Christianity’s Got Talent!

Sometimes we may feel useless,

but God has blessed every one of us with a talent.

 

One thing I’ve noticed while growing up in church is that we as Christians often rank one another by our abilities or talents. For example, if someone has a phenomenal singing voice, they are often held with high regard. On the other hand, you may have been blessed with the gift of patience or working with people (which often implies the same thing, let’s be real XD ), and feel like your gift isn’t as great. Sometimes we may feel that our abilities aren’t as useful for serving God as those that are used in praise and worship services, but God has blessed every one of us with a talent that will help us serve Him in our own unique way!

“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
-1 Peter 4:10-11

What the verse above is saying is that we have to choose to serve God according to the gift He has bestowed upon us, and be thankful for the gifts we have. Some of us may very well be phenomenal singers and choose to serve God through choir, praise and worship teams, etc. Some of us may have the gift of public speaking, where God will lead you to speak for crowds and spread His Word to the masses. Some of us may be writers *cough* perhaps people like me *cough*, where God has called us to spread His Love through the written word. Some of us may be good caretakers, allowing us to take care of the needs of others who are less fortunate. Some of us may be historians and lawyers who actively stand up for Christian beliefs. Some of us may be something as simple as a good friend to anyone who needs one. Whatever your gift-and there are far more out there than what I’ve listed-God gave it to you for a reason. I challenge you to discover that reason.

 

Don’t Dismiss Your Gift!

 “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” -1 Timothy 4:14

We’re not called to gripe and complain about our gifts; we’re called to honor God with them! You may feel that your gift will amount to nothing at all, but you’re wrong! Remember Philippians 4:13 (shoutout to my boyfriend’s favorite verse, y’all! XD ):  “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” God provided you with this ability, and He will provide you with an outlet in order to use your ability to honor Him if you’ll allow Him.

I used to think that writing was a pretty useless gift. I mean, when I was growing up, I never found a way to honor God through writing at the church I attended. But during the past few years, I’ve discovered that it wasn’t my ability getting in the way-it was my attitude about my ability.

Personally, I feel that God has blessed me with the gift of writing in order to spread His word on this blog, and through my fiction works (P.S. Go check out my new author site if you’d like: Authoring Arrowheads!).  Feel free to comment with how you’re using your gifts to spread the Word of God!

 

Goodnight and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

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Featured Image Attribute To: Proverbs 31 Ministries | http://proverbs31.org/

No copyright infrigement intended.

 

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Gift Card, Not a Coupon

Before I begin this blog post, I would like to apologize for my extended absence from Jesus: Be My Escape over the last few months. Back in November, I began exploring means of publishing a fiction novel. Although my manuscript was accepted by a Christian publishing company, I declined their offer, as they were asking for a large sum for “marketing” purposes. Therefore, I’ve spent Christmas break getting the novel ready to self-publish through Amazon’s CreateSpace. However, during my absence, I feel as if I have strayed from my call of ministry through this blog, and my heart wasn’t right with the Lord throughout this time. Nevertheless, God has now led me back to where I need to be.

Sin is expensive…
but the price has been paid for us.

Okay, so I’m a total weirdo when it comes to talking (what, with being socially awkward and everything, but that’s a different story for another day XD ). I’ve received a bunch of gift cards for Christmas, and every time I mention using one of them, I end up saying, “oh, I’ve got a coupon for that!” instead of gift card, because for some reason I get the words mixed up. This morning, I took a moment to think why I mix the two words up. Coupons are certificates that, for the most part, only pay a portion of your cost. Conversely, gift cards are certificates that generally pay your cost in total. Then… *drumroll* I realized we do the exact same thing as Christians when considering Salvation.

 

Jesus Didn’t Die for a One-Time Offer

Fellow Christians, God–our Heavenly Father and Almighty Creator of the Universe–did not send His one and only Son to die for us simply for a “one-time offer”. I mean, what would be the point of that? As humans, we are sinners by nature. We don’t just mess up one time; we mess up multiple times, sometimes on a daily basis. Why then do we sometimes think that the gift of Salvation only covers certain, “minor” sins?

