Scripture Sunday Vol. 15

Happy Sunday friends!  I’m so happy to be sharing my fifteenth “Scripture Sunday” post with you today.  I’ve loved writing them for y’all every other week and I hope you’ve loved reading them too!  I’m just going to jump into the post, but as always I want to throw out the reminder that if the Christian religion offends you in any way you are more than welcome to keep scrolling through my blog and find a style post that you’d prefer to read.  Now, let’s get started!

6C5B0457-1791-432D-B356-5AF1FA02D9C2.jpg

Today’s Verse:

Proverbs 11:27; Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it.

I’m not sure about when y’all are going back to school, but I return this Thursday, August 17th.  I’m going to be a junior and yes, I do know what they say, “junior year is the hardest.”  I’m pretty frightened to be starting such a crucial year to my college applications, but I’m also a bit excited for a new school year of possibilities and opportunity.

One thing I’m really not excited about, however, is seeing some of those people I’ve been happy to avoid all summer.  Those that have been a little less than kind to me in the past, those that I’ve hit rough patches with at some point this summer, etc.  I think it’s pretty fair to say this isn’t all that strange for a high schooler, but I don’t think it’s a good thing either.  I try not to judge people but sometimes it just seems as if my everyone at school is doing something bad or saying something bad about someone else and I’m just tired of it.

As I’ve tried to come up with a way to get past this before the school year begins, I found Proverbs 11:27.  The verse says “Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it.”  What I take away from this is the idea that if I go around school just waiting for someone to “wrong me” or do something I wouldn’t think of as right, I’ll see it a lot more.  However, if I begin to look at everyone the way God looks at us, I’ll be able to see the good in everyone I pass by in the hallways and sit next to in class.  I want to stop seeing people as fake, mean, etc. and start seeing them as children of God, made perfectly in His image.  I’m beginning to pray more for those I’m not too fond of and to only think of positive responses to things I hear or see about my peers.  I’m doing my best to stop searching for the bad and start opening my eyes to the good.

As you start school, stop yourself whenever you think those negative thoughts about others, even those that you might think are justified.  Start thinking “child of God” before thinking anything else of someone.  Everyone is worth loving and there’s no need to look for reasons to hate them instead.

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week.

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 7.53.30 PM

Scripture Sunday Vol. 14

Good morning and happy Sunday!  Today I’m so happy to be sharing my fourteenth “Scripture Sunday” post with y’all.  Today I did the calligraphy a little differently than usual, let me know what you think!  I think I like this way because it looks a little cleaner and more professional.  Anyways, as usual I’d like to throw in the fact that if the Christian religion offends you in any way, you can continue scrolling through my site and find another fashion or lifestyle post that strikes your fancy.  Enjoy!

583E1D3C-6AB7-4E53-8C6A-560E4FFAB3E0.jpg

TODAY’S VERSES:

Matthew 5:16; In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Recently, in a chat during our Bible study, my friends and I began talking about how we’re supposed to represent God and Christianity.  It’s sort of our duty as Christians to love others so that they can see Christ’s love through us.  If our actions don’t reflect the goodness of God and Christianity, no one will want to join in.  So what about those days when these “others” are getting on your very last nerve, being rude to you, not including you, etc.?  Yep, your actions still need to display God’s love and acceptance.

If you ask me, the best example of this kindness can be found in my YoungLife leaders.  A few of them come to our school lunches at least once a week, where they not only say hey to those of us who they already know and love as YoungLife students, but they also reach out to the kids that don’t like or just don’t come to YoungLife.  They sit with them and get to know them, showing genuine interest and love for them the way Christ does in all of us.  If after a few weeks they still reject my leaders’ invitation to come to YoungLife club, guess what?  My leaders still continue to form that relationship with them because they want to show them that unconditional love and acceptance that God shows us.  If you ask me, my YoungLife leaders are some of the best models for the way I should be treating and reaching out to others.

Honestly, I’m don’t treat others that way all the time.  I don’t always represent God in a good way.  I don’t always display God’s love in my actions.  However, I’m always trying to become better at doing so, even though I slip up quite often.  I find instruction and encouragement for doing so in Matthew 5:16.  This verse says “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  This kindness and genuine interest in getting to know others for the ultimate purpose of letting them get to know Christ is referred to as “your light.”  I seriously love that.  The verse continues to say “that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

This week, pay special attention to the way you treat those around you.  Realize what you’re doing.  Are you anywhere close to accurately reflecting God’s love?  I think this is something that most of us need to work on, myself included.  Obviously it’s extremely hard to love others unconditionally all the time the way God does, but just give it a try.  When we label ourselves as Christians, we become a little like billboards advertising God.  What does yours say?  Make sure the way you’re living His word out seems like a good advertisement.

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week!

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 7.53.30 PM

Scripture Sunday Vol. 13

Happy Sunday!  As you know if you’ve been reading my blog posts this past week, I just returned from an exciting week at the Washington Journalism and Media Conference (WJMC) in Washington D.C. (find all of my recap posts here).  I’m extremely exhausted but my heart (and journalistic brain) are so full.  Today I’m sharing a new “Scripture Sunday” post with a few verses I’ve been really loving recently.  As usual, if you’re offended by the Christian religion for whatever reason, feel free to continue scrolling through my site and exploring some other recent posts.  Enjoy!

