52 Weeks: 52 Verses- I Just Don’t Have It In Me.

“We know that we live in Him and He in us, because He has given us His Spirit.” -1 John 4:13

“I don’t have it in me” was the first sentence in my devotional this morning, from Mornings with Jesus 2012. This week has been a tough one, not for any particular reason, nothing major has happened to up-end anything, it has just been an off week in general.

When I opened my devotional and read that first sentence, I knew that was what I wanted to tell God. “I just don’t have it in me.”

Even if I don’t have it in me, that is not what matters, I may not have the strength or desire within me, but if I am attempting to lean on myself to get through the bad days it is not going to happen. I have Christ within me, He provides me with His strength, not my own, He pushes me forward. Jesus lives within me, and in those moments of feeling that I just don’t have the energy or the strength, when I call out to Jesus He will always fill me up.

-Elle

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I am Chosen: Week 3 Graduated Blog Tour

1 Peter 2:4-9

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

How many times in a day do we get caught up in what life is handing us, and get caught up in worldy things that we forget that we have been chosen! And not just chosen but chosen by the Most High God! We are His special possession! A Holy Nation! A Royal Priesthood! Have you ever actually taken the time to consider those phrases?

I am a Chosen People.

I am a Royal Priesthood.

I am a Holy Nation.

I am God’s Special Possession.

Wow. There is not much to say beyond that. We are Chosen. God’s Special Possession. Not only are we Chosen but we are called, each of us has been called to something different, some of us know that calling since we were young, others (like myself) are still trying to figure it all out.

I may not know exactly what God has called me to do, but I know I have been called to serve, to share His word and to glorify God in everything.

As I continue to search for a clearer calling I know that my gifts lie in serving. To help others. I’ve always loved to volunteer and that has never changed, I can’t remember a time when I did not want to help people, when I did not raise my hand to be the first to help out.

I love to give  my time, to serve others, and to teach when I know what I am doing (and sometimes when I have no clue!) It may not be specific, but I know I am chosen. I have been called to serve. I will glorify my God in all ways possible.

-Elle

The 1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times was provided to me complimentary from Kregel Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This is an inductive Bible Study by Sue Edwards which I will be going through for the next 9 weeks.

God Gave Us Two

God Gave Us Two By: Lisa Tawn Bergren Illustrated By: Laura J. Bryant

“Why do we need a new baby? If we don’t like the new baby, can we send it back?” Little Cub isn’t understanding why Mama and Papa Polar Bear are having another baby. Mama and Papa explains all that Little Cub can do with a baby brother and sister and how a new baby and Little Cub are both gifts from God.

God Gave Us Two is an adorable book for kids, especially when a new baby is on the way. The illustrations are full of color and tons of fun to look at with all of the details put into each page.

This book was provided complimentary by Waterbrook Publishing through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review. I am not required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.

-Elle

http://www.waterbrookmultnomah.com/bloggingforbooks/reviews/ranking/15856

Cliques, Hicks and Ugly Sticks

Cliques, Hicks and Ugly Sticks:The Confessions of April Grace

By: KD McCrite

Just when April Grace believed that the drama was over she had no idea what would happen once she entered into Junior High School. After Isabel St. James and is injured in an accident, her job at the school is placed on hold. In the meantime Mama hasn’t been feeling very well and is unable to be a part of the Christmas show at church. April Grace has a brilliant idea to get Isabel to direct the Christmas show. Only Isabel has her own ideas and expects April Grace to help out.

Will April Grace be able to stop worrying about her mom and help Isabel with the show? Will she figure out how to deal with Myra Sue and her snottiness?

This book is a great read for pre-teens that is wholesome, girls will love the stories of April Grace’s confessions.

I was provided this book complimentary from  the publisher through the BookSneeze book reviewer program. I am not required to write a positive review, all opinions are my own.

-Elle

 

52 Weeks: 52 Verses- A year for learning

I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.”

-Philippians 3:12-16

It’s almost the end of January. One month into the new year, and if this month is any reflection of what this year is going to look like, it is definitely going to be a learning year.

In the past few weeks God has been teaching me so much, most of which I know I am not done learning yet, and I still have a ways to go. This past weekend my pastor started a new series titled ‘Undiscovered Potential’ which is coming at the perfect time for me. Ever sit through a Sunday morning service and wonder if your Pastor has been listening in on conversations with others, or the God is telling your Pastor and friends new things you need to hear.

This passage comes out of some of the things I needed to hear this weekend, and many of which I will talk about in future dates once I process more. There is so much to learn this year, we all have our strengths and weaknesses, and hearing Paul say that he does not have it all together, but as long as we reach towards Christ, we press in and don’t turn back we can get through. We just need to stay focused on Christ and stay on that path.

-Elle

Every Body Matters: Strengthening Your Body to Strengthen Your Soul

Every Body Matters By: Gary Thomas

We’ve all said it at some point. And since it’s the new year I am betting most of us have said it in the last 2 months more than once, ‘I need to lose weight.’ As one of the most common New Years resolutions every year, the need to lose weight, or get fit it high on everybody’s list, and if you’ve been in the gym recently you can see people starting towards that goal, but over the next few weeks and months those goals will get lost in the crowd until next year when we put it at the top of our list once again in an attempt to conquer our bodies.

