Love is:

Substantial food for thought:

Sixteen Characteristics of Love (Day 231) #BiOY 

Bible in One Year

It is my goal to start doing this before the year is up! I adore the idea of trying to genuinely love through all of the descriptors of love that God declared in His word. I most certainly will have to stop at the first one to start – what do you think of this? 

Verse of the Week

This post is apologetically late, but I am tired, content, and sunburnt from the most lovely, refreshing day at the beach today. I truly am blessed, and as I venture forth into the unknown of this coming school year I will go with peace. God is fighting for me.

Isaiah 43:18-19

As an individual who becomes too much of a perfectionist when it comes to sports, this verse is applicable to my life in the high school athlete area as well as to my faith and other various categories of living.

He is doing a new thing in my life, and this life is soon to be of zero importance. He has bigger and better things in store for me. Dwelling on past mistakes does nothing except to tear your confidence, skill, self-worth, enthusiasm, and motivation down. Therefore, I put my past mistakes behind me and rise up to face and improve myself with each fresh moment. Praying for self-confidence and faith development — and He is with me every step of the way.

Words of the Week

Life has again sucked me up into a whirlwind, and it’s about time that I sat down and reevaluated my time management and my priorities. Always remember, He is ever with us. I too often forget it. It is a comfort, honor, and, in its own way, a confession to hear this:

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I want to live for Jesus not out of self-obligation but out of love for the amazing and awe-inspiring Creator. He is my rock, and He has promised me salvation. It is through this that I am saved, and I am beyond blessed to live this life on Earth with no need for fear for the future.

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Have a blessed week! I hope your summers are faring well. I hope to post some full-fledged content posts soon.

— D. Fayth

Verse of the Week

Oh how comforting and wonderful it is to have a God who prepares His heavens for me–for us as His sons and daughters. He is with me always, and He understands my every thought, feeling, and uttermost desires.
I rejoice in His promises and His glory.

“We shall rise”

In lieu of writing a lengthy thought-provoking post on Easter, I’ve decided to leave you with a still thought-provoking, yet shorter, post. I pray this leaves you with something to glean or ponder!

Jesus’ crucifixion, his horrible death, and his unmerited sacrifice were all definitively tangible. He bore the torture and went through the agony of human cruelty and human sin; lashes, thorns, nails, asphyxiation, and crucifixion. Yet, on the third day, He rose. God has conquered death, and He has conquered all. His miserable suffering won us life, and death no longer holds a sting. Rejoice and live jubilantly today, as a reminder for all days, to sing praises and worship to the undeserved indescribable Savior who has gifted us salvation.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:8-11

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I will leave you with the words of Phillips Brooks:

“Let every man and woman count himself immortal.  Let him catch the revelation of Jesus in his resurrection.  Let him say not merely, “Christ is risen,” but “I shall rise.”

His blood price bought our lives, that we might live. And today, He rose. And in the future, He shall rise again, and because of the sacrifice, we shall rise with Him.

Immeasurably blessed and humbled–

D. Fayth

A Feeling of Inferiority

As a teenage girl, I too struggle with my fair share of insecurities. I’m not particularly well-liked or outgoing, and I can’t help but long for the easy friendships some people seem to so quickly attain. When I see someone ‘better’ than me, it’s difficult to not be envious. In fact, sometimes I let doubts about these little petty things get the best of me.

But why?

It’s hard to overcome these feelings of inferiority. Heck, for me, they’re a regular struggle. However, knowing that God made me the way I am uniquely is a wonderful place to start. Yes, it will always seem like other people are better than me, more likable, and have more friends. Yes, those things are all true. Still, it all winds down to the sole question: does it really matter? Don’t fret over those feelings of inferiority, instead, push them aside.

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At this current moment, to my teenage self, yes, it really does matter. Nevertheless, looking ahead a couple years, will negatively looking at myself now be of any use? Will I even care? He knows what is in store for us, and perhaps it is better now that you aren’t as good friends with that girl or boy. Who even knows? God does, and it’s in our best interest to trust His judgement. It’s also important to realize that inferiority is merely a feeling. A feeling, also known as: not a fact, evident sign, or anything else.

Consider this, God made each and every person uniquely in his own image.

