Prayer Requests of the Month

Welcome to my monthly prayer request post! Thank you to those who submitted prayer requests for me to pray for and also to those of you who were willing for me to share them in this post. My mom asked that I not have a contact form anymore, so I won’t be able to receive any of your prayer requests any more.

Let’s get started. First let us remember that the God we pray to is holy, holy, holy. He is above everything and anything. He is not only above everything, he created everything. Sin cannot be in the presence of God, but God wants us to be with him so much that he was willing to send his one and only Son to be crucified, so that we could be cleansed of our sin.

So first, confess your sin to God (and/or confess to a brother or sister in Christ) and ask God to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. He is faithful to forgive. Do not take the privilege of prayer and communion with the Holy God of all creation for granted. Jesus died a horrible death to grant it to you. Accept this privilege with awe, wonder, and worship.

“Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.” -Psalm 51:1-2

“Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.” -Psalm 51:10-12

“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” -Mark 11:25

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” -1 John 1:9

“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” -Hebrews 4:16

Here are the two prayer requests I received to be shared here:

  • Skipping Adolescence said: “Would you pray that God would help me be more loving and joyful and that I would be bold for Him?”
  • Hannah Gaudette said “My prayer request is for my mom. For the first time since I was born, she is working outside the home. She is having a really hard time with this, I think partly because she has always felt she would work from home. It’s a temporary job, but I really want her to have peace with it and not worry or feel anxious.”

Here are my two prayer requests:

  • Prayer for Rachel Dye who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer about three months ago. You can learn more her at her blog here.
  • Prayer that God would equip me to share the gospel and to be a light in all that I do.

Please lift up these prayer requests!

Thank you for your prayer!

“With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” -Ephesians 6:18-20 (NASB)

*All scripture quotations are from the NASB translation unless otherwise noted




When You Are Struggling With Loneliness

Loneliness is hard. Everyone faces it at some point. We were made for God and for fellowship with him, and there is emptiness without him. We long for the day when we will be with him forever when we will finally see him face to face. But God never made us to be without human fellowship. He said at creation that it was “not good” for man to be alone. God is enough. All our desires and longings must be fulfilled by him only, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t create us to love one another and help one another. 

What do you do when despite being satisfied with God and content with life, loneliness begins to fill you? You don’t want to become bitter. You want to be content and thankful, but inside you can’t get rid of that longing for people and fellowship. 

First of all, when you are feeling lonely, 

Don’t allow a bitter root of jealousy to grow

There is a tendency that I find inside myself to grow bitter and jealous when I’m feeling lonely. Loneliness is not sinful, but if you don’t watch out, it can produce something sinful. When you are lonely, it is so easy to just look around and assume everyone else has it so much more together than you, and that you are the only one. That is exactly what Satan wants. Satan loves to use loneliness to turn us from God. He wants us to feel alone and isolated. The Father of Lies want to tell us that no one loves us, no one cares, that we are alone, that we have to fight the impossible with no one else to help us along. He wants us to feel ALONE.

But we are never alone. It is comfort enough that God is there. It is surely comfort enough that the God of the universe loves us beyond our comprehension and will never leave us nor forsake us. But it is even more comforting that we will never be alone truly. God will always love us, but isn’t it awesome to have people around us who whole-hearted love us? We can’t always see them, so it often feels like they don’t exist. Although I can’t biblically prove that there will always be someone in the world who specifically loves you, I know there will always be someone else who loves Jesus. And the bible says that he who does not love his brother, cannot love Jesus.

“If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.” -1 John 4:20 (NASB)

But I pose my question once again: What do we do when we are feeling lonely, sometimes despite having people all around us? Here are some other ideas. This one is pretty much common knowledge, but we all need a reminder sometime:

Remember that you are not alone and will never be alone

I love the accounts in 1 and 2 Kings about Elijah and Elisha. Two in particular, are my favorite. The first is the one where Elijah is running away, with Jezebel plotting to kill him. The after miraculously providing food and water for him, the Lord tells him to stand on the mountain before him. First, there was a great wind, and then an earthquake, and then a fire, as the Lord passed by, but God was not in it the wind, the earthquake, or the fire. Then came a gentle whisper, and behold, it was God! “What are you doing here, Elijah?” God asks. Elijah replies by telling God of all of the things Israel has done to profane his (God’s) name by worshiping Baal and all that stuff, and then tells him “I, only I am left to serve, you, and they seek my life, to take it away.” After giving him instruction the Lord gives this powerful promise to him “Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” 

Isn’t that powerful? Elijah felt very alone at this moment. He thought that he was so alone, that he was the only one who served God, and not only did he feel like the only one, but he knew his enemies were pursuing him, to take his life away. He could not see those seven thousand men. I’m sure he was grateful for receiving Elisha as a replacement, but when God tells you that there are seven thousand people on your side, that is something powerful. 

