Scripture Sunday Vol. 11

Good morning and happy Sunday!  Today I’m so happy to be sharing another Scripture Sunday post.  Since posting my last Scripture Sunday, I returned from YoungLife camp in Colorado (read my travel diary and watch the video I made here) and began attending a morning Bible study, called “Daystarters” that was run by my YoungLife leaders every weekday morning.  My leaders hosted this Bible study as a way to continue our growing in our relationship with God after camp.  In this two week period, I have learned so much about the relationship God wants to have with me and about what this relationship provides.  Today I’m sharing some Scripture directly from a lesson I heard in this time and I hope you all enjoy it and feel as refreshed by it as I did!

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Today’s verses:

Psalm 103:2-4; Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.

When I’m at YoungLife camp, it’s so easy to love God and focus all of my energy on my relationship with Him.  I spent a week at Frontier Ranch surrounded by God’s magnificent creation with daily reminders of what God did for us.  When I got home, the magic slowly began to fade as it always does after camp.  I absolutely hate this feeling.  Suddenly I catch myself saying something I wouldn’t have thought of at all while I was at YoungLife camp, or putting my Bible reading on the back burner for a few days.  I went to Daystarters every day in an attempt to keep that camp feeling and continue to grow my relationship with God.  I got a lot out of these sessions and even returned for a second Bible study on Wednesday nights, Campaigners.

This past Wednesday at Campaigners, one of my leaders had us turn to Psalm 103.  As we read this particular Scripture, my heart became overwhelmed with the joy and gratitude I felt while at camp.  The first few verses especially serve as such a great reminder of what God does for us and how much He loves us.  Verses two through four say “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.”  That truth hit me like a truck.  His love benefits us more than any other love could, and more than our love could ever benefit Him.  He forgives our sins and mistakes, He heals our diseases (both figuratively and physically), He saves us in our darkest hours.  My favorite part of these verses is in verse four when we are told that we are crowned with His steadfast love and mercy.  We don’t deserve to be “crowned” with anything, let alone the ruler of the universe’s love and mercy.  He is a good, good Father and I am so blessed to be loved by Him and to have the opportunity to love Him back to the best of my ability.

This week, don’t forget that He benefits you in so many ways.  Don’t forget that His love is greater than any other love you will every receive.  Take some time to get to know Him a little better, by reading your Bible or praying, so you can attempt to wrap your brain around just how big this love is and how badly He wants a relationship with you.

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week.

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Frontier Ranch Travel Diary 2017

This past Sunday afternoon I returned from what is constantly referred to as “the best week of your life”; YoungLife summer camp.  I was beyond excited to be going to Frontier Ranch in Buena Vista, CO, but I had no idea just how much the week would surpass my expectations.  I did crazy things I never thought I’d get the chance (or have the guts) to do while learning tons about myself, my friends, and God’s love.  Today I’m thrilled to finally share this week with you all.  I was originally going to go into detail on each day, but if you’ve ever been to YoungLife camp, even for just a weekend, you know it’s always full of surprises.  I obviously don’t want to ruin any surprises for my readers who might be going to Frontier Ranch this summer or in the future, so instead I’m sharing a video I made along with some of my favorite pictures!  The important thing for you to know about my time at Frontier Ranch is that the food was delicious, the activities were fun, the skits were hilarious, the people were nice, the work crew was awesome, the speaker was incredible, and God’s creation surrounding the camp was absolutely breathtaking.  I recommend you watch the video in HD by clicking the HD button in the bottom right corner of the video.  Enjoy!

This video was created using iMovie.  All of the underwater/pool clips were taken with a FujiFilm FinePix XP120 and all the rest of the clips were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T6 and a EF-S 18-55mm lens.  The song used is Line of Sight by ODESZA featuring WYNNE & Mansionair.

I’m sure you noticed the change in audio in the last thirty seconds or so of the video.  You were listening to my favorite part of the message that our wonderful speaker, Andy, gave on top of the mountain that we hiked (the quality of the audio sounds weird because it was recorded on top of a windy mountain plus Andy was talking with a megaphone).  He told us about how God views us as His most beautiful creation, and that statement was so powerful for me as we were staring in awe at the gorgeous Rocky Mountains that God created.  Out of everything we heard last week, the overall message that stuck out to me is that my purpose is to be loved by God.  God loves us despite our mistakes and sins.  He gave us this incredible, beautiful world to enjoy and we turned our backs to Him.  To break the barrier that our sin created between Him and us, He sent Jesus to pay the ultimate cost for our sin, death.  Even after that huge sacrifice that He made, we continue to turn away from the best relationship we could ever be a part of.  Not only does God still want a relationship with us despite that, but He is willing to meet us in the middle.  Andy simplified this concept and told us that forming a relationship with God is as easy as the ABCs.  A is for admitting that we are imperfect sinners.  B is for believing that God loves us and through that sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins and break the barrier between us and Him.  C is for coming home to God, because a relationship with Him is where we belong.  We were made for this.

Here are some of my favorite photos of the week!

