Encouragement from Bible Study

Hello, friends! So I’m a little late posting today. I didn’t schedule a post like I was supposed to yesterday. It was Bible study evening and yes … I just didn’t get to it. So I’ll just do a quick overview of how my young adult Bible study is going for my Saturday post! 🙂

encouragement

I think this is our fourth or fifth week. It’s been good! I love getting a group of young people together reading God’s Word and having quality fellowship. Truly, I’ve been immensely enjoying myself, even though I really have to lean on God some days for confidence and strength … because I am an introvert, after all! 😉 Being the one to start this Bible study and having it at my house and all that – it can be a little nerve-wracking.

But yes. It’s a great group and we’re having fun.

Last week we started a devotional from YouVersion called Love God Greatly – Made For Community.

This week we read John 14:15-23 and did the second devotional from Made For Community. Though the devotionals are short, I’ve found the profound, challenging, and uplifting thus far.

John 14:15-23

15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

19 “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. 20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”

23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

Snippets from the devotional: 

“From the very beginning God created us for community. Sin shattered the relationship … but God in His mercy is making all things new including His relationship with His people.”

“…He also gives us the indwelling of the Holy Spirit so that we are no longer alone. We have a helper, a comforter, a teacher and a guide living within us.”

Notes:

So, do you feel the Holy Spirit is your helper, comforter, teacher and guide? Do you acknowledge His Presence and believe you’re never alone?

This is sometimes hard to grasp, but God can reveal it more to us as we seek Him in prayer and reading His Word.

It’s a beautiful truth to me, especially in fearful situations, or as an introvert when I feel really different or alone in a crowd. Knowing God is always with me bring courage where there is fear and confidence where there is insecurity. And peace – it brings peace that passes understanding in all situations.

***

We also read three chapters from Psalm, and made note of any promises or truths in the passages that are ours to claim in Christ – we can apply to our lives.

Psalm 3

Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!
Many are they who rise up against me.
Many are they who say of me,
“There is no help for him in God.” Selah

But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah

I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set themselves against me all around.

Arise, O Lord;
Save me, O my God!
For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone;
You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.
Salvation belongs to the Lord.
Your blessing is upon Your people. Selah

God is my shield.

God is my glory.

God lifts up my head.

God hears me.

God sustains me.

God’s blessing is upon me.

Psalm 40:1-3

I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.

God establishes my steps.

God puts a song in my mouth.

His thoughts toward me can’t be recounted.

God thinks upon me.

God is my help and my deliverer.

Psalm 63:1-4 & 7-8

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.

Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.

God’s lovingkindness is better than life.

In Him, my soul will be satisfied.

God is my help.

God’s right hand upholds me.

***

After discussing and talking some more (kind of about random things, haha), we put out some snacks and had a good time of fellowship. It’s a blessing to hang out with fellow believers. I’d been struggling a bit and really praying about this Bible study, and I remember that at least once I asked God that I could encourage and uplift these young people, and they could do the same for me. I really feel God answered and honored that prayer. At least on my part. It was encouraging to my soul. 🙂

So what about you? Do you not just read  your Bible, but apply what it says to your life? Try reading passages and asking questions like, “How can I take hold of this truth? What does this mean for me? How does this affect my life? What does this tell me about God?”

Hope you have a blessed weekend, dear readers!

❤ Lady Grace

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I’m an INFJ – Embracing Your God-Given Personality

My fellow bloggers, writers, and avid readers, shall we talk about our quiet, deep-feeling, word-loving personality. Or is it just mine? 😉

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But really, I’ve noticed a lot of writers/bloggers are introverts. I myself am an INFJ according to the tests I’ve done. The advocate, the defender, or the guardian. Supposedly, people with INFJ personalities are “rare”. I don’t know if I quite believe it, but I will admit that I do often feel like no one understands me.

I’m different.

No one else is quite like me.

I get lonely.

I feel crazy.

I have the fear, deep down, that I’ll never quite belong anywhere.