The second account is also powerful. The king of Aram had sent horses and chariots and a great army, and they came by night and surrounded the city where Elisha was. 

“Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” -2 Kings 6:15-18 (NASB)

When an army of chariots is circling your city and you are crying out “Alas, what shall I do!”, remember the words of Elisha: “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them”. We can’t see who is with us. We cannot see the invisible battle. But we can rest assured: we are not alone.

The next thing is

Sow Godly Friendships

Like most things you sow, this does not reap immediate benefits. It is hard. But we were not made to live alone, we need a brother or a sister beside us. In my post Think on These Things, I mentioned that to help your “thought life” you need to stop spending time with people who gossip and start spending more time with godly people. Because who you hang out with is who you will become more like. Christ is our perfect example. But there are also godly people who are more mature than us that we look up to. I least they should be godly. Because you are going to become like the person you look up to. So be intentional about who you look up to and look around, not judging others, but seeing if they are someone who you want to become more like, see if they are exemplifying Christ in their lives.

Paul tells the Corinthians:

“Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.” -1 Corinthians 11:1

He also tells the Galatians:

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” -Galatians 6:2

We were not meant to follow Christ alone. We are one part of the whole body of Christ here on earth. How can the body of Christ work with only one part? The eye cannot work alone. nor can the arm, or the ear. We need each other. We need each other for accountability, we need each other for the hard times, and we need each other for relationship or fellowship. What is important when examining our salvation in Christ? Our relationship with him. God is made of fellowship, and he has perfect fellowship within himself, within the Trinity. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit enjoy perfect fellowship with each other. We were made to have relationship and fellowship with each other, and more importantly with God.

So you probably get the point, we are made for relationship, etc., etc., but how do we sow godly relationships? This is where it gets hard. Because those true die-hard friends, who help you grow and always build you every time you see them are rare and few. To sow godly friendships, 

First, Pray

There are a whole lot of things you can to do develop and seek out godly brothers and sisters in Christ who will be there for you, but of all things, as usual, the best and first thing to do is to pray. Prayer changes everything, and just the act of prayer changes you. For more on how prayer changes you other than you receiving what you pray for, see this post here on The Purpose of Prayer. Prayer literally changes everything. It is so important to pray.

“And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” -Mathew 21:22

Get past the awkward silences

Ever been there? You’ve said hello to the new person at church, you talked for a little bit, and then… just sort of stopped….nobody could think of what to talk about next. Inside you’re thinking “Well this is an awkward silence…..whatever am I supposed to say next…..this is sort of embarrassing…..why did I try to talk to this person anyway……what should I say?” What do you do? Pretend it never happened! Just ignore the awkward silences because they happen to everyone. Try again. Keep going.

Once I was trying to get to know some people at church. There was a group of about 4-5 of some really sweet and kind young ladies, sort of in a circle, and I really wanted to get to know them. It was after church and they were standing in between the edge of the pews and the wall. No knowing what else to do, I just sort of stood there….you know…just kind of stood there waiting for I  don’t know what. After a little bit, they saw me and one of them said “Oh, I’m so sorry, do you need to get through?” and they sort of moved aside so I could get through if I needed too. I could have stopped there and just walked past like they thought I was wanting to do and just have been like “That was embarrassing. Let’s not do that again.”. But instead, with courage I don’t think I could find right now, I said: “Oh, no, I don’t need to get through, I was just wanting to meet you guys.” So I introduced myself and I’m glad I did because they are some really sweet and kind sisters in Christ. One of them is now among my older sisters closest friends. 

