Challenge Your Spirit!!! – One Week Prayer Challenge

Aah, I love challenges. The first week is always the best.. until it gets a bit too real. Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever started a challenge – be it spiritual, fitness, or other types – and you were hyped for the first few days. Then everything starts getting boring. Maybe you didn’t take it seriously enough?

Maybe you didn’t see just how important it is to challenge yourself once and a while. How important is your spirit to you? Very important. It’s all you’ve got when your body deteriorates away. Chances are, since you’re on my blog, you’ve already got interests in God and Christianity. You know that there is a life after death; there is a heaven and hell. You want to go to Heaven. So, how about a simple challenge to help you get there? Is that serious enough for you?

I found a Prayer Challenge on Pinterest. I couldn’t resist – I have to share it. I’m currently doing a Daniel Fast so this will come just in handy! Join me? Pretty pweaasseee? 🙂

 

 

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ImageJoin me in this prayer challenge and/or one week fast as I seek God, asking Him for guidance, protection, prosperity and His Will. 

But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul – Deuteronomy 4:29

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. – Lamentations 3:25

Day 6: Feeling DEFEATED – I JUST WANT TO STAY HOME AND SLEEP

Ugh! I’m not even in the mood to type! Expect this to be short. I wanna cry right now, I want to punch a wall, I want to be held…

Firstly, the challenge hasn’t been going successful as Satan done it again. My computer crashed! All of the memory is gone and it set me back majorly. I’m on a borrowed netbook which makes my hands feel so big and manly because it’s so teeny.

On top of that, I had to break up with my boyfriend all because my mother doesn’t like him – family is very important to me. I want to sob and eat bon-bons and curl up in my bed. Earlier, I didn’t want to eat at all but it’s a shame we broke up FOR THAT WOMAN.

That was my first love and I couldn’t even focus to do homework tonight. I just said screw it, screw it all, screw it all to hell.

Sorry, guys, I’m under A LOT of stress. Loads of work needs to be done, I’m gaining weight, and I haven’t been pampered in months… or years. It’s always been about helping other people, helping my family, helping my mother. Help. Help. HELP. God helps me, I know. I’m just waiting for the blessing. So, I’m going to stay home. I’ll probably sleep in an hour or two later then I’ll do some work. So much for the challenge. I will continue it on tuesday. Right now, I just want my bed and some soft music in my ears.

I’m feeling so confused and defeated. God, please stay near as I know You’re already here.

Side note: I went to my friend’s church today. It’s a non-denominational church. I think I will make it a regular thing, which means church times two on Sundays. I need it. I really do. God deserves it. He really does.

Good night.

 

 

XOXO

Philly

Venting: Personal Blog – Pink Crosses

Tonight was one of those nights.

The house was quiet, the rain had stopped pouring, everyone was asleep… and here I was. Alone. Bored. Moody. Depressed. Frustrated. Impatient. It goes on, trust me, it does.

I started thinking, “what’s wrong with me?” The things which absorb my thoughts, my deepest desires, started to consume me and I wasn’t sure if it was a Godly perspective on my situation. A lady in waiting. She waits for her Prince, her partner in crime, her confidant. There I was thinking on such things, about someone.

In the mere 18, soon to be 19, years of my life I realized that out of all our personal pursuits (occupational, educational, entertainment, pleasure, etc) love is the most crucial, most affecting thirst we all have. It comes in stages; I’m currently at the stage that yearns for God and a mate. I crave Jesus, I love Him so much. I crave God’s Will in my life and I want MORE of Him. I also crave a soul mate.. I’m actually contemplating on having a marriage-worthy relationship. A serious relationship. But, when I start yearning for what I don’t have my emotions reflect on that missing blessing.

So, the only possible way is to feed my spirit and out-pour my emotions. If I can in-take good, I will eject goodness. I’ve started writing letters to my Future Husband, taking my purity more seriously (as purity is not just about refraining from sex), reading a book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris, and now I’m introducing a new blog – a personal blog. It’s called Pink Crosses.

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I won’t say what to expect from this new blog. So, don’t set expectations. It’ll be about my innermost desires and struggles. Truly personal. Sometimes, all I need is a release – this blog will be my release. Amen.

