My inbox is open to any questions about my faith and Christianity. I’m happy to simply talk with other Christians, answer questions, offer advice or provide some support for struggling brothers and sisters!
I don’t need to know the face behind the name. It won’t make a difference to me!
If you’ve something on your mind and want a third person perspective or even just some unbiased advice, I’m your girl.
I hope to chat soon :)
Lord, I wonder how much of a true servant I am to you. Sometimes my words and actions seem so far from what you’ve taught me and I question my spiritual growth. I look at the many ways in which you’ve blessed me and I cannot possibly repay you. Growth is hard to measure. Sometimes, I’m on the very cusp of breaking through but never quite get there. Every day, I’m striving. I’ve gone from making an effort to pray to praying without much thought. Yet I’m experiencing the best prayer sessions in my walk with you. That’s growth.
I’ve gone from making an effort to include you more and more in my life to physically being unable to revise for exams until I’ve sat down and spent time with you. I act on those moments of impulse you give me, Lord, instead of telling myself I have more pressing things to do. That IS growth. Things remain in my life that frustrates me greatly when placed beside the things you’re already achieving in me. I find it difficult to hold my tongue and keep an opinion to myself. Half the time, I don’t even consider how hurtful that opinion can be, but I voice it anyway. In that moment, I feel so disappointed in myself that I forget all the things you’ve been helping me get right.
I am changing – in small yet very important ways. I’m changing things in my life that used to be crumbling around me. When I’m in your presence, nothing feels too overwhelming or hard to take. All I feel is peace. All I experience is love. And I’m no longer weak.
I have so much to work on in my life but for all my flaws, I’m willing to submit, Lord. All my cares, stresses and, anxieties - I’m willing to give them to you and leave my worries trailing behind me. This year is going to present many changes in its self, but you’ve given me a courageous spirit. I know I’m facing every mountain with you, Lord. Every hurtful word and spiteful comment will be dealt with in prayer. I’ll revel in every awkward conversation just because I’ve decided to share my faith with someone else. I’ll face pain with joy and acceptance (probably after I shout at you in prayer – when anger hits, you know my first instinct, Lord.) but I’ll always seek to understand why you do things. This year is the year of The Lord for me. The first year I’ve ever walked consistently with you. Getting it wrong, getting it right, not getting anything at all. And it will all be done with you.
So, I’m asking you to use me. To look past my past failures and struggles when most other humans can’t. Rid me of the assumption that because I spent so many years struggling in my faith, that others can’t see you in me anymore. Even in my weakest hours, I want to be used. Even if another girl see’s me stumbling and realises she’s no worse for stumbling at times too. I love you, Lord. I love the things I can feel happening and I’m ready to be used.
So, I’m ready when you are.
Sometimes the world, or even our friends, will try to convince us that Jesus isn’t the be all and end all. They’ll have us believe that we have all the time in the world to make things right with him. But we should know better. Stay faithful, keep walking in the RIGHT direction and stay en route to Heaven!
Do you truly believe the things that you profess? Or are you living under a Christian facade? If I was to plunge into your heart and mind, would they be reflection of someone living a life for God? Or would they show a very different person, hiding beneath a careful constructed “Christian” image?
In this book, Graustein talks of the first danger associated with church kids and one which poses danger to anyone who’s began to surround themselves with Christian influences. That danger is false assurance of Salvation.
When you’ve been exposed to God and Christianity all your life, it can be easy to simply go through the motions of Christianity without having a genuine urge to please God as your personal Saviour. To simply conform to your surroundings rather than displaying any real faith of your own that you want to grow and develop.
