Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ps 139

So, right now I'm juggling holding a bottle, holding a baby, and typing. Slightly difficult. Does anyone have any tips on how to prop a bottle?

Anyway, I was thinking of Psalms 139 today. Not only is it a beautiful, rich psalm to God, but it is also the theme for this year's HSLDA art contest. I've been trying to find a verse, a phrase - even a word - to base my drawing on. The first thing that came to mind was a baby in her mother's womb, but I'm pretty sure that'll be everyone's first idea, so I'm trying to come up with another, more unique, angle.

Here's Psalms 139 -

1 You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Anything stick out to you, or speak to you? I'd love to hear any suggestions or thoughts on what I should do for my drawing. I know that with HSLDA's essay contest, I can't have any outside input, but I couldn't find where it said that for the art contest - so comment away!

-Aylin

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

An Inspiring Video

My mom showed me this video today, and I wanted to share it with you all:
~Elizabeth

Monday, December 26, 2011

Gifts

How was everyone's Christmas?

Mine was great. And, although the day is over, Christmas really isn't done for me. Relatives are still coming over today to celebrate Christmas. So, I'm kinda tired because this is the third Christmas dinner in a row (conflicting schedules are the culprit) - two of which were at my family's house. So... it's ham again!

But, really, it's great. The food, the fellowship, the family - it's great to get together. We don't do it nearly enough the rest of the year.

So, I know it's fun to list off all the things we receive each year (for me, I got SHOES XD, a Skillet cd...), but this year I was super excited about the things I gave to people. In my family, we kids make gifts for people, instead of buying things. It works well that way, because I'm usually mostly broke :) So we bake cherry hideaway cookies, make ornaments, knit scarves, etc.

This year, my most favorite gift that I gave was a lozenge headband. I lace knitted it out of dark taupe yarn. It took me forever to finish it, but the end product I loved (as did my mom, who received it - which was a plus). And I had fun making it, and keeping it a secret, for three months.

Alright folks - now I'm expecting all of you faithful readers of this blog to comment on your favorite gifts that you gave this year! I'm sure you've got something that you gave that was absolutely amazing...

-Aylin

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Human Heart

In a class I am currently taking, we are talking about how the human heart has always had a longing for a human figure to come and rescue them from misery and oppression.

In Genesis, we find Joseph (among others), in Exodus, we find Moses. In The Odyssey, we find Odysseus.

And now, who do we find?

This guy.

As I'm sure many of you know,  the myth of "Santa" started out with Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas, in a longing to be generous and show God's love, gave gifts to the poor--in the name of God.

And what do we have now?

In practically every mall, there's an overweight man in a red suit and white beard sitting on a chair, with a long line of children behind him with aggravated parents. The children want to tell him everything they want--and they fully expect that whatever they ask for will be under their Christmas tree Christmas morning with a "From Santa" card on it.

Sadly, they often get it.

Now, it's even worse than that. Kids are praying to santa. Is it just me, or is that extremely wrong on so many levels?

People want to have a relationship with someone perfect, but Satan tries to feed them replacements (like santa). God is the only one that is perfect.

And, because of Him, we don't need a replacement.

Because of His gift of Jesus, we don't need to pray to things like santa.

Because of Jesus, we are free.


~Elizabeth

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas



If you want to see this full size, click here. Merry Christmas!!

-Aylin

Monday, December 19, 2011

Standing Tall

"But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way." Daniel 1:8

I've been reading the Book of Daniel lately. The second half of the book is full of prophecy and revelation, but the first part of the book is about faithfulness to God. While I was reading it I was struck by Daniel and his friends' humility and courage. They faced the most powerful rulers in the known world at that time and said, "Sorry, but my God prohibits me from doing what you want." Just like that.

Even though they defied the men who thought they could harm them, they did not defy God. And that's what is important. God showed His approval of His servants, and His supreme power - and saved them again, and again, and again.

So, reading all that, it made me think. I'm not faced with a fiery furnace, being beheaded, or being eaten alive by lions. If Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego could stand up for their convictions with humbleness, why can't I? I don't have nearly the pressure to bend to worldly things as they did. Put into perspective, my stand for Christ should be much easier. So, I'm going to try today. I'm going to try not to snap at my sisters, give in to laziness, or hold on to anger. God's not asked much of me right now. It's not like I have to interpret dreams to a king, or anything!

-Aylin

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Poem I wrote...

Saint Nicholas gives many gifts
And brings young children happiness,
But without his presents and his toys
He would not be anything to the girls and boys.

He cannot give them everlasting joy-
A love that makes them want to employ
And use for good all that they have
To make others brighten and be glad.

But I, though a little girl may be,
Know One who gives everlasting peace;
He brings joy that stays forever,
A joy that I can take wherever.

Not just a happiness that stays
For a certain amount of December days,
But a joy that I feel all year long
No matter even if things go wrong.

- Aylin Brandt

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cheerios

Ok... So, I like experimenting with food.

This morning,I was getting myself some Cheerios. Sounds reasonably healthy, right?

Except for what I added to it afterwards. . .

I put honey on my Cheerios. LOTS of honey. But, worse than that, I put sugar on top of it ( the honey makes the sugar stick to the cereal ).

