5 Podcasts For Encouragement & Entertainment

So sorry for not posting last week. I struggled with time management and I was working on another email article for an email list, and wasn’t able to crank this out fast enough. So you get it this weekend. I’ll try to be more consistent.


Hello, my lovely friends! 

I decided to take a break from serious writing and give y’all a fun post instead. 

As probably none of you know, I adore listening to podcasts. They are one of my favorite pastimes. I believe they are so great for so many reasons and want to share them with you. Here are four reasons why you should listen to podcasts:

  1. They make consuming “non-fiction” content so much easier!
  2. You can listen to them at any time!
  3. There are podcasts on every subject imaginable.
  4. It’s a great way to multi-task. 
  5. (Yes, I know I said four reasons.) They are amazing!

Thus, I’ll be listing my top five podcasts. These are ones I have either listened to a lot in the past or listen to at the moment. Whether you have never listened to a podcast in your life or you listen to them religiously as I do, I hope this list will be a helpful addition to your life. *Smirk* (Also, the podcasts are not in order, they are just five ones I thought would be the best to share.)

  1. Age of Minority

Age of Minority is a podcast “for youth about the gospel” and is hosted by Jaquelle Ferris, author of This Changes Everything (how the Gospel transforms the teen years) and Sean Crowe, her father, and pastor. 

There are a couple reasons why I highly recommend this podcast. First off, Jaquelle and Sean have strong, biblical theology and aren’t scared to say things that are counter-cultural or “not cool”. This is the number one reason why the podcast is of such quality. They are also hilarious and fun, which makes their message relatable. Their enjoyable father-daughter relationship connects tremendously with the audience. 

The podcast regularly goes through different topics and discusses how the gospel changes those things and the way we look at them. For example, they did an episode on sleep and another one on pets. How in the world do they talk about those things in light of the Gospel? Well, they do and fill whole 30-40 minutes episodes, too. They also have done series on apologetics, hard topics in the bible, and more. 

Website

  1. Call to Mastery with Jordan Raynor

Call to Mastery with Jordan Raynor is an excellent podcast that I discovered recently. Jordan Raynor is the best selling author of Called to Create (which I have read) and Master of One. He is passionate about encouraging Christians to pursue excellence in their work for the glory of God. In his podcast, he interviews believers who have become masters in their particular vocation or field. It’s insightful, enjoyable, inspiring, and practical. 

Not an adult? Don’t worry. This podcast is remarkably encouraging to me as a teenager. I am reminded to be faithful in what God has called me to do in this season. Also, I am taught by the experience of those who are far ahead of me. 

Website

  1. Instrumental with JJ Heller

This podcast is hosted by JJ and Dave Heller. (I have a funny backstory about this podcast. I was already a fan of JJ Heller’s music when she started to come out with these episodes and on the cover of the videos she put on YouTube, there was a picture of her and the words “Instrumental”. I thought she was putting instrumental tracks of her music on her channel. I decided to listen to one day, and to my sheer delight, found out it was a podcast.) 

“Instrumental is a show about the big and small moments that shape our lives.” Every episode, they interview people and talk about their life stories, going backward. They start at the current season of life the person is in, and end at the beginning. It’s amazing to see how God orchestrates our stories and uses us in ways we never would have expected.

Website

YouTube Channel / Link

  1. Ask Pastor John

The Ask Pastor John podcast is a practical and quality podcast I recommend to someone looking for answers to difficult questions. The show is hosted by Tony Reinke, and Pastor John Piper is “featured” on every episode as he tries to answer questions that listeners send to him biblically. 

I would listen to this podcast with prudence as some of the topics aren’t ones that teenagers or even young adults should really be thinking about. Listeners will occasionally ask questions about marriage, relationships, and sometimes more sex-related topics that just aren’t what teens need to be listening to. 

However, John Piper has incredible wisdom and biblical insight which is hard to find. The episodes are relatively short, like little nuggets of truth and deeper thought to fit into your day.

Website

YouTube Channel / Link

  1. Hymn Partial 

My friend Cara Devereux and her friend Monet Funke co-host this podcast. I am not recommending this just because Cara is my friend. Their podcast is genuinely high-quality and interesting. 