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

Notice that I applied bold formatting to the words “all unrighteousness”. This verse clearly states that Jesus’s gift of eternal salvation is not a cheap coupon deal; Jesus paid the price of our sins in its entirety on the cross, as stated in the what is arguably the most famous verse in the Bible:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” -John 3:16

Again, notice the bold type. If you believe that Jesus Christ was sent to earth to die for our sins, then you receive a gift card, if you will, that grants you everlasting life. This gift card comes in the form of the Holy Spirit abiding in you after you accept salvation. The amazing part? This gift card never expires. There is no limit. However, that doesn’t give us the right to continue to sin as we please. We must seek to please God in all that we do. I mean, if we would rather seek to please ourselves, wouldn’t we be violating the terms and conditions of our gift card?

 “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” -Acts 3:19

The Terms and Conditions for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ are as follows:

  • Admit: Admit you are a sinner and are in need of a Savior.
  • Believe: Believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior.
  • Confess: Confess to the Lord that you will follow him and will seek to abide by His Will.

It’s as easy as ABC. 😀

So, to recap, the debt of your sins is not greater than what Jesus is willing to offer. There is no limit to Jesus’s gift card. As long as we continually seek to honor God’s commandments, believe that Jesus is our Savior, and avoid sin we have met the terms and conditions and will receive a never-ending supply of eternal salvation.

That sure beats all of those store gift cards, huh? XD

 

God bless!
-Allyson 😀

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No copyright infringement intended.

An Open Letter to Our Next President

Dear Madam or Mister President,

As a millennial, a soon to be college graduate, and a Christian, I have been keeping a close eye on this election on the basis that the outcome will either benefit or detriment my transition into adulthood. To be quite honest, America’s current state seems to be becoming more and more like a dystopian novel with each passing day. Criminals are claimed to be innocent, while the innocent are claimed to be criminals. Instead of turning the other cheek when we get offended, we now sue one another for monetary gain for the most asinine reasons. God, Jesus, and Salvation are considered controversial subjects only mentioned by “religious bigots” who are only out to “brainwash” others with their “close-minded” thinking. A nation that was founded on religious freedom is now only allowing freedom for religious groups that denounce God, Jesus, and Salvation. We live in a country that considers it cool to register your religion as “Jedi”, but horrific if you so much as pray to God on a football field after a game. Madam or Mister President, I’m not asking you to grant my wish to fix all of these things while you’re in office; I’m simply asking you to look to God for guidance, and not act solely based on left-wing or right-wing agendas.

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”

-Proverbs 14:34

My favorite past president, Ronald Reagan, famously stated, “If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” Oh, I bet former President Reagan is rolling in his grave as you presidential candidates are fighting like this election is one big reality show. You focus on tweets. You focus on past accusations. You focus on wigs. You know what I’ve heard very little about during the presidential debates? How you’re going to make America a GOD FEARING NATION again. As of right now, America’s on its way under. The more we adhere to and legalize the foundations of sin, the further we will fall. Madam or Mister President, do you want to see us crumble completely, or do you want to build us up, to truly make us great again? Well, the only possible way to do that is to lift America’s burden off your shoulders, and to place it in the hands of our Almighty and very capable God.

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
-2 Chronicles 7:14

The key thing to remember here is that we as a nation, and you as a leader must humble yourself before God in order to help our country prosper again. This doesn’t mean that Hillary is the supreme queen or that Donald is the reigning king. This means that you will seek guidance from the Lord, not from Congress. This means that you will bring prayer back to public places, not incorporate more safe spaces. This means that you will promote godly media more than that of sinful content. You will treat your neighbors as yourself. You will lead others to righteousness instead of encouraging one another to turn away from God. As President, if you truly want to make an (let’s be honest, GOOD) impact on America, you will allow God to take your place as the leader of the free world, and you will allow Him to guide your actions as commander and chief.

