What Are You Taking In? (Part One: Music)

Today, music is a HUGE part of our culture, especially for teens and young people, whose opinions and styles are shaped by our perception of the world around us. We listen to music all the time; in the car, while studying and writing, while doing chores, in the checkout line, while working out, in worship services, and simply because we want to. Some of the most famous celebrities, the most publicly beautiful, efficient, successful, and adored people in the world, are singers, songwriters, musicians. We are bombarded with music all the time – if not listening to it, reading about it; if not reading about it, talking about it; if not talking about it, thinking about it; and no matter what people say, no matter how much your Christian friends will tell you “well, it’s just because it has a cool tune!” … we ARE taking in the messages behind the music.

It’s a war on our ears, a war for our hearts, and a war for our minds. So many don’t realize that the music they listen to is tearing down their morals. The secular music that is most popular today is popular for a reason; that secular people like listening to it. It represents secular morals. Why should it have any place in a believer’s life?

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As a singer, I sympathize with those who sing all sorts of songs to improve their voice. I plan on taking voice lessons someday, and may be advised to sing certain songs written with a secular outlook. And I am not saying that every secular, not-specifically-christian song is off-limits.

But why must my so-called “Christian” teenage contemporaries sing music with seductive, hate-filled, or irresponsible lyrics? When their only defence is “Well, the tune is cool”, you can clearly see; teenagers of today have traded their respect of morality and purity, in exchange for the pleasure of the ears.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

1 John 2:15-17, NKJV

John’s wisdom is strikingly applicable.

Teens think, “I can give up music whenever I want.” I agree. But I want to ask them, “When will you give it up? When will you ‘want’ to purify your tastes?”

What did John say just before this exhortation?

“I write to you, little children,

Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.

13 I write to you, fathers,

Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.

I write to you, young men,

Because you have overcome the wicked one.

I write to you, little children,

Because you have known the Father.

14 I have written to you, fathers,

Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.

I have written to you, young men,

Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you,

And you have overcome the wicked one.

1 John 2: 12-14

As young men and women who seek to become like little children, my readers, we know that our sins are forgiven, we can know the Father, and we can overcome the wicked one. We are strong in the Word when we stay in the Word, both the written Word and the Word made flesh.

So why do we grow comfortable in sitting on the couch of Complacency beside the Wicked One, playing the Stereo of Fleshly Lusts, and shutting our ears to the Word of God?

Because we have not been challenged, and we have not challenged ourselves, to seek anything else but complacency, compliance, and conformity to the world.

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We, you, me, as believers, cannot profess faith and the desire to grow nearer to the Father when we daily absorb ourselves in messages and words that directly contradict the lessons He longs to teach us. It’s nearly impossible for Him to teach us those vital life lessons, because we’re drowning Him out with earthly clatter.

But did I mention that the impossible is God’s favorite situation for salvation? He can use others to reach through the noise drowning Him out and tug you into a quieter part of the room. Those who listen to the whispers of the Spirit can leave the Impurity Party to get conscious about their lives.

So please don’t leave this post thinking, “Well, I should make sure that the music I listen to is godly and uplifting.” I want to challenge you all to search your hearts and deep-clean your lives, not just your musical palate. Living a godly life is so much more than the face value influences we have – its also important in habits, education, and so much else! It’s so much more than just music; but big life changes begin with little life changes, and dealing with the little weeds first is easier than trying to pull out the massive hulking plants.

And please don’t leave this post dismayed that by embracing God-honoring lyrics and artists you’ll end up deprived of talent and variety. Music within the Christ-like culture is very diverse, and it is wonderful in its diversity! There are all kinds of music with positive and uplifting messages, and some that can even aid our spiritual growth. Music is beautiful and powerful – but let’s seek to take in good, and not evil; purity instead of conformity to the world.

Please Note: This post is not targeted. I began writing it with an acquaintance in mind, but not any of you here on the WordPress community, promise! 🤗

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Autumn Musings; Followed by Music, Life, & New Goals!

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all doing well! What are your future plans; special days, special get-togethers with others, and activities you’re stoked to try? Let me know below, friends!

The end of summer has filled the beginning of autumn with a flurry of preparations! For some reason, our family has been super busy this autumn, so school had to take to the back burner for a couple weeks; although, for a couple days, I managed to get done quite a bit before the busy part of fall!