In case you didn’t get the name, it’s a play on the words “impartial” and “hymn”. The podcast talks about all things church music. They have talked about the history of certain hymns, music genres in the church, and debates over music in the church. 

You should listen to this podcast if:

  • You like music.
  • You love history.
  • You love hymns.
  • You geek out unnecessarily over everything.

I wait with anticipation for their episode to drop every week. I seriously adore this podcast because I learn so much, and have become a church music geek because of it.

Website

YouTube Channel / Link

I hope you check out these podcasts, but most of all, I hope you find encouragement and wisdom and entertainment and hope through them. I do.

Do you listen to podcasts? If you do, which ones? What things have you done to entertain but also encourage yourself during these hard times?

Truth4TCKs: Citizens of Heaven

This post was originally a guest post (written by me) on my friend Clarissa’s blog. You can find it here.


When someone asks you where you are from, what do you say?

My answer looks something like this: Well, ethnically I’m from X country, and both my parents are from there. But actually, my dad grew up in Y country, and I grew up in Z country. 

I have a passport from a certain country, therefore I am its citizen, but I’m not very patriotic. I don’t share many similar views with the people of that country. Thus, I don’t feel like I belong there. 

Instead, I live in a different country. I adore it immensely, love the people, and yet I’m not its citizen. I don’t belong there either. 

So where do I belong? 

That’s the question every human being tries to answer. Many do find their answer. However, TCKs tend to not really know. This can be frustrating to them.

But for us Christian TCKs, it’s different. 

Why?

Because the Bible tells us that our identity is in Christ, and our citizenship is in heaven.

Our Identity: If We Don’t Belong, Who Are We?

As TCKs, we’re different. Some people love that, and others hate it. We can tend to find our identity in our TCK-ness. We try to tell people that they don’t get us because we’re different. We wrap up who we are in the fact that we’re different. As a result, we can be defensive. We can have self-pity because we don’t belong, or we can get rebellious when people talk about our passport country as home, simce to us, it isn’t. 

Where is our identity first found? Are we first TCKs, or first Christians? 

The answer is pretty simple, but it’s important. First and foremost, we belong to Jesus. 

How does that change our relationships? 

If we belong to Jesus, we love others who belong to Him as well. That includes the person who hasn’t left their town their entire life. That includes the person who seems to know nothing about the “outside world”. That includes the billionth person who asks you how life is like where you live.

We love them completely. Christ gave His life up for billions of people who can never understand Him. He is God, and we’re not. If Jesus could love like that, we need to love others who honestly, can understand us more than how we could understand Jesus. 

Citizens of Heaven

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. Philippians 3:20-21

The old english meaning of conversation is the place where one lives (Online Etymology Dictionary, 2020). In Greek, conversation is politeuma, meaning community or citizenship (Bible Study Tools, 2020). In the context of this verse, the idea is that there are two spheres: the earthly world, and the heavenly world. Returning to the verse which reads For our conversation is in heaven. We conclude that we don’t belong here. Our community, our citizenship, our home is in heaven.

Most Christians aren’t TCKs. Whether they are Canadian or Kenyan or Turkish or Singaporean, they’ve grown up in the same place their whole lives. They have roots. They have a culture, an ethnic or patriotic community. They have a sense of belonging. 

But the thing is, all Christians are citizens of Heaven. None of us truly belong here. We have a better Home. 

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

– Hebrews 11:13-16 

This passage comes after the “Hall of Faith” as many people call it in Hebrews 11. It lists the numerous heroes of the faith from the Old Testament. The passage is talking about them. They sought a better country. A heavenly country. A country where every nation will come together and will be one people. God’s people. 

What Our TCK Lives Teach Us

I think TCKs have an advantage. We don’t belong, anywhere really, on this earth. I’ve heard many TCKs call themselves “global citizens”. However, Christian TCKs don’t belong anywhere on this earth. Being a Christian TCK is a blessing. Because we’re not attached to any country 100%, we long for a better one. Thus, we can comprehend better that our citizenship is in heaven as compared to someone who has never left their town their whole life long. 