I turned something that was healthy into something that wasn't--and, though it tasted good, it wasn't good for me.

And, while I was sprinkling my sugar onto my cereal, I realized that it's that way with so many other things.

Things--beautiful things!--that God has created, we corrupt and make sinful and unhealthy. . . And, though mans version 'tastes' pretty good when we first bite into it, we tend to pay for it later.

God's version of things are so much better. . . They are healthy and satisfying, while mans things never really are.

So today, I challenge you to seek God's plans for your lives--to not only seek it, but pursue it.

~Elizabeth


Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Time

I am typing this in close proximity to the piano on which my sister is playing Let It Snow right now. I guess I'm trying to get it into my head that it will be Christmas in less than two weeks, but that small bit of data refuses to sink in. I love Christmas - the time to focus on Christ's beautiful, precious gift to us in the form of a holy baby, the way family comes together to share dinner, and all of that.

But sometimes I have a difficult time getting into the mood associated with Christmas. I am behind on making Christmas gifts, I haven't baked any cookies or sweets yet, and though I did help decorate the tree, it was for about ten minutes Saturday evening :) I haven't played Carol of the Bells on the piano more than twice so far (this is where everyone who knows me gasps in shock and amazement, because that's my favorite song to play on the piano) I guess I've just been busy with May, recovering from NaNoWriMo, deer hunting, blogging, keeping up with my friends on the Internet, etc, etc, and so on.

So I guess it's time to peel back all the craziness (that isn't even for Christmas yet :D) and just relax. Focus. Take everything one at a time. Read the story of Jesus' birth in the Gospels. Spend time working on my handmade gifts for relatives. You know - all the things I should be doing. And maybe actually listen to the Christmas music perpetually playing in the background...

Silent night, Holy night
All is calm, All is bright...

-Aylin

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Favorite Christmas Song

Well, my family and I got our Christmas tree last Sunday. It is officially Christmas Time now! We've been decorating the house, filling out Christmas cards to send to our friends and family, and listening to Christmas music.

My favorite Christmas song of all time is Little Drummer Boy by Whiteheart. The song is kinda old, but I love it.



Soon, I will be making Christmas cookies, baking breads, and dipping chocolates with my mom and sisters. We like to make sweets and give them as presents to people. I love Christmas time :)

-Aylin

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Blogger's Prayer




I am no longer my own blogger, but Thine, O Lord.

Refine me with each post how You will, rank me how You will.
Put me to service, or put me to suffering.
Let me post for Thee or be put aside for Thee,
Lifted high, only for Thee, or brought low, all for Thee.
Do with me and each post whatever you will, because You alone know best.

Let me not strive but submit Let me not compete but care
Let me not desire hits but holiness
Let me be a follower, instead of seeking followers.

Let my blog be full of Thee, and let it be empty of me.
Let me crave all things of Thee, let me care nothing of this world.
Let my words be worthy of the greatest of audiences: You.
And You are enough.

May I write not for subscribers… but only for Thy smile.
May my daily affirmation be in the surety of my atonement,
not the size of my audience.
May my identity be in the innumerable graces of Christ,
never, God forbid, the numbers of my comments.
May the only words that matter in my life not be the ones I write on a screen ---
but the ones I live with my skin.

I freely and heartily yield every sentence, every title, every post, every comment… or no comments… all to Thine pleasure and perfect will.

My only fame is that I bear Your name
My only glory is the gift of Your Grace
My only readership, Your eyes that seek to and fro to find a heart hard after You.
Make this so, oh Lord…

Yahweh, You alone are my God, not Google
Jesus, You alone are my Savior, not site meters
And Holy Spirit, You alone are my Comforter, not comments

So be it, today, yesterday, and every post to come.

This is my prayer I have made on earth and over this keyboard… let it be ratified in heaven.
Amen.

Copyright 2010, Ann Voskamp @ www.aholyexperience.com All rights reserved. Please do not copy, paste text or reprint.

I found this prayer as a free download on http://www.aholyexperience.com/ I echo this prayer with all my heart.

-Aylin

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I want to know. . .

I honestly don't understand this:

Why do we care so much about man's opinions?

Shouldn't God's be all that matters?

And yet. . .I do it too. I do it, you do it, everyone does it. But does that make it right? I just don't get why people care so much.

I mean, man is ever-changing; their opinions can change in a matter of seconds. Plus, what they tell you may not be real, they may lie to you out of many things; jealousy, self-pity, anger. . .

But God's opinion, that doesn't change. Ever.

I find something so comforting about that. . . God doesn't change. His love, His forgiveness, His faithfulness. . none of that ever changes.

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." 


Matthew 24:35 


~Elizabeth

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Novel Idea

Today is the last day of November, and for me, the last day of NaNoWriMo. In case you don't know what that is, it is a challenge to write a novel in a month. (http://www.ywp.nanowrimo.com/) My goal was to write 30,000 words. So far, I have all but 700 of my goal. Hopefully I can finish today :D

Speaking of writing, though, I found this amazing, Christian book on how to write a novel. It's called "A Novel Idea"



It has just about everything in it for the aspiring writer - making believable characters, powerful dialogue, how to form a plot, and all about publishing. It explains what makes Christian fiction, Christian. It has been helping me a lot with my writing, both my novel and short stories. I've also lent it to several of my friends, and they really liked it, too.