You and I both are wonderful people, and the feelings of inferiority that come from those more distant friendships, and all sorts of other things, should fade. Jesus is the true relationship that should be invested in, as a father, relative, King, and friend. Other people are created for us to have relationships with, but ultimately He is all we need.

“God loves me with a love that is increasing and overflowing.”  1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

His Scripture and promises are ever comforts. We don’t need to rely on other humans all the time, because they will let us down. God will continually build us up and help us through the trials we must face.

So, to sum things up, keep on pushing. These feelings of inferiority are worthless. God loves you, and He lets your life play out according to His will. Yes, you won’t be friends with everybody. Yes, not everybody will like you, and yes, facing all these facts will not be easy. Fix your eyes on Jesus, and strive towards what lies ahead. Jesus is superior, and He has made us superior as well. Keep on living dear. Take each step and each day at a time.

God will bless you with particular friends and people in your lives for a reason. Don’t forget that. Treasure your existing friendships, and don’t be afraid to try to make new ones. Yeah, the people might not like you, but if they don’t think you’re worth their time, are they really worth yours? Don’t beat yourself up if someone is closer friends with someone else, etc. God must’ve willed it to be that way.

You are not inferior.

Stay strong in the Lord. He is more reliable than any friend you may meet, whether they love and understand you, or not. x

Time Management: A Skill to Finesse

To all you older and wiser readers, I must confess that I am not particularly skilled at managing my time. Ah, time management..what a tricksy skill to master. If it is a skill at all, because is it really? Does it get any easier to handle with age? Actually, don’t answer that. I think that was a pretty rhetorical question.

Perhaps time management is something that is inherent, but it needs to be awakened. As a young individual, I often (*cough* …almost always…) find myself juggling my time precariously. However, it probably is around the time that I accept the facts; my school load is only going to increase from here, finishing out high school, college, employment, receiving more rigorous workloads, and the list goes on. I have concluded that, probably, something must be done.

Time is precious. Spending your time in a way that is valuable to you, is essential. Meditating and praying in God’s word every day should be, and I’d like to think is near, at the top of my list. It is something that I deem as extremely important, and therefore I must manage my time to fit that in my schedule. With daily emails, I have become increasingly better at this, but then it all comes down to my matter of priorities, which might need a bit of reorganization. It is so crucial to put God first in your life, and I strive to do that, but let’s save that for a different day.

Would you like one example that aroused my realization of this problem? Well, besides the fact that my Dad outright told me I needed to manage my hours better (in a joking matter, but in all seriousness we both knew his words were true), I currently am typing this blog post when my homework is calling my name and two tests are anticipating my completion tomorrow.  Oops. Yeah, again, priorities..

Well, let’s think of it this way. There are only 24 hours in a day. 24 hours that people constantly complain aren’t enough. At the same time, these days are hours spent by people complaining there is too little time, rather than making the most of it.

Why do we even gage time? Is the concept of pursuing goals and aspirations in life, while letting time simply run its course, that far-fetched? Obviously, as Americans, we must have some sort of schedule or master planner to make sure everything is timely. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, we don’t care enough to actually try, and then arrive ‘fashionably’ or ‘not-so-fashionably’ late.

Anyways, moving on from my mini-rant sesh, I suppose I should go about devising a plan to keep myself accountable for managing my time in an orderly fashion. That is, strictly so that my faith and grades and health don’t suffer. Note: Folks, my use of ‘and’ in the previous sentence provides a lovely example of a polysyndeton. My English teacher would be proud! Also, why is such a grammatical term marked with a red dotted line? I did spell it correctly. Ah, the english language for you las damas y los cabelleros (ladies and gentlemen, respectively, in the Spanish language of course.)

Moving on, as ineffectual as improper time management is, I pray that I will begin to hold a constant awareness of how I am spending my time, and if my use is of value to God and myself. Time management is something that I may never achieve in finesse, but I don’t expect to. It’ll take a lot of learning experience and decisive wisdom on my part to not get too carried away. Life has an abundance of ups and downs and ins and outs, and I intend to live my life fully for Jesus.  All the same, this doesn’t necessarily mean that from now in every second of my time will be enjoyable, restful, productive, or ‘useful’ and ‘efficient’. I can assure you that I will still procrastinate, for I am a teenager and sometimes things just don’t feel like they need to be done.

