Music Monday - "The Darkness" by Built By Titan ft. Svrcina

I'M LITERALLY OBSESSED WITH THIS SONG. The last time I posted for Music Monday was a loooong time ago (sorry!) but here we go! Hopefully I won't be as bad with posting as last year. 🙈

Like I've said before, finding a great contemporary song while being God-honoring is sometimes hard to find, so when I stumbled upon this song, I was stoked. Songs in the electronic/dance genres are especially hard to find. I've honestly never heard of Built By Titan or Svrcina. I literally found this song from googling "Christian EDM songs." Honestly, most of those results are usually not contemporary enough or too same-ol' sounding during the entire song, but I found this gem and I ended up buying it the next day. 

I gotta admit, when I first listened to the chorus, I was like, what in the world is this song about? Is this actually a Christian song? When listening to it in the car for the first time with the family, my mom was, like, "Ummm...what is this song about?"

In the darkness/In the darkness/I will find You/In the darkness

It sounded like a dark song so to speak...pun unintended. Then I realized that it's about going through dark valleys in life but still seeing the Light through it all; a theme I love.

When you go through dark stages in life, do you seek the Light or do you just wallow away?

For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (Eph 5:8).

If you're going through a dark valley right now, pray this verse:

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Ps 27:1) 


 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (Jn 1:5).

This stage in life will pass in time, but for now, hold on to - seek - cling - to the Light; Jesus. Just because we live in a world and culture that loves darkness, doesn't mean we should act like them. We are a chosen people! No, being different isn't easy, but it beats being in the darkness all the time.

For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness (1 Thes 5:5). 
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son (Col 1:13). 

Friends, I hope you will not just enjoy this song for it's sound but savor the words and really think about what you do in the darkness. Do you seek Light?


Would you rather float down a lazy river or swim across the ocean? That's an easy question for me; I'd pick lazy river nearly every time. I love the relaxation and ease. You don't have to really worry about where you're floating; the jet streams do that for you. You get to kick back and relax. Swimming the ocean, however, is vastly different and way more difficult. You actually have to make decisions. You are the one that has to take control, or else the ocean will control you. At the beginning of this year, I was thinking about what I wanted to focus on this year. A few years ago, I'd done the one word challenge, and I knew I wanted to do it again this year.

I chose Intentional as my word of 2018. Intentional means "done with intention or on purpose; intended," according to I want to choose God first in every circumstance. I want to choose to be joyful despite my emotions. I want to choose to love even when that other person isn't loving me back. I want to choose to be like Jesus. I want to choose life, not death. I want to choose to speak life to everyone. I want to choose to be FEARLESS and FREE and STRONG.

I've finally chosen a tagline for The SoCal Gal: "Intentionally living with purpose." As Christians, in our walk with God, we must choose our daily decisions. Everything we do affects something. Did you thank the last person who gave something to you? That could leave her grateful and happy for your courtesy and thankfulness. Did you yell at your little brother when he was annoying you? That could leave bitterness and make your relationship drift.

Being intentional means making choices with a specific reason in mind. One thing I would like to work on doing more intentionally is praying and reading my Bible more. I would like to exercise more self-control and gratefulness as well. It's so easy to slack off and forget to pray because "I'm so tired" or not have my devotion in the morning because "I don't have time" or give in and say yes to a bad choice because "What's one more time?"

Being intentional means saying no to ungodliness and conforming to the world. This is one problem in life that's really hit me this past year: how many Christians conform to the world. It might not always seem obvious, but doing anything that tolerates sin even a little is wrong. This could be spending time with the wrong crowd, lying, believing anything against the Bible, making social media your number one or making fun of the president.

Being intentional means knowing your purpose. What is your purpose on earth? Are you living that out, or is that "purpose" just a cover-up for what you really stand for?

In the next few posts, we'll be covering these three topics. I'm so excited for this new series! This week, I challenge you to:

  • Examine your heart and ask yourself what purpose you are living for
    • Is that the purpose you want it to have?
    • What's something you can change to make your purpose + actions coherent?
  • Pray for intentional living
    • In your life
    • In your family
    • In your friends
  • Choose to do, say and think things with purpose
    • Know the impact these actions have and use them for His glory!
  • Ask yourself if the current is guiding you, or are you guiding the current
    • Current = the world's ways
    • You can either go with the flow or go against the flow

Music Monday - "Real Love" by Hillsong Young & Free

Merry Christmas, friends! Today I want to share a song with you. It's not a Christmas song, however, it does describe what Christmas is centered around - Jesus' real, perfect love for us. Hope you enjoy this song, and savor it's meaning. 


