Four Things to Get Ready for the School Year A Guest Post by: Sarah Susanna Rhomberg
Getting ready for school usually includes buying new pens, sorting our old school books, or maybe picking out a back-to-school outfit. Here are four other – maybe not so common – things you can do to prepare for the upcoming school year.
Praying for something is one of the best ways to prepare for it. Talk to God about your joys and your worries. Pray for your teachers. Ask Him to help you love the people around you – your teachers and your fellow pupils. Pray for courage to live your convictions and to be bold for Christ. Ask for opportunities to spread the gospel and courage to do so.
Prayer is the key to everything. Don’t ever underestimate the power of prayer. This is one of the best ways you can prepare for what is coming.
“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:13.16b, NIV
2. Schedule Your Quiet Time
Once the school year starts, your schedule will fill up in no time. Failing to plan is always planning to fail. If you wake up in the morning without knowing when you will spend time with God…you probably won’t spend time with Him at all – despite that resolution to read your Bible each day. To prevent this, plan ahead.
Think about what time would be best for you to do your devotionals this coming school year. Once you have figured that out, make it a firm date in your calendar/planner. Seriously, write it down. This won’t guarantee that you’ll actually spend time with God, but it does raise the chances!
“How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.” Psalm 119:9, NIV
3. Prepare Topics
Will micro and macro evolution be coming up in your biology class this year? Or will you be taking philosophy? Try to think ahead about what topics might be relevant, and which topics your classmates (especially if you do in-person school) may be talking about.
Once you’ve thought of a few (e.g. abortion, feminism and evolution), go and research it. Go and find out what the Bible says about it. Go and read about the other side. The only way to be prepared for conversations is to prepare, to know and own your faith.
“Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15, ESV
4. Get Excited and Look to God
Get excited about what God has in store for you this school year. He Himself promises that His plan is greater than we can ever imagine it will be. It may not be what we expect, it may not be what we want, but it will definitely be amazing.
Through all of this, focus on God. This is the most important. No matter what this school year brings, look to God. He is the one who can help us with any problem – big or small. He can bring peace into any situation. He should be the center of our lives in this school year and in all that follow.
“Look to the Lord and his strength. Seek His face always.” Psalm 105:4, NIV
~ Sarah Susanna Rhomberg a young writer who lives in Europe and is fluent in both English and German. When not writing, you will often find her reading or working on the organization of a camp for children – always with a mug of herbal tea at hand. Sarah wants to live her life for Christ and writes to glorify Him. Connect with her through her email list here.
A Special Announcement
I am immensely excited to be sharing some truly special news with you all today! *throws confetti*
First off, we have a new website domain! No longer do we go by christslightmagazine.weebly.com, we now have our own custom domain of christslightmagazine.com. Isn't that fantastic? A tremendous thank you goes out to our special website sponsor for making this happen, we are so very grateful for your generosity and kindness and are incredibly blessed by this.
Secondly, Christ's Light Magazine is returning to publication! *cheers* Coming this summer, we will be celebrating our fourth anniversary by beginning publication again with our long awaited issue themed on "God Given Femininity" and how we as daughters of the One True King trust God and dispel the lies of the devil the world throws at us concerning our God-given femininity (Psalm 139:14).
God has blessed us so much and I am genuinely thrilled to share this with all of you. Check back soon for our publication release date announcement!
And before you go, please peruse our site because it has been newly renovated into a lovely new design.
Are you excited? Let us know in a comment down below! :)
May God bless you abundantly!
What is Your Time Used For?
Let me ask you a question; what do you do with your day?
You probably have an entire schedule set up each day, so many things to accomplish – school, work, chores, activities, hobbies, ministries, etc – and sometimes it’s easy to slide into a mindset that revolves around one little word. Can anyone guess what this word is? Are you ready? It is the word "busy’".
Can you think of a time in your life that was especially full, a time where you slipped into the mindset of saying and thinking all of the time, “I am so busy!” Busyness can be a trap we fall into. How? You may ask. Well, when we let what is going on in our lives distract us from what is really important, such as God’s will for our lives and spending time doing what HE wants us to do, our “busyness” becomes a stumbling block.
