As a special sneak peek of our upcoming issue releasing, Lord willing, February 1st - you get to read Editor Olivia's take on the topic "The Beauty of God-Given Femininity" before anyone else! Please enjoy!
Being a woman is such a gift. It truly is. Before you were born, God chose you to be His daughter! What a beautiful thought! Of course, it’s equally as incredible that God choses men to be His sons, but in this article we’re focusing on us, women.
We’ve been blessed beyond measure to have been given the role of womanhood. God chose you specifically to be a woman, for His amazing will.
The world tends to throw a lot of lies at women, doesn’t it? They say we have to look a certain way, be a certain weight, wear certain clothes, wear makeup every day or else we’re “ugly”. We have to, we have to, we have to.
The world has done a number on women. It’s obvious. When you turn on the tv, what do you see? Commercials of women who all look alike, who are all adhering to those lies mentioned above. Little girls are brought up seeing that, being fed those lies that if they don’t look a certain way, talk a certain way, do this or that then they are weird and something is wrong with them. They’re given these modern dolls who are designed to look like grown up women wearing layers upon layers of makeup. Click here to see the dolls I’ve been seeing everywhere - in stores, on tv, etc. It’s incredibly sad, it really is.
Why is this happening? How has this happened? It started with the fall of man when Eve ate of the forbidden fruit and therefore all humankind was destined to sin. But by God’s grace alone, we have been given a Savior from sin and death – His name is Jesus.
It continues to this day. The devil knows that if he can get women to believe his lies, then he’s already into your home. Once the woman of the home believes these lies, she’ll project them on her family, on her children, on her little girl(s) and then the devil has a hold on the next generation. And it’s been happening for years! Decades! Our world’s view of women continually becomes more and more debase with each passing year.
When will this stop? What can we do?!
We as daughters of the Most High God can rise up! By His grace alone we will not succumb to the devil’s lies about who we are, what we are, what we should be – no. Our worth, our image, our beauty comes from God. He created us in His own image! How amazing is that? Just as we bear resemblance to our earthly father, we also bear our Heavenly Father’s image! It’s such a beautiful thought.
Our worth is not in the number on the scale, the size of clothes we wear, the brand of makeup we feel we have to apply (and I’m not condemning the use of makeup, only the world’s worship of it and the “perfect” photoshopped image projected on women) – our worth comes from one Person alone. And that Person is God/Jesus. He created you just as you are – a beautiful, gorgeous, incredible woman. He created your body how it is; He created your hair just the texture and type it is, He created those eyes of yours that sparkle when you smile. Every single aspect of you was created with love by God. And you know something else? Every single person on earth is different. God in His infinite love handcrafts each and every one of us to be different. And that’s beautiful.
God has created you a woman, with God given femininity. Block out the lies the devil is constantly throwing at you. Embrace your God given beauty. You are worth far more than rubies.
I know it’s hard, believe me. It’s so easy and tempting to believe these lies. So easy to just give in. Because afterall, that’s exactly what satan wants you to do. Afterall, things would be so much easier if you did. You’d get the worlds attention, fame, the friends, everything the world loves. You’d have all of that. But would you be happy? Would you be fulfilled? Would you feel beautiful? And most of all, would you be honoring your Creator?
No. You know you wouldn’t. You’d constantly be in a tailspin, always trying to look as good as someone else, always needing more, always trying to change yourself to fit this “mold” of how you “should” look. It would drain you. That sparkle in your eye would fade. Your joyful demeanor would change to a dark one. You’d constantly live thinking “if only”. And your Father would be far from your mind as you became obsessed with an unattainable image. The devil would then have won. He’s got you in the holds of his lies, and if he’s got you, he’s got a wide-open door to your family and friends. Now he can bring even more people down, down, down.
Isn’t that the saddest picture? But that doesn’t have to be your story. God has an incredible story all planned out for you if only you’d follow Him. He wants you to believe His truths. He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins, so that we would be able to believe, to be forgiven and to have a relationship with Him. This relationship, it’s the most wonderful thing you can imagine.
So, be the woman He has created you to be. Uniquely you. The weight, height and size He created. Hair color, skin color and eye color He created. Talents, interests and gifts He created. Be her. Be a woman of God who cares not what the world wants from her, but only how she can serve her Heavenly Father.
