Scripture Sunday Vol. 35

     Good morning and happy Sunday!  Today’s I’m sharing a new “Scripture Sunday” post!  I’m so excited to be sharing a verse that I’ve found to be super comforting.  This is obviously going to be a religious post, so if you don’t think that’s for you please continue to scroll through other recent posts of mine, I hope you find something else you like (see my summer wishlist here an outfit post here, and my friend Cayleigh’s guest post on an outfit inspired by me here)!  Enjoy!

Today’s Verse:

James 4:14; yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

     At this stage in life, it’s so easy for me to get caught up in where I want to be going to school, if I’ll get in, and what I’ll do with my life afterwards.  As a rising senior in high school, there are so many days when I think all too much about myself and what I want to do.  It drives me crazy that I can’t submit my college applications yet and that I don’t even know if my top choice will want me.  I want certain answers and I typically want them pretty soon.

     Recently I read James, and in chapter four I found a lot of comfort in my uncertainty.  Verse fourteen says “yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”  The first part of the verse is so simple but such a sweet reminder.  I truly have no idea where I’ll be going, but if it’s God’s plan I know it’ll work out.  While the second part of the verse might initially sound like a rough blow, I take “For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” as a reminder that my time on Earth is so insignificant, especially in comparison to the eternity I’ll get to spend with God in heaven.

     This week, remember that our time on Earth is little in comparison to the forever we’ll spend in paradise.  Know that God’s plan is greater than your dreams, even if there’s some uncertainty.  Be comforted and let your anxiety be eased by knowing that the same guy who paints the skies every evening is painting your future, and it’s going to be equally bright and beautiful.

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week!

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Scripture Sunday Vol. 34

     Good morning and happy Sunday!  Today’s post is another installment in my “Scripture Sunday” series.  I love sharing what I’m learning in Scripture with y’all, so these posts are always my favorite!  This is obviously going to be a religious post, so if you feel as though that’s not for you please feel free to scroll through other recent posts of mine (see an outfit post here and my friend Emma’s “10 Ideas for Your Summer Bucket List” post here).  Enjoy!

Today’s Verse:

Hebrews 13:5; Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

     We live in a material world.  Whether we want to admit it or not, a lot of the way we view others is based on what they wear or have.  We’re quick to judge a person from the outside before getting to know them, and because we know that we behave this way we think we all need a set of things to be wanted, known, or valued.  In my current college search one of the things I’m most afraid of is picking the wrong school for me socially.  Obviously academics are most important, but I don’t want to “have less” than other girls wherever I end up and be left on the outside as a result (that might sound silly but I think you know what I mean).  The funny thing is, even if I got every item on that list of “things I need to have to be known and liked by girls in college,” I’d never be content.  Our society is fast paced, and the list keeps growing and the items get kicked out of the list every time you finally get one.

     It’s funny to imagine what material items Jesus addressed in His time, because He obviously wasn’t addressing the women’s Louis Vuitton bags or Gucci belts.  Regardless of whether He was talking about money, livestock, or the newest clothing, His message is clear.  In chapter thirteen of Hebrews, verse five starts “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have,” which I personally love, but know this is a lot easier said than done.  Honesty, who doesn’t love having extra money?  It’s important to realize that the excitement of having enough money to splurge on the thing at the top of your wishlist isn’t the same as joy.  Joy isn’t found in items, it’s found in love, the greatest love in fact.  The rest of verse five says “for He has said ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'”  Money will not last forever, nor will it care for us.  Jesus will.  God has promised us that He’ll never leave our side and that He’ll never betray us.

     This week, remember that what you have on Earth is so insignificant.  Know that possessions will never truly satisfy you and that they were never meant to.  It’s far easier to be content with what you have when you realize you don’t even truly need what you already own, that’s when you’ll realize how blessed you are.  Remember that a relationship with God is without a doubt the most valuable thing you could ever have in your life.

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week!

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Scripture Sunday Vol. 33

     Happy Sunday!  I missed my typical biweekly mark for a “Scripture Sunday” post last week, but I have a good one for you today!  As you’re reading this I’m still leading Wyldlife kids (kids that participate in my area’s YoungLife ministry for middle schoolers) at Southwind, a YoungLife camp in Ocklawaha, Florida.  I’d so appreciate your prayers in my last couple days at camp!  As I’m sure you can tell from the title, this is a Christian post, so if you feel that kind of thing’s not for you feel free to continue exploring my blog and find something else you like!  Enjoy!

Today’s Verse:

1 John 2:6; Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.

     I don’t think I’m the only teenage girl, or the most extreme case for that matter, that often finds herself imitating aspects of those around her.  I often realize I’ve picked up strange phrases that my friends use.  If we’re being honest I have a whole saved Instagram collection of photos I’ve seen other girls on Instagram post that I’d like to recreate on my personal Instagram account.  Yes, we hear “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” and no, I’m not a complete clone of any one person, but do I really want my being to be made up of fragments of other people?  Is that really what I want my life to be based on?

