good news

Every single day, I am continually amazed by the good news of Jesus. The thought of His incredible sacrifice and redemption just isn’t something that I can get used to. I don’t think it will ever cease to amaze me, and I love that. It’s a source of endless joy.

One of my favorite bands, Rend Collective, writes songs that are incredibly joyful and full of love for our Creator, and every time I listen to them, I’m reminded just how much good news God has for us.

Fear not, for I have redeemed you. (Isaiah 43:1) Our Creator has defeated death itself, leaving us with no reason for fear. As soon as we confess our sin to God, He gives us eternal life with Him. We have literally no reason to be afraid of any earthly thing. Fear not. Is there any better news than that?

To the Lord our God belongs mercy and forgiveness. (Daniel 9:9) We can never lose favor in the sight of God. The forgiveness and love that He has for us is endless. We disobey Him again and again and again, and every single time, He forgives us. He loves us perfectly, never wavering, patiently waiting for us to return no matter how many times we run away from Him. For us, flawed and imperfect people that can’t stop making mistakes, this is such an enormous relief and source of joy.

We are not of this world. (John 15:19) I’ve actually posted about this before, but it’s such a wonderful reminder that I want to share it again. We are outsiders in this world. Once we have been saved by God, our home is in heaven, not here on earth. This is simply our temporary home, and we don’t have to worry about trying to fit in where we don’t belong. We can proudly stand out and wait for the day when we no longer outsiders. As one of my favorite Rend Collective songs says, “There are no outsiders to Your love. We are all welcome, there’s grace enough.”

For this very purpose I have raised you up. (Romans 9:17) As soon as we are saved, we are given an incredible purpose for our lives. We get to live for Jesus, sharing the wonderful news of his redemption with the world and serving Him through our words and actions. What better way to spend our time on earth than to spread the good news of our Savior?

Just the simple truth of our own brokenness and Jesus’ sacrifice should be enough to inspire joy on a daily basis. I think that sometimes we get too caught up in the details and forget to step back and take a look at the bigger picture. No matter what happens to us, if we have been saved, then we have nothing to fear. Jesus loves us eternally, forgives us eternally, and protects us eternally. That good news should be spread throughout all creation.

I will be undignified,
I will praise the Lord my God with all my might,
I will leave my pride behind,
I will praise the Lord my God with all my life.

Rend Collective, I Will Be Undignified

-Clara ❤

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being a light

Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

If you’re a Christian, you’ve probably read the metaphor of being a light. It’s such an incredible idea to me that once we’re saved, Jesus’ light shines out of us and into the world as He uses us as a bright spark in a place of darkness.

For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. – 1 Thessalonians 5:5

Isn’t that such a beautiful and inspiring verse? Something I think about often is this: how do I share the light of Jesus with others and help them to see the beauty of His love? Here are a few suggestions:


pray for others:

Making sure your friends and family know that someone is thinking of them and praying for them is a great way to show them God’s love. It can be really encouraging to someone to know that they’re being prayed for. If you’re forgetful like I am, make a list of everyone you want to pray for and keep it with you so you can add to it whenever necessary.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. – James 5:16

help everyone:

Beyond just telling someone you care, actually show them that you care. Do chores in the house that your parents would normally do. Help your siblings with schoolwork. Offer to help everyone, everywhere as often as you possibly can. This shows someone that wow, they’re not just saying that they care – they actually do. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for us, and making sacrifices for others is a wonderful way to show them the love of Christ.

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. – John 15:12

stay positive:

Pointing out the bright side during a hard time can shift everyone else’s point of view and turn a less-than-ideal situation into a reminder to be thankful. The attitude of one person can change the attitudes of everyone around them – I know from experience. If you’re smiling and praising God even when things go wrong, I can guarantee you that the people around you will follow your example.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

love your enemies:

Loving those who don’t seem to love you in return can be really hard, but the results are well worth it. Along with confusing your enemies and making them wonder what gives you the strength to treat them with such kindness, this is a wonderful, inspiring example of God’s love for anyone who might be paying attention.

