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? 

The True Source of Satisfaction

Today I bring to you something that is on my heart. This is not a post solely because I’ve been neglecting Scripture Sunday, but lately I’ve been feeling increasingly dissatisfied with, to put it simply, life and all the events that have been occurring.

Yes, there are moments that I am filled with God’s joy, especially when I am in the company of loved ones. However, my devotion tonight brought to light several convictions of mine.

I will say it straightforward and bluntly:

I have been seeking satisfaction in worldly things. A more temporal viewpoint has replaced what should be striving to grow and gain from Jesus.

Material possessions, and more recently, positions, have been clouding my mind and hogging my focus. That new MacBook that I want to buy so badly, and the question of if I have a job or not have plagued me with anxiety and such dissatisfaction these past days.

I’ve been finding myself not spending time doing devotions, but instead wasting my time on things that are meaningless in comparison.

I am 100% guilty of spending more time on mobile devices than in God’s word by far.

The one blessing I’ve especially felt in this past week is Christian music. I am still immersed in Tenth Avenue North’s new album, and listening and worshipping to Christian music has been a positive and uplifting experience.

Still, I find myself painfully regretful of how I’ve lost my focus. In retrospect, this has been a trial and learning experience. This is said completely and honestly from experience: pursuing anything other than Jesus is unsatisfied.

Becoming obsessed with myself and worldy materials and events concerning me for the longest time has resulted in thorough unsatisfaction.

Looking back in particular, this past week, my eyes have been opened to so much I have mistakenly done.

Seeking satisfaction anywhere other than Jesus leads me to unhappiness and a permanent state of misery/dreariness.

Although mistakes have been made, God will work in me to help me to correct them.

Through my weakness, He is strong.

Today in church we broke into small groups and discussed different topics. My group’s topic was living beyond our emotions.

I feel as if this topic was given specifically to me for this current realization:

His grace is sufficient for me, and through my weakness He will help me to do better things.

The verse I just read in my devotions tonight goes like this:

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:1-2 (NIV)

I am blessed to have had this eye-opening reflection of this past week, and helpful realizations and scripture today to realize it.

It is with a cleaner conscience, a sense of peace, and a little more swing on my step that I press forward into the new week with God in me.

The Lord is the true source of satisfaction.

It is in Him that we will find hope, love, grace, mercy, and peace. I am praying that I will go about living and learning with a more heavenly perspective constantly in heart. Confessing my convictions is the first step to correctly prioritizing my life, and I hope to be held accountable to fully rearranging how I live.

I will stumble, and it won’t be easy. However, His grace and strength will give me strength.

Hallelujah, He works wonders.

Perfection and Utilizing God-Given Abilites

To start this off, I honestly do not consider myself a perfectionist. I am not perfect by any means, and I don’t necessarily try to be perfect in everything that I do.

Now, there’s also a question to address. Is it okay to try to be perfect? Is it wrong to try to do your best at everything? The answer to that is: absolutely not! God has given us all unique abilities and talents and He loves to see us use them as best we can.

Nevertheless, I do think the whole concept of perfection can make a person become obsessed with the idea. Too much energy wasted and time spent to attempt to be perfect at everything, or too much stress arisen by failure to meet the standards of perfection is not appealing by any means. God doesn’t want us to strive to be perfect and distress when we’re not, because we are not made to be perfect. I believe that the constant strive for unattainable perfection and mindset that it is unacceptable for anything less just sends Christians, and for that matter, anybody, in a downward spiral. That is why perfection ism is seen in a negative light.

We’re human. God is not. God is perfect, and we are sinners. That’s just how He decided to set up this world.

Back to the beginning, I’d like to think I know myself well enough to truthfully say I’m not classified as a perfectionist. I’ve been called an overachiever, but perfection is not my dire goal.

When it all winds down to it, the whole reason why I was inspired to write this post is the current situation of my grades.

Unsurprisingly to those who know me, the times I have been called an ‘overachiever’ relate to school-situations. I try to give good amount of effort to my academics, and some might classify my ‘good amount’ as ‘above and beyond expectations’.

I’m naturally gifted in the area of academic schoolwork. For some reason, God has blessed me with the ability to learn and understand easily. Getting solid A’s isn’t necessarily a piece of cake for me, but I don’t have to work quire as hard for my grades as others do.

So, the case is, last year I had a bangin’ school year. My grades were exceedingly high, and my classes were reasonably easy. I passed with high scores in a breeze.

Naturally, I expected myself to be able to pass with solid grades this year as well, with perhaps a little more work required. As I entered this school year, I was not surprised to find that classes were slightly more difficult, as they tend to progress from each grade. However, I took a class only to discover that

a) the teacher wasn’t the best

b) there weren’t many grades to make your grade ideal

c) it was different, and it required more work than any of my previous classes on my part.

