Chelsea Crockett

JESUS | BEAUTY | LIFESTYLE | FASHION

Tag: “The WORD.”

3 Ways to Grow in the Waiting

What do you think of when you hear the word “patience?” For some, this word can make them grumble, reminding them that waiting around for something to happen is all…

What do you think of when you hear the word “patience?”

For some, this word can make them grumble, reminding them that waiting around for something to happen is all they really can do. For others, this word brings on happiness and contentment, knowing that the best is yet to come.

For me, it can mean both for different situations. I oftentimes grumbled at God, wondering why things weren’t happening according to my timeline. When would I meet my future husband? When would I figure out my major? When would that employer call me back about my recent job interview? The list goes on and on.

In the past few years, God has blessed me with the gift of finding growth in the waiting. Instead of making it a time of restlessness or expectancy of what’s to come, God showed me how I can be content in the waiting, and lean on Him through any and every situation.

One way to grow in the waiting is by resorting to immediate prayer. Make a mental note that whenever you have thoughts of impatience, start to pray. Ask God for patience, guidance, or whatever it is you need in that moment. It’s the perfect way to turn your thoughts from desire to peace and satisfaction. It also brings you closer to God by talking to Him more throughout your day.

Another way to patiently grow is by referring to trust instead of doubt. I know for me, it can be easy to doubt that God really does have something in store for me in the future. Although I know deep down that He always has a plan, I still continue to doubt, and doubt, and doubt.

These seasons of waiting can be the biggest blessings in disguise. They give you the chance to strengthen your faith and trust in God. If life always went our way, and we always got what we want when we wanted it, then there would be no need to depend on God’s guidance and perfect timing. Use these seasons of life to trust and rely on God, even when times get hard!

Lastly, you can grow your overall relationship with God through quiet times spent alone with Him. Prayer journaling, reading the Bible, and simply talking to Him are all great ways to get closer to God. Waiting can make us go crazy, so distracting ourselves with God’s word is a win-win! Journal about your situation, read through passages that revolve around patience, and be in constant prayer. God always delivers what’s best for us, and He will for you too!

I’ll leave you with a passage that gives me comfort in the waiting. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Do not be anxious, for God is putting His plan for your life into action without you even realizing it! As I always say, let go and let God!

– Chelsea

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Lessons to Learn from Women of the Bible

Did you know there are over 3,200 characters talked about in the Bible, and that only a select few of these named characters are actually women? Crazy, right? Despite the…

Did you know there are over 3,200 characters talked about in the Bible, and that only a select few of these named characters are actually women? Crazy, right?

Despite the fact that these women weren’t brought into the spotlight as much as others doesn’t defeat their purpose in the Bible. There are so many lessons and advice that we can take from these women that are just as important as the characters that we hear about time and time again!

MARY

Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, is an amazing woman who feared the Lord and followed his plan for her life whole-heartedly. When she discovered that she would soon become pregnant, while unmarried to Joseph, she was terrified. A pregnant, unmarried woman in that society could risk being put to death.

No matter the risk that came along with giving birth to Jesus, she put her faith and trust in God and did just what He asked of her.

We can all learn from Mary’s actions. She risked people shaming and shunning her, she risked what Joseph would think of her, she risked the uncertainties that would come with childbirth… But she did just what God asked no matter what the future held. We should have this same faith in the plan that God has for our own lives!

ANNA

Although not as well-known as Mary when we consider women of the Bible, Anna stands out to me. As a young woman, she lost her husband at an early age. Instead of blaming God for her misfortune, he became her number one companion, always talking to Him, praising Him, and worshipping Him.

In her older years, she actually had an encounter with Mary and Joseph, and baby Jesus. After seeing them at the temple, “she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” She was faithful, loyal, and not afraid to tell of the gospel she was so excitedly waiting for.

EVE

 I think we all know the story of Adam and Eve. God told the two that they could eat from any tree in the entire Garden of Eden, except for the tree that God forbid them. After being tempted by the devil, Eve took a bite of an apple from the forbidden tree, bringing sin into the world.

We can all relate to Eve a little more than we think. We never plan on falling into temptation or deliberately going against what God says. But at the end of the day, the devil makes us all stumble, without us even realizing it at times. Be firm in your faith and on high alert for when temptation is around!

Although these are only a few lessons you can take away from the Bible, there are SO many more from so many other women! The Bible tells us these stories so we can learn from their actions, their mistakes, their trials, etc. We should always be continually learning from the past, especially when these lessons can strengthen our spiritual lives!

Dive into the Word and see what other lessons you can learn from those who were living right alongside Jesus!

– Chelsea

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The Importance of Transparency

Transparency is the thing that makes us feel close to one another. It creates a sense of vulnerability and allows us to speak freely, without judgement or hesitation. Think of…

Transparency is the thing that makes us feel close to one another. It creates a sense of vulnerability and allows us to speak freely, without judgement or hesitation.

