Archive for category Holidays and Celebrations

Some New Years Resolutions

Taken from sxc.hu. Credit goes to abeall

Holy aspirations go hand in hand with New Years resolutions, if you think about it. It’s all about trying to make ourselves better, to get closer to what we would optimally like to be. I thought it might be interesting to post some I thought of this year, (and this will help me to remember them too)
  • To put greater emphasis on Church.

This was something that I really lacked in during the past year.  It was so easy to make an excuse NOT to go. I was tired. I didn’t really feel like I was growing at my Church. It was a long drive. We were in the middle of a move. When you boil it all down to the heard treason thought, it comes to one thing: I didn’t feel like it. (I’ll probably make a post about church one of these days. It’s been something really brought to my attention lately). Since this was something that started about January, it was really easy to look back and see where it impacted my faith during the year. It wasn’t good, is the short way to say it. I found that without Church to ground my week in Christ, even a church which I didn’t think was deep and helping me, my week was less likely to be focused on Him. My thoughts of Him, my prayers, were less long and frequent. This year I am going to put much more effort into church, and forcing myself to go even when I don’t feel like it.

  • To stop treating time with God as something I want to check off my to do list, and make it much more personal.

I often find myself falling into the habit of saying “Oh, better read two chapters of my Bible today.” It doesn’t sound bad, on the surface. But dig into it and you see that I’m really just doing it because I feel duty called to, not because I so crave to see deeper into God’s word. I’ve been working on reading the New Testament over Christmas break, and though I don’t think I’ll actually finish it all, it has pointed something out to me. When I read two chapters for the sake of reading two chapters, I’m generally focused on one thing: finishing two chapters. But when I sit down and just start reading, with an end point far in the future or not set at all, I fucus much more on the words themselves and not how many verses I’ve gotten past. I want to fucus on the Bible because I want to grow and find my Lord’s will for me, not because I should as a good little Christian. Something I’ m working on and hopefully growing in. The same goes for prayer sometimes. It’s something I’m going to change, with God’s help.

  • To be much more helpful around the house.

I’ve often been frustrated about not knowing what I’m supposed to be doing. I’ve paced, and thought, and tried to figure out the path I was to take. And I kept asking God what I was to do. And somewhere in my thoughts an idea would always pop up: Maybe I’m not sure where I’m going now, but I do know where He has placed me at the moment, and there I should be working diligently. I might be frustrated about not knowing about jobs or school, but home is where He has placed me to work right now.

  • To post here more often

This isn’t just a “I should be a better blogger” thing. When I post on here it draws my thoughts to Him more, makes me grow more, makes me learn more. I will think throughout the day about what I need to post and then post it. It helps me put my mind on “things above, not on things on the earth.” When I post here, it often means me discovering verses I hadn’t noticed before, things coming to mind that wouldn’t have otherwise. I often think of how much this blog is often best for me, and not for everyone else in cyberspace.

  • To chip away at some of my terrible habits and sins

We all have them, different ones, all rooted in our sinful nature. One of my big issues is I can be so downright lazy and procrastinate so often. I want to fix this, to get better at it, to grow closer to what I should be. There are so many things I could have done this year, should have done this year, but I didn’t get around to because I was watching TV, or reading a book. Or didn’t feel like studying and doing hard work. This and other things, obviously. I want to be polished more to shine for God.

I’m sure I’ll think of more (New Years Resolutions are often a few day thing for me). What was going to be a short post with a list has become this (and it’s helped me to lay out my thoughts even better, trust me. Part of the posting more often resolution.) I hope you’ve got your own resolutions, even if you only have one, and are working to get closer to Him who we owe are all to.

With His help, without which we are helpless on our own, (Amen!)

Victoria

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His Birth… and Death

During the Christmas season, we are constantly reminded of Jesus birth.  And it was quite an amazing thing, to be sure.  We all know the story, of the spectacular events that took place, with angles and shepherds and wise men and Mary and Joseph and that little manger in that cave, where our Savior entered into the world He was going to die for… yes, it was spectacular.