But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. – Matthew 5:44

 share the gospel:

There’s no better way to show Jesus’ love to someone than to share the gospel with them. Though no one apart from Jesus can save their soul, sharing the good news of God’s redemption with a person can point them in the right direction and give them hope, encouragement, and a purpose for their life.

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! – Psalm 96:3


I hope those ideas were helpful and encouraging! Remember that no matter who you are, God can use you to be a light in the lives of others.

“You are the light of the world.” – Matthew 5:14

-Clara ❤

your words matter.

Do you ever see someone who needs some encouragement and wish you could do something? Do you doubt your ability to help because you’re shy, embarrassed, or not good with words? You’re not the only one.

I think that many of us struggle with this – but we shouldn’t. You can make an enormous difference in someone else’s life, no matter who you are or how young you may be. All it takes to lift someone up are a few simple words of encouragement.

The power of words is immense. They can build someone up or tear them down. You’ve probably heard the saying that “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything.” That’s very true and important – but there’s more. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything – but if you do have something nice to say, say it. No matter how insignificant it may seem. If you know someone who’s really talented, it’s easy to assume that you don’t need to say anything encouraging to them. You might feel like your words wouldn’t matter much among all the compliments they must be getting. But if everyone thinks that way, then no one will compliment them at all. Every bit of encouragement, no matter how small it may seem, is important.

I wouldn’t be doing many of the things I love if people hadn’t encouraged me to keep going or complemented what I had created. Even the simplest things, like someone leaving a comment on one of my blog posts and telling me that they enjoyed it, makes me smile and inspires me to keep doing what I love.

Just as easily as words can make an amazing impact on someone’s life, they can also be incredibly hurtful.

Someone once told my dad that he didn’t have a good singing voice. Though the person who said that may have long forgotten their words, their comment impacted my dad so much that he didn’t sing again until he was in college and a friend encouraged him to sing. Even after that, it took him many, many years to sing confidently again. He actually has an amazing singing voice. You might have had a similar experience at some point in your life. Many people are much too careless with their words, and they never realize just how much they’re impacting others.

That’s just one small example of how your words can hurt someone. A single sentence can influence a person enormously. Words can tear down and destroy, but they can also be beautiful, encouraging, and inspiring. Use your words to put a smile on someone else’s face. Encourage your family and friends. Be that person who has a compliment for everyone they meet. You can make an enormous difference in someone’s life with nothing but a few simple words.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. – Ephesians 4:29

-Clara ❤

the shepherd’s peace

​”The Lord is my shepherd,

I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul;

He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I fear no evil, for You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You have anointed my head with oil;

My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” – Psalms 23

Today, in my weekly homeschool group, my class read Psalm 23 aloud for devotions. I, personally, feel like the circumstance couldn’t have been better, considering the fact that today we started our final exams. I had no idea the encouragement was needed so badly until it was given.

I know most people don’t have their finals this early, but I think we can all agree on how much of a struggle they can be. They require so much more perseverance, patience, and diligence than most can handle, which just leaves everybody feeling extremely stressed and nervous. After all, this is our future we’re talking about, and some teachers aren’t as generous as others when grading. Peer pressure alone can be enough to set someone on edge, much less the intense projects and tests themselves.

It was amazing this morning, though, because as we were reading and discussing David’s psalm, I felt a huge part of that load lift off my shoulders. Here’s a little of what I mean:

“The Lord is my shepherd,

I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside quiet waters.”

Just that first part itself already fills me with a sense of peace. The Lord is our shepherd, and just like any other sort of shepherd in the days this psalm was written, He cares for His sheep. God protects us from any sort of dangers and struggles we might encounter. Not only that, but the extremely serene picture David talks about shows us how our Shepherd can calm us.

“He restores my soul;

He guides me in the paths if the righteous

For His name’s sake.”