Goodnight, and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

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Featured Image attributed to: ChristianQuotes.info

Edit and Save

Over the last week, I’ve been doing a lot of editing on one of the novels I’ve been writing.  I’ve been working on this novel for several years, and I just realized about a year ago that I no longer liked the direction it was taking.  Therefore, I’m now taking the initiative to edit the work I’ve done so far, and rewrite the parts that I wish to change.  Throughout the editing process, I can’t help but think of the fact that Jesus goes through the same type of process with us once we ask for forgiveness.

Editing

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” -2 Corinthians 5:17

Jesus begins the editing process in us whenever we accept His gift of eternal salvation, which we can do by asking Him to cleanse us of our sins and guide us in our daily lives.  Whenever we ask Jesus to do this for us, He talks to God and makes intercessions for us, and works with us to transform our behavior from that of a lost sinner to that of a new creature in Christ.  The editing process for new Christians is not an easy one, due to the fact that Jesus will guide you through some extreme changes to keep you from falling back into sin, if you ask Him to do so.  For example, if you are friends with people who are involved in drugs and alcohol, Jesus will work with you to end those relationships.  It may seem as if you’ve lost a lot whenever you delete these friendships; I know that’s how I sometimes feel when I delete a portion of a story that no longer works with my new plot ideas.  Nevertheless, whatever we lose will be no where near as wonderful as what we will gain through Christ.

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
-Romans 8:18

Saving

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
-Romans 10:9

The word Salvation literally means “a source or means of being saved from harm, ruin, or loss.”  Therefore, while Jesus is editing out our old sinful behavior, He is also saving the work He’s doing every step of the way.  Whenever we ask Jesus to forgive us from our sins, He doesn’t forget about His promise the next time we mess up, and doesn’t revoke our salvation privileges when we sin again, no matter which sin it is.  Jesus remembers the fact that we’ve asked Him to come into our lives and transform them, and that acknowledgement stays with Him forever.  No, this does not give us the right to sin as we please once we ask Jesus for salvation; that’s where the editing process comes in.  As long as Jesus knows that deep down we fear the judgment of God and truly want to live to please God despite our slip-ups, then He will always be willing to continue cleansing our sins.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” -John 5:24

We Can’t Do This Ourselves

The thing about life is that we can’t go back and edit our pasts ourselves.  If we could, there would be many people I would go back and avoid talking to in my past,  and I would lead myself away from situations that have caused me to sin against God.  But, we don’t have that ability for a reason.  God allows us to go through difficulties and sin in order to show us that we need to rely on Him and His guidance instead of our own.  God doesn’t let us have the power to edit and save our own lives, because that’s the very reason He sent Jesus to die on the cross years ago.

 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
-John 3:16

Sometimes, we’re going to think about our pasts and cringe with regret, wishing we could go back and change what happened ourselves.  If you are a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, don’t fret, for He has already done that for you!  Jesus has edited your heart and saved your soul, so you no longer have to worry about all of the evidence of sin you’ve left behind in the past, because He has deleted it from your file once you asked for salvation!

 

Good night, and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

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Featured Image Attributed To: chirstdaily.tumblr.com

Syllabus Week Stress

I don’t know about y’all, but just reading the syllabus for a class stresses me out.

Assignments. Pop quizzes. Articles. Exams.  Online work.  Internships.  Family.  Social life.
Oh, and driving for us commuters out there.  Just about every time my professors are explaining the outline for our coursework during the first week of each semester, I can’t help but worry about how I’m going to have time to get everything done without neglecting another area of my life.  Wednesday was only my second day of senior year at the University I attend, and after having a rough morning, I texted my boyfriend about it because I needed to vent to someone.  I told him that I feel like I’m going to fail in one or more areas of my life if I take too much stuff on this semester.  The pressures of graduating in May have been weighing on me all summer, and I just want to get everything right.  He told me to pray about it, and I said that I’ve tried to, but it feels like I can’t find the right answer to what I’m supposed to do.  That’s when he replied with the slap-to-reality I needed:

When was the last time God made a mistake?

