3 Reasons for Trusting Others

“You can do it, Alyssa. I believe  you can!” Dad said as I practiced steering, went more than 25 mph, and drove down the highway for the first time. I was nervous and scared. “I think I’m going too fast!” was a common phrase heard those first days along with, “I feel like I’m going to fly off the road!” and “Dad, I can’t go that fast!” 

I had to trust my dad that what he said was true. He had to trust that I wouldn’t make us crash. 

But who can we trust? And why should we trust them?

#1: They Have Proven Themselves in the Past.

My dad is, my dad. I have lived with him all my life. I know that when he says something, he will do it. A while back when he said that he would catch me when I jumped in the pool, he did. Because of that, when he said to me a few days ago, “Alyssa, I want you to drive at 55 mph (the speed limit) because that’s what is safest and I know you can do that,” I knew that I could drive that fast and that he would help me do it.

#2: They Have Experience in the Area in Which They are Coaching You.

What if you have never met a person before and you still need to be able to trust them? For example, when I went to my gymnastics class for the first time, I had never met my instructor before. Yet, I trusted him to not drop me when I was flipping.

Why did I do that? I was able to trust him because he had experience. He had done gymnastics for a long time and had taught many other people as well. He knew what he was doing.

#3: They Care About Your Safety 

In both instances, the people I trusted care very much about my safety.

I know that my dad loves me so much he wouldn’t purposefully let me crash. He wants to teach me to the best of his ability – not only for my safety, but also for those who will eventually be riding in the vehicle with me.

Also, my instructor would not want me to fall on my head or break something. 

Some Exceptions to #3

Now, if my dad didn’t know how to drive a car, then no matter how much he cared about me, he wouldn’t be a good person to teach me how to drive. And, if my gymnastics instructor had not done any gymnastics before or had never taught anyone, I might have been a bit more hesitant to let him spot me. So, we need to make sure that we don’t falsely place our trust in someone.

However, there is someone who will never fail us – someone we can trust completely.x God. He will always do what is best (even though we may think otherwise). We can trust Him with our entire being – with our lives.

 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. ~Hebrews 6:19-20

 

C.S. Lewis Quotes – #2

Last time we looked at our first C.S. Lewis quote.

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.  C.S Lewis Quotes – #1

Here is the one for today. . . 

Reflections: Have you ever had a time in your life when you just met someone? I’m sure you have. It could have been someone from school, from church, or someone you just bumped into. 

What was the first thing that you did after you met them (other than saying your name)? Most likely, you asked them something about themselves – what their favorite subject was in school or what their hobbies are. And, don’t you get excited when you find something you both like? You had a common ground on which you could build your friendship.

As Christ followers, we also have another thing in common with other Christians. We have a firm foundation on which we can build our friendship – Jesus Christ. If you and your friend both devote your entire life to the magnification of Christ’s name, you both have the same purpose for your lives. 

What a great and marvelous foundation for a friendship!

 

C.S. Lewis Quotes – #1

 

C.S Lewis has some very noteworthy things which we should think about. So, I am going to do a six-part series on the quotes of C.S. Lewis. I hope that you enjoy reading them as much as I did.

The first one is . . . 

 

Reflections: Jesus changes everything. We don’t have to see Him to know and believe that He exists and that He has saved us. I can tell this by the changes in my life: how I can now love others better, my desire to do His will, and how my perspective about the world has changed. Also, you can see God’s work in other people’s lives as well. All of this strengthens our faith in Christ to save us and to do what is best in our lives and around the world.

I Will Trust In You – Poem

I Will Trust You 

My heart had been scattered
Into millions of pieces. 
All that I once trusted blindly 
Was questioned.
Was is true?
Or was it false?
Each was testing and weighed
For truth or for error.

Is trusting in the stories
Of the Bible
Just like trusting that
Rome was an empire
Or that WWII happened?
Are they more like
Fairy Tales?

Did someone really
Rise from the dead?
Can miracles actually happen?
Did God create the earth?
Does He even exist?

Is all that the Bible says true? 
Or is it all a lie?
When Jesus comes back,
Will He be coming for me?
Is He even going to come back?
Is all that I place my
Hope and my trust in –
A lie?