Still, I am all over setting a realistic goal for myself, in order to hone my time management abilities. By the grace, mercy, and undeserved blood of God, I am ever grateful to be equipped with the strength to do all things, including juggling my time.

With a sleepy, thankful heart, and many blessings your way,

–D. Fayth

Believe, Aspire, and Live Inspired

Inspiration and revelation always seem to come to me at the latest hours. Anyways, I do believe this all started because tonight my volleyball practice was far from perfect. I was definitely not performing at my best, and it became very frustrating. I managed to allow the “I can’t” whisper creep into my head, and therefore, I couldn’t.

Volleyball is, like many other sports, a very mental game. You need to maintain a positive mindset so that when the ball comes to you, you will pass it well. It sounds simple, but…it’s not. Easier said than done: the general rule for most situations in life. As I replayed my mistakes in my head, shed silent tears, and blamed blameless people in my mind, I realized I was wrong.

I had approached it the wrong way. My father reminded me: “You’ve done it hundreds of times before correctly, you can do it. If you think you can’t, then you won’t be able to. You will go through so many bigger mistakes and regrets in life than this, and you just have to pick yourself up and brave through.” As the saying goes, believe you can and you’re halfway there.

A verse came to mind as I prayed to put my old mindset to rest. I need to believe in myself and in Jesus, who has blessed me with all my earthly abilities, and who gives me strength.

This verse is widely known for a reason. It is so applicable to each and every aspect of my life, of our lives. Tonight, particularly my volleyball abilities and performance. Yes, I made mistakes. But who cares? So what? Everyone makes mistakes. God knows that and He forgives us. It is not God’s goal for us to strive to be perfect, but rather it is the effort to do good in His name that counts. To live a life for Him, and spread His loves to others. He understands what its like to be a Christian teenager in this day and age.

It’s hard. I am friends with some amazing Christian youth like myself, and we all have wonderful intentions. I like to pray for others, and whenever I ask my friends for their prayers I almost always receive requests for courage to speak out and live their Christianity. Society and pressure in this century is overwhelming, and it’s no easy feat to share your faith just like that. Lots of Christian teens struggle with the fear of judgement, including me. I believe that there isn’t much value in comparing yourself to others, because every individual is unique. God made us all ourselves, and there is always someone out there who is better and worse than you at everything. Since this is the case, why are we even trying to begin to compare ourselves with anyone else? No one is lesser than I, but God still loves me all the same.

It is extremely important to always remember that He loves us unconditionally. That is something that I too often forget. He cares for us, and even if we go out and speak of our faith and get looked at like the weird kid, He is there for us. God is an understanding God, but He is also a God who pushes us to do things we could never imagine doing by ourselves. The good news is that we don’t have to do what He asks of us alone.

It is extremely valuable to believe in yourself, and to believe in Jesus. For through Christ Jesus you can do all things, for He gives you strength.

By the time my next practice rolls around, no I won’t be perfect, and no it won’t go perfectly, but I can approach it with confidence and trust in my abilities, because God will give me strength.

Believe in yourself, live and love for Jesus, and aspire to the best of your ability, because Jesus is with you every step of the way. We have no reason to fear.

We all fall short of the glory of God. Remember that.

Nevertheless, He sent His son to forgive us our sins, and we can thank Him for that by going through life and giving God the glory. Hallelujah, He works wonders through us.

Amen.

Quote of the Week

Admittedly, this past week has held an extremely busy schedule and lots of stress. Still, when I take time to reflect, there definitely were moments of happiness mixed within.

At the moment, I’m looking at a three day weekend ahead of me, a nice stack of schoolwork, and a decent amount of free time. All of which I am grateful for (well, minus the homework ;). Recently it has come to my attention that an option I was toying with just wasn’t going to work out. Yet, I am grateful that God brought the realization to me sooner rather than later.

I’m currently on the search for a summer job! Whether that be online or somewhere somewhat local– If anyone knows of any legitimate online work, please pass it on. :)

I have no clue what this weekend will hold for me, but I hope for some satisfactorily completed homework, time with friends, and just peace.

Blessings to you all this weekend!