     While reading the book of 1 John recently, I came across a verse that really struck a chord for me.  1 John 2:6 says “Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.”  If you’ve met me you’ve probably heard me claim that I follow or “abide in” God.  I’m so quick to claim that I’m a dedicated Christian and have a strong relationship with Jesus, but do I act in accordance to this Scripture?  If I truly abide in God I should be living my life the way Jesus did.

     In writing this I don’t think John meant “if you really love God you’ll die for the world’s sins just like Jesus.”  Honestly, I’m fairly certain John knew that none of us could even consistently live the way Jesus did on His average days.  Sure, I have some days that I feel really good about who I am and the way I’ve treated others, but those are nothing in comparison to the way Jesus treated others all the time.  Not only did Jesus heal the sick (I don’t know about you, but I don’t have miraculous abilities), He called them (and other outsiders) by name.  Jesus acknowledged everyone and proved that He wanted to be part of their lives, even when they were rejected by the world.

     This week, remember the example Jesus has set for us.  As imperfect humans, we are never going to be able to live up to such a standard, but we definitely won’t without God.  Lean on God for support, patience, and hope.  Start asking yourself the way Jesus would perceive your actions before you even do them.  If Jesus were here at this time, wearing Vans and jeans with His friends who have iPhones sticking out of their pockets, would He like the text you’re about to send?  Would He encourage you to talk to your parents that way?  These thoughts have definitely been shaking me lately.

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week!

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Scripture Sunday Vol. 33

     Happy Sunday!  Today I’m posting my first “Scripture Sunday” post since my little month-long hiatus and I’m so excited to share what God’s been teaching me lately!  This is my thirty-third “Scripture Sunday” post I’ve written in the past year or so (crazy right?), so if you’re interested in reading any of my previous Scripture posts you can find them here.  I hope you love today’s post as much as I loved writing it!  Enjoy!

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Today’s Verse:

James 1:11; For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes.  So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

     I love to travel.  I love seizing every opportunity I get to see more of the world, and I’m never disappointed.  God’s creation never ceases to amaze me, from the crashing of ocean waves to tall purple mountains it’s all so beautiful and it’s such a blessing to see.  One of my favorite things about traveling, especially by plane, is that it puts in perspective just how little my life really is.  As a junior in high school, it’s so easy to get caught up in myself, not necessarily in intentionally selfish ways, but caught up in things like bringing up my SAT score, being disappointed in my GPA, or getting involved in as many extracurriculars as I can manage.  The compounding of these expectations that I, and those around me, have for the remainder of my high school career easily creates stress and a sense of drowning.  I constantly get stuck in the cycle of feeling like nothing I’m doing is good enough, like my grades will never be as high as I want them to be or my athletic performance will never be enough to get played in lacrosse games.

     A couple weeks ago I read the book of James.  I love the number of metaphors in the short, five chapter book, and I especially love the one found in verse eleven of chapter one.  It says “For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes.  So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.”  While this can definitely be taken as targeting the selfish ambitions of those who only focus on money, I think the “pursuits” of the “rich man” mentioned can also refer to our earthly goals that aren’t based on God.  If we choose to spend our whole lives focusing only on our grades, athletic performance, or income, not only will we never be content, we won’t be living for God.  While high academic achievement and athletic talent are by no means bad things, they are still distractions from God.

     The funny thing about all of these earthly aims that we place such high value on is that they won’t matter at all when we get to heaven.  When we meet our Creator all that will matter is how we loved others, how we shared His word, and how we poured into our relationship with Him.  We aren’t going to have a nicer house when we get to heaven because we had higher paying jobs on Earth.  We aren’t going to get an extra high five from God because we got into the most prestigious college.  God loves us as we are and for who we are, not who we present ourselves as to the world based on what we’ve accomplished or how we look.

     This week, remember what actually matters.  Remember what the Bible says about our earthly pursuits and our God-based goals.  Don’t let a failure get you down and remember who God says you are!

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week!

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Scripture Sunday Vol. 32

     Happy Sunday!  Today I’m excited to share my thirty-second installment in my “Scripture Sunday” series (read my previous posts in the series here)!  Today’s verse has brought me so much encouragement lately and I hope it does the same for y’all!  This post is definitely Christian, so if the Christian religion offends you for whatever reason please feel free to continue scrolling through my blog, I hope you find something else you like (this past week I shared an outfit post and my Isle of Palms travel diary from spring break)!  Enjoy!

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Today’s Verses:

2 Timothy 4:18; The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom.  To Him be the glory forever and ever.  Amen.