Then it struck me.
I had asked the question,
“Is Jesus even coming back?” 
I remembered someone saying,
“If the Bible is false,
Christians are to be pitied.”
Was I to be pitied?
Was I trusting in a false hope?

But, then, something
Tugged on my heart.
Something inside me said,
“Lord, I don’t understand 
Why I feel this way –
Why You seem far away.
But I will trust You.

“I will trust You
Through this storm,
Through this doubt,
Through this pain.
Because You. Are. 
Trustworthy.

“I will trust You
Because You are wise,
Because You know all,
Because You know best.
You have carried me this far.

“I will trust You.
Because You have brought me 
Through past storms,
Through past doubts,
Through past pain.

“And I Will Trust You.
Because Your word is TRUE.
It says you give life 
To the dead,
Hope to the hopeless,
And a purpose for my life.

“Without You I am
Nothing.
Without You I am 
Dead in my sin,
Lost and without hope,
And then, my life would
Have no meaning.
Because You created me to
Glorify You.

So, I will trust You
With my life.
I give it all to You.
May You use my life
To proclaim Your 
Wonderful,
Powerful name 
To the whole earth.
Take my life. 
It is Yours to use.
I will trust You.

 

 

 

 

Why Does God Tell Us to Rest?

Chores, school work, social media, sports. We live in a busy world. There are always places to go, things to do, and people to hang out with. It can be extremely easy to always be doing something.

But, always running about can have some unwanted effects. 

  1. We miss the little things

    When we have our day jam-packed with things to do, we never (or hardly ever) have the time to sit down and revel in the glory of what God has done for us. We spend all of our time on busyness that we never have time to enjoy the little day-to-day gifts that God has given us. For example, I spend a lot of time working on school. Unfortunately, as a result, I do not always take the time I should to be with my precious family.

  2. We lose the opportunities that God has given us.

    God has placed certain people in our lives who He wants us to minister to – the neighbor next door who doesn’t know the Lord to the struggling youth who sits across from you in class. If we stuff our schedules so full that we only have time for what we want to do, where is the time for the things that God asks and commands us to do? We need to be open and willing to change or empty some of our schedules in order that we might do God’s will.  

  3. We get burned out.

    Burnout: The physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress. God created humans to rest. And, if we are constantly active, we will burn out. We will no longer have the energy or motivation we need to keep going. 

One way to keep ourselves from burning out is to plan our schedule wisely. This is where we need to remember that we can’t do everything. No matter how much we would like to help everyone we can’t because we aren’t God. We are limited and finite. 

Another opportunity that God gives to rest is Sunday. On Sunday, we can go to church, worship God, and be filled with the energy to show His love to others throughout the next week. Also, it is alway beneficial to cover ourselves with God’s Word each day in order to do His work well.

So, if you find that you are burning out, rethink your schedule,  and make sure to take the time to immerse yourself in God’s word.

 

Letting Go of My To-Do List

Today I would like to introduce y’all to my first guest poster – Grace. 

Grace M. is a writer, piano-player, sunset-lover, and baker. She enjoys playing volleyball, eating sour gummy worms, and spending time with her family. She blogs about Christian living at Tizzies Tidbits.

 

I am one of those people that has an organized-in-theory kind of life. One of the organized-in-theory parts of my life is my to-do list. In fact, I may have To-Do List Syndrome. For instance, writing this blog post is on my to-do list; and as soon as I finish it, I’m going to cross through this task and do a mental happy dance.

But I make to-do lists too often and don’t complete the tasks on my to-do lists often enough. I have so much to do! I have to register for classes, practice piano, write a new article, and the list goes on. There’s always more to do. As soon as I feel satisfied because I finished a big job, I realize there are six more “big jobs” to do.

I don’t have the perfect solution to make your life less hectic, but I do know that you can be satisfied with work because it is actually good for you!

“But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need” (1 Thessalonians 4:10b-13, NASB).

“For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12, NASB).