Just as God wants us to feel calm and peaceful from His protection, He also wants us to feel influenced positively by those who surround us. He specifically leads each of us to those who will impact us the most by how they act, causing us to strive to do the same for His glory. Amazing, right? And that isn’t even all of it.

“Even though I walk throught the valley of the shadow of death,

I fear no evil, for You are with me.

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

Back in those days, shepherds and their sheep sometimes had to travel to get to the good pastures. And there were instances where they had to travel through rough and rocky valleys that contained all sorts of hidden predators, but that’s a big reason of why the shepherd kept a staff with them. To fight off the predators and protect the sheep.  So we have simply nothing to fear then, as our Protector knows exactly how hard to push you before you reach your limit. Whether that’s with a literal test you’re currently stressing about or a life-changing trial that you can’t escape from is up to Him.

This specific Psalm is pretty popular, and sometimes is too easily dismissed, because lots of Christian kids learn it at a young age in an Awana program. However, that is exactly why it’s so important. There is nothing out of our Lord’s control, nothing He can’t protect you from, and nothing that can stop Him from filling you with irreplaceable peacefulness.

“Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

What can’t you do with your Shepherd watching over you?

A Godly Teenage Girl

A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.

Today’s culture celebrates and encourages sin. If you’re not sinful, to the majority of people, you’re an outcast. However, if you are a good woman, you have true worth more than precious jewels.

Proverbs 31 is often referenced as a good verse to define womanhood, and I agree! However, a lot of these verses apply mostly to married women and follow the customs of Bible times, so I thought I’d dive into wisdom we can take away from these verses even as single teenage girls in today’s culture. I’ve used the Message translation for the purpose of this post.

Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it.

A good woman is always faithful, and not once has she ever broken anyone’s trust. We must understand what it means to give our word, and know that yes means yes and no means no unconditionally.

Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.

A good woman never holds grudges and is always kind, even when it’s inconvenient for her emotions. Teenage girls are known for being catty and always getting revenge, but we can be the city on a hill by loving everyone, friend and enemy, without spite.

She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing… She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking.

A good woman enjoys passions that are productive and wholesome. This doesn’t necessarily mean knitting and sewing, as much of that is machine-done now, but back in Bible times knitting and sewing provided clothes, blankets, and other goods for the family. Therefore, it is a hobby that doesn’t waste her time and does good for others. What we do in our spare time should reflect that; and we should often check the fruits of our labors.

She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day… First thing in the morning, she dresses for work and rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started. She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.

A good woman knows how to handle her responsibilities, even if it means getting up before the sun does to do what needs to be done, and she keeps working well into the evening. It can be hard to get up on time for school and afterward we just want to relax and watch TV. However, getting up earlier and persevering gives us time to accomplish all our school assignments and any other hobbies we want to pursue.

She’s quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor.

A good woman is charitable. She doesn’t stop and think about herself first or worry if helping out will get her hands dirty. We should always be willing to be Christlike and help those in need, not just for volunteer hours, but out of love for others.

She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.

A good woman is prepared. If an emergency were to happen, she has a backup plan. We can show this in our lives by doing things ahead of time, not just waiting until the last minute. Who knows what change of plans could happen?

She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks. Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers. She designs gowns and sells them, brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops. Her clothes are well-made and elegant.

A good woman excels at what she does even though it is hard work. We’re growing up in a culture that teaches us to complain when something is hard or a webpage takes longer than thirty seconds to load, but a good woman knows how to do the work and do it well.

… and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.

A good woman doesn’t worry about tomorrow, for she knows that tomorrow can worry about itself. She sees each day as a new opportunity. Even though the world is crashing down around us due to sin, we have the hope of Jesus Christ in our hearts and should always be optimistic.

When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly.

A good woman only speaks what is wholesome. This means she doesn’t gossip, talk smack about others, brag, or lie. She only says things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. We must be careful what we say, online and offline, to make sure that we don’t waste our words.