I can share a lot, but I never really, really share my heart because I’m afraid no one would understand.

For a girl who longs for deep, intimate connections and community, it’s a terrible thing to feel so separate from other people.

I think the loneliness and fear have driven me to try to understand myself. Then I would feel guilty for researching “myself”—like I’m enamored with me, haha.

But, actually, I’ve heard that INFJ’s just have a hunger to understand their personality and the personalities of others. I want to know why I feel, react, and think certain ways. I want to understand why other people do what they do and say what they say.

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And when I read things about the INFJ personality and think, Hey, that’s what I do. Maybe that’s why I behave this way and feel such-and-such—then I feel more okay with being me.

And you know what? It IS okay that I’m me! It’s more than okay.

It’s perfect.

God, in His infinite wisdom, created me just the way I am with exactly the personality I have. He made me introverted, bookish, relational, a dreamer, a deep thinker, a writer, and a deep feeler. He created me this way, and therefore He understands me, even when I think nobody does. Even when I can’t understand myself.

Psalm 139:1-6 & 13-16

Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

Genesis 1:26-28

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

1 Corinthians 13:12

Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

Jeremiah 29:11-14

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord,

***

When I do research and study my personality and just be myself, I think it is a very good thing. Because isn’t it most honoring to the Creator when I embrace who He made me to be? When I glorify Him with the specific and unique gifts, abilities, talents, and personality He gave me?

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So … what does it mean to be an INFJ?

Here are a few quotes from INFJ (“The Advocate”) of 16Personalities:

“INFJs indeed share a unique combination of traits: though soft-spoken, they have very strong opinions and will fight tirelessly for an idea they believe in.” (Introduction)

“INFJs find it easy to make connections with others, and have a talent for warm, sensitive language, speaking in human terms, rather than with pure logic and fact. It makes sense that their friends and colleagues will come to think of them as quiet Extraverted types, but they would all do well to remember that INFJs need time alone to decompress and recharge, and to not become too alarmed when they suddenly withdraw.” (Introduction)

“This becomes especially apparent when INFJs find themselves up against conflict and criticism – their sensitivity forces them to do everything they can to evade these seemingly personal attacks, but when the circumstances are unavoidable, they can fight back in highly irrational, unhelpful ways.” (Introduction)

“INFJs like to know that they are taking concrete steps towards their goals, and if routine tasks feel like they are getting in the way, or worse yet, there is no goal at all, they will feel restless and disappointed.” (Strengths and Weaknesses)

“When it comes to romantic relationships, INFJs take the process of finding a partner seriously. Not ones for casual encounters, people with the INFJ personality type instead look for depth and meaning in their relationships. INFJs will take the time necessary to find someone they truly connect with (Romantic Relationships)

“There is a running theme with INFJs, and that is a yearning for authenticity and sincerity – in their activities, their romantic relationships, and their friendships. … Rather, INFJs seek out people who share their passions, interests and ideologies, people with whom they can explore philosophies and subjects that they believe are truly meaningful.” (Friends)

“First and foremost, INFJs need to find meaning in their work, to know that they are helping and connecting with people (Career Paths)

“INFJs often pursue expressive careers such as writing, elegant communicators that they are, and author many popular blogs, stories and screenplays. Music, photography, design and art are viable options too, and they all can focus on deeper themes of personal growth, morality and spirituality.” (Career Paths)

Quotes and Stuff from my INFJ Pinterest Board (these were all found on Pinterest):

Being an introvert doesn’t always mean we’re shy, insecure, can’t talk, timid, scared of our own shadow, and friendless.

It may mean we’re quiet, socially-awkward (but not socially-inept), cautious, very sensitive, and a little different.

What I’m trying to say is: you don’t have to change my personality in order for me to be who I need to be and do what I need to do.

I believe why I was insecure as a person is not because that’s how I was made, but rather because I was afraid to be who I was truly made to be.

Even because many people made me feel like I had to change my personality in order to be right.