It’s good to have work to do! It provides purpose (and food) in your life. If you have too much time on your hands, it’s easy to give into sin, like Peter mentioned in 2 Thessalonians. God graciously gave us work so that we wouldn’t be bored at home all day and so we could have food on our tables and roofs over our heads. It’s easy to daydream about a long day at home with nothing to do. However, a lifestyle like that would become boring very fast; and we’d probably feel depressed and purposeless.

But that’s only one end of the spectrum. What about the other end? Is there such a thing as putting too much emphasis on work? Of course!

I think most of us give ourselves too many tasks to complete. If you’re anything like me, you shoot high but usually end up low. I set so many goals for a day, but I only end up meeting a few of them. Then I feel like I’ve wasted all of my time (and usually I have wasted a large part of it) and that I’ll never get anything accomplished.

It’s hard to find the balance between having too many goals and not having enough goals, but this balance is important. Ideally, you’ll be busy enough to feel purposeful but not so busy that you’ll constantly feel stressed.

Don’t worry. You’ll find the balance. It may take time to find it, but the balance is there.

To-do lists are not evil. In fact, they can be incredibly helpful. Checking off a task brings satisfaction. Just remember that making your goals too important is sinful. Our most important goal should be to bring glory to God by completing the tasks He sets before us.

God gave us work for a reason. We struggle with it because of sin, but it keeps us busy. It gives us purpose, but working ourselves to death is silly and exhausting. Set realistic expectations for yourself, and if you don’t reach every one of your goals, shake it off and work on it tomorrow.

How Our Words Hurt

Story #1

   “Have you heard about how Jane tripped at school today?” Sarah asked her friend in the hallway as they walked to science class. “She looked like a little fish. I wish that I had taken a video of it. I bet that she won’t walk down that hallway for months!” Sarah’s friend giggled and they continued to retell the event in even more detail than before and not without a few additions of their own.

Little did Sarah and her friend know that Jane was walking right behind them and heard every word that they said. What they also didn’t realize was that Jane did not just brush their words off. But, they sank deep inside her and made her feel silly and foolish. That little story hurt Jane a great deal. 

Story #2

   Jane was sweaty, her legs hurt, and she didn’t think that she could run one more step. She wanted to quit and go home. “You can do it!” Sarah yelled, “You’re so close. Just a few more yards!” Hearing Sarah’s voice, Jane willed her legs to go farther. She wanted to win the race – not only for herself but also for her friend who was cheering her on from the sidelines. As Jane crossed the finished line, Sarah shouted her name in excitement and gave a high-five to congratulate her. “You were great! Let’s go celebrate!”

Words. They are powerful. With words, we can build each other up, but we can also tear one another down. That is why it is important that we encourage one other with our words – not gossip and lie about one another behind each other’s back.

But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
‭‭James‬ ‭3:8-12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

 

Just a Piece: God Has a Great Plan Even Though We Don’t See It.

 

Financial difficulties, moving away from home, the death of a relative – these are all things that cause us to feel worried, lonely, and/or discouraged. Why does this happen? 

Looking at all of these things, I see that we have no control over them (unless you are the person who is deciding to move the family). Also, in the cases of moving and losing a loved one, you miss someone and wish for that fellowship which you enjoyed so sweetly earlier to be renewed.

The following poem was written while I was wrestling with why I didn’t understand God’s perfect plan. I was wondering why difficult and painful things had to happen. The poem reflects the way I felt during that time of sadness and how I found peace in God’s flawless plan for my life.

Just a Piece

Why is this happening? 
I don’t understand! 
Things have gone wrong. 
This shouldn’t have happened. 
I can’t comprehend 
All that has taken place. 
What will this mean? 

God, I need you 
To get through
I can’t do this on my own. 
Please show me, What to do. 
To struggle through this 
By myself 
Would be painful. 
Please show me Your plan 
That I may do Your will. 

“I have a plan for you,” 
God says,
“But you have to trust me. 
Because to you, 
It might not make sense. 

“You see, your life is a piece. 
You have just a piece of my plan. 
A piece in a plan for this world, 
That is greater 
Then you can imagine. 

“Though this time in your life 
May be painful and tough, 
Remember that you have 
Just a puzzle piece In my big picture.

