What Is An Inspiration Board …. Truly?

Hey everyone! I hope you’re all doing amazingly! Let me know what’s new with you all, down in the comments! 🤗

Before we get into this post, I just want to give a shoutout to my friend Rachel, at Joyful Creations! She just began an awesome podcast and has several episodes up already! I highly recommend Rachel’s podcast; she’s well-spoken and insightful, and passionate to share about her faith and the way she lives out her faith. I’m excited to see her future episodes! (Find Rachel’s launch post on her blog here!)

Now, let’s proceed with the post! 🤗


Earlier in 2021, I found myself on a quest to design the perfect inspiration board. I did a bit of research, scattered craft paper and magazine clippings across my bedroom floor, and proceeded to make the most cluttered, mishmash poster conceivable! It was so much fun, but I soon decided to go for something a little simpler!

Why are we so attracted to the “Vision Board” or “Inspiration Board” idea? We like to think that we can be inspired to do great things, just by looking at a picture. Its quick. Its easy. And, for aesthetic purposes, we like to think that it can be beautiful too. These are the assumptions, for those looking on Pinterest or at other’s vision board projects; that we too, can be productive with our vision board.

But how many times does this strategy fail? I would suggest that it fails more often than it succeeds. With the pretty pictures, pretty handwriting, cute little list of goals, and other little notes on the infamous wall-mounted rectangle, we can slowly become used to and disillusioned with what used to be our favorite project.

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How can we create an inspiring vision board with quotes, goals, and beauty? The answer is, most of the time, we can’t.

We could, if quotes, goals, and beauty were the essence of our lives. But they’re not.

Our lives are not always raindrops and bokeh and waterfalls. We’re not always smiling, hair perfectly pinned up, fashionable scarf positioned just right. We don’t always feel like writing assignments, working out, or cooking supper. And forget about always being inspired to do chores!

We get uninspired. We get sad. We get disappointed when we don’t see progress, and consider giving up on our goals. We get tired. We fall down. And sometimes, it feels like too much work to get back up again.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

That’s why our inspiration boards have to be more powerful than our own desires. That’s why we can’t rely solely on our inspiration boards to give us inspiration when we don’t feel like pushing the pedal to the floor.

Our inspiration has to be so powerful that it makes us do what we don’t want to, when we don’t want to, knowing that its for the best. Knowing that afterward, we will feel energized and motivated and pushed to accomplish what we predetermined to do, because it is good.


So, for the believer in inspiration, how can we craft a meaningful, truly inspiring vision board? (Which also fulfills the “beautiful” criteria?) It has a lot to do with how we see the vision board.

If we see the vision board as a crutch to help us up when we fall down, it isn’t going to be a very dependable crutch! But if, when we look at it, seeking motivation, if we remember what it signifies, perhaps we will do better.

An inspiration board signifies hope, hard work, and happiness. It signifies power, perseverance, and perfection. It signifies faith, fitness, and firm foundations. And while we may never fully embody some of these traits, they certainly form a worthy goal, and at the very root of it all lies one truth;

“An inspiration board does not inspire you to be something you’re not. It reminds you to stay true to who you are.”

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So who are you? Who do you want to be?

Are you a hard worker? Are you a committed believer? Do you call yourself a child of God?

Then stay true to that. Stay true to what matters.

And then, when you fall, you will be more motivated than a simple glance at a pretty collage could accomplish. You will recognize that regardless of your feelings in the present moment, you must stay true to who you are and what you love, and the God who gave you strength to fight for the Truth.

(I hope you all enjoyed this post and found some gems to take home! Let me know what you think! Also, stay tuned for the next post; How To Craft And Design A Vision Board!)

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Psalms + Proverbs – Part One: Psalms – Collab With Joy from Discipleship With Joy!

During the month of July, I made a goal to read all of the psalms and all of the proverbs! (And Joy, from Discipleship With Joy, @discipleshipwithjoy.com, joined me!) Until things got really busy, I didn’t understand others’ surprise when I told them I was planning to read 5 psalms + 1 Proverb a day. But life resumed, as life always does, to be busy, busy, busy!

Although it took me a couple days into August to complete reading the Psalms and Proverbs and taking notes, I’m so glad I made that goal and completed both books of the Bible! They provided much-needed inspiration, comfort, and wisdom for various situations over the month of July.

But enough introduction! Joy and I are excited to announce a collab post; but not only one collab post, but two collab posts! Each of us have picked our favorite verse from each Psalm (and Proverb!) and are here to share them with you all! Some of these verses are special to me personally; some of them are saddening and thoughtful; some of them are beautiful or poetic; but all of them are meaningful.

Today’s post(s) contain our favorite verses from the psalms; hope you enjoy!

Be sure to also read Joy’s post here!!! She’s put together a lovely compilation of her own favorites that you will not want to miss! Be sure to follow her blog as well, especially if you’re into meaningful and thought-provoking content on writing, musicals, and the Christian life!


PART ONE – THE PSALMS

“For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

Psalms 1:6

“I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.” ~Psalms 2:7

“But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head.” ~Psalms 3:3

“How long, O you sons of men, Will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness, And seek falsehood? Selah.” ~ Psalms 4:2

“Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; Make Your way straight before my face.” ~ Psalms 5:8

“Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled; But You, O Lord—how long?” ~Psalms 6:2-3

“The Lord shall judge the peoples; Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to my integrity within me.”

~ Psalms 7:8

“For I see Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have established.” ~Psalms 8:3

“And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”

~ Psalms 9:10

“Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may oppress no more.” ~ Psalms 10:17-18

“In the Lord I put my trust; How can you say to my soul, “Flee as a bird to your mountain”?” ~Psalms 11:1

“The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” ~ Psalms 12:6

“But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.” ~ Psalms 13:5-6

“Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord brings back the captivity of His people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.” ~ Psalms 14:7

“Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart.” ~ Psalm 15:1-2

“Guard me, Oh El, for I have taken refuge in You. I have said to YHVH, “You are YHVH, I have no good besides You.”