She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive.

A good woman knows how to influence others when she is in a position of leadership. For example, many teens babysit or are put in charge of their little siblings, and this is a great way to live out this verse.

Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise: “Many women have done wonderful things, but you’ve outclassed them all!”

A good woman is recognized by those around her who have seen the many great things she does and how holy she is. Our parents, teachers, and coworkers should be able to see that we are different.

Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.

While society may try to tell us what they think a good woman is, the happiness from that will soon fade. A godly woman will have longer lasting joy and admiration from the right people.

your passion can make a difference

What’s something that you’re excellent at? Something that you’d consider to be your gift?

Maybe you’re an exceptional writer, artist, musician, photographer, or mathematician. You’re might be really good with kids, plants, or animals, or maybe you’re great at organization or cleaning. Whatever your skills may be, they’re all a gift from the One who created you. He gave every person on this earth a different gift to share.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. – James 1:17

God has given you a gift. It’s something you enjoy doing – maybe you’d even consider it to be your passion.

What now?

You might feel like your passion is pointless. If you’re anything like me, you might be wondering how your gifts have any purpose beyond simply pleasing yourself.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. – 1 Peter 4:10

You weren’t given a gift to hide it away and use it for your own purposes. Our gifts are meant to be shared with others, and that’s exactly what you should do.

Serving others with your gifts is a wonderful way to glorify God and thank Him for the gifts He has given to you. If you love photography, you could volunteer to take photos for a community event or nonprofit organization, or you could sell prints to raise money for a good cause. If music is your passion, you could play music at an assisted living home. Those are just a few ideas – there are literally countless ways that you can use your skills to help others. Finding a way to put a smile on someone else’s face while doing something you love is pretty much the best feeling in the world.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. – 1 Corinthians 12:4

Maybe you feel like you don’t have a gift. Everyone’s gifts are different – no two are exactly the same. Even if you don’t have one single gift that you’re passionate about, that shouldn’t stop you from bringing light into the life of someone else. As you do so, you might discover what your passion is.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. – 1 Peter 4:10-11

Find something you love. Explore and research until you find a way that it can help others. It may seem hard, but I promise you – it will be worth it.

Today, I challenge you. Don’t pursue your gifts just for yourself – use them to make the world a better place.

-Clara ❤

The Fortified Tower

Trembling, scared, afraid, emotions spilling over the top.

Tears spilling, nonstop, slowly becoming numb.

Blasting through your ears, forgetting about where you’ve come from.

On the phone, trying to explain, scared to talk.

Your best friend says it feels like you’ve already died.

The sad part is you think you want to.

Blood, scars, shame, humiliation, the world it dark.

You need someone, something, anything to protect you. It feels like no one cares and if they do they won’t understand.

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. – Romans 5:5

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face… As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” – John 19:1-2, 6

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. – Proverbs 18:10

God loves us. He has poured His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.

Jesus understands. He was sent to earth and died one of the most painful deaths surrounded by people mocking Him. He lived a life of temptation and pain just as you and I.

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower. If you run to it, you will be saved.

That verse isn’t a fill in the blank. You can’t say “Music is a fortified tower. If I listen to it, I will be saved,” or  “My boyfriend/girlfriend is a fortified tower. If I run to them, I will be saved,” or “Self-harm/drugs/drinking is a fortified tower. If I run to them, I will be saved.”

Sounds ridiculous, right?

Except we drown ourselves in our music to forget the world. We find people to date to make us feel worth something again, but it only ends in heartbreak. We self-harm to make our lives feel justified or do drugs and drink to forget the world around us.

But does the Bible advise us to go running to all that?

No. God tells us to run to the one Who cares about you more than anyone else, the one Who understands you better than you understand yourself, and the one Who will never fall apart, leave you with more pain, or only give you a temporary solution.