Redeeming the time is so important in every aspect of our lives. Yes, school, work, etc, have to be done each day…but when we allow them to rule our lives and get stuck in the mode of “I’m busy!” then we miss what is most important! If we are too busy, what about the Lord and His Word? What about prayer? What about memorization? What about the opportunities the Lord brings into our life unexpectedly to serve Him? What
if in the middle of a normal “busy” day, a friend calls you up in tears and asks if you can come over and just sit with her to listen and be of comfort to her during a hard time. What will you answer? Will you answer, “Aw, I’m so sorry (friend), but I am just so busy today.” or will you let the Lord have dominion over your schedule? Will you let Him lead your day? Will you rearrange your schedule so you can take time for your friend, to take some of your time to be a messenger of Jesus to bring hope to your friend?
Time is ticking by, it can’t be stopped. I encourage you all to evaluate your lives and to see what is really keeping you “busy”. Is it earthly things, or eternal? Are you living your life for God, or for yourself? Yes, life is
full. It is full for everyone, and for each of us – each day – it’s a decision we have to make. Will we take our days and use them or Christ, or will we use them for ourselves?
Let’s free ourselves and revel in God’s freedom. When we align our lives and schedules to God’s plan for our lives, we will experience so much joy! We no longer have to live under the wearying title of “busy”; we will have a life that is filled to the brim – with Jesus.
Part of redeeming the time is to be putting Jesus first in all we do. When we take our time and put Jesus, His Word, prayer and memorization first in our lives, life is so joyful and full! I challenge you all, in any season of life you may be in, to really, really evaluate what you are doing and what opportunities you are either missing or accepting. Divine appointments happen, they really do, and what you do with them is the important thing.
Friends, let’s change this world today and everyday by living for Jesus in every aspect of our lives – let’s fill our lives to the brim with our Lord and His will for our lives! Let’s toss out the “busy” and replace it with the fullness of Christ. I challenge you as well as take the challenge myself, together we can do this!
Let me leave you with this verse, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." - James 1:2
God bless you all!
As Christians, showing love to others through Christ in our lives is so important! Love is the foundation of our lives; it is what we build our lives upon. Our love for our Savior, our love for our family, and then our love for others. Every aspect of our lives centers around love, so today I’m going to be sharing with you all 10 ways you can show love to those around you and be a light for Christ. I hope it encourages you!
1. Honor your parents.
The best way we can show our love to our parents is to honor and respect them. I know we all have our struggles with this, me included, but when we pray for God’s strength to live in a way that is pleasing to Him, honoring our parent’s will be something that freely flows from our hearts!
2. Love your siblings unconditionally.
Even when they are annoying you to death, pray for patience and treat them with kindness. They will notice the change in you! We all know that our siblings will either see and imitate our good behavior, or they imitate our bad attitudes and actions. Which do you want to be known for? The choice is yours.
3. Be ready to listen.
Sometimes listening is the greatest way we can show our love to those around us. Maybe it’s a Grandparent
who has a story to tell, a friend who lost a dream close to her heart, or a sibling who wants to tell you about
the butterfly she saw in the backyard today. Just listening and being there, showing you care, is one of the
greatest ways to show Christ’s love.
4. Do a favor.
Surprise someone by doing something special for them! Maybe it’s baking a batch of your family’s favorite cookies, doing a chore for a sibling, or walking the dog for your dad. The little things we do in life, when they are done in love, are actually really big things.
5. Send a card.
Taking the time to handwrite a message to someone and mailing it through the post is so rare nowadays! You can bless someone by writing them a card or letter and telling them know how much Jesus loves them and that you are praying for them. Think of the joy they will feel when they open their mailbox to find your note! This is another great way to be a witness for Christ as well. (Psst - check out The Smile Project to find ways to send lots of happy mail to people in need of encouragement!)
6. Use your talents.
Do you play an instrument? You can play for the people at your local elderly care center to bring them joy. Do you have artistic talent? You can create a piece and give it as a “just because” gift! Are you a cook? Surprise your parent’s by making the family dinner! All of these are simple, and yet profound, ways to show others not only our love, but Jesus’ too.
One of the most powerful ways to show our love for others is to pray for them. Prayer is so powerful, and God loves to listen to us. There are so many ways to pray for others. You can pray for their salvation, healing, safety, for them to know Jesus’ love for them, and so much more!
8. Give a hug.
This comes from an avid hugger, and I’ll tell you, a hug is one of the best ways to show your love. Just hugging a parent, sibling or friend can make their day and show them how much you really care.