~ Psalms 16:1-2

“Uphold my steps in Your paths, that my footsteps may not slip.” ~ Psalms 17:5

“It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect.” ~ Psalms 18:32

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” ~ Psalms 19:14

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” ~ Psalms 20:7

“For the king trusts in the Lord, and through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved.” ~ Psalms 21:7

“All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.” ~ Psalms 22:27

“He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” ~ Psalms 23:3

“He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully.” ~ Psalms 24:4

“Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; According to Your mercy remember me, for Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.”

~ Psalms 25:7

“Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the Lord; I shall not slip.” ~ Psalms 26:1

“Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident.” ~ Psalms 27:3

“To You I will cry, O Lord my Rock: Do not be silent to me, lest, if You are silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit.” ~ Psalm 28:1

“Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” ~ Psalms 29:2

“For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” ~ Psalms 30:5

“Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men!” ~ Psalms 31:19

“I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him.” ~ Psalms 32:5-6

“By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.” ~ Psalms 33:6

“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” ~ Psalms 34:4

“Plead my cause, O Lord, with those who strive with me; Fight against those who fight against me.”

~ Psalms 35:1

“For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.” ~ Psalms 36:9

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.” ~ Psalms 37:23

“Those also who render evil for good, they are my adversaries, because I follow what is good.” ~ Psalms 38:20

“I said, “I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, While the wicked are before me.” ~ Psalms 39:1

“I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.” ~ Psalms 40:8

“By this I know that You are well pleased with me, because my enemy does not triumph over me.” ~ Psalms 41:11

“Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me.” ~ Psalms 42:7

“Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle.”

~ Psalms 43:3

“For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, nor did their own arm save them; But it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance, because You favored them.” ~ Psalms 44:3

“Listen, O daughter, consider and incline your ear; Forget your own people also, and your father’s house; So the King will greatly desire your beauty; Because He is your Lord, worship Him.” ~ Psalms 45:10-11

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.” ~ Psalms 46:1-2

“For the Lord Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth.” ~ Psalms 47:2

“For this is God, our God forever and ever; He will be our guide, even to death.” ~ Psalms 48:14

“A man who is in honor, yet does not understand, is like the beasts that perish.” ~ Psalms 49:20

“But to the wicked God says: “What right have you to declare My statutes, or take My covenant in your mouth, seeing you hate instruction and cast My words behind you?” ~ Psalms 50:16-17

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart – These, O God, You will not despise.” ~ Psalms 51:17

“But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.” ~ Psalms 52:8

“Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When God brings back the captivity of His people, Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.” ~ Psalms 53:6

“Voluntarily I slaughter to You; I praise Your name, O Lord, for it is good.” ~ Psalms 54:6

“He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, For there were many against me.” ~ Psalms 55:18

“You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?”

~ Psalms 56:8

“I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations.” ~ Psalms 57:9

“So that men will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; Surely He is God who judges in the earth.” ~ Psalms 58:11

“I will wait for You, O You his Strength; For God is my defense.” ~ Psalms 59:9

“Give us help from trouble, For the help of man is useless.” ~ Psalms 60:11

“From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” ~ Psalms 61:2

“God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God.” ~ Psalms 62:11

“When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.”

~ Psalms 63:6-7

“All men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; For they shall wisely consider His doing.” ~ Psalms 64:9

“You visit the earth and water it, You greatly enrich it; The river of God is full of water; You provide their grain, for so You have prepared it. You water its ridges abundantly, You settle its furrows; You make it soft with showers, You bless its growth.” ~ Psalms 65:9-10

“For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.” ~ Psalms 66:10

“Then the earth shall yield her increase; God, our own God, shall bless us.” ~ Psalms 67:6

“Your God has commanded your strength; Strengthen, O God, what You have done for us.” ~ Psalms 68:28

“I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving.” ~ Psalms 69:30

“But I am poor and needy; Make haste to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay.” ~ Psalms 70:5

“O God, You have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.” ~ Psalms 71:17

“The mountains will bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.” ~ Psalms 72:3

“My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

~ Psalms 73:26

“The day is Yours, the night also is Yours; You have prepared the light and the sun.” ~ Psalms 74:16

“But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another.” ~ Psalms 75:7

“When God arose to judgment, to deliver all the oppressed of the earth. Selah.” ~ Psalms 76:9

“I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, and my spirit makes diligent search.” ~ Psalms 77:6

“When He slew them, then they sought Him; And they returned and sought earnestly for God. Then they remembered that God was their rock, and the Most High God their Redeemer.”

~ Psalms 78:34-35

“Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You; According to the greatness of Your power preserve those who are appointed to die.” ~ Psalms 79:11

“Restore us, O God; Cause Your face to shine, and we shall be saved!” Psalms 80:3

“I am the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” ~ Psalms 81:10

“Arise, O God, judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations.” ~ Psalms 82:8

“Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek Your name, O Lord.” ~ Psalms 83:16

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Your highways are in their heart.”

~ Psalms 84:5

“Yes, the Lord will give what is good; and our land will yield its increase. Righteousness will go before Him, and shall make His footsteps our pathway.” ~ Psalms 85:12-13

“Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.” ~ Psalms 86:11

“His foundation is in the holy mountains.” ~ Psalms 87:1

“My eye wastes away because of affliction. Lord, I have called daily upon You; I have stretched out my hands to You.” ~ Psalms 88:9

“For You are the glory of their strength, and in Your favor our horn is exalted.” ~ Psalms 89:17

“Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us, the years in which we have seen evil. Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.” ~ Psalms 90:15-17

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.” ~ Psalms 91:14

“For You, Lord, have made me glad through Your work; I will triumph in the works of Your hands.” ~ Psalms 92:4

“The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, than the mighty waves of the sea.” ~ Psalms 93:4

“Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul would soon have settled in silence. If I say, “My foot slips,” Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up.”

