Finding Joy During the Craziness of Christmas

finding-joy-during-the-craziness-of-craziness-of-christmas

Sorry guys. I was supposed to post Friday, but I was very busy and tired so I didn’t get to it. Well, here I am now with a post. After this, I’m probably going to take about a week break to relax and catch up on all the books. 😉

So, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

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Where is God in the Midst of our Struggles?

imageLet’s face it. Life isn’t easy. Each and every one of us go through a lot in our lives. Whether it is school, children, work, or whatever, it’s all a part of life. This world use to be perfect and sinless. That was how it was before Adam and Eve disobeyed God and brought sin into the world. Life must’ve been easy then. But let’s not dwell on the past. What’s done is done and we can’t do anything about it.

Anyways, now this is a world full of sin. It’s a fallen world. Now we face hard work, danger, pain, suffering, and death. All of these things are pretty common in this world we live in. But sometimes these things bear down on us so much that we lose sight of God. We lose sight of the big picture and can only see the struggle that we’re facing. I get it. It’s like quicksand. As soon as we step in it, we start sinking and the more we struggle the quicker we sink. We all have those moments when we are so down deep in that quicksand that we begin to have doubts. Where is God? Does He even care? Why did He let this happen? We think that maybe we’ll never get out of this sand and that we will just keep sinking. And we will. Without God we’ll always be sinking.

Luke 18:27

He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”

But with God anything is possible.

So where is God when we’re struggling?  Here right there with you. He is always there with you. How? Because God is omnipresent which means he is everywhere at every time: past, present, and future all at the same time! But more importantly, as Christians, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Isn’t that amazing?!

He cares more about you than you will ever know. He love is everlasting. God cares so much about you that He created you. He certainly didn’t have to create any of us. But He did, because He wanted to. He didn’t need to. God went farther than just creating us though. He gave a beautiful world to live in with anything and everything we could ever need. Sin degraded the beauty of the world, but Jesus has bought redemption for us and soon the world will be perfect again when Jesus comes for the second time.

Why? You still might be asking. Well, we can’t ever truly know why. We don’t know how God thinks or what He thinks. But struggles do help us grow in our faith.

Romans 5:3-5

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Clearly, this shows that through struggle we develop endurance and this turn into growth in our faith. Remember that the next time you’re are going through something tough: there is always a reason for it. And always remember that God is with you.

-G. Paige
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The True Reason For Christmas

ahrblogChristmas. The time close to the end of the year that about half the world celebrates. Many of us go out and buy a Christmas tree maybe by cutting one down or buying one at a store (unless you have a fake one at home to put up). We usually will decorate that tree with lights and ornaments and much of the house in the same way. The adults  go shopping for presents for their kids (if they have any), sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, parents, and all their relatives. They might buy for their friends too. We’ll listen to Christmas music in the time following up to December 25th and sometime after. We’ll make ton of Christmas cookies that probably aren’t the healthiest, but still so good. Hopefully most of us get to spend a lot of time with family and relatives. It is a time of peace and joy…and happiness.Read More »

God and the Old Testament (Part 1)

ahr-largeSo I want to do a post on God, His love, and His relationship with us. I decided that I’d split it into two parts. One focusing on God in the Old Testament and one on God in the New Testament and, of course, today’s time, because there is a bit of a difference between the two.

In the beginning God created the world. He created everything, and I mean everything. There is not one thing the isn’t made by God. That means He created us. You know why? To glorify Him. We were made to share fellowship with Him and glorify Him through that.

But when Adam and Eve sinned, we fell from that perfection and could do nothing to save ourselves. We couldn’t glorify Him like we should’ve been able to. Then Adam and Eve’s descendants (except Noah and his family) turned to wickedness and it broke God’s heart.

Genesis 6:6

So the LORD was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.

He then brought His righteous anger down and brought about a flood. All people except Noah his family were destroyed.

Through many years after that, God spoke to men who became the ancestors of His chosen people: the Israelites. Some of those men were Abram, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. He loved them dearly and when they followed Him faithfully, He blessed them. But those whose sinned greatly…think of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Now I’m not saying that in the Old Testament God was a God of anger and in the New Testament He was a God of love. I know some people believe that, but it is really not true. God doesn’t change, He stays the same.

Malachi 3:6

I am the LORD, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed.

God can be angry and punish us because He is, first of all, God. God has the ultimate authority over us and everything. We all deserve hell, but because He a loving and merciful God He hasn’t sent us there. A second reason is that He is good. He can’t do anything wrong. No matter how wrong God’s decisions seems to us, it is right. I know, that is hard to believe at times and we’ll never fully understand it until we’re in Heaven.

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Exodus 20:6
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But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.

In the book Exodus, God gave the Israelites “official” commandments to follow. But time and time and time again the Israelites turned away to idols and other idolatrous things. You see, the commandments only more showed how the Israelites couldn’t obey all of them and be perfect. It showed them that they needed a savior, because they couldn’t do it on their own. Do you see where this is heading?

The Old Testament is mainly the history of the Israelites and how they followed God and then turned away, then turned back to God and then turned away…you know what I mean. Though God was merciful and loving so He didn’t totally wipe them out like He could have, He punished and/or reprimanded them. He is a God of justice.