And just think about it! A country where all ethnic groups, all cultures, all languages will live together, as neighbors, praising God! Is that a comfort to a TCK soul or what?


Sign up for my friend Clarissa’s TCK Email list here.

How Strong Are Our Words?

Hello friends! Today, I wanted to dive into the passage below (Matthew 12:33-37) and break it into pieces so we can study it more easily. This passage is rich and convicting, and I believe it has a message that we all need to hear.


“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” 

Jesus (Matthew 12:33-37)

1) The Tree Is Known By Its Fruit

If a tree is healthy, has clean water, plenty of sunshine, and it is far away from any sort of disease, the tree will produce healthy, juicy, fruit. If a tree is diseased, weak, and in a dry area, the fruit will subsequently be unripe, small and measly. It might get rotten before it even turns ripe. 

Suppose you had two pieces of fruit in your hand. One was large, brightly-colored, plump, and juicy. The other was smaller, hard, with bruised spots, and was a pale brown color. What would you infer about the trees they came from just from looking at the fruit?

Jesus is using a very simple picture to show people how the human heart works. 

I once watched an American Girl movie based in Colonial America. In one scene, the grandfather is talking to his granddaughter after the grandfather and father have gotten in a fight. The grandfather says, “Words of anger are never from the heart.” That’s what the world wants people to believe. But Jesus says something different.

2) Heart Fruit

If someone’s words are uplifting, encouraging, fun, wise, lovely, and admirable, that shows you what is in their heart. If someone is constantly encouraging and lifting others, it shows that they are humble and they care for others. If someone is wise and is constantly teaching others about God’s Word, it shows that they have God’s Word stored up in their hearts. If someone is fun and lovely in what they say, it shows that they treasure the beautiful, unexpected, joyful moments of life. 

If someone’s words are discouraging, dirty, rude, foolish, and repulsive, that gives you a very clear look into their heart. They discourage because they are proud or they are insecure in who they are and thus they try to put others down so they can feel high up. When they constantly make fun of someone they are doing the same thing. Their words are dirty and repulsive because they treasure sin. They are rude in their talk because they find themselves to be above the person they are addressing. They consider that person worthless. When their words are foolish, it means they haven’t stored up God’s Word in their heart. 

You may think, “Breanne, that’s way too harsh.” But I didn’t come up with it. Read the verse again. That’s what Jesus was getting at. 

3) Good Can’t Come From Evil

In verse 34, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees He is talking to. Although the Pharisees’ words seemed good, Jesus knew what their hearts looked like. Their hearts were evil. 

So even when they spoke “encouraging” or “good” words, their intentions and wants were self-exaltation, honor and self-righteousness. They wanted to do good so that they could be seen and known and respected. But Jesus said that that wasn’t “good”. 

4) Good Treasure

Whatever you treasure up in your heart, that’s what’ll come out. To treasure up means to hold or keep as precious. What is most precious to you? Your reputation, or God’s? Acceptance and praise, or God’s presence? The words of others, or God’s Word? 

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. 

Psalm 119:11

The more we treasure and store up God’s word in our hearts, the more we pour out that treasure. When we give importance to something, it changes our actions. 

5) Accountable For Every Careless Word

When I read this passage, this is what got me. We will stand in front of God, and He will hold us accountable for every word. Those careless insults, those empty foolish mockery-filled words. He says we are accountable for them.

We will be condemned or justified because of them. 

The Hope

But wait, you might say, didn’t Jesus die for our sins? Yes! He did. Romans 8 verses 1 and 2 say this: 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.

If you are a believer, you will not be condemned. 

The Warning

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

Romans 6:1-2

However, we do not take grace for granted. If you are a believer, you should strive for purity, not trying to see how far you can bend the rules. 

If we are bearing bad fruit, we need to have a heart check. What are you treasuring? What are you deeming important? 


Disclaimer: I struggle with making fun of others because I am insecure in a certain situation, or putting people down because I think they are immature or “bad”. I care more about what others think than what God thinks, most of the time. Because what comes out comes first from the heart.