Why are you so quiet? {Um … ? I’ve been talking, haven’t I? I enjoy listening also, you know. Or, I just don’t have much that I feel needs to be said right now.}

Why don’t you talk more? {Well, I try, but you either interrupt, talk over me, stare blankly in response, or don’t notice I spoke up at all.}

Why are you always so sad? {I’m not! I’m just not as bubbly and expressive and loud as you are. That’s allowed, isn’t it?}

You’re turning red. {*wants to melt into the ground* I KNOW quite well that I’m blushing … can you please just act normal and move on with the conversation? Please?}

SHE TALKED! YOU CAN TALK?? {Do you think I’m weird? Are you not accepting me? *freaks out and overthinks everything* Now I feel stupid and probably won’t say anything else for the rest of the evening.} 

Everyone HAS to participate! {Even if I’m quaking in terror and feel on the verge of passing out?? HAVE MERCY!}

You’re too quiet; you need to talk louder. {I feel like I’m shouting! *feels desperate*}

Shy people are just really selfish. {*heart shrivels up inside chest*}

Desperately shy, I battled headaches and stomachaches every time I went to youth group, Bible study, casual Ultimate Frisbee games, a friend’s house, church, etc., etc., year after year after year (even though I liked these things).

Critically insecure, I kept silent during Bible study (which I loved … filled with people I really liked) even when my mind and heart had thoughts to offer and questions to pose.

Occasionally, I was filled with such passion and boldness, and actually spoke up.

But most times, I felt so wrong and uncertain of being myself that I kept quiet when I wanted to speak. I hung back when I wanted to join. I blushed painfully when people talked to and tried to involve me (though I yearned for deep connection!). I felt guilt over silly things. I hid parts of my heart even from my closest friends and family.

Being an INFJ didn’t make me that way. But perhaps because the INFJ personality isn’t as common as some, I had a hard time accepting myself.

I called myself stupid. A failure. Ugly. Fat. Unwanted. Dumb. Unable. Too awkward. Not good enough. Unacceptable.

Idiot. You idiot! I’m so sick of you.

That’s what I said to myself. I bought into the Enemy’s lies and I fed them to myself.

And it held me back from doing all that God has called me to. It kept me from all that God wanted to give me. It kept me from being fully who God created me to be.

I was very, very insecure, and shy, and fearful.

Even up until this last year of 2017, I struggled. (And it will be something I have to continue fighting, I’m sure!) For a large part of my life, I didn’t realize how insecure I truly was. This past fall, I came face to face with what I really thought of myself.

I was sick of being me because, deep down, I thought of myself as stupid and not good enough. Not pretty enough. Not out-going enough. Not doing enough. Not confident and independent enough. Not smart enough.

I didn’t truly grasp my real worth in Christ, and so I looked to other people to define my worth. If they accepted me, I would feel okay with myself. If they rejected me, I told myself I was stupid. If someone said something that might have been questioning my worth, I internally freaked out and fell apart because I felt I had no worth apart from their validation.

I sort of kept this all inside, and it affected me in ways I didn’t realize.

I’m changing now.

But I’m not becoming less of an introvert – my personality is not becoming less INFJ. I’m not becoming less of a deep thinker and deep feeler. I’m still quiet, and sensitive, and very self-aware.

I’m blossoming as an INFJ, because I cried out to the Lord with all my heart and He filled me with His love. I believe He says: I WANT YOU. I LOVE YOU. I CREATED YOU. I DELIGHT IN YOU. I CHOSE YOU. Now I know that I can embrace who I am. Because that’s exactly who God fearfully and wonderfully made me to be.

I claim my worth in Christ.

If anyone tries to tell me I’m less-than, I say: Go talk to my Father. No one can tell me what my value is except for Him. And He says I was worth it all.

To add to that incredible reality, He says I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Just as I am.

