The Bible has a lot to say about letting go, moving on and trusting God. Ecclesiastes 3:2-5 notes, ‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:’ a time to keep and a… More
Love is something desired by almost all, in most cases what we wait our entire lives for. It seems the hope of experiencing the feeling long depicted in famous love films and novels all this time never ceases to see hearts racing, eyes watering and hands praying. True love which the world tends to think was invented by the Grimm Brothers (due to their fictional take on fairy-tales) was only created by God.
God’s idea of true love streams far away from any enchanted love story you pick up and read nor does it entail running off into the sunset with the man of your dreams.
1 John 3:16 declares, “This is how we know what love is; Jesus Christ laid down His life for us”. God gave us the real and sincere gist of true love when He sacrificed His son to die an excruciating death in order to set our souls completely free and renew a second chance at life, forever spent with Him.
The picture of Jesus Christ nailed to the cross is the real portrayal and ultimate definition of what true and lasting love looks like.
True and lasting love was, is and will always be found in the heart and name of God and it is He who is persistently reminding us all to turn to Him when in need of answers and comfort. He is what completes our hearts to the maximum, a power no other person on earth will ever come close to fulfilling or accomplishing.
His kind of love is not found and expressed in affectionate looks, intimate cuddles, passionate kisses or desirable words spoken but instead only in a personal relationship with Himself.
Yes, relationships, friendships and marriages are all forms of love, ones that can give us a sweet sense of intimacy, security and a feeling continuously portrayed in the likes of many dreamy novels and films. But, these expressions of love are just minorities in conjunction to, ‘How wide, how long, how high and how deep His love is. (Ephesians 3:18) This love on earth is only a temporary substitute compared to the eternal love in Heaven.
True and lasting love is found in Jesus and when we stop trying to search for it ourselves or expect to find His same fulfilment through someone else, we will see it is only He who can satisfy our hearts to the full.
1 John 4:10, ‘This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.’
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One of the best keys I’ve come to discover from life’s journey is to simply take one day at a time.
God informs us in Mathew 6:34, ‘Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own’. Seems we have no control or fast-forward button over our lives, why wish for life to right now be somewhat different? We can’t change anything. But we can trust God.
As it is we didn’t get the same yesterday as what we’re living out today and we will not have the same today as what we hope to see out tomorrow.
There is no certainty of tomorrow, there is no guarantee of the sun rising or the stars not suddenly falling out of the sky. There is every chance we don’t live to see tomorrow, we die before another week finishes or the Lord Himself comes and raptures us. Today could well be our last day on earth to serve God the greatest and if so, what did we do with our time then? Did we wish away today in the hope of seeing tomorrow, was our last prayer directed at our own wants and our last word initiating hate? Or was our last wish to be made more like jesus, our last prayer one of thankfulness and our last action, speech and thought signalling love, truth and purity.
There is no certainty of tomorrows existence. We need to spend today living, praying and loving, not wishing, hoping and waiting.
Let us live in the present, love like there is no tomorrow and pray like this is the last we will ever make before meeting the pure and loving eyes of our Creator.
As an alternative of wishing today away in the hope of seeing a better tomorrow, let’s strive to achieve lots not the bare minimal in our twenty four hour timeslot? Let’s invent new ways to build people up, be thankful and love all those around us.
How many people can we pray for instead of praying for ourselves and our future spouse? How many lives can we make smile, impact, love and laugh with, lend a hand to? What can we do to make today brighter and happier and fuller than the day we lived out yesterday? What is it that can make our almighty God smile even more than the one He spiritually provided us with yesterday? These are the things we should be reminding ourselves of every time we wake up to another priceless sunrise.
It can be amazing at what we can do for God when we make today His not ours and when we strive after achieving loads not less.
Let us not rule out tomorrow but focus on accomplishing God’s vision for our lives today, leaving the rest in His magnificent hands. He has it covered.
Today is the greatest second chance we have at living a life fully pleasing to God.
“The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations”
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It brings tears to my eyes when I see little girls compare their appearances to celebrities donning front covers of today’s glossy, gossip magazines. It breaks my heart to learn self-harm and suicide is now worldwide the biggest killer amongst teenage girls. It stirs anger in my mind when I read and hear of stories regarding women being abused and assaulted by men, some later deeming themselves invaluable and unlovable because of it.