We are Barabbas

A few weeks ago, friend of mine shared a video on her Facebook and tagged me in it. I had watched that video at least three times since, because it was absolutely lovely and made me think!

[Here is the video in case you missed my earlier blog]

I’d like to add to this video, with my own thoughts and discoveries – a short reflection and commentary. Here are the main points Judah Smith presented:

  • We are Barabbas; we are the prisoner being freed.
  • We did not deserve that freedom. Like Barabbas, we were “thugs” and “rebels” (according to Judah Smith).
  • Like Barabbas, we are not thankful to Jesus for this transaction (not realizing Jesus set him – or us – free). In fact, Barabbas did not even know who Jesus was.
  • Our salvation and help comes from God, not within ourselves.
  • Jesus died so Barabbas (we) can live.
  • God loves us more than we could comprehend.
  • Your greatest challenge is simply BELIEVING.

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Barabbas was the leader of an insurrection, or a violent rebellion, against the government and a murderer. 1 Samuel 15:23 says rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft. Many books in the Old Testament speak against witchcraft. Exodus 22:18 says “you shall not permit a sorceress to live.” Since the two are synonymous sins, then rebels DESERVE their deaths. Revelations 21:8 and Galatians 5:20-21 confirms this. Yet, here comes Jesus, the Son of Man and God in the Second Trinity, to take the place of such shameful sin and place it on Himself. This is love.

This is salvation. A free gift.

We were friends of this world and kin to sin; rebels to God and murderers of all things Holy. Daily we sin, grieve the Holy Spirit, doubt, turn our backs to God, leave un-repented sin, refuse to believe in God and accept His gift of salvation. These are enslaved free slaves. John 8:34 says, “Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.” However, as Jesus traded places with us. “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free” (John 8:36). “For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness.” (Romans 6:20) Hence, we can not serve two masters – as we are free from one, we must serve one.

Yet, there are those who profess one and return to their old ways. As Judah Smith puts it, “You can not shake yourself free. There’s no answer within yourself. There’s only ONE – The One who TOOK YOUR PLACE.” God wants your sin. He wants you to live; He has plans for you on Earth (“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11) and a life after this. His blood is sufficient; It IS finished.

Jesus is ENOUGH!

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If you feel bound to sin, if you haven’t given your life to the One who gave it to you. I want you to give me 60 more seconds – Just 1 minute. Turn off your television, surround yourself in quietness, clear your mind. Just for 1 minute. You don’t have to know God to pray to Him; you don’t have to be a Saint to seek Him as we all are sinners. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) With all your heart and soul say this prayer. Allow God to make Himself known to you; allow Him to break those chains on your feet and walk with Him; allow Him to love you.

 

God in Heaven, I acknowledge that I am Barabbas – a sinner who has rebelled against you. I no longer what that title, I want to be Your Child and a Brethren of Your Son, Jesus Christ. I am returning to You, Father, as a prodigal son, as a lost sheep and I know You are waiting with open arms and a celebration. I confess in my heart and with my tongue that Jesus is Lord. Jesus, please come into my heart and life, make a home in my soul. I accept You as my personal Savior and Lord. I want to be Your servant, and only Yours! Create a thirst in me to seek You, to do Your Will, to read Your Word, and share You with those I come into contact with. Though I may stumble, I believe and know You will be there to pick me up as You have already carried my burden on the Cross. These things I ask in Your Holy and Gracious Name. Amen.

Jesus is LOVING Barabbas – SERMON JAM

Here is an 8-minute sermon jam on who Barabbas really is. This will turn gears in your mind. Who do you think Barabbas was. Just another sinner? A horrible murderer? Or was he… US?

I will post a reflection on this tonight, in the meantime enjoy this sermon jam!

“You’re not CHRISTIAN enough,” says the liar.

I’ve had these thoughts in my head so many times I’ve lost count, and heard variations of these more than I’d want to.

It’s an insecurity problem. I asked God, “what should I write about today?” He said, “why not the main thing you struggle with.” You see, as confident as many people think I am – “Oh, Philly, you’re so head-strong with such a high self-esteem, people don’t get to you…” etc. This is only half-true. Sure, I don’t care what people think about me but I do care about how I’m representing God. It hurts to think I may mess up and bring shame to Our Community.