Every Body Matters: Strengthening Your Body to Strengthen Your Soul is going to tackle this problem head on, Gary Thomas has pointed out and reminded us that to lose weight for superficial reasons is not where our goal should be, and although for our health is a good reason it should not be the reason. Our bodies should be used to glorify God, and when our bodies are out of shape and are unable to manage to do the work God has called us to do, than there is a problem. Our bodies are instruments for God to use for His purpose, we must prepare to do any good work. Thomas points out he is not saying don’t exercise or don’t try to lose weight, but don’t do it for the wrong reasons, our mindset needs to be focused on Our Creator and to complete His works.

This book is not about weight loss, not about getting healthy physically, it is about how to strengthen your soul, how to strengthen your mind and in turn strengthen your body so that you are prepared for when God calls you, you can complete the tasks He has for you to your fullest ability.

This book was provided to me complimentary from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

-Elle

This is absolutely amazing!

A deep and mysterious transformation

“There is no transformation more deep or mysterious than when the Holy Spirit takes up residence within and begins to shine through. You are softer and lovelier than ever, yet you have never been stronger or more certain and direct. You are becoming an amalgamation of all the facets of woman that God intended when He created Eve.”

-Kristen Armstrong

Thoughts?

Running Full Speed After God

Reposted from August 2, 2011 

We are in the midst of that time of year. Some dread it, some love it, some celebrate it, and some do all three. Don’t know what time of year I am referring too? If you are a girl you do. It is wedding season, and whether you are in the wedding, going to the wedding or just creeping on facebook looking at the daily postings of wedding photos you feel it too, and you are asking the same question. When will it be my turn?

Now a word of advice to the boys, if you ever hear a girl or think a girl is not interested in getting married, you are wrong.  Every girl secretly has their wedding planned, we dream of the day we can make the phone call telling our closest friends that we are engaged and to start the planning process somewhere other than in our head. Within the last few weeks I have been talking to a lot of my single Christian friends and we have all come to the same conclusion. As a 20-something, we have no clue how to date anymore. Even though some of us dated a little in high school or possibly college things are different now.  Most of us don’t want to date just to date or to claim bragging rights that we are no longer in the singles club (Don’t laugh I know a few of  you that rush to your facebook the moment you can change your relationship status.)

The truth is we all want the husband, we want the marriage, we want to dream about having children.  We all have that moment that we dream about sharing. There are certain things I cannot wait to say to my future husband. Making you wish for that special someone? Well I have a few words of advice, advice that I remind myself everyday. Get ready, you are going to want to remember this.

It is ok to be single!
…crickets….

No, I’m serious, there is nothing wrong with being single, because when God puts that person in front of you, you will know.

So what do we do while were waiting?

We pray. Yes, pray for your future husband (and boys pray for your future wife!) Sounds crazy?  Not at all. How do we pray for our future spouse?  We pray that they are surrounded by Christian friends and family that will support and encourage them.  We pray for them to be caught in their sin in order to be held accountable, we pray that God is preparing both of us for the day we meet (or the day we realize they have been with us all along)

So for now. I am ok with being single, and instead of chasing after a guy in hopes he is the right one, I am going to run full speed after Christ and keep Him as my focus.

I am going to clothe myself in strength and dignity and smile at my future (Proverbs 31:25) Just like the wife of noble character.

Maya Angelou put it best when she said “A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.”

And at some point, when I least expect it, God is going to answer my prayers and show me to the man of God that I will one day marry, and when that happens, I will still run full speed after God, only then I will have someone running right beside me.

-Elle

Interested in help for praying for your future husband? Check out this book: Praying for Your Future Husband: Preparing Your Heart for His By: Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer

What are your views on dating? How about dating as a Christian? This month I’m going to really focus on being a strong, single woman of God, and I invite you to come on this journey with me and to also write on the subject and let me know your ideas and thoughts

Renewing our Minds and focusing on the Positive: Week 2 Graduated Blog Tour

It’s the second week into the Sue Edwards 1 Peter Study, and there is no way to share all that I have been learning in such a short time, this Bible Study has the ability to ask simple questions that take you on a journey through the New Testament and to learn more about yourself and relationship with God. This Bible study is stretching me and teaching me new things and reminding me of some old lessons.

Every year we make new resolutions, the most common being the same year after year.  This year I am going to lose weight, to quit smoking, to fit in those jeans from high school. We make lists and lists on ways that we are going to improve ourselves, and what we want to work on, but every year our resolutions are all external, we want to ‘fix’ the things we don’t like, but we never think to start with our minds.

The more I think about the think about the things I want to change in my life, the more I’ve realized that the only thing that is stopping me is my thinking. I get in the way of myself of making these choices, I convince myself that I cannot get past the fear, or that it isn’t something I was meant to do. My mind and negativity is what gets in the way. Nothing else.

There must be a reason that we are called to purify our minds. Many times in scripture we are reminded to feed our minds, to speak scripture into our doubts. The enemy knows how to attack us, he knows exactly what will push us away from our God, and speaking doubt and fear into our lives can sometimes paralyze us. The only way to fight these is with scripture and truth.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

-Philippians 4:8

This has reinforced my desire to memorize more scripture, to challenge myself to stop complaining and catch myself when I grumble. I invite you to join me in taking the challenge to not only focus on scripture and feel ourselves with the Truth of God but to also catch ourselves in our complaints, to turn around our negativity and be more positive day in and day our. Who knows we may just surprise ourselves with what we find out along the way.

-Elle

The 1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times was provided to me complimentary from Kregel Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This is an inductive Bible Study by Sue Edwards which I will be going through for the next 9 weeks.