Monday, November 10, 2014
A while back I wrote a little "essay" titled "A Wake-up Call." I wrote it because I saw within my own life a lack of Christ-likeness in my relationship with my sister and for the purpose of encouraging older siblings to love and to be an example for their younger siblings. You can read this post here: http://sarahspage17.blogspot.com/2013/09/a-wake-up-call.html
"The Teenage Trap" was what started this whole blogging thing. In it I wanted to communicate the importance of kids and teens respecting their parents. I believe my generation has demonstrated our absence of "the fear of the Lord" by neglecting His commandment to honor our fathers and mothers. You can read "The Teenage Trap" here: http://sarahspage17.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-teenage-trap.html Also check out "The Parent Project" where you can find multiple responses from teenagers to their parents (Some of these responses were from people I didn't even know). http://livingforthewaygll.wordpress.com/the-parent-project/
In one of my more recent posts, "What Is My Ministry," I shared my struggles about finding God's plan for my life and how His plans are not always our plans. But rest assured, His plans are ALWAYS best. http://sarahspage17.blogspot.com/2014/06/what-is-my-ministry.html
Here are a few more:
One last note... If you have a comment, please leave it! I value your opinion, and want to learn from you!
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
So good.... From Therebelution.com
I’m not a big fan of the word “mediocre.”
It’s not a term that’s been applied to me very much. When teachers write report cards, they usually put something along the lines of “hard worker” or “attentive student.” Not mediocre.
Another aspect of my un-mediocrity is the fact that people have been calling me “smart” for ages. Why? I usually get A’s and B’s on all my tests and quizzes. I’m used to it.
Or I was.
That little streak was shattered when I recently received a 78 on my math test.
That’s a C. Or a C+, if it’s any consolation to my battered pride.
I think I’m headed down a bad path.
Seriously, for real. When I was doing the test, part of my subconscious mentality was Oh, I’ll do good like I always do. It’s just a thing that’s programmed into my brain. I’ll get a high B or above, and everything will go just the way I like it.
When my teacher told the class that we did kind of bad, I was all, Heh-heh, except for moi. When she handed back the tests, shaking her head, I was all, Heh-heh, except for–WHAT?????
I was supposed to be the good girl! I was supposed to be the one who got a good grade when everybody else did bad! I was supposed to be the girl who made a difference, who was different, who actually did her homework and studied for the test!
To find that underneath all that, you’re not all that different, that you’re actually human *sarcastic gasp* is a real shocker.
And this kind of relates to the bigger picture of what has happened to me.
About a week ago, I worked in the local Little League Snack Shack. I almost clogged a nacho heater full of fluorescent cheese, I spilled a slushie, and I had to be corrected with my change. I had no idea what to do there. My mom offered to help, but I said no, claiming I was too busy. I wanted to be independent.
In a post on my blog about it, I laughed my pathetic mistakes off and said something like “God’s grace abounds.” I thought I was being so spiritual.
The Snack Shack itself wasn’t a big deal — the nacho heater wasn’t maimed permanently, and the people in charge weren’t mad at me or anything — but when I didn’t ask my mom for help during rush hour? I thought I was being “independent.”
My parents didn’t see it that way.
They saw it as pride.
Now that that problem has become more aware to me, I see my pride everywhere. With how I react to people, how I view people, how I see myself.
For a long time, I’ve been telling myself that I’m secure in the knowledge that I’m a writer, I’m a Christian, I’m a good girl. I thought that I was confident in who I am as a person, and just because other people might think that I’m annoying, weird, or socially awkward didn’t mean that I have to pay attention to them.
Get my drift: I look down on people who annoy me, bother me, or think I’m annoying.
Granted, I can’t care too much about what other people think of me — that’s what the social media, celebrities, whositwhatsits are telling everybody: be yourself, no matter what happens or who cares.
But honestly, what I learned? Just because you shouldn’t let other people get you down doesn’t mean you should look down on all human beings that criticize you and mentally call them bozos. Just because you think they’re immature and whatnot doesn’t mean you look down on them.
Because in the end, we’re all sinners. I’m not better than people who tease me and annoy me and think I’m annoying. I’m worse, because I think of them as lower than I am.
In the end, we’re all human. I have flesh and bone and skin and a heart and a head. I am human. Which means I inherit all the qualities of a — i.e., our inherent depravity.