I can understand why so many church kids fall into this trap! We become so knowledgeable of the bible and its teachings, that we almost equate knowing bible references with knowing God as your personal Saviour. It’s a terrifying assumption to make and continue to make for the rest of your life, which is why it’s so important to ensure you aren’t just a product of a Christian environment. That simply spouts Christian doctrines, convictions and mantras without really feeling anything for them. You know what’s expected of you and all the right things to say but God says:
“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Lord is Jesus’, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans Ch10: v9
Being confronted with the question – is God living IN you, or simply AROUND you? - is enough to make any God fearing Christian uneasy. It certainly made me uncomfortable! Not because I don’t feel as though I’m truly saved. But because to think some people spend their entire lives blending in with their Christian peers without having a true relationship with God seems impossible! Their motives, actions and words are simply spawned from those around them! Yet it happens, as God warns:
“These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Matthew Ch15: v8
We’ve all been there in a sense. Standing in church, singing hymns alongside everyone else but in reality, we feel far from God! The difference is that although we can’t be perfect, not being on form with God makes us restless and for me, brings incredible guilt! For me, thats one of the clearest signs of true faith. I can’t forget my Saviour or feel okay in being lukewarm and i’m sure EVERY Christian hits that point at some stage. Christianity is one lifelong learning curve, where we monitor our growth under the guidance of our Father!
Those with false assurance can’t have or feel that though, because to grow and learn, you must first have a relationship with God. It’s sad because I don’t know if they really even understand what they’re missing out on! If you can’t distinguish the difference between living for others or living for God, how can you ever know if you’re truly saved?
That’s simple! It’s a matter of the heart! You know that feeling before a quiet time where you desperately want God to teach you? Show you something to help you grow in faith? Even just having a heart that genuinely seeks God, through prayer, his word or seeking the advice of Christian friends is a heart that you know has been transformed by God. If you really, truly WANT to be better for God and to please him, then your place in heaven is assured!
However, we must recognise we all have failings! I for one should be far more lively and interested in Church! I have a terrible attention span and my mind wanders far too much! But I want to work on that and I pray every day that God draws me into the church! That’s all he requires of us – to want to improve and produce good fruit throughout our lives. Just because I don’t always feel God strongly in church, it doesn’t mean I’m any less his Child! It means I’ve identified a weakness in my walk, and need to address it through prayer and reflection.
On a final note, whilst signs of true salvation our evident in our words, actions and motives, don’t be discouraged if you can’t yet see that good fruit being shown constantly! We all make mistakes! Earnest belief in Gods might and love is wonderful, but to show that consistently is a gradual process and it’s okay to not be in that place yet! Chances are, your friends and family notice that good fruit more than you do! We’re all working towards being better and it will take time.
So, please, look at your heart. Look at your motives for doing things. Do you want to please God whom you love? Or please all those around you who seem to be doing the same thing? Don’t have a life with God through anyone else! Don’t let the wonderful blessing of a Christian home stop you from taking ownership of your faith today.
Don’t spend another second feeling unsure of your place in heaven. You may not have another second to claim it.
Kindness has been one of the most difficult qualities to define and analyse so far. I struggled to figure out how I could separate it from other fruits of the Spirit like love, goodness, patience etc. I searched for a relevant verse but couldn’t find one that I felt specifically referred to kindness so I had to get creative. I deduced that kindness can be shown in two forms – our speech and our actions. I ended up finding this verse, which I felt got to the core of what stops us from sharing kindness in speech, rather than what helps us achieve it:
“Do not let unwholesome talk come out of your mouth but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” – Ephesians Ch4: v29
Kindness is an outward reflection of a kind and holy heart whereas “unwholesome talk” is reference to gossiping and insulting others. To practise kindness is to encourage and support others with a genuine yearning to see others grow and prosper in their life and faith! And not only wanting that, but to actively strive to achieve it through words of encouragement on a daily basis.
I have this really humorous image of Jesus in my mind, walking through the streets of Jerusalem, literally having to restrain himself from embracing everyone and sharing a kind word or two! It wouldn’t surprise me if that’s pretty accurate because he has SO much love to share! That should be our goal! To be that source of light in the darkness that shines bright against the crowds and sets us apart from everyone else. Sure, sometimes you can feel a little vulnerable, being commanded to be so different from others but I’ve always wanted others to see me as the go to person if they need a favour, some support or a bit of advice because then I know I’ve made an impact on others. It makes witnessing so much easier too – eventually, your peers start to recognise that God has something to do with such a willingness to help others!
Whilst showing Kindness through words can be challenging, showing kindness through your actions is even more challenging! It really is one of the hardest qualities to maintain because it can just be so labour intensive! And there’s no shame in thinking that, because it’s true! It’s hard work! But the thing is, if it was easy, then we’d all be doing it and imagine the wonderful world we’d have today?