One of them said later that when I just sort of kept standing there and didn’t walk away,  she was thinking “Yay! She’s being brave! I’m so glad!” She had wanted to meet me but wasn’t very outgoing, so she appreciated me “being brave”. People will appreciate you ignoring the awkward silences. You don’t have to be outgoing to reach out to people. Just get over those first parts of starting conversations. Then you can go on to the next important thing about sowing godly friendships.

“The end of a matter is better than its beginning;
Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit.” -Ecclesiastes 7:8

Talk about what’s important

A couple weeks ago, my friendships at my church just went to another level. Ever since my family started to go to the church we’re at now, two years ago, I have been praying for a close friend at my church. For a long time, I had sort of been friends with and knew pretty much everyone without really having anyone who I felt I was particular friends with. Nobody had ever initiated a conversation with me, except for the very first time we went to our church. Suddenly when God began working on my heart and stirring my heart for evangelism, I had something real to talk about. What had been on my heart the whole week, I couldn’t help but talk about and pretty soon my conversations at church began to have a whole new depth to them. When you are on fire for something, your conversations can’t stop at the usual “How are you” “Oh, I’m good!”. You must talk about what God has laid on your heart or not talk at all. 

Well, it turns that when you have conversations that are on fire for the Lord with godly brothers or sisters, they come back excited to talk to you. So for the first in my memory, a friend at church came to me after service, excited to talk to me. And guess what she wanted to talk to me about? Something she was reading about in the book of Daniel! That is my favorite kind of subject to talk with people about. Now every time we meet at church, we talk about what we’ve been learning in the bible and sometimes we’ll do a little impromptu bible study! To me, it’s an answered prayer.

When you get straight to what’s important to talk about, you’ll find those godly friends will come back. Sometimes things don’t happen immediately. 

“Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.” -Philippians 2:1-2 

You’ve got to be patient

The best friendships are those that last forever. Those are the ones that stand through the hard times and the good, those are REAL friendships. I have one such friend and I think currently she is probably my closest friend. We sort of knew each other when we were really little, but as we’ve gotten older, our friendship just gets better. Last Christmas I sent her a Christmas card (not sure why I didn’t think of that sooner..) and she wrote back asking if we could be pen-pals. We don’t live that far away from each other, but we both have busy families, so it can be hard to get together very often. We had sort of talked about pen-palling before but had never really put the idea into action. We’ve now pen-palled for about a year, and I can’t tell you how much her letters build me up. Every time I see her I’m always so encouraged and built up. 

She’s probably also reading this post. When I created this blog in February, I sent her the URL. Ever since then, she’s been my #1 supporter on this blog. She is so special to me and I really hope she reads this post! 

But before I went on the side-track about how wonderful my God-given friend is, my point was, you’ve got to be patient. When you invest in godly friends, when you pray, and when you talk about what’s actually important, if you’re patient, it will pay off. 

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” -Galatians 6:9 (NASB)

Sowing godly friendships is what you do so that you are don’t become seemingly alone in this hard world, but what can you do when loneliness just hits you and you are struggling to turn away from jealousy and bitterness? Well, it helps to know what you are turning to. Sometimes when we are lonely, we’ll tell ourselves that if we just work harder, it will go away; if we just overload ourselves with work and busyness, it will sort of cover up and hide the loneliness inside of us; maybe if we just do other stuff and occupy our brain with everything else we won’t have time to think about how lonely we are. 

These things sound close. But while they are close, they are very wrong. They won’t work. Neither will the opposite. Indulging ourselves and being lazy won’t work either. So what will? 

Looking around

Looking around at what? At how lonely and depressing life is? No! At how much we have. Thanksgiving is the cure for jealousy. And the cure for loneliness? Looking around and finding people who are more lonely than you are. Be a friend to them who have no friends. We need friends to some extent here on earth, but we don’t depend on having them. We have Christ and that’s all we need.

Are you struggling to find joy? Look to Christ and seek to give others joy. Are you facing loneliness and depression? Make someones day by being a friend to them. There are some people who build us up and help us grow. These are our fellowship friendships. But there are other friendships that are mostly one way. We need to be friends to people even when we don’t necessarily want them as our friends in the way of looking up to them or being built up by them. You need a mix. You cannot live for Christ without pouring out Christ’s love on those who need it, but you also need to have people who are there for you and who will strengthen you and bear your burdens. 

