Christian Inspiration Roundup | August 2017 Edition

Christian Inspiration August 2017August

It’s the beginning of a new month, which means it’s time for more inspiration! August is the time of year when some people go back to school, and others start to look forward to fall. So this month’s inspiration will be focused on renewing (or igniting for the first time!) your passion to study God’s Word. Are ya ready? Let’s go!

 

 

Music

 

Just the other day, I heard this song for the first time at church. I don’t know what it is, but something about it brings me such joy and fans the flame in my soul for the Lord. What better way to get pumped for some Bible study? It’s called King Of My Heart featuring John and Sarah McMillan.

Reading

A source that I’ve found that helps me when I’m not sure where to start in my Bible: the Joyce Meyer Ministries Daily Devotional. It’s short and sweet and is the perfect thing to get you thinking about a subject to study. A verse is always included (yay!) which is helpful for me on days I forget to spend time in the Bible itself. The subject matter is everything from inspirational to practical teachings for living life with Christ.

Listening

 

Here’s some visual inspiration of what you Bible study time can be like! While I was preparing to write this post I did a little research on YouTube about different Bible study routines. This one was one of the most thorough and simple that I found. It really is an inspiration! I also love that it’s a morning routine, because I believe mornings are a great time to spend quality time with God. Why? It’s that time of day when nothing has happened yet, and the time that sets the tone for the rest of your day.

Something New

This month, try a new method of Bible study. If you usually read chapters or sections, try reading verses based on a subject and vice versa. Trying new ways to do things is a great way to freshen up your routine! And in my personal experience, I learn much better when things are feeling fresh and exciting. Time to step outside of the box!

August Challenge

For August, I challenge you to set more time aside than usual to spend some quality time with God. Even if it’s just five minutes! A little more of God in our lives is always a good thing. You could do this by tacking on extra time to your normal routine, or by adding a whole new God-based routine at a different time of day. Whatever you choose to do, get it done! And enlist some of your friends to take this challenge with you!

 

That’s it for August! I hope you feel inspired and ready to get back to Bible study with a new fervor. If you enjoyed this post and want even more inspiration, check out last month’s inspiration roundup !

Have a great month and see you in September!

P.S. Have anything that inspires your walk with God? Tell me in the comments below and I may include it in the next roundup!

8 Bible Verses For When You Can’t Forgive Yourself

Bible Verses For ForgivenesOne of the biggest problems Christians struggle with is forgiving themselves. It can be so difficult to accept that we are forgiven after we’ve sinned, but that’s exactly what God want for us! He desires so deeply for us to live in freedom.

Below are eight Bible verses that will remind you what the Word has to say about why you can forgive yourself.

Psalm 103:8-12

“The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

Acts 10:43

“All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Romans 8:1-2

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”

1 Corinthians 6:11

“And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the LORD Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Ephesians 1:7-8

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, In accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,”

Ephesians 3:12

“In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”

Hebrews 10:22-23

“let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

1 John 1:9

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Now is the time to let go of your guilt and shame. Take hold of what Christ died to give you! You’re chains are gone; you’ve been set free. Go forward with a new peace in your heart, knowing that you don’t have to carry this burden anymore.

Pin or share this with someone who needs to hear this message. Tell me in the comments below about what helped (or is helping) you overcome guilt in your life. Let’s encourage each other! Have a blessed week!

Did you enjoy this post? You might also like the discovering God challenge.

 

Christian Inspiration Roundup | July 2017 Edition

Christian books, music, videos, and inspirationAs Christians, we know the importance of discovering new learning tools and inspiring materials, so that we can grow closer to God. Because of that, I’ve decided to start a new monthly series.

Introducing monthly inspiration roundups!

Each month, I will be compiling a list of a few helpful, fun, and\or encouraging things I’ve found to help keep your faith walk always fresh and moving. Oh yeah.

Without further ado, let’s get started with our first edition: July 2017!

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, and if you decide to make a purchase through a link, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you!