~ Psalms 94:17-18

“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” ~ Psalms 95:6

“Sing to the Lord, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.” ~ Psalms 96:3-2

“Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” ~ Psalms 97:11

“The Lord has made known His salvation; His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations.” ~ Psalms 98:2

“Moses and Aaron were among His priests, and Samuel was among those who called upon His name; They called upon the Lord, and He answered them.” ~ Psalms 99:6

“Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.” ~ Psalms 100:2

“I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me.” ~ Psalms 101:3

“My days are like a shadow that lengthens, and I wither away like grass.” ~ Psalms 102:11

“Bless the Lord, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word.” ~ 103:20

“May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord.”

~ Psalms 104:34

“He gave them the lands of the Gentiles, and they inherited the labor of the nations.” ~ Psalms 105:44

“Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the Gentiles, to give thanks to Your holy name, to triumph in Your praise.” ~ Psalms 106:47

“For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” ~ Psalms 107:9

“Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies.” ~ Psalms 108:12-13

“I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; Yes, I will praise Him among the multitude.” ~ Psalms 109:30

“The Lord has sworn and will not relent, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” ~ Psalms 110:4

“He has declared to His people the power of His works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.” ~ Psalms 111:6

“Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.”

~ Psalms 112:4

“He grants the barren woman a home, like a joyful mother of children. Praise the Lord!” ~ Psalms 113:9

“Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob.” ~ Psalms 114:7

“May the Lord give you increase more and more, you and your children. May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” ~ Psalms 115:14-15

“For You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.” ~ Psalms 116:8

“For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!” ~ Psalms 117:2

“Save now, I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.” ~ Psalms 118:25-26

“How can a young man cleanse his path? By guarding it according to Your word.”

~ Psalms 119:9

“Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips and from a deceitful tongue.” ~ Psalms 120:2

“The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.” ~ Psalms 121:8

“Where the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, to the Testimony of Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord.” ~ Psalms 122:4

“Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until He has mercy on us.” ~ Psalms 123:2

““If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us, Then they would have swallowed us alive, when their wrath was kindled against us.” ~ Psalms 124:2-3

“Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.”

~ Psalms 125:1

“Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.” ~ Psalms 126:5

“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” ~ Psalms 127:1

“Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways.” ~ Psalms 128:1

“Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth; Yet they have not prevailed against me.”

~ Psalms 129:2

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord, more than those who watch for the morning – Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.” ~ Psalms 130:5-6

“O Israel, hope in the Lord, from this time forth and forever.” ~ Psalms 131:3

“Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let Your saints shout for joy.” ~ Psalms 132:9

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” ~ Psalms 133:1

“Behold, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, who by night stand in the house of the Lord!” ~ Psalms 134:1

“For the Lord will judge His people, and He will have compassion on His servants.” ~ Psalms 135:14

“To Him who led His people through the wilderness, for His mercy endures forever.” ~ Psalms 136:16

“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept when we remembered Zion.” ~ Psalms 137:1

“In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.”

~ Psalms 138:3

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

~ Psalms 139:23-24

“I said to the Lord: “You are my God; Hear the voice of my supplications, O Lord. O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle.” ~ Psalms 140:6-7

“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” ~ Psalms 141:3

“Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Your name; The righteous shall surround me, for You shall deal bountifully with me.” ~ Psalms 142:7

“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands. I spread out my hands to You; My soul longs for You like a thirsty land. Selah.” ~ Psalms 143:5-6

“Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle – My lovingkindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in whom I take refuge, who subdues my people under me.”

~ Psalms 144:1-2

“The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.” ~ Psalms 145:18-19

“Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.” ~ Psalms 146:5

“The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy.” ~ Psalms 147:11

“Both young men and maidens; Old men and children. Let them praise the name of the Lord, For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and heaven.” ~ Psalms 138:12-13

“For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.” ~ Psalms 149:4

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise YHVH!”

~ Psalms 150:6

Whew! There we are!

This past month-and-then-some journey through the Psalms really cemented my knowledge of these beautiful songs to God. I enjoyed putting some of them to music, studying some more in depth, and enjoying finding some favorite verses all over again! I really felt a theme of “drawing closer” throughout my reading – drawing closer to His kingdom by seeking to walk His Path, drawing closer to more godly knowledge by staying in the Word, and drawing closer to Him through prayer and petition. I’m so grateful I attempted this goal!

(Be sure to stay tuned for Joy’s and my next posts in this mini-series: Our favorite verses from the proverbs! I love the proverbs so much, not just because they’re inspiring, but also because they’re practical in our lives, from faith to everyday choices that reveal our faith to the world.)

Until next time, y’all! Have an amazing day! I’d love to know what you’re favorite verses from the psalms are; which ones speak to your heart right now?

Let’s Talk About Brothers And Respect …

Yep, I’m another one of those girls with a heap of brothers! Today, I want to talk about respect .. respecting our siblings, and helping them to learn to respect us. My brothers are fun-loving, mischievous, loud scamps who drive me crazy, but they love me and show their love by respecting my personal space and my opinions. I have a brother who is very close to me in age, and he is one of my best friends! As a teen, he has begun to mature in ways that amaze me. Not only does he respect me, he has also protected my heart, protected my body, and kept my secrets. Not every girl is so blessed as I am.

Thoughtless comments, rough physical touch, ridiculing, teasing, bugging on purpose … how does any sibling, and child of God, deserve to be treated this way? Some brothers treat their sisters with carelessness, not with care. These brothers might not bad guys – they just have a bad habit of treating their sister with less respect than she deserves, not only as their sister, but as a woman, as a daughter of God.