For this is where true happiness and beauty is found.
*If any of you need prayer or advice or encouragement on this subject, please feel free to contact me on the contact page.
Recently, I wrote about productivity from a Biblical perspective. Today, I would like to ask you a question. Or rather, I have already asked you the question, for it is the title of this article: Has productivity become your idol? Before you have a chance to answer defensively, let’s break the question down and clear up some definitions.
As mentioned in the last article, the Cambridge dictionary defines “productivity” as: “the ability to do as much work as possible in a particular period”. For more on that, go and read Productivity from a Biblical Perspective.
The second word we have to clear up is “idol”. When teaching children, I define an idol as something – anything – that is more important to us than God. Absolutely anything that has taken that #1 place in our hearts. Anything we value more than our relationship with our Lord and Savior.
That may sound simple. Too simple. But truly, that’s what it is. In other words, anything can become an idol – including productivity.
The idol called “productivity”
In our time and age, it is easy to make productivity an idol. Society puts a lot of pressure on us to live productive lives. Therefore, it is no surprise that many fall into this trap. Most people don’t even realize they are worshiping productivity. That leads us to the next question.
How can I know if I have made productivity an idol?
There are many ways to identify idols in your life. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to get started regarding this one:
- Do I measure how good my day was by how much I got done?
- Is it difficult for me to spend time resting in God’s presence because I feel like I should be “doing” something?
- Do I hurry through tasks instead of doing them well, just because I want to get as much done as possible?
- Am I tempted to multitask during my Quiet Time?
- Do I like reading my Bible early in the day, so that I can tick it off my to-do list?
There are many more things you can ask yourself, but these are a few to get you started. If you found yourself saying “yes” to one or multiple of these, it can well be that productivity has taken a place above God in your heart.
How can I fight this idol?
The way to fight the idol called productivity is the same way we must fight any idol. There are three steps you can follow as a guideline.
Discovering an idol in your life is a serious thing. The Bible clearly says in the 10 commandments that God must be the most important in our lives. If He isn’t, we must humbly come before Him and ask for forgiveness. If you do this, He will forgive, since He has promised this (If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. John 1:9)
2. Turn away
The next logical step is to turn away from the sin in our lives. We cannot do this on our own, but with God’s help, we can. Pray for wisdom and help regarding this. Often, it also helps to ask a friend to hold you accountable. There is something uncomfortable about having to tell someone about how we deliberately didn’t do what we wanted to do. Use that to your advantage.
3. Turn to God
Turning away from the sin doesn’t help if we don’t turn to God at the same time. The only way to keep idols from our life is to make sure that Jesus is our #1. Keep your focus on Him. Keep Him on the throne of your life.
Seek the Lord and His strength; seek his presence continually! (Psalm 105:4)
It is easy to fall into the trap of making productivity an idol. But, with Christ’s help, it is possible to get out of it again. God is always there to help you, and no matter what, He wants to be the #1 in your life.
We hope you enjoyed this two part series by our columnist, Sarah! If you did, please leave her a comment! God bless you all!
Productivity. It’s one of those “trendy” words that have been around for a while, but still are “in”. You might have seen posts like “how to be more productive”, you may have downloaded a “productivity app” or even read books on the topic.
As Christians, it is always important to look at anything society says through a biblical lens. Before we do that, though, we must always be sure to clarify what we mean when we use certain words.
According to the Cambridge dictionary, “to be productive” means: resulting in or providing a large amount or supply of something and “productivity” is: the ability to do as much work as possible in a particular period.
In other words, the more you manage to get done in one day, the better.
What the Bible says about time management
We have probably all read this verse so, so many times: “[Make] the best use of the time” (Ephesians 5:16a). The Bible tells us to use our time wisely. Time is a gift from God and what we make of it, is our gift back to Him.
When I was younger, one of my favorite quotes was: “Time here on earth is limited. Use it or lose it.” I sadly cannot remember by whom it is.
From what we can see until now, it looks like the Bible supports the idea of productivity. But we must go deeper. We must look at the One who alone is perfect.
Did Jesus live a “productive” life?
To answer this question, we must once again remind ourselves of the definition of the word. Productivity is “the ability to do as much work as possible in a particular period”. Was that the way Jesus lived? Did Jesus do as much as possible in a day?