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If you ever get the opportunity to go to YoungLife camp, whether it’s for Work Crew, a week in the summer, or fall weekend, you really should go.  YoungLife has been so incredibly beneficial for me in my faith and nothing opens my eyes to God’s love more than time at camp.  This week at Frontier Ranch was my fourth time on a YoungLife property and I’ve yet to have an experience that was anything less than wonderful.  This was seriously the best week of my life.

Thanks for reading!  If you’d be interested in more YoungLife camp themed posts, such as “Things I Wish I Knew Before YoungLife Camp” or “Ten Things You Should Bring to YoungLife Camp,” please comment below, shoot me a direct message on Instagram (@apocketfuloffaith), or email me at apocketfuloffaithblog@gmail.com.  I love nothing more than talking about YoungLife, especially YoungLife camp, so I’d be more than happy to do more posts about it!  Another quick reminder, all of my pictures posted during/of my travels on my Instagram are under my hashtag, #farawaywithfaith, so be sure to check that out throughout the summer to keep track of my adventures!

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10 Bible Verses For a Bad Day Collab

Recently I found a unique, well-written blog called grad2grad.  Grad2grad (linked here) is run by two girls, Megan and Mairead, one postgrad and one undergrad.  These girls use their blog to share about their lives and experiences as Christians as well as inspirational quotes and messages.  I love this blog and when these girls reached out to me asking if I’d be interested in doing some type of post together I was super excited.  Today we’re sharing this little collaboration, “10 Bible Verses For a Bad Day.”  I often find myself forgetting that scripture is always there when I need a pick me up.  I think it’s so important to recognize that the Bible is here as a tool for us to use to learn about the life we were made to live and to get closer to the Lord.  I can’t wait to see what Megan and Mairead write!

Before I get into my selection of ten verses, Megan and Mairead have asked me to briefly introduce myself and talk about what following Jesus looks like in this stage of my life.  So, here goes!  My name is Faith, I’m a rising junior in high school and I currently live in South Carolina.  I was introduced to Christianity at a very young age, I was baptized in the Episcopal church before I could crawl.  My parents divorced when I was very young and because of that I now attend both Episcopal and Baptist churches.  While I’ve gone to church my whole life, I didn’t really take a huge interest in my faith until a few years ago.  Towards the end of middle school I became curious about some things surrounding Jesus and when I started my freshman year of high school I started going to YoungLife.  For me it has made all the difference in my spiritual life.  YoungLife has shown me that a life with Christ is a life of adventure.  Life with Christ means seeing the big, beautiful world that God created for our enjoyment, making great friends, doing things that make you happy, loving and serving others, and laughing at yourself.  The Bible isn’t a set of rules to follow “or else,” it’s a guide to living the joy filled life that Jesus died to give us.

I’ve divided the ten verses I’m sharing into a few categories.  Also, I know most of the Scripture is more than one verse, but I think all of these small chunks are significant and I definitely think there are days when I need to read them.

When you are doubting yourself, feel like giving up, or feel helpless:

Psalms 143 7:11; “Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails.  Don’t hide your face from me, or I will be like those going down to the Pit.  Let me experience your faithful love in the morning, for I trust in you.  Reveal to me the way I should go because I appeal to you.  Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I come to you for protection.  Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.  May your gracious Spirit lead me on level ground.  For your name’s sake, Lordlet me live.  In your righteousness deliver me from trouble”

Matthew 17:20-21; “Because of your little faith,” He told them.  “For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Romans 5:6; For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly.

When you’re feeling guilty about something:

1 John 1:9; If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Romans 5:1-2; Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  We have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 

When you’re doubting God’s love, power, and faithfulness:

Romans 8:38-39; For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Psalms 34:4; I sought the Lord, and he answered me and rescued me from all my fears.

Psalms 40:1-2; I waited patiently for the Lordand he turned to me and heard my cry for help.  He brought me up from a desolate pit, out of the muddy clay, and set my feet on a rock, making my steps secure.

Psalms 27:10; Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord cares for me.

Matthew 19:26; Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Thank you so much for reading!  I hope you enjoyed this post and will keep these verses in mind next time you’re feeling down.  Don’t forget to check out the grad2grad blog here and Megan and Mairead’s post here!  Have a wonderful day!

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Scripture Sunday Vol. 10

Happy Sunday everyone!  I hope you’re having a great day.  When you read this, I will be on my way home from Frontier Ranch, a YoungLife camp in Colorado.  I am so excited to be at YoungLife camp for a whole week and I can’t wait to share my experience with you all (I’m planning on making a video!).  Today I’m sharing a prewritten Scripture Sunday post.  As per usual, if Christianity offends you in any way feel free to scroll past this post and read some of my recent fashion or lifestyle posts.  Let’s get into it!

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Today’s verses:

Luke 1:45; Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what he has spoken to her!