This makes me wonder … why do brothers fail to respect their sisters? I understand occasional kind-hearted teasing, (goodness knows, my brothers have dished out their fair share often enough!), but what about when it becomes an epidemic of unkind words and actions? What drives young men to treat their sisters this way?

I’ve learned that for some boys, they don’t feel like their sister deserves respect. They feel that she is a baby, or that she’s mean to them, so why should they be nice to her? They might have bad examples in their parents, who treat their daughter with less care than they should. Or, they might feel that they don’t measure up to their sister, and the only way to deal with their bitterness is to act out of it, rather than releasing it. Whatever the reason, our brothers need to understand that respect is not necessarily deserved (because of course we will fail and disrespect them sometimes) but respect is something that you give freely, like love.

We love because Christ first loved us – so why don’t we respect our siblings the way Christ treats His brothers and sisters in the faith?


Another thing that we girls need to realize is that, although we may crave our brother’s respect and kindness, we may be making it difficult for them by treating THEM unkindly. In the same way that girls can show kindness to our guyfriends by dressing in a way that does not provoke them to immoral thoughts, so we should act in a way that makes it easier for our brothers to love us back.

  • We need to respect THEM first. Although there is no excuse for our brothers to disrespect us simply because we disrespect them, we cannot expect a major life change to occur in their hearts unless WE change first. Maybe your brother will change on his own, but as an older sister, I can tell you that our brothers will, to a certain degree, mirror our actions. Respecting them is a great way to show them the kind of respect we want.
  • Our brothers are the men of tomorrow. If these young men don’t learn to respect us as their family and the people they live with, then what kind of respect will they have for their wives, sister-in-laws, and even their own daughters? I’m not saying that their fate rests on your (and my) shoulders alone, but I am saying that we can be the change in their lives. Encouraging them to respect us in their words and actions will prepare them for the day they realize that their wife wants to be respected too.
  • Even though it hurts to be disrespected, you must know that you’re not in this alone. Your parents are the ultimate enforcers in your house. If the situation has come to a place where the line has been crossed between simple teasing and ridiculing, then don’t be afraid to ask your parents for their advice, or ask your dad to talk to your brother. Communicate clearly with them that you love your brother, that his disrespect makes it difficult to respect him back, and that his attitude hurts you. Not every brother is man enough to take it humbly, and to actually change the way he relates to you, but some WILL own that responsibility.
  • Don’t forget to PRAY. If you’re a sister waiting for your brother’s heart to change towards you, don’t wait without doing anything. Pray that God would touch his heart and his responses towards you. God can do anything, even fix your relationship with your brother, so don’t be afraid to bend the knee every once in a while to seek his help in mending the fences.

And to those of you guys who are reading? Please, please, examine your heart, thoughts, and actions. Are you respecting your sister? Or are you putting her down? She doesn’t need to DESERVE your respect. But if you truly believe that all of us matter to God, then you need to treat your sister like you love her with GOD’S love. And who knows? Maybe she will blossom under your affirmation. And maybe not. But no matter what happens, are you man enough to respect your sister like you will have to respect your wife someday?

And while you’re at it, love them. Help them. Protect them. Serve them. Know that your actions are being seen, not only by those who will come into your future someday, but also by the One Who holds your future in His hands.

Well, sisters, you should know that my heart hurts for those of you who have been hurt by a brother’s disrespect. When my brothers disrespect me, I feel abandoned and rejected, because I want a loving relationship. So I understand what you feel like. Please don’t be afraid to take steps to love and respect them, even if they continue to hurt you. In the end, we are to love our enemies. You’re brother might not be your enemy, but the principle remains; to love all, even those who don’t love you back.

And if you have friends who get disrespected by their brothers … let’s protect them, shall we? Let’s stand up for them. Because, even if nothing changes in their lives, we have a responsibility to love the unloved and respect the unrespected. And once we do that, one thing will for sure happen – you will be a voice of hope and change in your friend’s life.

A Woman Of Resolutions …

Hey everyone! Today I’ve got something short and thoughtprovoking for ya.

As I read through a friend’s post, (a Life Update with Recent Reads from Laurel Jean, at laureljean.com), my eyes stopped at a quote she had included from “The Resolution for Women”, a book by Priscilla Shirer.

“Right now – whether you realize it or not – you’re choosing to treat people a certain way, to stay committed to certain activities, to live a certain life, to be a certain kind of person. You’re already a woman of resolutions.

Immediately after I read this, I was hit with the realization that my resolutions are not as pure as I’d like them to be – not as selfless, not as godly, not as honorable as I’d like to see myself.

And I also realized that I AM a woman of resolutions. I’ve made my own opinions, formed habits, made friends, publicized ideas, and now I have to live with every one of those choices, those resolutions. But I know that where I am now is no where near where I desperately want to be … in a place of trust, success, and security.

And all of you out there reading … YOU are men and women of resolutions. You live with a mindset that has been formed throughout your whole life, and you live with habits and actions that are a result of what you value most. You might not be setting a goal to succeed, but you unconscionably develop aspirations. Aspirations that you may achieve in glory and fame – or which may simply always be a pile of dreams in the back of your mind, collecting dust.

So I challenge YOU – Make a conscious Resolution. Think hard about yourself. Are you who you want to be? Or have you given way to pressure, procrastination, or the world?

Then make a Resolution to CHANGE. To become the young man or woman that God wants you to be. Seek to align your resolutions and your character to Yah’s character.

Paul in Acts 15 and 21

(This is a discussion of a missionary attempt by Paul, based on what is written in Acts (and in other books of the Bible.)

He was Paul, the Pharisee. He was the one who oversaw Stephen’s stoning. He was the one who hated Christians and what they stood for. He was the one who sought them out to imprison and kill them. He was the one who persecuted believers, and, in doing so, persecuted the Messiah.