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. – Psalm 94:18

Every single time I’ve messed up, God has always been right there. Sometimes God tells me not to do things that hurt myself and I do them anyway, but He’s never said to me “You’ve messed up too many times and you’re no longer worthy of My love.” He’s always given me a reminder that He loves me and that He’s already paid the price for my sin; I don’t need to take guilt into my own hands.

So run to the Lord, and be safe.

If you are feeling suicidal, have had suicidal thoughts, or have harmed yourself, please talk to a trusted adult. There’s no issue “too small” to go over with.  If you ignore it, the problems will only snowball over time. God loves you and doesn’t want that life for you. Feel free to email me if you ever need to talk.

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finding joy admist change

“Change is good.”

“Yeah, but it’s not easy.”

 – Rafiki & Simba, The Lion King

I’d like to talk about change for a minute. As a standard, I’m usually a pretty flexible person – an unexpected detour or sudden twist from the plan normally doesn’t bother me that much. But when change after change keeps piling up, when things keep twisting and turning like a complicated book plot and my mind is frantically saying, no, wait, this isn’t how it’s supposed to happen – it can be hard to keep the right attitude.

We’re often told that change is a good thing, as that quote from The Lion King portrays. I believe that change is good. But that truth can be difficult to accept – especially when nothing seems to be changing for the better.

Even when your life is turning upside down, there are some things that will never change. No matter what happens, Jesus remains unchanging for all eternity.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. – Hebrews 13:8

I don’t know about you, but that’s a very comforting thought to me. There is absolutely nothing on this earth that can change Jesus Christ. He will forever be the exactly the same. A day will never come when we can’t count on him to be there for us.

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. – Psalm 18:2

Another wonderful and important thing to remember is this: every single difficulty that we undergo on this earth is preparing us for the life after death. Even our worst trials and failures are nothing but a momentary affliction:

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

In fact, the Bible tells us that the trials we encounter here on earth are to be counted as joy – for they are helping us to become steadfast in our faith.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. – James 1:2-4

Furthermore, we can be completely and totally reassured that God is absolutely keeping every single one His promises to us, even when we can’t see how He’s doing it. Especially when we can’t see it.

God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? – Numbers 23:19

Most importantly of all, no matter what happens to us, we cannot be crushed or destroyed. As Christians, the life of Jesus is manifested inside of us – and nothing can stand in the way of that.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. – 2 Corinthians 4:7-10

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is this: In the midst of change, don’t let yourself become discouraged. Though you may not be able to see it, God is in control of every single part of your life. He will keep you safe no matter what.

He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. – Psalm 62:6

-Clara ❤

20 Things You Can Pray For Daily

It’s easy to forget how powerful prayer is. We’re actually talking to the Lord of all creation and as Christians, I think we often take that for granted.

 

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. – James 5:16b

A few weeks ago, I wanted to create a list to place on the wall near where I keep my Bible to remind me what to pray for and just to keep praying. I wrote down everything I could think of, but when I went to go look up more ideas, Google left me pretty empty. Everything I found was a short list of stuff I’d already thought of.

In case any of you are with me on this, love prayer, and/or want more ideas of things to pray for, here are the ideas I came up with.

Personal

Pray for. . .

 

1. God to use you to share the Gospel with someone

This is something my pastor encourages our youth group to do every morning when you wake up. Pray that God will use you to share the Gospel, bring someone to Christ, and be a light to others.

2. Strength to avoid temptation

As we go through our day, the devil has many temptations set to lead us astray. Pray that God will give you strength to avoid these temptations.

3.  The fruit of the Spirit

. . . Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23

Pray that you will be filled with these virtues so that you may reflect Christ and become more godly.

4. A forgiving heart that doesn’t hold a grudge

Because we were forgiven, we can forgive. Pray that you don’t hold things against others and will have the strength to resolve a fight instead of make it worse.

5. God to use your talents to glorify Him

For me, that looks like praying over my words before I write to leave it in God’s hands or for the growing worship team at my church. Pray that whatever your talents are, that God will use you for His glory.