In our day and age, love is being sold for getting whatever you want, fulfilling your happiness and everything. This is true, but it's unattainable by anyone other than Jesus. Why? Because people are sinful. They can still love, but they don't have perfect love. Their emotions often sway their so-called love, and dash it to pieces. Real love does not forsake. Real love does not die. Real love does not hide. 1 John 3:16 (NLT) says,

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.

Jesus is the perfect example of real love because He really was perfect. Experiencing this radical love can happen and has happened with millions of people. It's supernatural.

Are you experiencing real love?

12 Days of Christmas 2017 - Day 12: Christ at the Center

Merry Christmas, lovelies!

I'm sure you've heard it many times, but in "Christmas" is the word "Christ." Christmas. Christ is at the center of this holiday, and no matter how much this culture tries to deny that, whether by saying some other greeting without His name in it, or insisting this holiday is just about giving or love, it all comes back to Christ.

No matter how much the world tries, it can't get rid of Christ. Especially not at Christmas.

Some people say Christmas is all about love. Well, it is! It's about God showing us His perfect love though Jesus, and then Jesus showing us His perfect love to God and also to us by obeying His Father.

Others saying Christmas is about giving. God gave Jesus to us and we celebrate His earthly birth. That is why we give gifts at Christmas - to remember the ultimate gift God gave to us.

See, even though people try to take away Christ from Christmas, they still grab parts of the truth and part of His actions. Just as Christ is at the center of "Merry Christmas," so should Christ be in the center of your heart - this year and always.

Quick shoutout to my amazing guest writers, Drew, Emma, Gabriel Brown, Gloria Kluth and Leanne Zuiderveen. Couldn't have done this series without you guys, so thank you for all the time and effort you threw into your beautiful posts. You. Are. Awesome!

Lastly, thank YOU, my readers, for sticking around and reading my blog. Hope you have a fabulous holiday celebrating the birth of our amazing Savior. May God bless you with the incredible joy that comes with knowing the truth about Christ - His perfect love, example and sacrifice given to us so we could become sons of God. Merry Christmas.

~ Kaitlyn

12 Days of Christmas 2017 - Day 11: The Christmas Lights

Last night my family visited a neighborhood that decks out their houses with Christmas lights, inflatables and painted wooden decor. From afar, the house just look luminous and pretty, the bulbs  or signs just floating here and there. But when you look closer up, you start to notice all the wires and poles that hold them up. It got me thinking, People are just like Christmas lights. From afar, they can look all put together and perfect, but when you take a look closer, you can see how much they rely on other people to help hold them up. This Christmas, even though everyone looks happy with their smiles at each register, we should see if they're really okay or if they need a comforting shoulder. I literally thought that, and I was, like, "Ooh, that'll be my next post." But seriously, this is so true. Employees are saying, "Merry Christmas!" and people smile back and echo the greeting, but deep down, their facial expressions are plastered on rather than natural reactions. Maybe it's because they lost a loved one and it's just another reminder that they're spending it without him or her. Maybe it's because they're depressed. Maybe they're worried about money. Whatever it is, I want to give you a challenge. When you're extra cheerful this season, remember why, and be sincere about it! Don't just think, "Oh, it's Christmas; I'll pretend I'm joyful." Think to yourself, "Jesus came to earth to renew brokenness, so we should follow His example and show love to the broken around us!" Yes, it's usually easy during this time of the year to be happy, but I want you to be intentional about it. No matter whether or not you feel like it, try really hard to remember why you're doing this. Is it to impress others or to give glory to God? 
Unlike these Christmas lights, which are seasonal, I want you to be unconditional about this attitude. No matter what day it is, or how you're feeling, try to remember that you don't always know someone's story. Be kind and flexible. Remember that some people are really good at hiding their feelings and that some people aren't as perfect as they might seem. Let's choose joy over judgment this season and ultimately, every season. Remember the Christmas lights!