Autumn is such a gorgeous season; especially in the Pinterest photos! 😉 I only wish that my backyard could always contain the idyllic autumn-themed black iron-wrought lamp-posts, red brick walls, orange and yellow and red and burnished umber leaves, and pumpkin arrangements among the burlap and twinkling fairy lights! Out in nature, the autumn is majestic – the bright colors speak for themselves without a pruner or gardener to maintain during its short-lived flight towards winter’s approach.

Autumn may be able to share its glory with us without much effort – the season does the work for us! But what about when the transformation requires a bit more dirty work?

Take home improvement and upkeep, for example. Washing windows, scraping off peeling paint, and making repairs are all part of maintaining a house in condition to weather the approaching seasons. When finished, the work is beautiful. It’s noticeably so much better than before.

Photo by Artem Saranin on Pexels.com

What about ourselves? Are you feeling confident in your ability to “get back into the swing” again? Or has school and academic pressure overwhelmed you like a sudden tsunami? Maybe you’re disappointed in yourself for how much you seem to have “lost touch” with your school routine, or feel sad to be “behind” in school, even if nobody else cares.

But don’t be discouraged. Yes, we’ve fallen, slipping as we attempt to scramble up the slope of our own expectations. Yes, we’ve failed, though it may be ever so minute, or seem so to others from the outside looking in. Yes, although nobody really knows how you feel or how much you’ve beat yourself up over your apparent shortcomings; there is hope.

A little bit of trimming here, a splash of paint and a dab of water to wipe clean the little stains, a whole lot of good honest effort; and you’ll get it again. Your habits and abilities will come back. You can do it.

We can “autumn clean” for the school year, pick up these responsibilities, and honor God through it all. Don’t give up; it should be an honor to work hard for the King.

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”

~ Colossians 3:23-24, NKJV

In this beautiful and fresh season of autumn, I want to encourage you all to take a deep breath. Exhale. Close your eyes. Take a sip of water. Glorify God with the breaths you take of the Breath He gave you. And don’t sweat the pressure, because that’s exactly where your enemies want you. Take care of yourself, friend! Enjoy the opportunities, even if they’re stressful. Instead of falling into temptations or time-wasters, find an accountability partner *ahem .. parent* to keep you steady and on track with your school, especially if you’re homeschooled and self-taught. And instead of worrying about your grades or that tough assignment, laugh in the face of those who think you can’t do it. Eat tough assignments for breakfast. In the colloquial sense, of course. 🤣

I just want to encourage you that no matter how behind, how inadequate, how dumb or busy you feel, YOU. CAN. DO. IT!

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

~ Philippians 4:13, NKJV

Because my life is so interesting (bows to my fans), I’ve put together a list of some of my recent favorites in a short attempt at reconciliation for being gone from the blog for so long! I hope you all enjoy the following thoughts and short bursts of hilarity from my recent life!

Moments:

  • Getting told I’m a blonde, getting asked if I’ve ever heard of blonde jokes, and then getting laughed at when I said I’d never understood them. XD
  • Stealing a friend’s whistle on a backpacking trip, and leaving clues around our campsite for him to find!
  • My mom and I talking about how tired we both were, then her telling me the only difference between her and I was that I stunk! (Background: I had just returned from the said backpacking trip in the previous bullet point. So yes; stinky teenager. XD)
  • Some great conversations and personal realizations. Tough times make for tough people. 💪
  • Making coconut flour cookies, a recipe of my own design, and getting the shock of my life when my Dad, the pickiest culinary expert in our house, told me they were good!

Music

My friend Laurel Jean at laurel-jean.com just made a music swap post that was so fun I thought I’d share my many recent favorites in a post of my own! I hope you all enjoy listening to my recommendations – they’re all perfectly clean and family friendly! (I haven’t listened to all recently, but they’re all dearly beloved by yours truly!) Please forgive the repetitiveness of the artists … I know, I’m stuck in the genre of Christian pop! 🤣 If you have a favorite song that gets you really bubbly and energetic, let me know! 😉

  • “Dead Man Walking”, Jeremy Camp
  • “Control”, For King and Country (Somehow, this one always makes it onto my list of favorites! XD)
  • “Healing”, Riley Clemmons
  • “Until Grace”, Tauren Wells
  • “Defender”, Jeremy Camp (SOOOO GOOOOD!!!)
  • “This Could Change Everything”, Francesca Battistelli
  • “Known”, Tauren Wells
  • “Godsend”, Riley Clemmons
  • “God’s Not Done With You”, Tauren Wells

Favorite posts:

Goals for Autumn (and the new school year!)