Music

In honor of summer camp season, I chose the song that was my favorite during my camp years: You Won’t Relent by Jesus Culture. This song has the ability to send chills up my spine and bring tears to my eyes. It talks about how God won’t relent calling us closer because of His unquenchable love for us.

Reading


I love Christian self-help books, and this one helped form my view of God’s purpose for femininity. It’s called Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. This book really goes into depth about the mysteries of a woman’s soul and how to use your womanhood for the Lord. No matter your age, the message is something we all need to hear in order to change our world for the better!

Listening

Take some time out to listen to these two wonderful ladies from Girl Defined. Whether you watch this video, or some of their others, they do a great job of explaining how God sees us and what He wants for us in life. While woman of any age can benefit from their channel, I would definitely recommend their content to teens and young women.

Something New

Each month is a new opportunity to try something new! This month, I’m going to start writing out Bible verses to remember them better. I invite you to try it with me! If you’re already doing this (yay you!) then try to add a new twist, like writing them in print, then cursive, then all caps. Things like this help us memorize!

July Challenge

Along with these monthly inspiration roundups, I’m going to issue a monthly challenge. For July, I challenge you to go above and beyond in some way to be kind to your family. Sometimes, it’s more difficult to be nice to the people closest to you. That’s why being kind to family is so important. When being kind is hard to do, and yet is still done, it shows God’s love shining through us! So, this month be extra helpful around the house, be encouraging, let someone else watch what they want on TV. Make July the month of kindness!

Thank you for being a part of the first inspiration roundup! Don’t for get to pin, share, and leave a comment sharing what you thought about July’s list, and suggesting what to share next month. Stay tuned for August!

P.S. Did you enjoy this post? Head on over to my lifestyle inspo roundup for July!

Long Distance Relationship Tips For Christian Couples

Long disttance realationship tips for Christian couplesLong distance relationships are hard.

And when we run into a difficult situation, what do we do in this day and age when we need advice? That’s right, we Google it!

Well after I found myself in an LDR, that’s exactly what I did. And I immediately noticed something: there were little to no tips for Christian LDR couples. Most of the information I found was either totally obvious or completely dirty.

I’ve been long distance for over two years now, so I decided it was time to put that experience to use! I’m going to share with you the things that have been helpful for my relationship. Nothing dirty, and more than the obvious. Now’s the time to send this to your significant other and take notes together! Which leads me to tip #1…

Find projects to work on as a team

You’ll never have a good relationship if you can’t work together, right? Even though you won’t be able to do this in person (duh) it’s still possible. The projects you choose can range from just for fun to serious planning. For example, you could play an internet connected game and work on the same side. Or, you could try something with a little more oomph like starting an online business, even a blog!

Not only will this help you learn to work with your SO, it’ll also give you something to consistently talk about. And with that in mind, let’s move on to tip #2…

 Ask more questions than necessary

The biggest struggle in an LDR is consistently having things to talk about. There are two ways to help with this. First, ask way more questions than you need to about your SO’s day, even if you already know the answer. Second, find plenty of lists with fun and important things to ask each other. Things like would you rather questions and important things to find out if you truly are compatible. Communication is the only thing you really have in a relationship like this, so learn to do it well. Especially for situations like tip #3…

Always clarify

Since texting is generally how most LDR couples communicate, asking questions for clarity is so essential. We all know that misinterpreting a text is very easy to do. So, instead of getting upset and sending a reply that you might regret, make sure that the other person actually meant what you thought they did. And even if you did interpret the message correctly, keep your cool. One of the benefits of texting is being able to take the time to think your reaction through. React with grace!

Give the gift of time and memories

Not being physically in the presence of your significant other is draining. Constantly checking your phone, not being able to even hold their hand, it’s definitely trying at times. That’s why giving as much time as you can spare to making your relationship work is so important. Sure, you’re so tired that you don’t feel like texting back, but it’ll make all the difference if you do.

