Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

Not Every Little Girl is Celebrated | Gendercide in So Asia

I have two daughters. The first took nearly two years to conceive. Oh, how we tested, tried, and waited. We found out she was a she on 9/11. That 9/11. Is it possible to feel overwhelming sadness and joy on the same day?

We painted walls in girl appropriate colors, bought little girly clothes, registered at Babies R Us, searched for the perfect girly name. When she was born, she almost forced me to deliver in the hospital parking lot. When we held her in our arms for the first time, she was the picture of perfection. Perfectly bald and beautiful.

My pregnancy and delivery with my second daughter was slightly different…it was more difficult. However, we repeated the whole process of painting, buying, primping, and anxiously awaiting her arrival. When we held her in our arms for the first time, it was hard to believe we held perfection for a second time. She too, was bald and beautiful.

Our daughters are perfect. I can’t think of anything better than having daughters. And, personally, there is nothing better than holding a bald baby girl. All my opinion, of course.

In some parts of the world, holding a newborn daughter in one’s arms is considered unfortunate, a waste, a disappointment, unloved. This is heart crushing.

Isaiah1

In some cultures, daughters have zero value. That’s hard to hear if you have grown up in America. But, it’s the sad reality of millions of girls in South Asia.

There is no baby shower celebrating a girl. There is no joyous birth announcement. In South Asia, a girl is not to be celebrated.

That is 600,000 dead babies every year simply because they are a girl. [Gender-based abortion, or Gendercide, is what it is called. Abortion based solely on the gender of the baby.]

Girls who are born into this world, face hatred and abuse from the ones who should love them unconditionally. They face the real possibility of sex trafficking, child labor, bride burning, and oppression. They spend their entire life being told they are unloved and unwanted.

UNWANTED.

UNLOVED.

ABUSED.

ABANDONED.

GENDER-BASED ABORTION.

SOLD FOR SEX.

Crimes against girls and women are frightening and sickening to hear, but it needs to be said.

Gospel For Asia made this amazing movie called Veil of Tears. This movies sheds light on the plight of girls and women in South Asia. I am warning you, keep the Kleenex close by when watching this movie!

It’s not all despair, though. Because of generous supporters, GFA is working to change cultural attitudes toward girls. They are spreading hope in girl’s lives through the love of Jesus Christ. Hearing of Christ’s love for them, when they have been told they are unlovable, has changed the hearts and minds of those who need it the most.

It only takes planting one small seed to grow Christ’s love.

GFA is speaking for millions of suffering girls, and taking action to change the lives of future girls through sharing the Gospel.

My daughters are the most precious people in my life. Every girl deserves to have someone who feels that way about them. Do you want to help change the life of a girl? Then, click here to learn more about Gospel for Asia and how they are working to share God’s love with those most in need.

*I am a Gospel for Asia Blogger. The more you know, the more you can make a difference. Become a #SmallSeed today. No deed is too small. Small Seeds, growing in faith and compassion.

If Jesus Had a Facebook Account…

Do you spend more time ‘liking’ status updates of people you hardly know, more than liking the One who knows you best?

Do you spend more time keeping up with the Kardashians than keeping up with your Bible study?

Do you follow more blogs than you follow Peter’s example? (This blog excluded, of course.)

If you answered YES to any of these questions, you may be in need of a divine social intervention.

The NFL debate, celebrity photo hacking, viral hashtags, oh my. There is so much to distract us on a daily basis; information at our fingertips, literally.

Our cell phone beeps with alerts that beg for our attention.right.now. We just can’t resist swiping our phone, can we?

But, there is someone else who, through all the chatter, is trying to get our attention…Jesus.

What does Jesus have to do to connect with us? Open a Facebook, Twitter, an Instagram account? Dying for us wasn’t enough?

Would He tweet “Frustrated with human-kind and their constant distractions.”?

Would His Facebook status read, “Missing you.”?

Would that get your attention, or at least a ‘share’?

What would happen if we spent as much time in His presence as on social media? What would we gain? Would we truly follow Him?

[Thumbs Up Graphic Source]

 

Bible Journaling | Works for Me

I may have mentioned once or twice (or more) how I like to highlight books I am reading. I highlight passages I don’t want to forget. I take notes in the margins. This is why I can never lend out my books to friends. Who wants to read a book with highlighter and notes written all over the pages?

Bible journaling

Even my Bible doesn’t escape the highlighter. I take notes in the margins too. I am not limited to the highlighter; I have even drawn pictures, used stickers, Washi tape, and attached note cards.

Bible journaling

I recently discovered people like me; expressing their love for their Bible in a very artistic way, turning it into an art journal, while spending time in the Word. Kindred spirits, we are.

Turns out there is a name for this thing that I do. It’s called Bible Journaling. If you can’t resist journaling, or taking notes, right along scripture, you can purchase a Journal Bible. It has extra large side margins for journaling or art.