In the end, we all need Jesus. I need Jesus. We all need Him. He’s the only One who can do anything. He’s the only One who can save me.
And without Him, guess what?
I am mediocre.
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” — Proverbs 16:18
Sunday, July 6, 2014
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Saturday, June 28, 2014
"I shift uncomfortably in the back seat as all eyes in the car suddenly turn to me. A quiet giggle lingers on my lips as I play with my hands, struggling for the right words for The Question. Ah yes, The Question.
“So Rachel, what would you like to do?”
Every teenager in the car has answered it flawlessly so far, as if they have stood in front of the mirror rehearsing it a dozen times. Of course, there’s the noble and intelligent Doctor. Then there’s the sophisticated and witty Lawyer. And let’s not forget that charming and charismatic Politician-in-the-making.
What do I want to do? What do I want to be? Where do I want to go? I don’t know.
Not only do I not know, I don’t have the slightest idea.
I used to be terrified of The Question. Why couldn’t I be one of the people who seems to “just know,” you know? The idea of that impending unknown slowly catching up to me with every passing day, the concept of The Future, used to paralyze me with fear. I didn’t want to choose, because choosing means committing, and committing means agreeing to the risk of failure.
No, I do not know what I want to be when I grow up, but there are some things I do know. I know that there is a God who knitted me together (Psalm 139:13), knows the plans He has for me (Jeremiah 29:11), and for now, asks me to lean not on my own understanding, but rather lean on Him (Proverbs 3:5-6).
I may not know the exact occupation I want to hold when I grow up, but I know that I want people to know Jesus Christ, the Savior of my soul, and extend to them the love that He has lavished upon me.
A man named Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (imagine having to write that on your papers at school!) once said: “I have but one passion: It is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ.”
My grandmother told me this: “You will be great at whatever you do, but you will be best at what God is calling you to do.”
And right now, God is calling me to love those around me. He is calling me to be the Salt and Light of the earth. He is asking me to seek Him, above school and fun and guys and all of the things that the world portrays as the most important.
To tell you the truth, it is kind of fun not to know. I could be a writer, or an FBI agent, or a missionary. I could be anything. And though that may be a little scary, a lot of the time fear is only being scared of the extraordinary things God can do through ordinary people like us.
So embrace not knowing. Embrace the awkwardness. Embrace The Question. Embrace living in the here and the now.
Trust isn’t built in good weather, but in the storms and the crashing waves. So trust. Trust that you can lean on Christ and that the path will be straight (Proverbs 3:6). He will not lead you to a dead end. Simply put one foot
in front of the other and walk in obedience.
Okay, where was I? Oh, yes, in the car.
So there I sit, among the future Doctors, Lawyers, and Politicians.
And then there’s me, fumbling for words like I am new to the English language. Only three words escape my lips, an unsure yet absolutely certain whisper, “I don’t know.” And as these words saturate the air around me, I can’t help but smile a little. I don’t know, but God does. And that is enough for now."
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Friday, June 13, 2014
From Therebelution http://therebelution.com/blog/2014/06/the-extraordinary-power-of-now/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rebelution+%28The+Rebelution%29
Have you ever had one of those mornings where you wake up, and just wonder, “What am I doing with my life”? You sit and wonder if your life matters, and who would miss you if you were gone. You have this big sense of restlessness within you. “Is there more to life than what I am currently living?” “When will my big moment come?” “Will I ever amount to anything?” There has got to be more to life! Right?
This may or may not be you, but I know I have had far too many of these mornings. Despite all of my efforts to have that perfect life I imagine, I am often left wanting more. We can seemingly have everything in our lives that we could ever want and still we will often wonder “IS THIS ALL??”
We wonder, “God, what is my purpose? When will I finally be living it out?” Well, I am not about to try explaining the purpose of life, but I think it is essential for us to gain a new perspective on our NOW — and this is what I want to dive into today.
There are many biblical stories we could reference as we adjust our perspective, but I decided I wanted to use King David as our example. Although none of us will ever be trying to lead a nation as a King, I believe many of us aspire to be something that matters “one day.” We want more for our life, but we’re stuck in a routine that (we feel) is getting us nowhere closer to our potential. We feel that what we are doing today is nowhere in line with what we are supposed to be doing and will leave no impact.