Can you believe tomorrow brings Christmas Eve? I hope you've enjoyed the 12 Days of Christmas 2017 series so far and our five guest writers! There's one last post sure to read it. :) God bless you, and may the Holy Spirit's wisdom and discernment guide you on how to best care for others around you and spread infectious joy to all. 

12 Days of Christmas 2017 - Day 10: [Guest Post] Give or Receive?

Let me ask you a question. In this world, do you think Christmas is about giving or receiving? It’s totally about receiving, of course. But what about you? When it’s Christmas time, do you look forward to giving or receiving presents more? I’ve always loved giving, but who doesn’t like receiving?

I mean, we’re humans. We were born selfish. And we’re okay this way. It’s a natural part of our lifestyle, and we don’t need to change, right?

This is what Satan whispers to us, but that’s NOT how Christians should be. We are to take up our cross and deny ourselves. We are to put others’ needs above ourselves. We are to love our neighbors as we would love ourselves. We are to let go of our own wants. The Bible tells us, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

I know that I’ve been incredibly blessed by my own blog. While that may sound really strange, whenever I’m tempted to do something, I am reminded not only by Scripture but also by my own words, my own posts. It gives me the determination to live out those words and to not just be a sayer but a doer. I have been blessed by giving all of you my blog!

And this year...well, I don’t feel the need for presents anymore. Every since truly understanding the truth that there are less than well-off kids out there who maybe haven’t even received a single present in their lives, well, I can’t bring myself to buy things for my own want as easily as before. It touches my heart when I hear about people who don’t even have food for tomorrow! How can I buy unnecessary things when I know there are people who could use it more than me? So now, every time I go shopping and see something I “need,” the Holy Spirit reminds me about the needier people out there. The twenty dollars I could spend on a cute sweater could instead be used to get food for someone who desperately needs it. Even the ten dollars I want to use to buy some random cool thingamabobby could give a needy child a toy or a new shirt! The Holy Spirit has really been driving me to look for the needs of others. And I don’t want this all to become talk- I want to find a ministry I can donate to and get plugged in.

This Christmas season, I challenge you to reach out. There’s always someone who’s going to be lost. There’s always someone who you can help. Jesus came down - as a baby into a manger surrounded by stinky shepherds and animals - to save me, to save you. He was humbled and He also died on a cross so that we could come into a relationship with God. Jesus was the Son of God, but nothing stopped Him from coming down to die for us. God loved us sooooo much that He would send His own Son to die on a cross for us! He is God and we are sinners! How significant is that! And because He did all that for you, you can surely spare a couple of minutes to reach out to someone! Jesus died for you...He gave you everything you own. God has given us so much and we should follow His example and be generous with what we have been blessed with.

And there are people who need to hear this story. Don’t you want them to know about Jesus? Don’t you want them to hear the beautiful gospel story- the real Christmas story? It is never too late to become a Christian! Forget the past - God still loves you! Start fresh! And the Christmas season is a perfect time to give the gift of share the gospel story with a lost soul. You can do this. God will always be with you. It will be nerve-wracking at first, but once you do it once, the next time will be easier, the next time even easier, and so on until it comes naturally. I hear you, I, too, have fears and am trying to tackle this faith-sharing obstacle, just like you (or most of you). God will give you strength and courage. This is important, and I want you all to know that I will be praying for you, I love you all, and with all of my heart, I hope you will take this bit of advice and reach out.

Because giving is much better than receiving.

Emma is a teen Christian blogger who strives to encourage and strengthen others. She’s been blogging for less than a year, but God has shown her many things through this blogging process. Some of her hobbies including volleyball, reading, blogging (of course), but hanging out with family and friends definitely beats all of the above.

12 Days of Christmas 2017 - Day 9: [Guest Post] Selflessness in the Christmas Season

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” croons an R&B singer over the worn loudspeakers. You’re in the middle of shopping at the department store to find gifts for your children and family. The song goes on to the next lyric – “toys in every store” – and you realize just how commercialized Christmas has become in modern culture. You stop shopping and consider what you’ve just heard in the light of Scripture as the singer, begins to list off several children’s Christmas wishes.