No. We can see at many occasions that he didn’t. Even when there was lots and lots to do, Jesus stopped for the one. My favorite example of this is in Mark 5.
Jesus is busy. He is surrounded by crowds upon crowds of people. In addition to that, he must hurry to get to a certain place. An important man is waiting for him. That man is Jairus. But on his way, something, or rather someone, holds him up. A woman.
And Jesus stops and turns. He has a lot to do, and yet, Jesus “wastes” time on the woman.
The difference between productivity and using our time wisely
The Bible tells us to use our time wisely. It does not tell us to do as much as possible in one day. The question we should ask ourselves again and again should not be How much can I fit into my schedule today?
Instead, the question should be What does God want me to do today? If we do what Christ wants us to do, some days it may look like we are “wasting” time on the wrong things. Our peers might condemn us for that.
In those situations, however, you can remember that you are in good company. Jesus did that as well. He “wasted” time on the right people instead of being productive in the wrong things. The truth is that time spent on what God wants us to do is never wasted.
So, dear sister, go stop for the one. Go “waste” time on the people around you. Go spend your time wisely… not productively.
Stay tuned for part two coming next week! :)
Happy Fall! We're so excited to release our Fall 2020 Issue centering around the theme of "Loving Others Through Jesus" today! *throws confetti*
Over 70 pages long, filled with beautiful articles, original artwork, and much more - you won't want to miss this jam packed issue!
We also have a super special guest being interviewed this time around! Hint: it may have to do with our previous post! :)
If you're subscribed, check your inboxes and let us know what you think! And if you're new here, subscribe for free on our contact page!
May God bless you all abundantly!
Wow, where to begin on this incredible book? I was extremely blessed to be a part of the launch team of this wonderful book and let me tell you, it did not disappoint!
Having read books of similar kind and finding some of them not engaging and sometimes boring even, I have to be completely honest and say I was just a little bit skeptical before I began this book. But I was so thrilled to have been proven completely wrong with this one!
Though geared towards teenagers, this book resonated with me, encouraged me, and inspired me even if I'm no longer a teen.
Author Sara Barratt goes into many different topics facing young people today, giving helpful and relatable ways to seek Jesus over EVERYTHING. Because He is worth more than anything on this earth vying for our attention. Involvement with our local Church, social media, relationships and much, much more are covered in this publication. Sara uses stories of life lessons she and others have learned in their walk with Christ, making it even more interesting!
I give this book a solid 5 stars and recommend it to anyone young (or old!) wanting to be challenged and encouraged in the Christian faith. I simply loved reading a chapter a day in this book and recommend it to anyone (boy or girl) ages 12+!
To get your copy today, find Sara on Amazon. Happy reading!
Hi friends! We are so excited to announce that our founder Olivia Bell has partnered with Jessica Lippe and her ministry Girlz 4 Christ and is now a published author! This is such a blessing from the Lord and she is so thankful for the opportunity!
Available on Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback, you won't want to miss the encouragement contained in this book. With 80 devos by 27 different authors you'll love this book and want to share it with friends!
Click here to get your copy today!
This article is taken from our just published 3rd Anniversary June/July Issue! Please subscribe to read more amazing articles just like this. :)
God’s greatness is such a deep, vast topic it would take up a million pages to even get started, so I’d like to focus on six aspects of His greatness that stick out to me and then you can take it from there and discover more about His greatness in your own life.
God’s love is incredible. Have you ever just taken a moment to ponder it? It’s deeper and wider than the ocean, it outnumbers every grain of sand on the earth – it is immeasurable. He loves us SO much, more than we can comprehend. He loved us – adored us – so much that He gave His only Son to die so we could live with Him forever. There’s not a better, more perfect image of love than that.
Our God is merciful, as we read time and time again in the Bible. What is His mercy? Synonyms for the word include: benevolence, blessing, forgiveness, generosity, goodwill, grace, sympathy, favor, kindliness, softheartedness, tenderness and more. Isn’t that beautiful? God is all of those things and more wrapped up in His beautiful aspect of mercy.