  • Go hiking
  • Bake a pie
  • Begin school – which I’ve already done!!!! (Come on! I know it IS stressful, but surely I’m not the only one who’s excited!! 🤣)
  • Watch some OLD movies as school assignments … should be fun!
  • Spend as much time outside as I can!
  • Listen to great music while driving (The best combo ever! 👏)

Well, guys, I’m swamped with such amazing blog post ideas but not enough time to write them! About seven pretty cool drafts sit unfinished and unedited in my drafts box, waiting for a time when I and my proofreader are a little less busy! 😅 I’ve received some great encouragement that’s helped me to feel wanted on the blogosphere, by some sweet friends! I hope y’all will forgive me, and thank you to all who have chatted with me during my absence!

I hope you are all doing well, and, as I said at the beginning of the post, please feel free to let me know what you’re up to! And what – tell me, do – what is your favorite fall baking recipe? (By the way, my proofreader *ahem, AKA my mom* wants to know what y’all’s favorite pumpkin recipe is! 🤣) Have a great week!

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?

July Goals + Inspiration!

Well hello hello everyone! HOW is it already July?!

I’m excited to start this new month and even more excited that I’m actually getting my goals post out in time! YES!! What have y’all been doing in the last … few days? 😂 I’m keeping cool during the heat wave in my area and doing some school to finish off the last day of June! Farewell, beautiful June! *gets sentimental* But hell-lo July! *spirit revives*

Is anyone else craving some rich spiritual meat right about now? Me too. I don’t consider myself a provider of wise words that satisfy, but perhaps my thoughts on this first day of July can be somehow beneficial to my readers and encourage them in some way! 🤍

Lately I’ve been thinking about my future a bit (as mentioned in this post). I found an amazing verse that helps me in the stage I’m in, as a teen girl with fewer responsibilities than a career-woman, wife, or mother. While I’m here in my current phase, with certain responsibilities as a daughter, I’m curious as to what I can do right now, for the future ahead. Within Ecclesiastes, (a book some believe to have been written by Solomon, the wisest man in the world,) is a little jewel that gives me a bit of relief.

“Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.”

Ecclesiastes 2:24, NKJV

Although this certainly relieves pressure, we do carry a certain responsibility during the teen years. Near the end of the book of Ecclesiastes, there lies an encouraging yet sobering message.

“Rejoice, O young man, in your youth,

And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth;

Walk in the ways of your heart,

And in the sight of your eyes;

But know that for all these

God will bring you into judgment.

Therefore remove sorrow from your heart,

And put away evil from your flesh,

For childhood and youth are vanity.

Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,

Before the difficult days come,

And the years draw near when you say,

“I have no pleasure in them.”

Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 – 12:1, NKJV

There are ways that in my heart I long to follow. There are desires I have that are unfulfilled as of now, and dreams that may never be fulfilled. But as the verses above show, we have a responsibility to remember that while we pursue our dreams, we pursue them in a way that honors God and His plans for our life. May we pursue our future in a way that let’s our light shine as a witness to the world.

Additionally, I’d like to encourage all of you to let it go, if you’re feeling overwhelmed. I believe that our Father wants us to do His Will with ALL of our hearts, not grudgingly because we think we should. So if you feel guilty, pressured, or uncertain, my friends, just cast your cares and burdens on our Father, and He will give you His perfect yoke, which yields freedom and peace.

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”

Psalms 55:22, NKJV

” ‘ “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” ‘ “

Mathew 11:28-30, NKJV

(These three songs are some of my favorites! Listening to these songs would be a big favor to your musical ear! XD)

Alrighty, let’s get into July Goals! see below! 👇🙌

THEWILDFIREGIRL.WORDPRESS.COM

#1 Drink in the sun, but stay wise! (The last few days I swam outdoors, but I wasn’t very careful about applying sunscreen, so right now my face and arms are .. unbelievably red! So, going forward, I’m going to treat my body with a little more TLC when in the sun!)