Bible journaling Bible journaling

My mom gave me this Bible. It doesn’t have a wide margin, but that hasn’t stopped me from journaling in it! There are many different ways to study the Word. Not everyone would choose this approach. Some would never write in their Bible, others get out their big-girl watercolors and go to town! I say, “Do what works for you.”

I haven’t experienced a lot of anxiety about writing in my Bible. I know others who do. Maybe that is because I have written in books for a long time. I am a rule breaker that way.

I am careful not to cover up the words. I still want to read my Bible, after all. Others are comfortable creating with wild abandonment. Creating art for Him.

Bottom line | Do whatever you do that brings you closer to Him. Do it with happiness. Do it with love. This is your time spent in the Word. It is your time with Him. Doing it for the glory of the Lord is not wrong.

So, there you have it: Bible Journaling. Who knew? It works for me.

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Check out these bloggers/artists who are sharing their love for the Word and their art too: Greta Sutherland and Shanna Noel. Need more inspiration? Click over to my Pinterest board entitled Bible Journaling.

myGFA

#SmallSeeds | Give Bibles to those who have never hear the Good News. Only $4 buys 8 New Testament Bibles, and $3 delivers a Bible to those most in need in South Asia. This is MyGFA.

Seek the Light

Seek the light

LIGHT.

It’s the morning dew glistening at sunrise.

It’s the shadows cast through a window.

It’s the hope in the dawn of a new day.

It’s the reflections on a lake that shimmer like glitter.

It’s the glorious painted sky of sunset He created just for you.

It’s the light that shows us the way.

It’s the light that reclaims the darkness.

1 JOHN | [6-7] If we claim that we experience a shared life with him and continue to stumble around in the dark, we’re obviously lying through our teeth—we’re not living what we claim. But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God’s Son, purges all our sin.

[8-10] If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.

heart clouds

Light

light path

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Seeking the light means living an authentic life. It means being who we are. It means being honest with ourselves about our own struggles with sin. Living in the light means living the truth, not who we once were when we lived in the darkness of sin and ignorance.  Living in the light means to stop making excuses for our struggles with sin. In means to stop blaming others when we have only need to look in the mirror.

God longs for us to live in the light. Don’t be afraid. Seek the light.

RECOMMENDED READING/VIDEO | Confessions of a Good Christian Girl: The Secrets Women Keep and the Grace That Saved Them

A Christian Girl Walks into a Bat Mitzvah…

Psalm 133

Background Photo Source: WikiCommons

No, it’s not a joke with a punchline. I was recently invited to share in a friend’s Bat Mitzvah.

I am a little ashamed to say I have lived a rather sheltered Christian life. I grew up in a Nazarene Church. For a time during my teenage years I was exposed to what I can only describe as a doomsday Biblical Church. As an adult I attended a Nazarene Church for many years, and currently attend a non-denominational Christian Church.

There was this one time I attended Mass with my one Catholic friend. And Jewish? Well, I have eaten Latkes and Brisket…but that is as close as it gets. I read about other religions, but I haven’t had much personal experiences with different faiths other than my own.

So, when I was invite to this thing called a Bat Mitzvah, I was excited to learn more about the Jewish faith.

WHAT IS A BAT/BAR MITZVAH? It is the “coming of age” ceremony in the Jewish religion. The teen or pre-teen is considered an adult in the Jewish Community. For boys this is at 13-years-old, for girls it is at 12-years-old.

It was an honor to share this momentous occasion with these friends…even if I had no idea what they were saying because the ceremony was spoken mostly in Hebrew, with some English thrown in for us non-Jewish.

Mostly I was impress with the young lady, Sydney, at the center of her Bat Mitzvah. She spent countless months learning Hebrew. To speak in front of a room full of people, in a language she just learned…well, it’s impressive!

When most 12-year-olds are a little distracted these days, she had the determination to push forward, even when it got really hard. Maybe it’s the mother in me…I got a little teary-eyed just watching her, and she’s not my kid!

My take away from this experience is Jews and Christians have a lot in common. We may disagree on who Jesus was (and other points), but fundamentally, Jews and Christian believe and worship the One, almighty God. We both believe in extending love to one another, and our enemies. We live by forgiveness, grace, and the same moral codes.

Jews and Christians share a common heritage, after all, Jesus was Jewish. We have the same desire to have an intimate relationship with God. And, that is good enough for me.

So, if you ever have the chance to share in a religious ceremony other than your own, don’t shy away from it. I hope that you will embrace it, learn from it, and who knows, you may realize you have more in common that you thought.

Thank you my friends from allowing our family to share in your special day.

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LINKING UP with Holley Gerth’s Coffee for Your Heart.

What to do When it Feels Like the World is Falling Apart

Okay. So.

I had a post ready for today. It is thoughts on our summer bible reading of Ephesians 5. I can’t post that today.

My heart is heavy.

I can’t post that when planes are shot down. When Hamas is raging war against Israel. When ISIS is persecuting Christians, forcing them from their homeland they have had for the past 2000 years. When girls are kidnapped from schools. When children are dying to cross the border. When war rages in Ukraine.