When you look around at the lonely, dejected people who are just waiting for someone who cares, your longing for friendship and companionship will be replaced with a much greater and stronger longing: the longing to be Christ to the least of these. If you think about it, our relationship with God is one-sided. God pours out his infinite love on us, and we give a tiny bit of finite worship meanwhile living almost just as we did before. I’m so glad God is not only able to use such broken things as us but does. He calls us to be to the least of these what he is to us. He calls us to show them his infinite love. This is an impossible calling! We cannot do it without him. We are more than completely unable. But he is able. He can do the impossible.

So when you are lonely, don’t look to yourself. There is no hope there, no grounds for boasting found there. We are just empty sinners in a broken and fallen world. But when we look around there is so much to be grateful for, so much we’ve been given and so much we can give. So look around. If you go to school or work, look for the person who is lonely and withdrawn, and show them what God has shown you: show them that someone cares. Show them that someone loves them, and point them to God. 

“The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” -Romans 13:12 



Thank you for reading this post and I hope it is an encouragement for everyone who is struggling with loneliness and a reminder to face the battle and share God’s love with the world. If you struggle with seeing Christ as the fulfillment of all your desires and longings read this post. I also have a post on The Least of These and a post on Proclaiming the Glorious News of Jesus Christ, so you can check those out if you haven’t read them yet or are new to my blog. I also love this post I found by Girl Defined that lists 15 compelling reasons to be grateful to God. 

If you think someone who read your blog needs to hear this, do not hesitate to reblog this. To reblog this post, click the title of the post to get out of Reader and to my actual blog, scroll down, and click reblog. 

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” – Galatians 6:9-10 (ESV)

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,'” -Hebrews 13:5 (NASB)

“The Lord will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.” -Psalm 138:8 (NASB)

“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” -Deuteronomy 31:6 (NASB)

* All scripture quotations are from the NASB translation unless otherwise noted. 

Life is Full of the Unexpected… Especially on the Farm

Farm-life is full of unexpected things. You can’t really ever predict things. You can’t say “Okay, this cow will have this calf on this day at this hour”. You can’t just go to bed at 9 and get up at 6 every day. It doesn’t work that way. Unexpected things are always coming up. It reminds me of this verse:

“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” -James 4:14 (ESV)

Last night was one of those unexpected nights. I had just come home from orchestra practice, and I hurried to get ready for bed. I went to bed at around 11pm (I got home at like 10-10:30pm) and around midnight I was just becoming sleepy. Outside I heard footsteps. “To whom did those footsteps belong?” I thought sleepily.” Maybe it was my younger brother….they sure were loud and alert…..but my brother should be asleep…….is it my dad?” Suddenly, I was wide awake. If it was my dad, something must be wrong. Sure enough, the footsteps came rapidly up to my bedroom door.

For the sake of the story, we will say my name is Faith, as my blog is sort of called “Faith on the Farm”, that can be my pen name. My door burst open and my dad exclaimed “Faith! Wake up! I need your help. Quick! We have a breach. Meet me at the barn.” In an instant, I was awake and changed into jeans and a t-shirt. I don’t think I’ve changed that fast before. It probably took 5 seconds. In another instant, I grabbed a flashlight, slipped on my Crocs, and ran as fast I could down to the barn, right after my dad. Upon arriving moments after my dad, I had to confess to myself, for once: At 33 degrees Fahrenheit, I was slightly cold in a short-sleeved shirt. In fact, I must admit, it was a struggle to keep my teeth from chattering. 

For those of you who don’t know what I breach is, I’ll explain. A breach generally means the calf is coming out backward. Why is this a problem? When a calf comes out the right direction, it is shaped like a banana upside-down. The shape of the nose in a wedge helps to induce labor and the banana shape makes it easier to come out. When a calf tries to come out backwards, back-legs first, the momma cow usually can’t push it out on her own. If left on her own, the calf would probably die. 

This particular cow was a heifer, a first-timer, as we say. She was a smaller cow and overdue. The amazing thing is, of all the calves born this season, she was the only one who went into labor at a time when my dad was home. All the other cows had their calves on their own, and my dad wasn’t around when it happened. This particular night my dad was available and coincidently it was the exact time that the momma cow needed help. Some coincident huh? Or shall we give the glory to God and say it was a God thing? Cause it definitely was. 