It’s moments like these which make me want to gather all the women around the world in a circle, pass them each an exquisite red rose and personally tell every one of them they by far exceed the beauty, uniqueness and value of this God made, handpicked flower.
But I’m not worthy of describing our beauty, uniqueness or value; I don’t even come close to giving this profound speech in fact. I too have sinned, miserably and at times persistently. I’ve bought tears, anger and hurt to Gods compassionate eyes, showed faithlessness, thrived in my selfishness and turned around and said ‘God, I’m doing life my way’.
I certainly don’t deserve to have had a righteous Prince depart from His throne as an innocent ransom for my sins, perishing for every single one of them and then inviting me to come celebrate with Him in a royally lived life, lasting not centuries but eternity.
And although I’ve taken up His free offer of forgiveness and eternal life, believed in His promises and memorised, ‘Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning: great is your faithfulness’. (Lamentations 3:22-23) I still have no qualification to state our specialness.
But Gods Son does. He who died innocently for our guilt, replacing it with grace is the only one earnest enough to signify our identity, put a price on our worth and label our beauty.
These days too many souls are claiming their identity, worth and beauty in relationships or worldly resources than in the crossbeam hands of Jesus Christ. And this outcome only leaves ones heart completely empty. While I haven’t endured the feeling of utter unworthiness in a relationship, this familiar feeling is apart of my life’s past. If it wasn’t for Jesus, I would no longer be here writing this post on value and worth. I’m beyond certain without the love of Christ I would have claimed my own life long ago. But through Him there was only, ‘Faith, Hope and Love’. (1 C0rinthians 13:13)
When I was ten Jesus rescued me from suicidal depression, assuring me He all along had a plan in mind. He has forgiven all my past, present and future sins, personally burying each one permanently in the ground, never to be retrieved again. He has wiped my every fallen tear and hugged my shoulders in times of fear and worry. And He has a promised me a place in Heaven forever beside Him.
If it wasn’t for my relationship with Jesus, Satan would have grabbed my life and dragged it home to Hell years ago.
Christianity is not a religion but a literally life changing relationship which saves, forgives and welcomes all.
Therefore, girls our value lies solely and exclusively in Jesus Christ and not in that of a life partner. No relationship can make us worthy, valuable, treasurable or beautiful other than when our hearts make room for Jesus Christ, the carrier of eternal value and life.
So I can’t describe your worth, but the one who pledged His life for yours can and He pleads for you to see you far outshine any precious rose, crown, jewel or royal title.
You are an adored daughter of a splendid and reigning King. Don’t let any other relationship led you astray from it, don’t let Satan convince you otherwise, don’t let todays images prove you wrong, don’t let society direct you differently and don’t let anyone speak the words ‘You are worthless’ because Jesus cries ‘You are worth it’. His blood confirms it.
My treasured friends, start living your lives today like a prized ruby. Rubies are extremely rare, so exceptionally rare that they far surpass any kind of rich or radiant stone, claiming more worth than truckloads of diamonds, scattered emeralds, distributed sapphires or piles of pure gold.
A ruby doesn’t glisten and boast about its profound rarity. If she did so she would demean her worth and no longer be a gem on the hunt or in want by the human heart.
The world may perceive a ruby to be a remarkably hard trinket to find and lay ones hands on, but God declares the discovery of a virtuous woman (like yourself) to be even rarer than this crown jewel. Your phenomenal worth to Him is far outweighed by the costliest of treasures.
Through Jesus your life is rich, your heart is complete and your beauty is one of a kind. He has cleared the grime that once tarnished your face and covered over the scars, scratches and marks that once dented your life with perfect healing by His dripping blood.
You girl are valuable. Your Saviour went to great lengths to prove it.
‘She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her’.
Have you ever skimmed the pages of your life’s storyline and wondered if it could actually be used for God’s glory? Have you ever professed your story to be too boring, too meaningless or too messed up for a place inside the library shelves. Have you ever been convinced into thinking your story will never be plucked to move the world, isn’t classed as God’s favourites or doesn’t line up to the beauty of a Bible scripted story, one which sees ordinary weaknesses triumphed into wondrous strengths?
I’ve struggled with these cruel and negative mind frames on multiple occasions in my life. My weakness is comparison. But, when taunted by Satan’s notions I’m soon reminded of a scripture that sees him destroyed and me restored in a heartbeat. Psalm 139:16 says, ‘Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be’. God knew, chose and loved us before one of us breathed our first breath or took our first steps on this earth.