     Life is hard.  That’s a groundbreaking statement, right?  Obviously not.  Whether your current hardships have to do with low grades, having trouble with friends, your parents’ relationship, or just about anything else, you know the sad truth that life is full of struggles and moments in which you can’t see a trace of the light of good days.

     An issue that has been really hard on me a lot lately is judgement.  What’s ironic about the judgement that I’m specifically speaking of is that it’s based on the assumption that I would judge someone else.  Being a faithful Christian in high school is hard for so many reasons I never thought it’d be.  I always knew I’d be able to resist the temptation to drink and do drugs in high school, but what’s hard about the presence of these substances in high school social life is that other people’s knowledge of your decision not to get involved with these things often leads to their assumption that you think they’re “bad people” because they choose to use them.  Quite the opposite is true, as I would still love to maintain relationships with these people.  In all honesty, there are so many nights in which I lie awake hoping these friends make it home alright.  I’m not going make the decision to exclude someone from my life simply because they make choices I won’t, but my peers often choose to distance themselves from me because they know I don’t approve of or participate in the things they’re doing.

     Last week I read 2 Timothy, the second letter from Paul to Timothy.  If you’re unfamiliar with Paul, he underwent a colossal conversion from persecuting Christians to putting his life on the line to spread the message constantly.  Paul was thrown into prison several times and faced consequences left and right for sharing the gospel.  Something I often overlook is the thought that Paul’s friend group, like mine, radically changed after he made such a dramatic shift in his life.  Recognizing all of this certainly puts things in perspective and gives me hope and motivation to continue on no matter how hard it gets.  In verse eighteen of chapter four, Paul says to Timothy, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom.”  This verse was such a beautiful reminder to me over the past week that God will save me from the worst parts of this world and one day I’ll get to spend eternity in His perfect kingdom.

     This week, try to see past your challenges to that eternal life God promises us.  Even the greatest troubles here on earth pale in comparison to the glory awaiting us in heaven.  If you share that issue of judgment I mentioned and also worry about your friends making potentially dangerous decisions, pray for them!  One thing I’ve learned over the past year or so is that approaching people about their questionable actions rarely helps, so prayer is your greatest tool.

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week!

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Scripture Sunday Vol. 31

     He has risen, happy Easter!  Today I’m sharing my thirty-first “Scripture Sunday” post (read the previous posts in my “Scripture Sunday” series here) with an Easter theme.  The verses I’m sharing today are a couple of my favorite from the gospels in regard to Jesus’ return!  As always, I’ll throw in the disclaimer that my “Scripture Sunday” posts fall under the Christian category, so if the Christian religion offends you for whatever reason please feel free to continue scrolling through my blog until you find something that strikes your fancy (this past week I shared my Carolina Point travel diary and an outfit inspired by Jeanine Amapola)!  Enjoy!

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Today’s Verses:

Matthew 28:19-20; Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

     I didn’t want to spend today’s “Scripture Sunday” telling y’all what I’m sure you’ve heard all day, “He is risen!”  Yes, He has risen indeed, but what does that mean for us today, over two thousand years later?  What does it mean to serve a living God?

     We’re about to reach that time of the school year where the teachers review what they’ve taught us so we are prepared to take the exam and advance into courses where we will be expected to know everything they have taught us without their presence.  These final days with the teachers we’ve gotten to know and love (or loathe) so well are stressful and scary, and personally I spend a lot of it scared that I won’t be able to retain everything they’ve shown me throughout the course of the school year.  But still, these teachers will soon finish reviewing study guides and pass out exams that will mark our departure from their classes.  Imagine what it must have felt like as a disciple to realize that your teacher of the most important lessons ever has died, and while He just somehow came back from the dead, is about to leave you again.  Like I said, I’m stressed about the fact that I’m supposed to remember how to graph cotangent functions without my pre-cal teacher next year, if Jesus told me “I’m about to go back to heaven but you stay here and teach people how to live” I think I’d pass out on the spot.

     What I love so much about Matthew 28:19-20 is that while Jesus tells his disciples basically just that (“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you”), He also gives the greatest reminder of all time; He might be leaving us physically but He is with us forever.  In my opinion, the last sentence of Matthew is debatably the prettiest and most comforting thing in the Bible, it says “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  If that’s not some of the best news you’ve ever heard I really don’t know what is, personally I’d be a train wreck without Jesus.

     This week, look for Jesus in everything.  You are not alone, and you will never be.  Know that your teacher Jesus has given you a mission, but unlike your school teachers and the exams they give you, He accompanies and guides you throughout this test.  He loves you unconditionally and sends you into the world to do amazing things with Him.

Thanks for reading!  Happy Easter and have a blessed week!

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