Your phone vibrates in your pocket with a notification, and you instinctively pull it out to check the slide notification that has popped up. It’s the Verse of the Day from that Bible website, and you glance at it. It’s Luke 12:15 from the NIV translation, which says:

Then He said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.
You look down at your shopping cart, and realize that nearly everything in it was demanded of you in moments of greed from your children. You feel an overwhelming sense of guilt, sensing that you have somehow let God down by succumbing to the world’s desire that you should spend all your money on greed and selfishness other than realizing God’s ultimate act of selfishness – to be tortured and murdered for people who did not appreciate him while he was among them. However, you also consider the fact that the giving of gifts is selfless: making other people happy and fulfilling their wishes.

You leave the store with a full shopping cart, but not of exactly what your children had demanded and wished for. You have gotten them all slightly different gifts, that they might still be satisfied, but also that you can explain to them why you didn’t get them exactly what they wanted. They will now have a chance to hear you out on what God has showed you in the department store today, so you put the gifts in the car and drive home considering God's selflessness and how you can become more like him.

Gabriel Brown is a teenage high-functioning sociopath who likes to write, read, and listen to way too much music. You can check out his blog at

12 Days of Christmas 2017 - Day 8: [Guest Post] The Complete Christmas Story

The little girl slowly opened her eyes. The sun had yet to peep over the horizon. She was about to snuggle back into the covers when the faint smell of bacon caused her to sit up. Why is Dad making breakfast so early? We don’t have to do school… oh! Suddenly remembering the significance of the day, she leapt out of bed and ran to her siblings’ rooms.

“It’s Christmas, guys, get up!”

Three pairs of feet tumbled down the stairs and breathlessly wished their parents a “Merry Christmas!” before carefully examining the presents beside the tree.

“Eat your breakfast first, kids,” their mother said, smiling at their eager faces.

Breakfast was dutifully consumed, but there was yet one thing left to do before tearing into the colorfully wrapped presents. Picking up a Bible, their father led them to the family room where they all sat next to the fire and listened as he read the Christmas story.

This scene is one which replays every year at our house, as it undoubtedly does in numerous other Christian households. While we no longer exchange gifts, one tradition still remains: reading the opening chapters of Matthew or Luke. I heard the Christmas story so many times growing up, that I knew it by heart.

At least I thought I did.

Several years ago, I decided to read through the Matthew account on my own. To my surprise, Matthew doesn’t start with the familiar words, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise...” No, the opening verses of Matthew are:

The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; and Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar.... 

The Christmas story starts with a genealogy!

That certainly seems like an odd place to start. But both Matthew and Luke clearly thought it was the perfect way to introduce Christ’s birth. Why? Because in reality, the story of Christmas started thousands of years before that dark night in a Jerusalem stable. Peter writes in 1 Peter 1:18-21 (emphasis added), 

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Before there was a Joseph and Mary, an Adam and Eve, or even a universe, God ordained His Son to come into this world, be born as a baby, then suffer and die for the sins of His people. Before the world existed, God planned for certain people to be born and for specific things to happen to them so that His Son would be born in the right place at the right time. Let’s take a moment to examine some of the individuals in Christ’s lineage, looking for how God supernaturally orchestrated events in their lives so the Messiah would be born.

The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac… 
According to Genesis 11:30,
…Sarai was barren; she had no child.
Not only was Sarah barren, but both she and Abraham were nearing one hundred years of age. There is no physical way that Abraham could have begot Isaac! But did that prevent God’s promise from being fulfilled and the Messiah from coming to earth? No!

For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him (Genesis 21:2).

God hadn’t forgotten His promise. He was waiting for the right time, and when that time came, He gave Abraham a son.

…and Isaac begat Jacob…

Looking at Isaac’s surroundings, one could easily conclude that there was no chance of him even getting married! Isaac lived in Canaan, a land inhabited by heathens. Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac were the only godly individuals in the area. Not only that, but Isaac was forty years old! Who would marry him? Yet once again, the Lord’s promise was not thwarted. By a miraculous twist involving a wise servant, a well, and several thirsty camels, God provided a righteous wife for Isaac, and children to carry on the lineage.  