9. Lend a hand.
When you’re at the supermarket, do you see an elderly lady or gentleman who is having trouble un-loading their cart at the checkout? You can spread Christ’s love by reaching out and giving them a hand!
You can show Christ’s love by volunteering at various local organizations, such as a food bank, soup kitchen, mom’s pregnancy center, and so on! All of the people who come to those places will be so blessed by your smile and willing heart, and there will be so many ways to witness while there. Always ask your parent’s permission before volunteering anywhere.
There are so many wonderful Bible verses on loving one another as well.
Below are a few examples I hope will be helpful to you.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one
another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
1 John 4:11
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
“But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High…”
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
1 John 3:16
“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us…”
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
May God bless you all as you strive to love others as Christ has loved us!
Check Out a Brand New Book Called "Anything" Featuring Our Columnist Sarah Susanna Rhomberg!
Today I get to share with you all about "Anything", a brand new book that released April 26th, 2021. I am honored to be apart of their book tour - so please enjoy reading about it below!
"He was willing to do anything.
Talk about anything, they said.
She hadn’t ever done anything.
You can do anything.
In this heartwarming collection, thirteen Christian authors weave tales both historical and contemporary in a variety of imaginative settings. Anything features characters stretched to their limits: a pencil and a crayon who are best friends, a Tea-Dragon with a mischievous and mysterious habit, a terminally ill child with a lovely wish. In these pages, you’ll discover an eccentric gentleman who never stops reading, a foster boy who makes up in appetite what he lacks in conversational skills, and a single mother with a fault-finding mother-in-law and five rambunctious children who haven’t learned respect for a living room.
Watch as a couple sacrificially prays for a lost and dying sister-in-law, a young lady tearfully talks her best friend through a coma, a courageous brother offers to lay down himself for others, a camera-shy teenager faces her greatest fear, and a music camp applicant struggles mightily with writing an interesting bio. Warmth, hope, and encouragement pervade the pages, echoing the theme of “anything” from a refreshing variety of angles both insightful and entertaining, spiritually profound and eternally valuable. These short pieces will delight and encourage the whole family."
About the Authors:
Rebekah Morris is a homeschool graduate, an enthusiastic freelance author, and a passionate writing teacher. Her books include, among others, Home Fires of the Great War, The Unexpected Request, Gift from the Storm, and her best-selling Triple Creek Ranch series. Some of her favorite pastimes, when she isn’t writing, include reading and coming up with dramatic and original things to do. The Show-Me state is where she calls home.
Connect with Rebekah here.
An avid reader and incurable story-spinner, Angie Thompson also enjoys volunteering in her church’s children’s program and starting (but not always finishing) various kinds of craft projects. She currently lives in central Virginia near most of her incredible family, including two parents, six brothers, one sister, and five siblings-in-law—plus four nieces, six nephews, and several assorted pets!
Connect with Angie here.
Jaybird Summers lives in a rural town in Southern Tennessee. She enjoys reading, baking, and writing stories that bring joy to others. When not spending time with her friends or reading, she is most likely to be found in her tree where she comes up with all her good (and sometimes not so good) ideas!
Connect with Jaybird here.
Jae Fisher currently lives in Upstate South Carolina with her family. She likes to read and write in her free time. She hopes to publish her novel series, The Dares Chronicles.
Connect with Jae here.
Courtenay Burden is a homeschool graduate, an unconquerable bookworm, and a Victorian enthusiast. She is passionate about good and great literature—writing that embodies both literary and spiritual excellence. She believes that good and great books are a powerful tool in Christ’s kingdom and she seeks to use that tool for His glory in her vintage-style fiction.
Connect with Courtenay here.
Tiffany Michele fell in love with the written word at a young age. Following God and this passion, the next thing she knew she was writing a book! And another and another. Working from home in the lovely state of Oklahoma, Tiffany is surrounded by three dogs, a flock of chickens, and a small pride of cats. She can be found writing or doing some form of art with a dog at her feet and a blanket or two on her lap.
Connect with Tiffany here.
Brianna Burden is a homeschool graduate, graphic designer, part-time teacher, and on-the-side writer. She loves all things musical, and her hobbies focus themselves around friends, singing, chocolate, and creating beautiful things. You’re sure to find a smile on her face if all her hobbies have a chance to converge in one event!