Currently, my grade for that class isn’t perfect. I scored some low grades during the course of the class and worked to raise them, but I couldn’t raise them as high as I would’ve liked to in the allotted time. I have less than my normal high A, but that’s okay.

The grade I have isn’t bad by any means. Some might consider it excellent.

However, I’m left with the daunting thoughts: God has given me the ability to excel at school, and if I would have studied more and worked harder than my grade could’ve easily been higher.

If I would’ve made the time for extra studying then I could maybe have a high A.

All in all, it doesn’t matter. It’s okay to not be perfect.

It’s all part of the learning experience. Forget about the maybe’s and the what ifs, but remember the lesson you learned from not achieving your expectations, whether that be perfection or higher than what received.

This has been an eye-opening experience for me.

Do I value my grades too much? Also, what can I do to better utilize what God has given me?

Not everything can come without some good effort, including grades, even for those who would be considered academically blessed.

However, it is a hope of mine that I can manage to excel at academics through the rest of my high school career since God has given me the ability, so I should take advantage of it.

Everyone is blessed in different areas. Firstly, realize that it’s okay if you’re not the top of your class, or the fastest runner on your team. Secondly, use your God-given abilities for the best you can to honor God.

He loves us when we succeed, but more importantly, He loves us when we fail and make mistakes.

A Conflicted Type of Chaos

Funny story, I just typed up this whole post in about 20 minutes and it was extremely long.

I went to publish it and….wait for it…IT WAS GONE.

I managed to salvage the very beginning from my tumblr:

“Ah, chaos. My life is currently full to the brim with chaos, not necessarily your typical busy day whirlwind chaos, but…mental chaos?
For starters, I guess my first chaotic conflict is I’m somewhat insecure. I care too much about what other people think, I fret over social media, and I really feel the urge to delete some of the media I have acquired. At the same time, I’m scared too and so I…”

However, I have decided that it disappeared for a reason. After writing out my thoughts and emotions about caring too much, focusing on the insignificant, and trying to be another person I’ve realized that it’s about time I tried to forget for once.

I’m ready to live, love, and respect all people equally through Christ, and let that lead my life.

Praying, ready, and eager to set this mental chaos loose and usher in the calm.

2014/Reflection on 2013

2014.  It’s another year, a new beginning, a start, a change, a blessing, a lesson, a journey, a mountain, a climb, and a simple number.  A two, zero, one, four. A new year to prosper, to flourish, blossom, conquer, and praise Him.

We always seem to tell the new year to be good to us, but how can it be? Jesus is the one who controls and oversees our lives. He makes our lives to shape our beings, and He carries us through the ups and downs for His own reasons.

Seeing as we’re in the last stretch of 2013, I’m feeling rather reflective on this year at the moment. So, so much has changed. Maybe it’s just because now, I’m still a child, but ever so much more understanding, mature, and growing.

2013 has been a huge growth year for me. I’ve established my best friends, good friends, and just several friendships that have grown to mean worlds to me. Jesus has  been good to me. As He always is, regardless of my clouded vision.

Not only in friendship, but in faith, in virtues, in wisdom, thoughts, and actions I’ve grown.

I see my childish actions from  before, and sometimes, I wonder how I used to be that, but now I’m so different.  Adults always tell me that life passes in a blink, and that you grow up before you know it.

It’s one of those sayings you grow used to and tired of hearing the older people in your life say. There’s so much truth to it though. I am simply a teen, and I don’t even begin to try to comprehend what adults mean by this, but I do understand. I understand how people can change, friendships can change, life can change, I can change, and all in an instant. If I revealed my age to you, I believe you’d be rather shocked. At the fact that I’m as old as I am, and I guess I seem older through my musings and reflections.

There are days during a year that pass by seemingly dutifully slow, and there are days that you’re having so much fun that they whiz past you in a blur. All of those days make up your life, help shape who you are, and add to your life knowledge. They teach you what is right and what is wrong, if you can even define that.

I’ve learned that complaining doesn’t help, or at least, most of the time it doesn’t. I’ve learned that doing the things that scare you the most, or that you dread, turn out to be the beginning of something great. I get scared easily, of what others think, of how I’ll look to others, and I do have an insecure feeling about how others view me.

It’s a horrible feeling, anxiety that is. I’ve learned that you need to put that behind you. Don’t be scared of what others think. Pursue whatever you want, within Godly standards, and if others judge you, they’re not worth thinking about.

This isn’t be any means easy. I’m still learning as it is, and I’m struggling with the aforementioned concept and conquering my fear, but I’m taking baby steps. Jesus is with me, and you, every step of the way.

My faith journey has fluctuated so much throughout the year of 2013. It has gone from strong, to tentative, to somewhere in-between. Admittedly, at the moment it’s in that middle space, but I pray that Jesus will set me on the path to strong again.