He was Paul, the apostle. He was a man whose vision changed his life. He was a man who went to nations near and far to preach the story of the God of Abraham and the Messiah. He was the one who loved all people and desired to help save them, who wrote meaty letters to them to admonish the growing churches. He was a man who endured all sorts of set-backs, persecution, and physical hardships, in the name of Yeshua. He was a martyr who died for Messiah.

Can you believe he was the same man? There was a drastic difference between the Paul he used to be and the Paul he became.

(Note: Paul’s Hebrew name was Sha’ul. However, Paul is the name most people recognize, so for this essay I will refer to him as ‘Paul”.)

After Paul first started talking about Jesus, it seemed that you couldn’t get him to stop! It didn’t matter if you imprisoned, shipwrecked, or tried to stone him, the guy just wasn’t at all fazed!

One scenario I would like to cover in this essay is the reason for the Jerusalem Council, (which was held in AD 50,) and the result of said council. The reason I want to discuss this is because I disagree with my teacher in his interpretation of the Jerusalem Council verdict. He believes, (as do many Christians), that the decision meant that Christians no longer have to obey the Law of God as given at Mount Sinai. (The Law is documented in the first five books of the Bible.)

In the beginning of Acts chapter 15, we see that there were people telling new converts that they must be circumcised in order to obtain salvation. Obviously, this idea was seen as incorrect by the apostles. Getting circumcised cannot give you salvation. We are saved by faith, like Abraham, whose faith (belief and obedience) made him righteous. (see Genesis 15:6 and Hebrews 11:8.)

Therefore, the council convened to discuss their response to the mislead congregation. They decided that in their letter, they would tell the people to “abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.” (Acts 15:26.) At first glance, it would appear that these are the only rules by which believers have to abide.

But let’s back up a bit.

Why would the apostles tell the new Christians to abide by these rules? They didn’t say anything about not murdering. They didn’t say anything about not stealing. So why only these four rules?

Well, the new Christians had just come out of a pagan system of worship, in which they would offer animals to their gods as bloody sacrifices, then drink the blood of the offerings. They would eat meat from animals which had been strangled to death, and then they would engage in sexual immorality with both male and female temple prostitutes. This was a very gruesome reality of the pagan religion. It was similar to the time when the Israelites were at Mount Sinai, sinning against God by worshipping the golden calf, and “sat down to eat, and rose up to play.” (Exodus 32:6.) So basically, the apostles were telling the people to give up their specifically pagan temple worship.

“But there’s more to being a Christian than just giving stuff up.”, you might say. I agree, and so did they. In verse 21, the apostles land the clincher in their reasoning. “For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.” (Acts 15:21.)

What does it mean when it says “Moses” is read? At the time, believers would meet in the synagogues on the Sabbath to read the law (which was called “Moses”, because it was given to Moses at Mount Sinai) and the prophets (the Bible books of the Old Testament.) If the new believers would give up their pagan practices, then when they went to the synagogues, they could learn to study and obey the Law from the teachers and other believers.

God does not want us to worship him in the way the pagans do. (Deuteronomy 12:29-32) New believers must discard the pagan ways of worship and learn to obey God in the way he has commanded them.

Although salvation does not come through circumcision, does this mean that circumcision is unimportant? Of course not! It is a way we can show love to God by our obedience.

Some people believe that when Paul went to deliver the letter, he would tell the Christians that they did not have to be circumcised. If this was true, then why did Paul circumcise Timothy just before taking him along in order to tell the gentiles that they did NOT have to become circumcised? (Acts 16:1-3) The theories don’t match up.

We must therefore conclude that although circumcision is not necessary for salvation, it is a way to obey God in a way he has commanded us to. It is a way to show others that we believe in Yahweh.

This brings up the issue of ‘circumcision of the heart’. Physical circumcision does no good without the circumcision of the heart, as we see in the prophetic times. Israel strayed from Yahweh in their hearts yet continued to offer Him sacrifices. He hated that they were only serving Him outwardly, while inwardly they worshipped others. (Isaiah 1:11-15, Jeremiah 4:4.)

In fact, Deuteronomy 30 itself refers to circumcision of the heart, so this is not a new concept.

What if Yahweh wanted us to circumcise physically … and circumcise our hearts … at the same time?

————————————-

10 years later, Paul came back to Jerusalem, and they rejoiced at the many new believers. But the elders told Paul that there were some people saying “Paul teaches that the new believers MUST NOT circumcise their children.” (Acts 21:17-26.) Were these reports true? Or were the people lying?

In verse 24, James gave Paul advice on how he ought to respond.

“Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law.”Acts 21:24, NIV (emphasis mine)

So the reports were NOT true! Paul was in fact living in obedience to the law. As we know, Paul believed that leaders should set a good example for the believers, as he said when he advised Timothy in his first letter. (See verse below.)

“…. But set an example for the believers, in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

Paul set a good example for the believers in his life, by “living in obedience to the law.” He, an apostle of Christ, was following the Law even twenty-nine years after the resurrection of Christ!

Conclusion …

Contrary to common Christian thinking, the narrative in Acts 15-21 does not mean that the apostles decided against new Christians following the Law. In fact, they were in full support of it!

However, you cannot gain your salvation through following the law, and THAT is what Paul and the apostles were concerned about.

All throughout the Bible, it is written that the Law is good, reviving the soul, sweet, righteous, a lamp and a light … and it is true. (1 Timothy 1:8, Psalm 19:7, Psalm 119:103, Romans 7:12, Proverbs 6:23, psalm 119:142.) God’s law is not a burden or just a bunch of rules. It defines the boundaries for a healthy life and a strong walk of faith.

Let me know your thoughts!

Makayla

Yeshua vs. The Pharisees

“According to Mark’s gospel, what was main issue dividing Jesus (Yeshua) from the scribes and the Pharisees?”