Giving actual presents is also very important. But know that it doesn’t have to be something you spend money on. Even sending a handwritten letter is a great gesture. Just having a tangible item from your SO is so helpful when you’re missing them. Of course, sending chocolate or flowers is always nice too *ahem*.

Take action to keep Christ at the center

Christian dating couples hear this phrase frequently. Not being together can make it a little more difficult to follow through on this one, but with a little ingenuity, you can do it! The two best things you can do involve prayer and Bible study.

Make sure you’re both praying for each other and for your relationship. Guys, this is vital! Don’t only pray for the other person, pray that your relationship as a whole will honor God. This includes praying for yourself too. For example, pray that God will work through you to help your SO be the best they can be.

And don’t forget the Bible of course! Find a topic or verse you want to study and discuss it together, whether by text, talking on the phone, or using a video chatting service like Skype. Or, you could find a guided devotional to go through with one another.

Have you ever seen what I call the ‘good love triangle’? The first time I saw it, it really stuck with me. The graphic shows even more emphatically the importance, and benefit, of drawing closer to God. When Each of you is doing that, you’ll also be drawing closer to each other!Closer to God, closer to each otherThese tips are based off of the experience of what has worked for my relationship, they’re tried and true! If you’d like more tips, or you have a tip of your own, share in the comments below!

P.S. After searching for a devotional specifically for long distance couples and coming up empty-handed, I began considering writing my own! If you or someone you know would like this, comment below so I can start working on it, woohoo!

The Imagining Jesus Challenge

Faith, Jesus, Christianity, ChallengeI’m going to share with you the one thing that has completely changed the way I view Jesus. It involves some imagination so get your thinkers ready!

What I do is imagine Jesus with me throughout my day. I have friend dates with Him, think how He would react to a situation I’m going through in the moment, and do simple tasks with Him by my side.

The reality is that He really is with us all day every day, yet we often forget about His presence.

When we realize this truth, and start living our lives with this knowledge, our views on everything will change for the better!

I mean, just knowing that Jesus is on your side, and by your side is a game-changer!

Here are a few examples so you can try for yourself:

Eat breakfast together. Some mornings I imagine Jesus sitting next to me at the table, sharing in the food I’m eating, encouraging me for the day to come (I also like to think that He likes doughnuts and coffee, but maybe that’s just me).

Dance together. Imagine jumping up and down and celebrating life with Him. Imagine spinning in circles out of joy for a recent miracle or answered prayer. Throw your hands in the air in worship. Sometimes during church worship services I’ll think of this while singing out in praise. It’s very helpful for staying focused (because let’s be real, there are times when lunch is the only thing you can think about when the music plays).

Let Him comfort you. This is one of the imaginings that has changed me the most. When I feel like things are just wrong, I imagine Jesus putting His arms around me and reminding me that there are great things in store for my future. That He’s preparing me for my next step in life, and that He’ll be there through it all. I deal with chronic pain, and when it’s bad, thinking of a hug from our Lord is so helpful.

Another way to do this is by imagining you’re doing things for Him, just like it says in Colossians 3: 23-24 (ESV):

23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

The way I like to implement this verse in my own life is by doing tasks, especially the ones that are less enjoyable, while imagining Jesus right there with me, smiling at me proudly for doing what’s right. For example, when I do chores or know that I need to hold my tongue in a certain situation, thinking of an encouraging hand on my shoulder helps do what needs doing.

 

I want to encourage  and challenge you to try some imagining this week. Remember that He’s with you in the good times and the bad. You may be surprised at how much of an impact this makes on your daily life!

I hope this is as helpful to you as it is to me.

What are some things that you’ve done that have drawn you closer to the Lord? Share in the comments below, and have a blessed week!

The Discovering God Challenge

The Discovering God ChallengeShow me who You really are. Those words echoed in my head and stayed in my heart ever since I heard them years ago at a church service. A challenge had been issued, one that changed the way I thought and prayed. The challenge was this:

For one week, every day, ask God to show you who He really is.

