6.30.2009

Digging Deeper~James 1:19

It is so easy to blurt out something and then wish that you could take it back. Often something slips out of your mouth so fast that you don’t know how it got out. Many times in anger things can come out of your mouth that you later regret. If you are any thing like me it is so easy to not carefully choose words. James exhorts Christians in chapter 1 verse 19 “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry”.
Let’s look more closely at what some of these words mean in this verse. The Bible was not originally written in English, it had to be translated. So I have looked at some of the words in the verse and the biblical use of the word.

My dear (agapētos (Greek) beloved, esteemed, dear, favorite, worthy of love)
Brothers (adelphos (Greek) any fellow or man; a fellow believer, united to another by the bond of affection; brethren in Christ; Christians, as those who are exalted to the same heavenly place) take note of this:
Everyone (pas (Greek) individually, each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything)
should be quick (tachys (Greek) quick, fleet, speedy)
to listen (akouō (Greek) to attend to, consider what is or has been said; to understand, perceive the sense of what is said)
slow to speak (laleō (Greek) to use words in order to declare one's mind and disclose one's thoughts, utter tell, to use the tongue)
and slow to become angry (orgē (Greek) anger, the natural disposition, temper, character; movement or agitation of the soul, impulse, desire, any violent emotion, but esp. anger

So the main thing that this verse encourages us as believers to do is to watch the way that was interact with others. When a dispute comes up was need to be QUICK to listen to what the other person says, SLOW to become angry and SLOW to speak. If we are more careful to consider what others are saying and slow to declare our own thoughts and ideas then it will be less likely that words will come out of our mouth that we will later regret saying.
So the next time you are provoked to want to speak or act in anger remember that in God’s word we are encouraged to be instead quick to listen and slow to speak. Think of your words as honeycomb. Proverbs 16:24 “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Kind words can bring healing and add sweetness to someone’s life. Let’s work on bringing sweetness to other’s lives, not bitterness. Be slow to voice your opinions and be quick to listen to others.

6.23.2009

Beauty

"I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God."

1 Timothy 2:9-10

That verse is rather full, isn't it? I mean, if you just glance at it you might think it's telling you that you can't wear jewelery, braid your hair, or wear a shirt that costs more than five dollars! But let's think about beauty for a minute. What does God say about beauty? Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. So beauty is really something that starts inside. If we love the Lord and want to do everything for His glory, then we are beautiful to Him. Outward beauty will fade. We know that. If you're considered gorgeous at 20, we all know you won't have that beauty at 90. It will decay, as does everything earthly. But there is an unfading beauty. "The unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit." So beauty is truly in the heart. But is it wrong to wear jewelery, or even wear a little make-up now and then? No. God made beauty, and he made us to delight in beauty. But we need to have the right attitude about our outward appearance. If we dress ourselves "with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God", and that's what we focus on, then it's perfectly fine to wear something pretty. But if you only try to make yourself beautiful on the outside, you are not really beautiful. If you're like me, maybe you've seen a girl and thought "Wow, she's really pretty! I wish I looked like that!" But then maybe she's disrespectful to her parents, or does something that shows her inner attitude. When I see that, it totally spoils what I think of her outward beauty. I don't think "I wish I was like her" anymore. She is not truly beautiful. But I know a young woman who loves the Lord, who is kind and compassionate, thinks of others above herself, and just shows her love for God in everything. Ever since I was very young, there was no older girl at church who I thought was as beautiful as her. I admired her, looked up to her, and always wanted to be like her. As I've gotten older, to me she has still been all of that. But recently I thought, "What would I think if I looked just at her outward appearance? Is that really what is so lovely?" And when I looked, she was certainly not ugly, she was as fair and pretty as any of the other girls I know. But she was not what the world would call a "great beauty". And yet, a little girl loved and admired her so much. Why? Because she is truly beautiful. And that is what the Lord wants us to be.

~Lucy

6.12.2009

Lies Young Women Believe

I just wanted to let everyone know that I just started the Bible study "Lies Young Women Believe". So far, I really like it and I would love for anyone to join me! Let me know if you're interested. Before you pick up the book and start reading it, though, I must warn you that there is some PG-13 content in there, but it is obviously addressed in a Biblical way. You could just skip that if you have to....here's a link to the website: www.liesyoungwomenbelieve.com

6.09.2009

Share your opinion

Is it OK to read Twilight?

6.01.2009

Our God

Here's some of my feedback from this weeks poll:

For my whole life, I have grown up in one of those families that prays, reads scriptures daily, goes to church every Sunday, participates in missions, the whole nine yards. As you can imagine, some might stereotype me as a "good kid". I am involved in the church, rarely, if ever get into trouble, and when other people are watching I'm kind towards my family. Perhaps some people draw up a picture of my life that is far prettier than what it seems. While the outside of my cup may be clean, the inside is full of blemishes that can only be washed away by the power of Jesus. Out of all the things that I struggle with (the list could go on and on...) I want to focus on one- my daily relationship with God. Anybody have any ideas? Maybe some good steps to take would be restarting my prayer journal, starting a new devotional, and asking my parents for help and advice.

Every morning I wake up really early- compared to most teens- 6:30, usually. At the latest...7:30. I have a schedule that I like to stick to. Like a machine, my brain clicks on, I lay in bed for a FEW more minutes, then I hop up ready to start my day- shower, maybe pray while I'm in the shower (if I remember), get dressed, go downstairs and eat breakfast, try to listen during family Bible reading, go read my devotional, then it's off to the computer- or maybe a craft- or a writing project if I'm in the mood. Rarely do I truly enjoy delving into God's Word and seeing what He has for me there. Every once in a while, I'll really pray, but I feel like I just keep saying the same thing every time and somehow that makes me lose the feeling of being in God's presence. I guess you could call me a mechanical Christian. I feel stuck, like I'm repeating the same thing over and over again and I'm not growing.

Other girls' relationships with God could be tainted by other things. Maybe you have just started a relationship with God and you don't know where to go. I would suggest buying a devotional and a study Bible at your local Christian book store, finding a church that fits you (if you don't already go to church), and seeking advice from your older sisters in Christ (they were once teen girls themselves...). In some ways, your new relationship with God can be to your advantage. If you have not yet read God's Word, you have opened a whole new realm of wonder and beauty by opening the Bible and digging deep. Since I have heard Bible stories ever since I was little, they no longer give me the same little tingle in my spine. They no longer awe me, although I still cannot fathom the greatness of our God. For you everything is new, different, exciting!

If you are seeking God, look to your Christian friends, or if you don't know anybody who can encourage you in your quest, please leave a comment and maybe we can help! Never give up your search for God because He will find you and draw you to Himself. God gives me so much hope, even though I feel stuck sometimes.

As always, please leave any comments, questions, or bits of advice to improve the site! Thanks!


Madeline