Some take away questions and thoughts to chew on:

When it comes to the words you speak, what areas do you struggle with? Do you tend to make fun of people? Or do you use crude language? Do you use your words to brag, and make yourself look bigger so everyone else feels a little bit smaller?

Why do you think you struggle in those areas? What sinful things are you treasuring or storing up in your heart? What are you prioritizing in your life, God, or something else?

What simple steps can you take to treasure the right things first? Remember, it’s the heart change that needs to happen first. What insecurities need to be addressed with God’s Word and His promises? What pride needs to be brought down when compared to the glory of the Maker of the universe? Memorize Scripture that addresses the heart issue, and meditate on that Scripture. Pray that God would change your heart and help you treasure the good and lovely.

God Seems Distant: Fact or Feeling?

Loneliness…

It’s not something I usually struggle with. I live with my large, loving family. I have friends that I see at school and church. 

Then quarantine happened. I was still with my family, and we had precious moments together. However, when I couldn’t leave my house, I felt secluded and tired. I felt alone in a weird sort of way. Because technically, I was not. I had people around me all day. 

But I lacked all the other relationships in my life. I lacked my church family. I lacked my friends, whether it be at school, in my neighborhood, or somewhere else. 

The biggest problem that came along with this feeling of seclusion is that it started seeping into my relationship with the Lord. I started to feel like, along with everyone else, he was distant. And it was frustrating. Very frustrating. 

This feeling wasn’t new. I often go through seasons where God has felt distant. This, I think, just felt unique because everyone else was distant as well. My friends and my friend Jesus, all far away. 

And I’m not going to say that I’ve gotten over this feeling. I still feel like this very often. Almost daily. 

But I need to remind myself of this: Facts supersede feelings. That basically means facts remain. Facts are truth. Facts are what are real. 

So I know what I’m feeling. I feel that God is distant. I know that when God feels distant to me, I get discouraged and don’t want to spend time in His word because I think I won’t be renewed or refreshed. 

So should I just pout? Just sit and worry? 

No. 

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8

And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20b

What do all these verses say? What are the facts? God is near. If I call on Him, if I repent from sin, if I am discouraged, and even just because I am His child, He is near. He is always near. 

So I need to repent of my self-pity and pride, and preach the facts to myself: God is near, even if you can’t feel it. 

Lord, I pray that you would give me faith to trust Your words. You have promised that You would always be near to Your children, to those who believe in You. Help me to focus on the facts, not my feelings. Thank you that You are near when others can’t be.  

Quick Thoughts on Art, Beauty, Creativity and God

Hello, my friends! I didn’t post on Saturday because we were on vacation. It was wonderful, but I’m glad to be back with you all. 


Created to create

In the beginning was the Creator. He existed before everything. However, He decided to create. The pinnacle of His creation was us. People. Creatures created in the image of their Creator. 

Being created in His image means that we are created in His likeness. Basically, we are simiThat means that we have traits and emotions and can think logically and can make decisions and can protect and love.

We are also creative. We are creative because God is creative. We love art and beauty and rhythm and poetry because God put the planets into motions in a rhythm no one can fathom. He created art in every butterfly and seashell and flower and sunset. He wrote poetry when He inspired authors to write the Psalms. He creates beauty when he transforms an ugly, wretched sinner into a holy, wonderful, Jesus-follower. 

God’s Gift to His Creatures

Art is a wonderful gift from God to us. It is amazing because it helps us learn things that we normally wouldn’t be able to remember. Take rhyme for example. Rhyme helps people remember things that an hour-long sermon never could. A song is more memorable than a lecture. An image is more powerful than an explanation. A story is more powerful than an argument. 

Art is a gift. 

Art isn’t always found the way it should be in the Christian community. We have wonderful artists creating music, worship music. And I’m not saying that we don’t need that. Worship music is important because we need to have songs that help us glorify our God. However, we also need poetry in our music. We need deep words that make us think. We need music that fills our soul with emotion and hope. 

We need authors that fill the world with light-giving stories. We need painters and artists that reflect God’s love for beauty. We need photography that captures beauty but also shows the world as the broken world that it is, that calls for social justice. 