Yep… he shut me up right there.  Every time I get worried about how I’m going to get through this semester, get a job after graduation, or whatever else… I have to remember that God put me in this position for a reason, and He didn’t do it to leave me here to figure it out on my own.  God didn’t give me something I can’t handle, and I’m not stressing out because of a mistake He’s made, because He makes NO mistakes.  Oh, and that doesn’t only apply to me.  God has never made a mistake with any of us.

The only mistake here was caused by me.

“Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” -Proverbs 15:22

Stress is caused by overthinking.  Overthinking occurs when we have something on our mind, over-analyze what could go wrong in the situation, and practically kill ourselves to find a solution.  Therefore, the bad day I had Wednesday was not due to the fact that God placed me in a situation that I won’t be able to handle; it was due to the fact that I was not relinquishing the burden to Him.  Yes, as I stated before, I had prayed about it.  Nevertheless, my prayer was, “please help me make the right decision”, when it should have been, “Lord, I place this situation in Your hands, and pray that you’ll have Your will with my life.  Guide me to make the right decision according to Your purpose for me.” At first glance those prayers don’t seem that different, but the one I was hurriedly spitting out before falling asleep at night was said out of frustration in myself for not being able to conjure up an answer on my own, not out of true reliance on God.  I was relying on my own counsel, not God’s, therefore causing myself disappointment when I kept letting the stress get to me.

Then I remembered a verse…

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” -Jeremiah 29:11

When I graduated from community college a couple of years ago, one of my favorite instructors gave me a bracelet with the scripture reference for this verse inscribed on a charm.  I didn’t think much of the verse then, but I wore the bracelet around a lot until part of it broke one day.  I don’t wear the bracelet anymore, but every time I think of graduating, my instructor and that verse come back to mind.

The first time I ever had a class with this particular instructor, it was for a programming class called Microsoft Visual Basic.  This was my first time learning how to write computer programs, so I (and many of my classmates) struggled throughout the semester.  Over time, I began do dislike my instructor because she wouldn’t help us when we ran into a problem; she made us take the time to figure it out the best we could before she would come take a look at it herself.  For the longest time, I thought she was just being lazy or hateful; however, by the end of the semester I had grasped a good understanding of the programming language and had figured out that the instructor didn’t ignore our requests for help out of rudeness, but out of preparation.  You see, she wasn’t trying to be hateful to me and my classmates so she wouldn’t have to do any extra work.  Instead, she axed our lifeline so to speak to teach us how to solve the problems that occurred on our own.  Just like Jeremiah 29:11, she had good intentions for us, despite the fact that I thought she was plotting my failure in her course.

God works in a similar way.

Whenever you’re wondering why God has placed you in a situation where it seems as if you have to do a million different, difficult tasks, think back to Jeremiah 29:11.  During times like that, we may question God as to why He’s allowing us to be stressed out or worried about our future.  I certainly have this week, but that’s not how we should react.  Satan wants us to blame God for our circumstances, when in reality Satan’s handiwork (overthinking, self-doubt, insomnia) that causes our stress in the beginning.  The key thing to know in times such as this is that God is trying to teach us how to rely on Him when our lives become overwhelming.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say, “figure it out thyself”.  Nah, actually it says pretty clearly:

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
-Proverbs 3:5

You may not understand why you’ve been swamped with loads of responsibilities all at once.  You may not understand why you’ve suddenly become sick and have had to take extended time away from your duties.  You may not understand why someone left you to deal with life on your own.  Nevertheless, know this:  you may not understand it now, but if you trust in God to get you through it, He will reveal the trial’s purpose to you sooner or later.  God’s not trying to hurt you by leading you through difficulties; He’s trying to teach you the most valuable lesson of all.