#2 Swim at rivers, lakes, dugouts, wherever I can! I need practice in order to complete my next goal ..

#3 Pass my Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross. (I have never been a competitive swimmer so I’m a little intimidated by the idea of timed swims. I’ve been praying so hard that I’ll be given strength and energy to pass!)

#4 Hike two related trails *hopefully!*

#5 Read one Proverb and five Psalms a day (This will enable me to get through the books of Proverbs and Psalms in one month, without burning out, especially throughout the week of the Bronze courses.)

#6 Wake up at 5:30 so I can train for volleyball before the day gets hot! (And, of course, to give me an incentive to wake up earlier!)

#7 Get to lesson 140 in school, 29 lessons in both subjects.


My own pic! (drinking sunlight counts as a drink, right?)

So there we go!! A little inspiration for the month ahead, my goals, and some pretty pics! What thoughts are running through your mind as July shines down into your backyard? Do you have any goals you’ve got planned to smash? I’d love to hear about it all, down in the comments!

Farewell my friends, and we’ll hopefully talk again next time!

June Life Update!

Hey everyone! I hope you’re having a fabulous day! If I haven’t talked to you lately (even if I HAVE talked to you lately XD) tell me how you’ve been!! I’d love to know what y’all have been enjoying (and thinking about) lately! 🤗 And of course, if you don’t comment, I’ll just look at who liked my post and come ask you myself, “so, what’s up?” XD

How have we come to the end of June and I have STILL not posted my goals? *brain blows up* Well guys, I have a lot of posts in drafts but the time doesn’t feel quite right to post them yet. Suffice it to say though, I hope to be on here a little more in the near future. I haven’t given up on y’all! 😂 So I thought I’d do a little “life update” post to update y’all on my June goals, plans for July, and bucket list status!

Although I didn’t complete all my May goals, I worked at them and learned a lot of huge lessons over the month of May, like realizing that I’d like to spend more time reading the Word, and I’ve been working on that during this past month of June. Even if its just a couple chapters a day, going forward, I think that it will be key for me to make time for reading the Bible, but not put pressure on myself to complete a certain number of Bible books per month. Even though that can be fun in it’s own timing. 😂

And, here are my May favorites! (Plus some all-time favorites that I’ve been wanting to share for some time! XP)

  • Some articles, here and here, from my friend Noelle over at “A Rose For The Lord”! I really loved these posts and found them inspiring and fun, so be sure to check them out at Noelle’s Christian life-style and love-style blog!
  • My friend Keziah’s podcast, which already has several great episodes. I’ve really enjoyed listening to it while doing chores! She has some really great thoughts and tips for us Earth-dwelling and Bible-believing teenagers!
  • Going hiking!
  • Singing and playing guitar in a worship session.
  • Redoing my bedroom! (Don’t worry, I WILL eventually post on this! 😜)
  • This post, by Tanyaremkiv. So good.
  • Finding a poem I’d begun writing a while ago (to my great joy and thankfulness! I’ve been scarred for life by the loss of a ton of files, so I was really grateful to find at least one of my literary flights and make it intact!) 
  • Allie’s blog! Allie is just a barrel full of fun and passion! Check out her most recent “get to know you” post here!

This month of June, I wanted to keep my goals simple. I only had a few things that I really wanted to accomplish during this month, so I thought I’d focus on those, and on recuperating and getting my strength back up for school in the Fall!

  • Go hiking
  • Help lots of people with gardening!
  • Practice volleyball
  • Cross a TON of stuff off my bucket list.

And, like perfection, it happened! But of course, there are still three days left in June, so maybe I can try to “redo” some of these! XD

School

First of all, now that it’s the summer before my last “first day” of school, I’m really stressed and nervous about getting the appropriate coursework done before graduation next spring … I’m considering doing Government, American History, American Literature, Chemistry, Trigonometry and Calculus, studying Electrics modules, studying Piano, and trying out for the volleyball team. *wipes beads of sweat just thinking about it* As a homeschooler, (and this might be most homeschoolers’ experience,) I have been pushed to the limit academically before, but I never had to spend much TIME on it. It was difficult mentally, but it never took me long to complete assignments or essays.

Now that I’m working on Grade 11 coursework, I’m overwhelmed by things that shouldn’t seem so insurmountable. It will take a lot of committed work to attain the educational goals I’m aiming for.