Yeshua, the man from Nazareth, was constantly butting heads with the Pharisees. They were continually trying to catch him in wrongdoing. Why? Because he challenged them and their traditions, pointed out their sin and inconsistencies in front of their people, and told them things they didn’t want to hear.

The position of the Pharisees in old Hebrew life was felt immensely in the culture at that time. The Pharisees asserted that when God gave the law to Moses at Sinai, he also gave an Oral Law, which was not written down but was instead repeated through generations in order to be kept by all Jews.

(There is no evidence of such an Oral law in Scripture. The Oral Law was, in actuality, made up by the Pharisees as a sort of “fence” in order to keep the Israelites far away from disobeying one of God’s commands.)

To illustrate the effect of the Oral Law in Ancient Jewish life, consider this command from the written Law, as given to Moses …

“The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.” Exodus 23:19, NKJV (emphasis and underlines mine.)

Boiling a goat in its mother’s milk was a tradition practiced by the pagans in their fertility festivals. The fertility festivals were the pagan equivalent of the Hebrew FESTIVAL OF FIRSTFRUITS (To reference the festivals, see Leviticus 23.) Yahweh commanded the Israelites not to do so because He did not want to be worshipped with pagan rituals.

“When the Lord your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, 30 take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ 31 You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.”

Deuteronomy 12:29-31, NKJV

The Oral Law dictates that, not only must we not boil a goat in its mother’s milk, we may not have ANY kind of meat with ANY dairy product during one meal, or mixed in one dish. Now, logically, if you follow this Oral Law to the letter you will avoid breaking God’s law, which only says not to boil a goat in its mother’s milk. But not only is the Oral law not commanded by God, it is a direct violation of a command God gave His people …

“You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”

Deuteronomy 4:2, NKJV (Emphasis mine)

By creating an Oral Law which was pushed forward as “mandatory”, the Pharisees were actually detracting from the importance of the actual Law of God and making it more difficult to understand and obey. Think of what confusion we have today, (which is the goal of this essay to clear up,) as a result!

The Pharisees forsook the commandments of God for the sake of their own traditions. Yeshua obeyed God’s Law and forsook the traditions of the elders.

Why would we think that Yeshua and the Pharisees could reconcile when, in fact, they stood on opposite sides? See the below verses for an illustration of the Pharisees’ philosophy described, as opposed to Jesus’ philosophy described.

Pharisees

  • For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men — the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” Mark 7:8, NKJV
  • “He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your own tradition?” Mathew 15:3

Both verses illustrate how detrimental it was that the Pharisees kept their own traditions … holding them to be on the same level as God’s Laws.

Yeshua

  • “But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.” John 14:31, NKJV

Yeshua obeys his Father’s commands, not only because it is right to do so, but because He loves the Father. Oh, and this is how He shows the whole world that he loves the Father!

  • “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.” John 14:11, NKJV
  • “Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” John 7:16, NKJV
  • John 5:19, John 12:49

Conclusion

The main issue dividing Yeshua from the Pharisees was that The Pharisees had strayed from the Law to their traditions. Yeshua believed in His Father’s Law, not LawPlus.

Thanks for reading!

Makayla

Miracles in Yeshua’s Ministry

Yeshua of Nazareth performed amazing miracles … these miracles were life-giving to thousands of people, yet sometimes we don’t look further to see the significance of what he did. Like even the disciples, we miss the meanings in the parables and miracles, and it is an honor and privilege to look closer – see WHY Yeshua did what he did.

The miracles were not only to help people. They were His divine authority over everything on earth.

The first miracles (as seen in the book of Mark) that Yeshua performed were healing the sick and casting out demons. He showed the powers of darkness that He, the light of the world, had come and was in authority over them. Interestingly, he did not want to be immediately known as the Son of God. He stopped people from hearing, and he spoke to them in parables, saying “he who has ears to hear, let them hear.” He wanted his message of salvation to be heard and understood by those who WANTED it – those who knew they were sinners and wanted to be made righteous and whole – those who would diligently study His Words. His disciples did not begin this way; they often asked Yeshua for clarification.

The miracle of healing a paralyzed man

One sabbath day in Capernaum, (Matthew 9:1-8,Mark 2:1-12, and Luke 5:17-26 NKJV,) a paralyzed man was let down through the roof of the house where Yeshua was staying for Him to heal. There were Pharisees present. (The pharisees were experts in the law of God. However, they added their own laws, known as ‘fence’ laws, that would ensure that none of the Israelites would even come close to disobeying a law. However, in doing so they missed the meaning of the simple laws given at Mount Sinai, and worse, established themselves as lawbreakers. (See Deuteronomy 4:2))

Yeshua forgave the man’s sins, and the Pharisees had a big issue with that. They didn’t think he could forgive sins because they didn’t believe He was God. But in order that he might test their hardened hearts and offer them the opportunity to see and understand, Yeshua showed them – he miraculously healed the paralyzed man with divine power.

(Something interesting we might take note of was that immediately before displaying his power and authority in such an amazing way, Yeshua extinguished the Pharisees authority in one fell swoop – he told the man to take up his mat. That may seem like no big deal to us, but the Jews back then understood that it was against the Oral Law to carry something, like a mat, on the sabbath. Because the Oral Law was distracting the Jews from focusing on the actual law and the spirit of the law, and because the Pharisees asserted that their personal fence laws were necessary for everyone, (thereby adding to the law of God), it is important to understand that Yeshua was breaking down the Pharisees’ traditions; he was not breaking down the Law of God.)

Casting out demons

Yeshua silenced the demons he cast out because they knew He was the son of God (Mark 1:34.) At first, he wanted to keep it a secret. We can’t know for sure why, but we can make guesses based on why he refuses to do things in other cases. Sometimes because it was against the Law of God, (refer to the passage concerning Jesus’ tempting in Luke 4,) and sometimes, as he said, “His hour had not yet come.” (John 2:4 and John 7:6.)