God’s amazing aspect that grants us the ability to live with Him forever – His forgiveness. No matter what we have done on this earth, no matter what’s been done to us, none of that matters because He forgives us. Through His Son whom He gave to die an excruciating death to pay for our sins – each and every one of our sins – we have the ability to come to God through Jesus, to truly repent and ask forgiveness for our sins and it will be granted to us. Just think about that. He loves us so, so much that He will do everything so we can live with Him forever. I’ve never heard of Anyone greater.
Another aspect of God’s greatness is His kindness. Over and over and over in the Bible we read about His kindness towards mankind. In the garden He clothed Adam and Eve, He gave Noah wisdom to build the Ark, He was kind to Abraham in saving Isaac, He saved Daniel from the lions den, He gave David the ability to conquer Goliath – I could go on forever and those are only instances in the Bible. Look around your life today for tell-tale signs of God’s kindness and I guarantee you one hundred percent you won’t come up empty.
God’s Son, Jesus Christ – the Savior of the world – God’s greatest gift to man. He sent His Son to die for us in order that we could live forever in Heaven with Himself, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. If that doesn’t fill you with awe of God’s greatness, then I don’t know what will. When Christ was born, the world was never the same and when we accept Him into our hearts, we are never the same. What greatness.
Look around you! Every single thing you see was created by God. Every mountain, every valley, every ocean, every tree – and especially you – were all created by Him. Man is His greatest creation, fashioned in the likeness of God Himself. Isn’t that incredible? You are fashioned in the likeness of God; therefore you have no right to ever think of yourself as ugly – ever – because you are created by God who is perfect, and you bear His likeness. Think of the cells in the human body, the brain, the eyes – unimaginable in how to create to a human, and yet God designed them all.
God is so great; He loves us, He is merciful towards us, He forgives us, He is kind towards us, He gave His Son for us, He created us…He deserves our infinite praise. May we never underestimate His greatness.
I am so thrilled to release our June/July, 3rd Anniversary Addition Issue of Christ's Light Magazine! I hope and pray it is of encouragement and inspiration to each of you in your personal walks with Jesus!
Many uplifting articles centered around God's Greatness, a fun giveaway and more - you won't want to miss this issue! If you're already subscribed, check your inbox! If you're not a subscriber and are a woman in search of encouragement, subscribe for free today!
May God bless you all abundantly! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the issue!
"I'm tired of this," she told me. "We're just waiting and waiting and waiting. And every time I ask someone for advice, they just tell me to wait on the Lord. He has a plan. He's got this. I'm having a pretty hard time believing it."
This girl sent me a message recently, and we got to chatting. We got on the subject of quarantine, since it's a pretty common topic nowadays. I asked her how she was doing, and I also asked her to be honest and tell me how she was really doing. That was the response I got. She went on to ask me about what all that meant and what she should do.
I waited a couple days before responding, because, well, I didn't really have an answer. Then I was reading about seasons of waiting and what we can do with the waits. Several things really stood out to me, and so that's what I shared with her. I'd also like to share it with you.
We all have seasons of waiting. But right now, we're all in a season of waiting. Right now, it's because of the coronavirus. Other times, it's something else. Maybe it's a career that isn't taking off even though you're working as hard as you can. Maybe it's the future spouse that hasn't come into your life yet even though you're praying and praying. Maybe it's a sickness that there's no healing for even though you're begging. Or maybe it's a bunch of questions that there's no answers for even though you're searching everywhere. We feel stuck. We feel like we've reached a dead end and we don't have directions on where to go yet. We feel frustrated and confused, maybe even angry. Why aren't there answers? Why isn't it working? What's going on? What is God doing?
You know what I'm talking about.
I've found that when we're in seasons of waiting, we all get basically the same advice. My friend mentioned it as well when we were talking. When we're in seasons of waiting, we're told things like . . .
"Wait on the Lord."
"God has a plan."
"God's got this."
"He will work everything out."
Yet, we're still left wondering. Why are we waiting? Does He have a plan? Will He work everything out? Questions and questions and questions. We don't like to wait. We as humans figure out shortcuts for basically everything just so we don't have to wait. Sure, it's not fun, but there's lessons in the waiting.