Goodnight and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

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Featured image attributed to:  561quotes.com | No copyright infringement intended

Backsliding

Backsliding: Don’t Fall off the Cliff Just Yet

Whether you’ve been a Christian your entire life, or only for a few months, you’re going to experience a period of backsliding at some point.  Despite your best intentions to live a pristine life, actively pursue Christ and abide by God’s word, Satan will do his best to break your habit by interfering.  Satan will try his best to lure you away from God by tempting you with the lusts of the world, and will attempt to convince you that you’re a horrible person and not worthy of God’s love.

But Satan’s a liar.

You can get back on track.

 

Analyze What Happened:

“Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?”
-Galatians 5:7

Did you stop going to church?  Did you fall into the wrong crowd?  Did Satan attack you individually with lies and deceit?  Think back to when you first felt like you were straying away from God.  What was the reason you stopped going to church?  Is the crowd you’re hanging out with causing you to stumble?  Where did the bad thoughts/actions first stem from?  Once you ask yourself these questions, it is easier to pinpoint the origin of the problem.

Consider Your Guilt:

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
-2 Corinthians 13:5

If you’re backsliding in your walk with God, you won’t have to have someone notify you, for that is the purpose of the Holy Spirit.  When you ask Jesus to come into your heart, the Holy Spirit will abide in you and will help you stay on a path that is pleasing to God.  The condition is we have to be willing to listen to the Holy Spirit; it’s unfortunate that we can’t set it on autopilot, but that’s why God allows us to have free will.  If you have accepted salvation through Jesus Christ, you will develop a weird feeling whenever you begin to backslide.  While you’re partaking in the sin, you’ll feel a pang of guilt and think, “this goes against what the Bible says.”  From here, you have two options:  continue, or quit and repent.

Option 1: Continue in Sin

“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins…”
Hebrews 10:26

To quote Once Upon a Time, “magic always comes with a price, dearie.”  Magic, in this case, is sin. Jesus paid the price for everyone’s sins on the cross.  If we accept the gift of salvation and turn away from our sinful ways, we will not have to pay the cost of our sin.  Conversely, if we continue to dwell in sin, we are ignoring God’s commandments.  Therefore, if we are ignoring God and are more willing to feed our hunger for contentment in sin rather than in a relationship with our Heavenly father, we’re not really accepting the terms and conditions of salvation, are we?  Please consider that fate if you choose this option.

Option 2:  Quit and Repent

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

No matter where you are in life, no matter what you have done in the past, God is willing to forgive you of your sins if you accept Jesus’s gift of eternal salvation.  The thing is, if we want to hold fast to our salvation, we can’t choose Option 1 (see above) any time we please and still expect God to give us a clean bill of health.  God knows everything, including our individual hearts, meaning He can tell where our loyalty lies.  If our loyalty lies with Him, He will know it because we will turn away from sin.  Sure, we may still slip up now and then, but He will know that we are trying our best to rid our lives of sinful behavior.  Therefore, repentance and turning away from our sin is the first step to getting back on track with God.

Remember There’s Always a Rope to Hold on to!

“It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” -Lamentations 3:22

Just because we backslide, it doesn’t mean that we’ve fallen off the cliff completely.  Jesus welcomes us back every time we stumble, and always offers a helping hand if we are willing to accept it.  We don’t have to be consumed by guilt if we fall off of the straight and narrow path God has set out for us, for Jesus will always have compassion on us if we turn to him with a loyal heart.  Hold on tight to the rope Jesus has thrown you every time you stumble.

 

Goodnight, and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

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Photo Credit Attributed to: David Platt, christianbook.com

I’m My Own Worst Enemy

My biggest enemy is myself.

The devil takes many forms here on earth to cause us stress and tempt us to turn away from God’s guidance.  Sure, there are visible forms, such as drugs, alcohol, and pornography, but sometimes he tries to get inside our heads.  You see, Satan uses unclean spirits in order to allow us to be depressed or anxious.  When he gains control over your emotions in this way, Satan can cause just as much damage to a person’s well-being as drugs and alcohol.  He’ll try to destroy you from within, turning your own mind against you, making you despise yourself.  I’m here to tell you today that there is a cure for depression and anxiety, and it’s not in the form of any type of medication or therapy.