So, are there any other writers out there? Anyone else who did NaNoWriMo this year?


-Aylin

Monday, November 28, 2011

Whose Opinion Is Important

"Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10

Pleasing God should be, as a Christian, my number one goal in life. I mean, He made me, has a plan for my life, and has shown His love for me a thousand times. I know that He is should be everything for me.

But then there's people. They are a pressure to look right, say the right things, and act the right way. They don't have to truly say anything for me to know that there is an acceptable way to do things. So, sometimes I forget about the important things - like going that extra step to help someone or speaking what I actually believe - because I am caught up in worrying about how everyone else perceives me.

Then there's this verse that brings me back to the reality of life in God, and another one that's even more powerful and convincing - "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." Matt. 10:28 God matters. People - not so much. What they think is best, what they think is acceptable, is not nearly as important as what God wants for my life. Now if I could just remember that...

-Aylin

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving. . .

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

This is truly one of my favorite holidays. There's never any expectations to wear nice clothes or give unforgettable gifts. . .just fun time with family. 


I doubt any of our turkeys actually look like this, and if yours does, then you are very fortunate indeed. 

As I was saying. . .everyone just sits around a table, and, well. . . talks. I learn new things about my family every year.

What I try to do every year is come up with six things I'm thankful for--one for every letter in thanks.

T) Time--the time that God has already given me here, and the time yet to come. But, most importantly, the time I will have after I die.

H) Heaven. The fact that I have something so amazing to look forward to.

A) Agape--the Greek word for unconditional love; namely love from God, although it can also be used for love between very close friends.  It is one of my favorite words, and has inspired me a lot ( For a broader definition of agape, click here. ).

N) Names. All of the names of people that I hold dear--my family, my friends, people that have inspired me. . . 

K) Knees. The fact that I have body that is completely healthy. I have no diseases, no missing body parts, and two hands that I can use to serve the LORD.

S) Surreal. All of the surreal things I've witnessed--the tiny little new-born babies, a little child praying, an incredible sunset, a sky filled with stars. . . So many beautiful things. 

I have so many things to be grateful for. What's your list?

~Elizabeth

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving

Yikes! Thanksgiving is tomorrow!! I do not like it when holidays sneak up on me like that :)

My grandparents are coming over, and possibly some friends, for dinner. We're having turkey, stuffing, rolls, sweet potatoes, and lots of pies. Both my sister and I are helping with the meal. My sister is making the illustrous, stomach-pleasing pecan pie. I am making the pickle tray. Don't laugh at me! My pickle trays are heavenly :D Just kidding, it really isn't that heavenly. But, I'm not much of a cook, and the one thing I enjoy doing in the kitchen is arranging stuff on platters, so that's what I'm doing!

Well, I can't post the day before Thanksgiving without encluding a list of the things I'm thankful for. Here it goes (in no particular order!)




  1. My amazing family

  2. May, the baby we're watching

  3. Venison (yumm!)


  4. My wonderful, supportive friends


  5. Christian rock (Skillet, Red - you guys are awesome!!)


  6. Jesus' extraordinary love for me


  7. My piano that I love to play


  8. Bing.com images!!


  9. The youth group I attend, and my church family


  10. Christian fiction


"Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!" Ps. 118:1



Happy Thanksgiving! -Aylin

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hope, Love and. . . ?

I think we often forget that faith is the word that should be included with those. Everywhere I look--even within some Christian stores--it's Peace, Hope, Love, or grace or compassion. . . the list is endless. But rarely, however, do I find one that includes faith.

Don't you see? It would be very hard for the devil to attack love, because there are certain types of love that our culture and those before it are accustomed to; love for the opposite gender, love for your children, love for friends. . . No--if someone came up to you and said, "Don't love anyone!", how likely would you be to agree with that person?

Then there's hope. No one wants to be told to give up hope. Again, it would be quite difficult for the devil to attack.

But faith. . . Faith tends to be very fragile. People tend to always have excuses to give up faith, whether it's something as simple as losing a car key to a car crash. It's our sinful nature to rebel against God.

Yet, faith can be so incredible. . .Jesus tells us that even if our faith is the size of a mustard seed, he can use it to move mountains through us. Which is exactly why the devil is trying to tell us it's not important.

~Elizabeth

Monday, November 21, 2011

Yeah!!!!

Boy, I have been so busy lately! Between blogging, writing for NaNoWriMo, schoolwork, hunting - and the best yet -

(Drumroll please XD)

May! No, not the month, but the baby! A friend of our family had a baby girl, but since she has to work in the daytime, we get to watch the baby. Today is the first day that she's here. She is so sweet! And amazing! And absolutely perfect! Just now she is staring up at me and grimacing. It is adorable. It's only noon, but I've already taken a lot of pictures of May on my camara.

So, yeh, I'm kinda busy, but I'm happy being busy with May and the other stuff I've been up to. What have all you readers been doing this November?