But I think we need to remember this December, and every December for that matter, that His birth would mean nothing without His death.  His touching entrance into the world would give us nothing, and be no more than some interesting tale, if it wasn’t for the death in which He left it, and saved us all from Hell and God’s wrath.  And all in all, the real story that counts is the death and resurrection.

So while you sit and sing carols about the manger and the angles, remember that it was all for the cross and salvation.  It was the beginning of the rescue of the world.

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It’s That Time of Year Again!

Yes it is.  For those of you who don’t know, around this time of year a group of people – myself included – take their Christmas breaks and spend them reading through the Bible.  Your initial thought there probably was “The entire Bible?!?!”  and yes, quite a few of us have (though this year a lot of people are swamped with school, and it looks like a group will be doing only the New Testament)

There are one or two points to this.  One, it puts the holiday focus where it needs to be.  On God.  I understand that quite a bit of family stuff goes on over Christmas break, and we don’t blame anyone who can’t join us… or who joins and doesn’t end up finishing.  Which brings us to point two: to dig into the Word and read more than we would normally have read.  Even if you read just a few chapters more than you would have otherwise and flop after that we don’t consider it a failure.  We think it great that you spent even that much more time in the word.

So if you are interested in joining in on all this, hop over to our blog: Christmas Bible Reading

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Graduation!

I done been graduateded!  And let me tell you, ’tain’t fun.  (Sorry, I had to say that.  My brother wanted me to do that on stage when I got my diploma, but I refused.  So I’m doing it here.  Here’s to you Christian!!!)

But, this isn’t the end.  There is no point in which we stop learning; in life or in our Christian walk.  There is always more to learn and remember.  We must always press forward to understand more about our Creator and the world around us.  And that’s exciting!  There is always something new and amazing to learn around the corner!

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Growth

The other day, I turned 17.  I am excited for this new chapter of my life!  For me, 16 wasn’t what it was cut out to be.  The begining saw me facing issues with friends, loneliness, and a constant moving around but really doing nothing.  As the year progressed, it remained on it’s rollercoster ride of emotions.  During this time however, my thoughts wandered to God.  During this time my relationship with Him and my understanding of Him have grown.  It took that emotionial and physical lonliness for me to look higher and remember I could always find a friend in Him.

Thankfully, in the second half of my 16th year, God gave me some wonderful friends.  I realize though, that if my friends and my paths part someday, I will always have the Lord, he will “never leave you nor forsake you”.  I can always go to Him in prayer!  Truly He is a great comfort to me.

That is only one of the things that I learned in that era of my life, as I really started to put an effert out to make a solid relationship with my Lord and Savior.  Not to say I’m finished.  I am still working on it, and will be for the rest of my life.

We never stop getting older physically.  I cannot say that I want to stop here, at 17, and stay here.  Spiritual growth is different.  We must make an effort to grow, and we must never say enough.  If I stop learning, it is my own fault.  I hope to learn even more this year then I did last year.  And I pray that with God’s grace, He will mold me and help me become what I should be.

For His glory!
Victoria

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Happy New Year!!!

Haha, I know it’s a little late.  But better late then never, as people say.  I’ve been busy with the Bible reading over Christmas break project.  Not only was I spending 5 to 6 hours a day reading, I was behind, and in charge of updating the website which I was in charge of (Fun!  If you want to check it out, go here).  Thankfully I had some help for that.  So I got done with that on the third.  After that I’ve been catching up on some much-needed sleep from going crazy and staying up all night on New Years. (Super fun!)

So here I am finally getting around to updating my blog.  I’ve been thinking about the post that I did last year for New Years.  And I realized I had gotten it all wrong.  In said post I said that a major thing to keeping your New Years resolutions was accountability.  I tried it out with some of mine, and realized that this was not true.  It is a minor part of it, but not a major part of it.  After a few months I realized what was missing from my resolutions.  Commitment, determination and realizing the importance of the goal, and making it a priority.

I think most of the goals that are made and fail are due to lack of the three points above.  People say, “Oh, it would be nice to do this,”  “Maybe I should do that,” but do they sit down and say to themselves, “This is important for these reasons.  I need to get it done this year.  I will get it done this year!”?  I’m willing to say that most people who fail don’t.