After a lot effort and an amount of stress, we managed to head-gate the momma cow and pull the calf. Praise God, the calf was alive and healthy. This was the first calf we’ve had to pull in years. We released the momma cow and watched her momma-instinct kick in as she licked and generally “mommy’d” the calf. Quite understandably, after being pulled out of its momma with pull-chains, the calf was a little wobbly on the feet. Because of this, to make sure the calf got its colostrum, after about forty minutes, my dad got the momma cow back in the head-gate, pulled off the calf panel, and holding up the calf a little for a little support, pushed its mouth towards the udder. The calf was hungry and drank, much to my dad’s relief. 

Thanks be to God, the calf is well and healthy so far. Currently, it is sleeping with its momma. I’m so glad to be able to partake in saving its life! I’m sure you will see pictures of it in a little bit. In case you’re wondering, it’s a boy-calf. And it sure is a big one!

Last night was not expected. I was expecting to go to bed, sleep all night and get up around 7. Being as I went to bed around 1, I slept a little later than that. But the point is, you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. You don’t have to have a plan for everything, a backup plan for everything that could go wrong. We may plan, but it is the Lord who establishes his steps. 

What happens when we try to take control of our lives? Anxiety. Control freaks are filled with anxiety. Because we don’t really ever have control. We know nothing of what is going to happen tomorrow. We can guess, and we can make plans based on what we guess, but in the end, we really don’t know. So what can we really do? Give it to God. He knows everything, has control over everything, and he is on the throne. He is seated forever on the throne. He will stay there immovable. 

We can always worry. After all, there’s a lot to worry about. But it is unnecessary. 

“And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span?” -Luke 12:25 (NASB)

Are you worried about your loved ones? Are you worried about your reputation? Are you worried about your future? Who better to entrust with those things than God? Will he not take so much better care of them than you? Give them to him, entrust them to him. He is faithful

Have a wonderful day, and trust God. He is the solid rock. He is the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is unchanging and unmovable!

“There is no one holy like the Lord,
Indeed, there is no one besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.”
-1 Samuel 2:2 (NASB)

Word Study of the Month- Abide

This month’s words study is on the word ‘Abide’. I really, really enjoy doing these word studies and I look forward to them!

The Hebrew word for abide is yashab (יָשַׁב) which means “to sit, remain, dwell” (here). It is translated in the old testament as abide, sits enthroned, settled, and wait among other things. It portrays a patient and deep sort of waiting and dwelling. The fact that is often translated as to sit shows the permanence of the dwelling. When you visit someone’s house until you sit down you are really just touring the house. When you lay down and sleep in a house it adds another level of abiding in that house, in fact, it makes the house your abode. When Jesus ascended to heaven, he truly remained there or abide there when he sat down on his throne. He abides as King. He will remain.

The Greek word, menó (μένω) is similar, meaning the same sort of remaining and dwelling. However, it more often translates into waiting or staying than the Hebrew. It is also translated as lasting, enduring, living, or to await.

“equivalent to not to depart, not to leave, to continue to be present: to maintain unbroken fellowship with one, adhere to his party, to be constantly present to help one, of the Holy Spirit, to put forth constant influence upon one, of the Holy Spirit,” (see here)

“Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.” -1 John 2:28 (NASB)

“Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable………

Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;” -Isaiah 40:28-31 (NASB)

When we abide in Christ we receive strength and joy.

Unless we abide in Christ, we can do nothing fruitful.

And all the branch possesses belongs to the vine. The branch does not exist for itself, but to bear fruit that can proclaim the excellence of the vine: it has no reason of existence except to be of service to the vine. Glorious image of the calling of the believer, and the entireness of his consecration to the service of his Lord.”
― Andrew Murray, Abide in Christ

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” -John 15:5 (NASB)

“So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” -Ephesians 3:17-19 (NASB)

“Oh, that you would come and begin simply to listen to His Word and to ask only the one question: Does He really mean that I should abide in Him? The answer His Word gives is so simple and so sure: By His almighty grace you now are in Him; that same almighty grace will indeed enable you to abide in Him. By faith you became partakers of the initial grace; by that same faith you can enjoy the continuous grace of abiding in Him” –Andrew Murray, Abide in Christ: The Joy of Being in God’s Presence

We are seeking the things from above. We must in patience rest in God, producing through his working, the fruit of the spirit. We cannot produce this fruit without abiding in the vine. Someday, God will bring us to truly abide with him, to dwell with him, and worship him, in heaven.