Throughout what seems the hopelessness of the Old Testament: how the Israelites always fall short of God’s commands, we actually see hope too of a coming savior who will set them (us) free from the law. The Old Testament prophecies of hope and redemption.

Zechariah 9:9

Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey’s colt.

Isn’t that wonderful? There was hope. Next time I will post on that hope which is now a reality.

-G. Paige

To Christian Teens: Why We Need To Obey Our Parents

aheartredeemedimageWe, as teens with parents, have been told time and time again to obey our parents. But do we really know why? Why should we obey our parents? This is what I want to go into a bit today.

Colossians 3:20

Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord.

Since we were created to glorify God, we should want to please Him, the creator of the universe. If we live in Jesus, he gives us the ability to please and obey Him. If pleasing Him includes obeying our parents then I think we should do just that. That’s good enough of a reason, right? We should want to obey God with every fiber of our being. So why don’t we?

1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:34‬

Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all.

I believe it is the consequence of living in a fallen world. Sin is such a big temptation for us. It’s part of our nature to sin. So we disobey our parents either with disrespect, back talk, lies, and the list goes on. There are many reasons why: maybe we want control and we’re tired parents telling us what to do (we are teenagers, we can make our own decisions, right) or maybe we just are in a really bad mood and don’t want to listen to anyone (I do that quite a bit) or maybe we want to disobey, just to cross the line. Either way, we are teenagers so that means we should be able to see that obeying our parents is the right thing to do.

Ephesians‬ ‭6:1-3‬

Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”

It’s still very hard though, isn’t it? But if we lean and trust in Jesus Christ. We can do anything.

Luke 18:27

He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”

When it feels impossible, just remember that: God is with you all the way, so what can be impossible? Anyways, your parents are probably trying to follow God too and do right by you. They are trying to teach you to do what is right so you won’t make any mistakes that you later regret. They have so much more experience than you. They have your best interests at heart. But most importantly, they love you. God gave you to them. So whatever punishment you think is unfair or whatever thing they told you to do that you don’t think you should, know that it is for your own benefit. And most likely, in later years (or now) you’ll be so grateful to have had such amazing God-loving parents. What could we have done without them? They’re a small reflection of what our Father in Heaven is like.

Proverbs 13:24

Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.

Our parents are just doing what they’re called to do. We don’t have to love it, but we can respect and honor their decisions. We’ll really appreciate it later.

So I’m just going to shout out to my parents. Thanks Mom and Dad for being such spectacular parents to me! I love you guys and I want you to know that it really really really means a lot how much that you’ve done and your doing for me.

-G. Paige
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It’s Hard Not To Fall

imageNo matter who you are, or where you come from, you’ll always have temptations. Where does these temptations come from?

‭James‬ ‭1:14‬

Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.

It is different for each person. Nobody is perfect, even me. 😀 Some of my faults include: anger (I can lose my self-control very easily with my siblings) and pride (I sometimes think in my head that I’m better than another person in whatever we’re doing), but for you this may not even be a problem.

Temptation is a major reason why we sin. That doesn’t mean that it is not our own fault when we sin, it still is. Sin itself is a temptation. But it is so much harder to not sin, when it is a temptation.

‭Proverbs‬ ‭1:10-15‬

My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them! They may say, “Come and join us. Let’s hide and kill someone! Just for fun, let’s ambush the innocent! Let’s swallow them alive, like the grave; let’s swallow them whole, like those who go down to the pit of death. Think of the great things we’ll get! We’ll fill our houses with all the stuff we take. Come, throw in your lot with us; we’ll all share the loot.” My child, don’t go along with them! Stay far away from their paths.

This is what King Solomon said to his people. If you read through the Old Testament you will see time and time again the Israelites fell back to their idols and away from the one and only true God. Solomon is warning them to stay away from sin, from temptation. This can apply to us too. Too easily we fall to our temptations. We literally can not stop sinning and falling to temptations. “What? Than how can we stop sinning? You’re telling us to stop. Are you joking?” is what you might be thinking. I’m serious though, we can not stop sinning, by ourselves. We need Jesus in our hearts to be able to stop sinning. Even when we have Jesus we are still going to be tempted. Everyone is tempted, even Jesus was tempted.

‭Luke‬ ‭4:1-2‬

Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.

Though Jesus was tempted, he never fell for it. He persevered. We, filled with the Holy Spirit, can persevere through temptation too. Remember though, it is Satan who tempts us, not God. God is never the one tempting us.

‭James‬ ‭1:13‬

And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.

We will fall, no matter what, there is going to be those days when we follow the desires of our flesh. But never ever blame God for being tempted.

‭Luke‬ ‭17:1-2

One day Jesus said to his disciples, “There will always be temptations to sin, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting! It would be better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around your neck than to cause one of these little ones to fall into sin.”

See? There will always be temptations to sin, but with God we can resist temptation. “There’s hope.” you might say.

‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:13‬

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

This verse gives us so much hope. Our temptations will be no more than we can bear. Does that not bring a feeling of relief? Lastly, when others fall we can help lift them up. That’s what Christians are to do: lift each other up. Encourage one another.

Galatians‬ ‭6:1

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

We have help, from our friends, family, and especially God. So, whatever you’re going through continue to remember: with God you can do anything.

-G. Paige