Thursday, November 23, 2017

Grateful to God 2017 - Day 4


Happy Thanksgiving, lovelies! Today is our last day of the Grateful to God series. I hope you've enjoyed it so far!

On Day 1 I highlighted God's goodness, on Day 2; music, on Day 3; freedom and today I want to highlight love. Love is everything we've got. God is love (1 John 4:8). The thing about love is it holds things together. It holds together relationships during tough times and sees beauty even amidst ugliness. Love is so precious, and I'm so thankful for it.

I'm thankful for the love of my friends. Thank you for being there for me.

I'm thankful for the love of my family. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for loving me even when I'm disrespectful or complaining. Thank you to my sweet sisters for tolerating my sassiness and bossiness.

I'm thankful for the love of my new church. They welcomed my family with open arms and I'm so proud to call it my home. Thank you for demonstrating Christ's love!

I'm thankful for the love of my Lord and Savior. The fact that He sacrificed His perfect life for sinful me just blows my mind every time I think of it. Thank you, Jesus, for teaching me what love really is.

Thanks to YOU for reading my blog! I'm absolutely grateful to God for you! :) Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the turkey and pumpkin pie, but don't forget to give thanks to the Giver of all good things.


Fun fact...we are NOT having turkey at our house this year. Or mashed potatoes. But we are having prime rib and mashed sweet potatoes! ;)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Grateful to God 2017 - Day 3



When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of freedom. I think of the many who risked their lives for a fresh new start. Freedom of religion was so important to the pilgrims that they were willing to cross an entire ocean to a foreign continent. This just makes me wonder, am I fighting for freedom the way they did? Do I truly appreciate it as much as them? And most importantly, am I showing gratitude for this gift ultimately from the Lord?

In today's world, freedom is slowly being cut, from the material taught in public schools to free speech. I think part of the reason why people don't care as much as they should is because we're so used to freedom and we don't really know life without it, or at least I don't. I've had spiritual freedom since I was a little kid, as I grew up in a Christian household, so I don't truly understand spiritual bondage. Don't get me wrong; I've had my share of temptations, trials and sins. However, that's all been with Christ and my family by my side. I know that I don't want to be stuck in sin or any kind of slavery. Galatians 5:1 says,
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (ESV)
Let's fight for freedom, never looking back at slavery again.

Without freedom, everything would be routine and boring. There would be no choices. Worshiping God would just be same ol' same ol'. Life is just so much brighter and happier with freedom. Thank you, God, for freedom!

I'm grateful to God that He gave us this gift and that we can go to Him for true freedom. With freedom, I am free from sin. With freedom, I am free from guilt. With freedom, I am free to worship my Savior. With freedom, I can make my own choices and learn from them. I can't stress how important freedom means to me. It's so easy to take it for granted, but I hope I will never forget the many, many lives (pilgrims, farmers, soldiers, etc) that risked their lives so that I could enjoy this beautiful gift. Let freedom ring and may God bless the USA!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Grateful to God 2017 - Day 2


I was born into a musical family. My dad began piano lessons at the tender age of three, and my mom learned at four. We own multiple instruments and we love listening and making music. So yeah, music is very important in my family. :) You know, God could've decided, in the beginning, to not create music. But He didn't, and I am SO grateful for the beautiful gift of music! Music is one of those things that everybody loves or has at least heard. No matter what background you're in, everyone is an instrument. We can all sing, to an extent. Then there are those people who also play an instrument or write songs or mix music or just listen to songs. One thing that's pretty cool about it is that God didn't just create us to enjoy music. He created us to worship Him through music as well! See, it has this power. It makes you connect with the words in an incredible way. In the book of Psalms, there are many, many instances where the writer praises God with music. Here's just one, found in Psalm 100:
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
Serve the LORD with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the LORD, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
I'm so grateful to God that He gave us the gift of music. Without it, my life would not be anything like it is today. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Grateful to God 2017 - Day 1

Hey, guys! I'm starting a four-day series called Grateful to God leading up to Thanksgiving. There is so much to be thankful for. I wanted to highlight four topics this week as we get in the mood for this American holiday. First things first: I'm titling this series Grateful to God because ultimately, God's the One Who is the Giver of all good things, as James 1:17 says:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father (ESV).
It's important to remember that He is the source of everything we're grateful for. He created this beautiful world; the least we can do is show our gratitude. 

Today I want to highlight God's goodness. Without it, where would we be? First of all, there would not be grace. There would only be justice and that would result in all of us in hell, separated from Him forever. There are a lot of psalms that give thanks to God. Psalm 107:1 comes to mind for me.
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! (ESV)
This verse gives us two reasons to give thanks one, because He is good and two, because His steadfast love endures forever. I'm so thankful that God is good and that He's so full of forgiveness and love. He gives me good things even though I definitely do not deserve it. Without His goodness, I would be so lost. I still don't always understand why He gives me grace when I'm so horrible, but I do know that it just makes me wanna praise and worship Him even more.

I'm thankful that, by God's goodness, I have a second chance every day. I'm grateful to God for His forgiveness.

I'm thankful that, by God's goodness, I have a personal relationship with Him. I'm grateful to God for His love.

I'm thankful that, by God's goodness, Christ lives in me and I don't need to get by by my goodness but by His. I'm grateful to God for salvation.

How has God blessed you with His goodness? Comment below!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Words of Wisdom Wednesday - Speak Life

What was the last positive thing you said? What about the last positive thing someone said to you? If you needed to wrack your brain, it probbbbbably means that you indeed live on this world. This ugly, messy, depressing world. Okay, okay, not all is terrible, but I can get down on this world sometimes. There’s just scandal after scandal, violence after violence, that it can just drag me down, you know?

Living in this digital world, it’s easy to forget ourselves and hastily judge others when we don’t know the full story. It’s easy to text something negative in person rather than say it to their face, or comment something judgmental on their post rather than tell them in person. And just look at mainstream media. They focus a whole lot on the ugly, which honestly gets depressing. No, our world isn’t getting better, but we can definitely shine lights to others by speaking life to them. Guess what? Your friend over there probably already knows how to fix their problem. Who knows why they might appear to not be moving forward, but sometimes what that friend needs in their day is a little encouragement.

What if one person decided not to judge someone that actually deserved to be judged? What if that inspired others to be uplifting as well, and they started encouraging others around them? Forget the what-ifs…this already happened. Christ didn’t judge us even though we totally, utterly deserved it. He inspires me and you to encourage others and speak life into others lives as well. Who knows how He uses me to influence. Friends, words have power. So choose to speak life.

I’m a pessimist. I’m also the firstborn. Those put together, added to my stronger personality (ahem…😳)  and my spiritual gifts of teaching/pastoring often lead to me criticizing and judging others. It’s not okay and I apologize to anyone I’ve offended in that way, but we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Speaking life is a struggle for me when things aren’t going my way. It’s hard to do the right thing when everything seems wrong. But you know what? Oftentimes those hard things have a great reward at the end of the road.

My pastor has been challenging us to speak life to others rather than speak words of death that can drag others down. We don’t know how much our words affect the next person. You have no idea whether or not that person is going through depression or couldn’t care less about what others think. Besides that, God calls us to speak life as well:
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen ‭‭(Ephesians‬ ‭4:29).

So what now? I urge you,
SPEAK LIFE when things are going great.
SPEAK LIFE when you feel discouraged.
SPEAK LIFE when nothing is going your way.
SPEAK LIFE when you’re happy.
SPEAK LIFE to shine that beautiful light God gave you.

Have a blessed week, and dare to speak life in all situations!


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