My Personal Battle

All of my life, I have struggled with shyness.  Throughout my years as a K-12 student, I barely ever talked in class, unless I was spoken to first.  The friends that I was able to make basically looked at me as a tag-along, because I rarely contributed anything to conversations.  Many of my former classmates would openly express how weird it was that I never talked, and if I ever see any of them now, that’s what they still remember about me.  As I got older, I was afraid to venture out and do normal teenage things like driving around after I got my license, or going to games at my high school.  It wasn’t until much later on in my life, possibly a year or two ago, that I was looking at quotes on Pinterest and saw a post about social anxiety.  For the longest time, I thought that I just had an extreme case of shyness, and that I was a complete freak because it makes me nervous about going through normal social interactions.  For example, as weird as it may sound, I always feel awkward whenever I can’t put my change back in my billfold fast enough because I feel like the cashier or other shoppers standing behind me are judging me.  My entire life has been made up of awkward social interactions like that, and I hate it to be quite frank. When I looked more into what social anxiety actually is, I found that a lot of people actually go through the same things as me; however, I have yet to see anything about a cure.  Thankfully, I came across one soon after.

“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
-1 Peter 5:7

For the longest time, I would beat myself up over my social anxiety. I’m a perfectionist too, so I get upset with myself if I mess up on things, especially in front of other people. Whenever my family or friends would question me as to why I wouldn’t do a normal task, such as walking across a crowded restaurant to go to the restroom by myself, I would get frustrated with myself because I was embarrassed to say I was scared, knowing that they wouldn’t understand.  And, to be honest, I still do that a lot.  A lot of people, my family included, don’t know how hard it is to deal with being socially anxious because they’ve never gone through it. So, whenever it was giving me a hard time, I’d go upstairs to my room for hours at a time, trying to calm myself down.  A couple of years ago when my anxiety was getting pretty bad after going through a bad breakup and facing rejection in the dating world, I started reading the Bible.  Verses like the one from the book of 1 Peter above really put into perspective for me that I was going about fighting my anxiety the wrong way.  Sitting in my room feeling sorry for myself is just what Satan wants me to do.  Satan wants me to hate myself, to wonder why God ever put me on this earth, and to want it all to end.  Satan has made me think pretty ugly things about myself, but whenever I started focusing more on what God’s word says and praying, I began to get better.  Sure, I still have bad days.  Yesterday was pretty awful, but it served as inspiration to write this post.  So, in reality, Satan didn’t win.  God did, and He always will.

The Cure

If you’re going through depression or have anxiety, I know a cure.  You won’t have to pay a cent for it, because that price has already been paid on the cross.  All you have to do is open your heart to the word and love of God, and He will take every last one of your burdens away.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
-1 Corinthians 10:13

You are not alone.  Thousands of people are going through the same feelings as you.  People everywhere are doubting their worth, hating themselves, and even considering suicide because they don’t know how to stop the pain they are feeling.  All of these bad feelings, these anxieties are the handiwork of Satan.  Satan is playing mind games on you in order to turn you away from God, to make you think that you are crazy and have to handle all of this on your own.  The truth is found in the verse above, that no temptation on this earth, visible or mental, is unique to only you.  There are other people going through exactly the same kind of emotional struggle as you, and God will not allow for you to be tempted more than you are able to handle if you cling fast to His love.  Jesus, my friends, will be your escape.

Jesus, please be my escape.
Please help me overcome my own anxieties.

Goodnight, and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

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Drop the Double-Mindedness

Double-Mindedness: The Hannah Montana Syndrome of Christians

(I really don’t know why I keep referencing Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana in this blog, but hey, there’s a point to this.)