He can use my quietness, my deep feelings, my sensitivity, my self-awareness, my love of writing, my social awkwardness, my passion, my strong opinions in powerful ways. He can use me in huge ways, even when I’m still rather terrified to speak in front of crowds, but can chatter passionately to small, intimate groups.

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Listen …

WE ARE ALL UNIQUE.

And that is radiantly beautiful! In appearance, in personality, in gifts, in talents, in passions, in dreams, in strengths, we are different. And that is exactly how it’s supposed to be.

1 Corinthians 12:12-14

12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.

Instead of trying to change each other, why not complement and enhance and edify and uplift one another?

1 Corinthians 12:15-31

15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?

20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

The next chapter in 1 Corinthians goes on to talk about how we are nothing without love.

You may never find me laughing and joking in front of huge crowds. But as I grow in security in Christ’s love for me, I find the courage and ability to share deeply from my heart with individuals, be vulnerable, pray over friends in need, and lead small Bible study groups – as has always been my desire!

It is God who changes my heart and grows me, and uses my personality for His glory and our good. He created me and He knows me. And when I know He accepts and wants me, I can walk forth in joy and security and boldness and love, even as an INFJ! 😉

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 I used to be frightened that my physical appearance would change people’s opinion of me – I’m not beautiful enough. I used to be terrified to go places – I’m probably not wanted or welcome.

But, slowly, slowly, I’m throwing that mindset off.

God loves me. God wants me.

He made me, so who are you to say there’s a problem with what He’s created? I am His child and the world is His, so I have as much a right to be here as anyone else. (I’m okay. Do you hear that, heart of mine? Stop seizing up in my chest and let me breathe and walk normally!)

I realize that there are, indeed, people in the world who do truly love and want me. They don’t care if my hair is a bit messy, my clothes aren’t the latest style, I have zits on my face, or I’ve gained a few pounds. They look at me and they see me—my heart—who they adore.

This is so beautiful!

I have a hard time claiming people’s love for myself, but I speak it because there are people who have proven their love for me. And they are worthy of my trust.

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So. BE YOU. Don’t mock or refuse to accept God’s beautiful design and creativity. Be who the wise Creator made you to be. And know you are richly and completely loved. By your Heavenly Father. And, most likely, by many people … You’ve just blinded yourself to their affection for you.

God is good. His design is good. His creation is good.

DO YOU HAVE THE INFJ PERSONALITY? CAN YOU RELATE? WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

ARE YOU A DIFFERENT PERSONALITY? WHAT ARE SOME THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF THAT YOU FEEL ARE MISUNDERSTOOD? TELL ME SOME UNIQUE THINGS ABOUT YOU AND HOW GOD HAS USED THEM!

Life, Anxiety, & Reading 1 Corinthians

Hello, dear friends! Once again, I’m on a bad posting schedule. I am on vacation right now, so I suppose I have a right to take a break from blogging this time. Perhaps? 😉

I’ve been having a lovely time, and thankful for the small but beautiful ways I’m seeing God’s hand in my life during this trip. Been praying a lot … and it’s been a comfort as I strive to just follow where God leads. Let go. Hold on. Push myself. Just be. Try to step into His plan for my day, and try to see blessing and opportunity where I might be tempted to see only trial and burden.

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I admit, I have had a few days where I’ve given into disappointment and despair, and not had the best attitude. Today was one of those days. I was struggling with anxiety and just feeling kind of tired out of life.

Okay. Where’s the purpose? What’s the big picture? I can’t see what’s going on, so therefore I assume nothing’s going on. I don’t want to try anymore, Lord.

But it’s then when we need to renew our minds with God’s Word and prayer, right? Pressing into Him, and also having fellowship with other believers. And finding some way to serve.

Sometimes nothing helps anxiety, and you just have to kind of ride it out. But today wasn’t so bad, I suppose. Tonight I’m actually starting to perk up and life feels okay. 🙂

I’m currently reading through 1 Corinthians, so I thought I would share some verses that stuck out to me. To do something purposeful tonight, you know. And I’ll schedule this post for tomorrow, so I’m actually following my supposed blogging schedule for Lady Grace, haha. Tuesdays and Saturdays, it’s supposed to be!