This is where this story comes into play. David is one of the most popular characters in the Bible. We can easily see in history the number of ways that God used David for HUGE things, but we miss the really important parts so often. We miss the diligence and effort He had to put in behind the scene before any of the glory. That’s just it, we marvel at the glory, but we forget about the story.
David had to realize the power of his present situation to ever be prepared for his greater challenges! David wouldn’t have been prepared for Goliath if he hadn’t been faithful with his father’s sheep (FYI, shepherding was looked at as the lowliest of jobs in this time). David would not have been prepared for a king’s court if he hadn’t been faithful in playing his harp for Saul. David would never have been prepared for fighting for his nation if he hadn’t learned to be strategic protecting himself in his many years of hiding.
David had to endure the process of making progress towards his potential. Yet each time one of these challenges arose, he maximized the potential he had which set him up for greater potential for his future.
So you want to be great? That starts today. It starts NOW. And it comes in two forms.
1) Maximize the moments
This starts when we realize that from the moment we wake up to the moment we are asleep, we have thousands of opportunities to be great. These are the little opportunities no one looks at as greatness. It’s the hug you give, the dishes you put away, the bathroom you clean, the friend you write a note to, the homework you complete well, the practice you give everything at, etc.
So I need you to get this. We miss that greatness lies in the little moments of life! We look for a grand magical purpose in our future and miss everything that is truly great in our life. We miss that our potential is found in the process of making progress. This is our issue! We strive for our grand purpose of our potential but overlook the impact of the process of progress. This is one of the essentials of being great.
2) Invest in your deposit
You have gifts, talents, and abilities. You have these for a reason. Invest in them. Do you play an instrument, play a sport, or perform? Are you a good listener, good with finances, or great with kids? God gave you these things as a deposit, so invest in them! Maximize them!
We must realize something about being great. It is the things that no one sees that produce the results everyone wants. The people who inspire us to be great did not just appear over night. They had to develop their deposit with diligence. They learned to steward their gifts in the “NOW” — completely changing the trajectory of their potential. Their greatness came from their daily grind.
The world needs people who can take what they’ve been given and maximize that deposit through investing in it. Be YOUR best. This will make you great.
These are both things you can do right now! And that is why NOW is so critical.
You can keep sitting and waiting on that new opportunity to arrive, or for your dream to come true. But if you aren’t maximizing NOW your deposit will be scarce when the doors do open. Your deposit won’t be stimulated enough from your investments to be able to carry you into your bigger opportunities to come.
You may not see the actual purpose of your current situation, but if you see that it HAS a purpose, you will keep from selling yourself short of your potential.
Don’t overlook the power of now.
Saturday, June 7, 2014
Teens can be the most energetic, the most passionate, the most powerful people group in the Body of Christ.And Satan knows it...
Read the rest at http://therebelution.com/blog/2014/06/teenagers-are-pathetic/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rebelution+%28The+Rebelution%29
I’m done watching kids go over the edge. I’m done watching hearts break. I’m done playing tea party in a war zone. Parents, pray for your kids! The Enemy is after them, not just so he can get to them, but so he can get to you!When I was little one of my favorite movies was Pixar’s “The Incredibles.” It’s still one of the best animated films of all time in my mind. There is a line in that movie that hits home with me. As Mrs. Incredible is describing the enemy to her kids she warns them, “He won’t exercise restraint because you’re children. He will kill you if he gets the chance. Do not give him that chance.”Let me tell you something. You are powerful. You are not destined for mediocrity. You have all that you need for life and godliness. You were meant to change the world. You were meant for so much! Don’t be deceived. Don’t let this culture lie and tell you that people are fine one day and snap the next. That’s not how it works. It’s a choice. It’s a decision. And it starts right now.
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Friday, May 16, 2014
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Friday, May 9, 2014
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Are you born again? This is one of life's most important questions. Jesus Christ said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).
It is not enough to reply, "I belong to the church; I suppose I'm a Christian." Thousands of nominal Christians show none of the signs of being born again which the Scriptures have given us—many listed in the First Epistle of John.
First of all, John wrote: "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin" (I John 3:9). "Whosoever is born of God sinneth not" (5:18).
A person who has been born again, or regenerated, does not habitually commit sin. He no longer sins with his heart and will and whole inclination. There was probably a time when he did not think about whether his actions were sinful or not, and he did not always feel grieved after doing evil. There was no quarrel between him and sin; they were friends. But the true Christian hates sin, flees from it, fights against it, considers it his greatest plague, resents the burden of its presence, mourns when he falls under its influence, and longs to be completely delivered from it. Sin no longer pleases him, nor is it even a matter of indifference to him; it has become a horrible thing which he hates. However, he cannot eliminate its presence within him.