8D872334-4552-4023-8E0A-42385FC16FAF.jpg

Today’s Verses:

Psalm 3:3-5; But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.  I call out to the Lord, and He answers me from His holy mountain.  I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.

As the day I would leave for WJMC approached, I became more and more nervous.  I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make friends when I got there.  I was afraid that the friends I had attempted to make online beforehand would hate who I am in person.  I was afraid that everyone at the conference would be extremely interested and knowledgable in political journalism and my hopes of pursuing a career in fashion journalism would seem froufrou-y and ridiculous in comparison.  When my dad left me at the airport in my WJMC tee shirt for my independent flight to Washington D.C., I was excited but simultaneously scared.  I’ve had fears similar to these in the past, before switching schools, going to social events for the first time, and going to various camps.

 Before I even got on my flight, another girl wearing the navy WJMC tee, Chloe, saw my shirt and approached me.  She sat down next to me at the gate and we immediately became friends.  We talked about our fears going to the conference, the crazy GroupMe we were both a part of (we didn’t recognize each other from it though, since there were over 100 people in it), the dresses we packed for the gala, photography, and more.  My anxiety subsided and I could already tell that the conference would be an awesome experience.  Chloe wasn’t in my color group, so I didn’t see her often, but when I did we always smiled and said hi to each other.

I recently came across Psalm 3:3-5, and I so wish these verses had come to mind when I was so nervous about WJMC.  They say “But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.  I call out to the Lord, and He answers me from his holy mountain.  I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.”  I find so much comfort in these verses because they remind me that God protects me, answers me, and sustains me.  He will never leave us out to dry and he’s always one prayer away.  He definitely did all of this for me while I was at WJMC, I had the best time I could have imagined.  I feel so blessed that He brought so many great new friends into my life through my time at this conference.

This week, do not be afraid or anxious but remember that God is always there.  Remember that He loves you unconditionally and in that will protect you, answer you, and sustain you.

Have a blessed week!

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 7.53.30 PM

Scripture Sunday Vol. 12

Happy Sunday!  In today’s “Scripture Sunday” I’m sharing a verse that has been sitting on my heart lately and it really speaks to me both as a high schooler and just as a human being.  As usual, if you’re offended by the Christian religion for whatever reason, please feel free to scroll past and read some of my other recent posts.  I hope you find today’s Scripture as enlightening and comforting as I do!

21B252CC-5A81-46BB-87D1-8B2E66733A9D.jpg

Today’s Verse:

Romans 12:2; And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Ah, summer.  This wonderful season comes with freedom of academic related responsibility and in some high school students’ situations, also of their parents’ rules.  In this age of constant updates on Snapchat stories and Instagram posts, even if you weren’t at the party, or even friends with the people at the party, we still know everything that went down.  I, as a rising junior, have been seeing these things more than ever recently.  Over the past few weeks, suddenly my social media feeds have been carrying more dark shots of my peers with red solo cups or puffs of smoke than ever.  I’m certainly not their mom and I’m trying to stop myself from judging others, so I try to just scroll past these posts, but lately they’ve been hitting me harder and harder.  I’m scared for myself as well as my friends, my age and younger, and what we will be and already are facing.  This is the time of peer pressure that we’ve been warned about since Red Ribbon Week in first grade.  When I first came to the high school, this was just stuff the juniors and seniors did, but now suddenly we’re the juniors and seniors.

Recently, during a Bible study, one of my YoungLife leaders shared Romans 12:2 with me and a few of my close friends.  This verse seems so insanely applicable to high school students, it’s almost as if it was written specifically for us.  The verse starts “And do not be conformed to this world,” which basically means don’t sacrifice yourself to fit the societal norm.  In some translations, this part of the verse even says “Do not act like the sinful people of the world” or “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world.”  If you ask me, Paul is literally saying “don’t give into peer pressure.”  The verse continues to say “but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” which I honestly didn’t understand until it was explained to me.  This means that you should continue to read the Bible and learn from God, continue to let yourself be transformed by Him.  Lastly, the verse says “that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  If we turn away from the peer pressures and bad decisions I described and focus on our transformation through God, we will prove God’s perfect will for us to those around us.  We can lead the way of pure joy and good life for our peers.  This gives me so much comfort in times where I feel alone in my desire to stay away from these bad things in high school.  It reminds me that the little things people might think of me socially because of my resistance will ultimately pay off.

This week, take some time to think about what the bad things in the world are for you, there’s certainly more negative going on in this world than just the high school parties I described.  Try to set aside time to spend in Scripture so you can learn and be transformed by God.  We can change our schools, our workplaces, and our cities by leading the way to God’s good and perfect will.

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week!  Read my previous “Scripture Sunday” posts here.

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 7.53.30 PM

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!

IMG_0709.JPG

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.

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 7.53.30 PM

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!

IMG_9483-2.JPG

Today’s Verse:

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!

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 7.53.30 PM