He has personally written out all of our timelines from beginning to end. And guess what? There is hope and light inscribed in every single one of them.
God has this amazing talent of turning the most disgraceful, traumatizing, heart breaking stories into the most inspiring, uplifting, glorifying stories of all, ones which shine brightly on His name and home.
God can use you, your life, your heart, your past, your mistakes and your journey for a story that is beautiful, both a people and world changer and makes a significant difference in His eternal kingdom.
God has written and is still writing a story for you far better than what any poet, playwright or award winning author could come close to scripting. And while your story may not make it into TIME Magazine, doesn’t imply it isn’t worthy of being penned, printed and shared. No person or story is more perfect or praised in the Lord’s eyes.
Just because your story may not be front page news or prized television coverage doesn’t mean you are not famously adored by God.
Do you remember the parable of, ‘The Widow’s Offering?’ ‘Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only the fraction of a penny. Calling His disciple’s to Him, Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They gave out of their wealth: but she, out of her poverty, put in everything, all she had to live on.’ (Mark 12:14-44)
In a Temple full of people, Jesus noticed something and someone that everyone else overlooked with ease. While many in the crowd blew trumpets and horns, boasting about their generous offerings, an elderly widow crept silently in and out of the temple and gave her small yet sacred sacrifice with no fuss made. Her humbleness inspired Jesus to widespread her story to His disciples and to later reserve a page in the Bible specifically for it.
One reason I believe Jesus shared this parable with His followers was because He didn’t want them thinking the wealthy were superior to the poor, the strong mightier than the weak or the married worthier than the single. Instead, His illustration of the widow demonstrated no-one’s life is overlooked by God.
Whether one story takes place in the spotlight and one develops behind stage doors, doesn’t signify one is greater and more enriching whereas one is intended to be hidden in the darkness, doomed forgotten. God knows the humble sacrifices you make daily with no applause given, He hears your bedtime cries and pleas and He sees every time you choose good and pureness over evil and wickedness.
Your story is not small; your story is so treasurable it has a place in God’s big Book of Life.
Isaiah 49:16 even goes onto mention, ‘See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands’. God has your name tattooed to His hand; He can never forget you, never lose hope in you, never lose sight of you, never abandon you and never stop His love for you. If that doesn’t speak worth, love and specialness on your part, than I don’t know what on this earth possibly does.
The next time you see a powerful story bought to screen or paper, believe the life and story you are currently living has just as much greatness, potential, inspiration and extraordinary beauty fastened to it, all in the hope of helping others and bringing great glory to God’s heart.
No person or their story is menial, “For God does not show favouritism” (Romans 2:11).
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Soon, the most recited sentence in story narratives, ‘Happily Ever After’ will be replaced with ‘Heavenly Forever After’. Jesus will substitute reining royals, Heaven with Earth, love with hate, joy with sorrow, dancing with mourning and smiles with frowns. Life as we know it will one day never be the same.
God has been the creator of happy endings since the beginning of time. From the moment He formed the world, God saw we were all going to be in need of a rescuer in order to spend eternity with Him.
The future hope highlighted endlessly in the Bible, preached constantly in church, voiced through numerous song lyrics and believed by those who reveal they have already visited this world before, will shortly become home to us.
When the Saviour of the world came and took His life for ours, exchanging His selflessness for our selfishness that was how our ‘Happily Ever After’ was first established.
While our life in this world is not always perfect or at times happy, we do not need to worry about how our final chapter in life will end, for if we choose to spend it with God, then it’s signed, sealed and will soon be delivered.
When we choose to accept Jesus Christ’s second gift of life, we aren’t just spared from the flaming fires of Hell but rather entitled to share in a love story that will never fade away.
It’s hard to comprehend how all of life’s drama’s, worries, trauma’s, fears and heartaches will one day disappear and we will only be living peacefully in God’s heavenly Kingdom, forever. To think there will be no more chances for illnesses, injuries or deaths to occur but instead only perfect health and happiness.
No matter what the world says, no matter how good our life is right now or how much it may in fact disappoint, Jesus Christ is coming back, SOON!
Singleness may not always be our statuses on this earth, but our loving relationship with Jesus is one which will certainly outrun the elimination of time. Our Happily Ever After isn’t about us riding off into the sunset with our prince, but being whisked away into eternity with the Saviour of the world by our sides instead.