Anyway. Without further ado …

1 Corinthians 1:22-25

22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1 Corinthians 3:5-7

Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.

1 Corinthians 3:11

11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:21-23

21 Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours. 23 And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

1 Corinthians 6:12-13

12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Corinthians 8:8-9

But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.

But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.

1 Corinthians 10:12-13

12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:23-26

23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.

25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake; 26 for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.”

1 Corinthians 10:31

31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 11:11-12

11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.

I got the idea from someone to meditate, throughout the whole day, on one verse you read. So I picked 1 Corinthians 10:31. And I think I’m going to make a point to meditate on it the rest of this vacation. “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

What a good reminder. What a way to find purpose and joy in each day and moment – even in the trials. Do all for His glory, my dear readers! ❤

Some Favorite Songs

Hi, friends! I thought I’d do a quick post sharing some favorite Christian artists/songs that I have enjoyed lately.

So, here we go. 🙂

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Lauren Daigle

I first discovered her songs a couple years back. I’ve gone through seasons of listening to her everyday … and seasons of not hearing one of her songs for months. But I always come back to her songs, and just love them again and again.

I think I like every one of her songs, but “Trust in You” is dear to my heart.

“Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
So let all things be my life and breath
I want what You want, Lord, and nothing less”

 

***

 

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Micah Tyler

Just recently, I heard one of Micah Tyler’s songs, “Never Been a Moment”, and actually cried through it because it touched me so. 🙂 So, of course, I had to look up his other songs and found a bunch more really meaningful ones! I like his voice/style.

“Even when it feels like my world is shaken

Even when I’ve had all that I can take

I know

You never let me go”

 

***

 

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Tenth Avenue North

I’ve been listening to Tenth Avenue North for years, but lately I’ve been kind of rediscovering their songs (mostly because of my younger sister’s love for them! *smiles*) They have a lot of good songs, and seem like a really great, genuine group of guys, following the Lord.

“Control” is a beautiful song by them.

“I’ve had plans
Shattered and broken
Things I have hoped in
Fall through my hands
You have plans
To redeem and restore me
You’re behind and before me
Oh help me believe”

 

***

 

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Lecrae

He has a lot of thoughtful songs. I know some people don’t like this style of music, but I like certain songs of this style by Christian artists, as long as they don’t get too much of a heavy/dark beat.

“I’ll Find You” is one I like by Lecrae.

“Just fight a little longer, my friend
It’s all worth it in the end
But, when you’ve got nobody to turn to
Just hold on, and I’ll find you”

 

***

 

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Joseph Solomon

Joseph Solomon is one of my favorite Youtubers! He just came out with his first song, and I really enjoy his style/voice.

“Make Me Believe”

“Though my heart may seem too far

You are not

You are God

Though I’m waiting in the dark

I’m not lost

You are God”

 

***

 

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Ryan Stevenson

I’ve actually on listened to a couple songs by Ryan Stevenson. But they’ve been good!

“The Gospel” is especially powerful.

“It’s the cure for our condition

It’s the good news for us all

It’s greater than religion

It’s the power of the cross

So can we get back to the altar

Back to the arms of our first love?

There’s only one way to the Father and He’s calling out to us”

 

***

 

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Jasmine Murray

I love her voice! And the message of her song, “Fearless”, really speaks to me.

“But I wasn’t given the spirit of fear
I was given the power of love”

Book Review: Can I Just Hide in Bed ‘Til Jesus Comes Back? by Martha Bolton and Christin Ditchfield

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Can I Just Hide In Bed ‘Til Jesus Comes Back: Facing Life With Courage, Not Comforters by Martha Bolton and Christin Ditchfield

My Personal Review ~ 4.5 stars ~

This was a great Christian Living read! Can I Just Hide in Bed ‘Til Jesus Comes Back? by Martha Bolton and Christin Ditchfield speaks to real struggles with frankness, applicable ideas, hope, and a generous dash of humor. These ladies know how I feel! *smiles* After just finishing Fearless by Cheri Fuller, this book felt like the perfect companion read. It addressed fear and anxiety – talked about facing life with courage and prayer – like Fearless, but was a bit of a lighter read and had me almost laughing out loud many a time!