-Aylin

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Most amazing blog post...

Wow. My sister just showed me the most amazing blog post ever. Because it's on a website, and not part of blogger, I couldn't find the button to post the post here, but click here to see it.

It is so sad and beautiful and bittersweet, it almost made me cry. And I thought - trust in Jesus. Wow. This kid, this Jonothan who lives in Ecador alone and abondoned, he trusts every day. He can't lean on his own understanding, because he can't have any understanding. It makes no sense. Abandonment, favoritism, lovelessness - it isn't something anyone can understand. Yet Jonathan trusts. He still believes.

You have got to check his story out. It is heartbreaking, and it is powerful. It makes me want to sponsor a compasssion international child so bad, because I know that there are thousands of kids like Jonathan, who just need love.

-Aylin

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Trust. . .

These are two of the results for trust from http://www.dictionary.com/ : 

1) Reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
2) Confident expectation of something; hope.
You see, trust has always been a hard one for me. I've had people let me down; we all have.  So it's hard for me to then, put everything I have in the hands of God, Whom I can't even see. 
"Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1 
I really like the American Standard Version of this verse. It uses such strong, meaningful words. 
I think God has been using this verse, and others like it, to help give me confidence and trust in Him. I learned that, apparently, not only does He want us to believe in Him although we can't see Him, but He wants us to have conviction of it!

Conviction. . .that's not exactly something that comes easily. It involves a lot of prayer, reading the Bible, talking with fellow Christians. . . It's just a part of walking with God. :) 

~Elizabeth

Monday, November 14, 2011

He knows what He's doing

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

I am a human (I'm sure you're relieved that I'm human, and not actually an alien, that's been writting all this time!). A human is a finite being. Its body, its heart, and its mind dies. Only the soul lives for eternity. The thing with being a finite being is, my view is limited. It's limited to the teeny, tiny world that I can see. It's controlled by my fallible brain that will eventually die. I'm encased in a human body that is confined to time and space. My view is limited.

But then there's God! He's in heaven and on earth and everywhere in between. He sees all, knows all, and created all there is to see. His brain (if He techinacally has one) is perfect, infallible, and eternal. His being is not confined to anything. He is not bothered by time or space - they work for Him, not against Him, because He made them.

And the thing is, God made you. He has a great plan for you. It may not seem all that great from your limited point of view, but God knows what He is doing. No matter what you're going through, He has a purpose for your life. He loves you, and He knows what He's doing.



I love this song. It reminds me that God is not shaken. He loves me. He knows what He's doing.

-Aylin

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Quick Post

Ok, so I honestly don't have much time to post. I'll try to make up for that next week. :)

So. . .


~Elizabeth

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Garbage

Today's garbage day at my house :( I am not a big fan of garbage. First of all, it stinks. Second of all, my driveway is long. Well, it isn't the longest one I've ever seen, but it's long enough.

Anyways - I was thinking about garbage today, because of the impending need to take it to the road, and I realized something. I have garbage in my life, too. I've got stupid things people have said on tv that's in my head, I've got bad habits that clutter, and I've got piles of yesterday's mistakes that I'm still looking back on. That stuff stinks. But the problem is - I've got a long driveway.

Some stuff is easy to get rid of. Asking Jesus for forgiveness carries my sins as far as the east is to the west. But habits are harder to break. And past mistakes can be difficult to move on from, even if God has taken them far away.

So, I guess today's a good day to take the garbage out. It's a good day to start praying for forgiveness, direction, and the strength to drag all the garbage to the curb and leave it there.

-Aylin

Monday, November 7, 2011

Wonderfully Made!

"I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." Ps. 139:14

I totally forgot to put up a new verse of the week last week! Sorry about that.

I am "fearfully and wonderfully made." My "soul knows it full well." Well, my soul might know it, but sometimes my mind forgets that God made me in His image. ME? Yet, He has, though sometimes I don't see it. Some days I wake up and feel ugly, dumb, klutzy, uncreative, and covered in sin. My attitude stinks, I've already complained and argued with my family, and I'm walking around with one of those little storm clouds over my head. You know the days.

Yet I am wonderfully made! And, even if I really feel not so well put together, the Holy Spirit is continuing to mold me in His image. God loves me and made me just how He wants me. My soul knows it - I just gotta shove my mind out of the way and let Him take over.

-Aylin

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A little box. . .

Alright, so I know Aylin just posted about this yesterday, but I honestly cannot stress enough what an amazing thing Operation Christmas Child is. I just packed my box yesterday with a local church. It's for a 10-14 year old girl.

I'm really excited about it, and I think I did a really good job this year of getting good things for them.I got her a small sewing kit, with lots of strings and two needles; a nice, big hair brush; two toothbrushes and toothpaste; soap and washcloths; a few necklaces; some warm fuzzy socks; a yo-yo, jump rope and ball; two really pretty headbands; some candy; glue, pencils and colored pencils; a journal; sun-glasses; and I think maybe a few other things.

And honestly, it cost me less than $25. It doesn't cost us much, but it means the world to someone else.