What a question! It caused me to stop and question who I thought He was, His characteristics and core principles. To me, God was all-powerful, just, wise, and loving. But, I knew with a God this infinite, there just had to be more.

Pause for a moment and ask yourself who you think He is. Maybe write these things down so that you can look back on them later. If you’re anything like me, the list you have is full of “Sunday school” answers, the typical traits we’ve heard in church over and over.

This is where most of us stop. We’ve been told who God is and we don’t bother to dig deeper because the answers we’ve been given are satisfactory. With this type of thinking, we’re immeasurably limiting how well we could know our Father.

But fear not, my friend! That’s where this challenge comes in. It is very possible that after this, your life will change.

For the next week, each day, take the time to ask God to show you who He really is. And then, stay on the lookout for His presence.

He will. Don’t be afraid that this prayer won’t be answered. Maybe you feel as though God never answers your prayers (I’ve been there, I think we all have at some point or another). The thing is, He always answers. Sometimes we don’t see it because we have narrowed our minds to think the answer must be something big, not subtle as is often the case.

That was my problem when I first took this challenge. I was in a tough spot in my life and I assumed Him showing me who He is was going to be giving me a miracle, showing how big and powerful He is. Deep disappointment came upon me with this mindset, but that’s when I remembered part of a powerful verse:

“Come near to God, and he will come near to you…” (James 4:8 NIV)

Not He could, but He will. From that point on, I began to look for the subtle signs of God showing me who He is.

He gave me beautiful sunsets on hard days, meals that tasted particularly good just when I needed it. Amongst terrible stories in the news, a random act of kindness by a stranger. I’d be listing to a playlist on God Gives Joy Through The Small Thingsshuffle and the perfect songs would come on to inspire me.

You see, God isn’t just all mind-boggling miracles, He’s a giver of joy through the small things. Sometimes He’s not a powerful gust of wind carrying the sound of thunder, but rather a light breeze that cools you on a hot day. He’s not just all-seeing, He’s personally interested in each and every one of us.

So, this week watch for big things, and watch for little things. He’ll come.

Once the week has passed, I invite you to share your experience in the comments below. Tell us how God showed Himself to you! I am so excited to hear what He does in your life!

BONUS CHALLENGE!

What I began to do after I prayed this for myself was to pray it for others. For example, if another believer is struggling, pray that God will show them who He really is, and that they’ll be open to see it. Another way to do this is by praying for those who aren’t believers, whether that’s a specific person in your life, or strangers, pray for God to show Himself.

Maybe you’re the person who doesn’t believe. If you are, you may be feeling a tug on your heart right now, an intrigue or curiosity that you can’t seem to push away. That’s God calling you to Him. You may not believe that, but I challenge you to try this week of prayer. What do you have to lose? Just think what you could have to gain.

Join our Facebook community and become a part of a community of lovely Lord-loving ladies! I wish you a joy-filled week full of life changing growth in your faith.

Open Letter to Christ-Centered Ladies

Open Letter to Christ Centered LadiesShout out to you, ladies with Christ in their hearts. The ones who’ve taken the narrow path, and the ones who wandered then returned. Pressures have come from all sides, yet you’ve let Christ reign within you, leading the way.

To the ones who have chosen to be a light in this dark world. Being kind when it’s difficult, a determined encourager when everyone else has deemed something, or someone, a lost cause. Living selflessly even when society screams at you to do the opposite. Take care of you first, it’s your duty to yourself to be happy before anyone else, they say. You gently reply, I already have Someone taking care of me, my duty now is to spread the joy I’ve been given.

To the ones who were raised in the church and those that took that first nervous step in. Your classmates, peers, culture, friends, colleagues, and sometimes even family pushing you to walk away from what you know in your heart to be true. And yet, you remained steadfast.

To the ones that have achieved great victories, some privately in your heart, and others out in the open for the whole world to see. Though pride tries to creep in, you bow down low and give all the glory to God. Through you, He does wondrous things.

