10 Reasons to Embrace Your Singleness

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I was reading this article on 17 reasons why it stinks to be single or something like that, and it set me to thinking. What’s the worst thing for me about being single? So I started thinking, and I really couldn’t think of anything that horrible about my singleness. Actually, I can think of way more reasons why it would stink to not be single.

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My Theme for the New Year

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For the past few years, I’ve been asking God for a special word or theme that He wants me to focus on during the new year. Last year, it was “loving others with an unconditional love and compassion”; the year before that it was “abiding in Christ.”

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Happy New Year | From A Writer’s Reflections

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Photo Credit: Unsplash

Happy New Year to all my amazing readers!

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for every single one of you who have supported my blog even a little bit through your views, likes, comments, and sharing. I know this sounds cliche (and it is), but the reality is that I couldn’t do this without you. I mean, I could, but then all my blog would be is a sort of online journal; therapeutic and enjoyable to myself, yes, but not the inspirational sharing platform that I really want it to be. I love being able to spread my thoughts around to anyone who will listen (even though it is a leap of faith for me); it makes me feel like I have a legitimate role in helping to change the world for the better. Continue reading

Christmas over? What now?

Good reminder for the rest of the year!

Rogue Millennials

Merry Christmas

Even if you did a great job of remembering the reason for the season this Christmas, we want to encourage you to keep that spirit alive all year long! Remember the season for the reason never ends. The reason for Christmas doesn’t end, now that the holiday is passed. While we pinpoint December 25th specifically and December in general to celebrate the gift God gave us in salvation through the advent of Jesus Christ and the culmination of his work – don’t forget now that the 25th has passed to keep on serving God by loving others!

Keep the joy alive all year. Remember to keep giving gifts, comforting those who are mourning, caring for those in need. Remember to celebrate Jesus daily, his presence in your present life and his redemption of your past – and continue to anticipate the future culmination of our faith walk in heaven. It’s…

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Emmanuel Has Come

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1. O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

2. O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory o’er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

3. O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

4. O come, Thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heav’nly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

5. O come, Adonai, Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times didst give the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

6. O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
And order all things, far and nigh;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And cause us in her ways to go.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

7. O come, Desire of nations, bind
All peoples in one heart and mind;
Bid envy, strife and quarrels cease;
Fill the whole world with heaven’s peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

~ c. 15th century

This particular Christmas carol had been on my mind a lot recently. I think it’s a fascinating one. It is one of longing and heretofore unfulfilled hopes and desires, while also conveying the deep confidence and joy in the knowledge that those hopes and desires will come true.

Written primarily from the perspective of an Old Testament Israelite, who could very well have lived and died without seeing this promise come to pass, this song reminisces about the past glories of the God of Israel shown to the Jewish people through the law and the kingship and points to the even greater majesty and victory to come through the future advent of God to earth.

This manifestation of the God of heaven would come as a helpless human baby, a sign utterly plain and powerful that God Himself is with us and lives among us. Emmanuel.

Now that we are two thousand years removed from that promised coming of the Messiah to Israel, we can see infinitely more clearly the ramifications of what the Jews could only imagine. As the seventh stanza indicates, the advent of “God with us” has an effect on more than just the Jewish nation. Jesus’ coming to earth was something that all nations yearned for; it is something that will bind all peoples together and “fill the whole world with heaven’s peace.”

Now, we can truly rejoice in the realized hopes and desires of all history.

Emmanuel has come.

Recapturing the Christmas Spirit

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This post was originally published at A Writer’s Reflections on December 16, 2015. (Link below)

Recapturing the Christmas Spirit | A Writer’s Reflections

Manger Scene

Photo credit: “Shepherds 25” by Waiting for the Word: https://flic.kr/p/aGS9ZB

 

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

                                                                                           (Luke 2:10-14)

 

Recently I mentioned to my mom that for some reason, I haven’t been able to really get into the Christmas spirit this December, and I’m not sure why. Maybe because I wasn’t around when my family decorated the house and the tree, maybe because I’ve been distracted by a whole host of other things going on.