~Elizabeth

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Operation Christmas Child

Hi, Guys! It's time to get ready for Operation Christmas Child!!!!

For those of you who might not know what that is - Operation Christmas Child is a project run by Samaritan's Purse, which is an awesome organization. They help with disaster relief work and other great stuff in God's name. For Operation Christmas Child, people get the opportunity to fill up shoe boxes with gifts for children in poverty around the world.

My family is making 5 shoe boxes this year. We normally go to the Dollar store and find everything we need. We get combs, toothbrushes, stuffed animals, bar soap, hard candy, yo-yos, jacks, hair scrunchies... We basically take over the store! Then we pack everything into our shoe boxes, fill out the forms, and take the boxes to the nearest drop off location.

After our boxes are dropped off, they get shipped to a center where Samaritan's Purse workers sort through the boxes to make sure that there aren't any breakables or liquids or stuff like that packed in them. Then they get sent to poor children around the world. These kids also get the Gospel message presented to them in their own language.

I also put a simple letter in my box with my address. That way, the child who gets my box can write me, although that has not happened yet. Some kids can't get a stamp or don't know how to write.

So, the national drop off week is Nov. 14 through the Nov. 21. You can go to http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/GO_Box_LandingPage to find out more info on what to pack and where to find a drop off location.

-Aylin

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Poem

This is a poem  I recently wrote:

Being a Christian isn't easy,
But did God ever say it would be?
Treasures are lost, lives shaken,
But you shall never be forsaken,
God is wise and all knowing,
His majestic mercy ever showing,
Be still and do not fear,
For the LORD your God is always near. 

~Elizabeth

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween



Happy Halloween, to all you who will be dressing up in costumes and going trick-or-treating, to parties, and pulling pranks!


When I think of Halloween, I am reminded of the nature of masks. Masks are made to show everyone a different face than you really have. It's fun to change appearance on Halloween, but sometimes people don't drop their masks afterwards. I know people who live with a mask all year round. they don't want any prying eyes to see who they really are. So, they plaster a bright smile on their face and hide their uncertainties, fears, and the self they think no one will like.


I think that sometimes that kind of thing is OK. Some people are hurtful. Maybe it's not a great idea to show everything you're feeling around them. But putting a mask on all day long, because we think that people will like us less for who we are, isn't good.


Leaving our masks on before God is even worse. He made us! He knows all of our mistakes! Hiding what we've done and telling Him a lie because we think somehow it'll be better that way, is what Adam and Eve did. They hid from God after they had eaten a fruit from the forbidden tree. Then they put on some leaves to hide their shame and hid from God. As if He didn't know all and He wouldn't notice.


God loves us so much! He wants us to come to Him as we truly are - broken, weary, tattered by life. That way He can be our Healer, Comforter, and Redeemer. He can save us from ourselves and the people around us who want to cause us harm. All we have to do is drop the masks from our faces and let God makes us new.


-Aylin

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Martyr

Here's a poem I wrote a while back about a courageous Christian during the Roman persecution under Nero -

The Martyr

“To death, to death!” The crowd it roared in glee as blood poured out of him,
They yelled and jeered in thirsty, bloody joyfulness-
They saw two brutes to entertain their grisly, sick, distorted whim,
They did not note his fearless eye, full grim and set.

He was to die, to end this life, he knew it long before the pain,
Had not his Master long ago foretold the end?
The Master said with sad, gray eyes, he said it Oh, so plain,
“There will be pain on this earth for my children.

“There will be hardships if you choose to live the life that's true and right,
All evil will see your truth and hate you for it.
For you are light and all that's good, and you will have to struggle- fight
So that your candle will not be snuffed out by the world.”

And yet, as life drained out of him, one more thing he remembered,
The Master had said that e'en if there was pain and death
That in the end, for all God's own there would be joy forever-
And as he died he saw the beauty of heaven.

-Aylin

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Always

"8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body." 2 Corinthians 4:8-10  

You see, it is when it appears that we are in our weakest state, God is in His strongest, for His power is made perfect in weakness. We should not fear, for God is, was, and always will be.

~Elizabeth

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sweetest Day?!



Last Saturday was Sweetest Day (?), it said so on my calendar. Then on the sixteenth, it was National Boss Day- a day to remember our bosses. I am sure that you saw that on your calendar. But, did you know that the sixteenth was also World Food Day? I did not see that on the calendar. Yet, one billion people do not have enough to eat, and every six minutes a child dies from starvation. On the seventeenth of October, it was World Poverty Day. That was not on the calendar either. Twenty-eight thousand, eight hundred little kids under the age of five died that day...from preventable causes. Things that would cost $1 or less. But, you already know that. We all do. But, will you please do something about it? Please visit compassion.com today to learn how you can help.

-Lizzie

You Never Let Go

"Even when I walk through a valley of deep darkness, I will not be afraid because you are with me. Your rod and your staff—they comfort me." Psalm 23:4

I know we had a verse from Psalms last week for the verse of the week, but I couldn't resist! This one is so rich in praising God for His provisions for us.

This song fits so beautifully - you'll probably recognize the words, because most of them are from Psalm 23. It's by Matt Redman



-Aylin

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Whole Thing

Alright. . . So, as you've probably guessed, I like going beyond the one verse and looking at those surrounding it. So. . .