Basically, Can I Just Hide in Bed ‘Til Jesus Comes Back? helps you to be upfront with yourself, face your fears, and ask yourself if you’re going to keep hiding, or live the abundant life God has called you too. Honestly, people like myself, who struggle with fear, anxiety, depression, or listlessness, need books like this! I very much recommend. It’ll get you laughing while taking a look at your heart.

What did I learn? Run to God as soon as the fear/hopelessness hits! Pray continuously. Live life! Laugh! Walk by the Spirit. Sometimes I think we just take ourselves too seriously. God didn’t mean for us to live in bondage (whatever that may be), but to be FREE, walking by His Spirit. Trusting Him. With all that we are.

Easy to read, humorous, real, and heartfelt, Can I Just Hide in Bed ‘Til Jesus Comes Back?: Facing Life with Courage, Not Comforters has the potential to help a lot of women realize they don’t have to hide anymore. God has it all under control. They’re alive and breathing, and He has a plan! I thoroughly enjoyed.

I received a copy of Can I Just Hide in Bed ‘Til Jesus Comes Back? from Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest review.

** Originally posted on Between the Pages of This Bookish Life June 18th, 2017 **

Book Review: Fearless by Cheri Fuller

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Fearless: Building Faith that Overcomes Your Fear by Cheri Fuller

My Personal Review ~ 5 stars ~

Those who struggle with fearfulness/anxiety, I highly recommend you read Fearless: Building a Faith That Overcomes Your Fear by Cheri Fuller. Not only does this book speak, with understanding, directly to your struggles, it provides practical ways to deal with them, insightful stories, and almost every page breathes the reality of God’s protection and all-knowing-ness and perfect plan into your heart.

It was easy enough to read, each chapter teaching and forcing you to take a look at your life and your fears. You discover that many people face the same struggles … see how they dealt with them … see how fear often is just our own imagination ruining our chances for an abundant life.

I learned lots of doable ways to manage my fear and anxiety – I’ve even been putting some of them into practice! And with good results, I must say. Prayer was a big thing that Fearless focused on. Just what I needed!

For all the encouragement and tips it gives, this book ultimately challenges us with this – Are you going to trust God with your day, your life, your salvation, your eternity … this moment? I finishedFearless with an desire inside to be just that. Fearless! Have the courage to do all the things I’ve been scared to do – all the things God’s calling me to. And I left with this incredible peace that, no matter what happens, God is ALWAYS. And heaven awaits.

Wow. Great book. I should have read it sooner!

I Was Created For …

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My friends, I have been listening to a phenomenal sermon series on relationships, marriage, sex, singleness, and spirituality called From the Beginning: Relationships That Give Life by J.D. Greear. It is so beautiful and completely perfect for this season of life I’m in right now.

from-the-beginning-series-artwork-539x303From the Beginning: Relationships That Give Life

I just listened to the second episode. Some things I have taken away from it thus far …

– I was created to be a nurturer.

– I was designed to be in community.

– I was created to be immersed in God’s family.

– I was designed for heaven.

– I was created for God.

I was not created “for singleness” or “for marriage”. Though I am single right now, and God is blessing me, growing me, and preparing me to be with Him. And I am excited about the possibility of being married one day, where God can continue to bless me, grow me, and prepare me to be with Him! ❤

I’ve long since desired to be married, and have been dreaming about it ever since I was a little girl. At times in my life, it has become an idol. It has taken forefront in my mind and seeped all the joy out of my life because I lacked it. I have believed that it would fulfill me. That I would finally be complete. That I would at last have a purpose. A job. An identity.