If you’re a Christian, then you won’t have the best of both worlds if you’re living a life where there is a constant clash between the spirit and the flesh.  In other words, if your spiritual life (your relationship with God) is vastly different from your normal life, eventually you’re going to run into some trouble.  Whether the trouble arrives in the form of guilt or a consequence for your actions, it’s God’s way of showing you that a change has to be made: ditch the double-mindedness and worship Him in all that you do, not just when you feel like it.

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”

-James 4:8

If you’re feeling like your relationship with God is struggling, consider how you have got your priorities lined up in your life.  It’s easy to say that God is your “number one”, but are you really living your life as if He is?  I’m as guilty as anyone, and I really have to work at continually focusing on God instead of giving in to everyday temptations.  Sometimes we’re going to give into temptations, because we’re merely human and will inevitably mess up from time to time; however, we can’t make teeter-tottering between sin and righteousness a habit.  Salvation isn’t a “I kinda believe in Jesus” thing.  Salvation is granted when you fully accept that Jesus died for your sins, and you actively work to turn from your old ways.  Therefore, if we are living with a double-mind, spirit versus flesh, it’s as if we’re walking on a tightrope where we’re trying to appease both God and our own sinful desires, and you can’t serve two masters.

“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

-James 1:8

If we’re waking on a tightrope between God and sin, eventually we’re going to trip and fall.  Most likely we’re going to land in the land of sin, due to the fact that we were not making God our main priority from the beginning.  As the verse above states, a double minded person is unstable in all of their ways, meaning that they are going to make a mess of themselves if they don’t pinpoint their focus to the only One who can help them out:  God.  Remember, one step towards sin will lead you closer to sin.  On the other hand, one step towards God can cleanse you from your sinful past, and as long as you continually make an effort to run to His arms with each passing day, you can avoid the tightrope for good.  You won’t fall as long as you let God catch you.

Good day and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

The Non-Hippie Way of Finding Peace

Why should I worry?

Why should I care?

I don’t know if many of you know this, but I’m a Disnerd.  For those of you who don’t know what that means, I become a huge nerd when I start talking about anything Disney related.  I have at least a dozen favorite Disney movies, ranging from oldies like The Sword in the Stone to newer films like Tangled and Lilo and Stitch.  A side-effect of my obsession with the wonderful world of Disney is that I fall in love with the soundtracks as well.  One of my all-time favorite Disney songs comes from the adorable 1988 movie, Oliver & Company, where a street-savvy dog named Dodger (played by Billy Joel), dances around New York City singing a song entitled “Why Should I Worry?”.

 

As you can see, the scene above is pretty epic; however, we as humans cannot find peace through obtaining street savoir-faire like Dodger.  So, how can we possibly obtain peace in this chaotic world?

Jesus Christ

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
-John 14:27

Jesus tells us plainly in the book of John that He gives us peace, and that we shouldn’t feel worried or afraid of the things to come.  We obtain peace through Jesus Christ by accepting Him as our Savior.  When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He washes away our sins, and we stand as a new person before Him.  Peace is ultimately found by continually seeking Jesus, reading God’s word, and praying.  Nevertheless, those things are easier said than done if we are going through perilous times or hardships.  So, when we’re in a desperate situation where there seems as if there is no hope, how can we clear our minds of anxiety?

Faith

Yes, faith.  It’s one simple little word bursting at the seams with meaning.  The truth is, a lot of the time we’re not going to look to Jesus or God for help as our first instinct.  Society tells us that we are to act independently, and that we should not rely on faith in our “mythical father in the sky” (insert eye-roll here at that vastly overused description) to get us through hard times.  As Christians, we have to train ourselves to seek God’s guidance in everything that we do, because we are dead-set on trying to fix everything on our own.  But we can’t.  Some things are just out of our control, and we need something or someone bigger than ourselves to solve our problem.  The only being that has the ability to solve the seemingly unsolvable is God.  The only way to rid yourself of overpowering anxiety for the unknown outcome is through faith.

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
-Romans 5:1-5

 

So then there’s the question:

“How can we show our faith in God?”