While I was thinking about seasons of waiting and my conversation with my friend, I read an interesting story in 2 Chronicles 7. I know that it's not a common book to flip to, but I encourage you to open to it. The main dude in this story is Solomon, the son of King David. You know who he is. King David died at the end of 1 Chronicles, so now Solomon is the one in charge. Solomon had become king of Israel, and one of his purposes was to build a temple for the Lord. For the first six chapters of 2 Chronicles, we read about Solomon and his people building the temple.
Let's pause here and remind ourselves again that just because we're waiting doesn't mean we won't be working! Sadie Rob Huff says, "A lot of times what you're waiting for will be what you're working towards." For example, it's doing smaller jobs to work up to the bigger job you're striving for.
Anyway, after Solomon worked seven years to finish the temple, we get to read about his prayers to God. Solomon knew that this temple would be pretty worthless if the Lord didn't dwell in it. After seven years, he was waiting on the Lord's presence. And while he was waiting, he was praying and praying and praying. Even though he believed he was called to build the temple . . . even though his father had directed him . . . even though he had worked seven years to complete it . . . he was still questioning it all. In 2 Chronicles 6:18, he asks, "But will God indeed live on earth with humans? Even heaven, the highest heaven, cannot contain you, much less the temple I have built." After all of that, Solomon still had doubts during the waiting season.
You can read the entire prayer in 2 Chronicles 6:14-42. He prayed basically the same prayer over and over and over again. He was serious about what he prayed, and he really wanted to be sure that the Lord was listening. And you know what? After he finished praying, the Lord's presence filled the temple. Check it out:
All the Israelites were watching when the fire descended and the glory of the Lord came on the temple. They bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground. They worshiped and praised the Lord: For he is good, for his faithful love endures forever. The king and all the people were offering sacrifices in the Lord's presence. King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand cattle and one hundred twenty thousand sheep and goats. In this manner the king and all the people dedicated God's temple. The priests and the Levites were standing at their stations. The Levites had the musical instruments of the Lord, which King David had made to give thanks to the Lord - "for his faithful love endures forever" - when he offered praise with them. Across from the Levites, the priests were blowing trumpets, and all the people were standing . . . So Solomon and all Israel with him - a very great assembly, from the entrance to Hamath to the Brook of Egypt - observed the festival at that time for seven days. (2 Chronicles 7:3-6,8)
While it may not seem like he had to wait very long, remember that he worked for seven years. Then waited, prayed, and prayed some more. But then the Spirit showed up, and they had a huge party!
But hold up. Let's look at verse 12 in chapter 7. It says, "Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him: I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple of sacrifice." God didn't answer Solomon's prayers immediately. He sent His spirit, and they had a big celebration, but not until later did God respond. But what did they do while they waited for Him to answer their prayers? They celebrated! They worshiped, they prayed, and they offered their sacrifices. They declared His faithful love before He ever responded. But when He did respond, He specifically said, "I have heard your prayer."
We can learn so much from their waiting season.
First, focus on what's important. And that is your relationship with the Lord. A lot of times, we try to bargain with the Lord. If You come through on this, and give me what I want, then I'll believe in You and serve You. But that's not how it works at all. The Lord has a plan, and He has a specific plan for you. Even when you can't see it or understand it. The key is trust. Trust in Him and in His plan, and then rest in the fact that He loves you and is with you every step of the way.
Second, focus on what you already have. The Spirit of God being in you is definitely a reason to rejoice! Even if the Lord has not specifically responded to your prayer yet. Look around and celebrate how blessed you are. Make a list of what you're thankful for, and even after you think you've written everything, think What else? It's easy to sit there and think about all that you don't have and wish you did have. And it's easy to think that there's a lot we're missing. But when you think about all that you DO have, it doesn't seem like so much anymore.
And third, focus on what God is doing right now. Even though we're waiting, God is definitely still working. He's working in ways that we don't even know about! He's preparing ways, and fulfilling His plan for our lives. When we're waiting, we think nothing is going on, but trust me, that's not true. Not one bit! Fix your eyes on all that God is doing in and through you right now.
So don't waste those waits. They're given to you for a reason, so don't just throw them away. There's lessons to be learned in them, so look for them. And never forget that even in the waits, God is still with you.