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” – Colossians 3:1-4 (NASB)

“My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people.” – Ezekiel 37:27 (NASB)

Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful day!

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”

– John 14: 16-17 (NASB)

*All Scripture quotations are from the NASB translation

I am Thankful

This post is going to serve to purposes. One is, however unqualified I am to be doing a post on this, I want to thank veterans.

So here I am. Thank you veterans. Thank for putting your lives on the line to protect our country.

I remember going to a local parade once, when I was little. Towards the end of the parade, there came a fire truck with veterans riding on it, with a sign that read “Thank you Veterans!” Being rather young and having a rather limited reading vocabulary I was a little confused. I didn’t understand the difference between Veterans and Veterinarians. Sure Veterinarians might work hard but what was so important about them?

I remember a sparse applause going up. After a minute or two of this the man from the loud speaker said: “Come on, let’s really show our appreciation here. Let’s thank our Veterans!” After that the applause was more hearty and louder, but still. It was pathetic.

Are we just half-heartedly thanking our veterans? How many Americans have posted on WordPress today and NOT thanked our veterans? How many people are thankful for the 3 day weekend but not a thought passed through their minds about what the holiday is really about.

Thank you veterans. Thank you for you service. Thank you to the families of veterans. Thank you for your sacrifice and your faithfulness to your country. Thank you for being willing to do what no one else is willing to do so that the loved ones in your lives can protect our country. I am sure you go through more than I can imagine. Thank you.

Happy Veterans Day!

Now for the second part of this post. You may know that I usually post on Saturdays, not Sundays. There’s a reason, and I’m thankful for it. I’m sick with a cold. I feel a little better today and should feel almost all the way better tomorrow. As long as I’m sitting down and not moving (as in sitting at a computer typing a blog post) I just feel a bit stuffy. When I walk around I feel a bit dizzy and my head sometimes throbs for a moment. So why am I thankful for this cold?

One, is delayed this blog post so that I could thank our veterans. I am extremely thankful for that alone.

Second, being sick always comes with a couple things that serve as a reminder in life. When I am sick, life sort of slows down. I’m more dependent on God. I have more time for meditation and come face to face with unrepented sin, unholiness in my life, and I can simply take a moment to stop and reflect on God more than I would usually do in the rush of life.

I also bond with my family. Being sick is no fun.  But being sick together is better than being sick alone, right? Being around sick people brings out something in me that I usually hide inside. It’s that tender loving joy that God has placed inside the hearts of women. I will do so much more for a sick sibling than for a sibling that is well. I know it shouldn’t be this way, I know that I should be kind and generous all the time, but caring for family, even when you are sick yourself brings you so much closer to Christ. It’s a wonderful reminder to love your family in sick times and well.

So even though I know God is not the one who created sickness, I am thankful for the way that God uses and has used this cold to help his children. I am thankful.

Have a wonderful day, and be thankful! And while you’re at it, thank God for our veterans!

Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

-Colossians 3:14-15 (NASB)

Song of the Month- Facing a Task Unfinished

I chose this song because the topic of going out to proclaim the gospel is really on my heart right now. (If you haven’t already, read my post on evangelism here). More than once I have played this song over and over just longing to go out as it says. I hope you will be stirred up to go out and proclaim the gospel as you listen to this song! It is called Facing a Task Unfinished.

Here are the lyrics:

Facing a task unfinished
That drives us to our knees
A need that, undiminished
Rebukes our slothful ease
We, who rejoice to know Thee
Renew before Thy throne
The solemn pledge we owe Thee
To go and make Thee known

Where other lords beside Thee
Hold their unhindered sway
Where forces that defied Thee
Defy Thee still today
With none to heed their crying
For life, and love, and light
Unnumbered souls are dying
And pass into the night

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord

We bear the torch that flaming
Fell from the hands of those
Who gave their lives proclaiming
That Jesus died and rose
Ours is the same commission
The same glad message ours
Fired by the same ambition
To Thee we yield our powers

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord

O Father who sustained them
O Spirit who inspired
Saviour, whose love constrained them
To toil with zeal untired
From cowardice defend us
From lethargy awake!
Forth on Thine errands send us
To labour for Thy sake

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord

We go to all the world
His kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord

I hope this song blesses you. and empowers you to go to all the world with kingdom hope unfurled!