Update of how my Summer Bucket List is coming along …

  • Hiking … twice!
  • Lots of volleyball!
  • I have not worn make-up in months. It’s Insane.
  • Talked to people! *fist pump* That is, talked concisely and maturely. 😉
  • GOT TO LESSON 111!!! 🎉🥳
  • baked a couple things I never had before …
  • made smoothies (this took SO much work … 😜)
  • I have studied three of my electrics modules! Only thirty-six more to go! XD

Personal + The Bible

Lately, I’ve been thinking a LOT about the future, and what I’ll do in my future. I know that everyone has a different path, and I’ve been seeking God’s Will in this, by praying and asking Him to reveal my steps. It’s so hard. And its also really hard. Did I mention its really hard? XD Another burden that I’m struggling to bear, is knowing that as I seek God’s Will, there will almost certainly be things that I don’t want to do. There might be so many of them that I’ll wish I hadn’t prayed. But, according to the book of James, I have a responsibility to pray for wisdom, in faith, and to follow through on the directions God gives me.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

James 1:5-8, NKJV

One of the things that I am SO grateful for is that I am blessed with a supportive family. My parents love me in different, but complementary ways. My mom is always ready to listen, and my dad always says the right thing. (Oh, and not forgetting my brothers, who are brutally honest, but can be very sweet!) Put them all together, and I have the most amazing support group ever! XD Seriously, I have been given so much peace whenever I’m feeling really stressed, by talking about it and getting my family’s advice and encouragement on what I should do, what steps I should take … AND, by just not thinking about it! I try to do the best I can with what I’ve got going on right now, and not worrying about the future.

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Mathew 6:31-34, NKJV

Of course, the Bible has been so helpful to me in this search. Striking a balance, doing what God wants me to do as well as taking the initiative, taking tiny steps while looking up at Him every once in a while to make sure I’m going the right way, is SO difficult, and I think is the MOST difficult when the only specific and definite life direction I’ve ever received from him is what I’ve read in the Bible, which applies to everyone generally … but its not so clear what the Bible has to say on the specific details of my future career. #stillpraying


During the first whole week of July, I will be taking an intense lifeguarding class which has minimum fitness requirements far beyond what I am used to. I’m not too concerned about the head knowledge testing but have been praying over the approaching class. It lasts from 9:00-5:00. Monday to Friday. 😳 So yeah, for a week I essentially have a fulltime and part-time job. *tosses math book in the trash* *for now*

I’ve also got high hopes for more hiking, beachgoing, and maybe even some kayaking. I’ve been realizing more and more, that its so hard to “plan” a summer as one kid out of four siblings, with lots of work and chores also begging for attention, and trying to arrange schedules, but it has also been amazingly surprising how my parents have planned so much fun stuff that I already wanted to do, so I’m feeling the blessings! XD

I’m not going to share too many specifics, since I’m planning to make a “July Goals” post pretty soon, so stay tuned for that! For now, I’ll just say to all of you who have made it this far, thank you so much for caring enough about me to read this long (and probably confusing!) post! Your support and friendship means so much to me! 🤗


I hope this gave you a bit of a window into what I’ve been doing lately! I’m going to leave y’all with a song of the day, one that I immediately enjoyed the first time I listened to it, and one that is so encouraging and amazing! *keels over* Anyways, hope y’all enjoy! See you next time! 👋

I Have Finished! And Yet, I’ve Only Just Begun …

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

I thought it would take me forever, but I have finished.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

9 months have passed, and hours and hours, but finally, I have finished.

“And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”

Thanks be to God for His Word, the water of life!

“He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”

I began reading the Bible in fuzzy story-book form in my toddler years, but last summer I began to read the Bible all the way through, from beginning to end. My parents encouraged me to, and my brother and friends inspired me along the way, and just today I read the last words of the book of Revelations and thought about how far I’ve come.

  • I’ve surrendered my future, my desires, my life.
  • I’ve grown to love reading and studying the Bible.
  • I’ve come to understand my own faith, on so many different levels.
  • I’ve been able to share my faith, as a result of increased confidence.
  • I’ve grown in character, which has always been my heartfelt desire.