But I just haven’t been in the festive Christmas mood as much as I normally am this time of year, despite the fact that I started listening to Christmas music back in the middle of November and have gotten all my Christmas shopping done. It just hasn’t felt completely like Christmas.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what that “Christmas mood” or “Christmas spirit” is defined as, but I think you all know what I mean. It’s something that can’t easily be put into words; a feeling that often involves excitement and goodwill and a sense of unity with those around you.

But thinking about that made me wonder: why does that Christmas spirit matter, and what causes it? And is that even an important thing to be focusing on during this season? Does it really even matter whether I’m in a “Christmas mood” or whether it “feels like” Christmas?

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How to Stop Feeling Alone in a Room Full of People

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Check out this amazing post by Brandon Adams about how to stop feeling alone. Honestly, this is one of the biggest things I’ve struggled with all my life, and the only thing that has truly been the answer to that problem is what Brandon talks about in his post. So I hope you are encouraged like I was.

Brandon J. Adams

We all can feel alone even when surrounded by our greatest fans.

You probably know how this goes. Moments come where we feel something unshareable, something that seems to set us apart from the gathering. It might be a pain, or it might be a joy. Whatever it is, we know the others aren’t feeling it. It’s stuck inside us.

It’s the worst feeling.

Finding someone like-minded to us is cause for celebration, along the lines of finding a vein of gold on your property. But they seem few and far between. Our struggles pull us toward isolation.

This is often our God-shaped hole. There are parts of us that are just too deep for any human to reach. Those needs belong on the broad shoulders of God.Lost in a crowd?

However…God Himself did not intend for humans to live alone. In a stunning act of humility, He designed us to need each other as well. (It’s also one of His tools of sanctification…

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Asking, Seeking, Knocking: Why Don’t We See Answers?

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Cottonwood trees along the Rio Grande in autumn, New Mexico

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”

~Matthew 7:7-11

Matthew 7:7 may be one of the most quoted verses in the Bible, and yet, ironically, one of the least to be actually understood and carried out in a believer’s life.

Why do I say that? Well, in my limited experience, I’ve heard that verse quoted and seen it engraved on plaques and statues, hung in churches and homes, and adorning jewelry and pictures to no end. But very rarely have I heard a Christian talk about the concepts of that verse as being real and true in their life, about how God has been rewarding their diligent practice of asking, seeking, and knocking. Continue reading

Ask, Seek, Knock | From The Life Project Blog

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Hey everyone,

I apologize for being so silent lately on my blog. I promise you I’m still alive and well–more busy than usual actually. Work, travel, random stuff. All of that.

I have been working on several posts recently; I just haven’t been spending enough time to perfect any of them…lol. Anyway, my aim is to change that and actually start getting regular posts out again.

I’ve been working on a post about this well-known verse: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7).

But recently I also saw this post by Don Merritt on The Life Project blog talking about this same topic and thought it was a really good summary of what Jesus was teaching here. Check it out below!


“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if […]

via Ask, Seek, Knock — The Life Project

Quote of the Week | Living Out Your Fears?

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Too many of us are not living our dreams, because we are living our fears.
~ Les Brown

I’ve touched on this topic of fear more than once, but I think it really bears repeating.

I’ve been held back by my fears more times than I can count, and I know how detrimental it can be to one’s life and confidence. But because my confidence is not founded in myself but in the One who is the very essence of peace, courage, and confidence, I know that it’s very possible to reject those fears and truly live out my dreams and the purpose God has for me.

And if it’s possible for me, one of the most timid Tim’s out there, then I know for sure you can do it, too.

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid,
but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
2 Timothy 1.7

 

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Hope you enjoyed what you read! Please feel free to add your personal thoughts in the comments below. If you haven’t already, check out my About page, and I’d love it if you subscribed to my blog as well! That way you won’t miss any of my future posts, and you’ll completely make my day.

Thanks for stopping by!