Tag Archives: life

Going outside!

Confession: I skipped class today…

“What? You did what, Sissy?”  My mom is probably asking this question in her head and THEN wondering why in the world I would write about it.  (Hi Mom!  I love you ;) )  But here’s why…

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature, and God.  Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy amidst the simple beauty of nature.”

Anne Frank was the wise, young woman that wrote these words, and this is basically what she’s saying.  Whenever we get so consumed with our own problems/fears/worries, the best thing for us is to go to the place where we feel closet to God: nature.

While I am not suggesting that we skip work or class or a meeting whenever we feel stressed, today, I didn’t go to class in order to spend this time to remember that God is my first priority, not grades.  It’s because of Him that I am able to go to class and even make grades.  I had forgotten this.

So do whatever it takes for you to remember who it is that you are living for and from.  Don’t be irresponsible–I’m not giving you a “Get out of jail” free card like in the game monopoly–but I am encouraging you to find your strength in Christ and be empowered by that strength to do all that He has given you to do.

“In return and in rest, you shall be saved.

In quiet and in trust shall be your strength.”

Isaiah 30:15

Take time to rest in beauty of God… Take time to appreciate Him for all that He is in our lives.  See and BELIEVE that He is the reason for every occurrence/occasion in your life.

Go outside and rest in God!

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The Coach’s View on the Soccer Field of Life

Do you ever wonder how God looks at us as His children?  If life was a soccer match and God was the coach, to whom would God give high fives or shake His head because of a bad play or yell out shouts of encouragement? 

Recently, this question has been on my mind.  While we can never know the motives of God, there are a couple of verses that have given me some thoughts on how God looks upon us.  

“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Sam. 16:7

Right off the bat, we see that God sees differently than we do.  Why is that?  It’s because on earth, our outer appearance is how we usually convey our worldly state–whether we are happy, successful, wealthy, etc.  But here’s the thing, God’s kingdom is much different than our world.  While the criteria for who’s the best here in the world may be based on status, God’s kingdom sees right through all of this. 

“27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:27-31

You see, it’s all about our heart condition.  When we encounter God, does the life that we live from there out give all the glory to Him? 

Just as a great coach, God sees that while skill is needed for His team–after all, He gave us every skill that we have–it’s the condition of your heart that determines how you will work in His body of believers.  Will your life of being the most improved–from a destitute sinner to a believer washed in God’s grace and love–be even more important than being the team member that scores the most goals?

God loves each and every single one of us–bench warmer or team captain alike.  So the real question for you today is this: by your heart condition, are you ready to glorify God?

…Trust IS the Lord

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,

whose trust IS the Lord.

He is like a tree planted by water,

that sends our its roots by the stream,

and does not fear when heat comes,

for it’s leaves remain green,

and is not anxious in the year of the drought,

for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

* Jeremiah 17:7-8 *

This is one of my favorite Bible verses, and I think I like it so much because of the tree analogy.  Especially with summer heat full in swing, I feel as though every day is a day within a season of drought; therefore, this verse seems especially appropriate this time of the year.

Whenever you read this verse, I hope part of the beginning catches your eye… Blessed is the man…whose trust IS the Lord.  Woah!  That is a bold statement to make, a statement that I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out.  After all, why would it be necessary to make sure a huge distinction between trust in the Lord versus trust being Him.

Take some time and ask yourself why you think this distinction was made.  What implications are evident in the lives of those whose trust is the Lord?  I’ll be back tomorrow after a good night of sleeping.  Hopefully, He’ll be able to teach us all so much more about trusting through this passage.

Sleep well tonight or have a great day if you are reading this at any time other than bedtime ;) .

Praying your day is filled with Sonshine,

Sarah :)

Want to know God’s will for your life?

Do you ever struggle with wanting to know God’s will for your life?

If you said, “Yes,” to that question, then have no fear because we ALL struggle with this!  I constantly find myself asking questions like, What am I going to do with my life?  What does God want me to do?  What if I don’t follow His road exactly?  How will I know if I’m doing what God wants me to do?  What if I don’t want to do what He wants me to do?

Although I certainly don’t have an exact answer for you or anything, I’m learning that fulfilling God’s will for our lives is much simpler than we thought.  Here’s where we can begin:

1.  Accept that we cannot know God’s plan for our lives

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.  Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:10

2.  Seek Him constantly-

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” James 4:8

Learn more about Him through reading the Bible : “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

3.  Glorify God in all that we do (1 Corinthians 10:31)

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

“We are always of good courage.  We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord,  for we walk by faith, not by sight…So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.” 2 Corinthians 5:6, 7, 9

4. Enjoy HIM forever

“These things, I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” Jesus’s words in John 15:11

“For apart from him, who can eat or find enjoyment?” Ecclesiastes 2:25

“I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live.” Ecclesiastes 3:12

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Said simply, the next time that you begin to ask yourself, “What is God’s will for me?” take your eyes off of the problem and pray with your eyes on God.  Have faith in and draw near to, glorify, and enjoy Him forever: this is, at least, the beginning of what it means to live according to God’s will.

Biblical love as expressed by John Piper

I’ve been reading John Piper’s book Don’t Waste Your Life, and there is a really good passage that I want to share! Here it is:
“We waste our lives when we do not pray and think and dream and plan and work toward magnifying God in all spheres of life. God created us for this: to live our lives in a way that makes him look more like the greatness and the beauty and the infinite worth that he really is. In the night sky of this world God appears to most people, if at all, like a pinprick of light in a heaven of darkness. But he created us and called us to make him look like what he really is. This is what it means to be created in the image of God. We are meant to image forth in the world what he is really like.

For many people, this is not obviously an act of love. They do not feel loved when they are told that God created them for HIS glory. They feel used. This is understandable given the way love has been almost completely distorted in our world. For most people, to be loved is to be made much of. Almost everything in our Western culture serves this distortion of love. We are taught in a thousand ways that loves means increasing someone’s self-esteem. Love is helping someone feel good about themselves. Love is giving them a mirror and helping him like what he sees.

This is not what the Bible means by the love of God. Love is doing what is best for someone. But making self the object of our highest affections is not best for us. It is, in fact, a lethal distraction. We were made to see and savor God–and savoring him, to be supremely satisfied, and thus spread in all the world the worth of his presence. Not to show people the all-satisfying God is not to love them. To make them feel good about themselves when they were made to feel good about seeing God is like taking someone to the Alps and locking them in a room full of mirrors.”

Isn’t this amazing? How different would we love others if we accepted this Biblical definition of love? How different would our world be? It’s had me thinking, and I have every loved every minute of this contemplation…

Quick post in the midst of a study break….

Alright!  Here is a super duper quick post while I am taking a break from stacks of books and mounds of paper that should be in binders.

Keep your focus on God.

It’s that simple and yet that is your key to success.  Remember that Heaven is our ultimate destination, our place of desiring!

Here are some verses to read as a study/work/stressful moment break:

Romans 2:6-8

Romans 8:24-25

Romans 8:28

1 Corinthians 7:17

1 Corinthians 15:58

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

2 Corinthians 5:13-15

Look at these verses this morning and take a moment to let them wash over you.  How would your life change if you really took these to heart?  What about your life would look different if you actually lived by them?

I pray your day is filled with Sonshine,

Now if this graphic doesn't make you giggle or smile... well that could just mean that you didn't wake up before the sun rose to study...

Sarah :)