Artists Making Art to the Glory of God

Here are two artists who are breaking the rules, creating beauty, poetry, light, and hope.

  1. Andrew Peterson

I can’t quite remember when I first heard of his music, but I’ve been (ever so slightly) obsessed ever since. He is a masterful poet, a talented musician, and someone who thinks very deeply about things. 

Another thing I love about his music is that his albums tend to tell a story. There is a beginning, you start with one song, and when you listen to the album, you end up somewhere else. You start out with depression, and you end with hope, for example. 

His songs aren’t simple, but they are good. They are beautiful art, deep poetry, and complex music. 

Listen to his album The Burning Edge of Dawn here, and visit his YouTube music channel here

He is also an author. He’s written the Wingfeather Saga Series, a fantasy series for children. He has also written Adorning The Dark, which is a memoir but also a handbook to all who are called to create, make, and spread hope in a dark world. 

Visit his website here

  1. Taryn Harbridge

A talented musician, Taryn creates covers and melodies of tunes we all know and love, whether it be movie soundtracks, folk songs, or hymns. Her main instrument is the violin, but she plays many other instruments. Her music is inspired by bluegrass and Celtic music. 

Everything she creates is stunning. She layers sound upon sound of the violin, pennywhistle, bottle-blowing, guitar, and vocalizing. You feel like you are listening to an orchestra. 

Listen to her instrumental cover of How Great Thou Art here, and visit her YouTube channel here

Truth4TCKs: Painful Goodbyes Are Good

The word “goodbye” has always been a part of my life. I’ve switched schools five times. I’ve had different friends at those different schools, and I always had to say goodbye. I live in a different country than my passport country because of my parents’ work. When our summer visits there come to an end, I have to say goodbye to family because I won’t see them for a year or two. 

As a TCK, (third culture kid), I have struggled with those goodbyes. It’s horrible because my attitude becomes one of “since I’ll have to say goodbye anyways, why bother investing in this friendship?” It’s not that I don’t want deep friendships. I do… I desperately do. But I lie to myself so I won’t have to go through the pain. I say that it isn’t a big deal if I don’t put my heart into something, because it’ll be gone soon, anyway. 

Dear friends just left the country I live in. To me, they were the embodiment of what it meant to love others. They only lived here for two years, but when they left, I felt, like so many others, like they had been here for ages. They invested in dozens of families and people and were generous, encouraging, and loving. They didn’t hold back. They gave so much of themselves that even when they were gone physically, they remain in the hearts of many.

When they left, it hurt. I felt like a part of me was being ripped out because they had been such a huge part of our lives and they were always so loving. Even now, I struggle with wanting to block out all the emotions. 

But my friend told me something she heard years ago: this hurt that you’re feeling, it’s okay. It’s good, even. Not everyone experiences so much love that taking away that friend takes a part of them too. 

That might sound obvious, but just the fact that the pain was good is such a powerful reminder for me. 

These pain-blocking, goodbye-normalizing walls aren’t just bad because they prevent friendships, they’re sinful. They’re sinful because I don’t see the people I interact with as worthy of my love. I don’t see people as valuable, eternal human beings created in God’s image and will be impacted by the way I choose to love them or not. My walls might seem to protect me, but all they do is create more damage. 

I harbor God’s love and His Spirit in me. As a child of God, my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. God uses broken people as a means to bring other broken people to the Perfect Father. When I choose not to love others and give them my time and love, I choose to not show them God’s love. 

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

1 John 4:10-11

Think how much it must have been painful for God the Father to be separated from His Son. The different persons of the trinity were in perfect communion. He had to punish and be estranged from God the Son, yet He loved Him. And He did this because He loved us, who were incomparably less worthy of love than Jesus. If we don’t deserve all that love, why do we build these walls to try to protect ourselves from fleeting feelings? Why do we do these things when eternal lives and souls are at stake? Are we really that selfish? 

If God loved us, we ought to love. And when the pain comes, we rejoice, because we have loved and have been loved. We rejoice because our pain is temporary. We rejoice because, if the loved one has accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, we have stored up heavenly treasure and the friendship with that person will never end.