To the ones that have chosen to raise up the women around her instead of trying to rise above them. When you learn, you share your knowledge. When a friend achieves a goal, you don’t envy her, you throw her the biggest party you know how. And when a friend suffers a hardship, you’re the first to come and offer what comfort you can give.

To the prayer warriors, the ones who have done battle for so many. Your prayers have helped more people than you’ll probably ever know. Relentlessly, you offer your words and heart up to the Lord, knowing He will do something great, even if you never see it. Your faith will inspire generations.

To the ones who never give up hope. Your loved ones have all leaned on you for support at some time or another, and you rekindled the flame in their burned-out souls. Speaking words of truth and wisdom, feeding them Life.

To the fighters for what’s right. Fighting the wars inside with prayer and scripture. Fighting wars in the world with love and grace. And fighting to help others come to know the peace and joy that fills your entire being.

Thank you, for being an inspiration and role model for your sisters in Christ.

I want to be one of these women, we all do. Though some of us may not have achieved this yet, just the fact that we are striving to get there means that we are well on our way. When we offer our all up to God, He’ll do the rest.

Join our Facebook community and be a part of a group of ladies striving along with you to become one of these women. I hope to see you there!

Christ-Like Beauty

Living with Christ-like BeautyBeauty is a hot topic in the world of Christian women nowadays. This has stirred up lots of talk (and sometimes strong debate) about modesty. Pants vs. skirts, how much makeup is too much, and shirt necklines are all part of the conversation. But today, I want to set all of that aside and talk about what really makes a woman beautiful.

As I’m sure you’ve heard before, true beauty stems from the heart. We all know that to be true to some extent. Think about those girls you know that everyone thinks are gorgeous but have the worst attitudes. Their bodies may be beautiful, but their hearts sure aren’t.

At some point in your life, you may have met a woman who has so much Jesus in her that she seems to glow with joy. There’s a certain magnetism that she has, people can’t help but want to spend time with her. No matter her looks, she’s seen as beautiful.

What is our obsession with beauty? If you think about it, at the very center of this desire is the want to be liked and loved. We want people to notice us, and then like us enough to want to get closer. We want to be admired and remembered. Sure, being beautiful may get us to that first step, but if your heart isn’t beautiful, the second step will never happen.

So, do you want to be beautiful? Start with the inside. Here are a few qualities that will emanate real beauty:

  1. Kindness. When you treat people kindly (sometimes that’s a rare quality in today’s world) they notice that you’re different in a good way. The trick to being truly kind is maintaining that loving-kindness even when someone doesn’t deserve it. A stranger is being rude? Do something nice for them to make their day easier. Sure, it may be super hard to do, but that person and anyone who was watching will remember you.

  2. Courage. A woman who is not ruled by fear is beautiful indeed. Courageous women often become role models. This isn’t to say that Quote bout true beautyyou’re not beautiful if you become scared. It’s what you do with that fear that makes the difference. The Bible tells us over and over not to be afraid. God has our backs! When we believe that, we become what I like to call warrior women.

  3. Humility. A humble woman gives the glory to God. She knows she doesn’t have great achievements in her own power. Have you ever met a prideful person that you admired? It’s very hard to enjoy someone’s presence when they think they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread. Humble people are like finding an oasis in the desert.

Living out these qualities can be so difficult in today’s culture. We’re encouraged to think of ourselves before anyone else, boast about what we can do, and constantly have scary news thrown in our faces. Being kind, courageous, and humble will take a lot of work. With God’s help, we can most certainly achieve it.

As a woman in my early 20’s, this all goes against everything society tells me to be. But I’ve decided I want to be truly beautiful.

I encourage you to pursue true beauty as well! Encourage all of the women in your life to focus on beauty of the heart. Comment below other qualities that make the daughters of God beautiful!

P.S.  If you want to do some reading in the Bible about the subject, read Proverbs 31 for sure!