That’s heavy stuff.

So. What’s a girl to do when it feels like the world is falling apart?

When the chaos of the world crushes my heart.

When injustice reins and hope has been drowned out.

When I feel helpless and hopeless.

When I sit safe at home.

When there is nothing I can do but Tweet information and support for fellow Christians being killed for our faith.

When governments, the U.N. turn a blind eye.

When hashtags don’t help.

When evil runs wild, and good is hard see.

My heart needs protection. I desperately need it.

Ephesians6

Source: unlockingthebible.org

I need to put on the Armor of God, as Paul instructs us to do in Ephesians 6.

[10] A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. [11] Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. [12] For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

[13] Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. [14] Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. [15] For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. [16] In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. [17] Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

[18] Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Ephesians 6:10-18

Today, I will ‘put on all of God’s armor’.

Today, I will ‘pray for all believers everywhere’.

Today, I will ‘hold up my shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil’.

Today, I will ‘take the sword of the Spirit’ and ‘stand firm against all strategies of the devil.

Leap of Faith | Ephesians 3

My One Word for 2014 is Leap. It’s all about leaping to find my writing voice in the blog. Leap and trust His plan. Leap and plant Small Seeds.

Have the guts to leap.

I have been refocusing on that word lately. This week’s Bible study of Ephesians 3 screams of leaping.

At times I feel a lot like Paul who confessed he felt he was “…writing about things that are way over my head…” (Ephesians 3:11-12 MSG)

Do you ever feel that way? To have an idea but feel completely unprepared and overwhelmed that you don’t know what to do next? In situations like this, you have one of two choices. You can do nothing, which will get you nowhere closer to your dream, or you can take a leap of faith and do something. Anything.

“When we trust in him, we’re FREE to say whatever needs to be said, BOLD to go whatever we need to go.” (Emphasis in all caps are mine.) Ephesians 3:11-12 MSG

And then I think of Dr. Phil. He often says, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Weird, I know. But, Dr. Phil, like Paul, was on to something big.

Here we are in Ephesians, a letter written by Paul. Paul was once Saul, the go-to Christian persecutor of his day. Like us, Paul didn’t know what he didn’t know. God used him in a way he never thought possible. I think, at times, Paul even has trouble believing it himself.

God turned a persecutor into a crusader. (Galatians 1:13)

In his own words, Paul felt he was over his head when speaking about Christ. But, get this, Paul took a leap of faith. He leaped with his heart. He leaped and trusted God. He spoke, even if he didn’t know it all, yet. He said what he needed to say anyway.

He spoke FREE and BOLD.

“God can do anything, you know — far more than you could ever image or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” Ephesians 3:20 MSG

I guess Paul knew more than he thought…

This Sunday my prayer for you, the one on the verge of taking a leap of faith, in the words of Paul, is this:

My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19 MSG

Amen.

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LINKING UP | at MyFreshlyBrewedLife. 

For Your Weekend

spring has sprung spring has sprung spring has sprung May your weekend be filled with little surprises that delight and bring you joy.

Easter Bible Study The Good Morning Girls are starting a free Easter Bible Study tomorrow. It’s entitled Why Easter Matters. All printed materials are FREE (provided you subscribe to their blog), and it is only 4 weeks long.

“…we can’t think of a better time to make it a priority to stay in God’s Word, and focus your hearts on the One who died in our place, for our sins.”

 

I can do all things-PREVIEW DISPLAY YOUR FAITH IN YOUR HOME | New designs in the SHOP today. Now you can print your Christian artwork prints on metal! Metal prints are a sheet of lightweight aluminum that is literally infused with the chosen artwork creating a sharp and vibrant finish and supplied ready to immediately hang. They also appear to be floating on you wall. So cool!

Be the Author of Your Own Life

I start typing this today by taking a deep breath because I have something huge hanging on my heart.

Be the autho quote

(Background Photo Source.)

So, what does your life book look like? Yeah, I don’t know what mine looks like either. Just taking it one day at a time, sister.

This past Sunday’s sermon at our church got me thinking about that, again. The sermon was focused on our OLW, “MADE”. (Yeah, our church chose a One Little Word for 2014. How cool is that?)

This year, as a church community, its been all about being MADE in His image. Being MADE to do more, be more, for Him and because of Him. Yesterday our pastor focused on followers of Christ being MADE to make disciples. Like Simon Peter.

I think to myself, I am not Peter. Peter was the rock on which Jesus built his church.

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Encouraging Words for Anxiety and Worry

I am in a funk. Ugh. Anxiety and worry about little stuff has got me feeling down. It’s nothing that won’t work out on its own. But, still. I can’t shake this funk. Anyone out there feeling the same?

Anxiety and Worry [27] And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure to his stature or to the span of his life? [28] And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin. [34] So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own,. Sufficient for each day is its own troubles. [Matthew 6:27-28, 34]

Yeah, just let those words wash over you.

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