Friends and Family

Pray for . . .

6. Those who are sick

Especially with flu season going around, pray that God would comfort those who are sick and bring them a quick recovery.

7. Who/what you’ve said you’ll pray for

How many times do Christians throw around the phrase “I’ll pray for you!”, and how many times do we actually pray? Be true to your word and pray for people you’ve said you’ll pray for.

8. Friends who are unsaved 

If you know your friend is unsaved or aren’t sure, pray for their souls and pray that you can play a role in their salvation.

9. Your future spouse

This is something I’m new to, so I don’t know as much about it, but pray for your future husband/wife.

10. Your neighborhood

There’s an amazing website called Pray4EveryHome. I recommend you check it out and follow the instructions on there!

Church

Pray for . . .

11. Requests from church groups

Pay attention when people ask for prayer in church/youth group/etc. They could really use your prayer.

12. Your pastors 

There are so many things you can pray for your pastors! For example, to bless the sermons they write and to give them strength to do their jobs.

13.  Your church’s vision to be fulfilled

Lately, my church has been taking a lot about our vision. Pray that it is fulfilled and that you can play a role in that.

14. Biblical unity 

Unity in the church is another thing we’ve been talking about. Basically, getting along with everyone in the congregation and being a good community. Pray that you can connect with others in your church and for the ability to prevent fights.

15. Missionaries

For the missionaries in your church. If your church doesn’t have any (or even if they do), missionaries around the world. List them by name and specific needs if you know of any.

Other

Pray for . . .

16. Your enemies

Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. – Luke 6:28

I bet some of you saw this coming, didn’t you? 😉 Yes, pray for your enemies. If they’re unsaved, pray for their souls; pray for you to behave in a Christlike way; pray for anything specific to their needs.

17. Our country’s leaders

Some of you like our president. Some of you hate him. Some of you know the other people in office. Some of you don’t. Either way, pray that God would give them wisdom, even if you don’t like them —  all the more reason to pray.

18. Your blog readers

You can interpret this in any way you like, but pray for your blog readers! This is something I’ve recently been doing. 😀

19. Human trafficking victims

This is something I’ve recently learned more about. There’s still slavery going on in many ways. Pray for their freedom and for peoples’ eyes to be opened.

20. Charities 

What’s just as good, if not better, than donating to a charity with a noble cause? Praying for them! Pray that they would be able to do their work well and that they would have sufficient funds.

“If every prayer you prayed in the last 24 hours was answered, what would happen?”

I’m not sure where this quote originated, but it makes you think. What am I praying for? Who am I praying for? Am I even praying?

What would you guys add to this list? Share with me in the comments! Praying for you all,

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the outsiders

Last night, I was listening to one of my favorite bands, NEEDTOBREATHE, and The Outsiders came on. I’ve listened to that song dozens of times before, but this time, the lyrics really hit me.

One of the greatest things about being Christians is that we are the outsiders.

Wait… “outsider” is a bad thing, right?

That’s what we’ve been told by the world.

But this world is not our home.

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 3:20

Our true home is with Jesus. We are set apart by Him from the world. We are outsiders here, in our temporary home – but not in our eternal home.

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

John 15:18-19

Look again at the underlined part of that verse. The world hated Jesus.

Would you rather be loved by the flawed, twisted, sin-filled world that rejected Jesus – or by the perfect One who created you, knows everything about you, and still loves you unconditionally?

And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

1 John 2:17

I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather put my faith in forever than something that is “passing away”.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?

Matthew 16:26

Next time you hear the phrase “there’s no place like home”, remember that for us, there truly isn’t – because we’re spending our eternity with Jesus.

Be an outsider.

On the outside, you’re free to roam,
On the outside, we’ve found a home,
On the outside, there’s more to see,
On the outside, we choose to be.

NEEDTOBREATHE, The Outsiders

-Clara ❤