Now you know my biggest fear.

I understand that everyone is not perfect; we all sin, we all make mistakes, and we all fall short of God’s Glory. Is it wrong that I WANT to be perfect for Him, no pretending? (“You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48) There’s a difference between pretending to be something you’re not and actually striving for an unattainable goal. But it’s a fine line to those who can only go by what they see, as they do not know your heart. It’s a risk you have to take when you profess your faith. All eyes will be on you – no pressure.

The Devil is a liar. He says that you must concentrate on these eyes, instead of keeping yours on Jesus. He wants you to think about the thoughts of others, instead of having thoughts about Jesus. He tells you that you must satisfy man and God, however, your goal is to satisfy only God. Such blatant lies He slithers into our heads!

The only way to illustrate my Christianity is not merely by my words, but by my actions. I want to be fruitful, possessing fruits of the Holy Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23) but I understand this will not happen overnight. It is a gradual process. Therefore, we also can not expect others to change so quickly and steadily. Sometimes we get distracted on our Walk and step off the path for a bit; the important thing is not how fast we walk, but remaining on that narrow road, returning if we do take a wrong turn. So, do not misunderstand a fellow Christian’s expectations and realities. Expectations lead to judgement, realities lead to the truth. 

Remember: we are not perfect, though we serve a perfect God. We strive for perfection for HIS GLORY, and to make Him proud. But we’re already making Him proud every day when we choose Him or this world, when we thank Him, look to Him, speak with Him, and accept Him. Nothing else matters but Him, no one else matters except Him. Just keep your eyes on Him, love Him as He loves you.

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AMEN.

The Septuagint

The Septuagint

Change up your Bible Study, not by modernization this time, but from a historical perspective!

This is a link to the Septuagint, a historical, pre-Christian translation of the Hebrew Bible for Jews who spoke Koine Greek. Sometimes referred to as the “Greek Old Testament” or “LXX” it comprises of only the Old Testament and some related works. The translation occurred between 300-200 BC. The authors of the New Testament referenced to the Septuagint (it’s non-apocryphal parts.)

Aside from the regular 39 books in the Old Testament there are apocryphal books (ancient Jewish writing). The apocryphal books include: Judith, Tobit, Baruch, Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus), the Wisdom of Solomon, First and Second Maccabees, the two Books of Esther, additions to the Book of Daniel, and the Prayer of Manasseh. Please note: These apocryphal books are not canonical, or inspired by Go.

For early Christians who seek understanding of the Bible, I recommend the New Living Translation. However, as for the rest, use the Septuagint alongside the King James Version. For everyone, I recommend doing an in-depth Bible study occasionally. Take your Bible Study from a historical point-of-view and also study evangelical/difficult questions. You will notice a difference on your Walk!

This link includes the PDF file as well as audio, both can be accessed from the internet or saved to your computer.

Sharing is caring! God Bless you in your studies!

Your Perspective Changes Everything!

Have you ever flipped a horrible situation and turned it around, or a great situation and made it seem bleak? We’ve all heard of the “glass is half full not empty” view on life. What about your view on God? Who (or what) is God to you? How do you view Our Creator? Believe it or not but your perspective on God will affect your Walk with Him; and for nonbelievers, it may be the prime reason why you don’t believe. Sometimes, we view God incorrectly.

The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

– Proverbs 19:23

Okay, okay! I’ll admit I once had the wrong view on God, my specs were dirty and scriptures like these made me both uncomfortable and confused. That word: FEAR is a different meaning to us. Am I supposed to quake and hide whenever I feel God’s Presence? NO. Definitely not. In fact, the word we used to translate the Bible into English holds different meaning – a different kind of “fear.” We are told to “fear God” at least 100 times in the Bible, yet when He has appeared in some shape or form to people what would He say – yes, “fear not.”

Here are four different CORRECT PERSPECTIVES of what it means to “fear” the Lord:

1. Have you ever been to Niagara Falls or climbed a mountain and when you reached to the top you are amazed by it’s beauty. You hear the roar of the water, or see how small everything else got when you looked down over the cliff of that mountain. You are in awe, but you’re also not going to hang over the safety rails or step too over the cliff out of fear. In this perspective, we are “fearing” God by being in AWE of His Magnificence, His Power, and all that He is!