Treasure In Jars of Clay

‘But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.’
2 Corinthians 4:7-10

I had wasted most of my day. I was disappointed because I felt that none of my efforts to use my time well were ever fruitful. I wanted to be a good steward, to do good. I felt completely weak and defeated. And guilty.

That morning my mom had reminded me how Jesus chose his disciples knowing they would abandon Him. He chose Judas as His disciple knowing He would betray Him. In Mark 3, it says that “He went up on the mountain and called to Him those whom He desired, and they came to Him.” It later goes on to list the twelve disciples, and ends with the phrase “and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him.”

Let’s apply the words of Mark to Judas personally. Jesus went up on the mountain and called to Him Judas whom He desired. He spent years loving and serving Judas, using Him for His Kingdom, all the while knowing that Judas would stab Him in the back. He knew that. Nevertheless, He desired Judas.

Jesus desires us. He desires broken souls and rebellious hearts. He has chosen us. This is a marvelous truth because it frees us from the spiritually deadly idea that we have to earn His love.

We work so hard to be good. To be enough. The world feeds us the lie that we can be enough, that we are what we need. It sounds like freedom. It isn’t. We try to earn the pleasure and affection of God. But we are unable. We are weak. We are human. David committed adultery and murdered someone to cover it up. Abraham lied about his wife saying she was his sister, and got his wife taken from him. Moses was a criminal and couldn’t speak well. Mary was accused of having sex out of wedlock for her whole life. We are broken, fragile creatures.

Jesus has chosen to put His treasure in jars of clay.

To find out what the treasure talked about in Mark 4:7 is, one needs to look at the preceding verse: For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6). The treasure is the “light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” that has been given by God by shining in our hearts. We now know the glory of God. That’s the treasure. The glory of God is precious, immortal, powerful, holy, and good. All the things we aren’t. Yet he has chosen to give us that.

Clay jars are fragile. They are thick, and they look rigid and sturdy, but with one fall they break into pieces. That’s us. We think we’re sturdy, that we can navigate life by our strength. We just aren’t. And Jesus chose us. He knew we were jars of clay.

So we can rest in the fact that He chose us. We can rest because He desired jars of clay, and He uses us for His glory. The verses 8-10 explain that all the afflictions and the pains and the hardships and even the temptations to waste our time, that we go through, display His glory. Those things show that we are frail, but the fact that we aren’t ever totally defeated shows that He is mighty.

Jesus is ok with us being weak. He chose us. So I choose to rest in His wisdom and to let Him have the glory and to strive to not try to be enough.

Quick Thoughts on Trusting God With Our Every Day

Hello friends, sorry for not writing yesterday. We went on a quick 3 day vacation and I didn’t have time to post anything.

I want to share a bit about what I have been learning recently. I have been pondering off and on what it means to trust God.

I used to think that trusting God was something you did when you had a really stressful situation and didn’t know how it would go, something you did when there was a huge unknown. But I have been slowly finding that trusting should also be something we do in the quiet moments, with the small worries. When we have a lot to accomplish in a day and aren’t sure if we’ll be able to. When we are tired. When we are sick. When we just aren’t having the best of days.

He wants us to trust Him with His love. He wants us to trust Him with His grace. To trust that His love is unconditional and his grace is sufficient. To trust that we don’t have to do well that day to come boldly to His throne. To trust Him that His plan, not ours, is perfect.

Our plan may consist of doing schoolwork or writing or watching our favorite show or going to the park. But when our siblings need help or our mother wants us to prepare dinner or we need to do chores, trusting God with whatever the day throws at us is what makes our Father happy.

We also need to trust God with the seemingly small, nagging worries that are bigger than we want them to be. For me, it’s becoming an adult. Leaving the house. Becoming fully responsible for my financial well being. It freaks me out. But God has plans to prosper me (Jeremiah 29:11). God has plans to give me a future and a hope. So if I trust Him with my today, and my tomorrow, and the day after that, I can trust Him that He will give me grace sufficient for whatever I will face when I leave home. No problem or worry is bigger than my God.