Simple, old chaps.  We talk to Him through prayer.  We read our Bibles.  We obey His commandments.  I probably sound like a broken record as I know I’ve repeated these three instructions like a mantra in previous blog posts, but this is what He calls us to do.  Most importantly however, we have to put our faith to the test.  When something comes our way that makes us question our reliance on God, that’s when we must rise up to the occasion, pushing our faith to extreme lengths.  God doesn’t help people who doubt Him, nor does He help people who choose to not acknowledge the blessings He has in store for us. God rewards people who have faith in Him, that’s it.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
-Hebrews 11:6

Whether you’re worrying about a tough exam coming up, a difficult game where your teammates are relying on you to perform well, or a terminal disease, having faith in God will give you peace.  As Romans 16:20 states, the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.  Whatever Satan is throwing at you can never be bad enough that God won’t be able to fix it.  Life is not going to be easy, for worldly people nor Christians. Christians don’t live in a bubble that protects them from hardships; we go through tough times just like everyone else.  The main aspect that sets Christians apart from the rest of the world is that we rely on God to solve our problems.  Reliance, or faith, in God and His promise through Jesus Christ is the only thing that keeps me going, and the only source true source of peace.  Worrying for the world is petty, whereas maintaining faith in God is freeing.

 

Be free in faith my friends!

-Allyson 😀

 

 

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Image attributed to: @littlethingsaboutgod

We’re Not Called to be Perfect

As much as I don’t care for Miley Cyrus,
I have to give her credit for the song “Nobody’s Perfect”…

There are currently an estimated 7+ billion people on Earth.  Out of those 7+ billion, in addition to everyone that has passed away since the beginning of mankind, only one person could truly be called perfect.  That perfect person was not Mother Theresa, the Pope, or Beyonce (yeah, there are people that actually think that XD ).  Those people, even added to the possible thousands of others who have been considered perfect, cannot live up to the one and only perfect standard that is Jesus Christ.

“…because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth…”
-1 Peter 2:21-22

As Christians, we are supposed to model our behavior after Jesus,  but how can we do so when Jesus is  flawless?  The truth is, we can’t.  Humans, and yes, that includes Christians, are flawed.  Even people who are born again through the salvation of Jesus Christ are going to backtrack, tread through the muddy waters of sin, and wallow in the aftermath of those actions.  It’s absolutely impossible for any mortal being to live a pristine life without sin from the time of their birth until the time God calls them home; however, that’s not what He has called us to do.  God calls us to be like Jesus, but not Jesus.

We can’t be perfect, but we can do our best to follow God’s guidelines 🙂

God’s Guidelines, straight from the Guidebook itself:

  • “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.” -Colossians 3:12-14
  • “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” -Ephesians 4:32
  • “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” James 1:19-21
  • The Ten Commandments: (Exodus 20)
    1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
    2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
    3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
    4.  Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
    5. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
    6. Thou shalt not kill.
    7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    8. Thou shalt not steal.
    9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
    10. Thou shalt not covet any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

These are just a few examples of the guidelines God has provided for us to live by; the Bible features many more instances of instructions that are meant to guide our Christian walk with God.  Additionally, I know how hard it can be to attempt to live according to these standards, due to the fact that the world we live in is becoming more accepting of sin with each passing day.  Nevertheless, we are called to live according to the true teachings of God, not the world’s interpretation of them.   Therefore, if we truly want to please God and model our behavior after the perfect example of Jesus, we need to abide by God’s teachings rather than care what the world expects of us.

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” -James 1:22-25

We’re going to slip up, we’re going to sin.  We’re going to question our faithfulness to God.  We’re going to beg God for forgiveness.  God’s going to forgive us, as long as we do our absolute best to model our future behavior after His teachings and turn away from our sin.  Be doers of the word, and turn away from the old man or woman you were that reveled in sin.  We’re not going to live perfectly, but we can do our best to strengthen our relationship with God and our Christian walk.

Sorry this post was a day late by the way! XD

God bless,

-Allyson 😀

 

 

 

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Featured Image accredited to: 2become on tumblr