Connect with Brianna here.
Chelsea Burden is a homeschool graduate, a first-generation Anabaptist, and a passionate word-lover who enjoys dabbling in etymology (not entomology!) and routinely adds bona fide words to spellcheck. She loves books, people, and Jesus—and chickadees, hymns, snowflakes, and having a good time with friends. She lives in Canada and spends her days writing and doing whatever else comes to hand in her three-generational home.
Connect with Chelsea here.
Hannah Foster has enjoyed journaling and blogging since her teen years and discovered a love for penning her own stories in her mid-twenties. Hannah’s desire is that the words she writes would bring hope, joy, and light in a dark world. If you don’t find her reading or writing, you will probably find Hannah in the kitchen baking.
Connect with Hannah here.
Sarah Susanna Rhomberg (Our very own columnist!) is a young writer who lives in Europe and is fluent in both English and German. When not writing, you will often find her reading or working on the organization of a camp for children—always with a mug of herbal tea at hand. Sarah wants to live her life for Christ and writes to glorify Him.
Connect with Sarah here.
Erika Mathews writes Christian living books, both fiction and non-fiction, that demonstrate the power of God in ordinary people, transforming daily life into His resting life. The author of the kingdom adventure fiction series Truth from Taerna, she’s passionate about encouraging others to intimately know Jesus. She enjoys playing with her children, editing, anything outdoors, being organized, autumn, apple crisp, and sunrises.
Connect with Erika here.
Born and raised in Texas, Andrea Renee Cox turned her fascination with reading into a career of two varieties: writing and editing. Her articles have been published on her blog, Writing to Inspire, and My Book Therapy’s Weekly Spark, and she’s copyedited for award-winning authors and several publishing companies. Additional short stories may be found on her website.
Connect with Andrea here.
Mary Polyakov is an extroverted book devourer whose childhood adventures in milking goats, growing whatever fit in a handy container, picking nettles, getting lost in forests and books, and exploring with her siblings gave her a love of story and adventure, which led to a combination of the two. She strives to write what honors God and celebrates the things about sibling relationships and friendship that build up instead of tear down.
Connect with Mary here.
13 Christian women. 13 short pieces. 1 book. You’re in for a treat! Release date: April 26, 2021 #AnythingKDWC
Coming to a retailer near you! Anything, a King’s Daughters’ Story Collection - you don't want to miss it!
Find it on Amazon by clicking here!
Also find it wherever books are sold!
What is Hope?
Hope. What do you think of when you hear that word? We all say it probably several times each day – about anything and everything. I hope I win that writing contest…I hope I feel better tomorrow…I hope she won’t be mad at me…I hope mom lets me help her with dinner…I hope I get to see my friend this week…We say it literally about everything. However, in reality, what does hope truly mean?
A quick internet search brings up several different definitions of the word, such as “Hope is an optimistic
state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one's life or the world at large.” I think that probably sums up our usual thought when we think of hope.
But where does hope come from? Where is it found? Where does it originate?
Let’s start with the first question. Where does hope come from? Well, in Romans 15:13, we read, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Read the beginning again. “The God of hope…”, if God is the God of hope then that informs us that hope comes from God. He has given us the beautiful emotion and thought process that we all call hope.
In the original language of the New Testament, Greek, we find hope in the form of the word, “elpis”. “Elpis” is defined as, “expectation of good, hope in the Christian sense, joyful and confident expectation of eternal
Where is hope found? It is found in our Savior Jesus Christ. Hope outside of Jesus is short lived and disappointing. It’s so sad when we look out at the world and see so many people searching for something to fill them, hoping repeatedly in different things – and never finding the satisfaction and true hope they so desperately search for.
Where does hope originate? It originates with our Creator. He created it, and bestowed it upon each of us. What a beautiful gift! Can you imagine your life; minus the emotion/thought process, we call hope? I certainly cannot!
However, what do we do with hope? How can we share it? If our hope is found in Jesus, then as we read in Romans, He will fill us with all joy and peace in believing in Him so that we may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Abounding in hope can be so many things, much more than just a positive outlook on life. It’s knowing where your soul lies in eternity, and looking into the world and seeing the people who
don’t have that assurance. It’s reaching out and sharing that hope with those people. It’s living for Jesus every single day. It’s one day hearing those beautiful words at heavens gates, “Well done, thou good and faithful
servant. Enter into the joy of your Father.”