If he said that he had no sin, he would be lying (I John 1:8). But he can say that he hates sin and that the great desire of his soul is not to commit sin at all. He cannot prevent bad thoughts from entering his mind, or shortcomings, omissions, and defects from appealing in both his words and his actions. He knows that "in many things we offend all" (James 3:2). But he can truly say, in the sight of God, that these things cause him grief and sorrow and that his whole nature does not consent to them. What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again?
Second, John wrote: "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God" (I John 5:1).
A man who is born again, or regenerated, believes that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour who can pardon his soul, that He is the divine person appointed by God the Father for this very purpose, and beside Him there is no Saviour at all. In himself he sees nothing but unworthiness. But he has full confidence in Christ, and trusting in Him, he believes that his sins are all forgiven. He believes that, because he has accepted Christ's finished work and death on the cross, he is considered righteous in God's sight, and he may look forward to death and judgment without alarm.
He may have fears and doubts. He may sometimes tell you that he feels as if he had no faith at all. But ask him if he is willing to trust in anything instead of Christ, and see what he will say. Ask him if he will rest his hope of eternal life on his own goodness, his own works, his prayers, his minister, or his church, and listen to his reply. What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again?
Third, John wrote: "Every one that doeth righteousness is born of Him" (I John 2:29).
The man who is born again, or regenerated, is a holy man. He endeavors to live according to God's will, to do the things that please God and to avoid the things that God hates. He wishes to continually look to Christ as his example as well as his Saviour and to prove himself to be Christ's friend by doing whatever He commands. He knows he is not perfect. He is painfully aware of his indwelling corruption. He finds an evil principle within himself that is constantly warring against grace and trying to draw him away from God. But he does not consent to it, though he cannot prevent its presence.
Though he may sometimes feel so low that he questions whether or not he is a Christian at all, he will be able to say with John Newton, "I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am." What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again?
Fourth, John wrote: "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren" (I John 3:14).
A man who is born again has a special love for all true disciples of Christ. Like his Father in heaven, he loves all men with a great general love, but he has a special love for those who share his faith in Christ. Like his Lord and Saviour, he loves the worst of sinners and could weep over them; but he has a peculiar love for those who are believers. He is never so much at home as when he is in their company.
He feels they are all members of the same family. They are his fellow soldiers, fighting against the same enemy. They are his fellow travelers, journeying along the same road. He understands them, and they understand him. They may be very different from himself in many ways—in rank, in station and in wealth. But that does not matter. They are his Father's sons and daughters and he cannot help loving them. What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again?
Fifth, John wrote: "Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world" (I John 5:4).
A man who is born again does not use the world's opinion as his standard of right and wrong. He does not mind going against the world's ways, ideas and customs. What men think or say no longer concerns him. He overcomes the love of the world. He finds no pleasure in things which seem to bring happiness to most people. To him they seem foolish and unworthy of an immortal being.
He loves God's praise more than man's praise. He fears offending God more than offending man. It is unimportant to him whether he is blamed or praised; his first aim is to please God. What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again?
Sixth, John wrote: "He that is begotten of God keepeth himself' (I John 5:18).
A man who is born again is careful of his own soul. He tries not only to avoid sin but also to avoid everything which may lead to it. He is careful about the company he keeps. He knows that evil communications corrupt the heart and that evil is more catching than good, just as disease is more infectious than health. He is careful about the use of his time; his chief desire is to spend it profitable.
He desires to live like a soldier in an enemy country—to wear his armor continually and to be prepared for temptation. He is diligent to be watchful, humble, prayerful man. What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again?
These are the six great marks of a born again Christian.
There is a vast difference in the depth and distinctness of these marks in different people. In some they are faint and hardly noticeable. In others they are bold, plain and unmistakable, so anyone may read them. Some of these marks are more visible than others in each individual. Seldom are all equally evident in any one person.
But still, after every allowance, here we find boldly painted six marks of being born of God.
How should we react to these things? We can logically come to only one conclusion—only those who are born again have these six characteristics, and those who do not have these marks are not born again. This seems to be the conclusion to which the apostle intended us to come. Do you have these characteristics? Are you born again?
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