Psalm 51[a]
For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.
5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
you who are God my Savior,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is[b] a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise.

18 May it please you to prosper Zion,
to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
in burnt offerings offered whole;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.


~Elizabeth

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Autumn



Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. I love the sound of a crackling fire, the smell of pumpkin pie being baked, the sight of the maple tree leaves turning blood-red, and the feel of the nippy frost on my fingertips when I touch the door handle of the car in the morning. I look forward to cider, fire in our wood stove, and deer season.


Fall makes me in the mood to drink hot tea, knit, and draw. Especially draw. All of nature seems to be bursting forward in brilliant colors. I love to try and depict the beauty around me with my pencils or pen and ink.


So, what is your favorite season and why? What do you like about fall?


-Aylin

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pure Hearts

When I look at this verse, not only do I think of cleansing, but of purity. I stumbled across this poem a few days ago, check it out:

Taylor Swift (Saving My Love Songs)
How many times have I heard a fan cry,
“Your songs describe my life”
As the teen goes on the share
The who, the what, the when, the where
They’ve been Fearless and sung Tim McGraw
They’ve begged their guys to Jump Then Fall
I love those tunes, and she’s so sweet
But true love just can’t be beat
I’m saving my love songs, saving them for you
Waiting for the day we say “I Do”
And share our very first kiss
Dancing along to Taylor Swift   


By Kate Finman  


~Elizabeth


Monday, October 17, 2011

Pure Hearts

"God, create a pure heart in me, and renew a right attitude within me." Psalm 51:10

Psalm 51 was written by King David after the prophet Nathan had confronted David about his affair with Bathsheba and plotting to kill her husband. David saw that what he had done was wrong. He realized he needed to repent and change his heart attitude. This psalm was written out of that.

David cries out for God to give him a new, "pure heart," because he realizes his is dead in sin. He asks God to "renew" his "attitude," or in some versions of the Bible - spirit. David basically says, I realize I was wrong and I know I can't fix my heart problem - only You can, God.

Now, maybe our sins don't seem so bad to us as David's do, but our hearts are dirty with sin, too. And though we don't have a prophet to point out our errors, we do have a conscience to remind us. Jesus died to cleanse our filthy hearts, and the Holy Spirit is in us to correct our attitudes and remind our spirit of godly things. If we repent and give up our proud hearts to God, He will make them new and beautiful. We don't have to remember our past sins anymore.

-Aylin

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Music

Alright. . .So I'm going to apologize in advance--I'm sorry about my posts lacking length, I'm really, really (really) busy this week. That said. . .

My post today is an  amazing music video: 


~Elizabeth

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Hands Came Away Red



So, who likes fiction? I am addicted to it - and the past few days I have been reading a great book! It is called My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay. It's about six American teenagers who go on a mission trip to Indonesia. While they are there, fighting breaks out between the Muslims and the Christians, churches are being burned, and innocent people are being massacred by the Muslims. The teenagers are forced to hide in the jungle and try to find their way to safety with little provisions and Mani, their Indonesian friend.


I'm not finished with the book yet, but so far it has been amazing. It is written in the viewpoint of one of the girls', Cori's, perspective. Seeing the pain and suffering of the Indonesians through her story has been eye-opening for me. Even though the book is factious, the struggle and bloodshed in Indonesia is fact, just as it is in many other places in the world.


So, I would encourage you to check out My Hands Came Away Red! It is a great book and definitely worth the time to read.


-Aylin

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Building Souls

Alright, so here's what I get out of the theme verse for this week. . .

We need to help our fellow man.

It's not as easy as it sounds, because often it means leaving more room for others than ourselves, which isn't easy. At all.

But it's worth it. :)

~Elizabeth

Monday, October 10, 2011

Peace

"Therefore, let's keep on pursuing those things that bring peace and that lead to building up one another." - Romans 14:19

Keeping peace is hard! If you have siblings, like I do, you know what I mean! Keeping harmony in the house is like a crazy balancing act on a tightrope fifty feet in the air. It's tricky - and takes a lot of practice. Building each other up isn't easy, either. The selfish pride that makes us think only of ourselves, and not the feelings of those around us, is a hard habit to break. It's a habit we're born with - or at least, I was! But I'm not the greatest person to walk the planet, and I need to remember that other people are just as important as me. And the Bible says I am to "build up" everyone. Others should be my #1 concern.

So, I need to show love, encouragement, patience with everyone. And peace. Because, without that, my life is just another meaningless, self centered existence - and that is not what God has called me to be!

-Aylin

Friday, October 7, 2011

"I Am" Nichole Nordman

Hey, Elizabeth! I read your post yesterday. It is a very interesting perspective. I had never thought of it that way before. Well, it reminded me of this song. It is "I Am" by Nichole Nordman. Check it out! -Lizzie

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"I AM"

I went to my youth-group the other night, and heard a devotional that was really inspiring.
They were going through this "Names of God" series, and this guy walked up to talk about one of His names: I AM.