2. If you’re familiar with the Book of Proverbs you can recall that the fear of God is connected to wisdom. (Proverbs 1:7) Some translations have “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” while some substitute “beginning” for “foundation.” The “knowledge” the Bible speaks of is not textbook knowledge, nor street know-how but rather wisdom. The foundation of a house determines its longevity; a house with a strong foundation can weather a storm. If wisdom is our foundation then our perspective on everything is changed, including God and the world.

3. Fear can also mean our ability to trust in and respect God. For some of us God is simply our Consultant, He “advises” us to do certain things and His Word is simply a Book of “advice” not commands, not instructions. In this case we’d only follow parts that we agree with, commands that personally doesn’t require us to give up much. God is NOT a Consultant, He IS Our God. Consequently, we must fear Him in His instructions and follow them, all of them. 

Continue to remind yourself who God is and what He has done for us. The future He holds for us is always bright, no matter what adversities may arise!

Sinclair Ferguson defines the fear of the Lord as,

“That indefinable mixture of reverence, fear, pleasure, joy, and awe which fills our hearts when we realize who God is and what He has done for us.”

Daily Devotion: Blessed are the MEEK

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. – Matthew 5:5

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This week seems to dive into an introspection of our speech and personality and how it pertains to our Christianity. You should not aim to change yourself for the sake of “appearing righteous” because this will only lead to disappointment, discouragement, and possibly feeling like you are a “Failed Christian.” Such a deep change will occur overtime and purely on it’s own; in the meantime, it’s important to aim to show certain qualities to the world. We are Christ’s ambassadors and our lives show if living for God and not this world is actually worth it. Make a change…

Starting with being meek. 

It is one of the Beatitudes, it’s a prime quality of Our Savior and it is easier said than done. Meekness. What is being meek? When I hear the word ‘meek’ I immediately envision a prophet or Christ Himself; a soft voice, a still tongue, and a modest attire. Those are prime qualities linked with being meek. According to Wikipedia, words/phrases like “God-fearing, righteous, humble, teachable, patient under suffering, willing to follow Gospel teachings; an attribute of a true disciple” better describes the attributes of a meek person. This surpasses my personal definition by a long shot.

Look back at those attributes and ask yourself if you think you’re up to par yet.

God-fearing: the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. (Psalm 110:10) A complete understanding of who God is and what He can do will put things into perspective, thus roots wisdom.

Righteous: there are no righteous, sinless people on Earth. We must aim for righteousness by aiming to be sinless. By relying more on God and not on our own understanding we will yield less and less on our sinful desires.

Humble: Have you ever been boastful, prideful or show-offy? It happens to us all at times but we must aim for humility. Be modest in speech and dress, if you do then chances are you won’t have to apologize or swallow your words in the future.

Teachable: This means you must be able to take advice and criticism: a hard pill to swallow. Learn to simply nod and smile when someone advises you before speaking. If you continue to do this you’ll form a habit of accepting criticism without throwing over a table or arguing.

Patience under suffering: Patience is a virtue. I’ve had a lot of practice becoming more patient while waiting for government offices to handle any important documents I may need. Sure, you can take patience into your own hands by acknowledging that God is always in control… and you can always visit a government office as a cherry on top.

Willing to follow the Gospel teachings: Being willing and simply doing are completely different. If I am willing then I will not feel hampered by following God’s Word, I won’t feel self-deprived because I don’t mind being abstemious. Maybe this comes from growth in your Walk with God or simply your love for Him.

Remember that being meek does not mean you must be dull, lack-luster in personality, and lose all your characteristics. It is an addition and modification to your personality and is a blatant illustration that God is working within you by humbling you! In becoming meek, remember: to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. (Titus 3:2)

Prayer: Father, I thank You for all that You continuously do for me. I want to be more like Your Son, Jesus Christ. Please, help me and guide me to become more meek in a world that is boastful, prideful, and boisterous. May Your Holy Spirit fill me and humble my heart to Your likeness so that I may inherit the earth. This I ask in Your Holy Name. Amen.