Training Grounds For the Future

Remember what I said about school in my last post?  In the post, Mexico Vision Trip – Come I said that,

“School felt meaningless and I felt lazy when I was reading a book or just relaxing.”

However, school is not meaningless and it is ok to read a book or to relax when you’re tired. School has a purpose. It is important. But, why? 

School teaches you how to learn.

Now, one of my Dad’s favorite quotes about school come to mind. He says it every time we ask, “Why must I do school? Do I have I do this?”  It is,

School is where you learn how to learn.

It is as simple as that. 

We go to school and get taught how to learn. That way, when you are older, and you don’t have people in your life who are able to teach you things, you will still be able to learn something new. You will know how to teach yourself new and important things that you didn’t need to know when you were younger.

For example, you are driving to work and your tire pops. What do you do? You have never changed a tire in your life – never even seen one changed, for that matter. 

First, you would know that you need to find instructions on changing a tire. (Unless you are really ambitious and think that you can change a tire without instructions.) Once you find your instructions, you would read them and interpret what they mean. Then, you would change the tire, following the directions. Also, if you knew that you weren’t strong enough to change the tire, you would go and find someone to help. 

In this example, you 1. recognized your problem, 2. figured out how to solve the problem, and then 3. solved it. Does this sort of sound like those math word problems we have to solve each day?

So, we go to school to learn how to learn.

For those worried teachers out there, yes, it is extremely important to know how to read, write, solve problems, and interpret information. 

Life prepares us for the future.

Life, as it is now, is a training ground for what life will be like tomorrow, next week, next year, or the next season in my life. What you are experiencing today, will prepare you for a challenge you have to face in your future. 

I did gymnastics for four years and I loved it. I practiced at home almost every day. To perfect my cartwheel, sometimes I would do more than a hundred in one setting. 

Now, I don’t believe that gymnastics is what I will do for my career in the future, but it did teach me an important lesson – Perseverance.

Perseverance is steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

When I was practicing my cartwheels, I did cartwheel after cartwheel after cartwheel. Those cartwheels were not perfect overnight. I had to be patient with myself and continue to practice, even when it seemed like I was going nowhere.

So, the experiences you are facing now are training grounds for you to live out what you believe and to learn new skills that you will use for the rest of your life.  Go.  Train hard!

 

 

 

The Very Next Thing – Casting Crowns

Casting Crowns has just recently finished a new album called The Very Next Thing. I was originally just going mention the song Make Me a River, but I realized that almost all of the songs have to do with missions or God’s glory. Here are four of them…

  1. The Very Next Thing 
  1. Make Me a River
  1. What If I gave Everything
  1. No Other Name

   (I included the lyrics for this one because a couldn’t find a lyric video.)

One name holds weight above them all
His fame outlasts the earth He formed
His praise resounds beyond the stars
And echoes in our hearts
The greatest One of all
His face shines brighter than the sun
His grace as boundless as His love
He reigns with healing in His wings
The King above all kings
The greatest One of all
Lift up our eyes, see the King has come
Light of the world reaching out for us
There is no other name
There is no other name
Jesus Christ, our God
Seated on high, the undefeated One
Mountains bow down as we lift Him up
There is no other name
There is no other name
Jesus Christ, our God
Find hope when all the world seems lost
Behold the triumph of the cross
His power has trampled death and grave
Our life found in His name
The greatest name of all
Lift up our eyes, see the King has come
Light of the world reaching out for us
There is no other name
There is no other name
Jesus Christ, our God
Seated on high, the undefeated One
Mountains bow down as we lift Him up
There is no other name
There is no other name
Jesus Christ, our God
The earth will shake and tremble before Him
Chains will break as Heaven and Earth sing
Holy is the name
Holy is the name of Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
The earth will shake and tremble before Him
Chains will break as Heaven and Earth sing
Holy is the name
Holy is the name of Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Lift up our eyes, see the King has come
Light of the world reaching out for us
There is no other name
There is no other name
Jesus Christ, our God
Seated on high, the undefeated One
Mountains bow down as we lift Him up
There is no other name
There is no other name
There is no other name
There is no other name
Jesus
 
For His Great Name
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