How do we share our hope? Hope expresses itself in many ways, such as joy, confidence, kindness, caring for others…and so much more. When hope in Jesus is at the center of our lives, everything we do flows from it. From helping an elderly neighbor, to smiling at a random stranger, to sending a card to a friend, to washing the dishes for your sibling, to paying for the person behind you's order at a coffee shop, to just lifting your hands in worship to our Creator as the sun shines down on you from above. When hope is at the center of everything we do, our entire world changes. Kindness rules. God’s Word is spread to every corner of the world. Why?
Because this hope is impossible to keep to yourself. It is physically impossible to suppress it. When we ask Jesus into our lives, His hope takes over and never let’s go. No matter what happens, even when things bring us down, that hope never fails. Because everything passes, except hope. Hope will never fail. Shine your God given hope to everyone you meet and lets change this world together.
I hope you’ll join me.
5 Christian Podcasts I Listen to While I Walk - A Guest Post by Sarah Susanna Rhomberg
I’m a walker. I love a good walk, preferably in nature. Even though I live in a city, there are some fields near my house where I can walk, and for a while I did so almost every day. As I walk, I like doing something. Sometimes I pray. Sometimes I work on memorizing Scripture. Often, I listen to podcasts. Here are some of my favorites.
1. Have You Heard?
I only recently discovered this podcast, which is hosted by Emma Mae Jenkins. Let me tell you: it’s amazing! Emma is such a ray of sunshine – just listening to her brightens my day. She has so much of the Bible hidden away in her heart that it naturally flows into what she says. This podcast covers anything in the Christian, from memorizing scripture to managing time. I think my favorite episode is on that topic, titled “Saying ‘Yes’ to Too Many Things”. The name of this podcast comes from Romans 10:17, where it says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (ESV)
2. Age of Minority
If you enjoy some playful banter, this podcast is for you. Father and daughter duo, Sean and Jaquelle, are professional banterers. Or, at least they are the best banterers I have ever heard. After a good ten minutes of back-and-forth, they transition into their weekly topic. This podcast is targeted towards teens, as well as youth workers or the parents of teens.
3. Ask Pastor John
In Ask Pastor John, listeners send in questions, which John Piper answers – one in each episode. These questions can be about anything from theology to current events. I may not agree with every single tiny thing John Piper says, but his answers to the questions are very helpful and are biblically based. I love learning from him. These podcast episodes are especially practical because they are all short, most of them about 10 to 15 minutes. Perfect for a quick walk!
4. The Girl Defined Show
This is a new podcast; it was started a few weeks ago. I have been blessed before by Girl Defined Ministries, especially through their website and their books. Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal speak all about what God’s design is for women, for femininity. Their message is that since God was the one to design us, he too should be the one to define us. Not every episode is for everyone and for every age and every person in every season of life, but the episode titles give a good description of the content and help you evaluate if it is for you.
5. Set Apart Girl
The Set Apart Girl podcast is another one specifically for ladies. Leslie Ludy, the host, has so much wisdom, which she shares bi-weekly. Recently, she has been doing a series on prayer, which I have enjoyed very much and can definitely recommend.
Tell Me Below
Are you a walker or a runner? Do you know any of these podcasts? What podcasts do you like listening to?
PS: The Spring 100 Challenge is a yearly walking or running challenge and it is starting soon! The goal is to walk or run 100 miles in spring. Be sure to read about and think about signing up here.
***As always, seek God's will first in what He would have you listening to and if you are younger, please ask your parents permission before listening to any of these podcasts.
~ Sarah Susanna Rhomberg is a writer for CLM, who lives in Europe and is fluent in both English and German. When not writing, you will often find her reading or working on the organization of a camp for children – always with a mug of herbal tea at hand. Sarah wants to live her life for Christ and writes to glorify Him. Connect with her through her email list here.
Thankful, Grateful, Blessed
Thankfulness. What are some things that come to your mind when you think on that word? My train of thought leads me towards things like saying thank you to people when they do something for me, having a heart of thankfulness towards God, not having an attitude of entitlement, and living a life of gratefulness.
Those all sound like nice things in our minds, but when put to practice they can actually be pretty hard! Why? Because as part of our fallen nature, we are naturally inclined to ungratefulness and dissatisfaction.