As I traveled through the beginning of the Bible, I relished learning all the back story, the history, the “frame” for my faith. The Old Testament is considered boring by some people, but for me its rich and meaningful, always giving shadowy glimpses of the future in Christ. When I reached the four gospels, I was beyond excited to read about Jesus and see all the amazing parallels I had read about in the beginning of the Bible.

It all fits together, like a puzzle, and I have finished the puzzle for the first time. You know how you sit there in awe, after finishing a 5’000 piece puzzle, wondering at the hugeness and the complexity of it? You know that puzzle like the back of your hand. You’ve studied every piece. But all together, its beautiful.

It’s breathtaking.

But as soon as you finish it, it’s time to take it apart. But then after taking it apart, why not build it again? And again? Now that I’ve finished the Bible, I know I HAVE to read it again. And again. And again. To keep on building that 5’000 piece puzzle, until the edges are scuffed and the colors have faded. But the puzzle will still fit together.

It’s perfect.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow, as it judges the thoughts and purposes of the heart. 

Hebrews 4:12

The sword of the Word of God has pierced my soul. Nothing can pull it out. Nothing will ever release the hold it has on my heart. It’s changed me and my preconceived indoctrination of what I thought life was, and I know that it will continue to change me.

Can I say something?

I want you to study the Word with all your heart. I want you to begin at the beginning. I want you to discover truth. I want this for you.

But it will be hard.

And YOU have to want it. YOU have to make the choice.

So I’ll just tell you that if you decide to read the Bible, it will change you. Because the Word of God is living and active, sharper than a sword, convicting you.

Maybe you don’t want to change.

But what if that change gives you more happiness, fulfillment, and real life than you’ve ever experienced?

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

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.

Leaning On My Own Understanding – Trusting in HIS Perfection, Strength, and Sufficiency

(Note: Post outline was written a couple weeks ago.)

One day I was praying and asking YHVH why I didn’t feel right about starting a new workout challenge. It dawned that I was reverting back to my old ways of “relying on myself” to change me into who I wanted to be, instead of trusting God to provide a way.

This doesn’t mean that working out is wrong. Far from it! Working out is a great way to have fun and stay fit. However, this situation made me need to really STOP and think about why I wanted to do it. Here were the answers I found:

  • Get a better body
  • Feel cool, like other workout warriors
  • Feel better about myself and my abilities

I needed to reframe my approach.

  • I work out because it’s fun, and it helps me physically and mentally.

In my school that day, I had a lesson on Augustine’s sermon XXVI, about Peter, and how he sunk because of the storm around him. Here’s the story: Peter stepped out of the boat with full confidence in Jesus’ power to hold him up. But then he saw the storm around him, and as he doubted and grew fearful, he sank. As he sank, he called out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately rescued him and asked the piercing question, “Peter, why did you doubt?”

This is my main take-away from Augustine’s perspective – That Peter stopped relying on Yeshua’s strength, and tried to do it on his own strength. And he failed.

He failed just like the rest of us do, when we decide we don’t need to look in the Bible for an answer. When we don’t bother to pray about an issue. When we try and fix it ourselves, using logic or other people’s advice. We fail.

We fail because we are trusting on our own strength.

For me, this meant literally trusting on myself in everything. In my earlier teen years I thought in terms of logic and systematic analysis. That background has been great for my education, but not so good for when I was developing my own opinions on faith, life, and my future. Trusting in myself caused me to make plenty of mistakes, including the big one of doing a schooling curriculum that I knew God was telling me I would regret. And, although God worked through it to snap me awake and teach me some important things, I did regret it.

Now I trust in myself less – or at least I thought I did. Beginning this fitness journey, (which pretty much started at the beginning of December,) should have begun first with prayer and asking God to lend me his strength, instead of trying to figure it out on my own.

This morning, YHVH let me know that it’s not my biceps that carry me through the workouts – it’s the biceps he gave me to do the chores. It’s not my organizational skills that allow me to meal plan – it’s his organizational skills he gave to me to be able to get through the day smoothly. It’s not my talents – It’s His talents, for His glory.

Bottom line: STOP trusting in yourself. START trusting in God to supply all your strength. You have more strength through Him than you could ever have without Him.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.”

Proverbs 3:5-8, NKJV

Just … wow. Reread those four verses.

We often trust in our own strength. Sometimes we don’t even realize it, like me with working out. When we fall, it’s our own fault for doubting that His strength is enough.