That was one of the parts in the Bible that confused me--what exactly did that name mean? I always took it as, "God was, is, and always will be", or "God is the Alpha and Omega" type of thing. But he looked at it at a completely different angle:

"'Who's going to listen to me when no one cares--when people at school don't listen, when no one at home bothers to hear me?'. . .'I AM.'" 

"'Who's going to help me get over this hard time?'. . .'I AM'"

"'Who's going to love me?'. . .'I AM'"

"'Who's going to help me stop doing this thing I know is wrong?'. . .'I AM'" 

"'Who's going to help me become patient?'. . .'I AM'" 

"'Who is ever going to forgive me?'. . .'I AM'"

"'Who's going to help me see myself as beautiful?'. . .'I AM'"

"'Who will provide for me if I take a step in faith?'. . .'I AM'"  

"'Who's going to help calm my nerves if I get stressed out?'. . .'I AM'"

It truly struck me, because I had been dealing with some of these. It re-assured me that He is always in control, no matter how crazy life can get. No matter how alone I feel, who's going to help me? 

"I AM"  ~Elizabeth

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Oh, Boy...



I know that I've mentioned that I like to play the piano, but have I ever mentioned that I hate to play in front of people? Well, I do. I detest it. Now, I don't mind playing with a band or worship team so much because if I make a mistake, the other instruments can cover over the error, and also everyone isn't watching just me.


Recitals are bad enough, but at least I have a couple months to prepare. Not so this time. You see, Monday night a woman called me and wanted to know if I would play a couple hymns and the doxology this Sunday for her church. Somehow, I said that I would. Now I am practicing like crazy and worrying even worse.


I know that I need to calm down and give God my worry, but it's hard sometimes. He is the one who let this opportunity fall into my lap. He knows what He's doing. This will be a good experience for me to grow, not only as a musician, but also in my faith that God will see me through. So, I guess I should take a deep breath, let go, and let God.


-Aylin

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

On Fire

Have you ever had one of those moments where you honestly feel on fire for God? I'm having one of those. It feels amazing--I feel so ready to do anything God wants. I sometimes have trouble expressing feelings like this with words, but this is a song that really describes it: 
 

"God I want to dream again, take me where I've never been. . .I wanna go there, this time I'm not scared. . ."~Elizabeth

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Word

"In the beginning, the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. Through him all things were made, and apart from him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life brought light to humanity." John 1:1-4

Words - the foundation of life. They are very important. God chose to use words to create life. He gave humans language so that they would be unified. Then he mixed up the language to divide the people at the tower of Babel. Words written on a stone tablet was God's way of giving His law to His people. And the salvation message comes to us today through the Word of God.

In the opening of this Gospel of John, we see Jesus in the beginning of the world. He is called the Word. It is an apt description of Him, for He created the cosmos with words and He also is the Word of Life - the salvation to all who believe.

-Aylin

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Casting Crowns

A poll ago, the majority vote for your favorite Christian contemporary band was Casting Crowns. So here is one of my favorite songs that Casting Crowns does - Enjoy!



-Aylin

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pride

My dad said something the other day that I thought was worth quoting here:

"Well. . .I guess that all things that block us from God branch off of two things: pride and greed."

I pondered this for a while, and realized just how true it is.  So. . .what to do?

So, I thought. . .Well, what would happen if we cast those two things away?

Well, my friends. . .miraculous, unfathomable things. Because then, not only would you believe in Him, but you would also be much more willing to accept His will.

The only thing is. . .These things aren't easy to do. You can't just say, "Ok, I just won't be greedy/prideful." 

That's when Satan will attack you--when you're over confident. So that he can break you enough that you won't want to get back up. But. . .

I believe that there are two main ways to address these issues:

1) Spend time with God--dig into His word, pray and offer praise.

2) Put yourself in a position where there's no room to be prideful or greedy. Try sponsoring, or donating regularly to a Christian organization for greed--get used to giving some of your money to God. Then, try volunteering somewhere, like a food kitchen, for example. Somewhere too filled with humble, Godly work to be prideful. 

This is a difficult thing to do--and you can't just do one of them, they must be done together. ~Elizabeth

"Humble yourselves before the LORD, and He will lift you up." James 4:10 (NIV)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hate Evil

Pro 8:13 "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil. Pride, arrogance, an evil lifestyle, and perverted speech I despise."

To honor and show reverence to God is to hate evil. Note that it doesn't say "hate evil people." We are called to, by God, hate the sin, not the sinner. When we show that we hate evil, we genuinely try to track down the root of it in our lives and pull it out. Such things as pride, arrogance, an evil lifestyle, and perverted speech are signs of the evil that can be found in us.

God wants us to be like Himself. When the Holy Spirit points out something in our lives that is rooted in evil and a wrong motive, we must truly want for it to be eradicated from us. Have you ever noticed that we can't do it on our own? I have tried to get rid of my hot temper, but I can't do it. Only God can. We just must be willing partners in His holy plan. He will give us the tools, the strength, the patience to succeed, but we must use what we have been given.

-Aylin

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sweet Soul

I have a little year and a half year old brother, and he's the cutest baby boy in the world.  