But as Christians, we have the power through Christ to live lives that reflect Him, which means our lives are different from the worlds. The world lives for, “What’s next?”, never being satisfied with what they have. We as Christians should look at what we have and say, “What can I GIVE?”. See the difference there? We have a heavenly mindset, whereas they have an earthly mindset. That’s not to say our mindset can’t slip away from heavenly things and onto earthly, it’s happened to me more than once. It’s a constant struggle, but one we can win through the power of our Savior.
Let’s look into a few things that can help us keep our mindset above, and cultivate a heart of gratefulness to our Savior.
Spend time with Jesus.
When we spend time with our Savior, we are learning about Him, taking His Words – His commands – to heart. And written all throughout the Bible we read example upon example about thankfulness and what happens when our priorities are either here on earth or up above in heaven.
Memorize verses pertaining to this subject.
As I mentioned before, there is a plethora of verses pertaining to this subject so why not memorize some of them so they come to mind when we are tempted in this area? Here are a few for consideration:
1 Chronicles 16:34
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Colossians 3:15, 17
And so many more…
Ask God to create a heart of thankfulness in you! He loves to give good gifts to His children and this is no exception. So ask Him, He is always there to listen and knows the deepest thoughts and desires of your heart.
Take inventory of what you have.
What do I mean by this? Look around your home. Do you have food in the fridge? Do you have clothes in your closet? Do you have a bed covered in warm blankets? Do you have soap in your shower? Does your roof have no leaks? Then you are so, so blessed! There are so many people in this world who have nothing but a few rags to cover their bodies, and here we are with all of this and yet struggling with ungratefulness. We truly have SO much to be grateful for! We have so much, even beyond what we actually need. So, look around at that which you have and then…
Look and see what you can give.
What can you give of what you have? We all have something we can give – every single one of us – so here’s a list to help you get started:
While at the grocery store; is there anything you can bless the food bank with? (*food banks can do far more with monetary donations than physical items however, so that is also an option)
Go through your closet; I guarantee you’ll find at least something you can give to someone you know in need or to your local shelter or non-profit thrift shop.
Use your talent! Do you know how to play an instrument? Offer to give lessons to children in a family in your group who you know would love to learn, but just can’t afford the expense. Can you sing? Use that talent to bring happiness to others whether it be in your Church or maybe in a local elderly care center. Are you an artist? You can teach others your skill, or create pieces to give to others or to sell and give the profits to Christian organizations to bring help to others.
A thankful heart manifests itself outwardly too, so be that ray of sunshine! Shine your thankful, happy heart into all the areas of your life and the people therein. Set an example.
I’ve seen the effects in my own life of just purposing to be thankful. I can find myself looking at my life and only seeing the things I wish I had, when in reality, if I would just change my mindset to what I have already been gifted from God, it changes the entire thought! Keeping my eyes on heaven, I know that I have enough. And the things I need will always be taken care of by God. There is no need for worry. As Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV) so beautifully puts it, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” What a beautiful way to sum up this article!
So friends, keep your eyes on heaven and take every opportunity you can to practice thankfulness and to remove unsatisfaction from your life. You will experience so much joy as you lead your life in line with the beautiful plan our Savior had for us all along. I’m taking this challenge as much as giving it – will you join me?
Shine Like a Sunbeam
The sun is bright, isn’t it? It’s so bright that if you stare at it for more than a swift moment, you will experience permanent eye damage. What other things can you think of that are bright? Flashlights, candles, headlights…hmmm, candles. You want to know where I’m going with this? All of these things are very bright visually, but internally you are brighter. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, confess our sins and He changes our lives to reflect His we become shining beacons of light for others to follow, ultimately leading to our Savior Jesus.
How do we be those beautiful candles for Jesus? How can we be Christ's Light? There are so many things but in this devotional I’m going to focus on encouragement. Encouragement is one of my favorite words. Why? Because being encouraging and kind is one of the top things we can do as Christians not only to other Christians, but to unbelievers too.
How can we be encouraging? Here is a list I have compiled of things you can do to be an encouragement – a candle – to others. And this is only scratching the surface…
~Smile at everyone you see. A smile can literally turn someone’s day from bad to glad just by that simple act.
~ Hold a door open for the person behind you.
~ Help an elderly person you see at the grocery store and perhaps even give them a tract!