But when we fall – what’s the right choice?

To call on Him again. To say, “I failed – but you never fail. Save me!” And He will! Just like he did with Peter, Yeshua can save you with His strength.


“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,

Nor detest His correction;

For whom the Lord loves He corrects,

Just as a father the son in whom he delights.

Proverbs 3: 11-12, NKJV

So, if you’re feeling the sting of correction that says, “Stop doing it yourself! Ask me for MY plans and MY strength”, then concede. Repent. Ask for His strength.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Mathew 7:7-11, NKJV

YHVH is your loving Father! He won’t cheat you or cheapen the gift by giving you some half-hearted attempt at a 20 lb weight! No way! He’ll give you the strength to lift a whole 300-pounder! (Metaphorically speaking.) THAT’S the kind of strength I’m talking about!

So STOP. Lean on Him. And he will give you rest and strength.

Makayla

The Immorality of the Decameron

The Black Plague struck Europe in the 17th century, and modern historians estimate that it wiped out nearly one third of Europe’s total population. There was no cure – the people were helpless to save themselves. And many of them cried out to God – but there was no salvation. The Plague continued to spread.

The culture lost its faith in God. They began to revive the worldviews and thinking of the Ancient Greeks and Romans, renewing principles of logic and reason, and throwing themselves to enjoy things of the physical world, for they knew they could die at any moment. They lost a sense of morality found in Scripture – they drifted from the religious devotion of the earlier medieval periods because they felt that God had abandoned them.

Using the system of thinking I have learnt to adopt in this course, the changes become more marked and easier to see.

#1 – Sovereignty – In earlier periods, the people would have looked to God as their sovereign, but now they were going through hard times and believed that God had abandoned them. Even though God still held a position of sovereignty over them, they chose to ignore Him. The people didn’t realize that hard times may also come after choosing to follow God, as a test of faith.

#2 – Authority – As a result of the above points, the people switched from relying on both the Church and the State, to simply relying on the State.

#3 – Law – In spite of the fact that the laws of the land still existed and the State was in control, many officials were incapable of enforcing said laws, because of the great sickness and confusion. Moral law, however, was a different story – there was NO control, because the Church had lost its power in the eyes of the people. Since the people had decided that they didn’t want God to be their sovereign, they simply decided not to follow his moral laws. This led to an extreme moral deterioration in which adultery, murder, and theft abounded, and was often even glorified through the literature.

To quote “The Decameron” … “whereby every man was free to do what was right in his own eyes.”

To quote the Bible … “every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

The Israelites also fell prey to this mindset, yet God did not give up on them. The Europeans should have learned their lesson from the Israelites.

#4 – Sanctions – No one was getting punished for disobeying the moral laws that the nations had once held to, because there was no longer any punishment for disobedience of those moral laws. (Reason #1 – Moral decline. Reason #2 – Most potential enforcers of correct moral sanctions were unable to actually enforce them.) New sanctions were being presented, such as: If one should choose to commit adultery, let him – he may die soon anyway.

#5 – Inheritance – When faced with the bleak prospect of imminent death by an incurable virus, people lost heart. According to them, the end was near. They had no desire to work towards the future, because they had lost hope in the future. This resulted in many people living “for the moment”, doing whatever they wanted, regardless of the consequences. This calls to mind the age-old phrase, “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we may die.”


Boccaccio invoked the name of God in order to hide what he was really dishing out, which was smut literature, for the purpose of the satisfaction of sexual desires. I will not be reading the more unsavory parts of the Decameron, but the mere fact that in one chapter God’s name is called upon, and then in the next a sexual scene is described, impresses upon me that perhaps Boccaccio was not himself a man of moral uprightness and perfect character.

In general, the Decameron emphasized that religion required reason and sincere faith. According to the book, actions didn’t matter, as seen in the chapters in which impure conduct is described. Yet biblically, deeds displayed true faith. Moral uprightness shows the world that we believers truly are different and have a different spirit inside of us.

We even have this problem today. People believe that as long as they have faith in God, say that He is the lord of their lives, and accept the fact that Christ will forever be the only perfect man, they can do whatever they want. They say that actions don’t much matter to their faith – that, as long as they are sincere in merely their thoughts, they are “all good” under heaven. This is certainly not the case – but people didn’t get it in the 1700s, and they still don’t get it today.