Yeshua cast out demons with authority. (Examples of Yeshua casting out demons: Mark 1:21-28; 5:1-20; 7:24-30; 9:14-29) Yeshua was once approached by a Samaritan woman. (Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30 NKJV) She begged Him to heal her daughter. Mathew says that Yeshua was silent. The disciples then asked Yeshua to send her away! Yeshua replied, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (By ‘lost sheep’, he meant the Israelites that were scattered in the exiles of the Old Testament.) The woman knew she was not a lost sheep. She was a Samaritan. But she responded, “Yes master. But even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table.”

Her response shows such a mind-blowing understanding of how God’s family works! She compared herself and her daughter to dogs in the master’s household. Dogs aren’t children, but they are still part of the household.

This was the point that the Samaritan woman was making. She told Yeshua, “But I am in your household! I know I’m a Samaritan, but I believe in You! Please accept me, even as a dog, and heal us with your mighty power.”

Yeshua then told her, ““O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.”

Then, Yeshua accepted her into His household. He gave her the crumbs. And her daughter was healed. All because of her great faith.

This miracle showed three things:

1. Yeshua had authority to cast out the demon.

2. The woman, although a Samaritan, demonstrated by her faith that she was worthy of acceptance into God’s kingdom.

3. Yeshua had come to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. But that did not mean that he would not honor the promises that God made to the foreigners

Proof of deity

Over the course of history, there have been many men who claimed to be messiahs, but we can easily understand that something that big should not be believed until it is proven to be true. So, the question would arise; how would people know for sure that Yeshua was the Messiah, other than that He said that he was?

The answer lies in the Prophetic books. Isaiah writes,

“The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them,
And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose;
It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice,
Even with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
The excellence of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
The excellency of our God.

“Strengthen the weak hands,
And make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who are fearful-hearted,
“Be strong, do not fear!
Behold, your God will come with vengeance,
With the recompense of God;
He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

Then the lame shall leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the dumb sing.
For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness,
And streams in the desert.

Isaiah 35:1-6, NJKV

I understand that this passage relates to the coming of the Messiah. Whether it refers to the first or second coming, I do not know, but we can see that “the glory of the Lord” will come and He will “save”. Isaiah said there would be miraculous reversals of sickness (see the sentences in bold.)

The eyes of the blind opened -> John 9
The ears of the deaf unstopped and the dumb singing ->
Mark 7:31-37 The lame leap like a deer ->   John 5:1-15, Acts 14:8-10 (a miracle of Paul through the power of Jesus Christ.)

“The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” – Mathew 11:5, NKJV

Conclusions

The miracles that Jesus performed were not merely to heal the sick – they also illustrated His authority over creation, power over darkness, and the proof that he was the Salvation of God.

Yeshua knew he and his teachings would not be accepted by the Pharisees and Sadducees, because they held to unnecessary traditions instead of merely keeping the Law of God that Yeshua preached.

Thanks for reading!

Makayla

Source -> https://jewsforjesus.org/jewish-resources/messianic-prophecy/the-messiah-would-perform-signs-of-healing

Taking Inner Beauty a step further … (part two.)

In last week’s post on Inner Beauty, we covered the first step – reading your Bible, the guidebook that God gave you. Now we’re onto the next step … trying to act in beauty in a world that makes it very difficult.

In your family, siblings (and even sometimes parents) can frustrate us and make us feel like they are squelching our inner beauty. But one thing that we all have to realize is that we are only as beautiful as we are at our worst. We all have a great responsibility to treat our families with the same beauty as we would our friends and teachers.

Sometimes it’s easier to act nicer to your family if there are other people around. But if you can have a beautiful attitude when no ones looking (or when you think no ones looking,) that is the best kind of attitude.

Yes, this takes time. But you can start small. Thank your family members for things they do for you – folding the laundry, picking up your book, driving you to basketball. Smile to show them you care. Show a little interest in their interests, and maybe they’ll even invite you to join them.

I’ve never had an older sibling, but as the eldest, I can tell you that I love it when my younger bros tell me “thank you” and “good job”. You might not think your older sister wants your approval on her outfit, but I bet she’ll smile big when you tell her you like it.

And outside the home, with September fast approaching, your friends, activities, and homework are all going to require your immediate attention. How will you handle them? Will you carry your inner beauty with you everywhere? Will you say no to evil and yes to good? Will you abandon the secular and popular and embrace the straight and narrow?

Beautiful You Tip: Remember who you are, whether you’re at home with your family or hanging out with your friends at school. Say ‘no’ to the enemy.

You are an ambassador of God’s kingdom to the nations. Let them see Christ in you, in your inner beauty. Honestly, same thing for the boys. If a guy is cute but has no character, his personality is hardened and ugly. Be a good representative of The Kingdom.

If this all seems too lofty or hard, don’t overthink it. You will mess up sometimes, we all do: But don’t ever think you can’t do it, because YOU CAN!!!

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

Philippians 4:13

Come to God for the strength to do this. Stay strong in The Word of God and in prayer.

Love y’all!

Makayla

How do we cultivate our inner beauty?

“Sure, sure.” You say. “I’ve heard all this talk about inner beauty and this and that, but exactly HOW am I supposed to attain this status? I want it now … but no matter how hard I’ve tried, I keep slipping back! By the end of the day I’m so discouraged that I give up!”

Oh, my friend. No kind of beauty is attained in a day. A dramatic transformation is what every girl dreams of, but it happens rarely, if ever. Lots of people will tell you that their success, beauty, muscles, and grades, are all a result of long days (and nights!) of hard work. Yet it paid off in the end.

Do you truly believe that inner beauty is worth the work? Is it something you’d cherish, and hold close to your heart? Then I hope you will join me in my quest to build inner beauty.