~ Pay for the person behind you in line’s meal/drink/etc.
~ Send a text, email, or make that phone call to someone you love to surprise them and make their day
~ Check on people. The people who appear strongest face the hardest battles inside, so even if someone seems put together, be sure to check on them along with the people you know need checking in on.
~ Do a favor! Clean the dishes for your sibling, wash the car for your dad, do the laundry for your mom – there are so many ways to do a favor for someone!
~ Bake cookies and give with a tract to a neighbor, friend, mail carrier, dentist, doctor – you name it!
~ Offer to help someone. Whether it be babysitting for the busy mom in your group, or volunteering at a homeless shelter, do good and help people! (Always ask parents permission beforehand.)
~ Send a letter or package. Do you know someone who is sick, or maybe an elderly shut in? Put together a stuffed letter or small package full of little goodies to brighten their day.
~ Use your talents. Are you musically inclined? Offer to play at your local elderly car center. Are you creative? Use your creative talents to make things you can either gift to others or sell and use the profits for Christian organizations.
~ Give a hug to those you love. Hugs just make people happy, so spread them around!
Encouragement is so important in our lives, it truly is. To stress this fact, picture this. Our world, with everyone on it, but void of all kindness. Can you imagine it? I can, and it is a dismal, sad, wretched sight. Our Lord calls us to be kind, to be filled with light so that through that light He can shine through to those who need Him.
Have you ever met someone who is like a sunbeam, and in the midst of that light you can clearly see Jesus standing in the midst of them? I have, and those people are true treasures. I don’t know about you, but I want to be one of those shining sunbeams for Jesus!
A lot of people ask this question, and I want to ask it of you as well to truly make you think: When you leave this earth, what do you want people to remember about you? Do you want to be remembered as someone who was dismal, negative, unhappy – a rain cloud – or do you want them to remember you as happy, encouraging, kind – a sunbeam – for Jesus? It’s a sobering thought! So, let’s make a point to be the beautiful lights Jesus created us to be.
Together, let’s change this world. Let’s “knock people down with kindness” and watch how it makes an impact for Jesus. I dare you today, go do something beautiful for Jesus, then do the same tomorrow, the next day and the next and watch how your life and the lives of those around you change for Jesus. The world will never be the same.
I recently read a super good book and wanted to share it with you all! “Undaunted” by Christine Caine is one of the best books I’ve read in quite a while.
To borrow from the back cover, it says this about the book:
“Embrace your identity as God's beloved, step out of your own brokenness, and bring hope to a darkened world.
You have a calling to fulfill. Are you ready to take the risk of moving past your past to fulfill it? Christine Caine faced hurdles that seemed insurmountable--abuse, abandonment, and the loss of a child. Yet she decided to answer God's call on her life no matter where it would lead her. Many times, the only thing that kept her going was knowing that she was God's beloved. She was God's chosen. Secure in those truths, she moved beyond her pain so she could live the adventure of bringing God's light and love to others around the world.
In this updated and expanded edition of her bestselling book, Undaunted, Christine challenges you to embrace the reality of God's love so you can speak it to others as you live out your own unique calling. As Christine writes, "Love like Christ's can lift you out of betrayal and hurt. It can deliver you from any mess. Love like that can release you from every prison of fear and confusion. And love like God's can fill you up till it spills out of you, and you have to speak about it, share it, spread it around."
You already have all you need to bring hope to others. With additional biblical teaching, new stories, and a new epilogue, this updated and expanded edition of Undaunted will awaken you to how God wants to work through you and in you as you dare to become who God created you to be.”
It’s about stepping out and being who God created you to be and doing what He’s created you to do – without fear. Drawing on stories from her personal past, and using Biblical analogies and quoting many Scriptures, this book feels personal - like the author is talking right to you.
I was personally very encouraged and inspired by this book and think you will be too! I recommend it for ages fourteen plus due to certain topics regarding her ministry A21 that fights human trafficking.
Happy reading and never forget to shine Christ's Light bright wherever you are!
Hey friends! I'm Livy, founder and designer of CLM. First and foremost I am a follower of Jesus, and besides that I am a ministry leader, small business operator and writer. I love putting words to paper, going to Starbucks, photography, connecting with friends and much more. This is a place for me to share encouragement with you all. I hope you will enjoy your stay. :)