But God has showed me otherwise. I believe He has continually asked me to surrender this desire to Him, and, quite reluctantly, I have learned too. Sometimes I snatch it back in panic, and have to surrender it again and again!

But the point is, He brought me to the realization that the desire for marriage can be an idol for me, and He has been teaching me how to lay that idol to rest.

Still, as I learn and find more deeply Jesus Christ as my everything … I struggle.

And this series, From the Beginning, spoke to those struggles. That fear of being alone. That craving to have children. That instilled need to nurture. These are normal, natural, God-designed things, I believe – and I don’t have to be married for them to be fulfilled!

Number One: I need to find my true Hope in God.

Number Two: I need to be, deeply, a part of the church family. I need to have mentors. Be a mentor. Nurture children and those younger than myself. Be an example and confidant to teen girls. Be a friend. Be a companion – a listener. Serve. Gather wisdom from those wiser than myself. Share with others what God has taught me. Laugh. Work together. Eat together. Do life together.

I would like to be married someday, but right now, I don’t have to be alone. God’s family should surround me and be there for me – and I be there for them.

I would like to be a mother someday, but right now, I don’t have to have empty arms and no one to nurture. I should open my arms to the lonely children, open my heart to the impressionable younger girls around me.

My identity is found in Christ.

I am who I’m supposed to be simply as a child of God.

Although marriage is a beautiful gift, I am not missing out on anything right now as a single. I am not less of a person. I’m not “yet to be complete”. I’m not lacking in experience or not part of a family.

Because though biological families are wonderful and dear, GOD’S FAMILY IS MUCH DEEPER. It is much closer. Much fuller. Much more beautiful and meaningful and forever.

And I am a part of that family. I am a part of something right now. This is what I was created for.

Wow.

How freeing, how joyful to know this! 🙂

My identity is not found in marriage. I am not alone. I am not unable to nurture. “Marriage” or “singleness” is not the goal – growing closer to God is.

And if marriage is in my future … Lord, I’m so excited! I can’t wait to see how You unfold my love story. If motherhood is in my future, I can’t wait to hold those tiny, sweet-smelling, downy-headed babies.

But right now in this moment, I know who I am and that my hope is in my Lord, and I can find such deep fulfillment in being intricately part of His family. Loving. Serving. Listening. Laughing. Nurturing. Mentoring. Talking. Being loved. (And if marriage comes my way, this is still every bit as true and needful!)

May you rest in His joy and His perfect path, my dear ones. ❤

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Heaven.

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You know what? The unknown frightens me. Eternity frightens me. I can’t fully understand the concept of “heaven”, and so it scares me.

But it shouldn’t be that way.

I’m a child of God. I’m a daughter of the King of Kings. My soul is saved, thanks to Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, and it is marked as His.

Heaven is my home. Eternity is a promise to me.

I don’t know about you, but I hear dark lies whispering to my soul. Trying to steal the joy of my salvation. Trying to turn a beautiful promise into something that makes me fearful.

Remember how to fight the Enemy? We fight him with the Word of God! So I looked up these verses about heaven, to remind myself that my God cares for me. And He knows me. And His thoughts are way, way higher than mine.

Proverbs 14:32

32 When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down,
    but even in death the righteous seek refuge in God.

Isaiah 25:6-9

On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
    a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
    the best of meats and the finest of wines.
On this mountain he will destroy
    the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
    he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
    from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
    from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken.

In that day they will say,

“Surely this is our God;
    we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in him;
    let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”

 

1 Corinthians 13:12

12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

2 Corinthians 5:1-5

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

1 Corinthians 2:6-9

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him—

Romans 8:38-39

38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Peter 1:3-5

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

2 Peter 3:8-9

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

John 14:2-4

In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

Revelation 21:4-7

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

Colossians 3:3-4

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Revelation 7:17

17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Revelation 22:1-5

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

Philippians 1:21-23

21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.

Philippians 3:20-21

20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.