ve worn through from so many re-readings? A movie with scratches on the disc because you have to watch it again?

Stories are incredible and many of them are so good that we could experience them again and again without growing bored. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched The Princess Bride or Annie. Whinnie the Pooh never gets old and Narnia will always have a special place in my heart.

But even those stories can wear down some eventually. I have to take a break between Doctor Who marathons and Lord of the Rings can only be seen so often.

But there is one story that is just as awe-inspiring and moving no matter how many times you read it. The gospel feels just as fresh the first time as the thirtieth, as we see our sin and then see what Christ went through to save us from it.

I’ve been reading through Luke for my morning devotions and I love to read all the stories of Jesus’s ministry again. The two that stand out, though, are His birth, and His crucifixion and resurrection.

My soul magnifies the Lord along with Mary and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior (Luke 1:46-47).  How could Christ have humbled Himself so much and been willing to suffer so much just so that I could be with Him? How could anyone love me that much?

And yet, God does love me that much. He loves all of His children that much. And the four Gospel accounts are refreshingly full of that love.

It seems simple to read through the Gospels over and over again. Shouldn’t more mature Christians be studying other parts of the Bible? We already understand salvation.

But the Gospel is the basis of Christianity. It is Christianity. They are encouraging and lovely and convicting and beautiful all at once.

Don’t forget to read the Gospels. Don’t forget the most important story ever told.

Kira

What’s your favorite part of the Gospels?

Some Ideas for Showing Love

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There are a thousand different ways to show people that you love them, but sometimes none of them come to mind. Here is a list we can all reference when we’re looking for creative ways to love the people around us.

  • text them randomly in the middle of the week
  • clean their room (exercise caution here – my sister always says she can’t find anything after I clean)
  • cook something amazing for them
  • go for a walk together
  • pray for them (they might not know about it, but it’s still loving them)
  • let them win an argument
  • do their chores for a day
  • presents!!! (works especially well for younger kids – unless it’s food, then it works for anyone)
  • give them a hug and just tell them you love them
  • go for coffee together
  • write an encouraging note and leave it somewhere
  • sit next to them
  • brag on them (unless they’re really shy)
  • have an inside joke
  • serve together (make a meal for someone, babysit, volunteer, etc.)
  • ask about their day/something they’re interested in
  • play with their hair (works amazing for girls)
  • ask what would make them feel loved and do it

Kira

Any other ideas about how to love someone?

It’s Okay to Enjoy Life

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Photo by Eneida Nieves from Pexels

Did you know that God created this world for His children? If you believe in Him, it was all made specially for you.

I made this discovery whilst putting together a Bible study on the first few verses of 1 Timothy 4. Paul is telling Timothy about false teachers who require “abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” (1 Timothy 4:3b, ESV)

By those who believe and know the truth…

Isn’t it incredible to think that all the good things in this world were made especially for us? That God had us in mind when He formed trees and stars and whales?

But, awesome as that is, it’s not my main point for today.

It’s amazing to think that God made all of this for us – but it doesn’t matter if we don’t enjoy it. God created good things with the intention that we would look at them and experience them and think of Him. The next couple verses of 1 Timothy emphasize that.

“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.” (1 Timothy 4:4-5)

Why would we even think of rejecting the good that God has given us? And yet, we do it without thinking all too often.

How many times are we too busy to take a walk? Or too concerned with fitness to enjoy our run? How often do we pull out our phones to take pictures rather than enjoying the beauty in the moment?

I choose the busyness and pressure of this world far too often. But every time I choose to stop and enjoy the good things God has given me, I am thankful and happy.

A lot of times, it feels like cheating to take a break. How could we waste time looking at the stars when that paper is due next week? And yes, we must do our work. God has given us that as well. But He didn’t intend for us to drown in it. There is no reason to feel guilty for enjoying what we have been given to enjoy. It is healthy and it is good.

God loves us and He has blessed us with so much. Let us receive it with thanksgiving.

Kira

What has God given you to enjoy? What are some things you like to do to enjoy them?

What Are You Going To Do With Your Summer?

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What are you doing with your summer?

Most of us are already a few weeks into the blissful time of the year known as “summer.” It is a magical time, a time of no school (sorry homeschoolers – I’m right there with you), a time of hot weather, a time of consuming far more watermelon than should be consumed by a single person in such a short space of time.

Summer is also usually a time that is seen as a chance to “relax.” We go go go all school year and then get two months off. Two months to do whatever we want and not think about work or stress or any of the other craziness that bogs us down the rest of the year.

The problem with that mentality is that it tends to turn us into lazy and selfish people during our vacation. Rest is good. Rest is healthy. But rarely do we need two full months of it. And often it can be accomplished by simply changing what we’re doing – not just laying in a hammock drinking iced coffees all day.

And a chance to do things that we enjoy is also excellent. Hobbies and passions are great and they turn us into well rounded and interesting human beings. It’s nice to go for a walk by yourself or read a good book or sing along to every single Disney song ever written in all of history. Ahem. Moving on.

But what can we do to serve other people this summer? What can we do to grow spiritually (or mentally) this summer? What goals could we reach over the next months with the extra time we have?

This summer, I want to tighten my relationship with one of my sisters and be friends with her.

This summer, I want to finish memorizing 1 Timothy.

This summer, I want to finish the third draft of my novel and revise it one time after that.

This summer, I want to train for and run a half marathon.

Those are some of my goals for the summer. Let’s not waste this summer. It is an amazing opportunity and it holds so much life. Let’s live it.

Kira

What are your goals/plans for the summer?

“These are a few of my favorite things…”

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I’m sure you’ve heard the song in The Sound of Music where Maria sings about her favorite things. A huge storm is raging outside and the children are all cuddled in the same room. They sing about “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens” and the like.

Well, here are a few of my favorite things.

Food: Because we must begin with the important things. I love Caesar salad and butternut squash soup. Oh, and cheesecake. Unfortunately, the soup and the cheesecake are a huge pain to make (so if anyone wants to send me some, I will be eternally grateful).

Seasons: Fall. Hands down. It’s got my birthday, Thanksgiving, and sweaters.

Sports: Soccer and running

Siblings: Like I would divulge that information!

Blogs: The Rebelution, Helping Writers Become Authors, Story Embers, thedancingrunner, etc.

Time of day: Early morning when I can run in the peaceful world.

Animal: Dogs!!! I like to say that I want to get a dog of a size that I could ride it into battle (should the need arise).

TV show: Doctor Who (I plan on a marathon when I get my wisdom teeth out this summer)

State: Virginia! I love the beautiful mountains, plus we have beaches too.

Coffee: Um, yes. I mostly drink black coffee, but I can really do anything as long as it doesn’t have mint in it. Mint chocolate anything would probably have to go on the least favorites list.

Kira

What are some of your weirdest (or normal-est) favorite things? Do you have a dog you could ride into battle? If so, can I meet him?