God shows us in Isaiah: “The workers help each other and say to each other, ‘Be strong!’” – Isaiah Ch41: v6 - reminding us that we have to uplift our Christian friends in their faith by never belittling their problems or patronising them. Instead, we should remember that we are all running toward the same goal on level footing.
We also have to keep in mind, that although it can be time consuming and not always ideal for us, Jesus reached out to people from ALL walks of life. He didn’t restrict his kindness to his disciples, or his friends and family. He displayed it to outcasts, sinners, people from all walks of life because they were equally deserving of such love. That’s an approach we should all have in life! Not to limit our kind words to our best friend, but to pass a kind word onto that girl in your class who’s struggling in school or the boy who’s struggling at home. What’s so difficult about dropping someone a quick text, “Don’t worry, things will look up!”? . Yet all too often, we put it off and that person misses out on what could have been, life changing words. So, remember, that kindness should be shown to whomever, whenever possible, with complete honesty, which brings me to my last point.
A lot of the time, I do someone a favour because I know they’ll owe me one. As a Christian, I should never practise kindness for my own ends and should regularly evaluate my motives. Am I doing it for something in return? Or because I hope my kindness will bring the person to know God as their Saviour?
Pray, like I must every day, that God will give you a genuine want to show such kindness to others. Remember, the day you find yourself actually helping someone, instead of simply thinking about it – that’s the day you know Gods beginning to transform your heart.
I’m an impatient person by nature and as a Christian; this is made more obvious in my approach to prayer. I can pray for maybe a week at the most for something, and if it hasn’t happened, I move on. Usually, I’m not even that bothered! I’m so impatient that I’d rather just get small things done quickly than spend time waiting on big changes. As a result, I rarely bring anything to God that would require such waiting. I pray the day before an exam rather than months in advance, simply because the monotony of it gives me a headache! If I do decide to pray for something over a long period of time, I get so frustrated after a while that I huff on God for not doing things according to MY time schedule. It can be hurtful when you feel like God takes no notice of the things we need and want, especially when we spend so much time asking him for them, but he assures us in Psalm that he’ll always reveal himself to us:
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, the mud and mire; he set my foot on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalms Ch40: v1-3
God is constantly reminding me in what I go through and the problems I face, that I must always rely heavily on prayer. Not only the power of prayer, but to trust in Gods timing. Deep down, I’ve always known that if I persevere, God will reward me. Or at least make his response a little bit more obvious than “wait”. He may dull your desire for your request to tell you “No, not now”, then renew that desire months down the line. He may answer “Yes!” straight away, and of course, you’ll know!
But most of the time, God makes us wait for a purpose. It may not be obvious to us, but perhaps you haven’t yet learnt from a situation what God intends you to. God could even be increasing your reliance on and devotion to prayer to prepare you for something way down the line! Then you’ll be thankful that you were forced to spend so much time in prayer! It could even just be that to gain or be relieved of something just isn’t in God’s plan for you, and instead, he wants you to pray for strength in dealing with it.
That’s what I always end up doing eventually. Once I catch on that my vision doesn’t quite match up with Gods, I resort to praying for understanding rather than for God to take it away. It’s our only option once we come to accept God’s will. I consider it a blessing in disguise! It can be frustrating, but no matter what God can give you the strength to rise above the disappointment and gain a more accepting attitude. One that may serve you well in whatever’s right before you!
I prayed for something I considered to important for so long and God never took it away. It’s only in the last few days, I’ve come to understand it doesn’t need to hinder me; it can spur me on in my quest to understand and know God a little better.
Christianity is one learning curve after another. The slimy mud can be friends who drag us down and hold us back from growing. It can be people who decide to hate and insult us for no reason. It can be failed expectations, such as bad exam results, or even personal failure that stops you from risking another try. Regardless of what holds me back, I know that a patient heart and faith in prayer will help me become steadfast in my faith and more accepting of Gods timing. My “rock” – friends, family, and my boyfriend – help restore my confidence when I feel like my patience isn’t paying off.
I pray every day that whatever Gods response, I never disobey his command. To wait patiently for him to decide all things. :)