I put him to bed about an hour ago, and he goes, "Pray?" , folds his hands, and smiles. Why is it that a little baby is more eager to pray than we teens/adults? Why do we stop praying before we go to bed, or at all for that matter? 

Matthew 18:1-14

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
 2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Causing to Stumble
    6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! 8 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
The Parable of the Wandering Sheep
    10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. [11]
   12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish. 

~Elizabeth



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

God's Glorious Creation



I went camping recently. The leaves had begun to turn color, the air was turning cooler - it was beautiful. My family and I went kayaking/canoeing and hiking. This picture is of the view from our campsite. I wasn't able to get one earlier in the morning when the fog was still on the water, but it is still one of the most beautiful pictures I've taken at the camp that I go to every year.

The whole time I was there I was constantly in awe of God's creation. One truth kept playing again and again through my mind -

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalm 19:1)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Inspiring Words

Romans chapter eight is actually one of my favorite passages in scripture, it inspires me so much. It's really a post on it's own. If nothing else, at least read the More Than Conquerors part at the end:

Romans 8:
Life Through the Spirit
 1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
 5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
 9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[d] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[e] his Spirit who lives in you.
 12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[f] And by him we cry, “Abba,[g] Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Present Suffering and Future Glory
 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
More Than Conquerors
 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
   “For your sake we face death all day long;
   we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]
 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Monday, September 19, 2011

What is Good?

"For we know that God works all things for the good of those who love Him, those who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Sometimes what I see as "good" does not match up to what God sees as "good". Things that are "good" in my mind are health, an easy life, good friendships, etc. God, though, sometimes sees fit to give me hardships that make me stronger and more clearly a reflection in His Son's image. It is good for me to go through trials, yet in the midst of them, I do not see it that way.

I have read about believers in other parts of the world who are being pursecuted because of their faith in Jesus. They do not ask for God to take the pursecution away - they actually ask for pursecution! They said that they felt blessed that God saw fit to use them as tools to witness to the world through their suffering. They found their pain "good". That blew me away when I first read that. It has changed my perspective on suffering and how God can use it for others' and my own good.

-Aylin

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"I Shall Not" What?!?!

That's right. . .the Bible says we shouldn't be in want, because God gives us everything we need. Not necessarily everything we want--but hey, isn't it in our  human nature to want things that are un-healthy for us? Sometimes we may not realize that what we want is bad for us until long after the fact, maybe not even then. The good news, however, is that God knows what we actually need, and what is good for us. I based today's post on a psalm. A quite famous one, actually:

 Psalm 23
A psalm of David.
 1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
 3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
   for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
   through the valley of death shadow,
I will fear no evil,
   for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
   they comfort me.

 5 You prepare a table before me
   in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
   my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
   all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
   forever.


~Elizabeth

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Music

I love worshiping God through music! Listening to, playing it on the piano, or singing music are some of my favorite things to do. I have played the piano for several years. I love how I can just let go and connect with the sounds, rhythm, and meaning of the music when I play. My favorite Christian song I play on the piano is "How He Loves", by David Crowder Band. I also like playing classical and either talking to God while I play or making up lyrics for the music. Sometimes I play with my church band, too. Being past of a group that is leading the church in worship is an awesome feeling.




Although I love music, I realize that I need to worship God through everything I do. "I therefore urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercies, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices that are holy and pleasing to God, for this is the reasonable way for you to worship." Romans 12:1 (ISV)




What about you? How do you worship God?




-Aylin

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Search It

I was on my yahoo email yesterday, and I saw that the most searched thing was Psalm 46:

Psalm 46[a]
    For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth.[b] A song.
 1 God is our refuge and strength,
   an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
   and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
   and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]

 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
   the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
   God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
   he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

 7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
   the God of Jacob is our fortress.

 8 Come and see what the LORD has done,
   the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
   to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
   he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth.”

 11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
   the God of Jacob is our fortress. 


You see, Christians are scared about their futures right now. You can tell by the things that are searched most. Listen to the lyrics to a lot of all of the popular Christian music right now--so many of them are about overcoming brokenness (with God). People may look strong, but they are really so vulnerable and in-secure. So today, I'm encouraging you to go out, to help people know that they aren't alone in their struggles. And, when you do that, you'll find that your own struggles began to fade as you engulf yourself in the needs of those around you. Because, if it's not about you, your issues don't seem half as important.~Elizabeth

I Timothy 4:12




"Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but be an example for other believers in your speech, behavior, love, faithfulness, and purity." I Timothy 4:12 (ISV)



Just because we are young doesn't mean we can't be influencial! We teens can change the world! People may overlook us at first, but if we show them that we are motivated by God to be pure in everything, they will see us and be encouraged by us. Not only that, but other teens will be strengthed and encouraged to live holy in Christ, too.



My sister found a blog written by a girl that is just sixteen years old. She is trying to make a difference in every country in the world. She started sponsoring a compassion child off of her birthday and Christmas money, and some babysitting money. Now she sponsors four kids - and she still doesn't have a real income! (her blog is hannahproject195.blogspot.com if you want to check it out) She is a great example of a Christian teen showing the world what it means to be motivated by God's love.

-Aylin