“For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.” -1 Corinthians 9:16 (NASB)

Think on These Things: Part 1 and Intro

Our thoughts are the most important thing. I mean thinking…it’s what you’re doing right now. Awake, we do it constantly. Even when we are asleep our thoughts from the day affect our dreams and how we sleep. Luke 6:45 says:

“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” -Luke 6:45 (NASB)

That which we think will affect all areas of our lives including what we speak. We find it very hard to control what we say, in fact, the bible says that it is impossible for us to bridle the tongue fully.

“But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison” -James 3:8 (NASB)

“For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well.” -James 3:2 (NASB)

There is only one man who did not stumble in what he said and only one man who did not stumble in what he thought. That was Jesus. The perfect Son of Man.

If you struggle to keep your thoughts true, honorable, pure, lovely, and excellent, you are not alone. But that doesn’t let you off the hook. God wants your whole-hearted attention. He wants not only all of your heart and soul, he wants all of your mind and strength. Because you cannot give him all of your soul, without giving him all of your mind, strength, and heart.

“..You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” -Mark 12:30 (NASB)

God has really been laying this on my heart as something all of us struggle with to some extent, particularly teens. Often, thinking no one will understand, we hide our struggles inside and try to fight them alone. You will not win alone. You need God, and you need a brother.

What makes struggling against the sin of impure thinking so hard? Here are a couple of reasons:

  1. Accountability: We tell ourselves that no one sees us. But God does.
  2. Just like with what we eat physically, what we feed our minds on determines the health of our thought lives. And sometimes that is hard to control.
  3. Lines are often hard to determine
  4. No one is really comfortable taking the initiative talking about thoughts. After all, you don’t have to tell anyone those ugly things that you are thinking. In fact, you would rather do a lot of things than to reveal how ugly your mind and heart really is inside.
  5. Satan’s favorite way to poison and ruin our lives is through our minds and thoughts.

Sometimes the hardest thought struggles are those inappropriate thoughts or pictures that keep coming back and you just can’t get rid of them. The first step with these struggles is to plug the input to prevent the output. In other words, cut off the source of these thoughts as much as you can. Stop looking at things you shouldn’t look at. Stop listening to conversations you shouldn’t listen to. Spend more time with people who are godly and less time with those who are prone to gossip. Stop the unhealthy input into your thought life.

Sometimes it is not your choice. Even if you went away to a cave somewhere and lived forever isolated from things and people, your thoughts would still wander and dwell places unhealthy. In your life, sometimes you are exposed to things you wish you had not been exposed to, and although it was not your choice, it is affecting the purity and innocence of your thoughts. Things will flash through your brain that you do not wish to be there and you struggle to find victory. Generally, the best strategy is to distract your mind with something else and draw it away from sinful things. But what do you replace these ugly things with? Here are some ideas:

  1. First things first, cry out to God and ask for deliverance. He is our refuge.
  2. Try memorizing scripture. Not just verses, but try whole chapters. It can provide continued relief from impure thoughts to say scripture to yourself. The added challenge of more lengthy scripture memorization engages more of your mind since it requires more memory work.
  3. Choose someone in your life who is not saved. Every time the impure thought flashes in your mind pray for that person’s salvation. While praying for your struggle with that sin at that moment can help, it will often just bring your mind back to it, resulting in an endless cycle. Praying for someone else brings you to God while taking the focus off of you.

Most of all, be diligent. God has given us wonderful minds and the ability to reason and think. You only have so many thoughts to think in your life. How many of them will be honorable? How many will be commendable? How many will be pure and lovely? Think on these things. God is great and will bring deliverance.

“Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.” -Proverbs 4:23 (NASB)

“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” -2 Corinthian 10:4-6 (NASB)

I really hope this post was helpful! As I said God has been laying it on my heart for a while. I plan to continue the series going more in-depth with what scripture says and going step by step through Philippians 4:8. I won’t promise to finish it any time soon, but I will try to keep studying, thinking, and praying about these things. God bless you!

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer for you all making my prayer with joy. (From Philippians 1:3-4 ESV)

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” -Philippians 4:8 (NASB)