Heaven is where the real life fairy-tale starts, the one we’ve all been longing for since we breathed our first breath.
We are actually the ones in charge of our own ‘Happy Endings’. Although God wrote each of our stories beginnings, it’s entirely up to us in how we decide to end it.
Let’s make the right choice in living out our “Happily Ever After” with the one who gave us the very option of spending forever with Him in the first place.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 proclaims, ‘He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.’
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‘Lift your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing’. (Isaiah 40: 26)
I’ve mentioned before how as a child I was terrified of night time. I despised it, feared it, hated it and found hard to believe any such beauty could possibly exist in it. I detested how the sun had to eventually clock off duty and swap roles with the moon, ending all the safety and protection I felt it bought to the world. I had a nightlight until age twelve as my fears and terrors masked my ability to have a healthy and productive sleep. And all this anxiety due to the simple fact I somehow forgot to read Isaiah 40: 26.
Only once reciting this precious scripture, did my whole perception towards God, twilight and the stars change me forever, granted more ways than the figure of constellations present at each nightfall.
It now baffles me to realise I carried on for years with my eyes closed; my heart reframed and my mind denied access in observing a truly spectacular performance played out by a billion, little specks all taking to the stage in a starry production of eloquence, wonder and hope.
I think it’s amazing how the magical doom suspending high above us could lay awake numbers of individually made, personally named and uniquely called out stars, all given the hallowing task to twinkle, shine, dance and take the worlds breathe away. And, if every night without fail, God cares to separately call out these bright lights to their perfect places, how then as His children could we possibly assume our lives are of no interest or importance to Him? As divinely loved daughters shouldn’t we be trusting and not doubting the intentions and dreams our Heavenly Father has planned for us?
Just because our own hopes and desires aren’t currently being called out or awakened, doesn’t mean His love and faithfulness needs questioning. We are dearer to Him than all the stars in the sky combined.
God is never missing a chapter, chunk, key point or crucial part out of our shinning, shimmering stories. He cares about us, our lives and our love lives. He pays attention to the details we show no concern over and He knows infinitely more about us than we will ever come to grasp ourselves. Psalm 139:2-4 vocals, ‘You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord’. And Luke 12:7 later reveals, ‘Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows’.
The God who cradles the stars in His arms also cradles us and He does so with even more fondness.
We need to stop believing God is too busy to script us all up beautiful and desirable life and love stories because He cares, deeply. How could He not? We mean the world to Him, We were worth His Sons blood, We are loved beyond belief by Him and He wholeheartedly adores every single one of us.
Always remember His love took to a greater height than His grudge.
God easily could have deluded and deserted us. After all, man failed God, never has God failed man. Yet, He opted to give us a second chance to glisten and shine, becoming completely renewed and transformed. Because just like the stars, we too were designed to sparkle.
God cares. For it’s written in the stars.
‘You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden’. (Mathew 5:14)
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I love coming across new stories and authors. And 2015 certainly shelved a few. When looking for empowerment and inspiration, nothing quite gets the heart beating for change like a well scripted book, words which shape and mould you, a storyline that encourages and uplifts you and a writer who surprises and blesses you.
I read a collection of exceptional books last year, but three in particular grabbed a hold of my soul. These beautiful, faith based tales I’m about to list breathed so much hope, light, love, peace and joy into my life, and I pray they breathe the same into your 2016 also.
The Chase: Trusting God with your happily ever after -by Kyle and Kelsey Kupecky…
Kyle and Kelsey Kupecky instantly welcome you into both their humble hearts and lives within their books first few pages. This husband and wife duo has a warm writing style that causes you to feel completely at home with them, making you feel more like a cherished friend than an awkward third wheel joining their coffee date.
Together and in every chapter, Kyle and Kelsey take turns with the pen, discussing guys, purity, dating, relationships, love and faith. Kelsey sweetly educates readers of ways they can discover their worth, beauty and contentment in God, not guys, and why confidence, happiness and kindness are qualities that make a woman truly gorgeous, inside and out. On the other hand, Kyle candidly shares what godly guys look for their future wives, what attributes they find attractive, what gets their hearts racing, why respect is important in relationships and why girls should hold out for the guy who will treasure and cherish them, forever.