What is the first step? I believe that the first step for me was realizing that the Bible is my guidebook. Sure, we can memorize Bible verses. We can strive to show the nine Fruits of the Spirit in our lives. But the act of settling in and digging DEEP into the Word, starting from the very beginning, was a real wake-up call for me. Reading several chapters a day showed me what a real desire for God’s Words looks like.

Beautiful You Tip #1The Bible is your guidebook! Start at the very beginning, and read ALLLLL the way to the end.

Even if you can only read a little bit a day, it is a few minutes of your day that you will never regret! And know that I’m reading with you! (I’m only in Leviticus, but I have already seen so much growth in myself its astonishing!) If there is a day I don’t read the Bible, I feel like I’ve missed something so precious!

The Bible is not a magic pill. But there’s something about the constant truth of Yahweh’s Word that calms my soul and gives me peace, and makes me thirsty to read more.

THIS is a real test. THIS is the hard work that will pay off. THIS is what will help you grow in Christ … the hard days and the long nights … and when you blink open your eyes and realize that you’ve been changed, from the inside out!

I know I’m not perfect, and I can even think back to things I could have (and should have!) done differently this week, but I realized that I learned a big lesson from those mistakes. It’s an encouragement to know I’m walking the right path, and it’s also a gentle push to tell me to keep walking forward and not give up.

(This is the first in a series of articles on cultivating inner beauty. I’m so happy to be journeying this with you and I hope you will come along with me for the ride, dear sister!!)

Love,

~Makayla

Ethics in the Bible

What is the view of the biblical materials on the role of ethics in the development of history?

In this essay, I will give a general overview of some of the ethical concepts in the stories of creation, the flood, the giving of the law at Mount Sinai, and in the Psalms and Proverbs.

Creation (Genesis (sin, fall, must obey, etc.)

The birth of ethics begins in Genesis. The first command in the Bible where God told man to not do something was: “Do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Man disobeyed the command, therefore he got the negative sanctions associated with the disobedience of that command – eventual death. The concept of ethics was formed very early on in the creation story, and likely the very “first sin”, was the rebellion of the serpent, which led to the first human sins (Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit.) Thus sin entered the world.

How do we know that the Bible contains ethics? Because it has a concept of right and wrong. How do we know what is right and wrong? Obedience is right and sin is wrong. What is sin? Sin the transgression of the law of God (righteousness). We could not know what sin was, except through the law and through commands like “Do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

The Flood

When all men but Noah and his family had stopped following Yahweh’s ways, Yah sent a flood to destroy all the evildoers, and saved Noah and his family in a boat. This story follows similar construction as the creation story: Yah allows people to live, yet they disobey, so he brings negative sanctions (death) upon the wicked. This time, however, Yah saves the righteous remaining. The message this sends is that He will not destroy those who obey and follow Him.

After the flood, a disgraceful thing happens in Noah’s family. Ham (one of Noah’s three sons) sees his father’s nakedness. Instead of keeping his mouth shut, he goes and tells his brothers, who go and cover up their father, turning their faces away that they might not see Noah. Noah wakes up and finds out what happens, and becomes very angry, cursing Ham’s son Canaan, and blesses his other two sons.

What can we learn from this? Don’t take or see what is not yours to take or see.

Giving of the Law

The people of Israel had just been freed from slavery and had come out of Egypt. Yahweh gave his Law to Moses, the chief spokesman of the people, to tell the assembly of the Israelites. Because of this, it is often referred to as the “law of Moses”, however Moses didn’t command the law, Yahweh did. Therefore, we may also call it the Law of God.

In giving a Law, Yahweh was giving His people a choice; either to obey or disobey him. He was telling them that in order to be His people, they must obey Him. What were the sanctions for obedience?

“Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God gives you.”

Exodus 20:12

Positive actions (such as honoring your father and mother) warrant positive sanctions.

Moses had gone up to the mountain to receive the Law from Yahweh. But the people, becoming anxious at waiting for Moses for 40 days, decided to worship a golden calf, an idol, instead of obeying Yahweh’s command, “You shall not have any other god before me.” When Yah told Moses what happened, he came down from the mountain to carry out Yah’s punishment.

Moses made them melt down the golden calf, grind it up, and put the gold in water to drink. Then the Levites carried out a massacre and killed about three thousand people. Then, a plague broke out among the people.

So we see that negative actions (disobedience of the law) warrants negative sanctions.

I believe the law is still applicable today, and we know that Yahweh never changes. Therefore, in the development of history, the law has remained a way for us to show others our morality comes from Yah.

Psalms

This book, written by David, contains songs and poems of praise to Yahweh. Themes David stresses are worship, obedience, resolution of inner conflicts, sovereignty of Yahweh, and many more. How does David want to be treated? He wants to be saved from the persecution of his enemies, because he obeys Yah. How does David want his enemies to be treated? He wants them to be destroyed for their unlawful acts.

Again, negative actions means negative sanctions.

ProverbsConsequences of choosing to follow the right path …or choosing not to.

Proverbs is a book written by the wisest created man in the Bible, Solomon. Throughout the entire book, Solomon gives his son advice on wisdom, integrity, obedience, and interacting with people. He uses metaphors and contrived circumstances to emphasize the importance of being moral, wise, and humble. Proverbs 7 and Proverbs 31 compare the wayward woman with the righteous one.

Solomon holds to the principle that if you associate with immoral people, you may be affected, and if you are immoral, you will face negative sanctions such as poverty, shame, and death. But the sanctions of being moral and wise include prosperity, happiness, and long life.

Conclusion

The Bible has TONS to say on ethics. I’ve only scratched the surface. But these five stories/books can teach us that there IS morality, and the Biblical consequences of immorality are hardships, curses, and death. But the consequences of obedience and faith are positive sanctions.