…and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren…

Jacob? He shouldn’t even be in the lineage of Christ! The birthright and all the blessings that came with it (along with the promise of being in the Messiah’s lineage) were meant for the firstborn, and that wasn’t Jacob. What caused the reversal of Esau and Jacob’s roles? Before the two were born, the Lord told their mother, 

Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger (Genesis 27:23).

As it turned out, Esau had no regard for his birthright and sold it to Jacob for a steaming bowl of red lentils saying,

Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? (Genesis 27:32) 

Thus, the Lord’s prophecy was fulfilled and Jacob was put in the lineage of Christ instead of his brother.

Those are only three example of how God used extraordinary and unusual circumstances to fulfill His purposes. Do you ever wonder why God allows strange and sometimes difficult events happen to us? I’m sure Abraham wondered why God made him leave behind his home and family to journey through a barren land filled with ungodly individuals. Sarah was undoubtedly disappointed when, after asking God repeatedly for a child, she was denied for many years. Isaac probably began to think after forty years that God would never give him a wife. Jacob may have become disheartened by his position as the youngest in his family, with no hope of a future in the family line. Yet the Lord caused these various struggles to occur in order that a greater purpose would be accomplished: the birth of Jesus Christ.

This Christmas, I encourage you to read the entire Christmas story. As you look at each of the names in Christ’s lineage, take a moment to flip back to the Old Testament and consider how God worked through the difficult circumstances of their lives. Then, take a moment to reflect on the trials of your life. You may not yet understand why they’ve happened to you, but know that God does everything for a purpose, and the results will be more glorious than we could ever imagine.

Gloria Kluth is 19 years old and lives in the suburbs of D.C. She was saved in her early teen years and has since devoted her entire life to the Lord. When not engaged in college schoolwork, she enjoys working on her two books, writing for her blog, Reflections, (, memorizing Scripture, playing guitar, and reading books on Christian heroes, history, fiction, and Christian living.

12 Days of Christmas 2017 - Day 7: [Guest Post] I Celebrate the Day

When you’re a child, Christmas is the most awesome time of the year (spoiler alert: it’s still the most awesome time of the year for “adult me”, but that’s the kid in me). The prospect of time off from school, the warmth of wood fireplaces and hot chocolate, and the constant mystery of what is in that curiously “calendar-shaped” present under the tree (why do they always give me a calendar?).

As you can imagine – and no doubt experienced for yourselves – it is very hard for a young person to grasp the true meaning of Christmas in their heart. “Yeah, yeah, the Son of God came down as a baby to save us from our sins. Now, lead me to the presents!” I’m sure we’ve all been there. But one Christmas, it was different.

When I was eight years old, I received a music album as a Christmas present from my sister. It was a Christmas album from my favorite band at the time – Relient K. Most of the songs were covers of the usual Christmas carols. But one of the their original songs caught my attention more than the others. It was called “I Celebrate the Day”. In the song, the chorus goes,
And the first time
That You opened Your eyes did You realize that You would be my Savior?
And the first breath that left Your lips
Did You know that it would change this world forever?
As a young eight-year old, suddenly the importance of Christ’s birth fell upon my heart with a realness and impact that I had never felt before. The idea that the God who created the universe and everything in it – the ultimate expression of power – would come down to us as a small baby – the greatest form of weakness and vulnerability. And the idea that Jesus, even as a baby, no doubt knew in His spirit exactly why and who He was there for. The idea that – from the moment he drew breath as a human – he thought of me. Specifically me.

Christ’s birth was the beginning of a journey – yes, for the world – but also for me to eventually accept Him as my Lord and Savior. For me to be saved and adopted into His family.
And I think the final words of the song explain my feelings at that time best,
And I, I celebrate the day
That You were born to die
So I could one day pray for You to save my life
From that day on, Christmas wasn’t about the presents anymore. I couldn’t put it into words at the time, but that was when Christ’s birth became real and meaningful to me. It was when I understood just what He did for me.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, and remember the babe in the manger who in His first breath, thought of you.

Drew is an electrical engineer who enjoys writing, filmmaking, and reading. Homeschooled all the way through high school, Drew has operated his blog on and off for several years now with his brothers, at Genius Brothers Blog @ Their blog covers everything from life lessons learned, to film projects, to reviews of wholesome movies, music albums, and video games.