See you on Tuesday. 😊

A New Perspective On Today

Dear all, my friend Evelyn Brooks and I did a blog post swap! Here is her encouraging article on rejoicing in today. You can find more of her writing here.


“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” — Psalm 118:24


Sometimes, God’s Spirit brings understanding in the most unexpected ways. Like through an egg carton. 

It was a bright morning, and I was making breakfast. As I moved to put away the egg carton, I saw Psalm 118:24 printed on the inside of the top. 

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24 ESV)

All of a sudden, it was like a burst of clarity struck me in the face. The day mentioned in the verse wasn’t just some hypothetical 24-hour period to think of on Thanksgiving. This was the day the Lord had made. This one, right here. 

It seemed like I’d been going through a season of hardship where I knew each day would be tainted by some new struggle. Having a fresh perspective by putting this verse into the context of the present transformed the way I saw my day, and hopefully it does the same for you.

In essence, Psalm 118:24  tells us that God has made this day, no matter what comes, and it is something to rejoice in. 

No matter what anxiety you have. 

No matter if you feel like a frazzled mess. 

No matter if you forget to pray.

No matter what mistakes you make and setbacks you experience. 

Our God is the Intentional Creator, which means that if He made this day, then nothing about it is an accident. Romans 8:28 says “And we know that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them” (NLT). He has a vision for all our “bad days” and will turn them into something more stunning than we could ever imagine. The Lord knew the challenges you’d face and made today something worth rejoicing in anyway

To be honest, I feel a little fake right now since so much of what I’m talking about are lessons I’m still trying to learn and trust. However, I want to remind both myself and you that this is a process, and you shouldn’t get discouraged when your faith-walk isn’t as picture-perfect as you’d like it to be. Thank God for His abundance of grace. 

In the middle of our messy, stressful, or painful days, God is in control and faithful to walk with us even when we can’t feel His presence. I don’t know about you, but these facts begin changing how I define a good day versus a bad one. Rather than minimizing the struggle, trying to gain God’s vantage point on our days gives a comforting perspective. It’s incredible how many moments begin jumping out at you when you pay attention to the little, simple ways God floods your life with goodness. 

So, no matter what today holds, rejoice because God weaves beauty into even our most mundane, imperfect days, and He is always present in them. 

Peace That Passes All Understanding

Before I start this post, I want to apologize for not posting on Tuesday. We had a crazy busy week and it slipped my mind. I hope the post will be worth the wait. And it’s not as long as the last one, I promise 😉

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15

The Hebrew word for peace is Shalom. It means not only the absence of war and strife but “wholeness”. When a complex world is working together as one piece, in harmony, there is shalom. When a “broken” relationship is “restored” or “made whole”, there is shalom. Through Jesus’ sacrificial death, He made whole our broken relationship with God on the cross. He made Shalom between us and God. That’s what I explained in my last post. Jesus’ death provided judicial peace.

But that judicial peace also allowed us to have experiential peace. This is the peace that is spoken of in Philippians 4:7.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Experiential peace is the peace that we feel in our hearts and minds.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 26:3

When we worry, the shalom of our trust in God is broken. We don’t believe that God can provide, or carry us, or that He can love us. The wholeness of our relationship is broken. We try to put the pieces back together by our strength. It doesn’t work. We were never meant to live without God. We were never meant to live without His friendship and presence. We cannot live a life of shalom, a whole life, without Him. So when we trust Him with our lives, He restores our broken relationship. And we have peace. We are whole.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
John 14:27

This world does not have shalom. It’s broken. People search for peace. They search for that missing thing that will make them whole. Some think they’ll find it in power. In money. In human relationships. In family. In a career. In fame. But as humans created by our God, we can find shalom only in the one that created us because we were created for Him. Without the One we were created for, pieces are missing. People can not feel true experiential peace before having judicial peace. People cannot feel true peace without first being restored to their God.

As believers, we are already restored. We stand before God in Christ’s righteousness, with no strife between us. So when we feel the temptation to worry, or to search for wholeness in other things, let us approach the throne boldly and go to the One who can make us whole, and give us peace.

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.
2 Thessalonians 3:16