Sadly, even contemporary literature displays this theme – a book may refer to God, in passing, but yet the characters themselves may act just like the world, with debauchery and impure swearing – in other words, like non-Christians. One example is the popular and exciting ‘Divergent’ series – yes, full of adventure, and it does throw a few bones to a supreme deity – yet full of moral decay to the foundations.

“People can’t read your thoughts to see if you have a truly sincere faith. A truly sincere faith is shown by the deeds and actions of the believer.”

Makayla

Finding Your Identity In God Alone- Inner Beauty (Part 4)

Hello everyone! Welcome back to the blog for another Inner Beauty post! It’s been a while since I last posted in this series, and y’all must’ve thought I’d forgotten all about it! I’ve been waiting for the right subject to discuss next.

(To see parts One, Two, and Three of the series, see the articles linked below!)

I know that the subject of “finding your identity” in God is touchy. No one seems to provide an answer for those who honestly want to know how to do it. The truth is, there is no “one” answer. However, I think there is a principle to follow in everyday life, in order to be sure that your life “lines up” with God’s will.

“Make your decisions based on The Word, but leave the resolution to God.”

Me 🙂

Recently I discovered that all of the files on my computer would have to be wiped. And I know I told some of you that there might be a chance it could be recovered, but it was a false hope. The shop just couldn’t clear the virus to grab the content.

You know what that means, don’t you? All the stories I’ve written, even some novels I was starting … Lots of essays, the essays I had been working on when I was trying to catch up and had almost finished … some songs I had written … and around 17 pages of blog post ideas.

The last one is just annoying, but the rest really hurt. I love writing, and I used to spend a lot of my time writing things that flowed right from my heart. I never backed up my computer, and now all those things are gone. What now do I have to remind me of those days, of those accomplishments?

I was really, really sad, when I first found out. (Honestly, I cried a lot.) It felt like something precious had been stripped away from me, and it had been. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to rewrite some of those stories, and I certainly can’t remember many of the songs. My parents decided to let me skip those essays that I’d already written, so I don’t have to write them again. And I’ll continue to blog, dont worry! 😊

Life goes on … but when you’re smack in the middle of the pain, it’s hard to see it.

Photo by Vojtech Okenka on Pexels.com

In the middle of it, I felt peace. I was crying, but I felt at peace. I’m paraphrasing what I prayed, (because I don’t have a perfect memory!) but here it is:

“I don’t know how to fix this, but You can. But if You don’t, I believe that it’ll be okay. I won’t mourn, because I’d know that You wanted it to happen. And my identity is not found in these computer files – it is found in YOU, in who I am in You. Help me. I don’t know how this will affect my school either, but You will make a way.”

If my identity is found and rooted in my WIPs and albums and academic record, and any one of those things tanks, then I will be totally destroyed. But if my identity is rooted in The Most High, and He is the One I go to whenever there’s a passion-demolition, then I can’t be devastated.

(Another journal snippet:)

“But most of all, I know that though everything else be taken from me, I can never lose who I am – who I’ve become – and I can never be stripped of my faith.”

I know know KNOW that God’s got it. And He’s in control of YOUR situations too … whatever disappointment you’re dealing with right now, is His Will for you. Even if it’s something horrible that you never would have wanted for yourself. Girls and boys, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I can see the light at the end of my tunnel. And because YHVH is the one driving the train, I know we’ll make it through okay.

This song is so so powerful. If I watched it right now, I’d cry. Because it’s exactly how I feel about what just happened in my life, and it’s exactly how I want to respond to every other hardship I face in the future. Watch it. That’s an order. XD


I guess this is where I provide you all with the catchy little phrase so you can remember this more easily. XD But I’d encourage you not to just look at the phrase – internalize it. Make it REAL in YOUR life.

BeautifulYou Tip: Identify in God alone. Bring every aspect of your life back to His Will for you. Praise Him for what He’s doing in your life, even if it hurts. Embrace the emotional strength and spritual maturity that develops as a result of trusting in God alone.

So get out there! Face your challenges. Instead of tearing yourself apart and frantically trying to fix them, leave them in God’s hands. Go ahead and do what you can … but in the meanwhile, He’ll be doing what no one and nothing else can do.

Makayla