Something unique about me is that I have always loved ceiling fans. You may be wondering how that relates to resting, well to me ceiling fans just create an atmosphere of peace. I remember being a little kid in our farmhouse kitchen with the ceiling fan on high during the summer with the AC on and the feeling it gave me. I still get that feeling with ceiling fans. Just sitting under them on high fills me with a sense of calmness. I absolutely love it. They make the atmosphere feel at peace, restful. Call me weird, but ceiling fans are one of my favorite things in a room.
It’s the same with Jesus. How is that? A ceiling fan may bring me comfort but the Only One who brings true, internal peace is Jesus. In this troubled world, peace is in high demand but where are people searching for it? They search for it in money, fame, possessions, other people… but they never find it. Endlessly drifting from thing to thing, person to person, never feeling fulfilled – never feeling that peace they so desperately desire.
In the book of Luke, we read the account of Martha and Mary. Martha was so concerned about making everything in the house perfect – the setting, the food, etc. – whereas Mary chose that which was best, to sit – to rest – at Jesus’ feet. To simply sit and listen. How often do we just sit and listen to our Lord? When do we step aside from everything grasping for out attention, go someplace quiet and simply be in our Lord’s presence? Resting in our Lord, reading His Word, talking to Him, memorizing, journaling – these are all things that lead us closer to Him.
How can you find your restful place? Look around you, and think about where makes you feel calmest. Is it in your bedroom, sitting on your bed? Is it a reading nook you’ve claimed somewhere in your house? Is it outside on your porch, or under your favorite tree? Wherever it is, make it a point to go there more. And once you go start going there often, go there even more until you form a habit of taking time each day to simply rest in our Savior. It is essential to your Spiritual wellbeing as well as physical. Now I know some of you may be thinking, “I wish I could do that but with my work, ministry, church, friends, chores, to-do list I can never find time…” Let me ask you; do you have a phone? What do you do on there? Do you use social media, do you watch YouTube or Disney+, do you play games? How much time do you spend on those things? Or maybe you enjoy winding down by watching tv for a couple hours every night. Do you see where I’m going? We may not think we have time, but in reality, we really do. Each of us has something we can cut down on in order to spend time with Jesus. And besides, phones are proven to cause elevated anxiety, so when you want to relax, why are you using it for hours on end? I am writing this to myself just as much as to you. I’ve been convicted I spend far too much time on my phone, and far too little time with Jesus I’m ashamed to say. What I’ve noticed lately though is when I let myself use all my time that I should be using to read God’s Word on my phone instead, I don’t feel restful. Deep down I know it’s wrong, it doesn’t reap eternal rewards, and it doesn’t fill me with God’s peace. When you get to Heaven do you want to know you spent your time investing in Jesus and all things of His or do you want to find out you wasted countless hours on a piece of technology that simply faded away in the end? I know which one I want to be known for.
But how do we do this? You can start by logging out of all your social media accounts, putting your phone on silent, setting it down and leaving it there. Flip it over so you are not tempted to pick it up. Put it out of your sight if you must. Then get your supplies – your Bible, journal(s), highlighters, - whatever you need. Maybe even treat yourself by brewing a cup of your favorite hot beverage. And then sit there. Just rest. Breathe. Read. Write. Pray. Be with Jesus – like you would with a friend. Talk to Him about everything, bring everything you have to Him, ask for forgiveness if you know you need to, pray for your friends and family who need prayer. Just bask in the beautiful rest God grants you in this place.
And once you are finished there, don’t leave your rest – your peace – in that place. Bring it with you wherever you go. You have that phone with you wherever you go, don’t you? Bring your peace with you too. Bring it with you in your heart, you mind and your soul. Pray, talk with God throughout your day. Meditate on the Scripture you read during your rest. Think on heavenly things. And watch how it transforms your day.
So, my challenge to you all today is to rest in Jesus. Everyday. I’m taking this challenge as well so why don’t we do it together? Are you ready to have your life transformed – to experience peace? Let’s go to our restful places together and drink deeply from the well of God’s goodness.
Hey friends! I'm Livy, founder and designer of CLM. First and foremost I am a Christian, and besides that a stay at home daughter, small business operator and Bible Bee Alumni. I love writing, drinking hot tea, crafting, reading, photography, gardening, thrifting and connecting with friends. This is a place for me to share encouragement with you all. I hope you will enjoy your stay. :)