As I write this on May 26th, I just finished my last exam.  I typically have pretty good exam grades, mostly As and Bs with a few exceptions (i.e. a super hard Spanish II exam with impossible audio questions!).  This year, my three worst subjects, geometry, Spanish II, and chemistry, were the three first exams I took.  I was terrified to take my chemistry exam because I’m awful at chemistry.  I was scared to take my geometry exam because my grade would determine whether I had an A or B in the course.  I knew my Spanish II exam would be hard based on our first semester exam.  I obviously studied, but that wasn’t necessarily enough.  My geometry teacher gave us a long, hard exam that only four people in my class confidently finished.  I didn’t even get the chance to go back and bubble in random guesses for nineteen questions.  You read that right.  Nineteen.  I was so defeated and stressed about how terrible the score would be when I went home on Tuesday.

I recently finished reading the Gospels, so I looked through some of my notes and highlighted sections for some Scripture to ease my stress and get me through this.  I came across Luke 1:45, which reads “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what he has spoken to her!”  I remembered how lucky I am to be heading to YoungLife camp in Colorado next week with all of my friends and I felt reassured that whatever God’s will is for this exam grade, just like with the rest of my life, will be done.  I prayed before going to bed that He would take care of my grades and help me push through the last few days of school.

When I returned to my geometry teacher’s room after my chemistry exam on Wednesday to ask about my grade, he told me to come back and finish my exam during the break on Thursday.  This might sound normal to you, but this teacher has never given anyone extra time on anything, never mind an exam.  I was overwhelmingly grateful and  Wednesday night I studied everything I could remember having trouble with.  When I came in during the exam break on Thursday to finish the exam, I felt confident and left knowing I answered those questions significantly more correctly than I would have on Tuesday.  My final exam grade was eighteen points higher than the grade that I saw on the incomplete answer sheet before I finished my exam on Thursday, which means I only .  I guess that was God’s will and I am so thankful to have that exam behind me with a better grade than I deserved on Tuesday.

This week, remember that God has a plan and will take care of those who believe in Him.  Remember that He will always listen when you pray.

Thanks for reading!

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See You Soon!

Hey everyone!  This isn’t a formal post, just a quick little announcement and explanation of what will be happening on my blog and Instagram over the next week.   I am so excited to be heading to Frontier Ranch, a YoungLife camp in Colorado, today and I know I will have a ton of fun.  The camp includes so many fun activities like mountain repelling, swimming, go kart driving, horseback riding, and of course worship at club.  However, our phones (and other non-camera electronics) will be taken up on our way there, so I will not have access to my Instagram or blog until the return trip next Sunday.  I am more than happy to take a break from electronics, but I don’t want to leave you all without any new content for a week.  With that being said, I have blog posts scheduled for Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and next Sunday and one of my good friends made through blogging, Olivia (from the Instagram account @faithandliv and the YouTube channel Olivia Stepp), will be taking over my Instagram, reminding y’all of my new blog posts, and announcing a huge giveaway in my absence!  I know her Instagram posts will be great and you all will love her as much as I do.  I couldn’t be more excited to be spending this week at YoungLife camp and I know I will write a post (and hopefully make a video) about it soon after my return.

I hope you all have a wonderful week, see you soon!

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Scripture Sunday Vol. 9

Happy Sunday!  Today I’m sharing another Scripture Sunday post (read my last eight here).  Today’s verses are from a chapter in John that I recently read and felt really moved by.  The Scripture talks about judgement, which I think is something we can all use a couple pointers on.  If the Christian religion offends you in any way, feel free to scroll past this post and read a recent life or style post.  I hope you enjoy today’s post as much as I enjoyed writing it!

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Today’s Verses:

John 8:15-16; You judge by human standards.  I judge no one.  And if I do judge, my judgment is true, because it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me.

I’d be lying if I said I never talk about my peers.  I participate in lunch table gossip like most everyone else.  However, I often think about it afterwards and wonder why.  Why do I feel the need to express my not-always-so-positive opinions of others?  Why do I judge others at all?  I think it’s part of human nature, but it’s not a part I like.  I constantly feel guilty for saying things, even when I’m only stating the not-so-great facts, because I know that I wouldn’t want everyone to know negative things like that about me.

I pray constantly for God to help me see the good in others and to think of kinder, better things to talk about.  Last week I read John chapter eight as a part of my nightly Bible reading and came across some of Jesus’ wise words about judgement.  To give you some context, in this section of the chapter Jesus has just told a group of people that He is the light of the world.  Some pharisees among the group speak out and claim that He is invalidly testifying about Himself.  He replies by saying  “Even if I testify about myself, my testimony is true, because I know where I came from and where I’m going. But you don’t know where I come from or where I’m going. ”  He continues on to state today’s verses “You judge by human standards.  I judge no one.  And if I do judge, my judgment is true, because it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me.”  These verses serve as a great reminder to me that He and His Father are the only ones who can truly judge us.  We judge each other by human standards, while He judges us by more important standards; God’s.

This week, set your mind on seeing the good in others.  If you think something negative about someone, say something positive to them.  If you catch yourself gossiping with your friends, change the subject to something happier that doesn’t bring somebody down.  Remember that Jesus and God are the only ones who can truly judge us, because we can’t see everything that they do.  Our human standards of judgement are insignificant compared to theirs.

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week.

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