Recently, a friend gave me a tip, she said something vaguely along the lines of, “Don’t be worried about it, you can do it. Think about it this way, you can’t do anything, but God, yeah, He can do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. So just do it.”

As far as friendships go, I don’t necessarily have all my closest friends at my high school, but I have wonderfully Godly best friends that all live in the vicinity somewhat near me.  I am very blessed to have wonderful guys and girls as my closest friends, and enjoy every second of my time spent with them. I feel like I rely on my friends so much, for prayer and everything, and they are a huge blessing. It’s awesome to have friends of both genders. Having input and advice from both perspectives is immensely helpful and meaningful. At the beginning of 2013 I would’ve just said they’re good friends, but now I can say they’re my best.

I started this blog in 2013, and it’s helped me reflect on my faith journey, address my issues, doubts, praises, and just Christianity as a whole. I’d like to thank you, as readers, for just reading my musings and ups and downs. It just means a lot, that someone out there is reading what I’m writing, that someone cares, and that someone relates to me. I appreciate any and every comment people make. Please, comment and tell me what you think! Or prayer requests and anything like that is welcome!

All in all 2013 was a good year. A lovely one. Albeit, A rough one at times, and many lessons were learnt, but that was all for the greater good. God blessed me this past year, and I wouldn’t change anything, even though I do have my regrets.  It has left me with many memories that will linger.

Praying that you ring in the new year with love, joy, peace, and hope. 2014 shall be a good year, I have faith in Jesus.

Wishing you the best ending to 2013, and joy in the coming year. Make it count. Work with Jesus, and make it something to be proud of and to reflect on. Cut bad habits, start new journeys, climb bigger mountains, and be constant in prayer and praising Him.

Blessings,

~Fayth

Quote of the Week

God continually places hope in your life either to fulfill it and your excitement, or to dash it and teach you. Learn from it, and be thankful and praise His name when it is fulfilled.

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Doubt

I hate Satan with a passion. HATE.

That’s a strong word right there, but I really do.

Recently I’ve unknowingly let him creep into my mind and place thoughts of doubt there. The main thing I’ve struggled with in my faith journey, is doubt.

Sometimes I doubt. I don’t doubt God’s existence, but I do doubt that I’m saved. I’ve accepted Jesus more times than I can count. I’ve struggled to hear His voice. I’ve panicked because I didn’t want to go to hell.

I know I’m a Christian. I know I’m saved. I often pray, “I believe, help me overcome my unbelief.”

It’s just Satan gets to me. He’s devious in that evil way.

I have experienced lots of doubt in my Christianity, but I have always overcome it. Right now is one of those phases. I appreciate any and all prayers if you read this and think of me.

My lovely and wise middle school Bible teacher once told me, “Fayth, whenever you doubt the Lord go to John 14:1-5 and replace every you with your name.”

So I did exactly that, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do right now.

(This is Jesus talking to the disciples.)

John 14:1-5 NIV

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

When you struggle with doubt read these verses and then replace your name with the ‘you’ where it fits. Like I’m doing this very moment.

“Do not let your heart be troubled Fayth. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told Fayth that I am going there to prepare a place for her? And if I go and prepare a place for Fayth, I will come back and take Fayth to be with me that Fayth also may be where I am. Fayth knows the way to the place where I am going”

It’s an extremely comforting way to put it. It reassures me when I put my name in that verse, that I am indeed going to heaven, having already accepted Christ Jesus.

So that’s my main struggle. I hope that this benefits you as well when you doubt being saved. I am leaving doubt and fear and going to faith, hope, and love.

From a daughter of God,

-Fayth

I can’t trust you–

They deceived me. I’m so disappointed and angry. We’re supposed to be close but you broke that trust. Written to the person who wronged me.

“You deceived me once.
Lied to my face.
I was mad.
I blew up at you.
You “apologized.”
No real meaning in the apology.
I somewhat forgave you.

You deceived me again.
Lied to my face.
I was angrier.
I blew up at you.
Others blew up at you.
You ignored us.
You were forced to “apologize.”
I forgave.
I thought you were done.

You deceived me a third time.
Didn’t lie but acted non-caring.
I was disappointed.
I held a grudge but didn’t blow up.
Others reprimanded you firmly.
I told you that you let me down.
I forgave.
I thought it was the last time for real.
It wasn’t.

You deceived me once more.
I was furious.
I silently blew up.
You lied to my face MULTIPLE times.
I proved that I was right.
That you had lied.
You were silent.
I waited and then told.
Something must be done.
You must stop.
Before it’s too late.
But it is to late for me and you.
I can’t trust you.”

Update as of 2014: I still cannot fully trust you. You’re going through that phase in your life, the “rebellious” one.
I call your name to ask you a question, once, twice, five times to receive no voice of acknowledgement in response. You’re one room over.

I hope you learn. I pray that I will forgive, and I pray that you will learn and live (for Him).