The book also explores how the Kupecky’s own unique love story unfolded, revealing dreamy details about how God prepared their hearts for one another, how they first met, how they kept their dating relationship pure, why they saved intimacy for marriage and why they encourage others to do the same.
I was genuinely impressed and inspired by this young couple’s authentic and godly approach to relationships, their beautiful love for Jesus and their desire to see all girls and guys seek the Lord Jesus Christ with all their hearts. In the end, this book only leaves you wanting to settle for nothing less than butterflies, to wait for the guy who will treat you like a prized princess, and to leave your ‘Happily Ever After’ into God’s wonderful (manuscript) hands.
This story serves as the ideal relationship study guide, allowing plenty of opportunities for readers to highlight key notes, quotes and messages throughout the text that flutter into their hearts.
I can’t think of a better way to start off your 2016 then with a committed chase, a chase after God, a chase after purity and a chase after your dreams and desires.
Kyle and Kelsey have proven when you strive to chase only God, He will in time permit permission for the right guy to begin his chase after you!
Learn more about the book and this fun, Jesus loving couple on their website at wwwKyleandKelsey.com
At Long Last: A story of Love + Hope -by Erin Morris…
For three years, I’ve followed Erin Morris on her journey as a sweet single gal to recently meeting and marrying the man of her very dreams, watching it all unfold on her charming blog. Erin has always openly and honestly shared her heart on screen with all her readers, frequently writing posts that remind them of their extraordinary beauty, worth and Saviour Jesus Christ. And now, Erin has gone one step further to pen it (her heart) on paper, self-publishing her new book, ‘At Long Last: A story of Love +Hope’.
In first person, Erin shares the love story God wrote for her, one she tenderly left in His hands at the age of 13. ‘At Long Last’ weaves the special real life and love story of a girl and a boy who wanted and waited on the Lord, not fate, to cross their paths.
While parts of the book contain magical, fairy-tale like and dream come true chapters, the author does ensure her readers that life is not always fairy dust, twinkle lights and rich rainbows. Loss, heartache, depression, loneliness and grief are also narrated throughout the book, making this story so much more real and relatable and thus colouring in an even sweeter ending come the final page.
It’s a true honour to introduce this gem of book to you. Women of all ages will enjoy this hearty story. With a beautiful blend of bliss, brokenness, starry love, an almighty God and one happy couple, it’s the perfect holiday read this season.
“At Long Last” is a timeless classic that will nestle its way into your soul, moving and encouraging you to never give up on God, His timings, His promises nor His incredible dreams for us all. Every page pens something precious, reminding readers that God is the ultimate author and answerer of all our wishful desires and dreams.
I promise you; this inspirational tale is a prized keepsake for the many years to come.
Find out more about this girl’s heart and story on her website and blog at www.Itserinmorris.com.au
Beauty, Boys and Ball gowns: Crown of Beauty Magazine -by Livy Jarmusch…
Livy Jarmusch, along with her team of talented writers, arise to the challenge in addressing issues every young girl struggles and awaits confirmation in. Printed in a very cool, calm and collected format, you’ll read chapters on boys, true beauty, becoming world changes and discovering your royal identity in Christ. “Beauty, Boys and Ball gowns” is a lot like the Christian version of Total Girl, it eliminates all the gossip, trash talk and photoshopped celebs and gets straight to the real stuff, the good stuff!
With a string of essayists pitching in to contribute something different on every single page, there was every chance a multi-authored book like this could fall flat on its front cover. But it did just the opposite. Miraculously, “Crown of Beauty” delivers a powerful collection of stories, each holding valuable messages and all deserving their place inside the teenage inspired publication.
I guarantee, these fun filled pages will only inspire you to see yourself the way the King of Kings does, to seek Jesus with every fibre of your heart, to place your sacred dreams, wishes and prayers into His faithful hands and to use all your God given gifts and talents, for they have mega power to change the world, transform people’s lives and bring souls to the foot of the Cross.
Girls, If you are or know someone going through an insecure time and trial, a high school struggle or a teenage turmoil, I recommend this book! I’ll be 22 this year and there were still priceless pearls of advice I found extremely useful, ones I’ll be sure to share with all the young ladies God places in my future.
Let this encouraging book lead you closer to desiring more of Jesus, enticing your soul every time you prize it open.
Check out more info and articles like the book at http://www.CrownofBeautymagazine.com
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