I’ll use myself as an example.  Last year, one of my goals was to read the Bible more than just a chapter a day.  That one didn’t even start out well.  I was tired, and for the first day I sought out a short Psalms and read it.  I told myself I was burnt out after reading the Bible in two weeks, so I did it for a few more days.  Then I wasn’t sure what book to dive into, so I read a few more short Psalms.  This went on and on and soon over a month had gone by.  Quite a disappointment.  But then I realized what was missing from my goals and started over.  I’m happy to say that by the end of the month I was reading 2 chapters a day plus 2 more chapters that I was reviewing and working on memorizing.  That’s 4 a day!  Once I put it as a priority I did it, but when it was something that “would be nice to do” I let it slide and go forgotten.

For the fun of it, lets dig up Joe again.  I introduced Joe when I made last years New Year post.  I had ment to bring him into other posts, but it still hasn’t happened.  I’ll do so now though.

Lets find Joe where we left off.  He too soon realized that his goal wasn’t working.  He broke it and watched it float away in a firy wreck.  He spent the year forgetting about it, until December 31 rolled around again.  He found himself at a company New Year’s party being asked that question we are all asked at that time: “Got any New Year’s resolutions this year?”  He stared at the speaker.  He hadn’t even thought of resolutions yet.   Joe fumbles around in his head… “Um, yeah, I think I’m going to try to… lose some weight this year.”  After all, everyone has a resolution, Joe can’t go against the grain!

Later, Joe regrets his words.  But then he gets to thinking.  Since he hadn’t made his resolution of not eating chocolate cake last year, he has put on a few pounds… he does need to lose a few of those pounds… The more he thinks the more he realizes that he must.  He grabs a Sharpie and writes down on a piece of paper the words he would live by that year. “I will eat no chocolate cake until I lose some weight.”  He then posts this note on his fridge.  He takes his to-do list and writes “Lose some weight” right at the top.  He makes it a priority  in his life.

When offered some chocolate cake a few days later, he refuses, knowing that he mustn’t eat it.  In the end, he succeeds this year and completes his goal.  Great job Joe!!!

Ok, so maybe it was a silly example, but it shows a point… and for some strange reason I like to write about Joe, so I wanted to bring him back up.

I want to close this using some words from Oswald Chambers: : “Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him.”  Go with God this New Year.  Everything; past, present, and future is in His caring hands.  There is no one else I would rather trust with my life than Him.

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Christmas

Lights are out, stores are hanging out their happy holiday signs and perhaps you yourself are starting to sing the carols of the season.  Then there is the cookies and of course eggnog and… wait a minute, back up a bit.  Happy Holidays?!  Hmm… This seemingly innocent two words are actually two sneaky little enemy agents!  Well, ok, maybe tools by the enemy would be a better way to say that, but you get the point.

You see, when people say Happy Holidays, or Holiday Tree (where did that come from?  I hadn’t heard that until this year) or Holiday lights, or Holiday stroll, or anything of that nature, they are spreading the propoganda of the world.  It’s not what’s there, it’s what isn’t there.  What every happened to Merry Christmas, or Christmas Tree, or Christmas anything?  Well, I’ll tell you what.  The world hates Christ.  Having him associated with one of the biggest holidays of the year, if not the biggest, makes them angry.  So slowly, but surely, they have taken their agents of the world and started to change that.

This is wrong!  Taking Christ out of Christmas is a way that the world is using to silence us christians.  We need to stop this, we need to avoid this.

How?  First, refuse to say Happy Holidays.  Make a point to say Merry Christmas.  To store clerks, on your Christmas cards, in regular conversations.  Everywhere.  Avoid Happy Holidays.

Another thing you could consider would be avoiding stores in your Christmas shopping that say Happy Holidays.  We need to support people who support us.  If we want to get our message out to the world, we need to be different.  When we avoid the stores that say Happy Holidays, we take away quite a chunk of money out of their pockets.  If enough people did that, we could have our Christmas back.

Shall we?

Victoria

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