Think of the people you’re close to. Do you share with them the things that keep you up at night, make you jump for joy, or maybe give you aching anxiety? Do you allow them to be a listening ear when you can’t hold something in anymore?

When we allow transparency in the relationships in our lives, we feel closer and more connected. This holds true to our relationship with God, as well. When we hold back the things we’re scared of God knowing, we build a barrier between Him and us, that only gets bigger and bigger the more we close ourselves off from Him.

When I think of the word “transparent,” I remember one of my favorite passages in the Bible.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

There is so much truth in just these two simple verses. Paul writes about being boastful in his weaknesses because these are the areas where Christ moves and works in his life.

We should all have the same mindset as Paul. Our weaknesses are what make us human. They’re the things that God so desperately wants us to bring to him and lay at the foot of the cross. For when we are weak and allow God to see our deepest places, then we are strong!

There are way too many times when vulnerability is confused as weakness. The world has shaped openness to be something that makes us seem like we’re falling apart or don’t have it all together.

But the truth is, transparency is what brings us together. When we can rely on someone we trust to rant to, vent to, talk to, confess to, etc., it benefits us in so many ways! We open the door for others to know it’s okay to be vulnerable, whether that be in their spiritual life or their everyday life.

Next time you sit down and talk to God, lay everything out on the table. Tell him how you’ve been struggling. Confess to Him the sins you’ve kept bottling up inside. God already knows everything there is to know about us anyways!

There is always a light at the end of the tunnel that God is preparing for you. When you go through a tough situation, talk to God. Be vulnerable, be transparent, be willing.

Like Paul said, “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Start boasting about your weaknesses, and God will transform them into something amazing.

– Chelsea

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When You Struggle with How to Pray…

Whether we’re drawing near to God or find ourselves running from him, prayer can be hard. Even in the darkest parts of our lives, it can seem almost impossible to…

Whether we’re drawing near to God or find ourselves running from him, prayer can be hard. Even in the darkest parts of our lives, it can seem almost impossible to find the right words to say.

I know for me, I find it hardest to pray when I’m frustrated or mad at God. As selfish as it is, it’s hard to praise him during our own personal times of trials, even when we know deep down this is when we need God the most.

Recently, I dove into Scripture to discover what the Bible says about the times when we feel unable to pray. There is so much truth to be known during these difficult times that can help us know what to do when we face that obstacle.

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I love this verse because it gives us direct instructions on what to do when we’re needing direction in our prayer life. Not knowing what to pray isn’t an excuse to God when considering the fact that he wants us to come to him with anything and everything. We could talk to him about something as simple as our agenda for the day and he would love that time spent with him!

Like the verse says, in every situation present your requests to God. If you’re at a place where the last thing you want to do is pray, start here. Depending on your situation, write down the good and bad things of what you’re going through. Maybe you’ve been waiting your whole life to get into the college of your dreams only to receive a rejection letter in the mail. When you approach the situation by pointing out the good that can come from it, your whole perspective will change.

This also gives you things to talk to God about. Pray for guidance, joy, peace, or whatever you need at that point in time. God will never turn you away, no matter how long you’ve been pushing him away. Isn’t that a beautiful truth?

God tells us in the Bible to talk to him about our struggles, even if that struggle is in our prayer life. We shouldn’t feel embarrassed or defeated when we’re going through a hard season with prayer. This just gives us one more thing to pray about! Ask God to help you find the words to say and to be honest and vulnerable. Find the joy in your struggles!

– Chelsea

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The Secret Sins You Don’t Even Know You’re Committing

Have you ever done an in-depth, undistracted reading of the Bible? I don’t mean reading it word-for-word, front-to-back, but what I do mean is spending time to fully comprehend what…

Have you ever done an in-depth, undistracted reading of the Bible? I don’t mean reading it word-for-word, front-to-back, but what I do mean is spending time to fully comprehend what messages the Bible has to tell you.

It’s easy to overlook certain passages in the Bible that tell us all the things we shouldn’t be doing. Who wants to read about the things they’re doing wrong?

When we consider the term “sin,” we often think of the 12 commandments or other obvious sins throughout the Bible. But what about the sins that aren’t always talked about in church or throughout our day-to-day Bible plans? These secret sins are just as important to avoid and be in prayer over!

WORRY/FEAR

Worrisome and anxious thoughts are easy to possess. And although these sometimes creep in out of our control, the Bible talks about it being a hidden sin.

1 Peter 5:6-8 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

When we worry, we allow Satan to have a foothold in our lives. It’s like we’re telling God we don’t trust what he’s doing. Now I’m sure he knows there’s times when we can’t control our worrying, but letting it drive our lives is when it becomes displeasing to God. Trust him, and let go and let God!

PRIDE

James 4:6 says, “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’”

This is a sin that I see being committed time and time again, and I’m guilty of it, too. When we have certain accomplishments and successes, it’s hard not wanting to tell the world or post about them on social media. God wants us to have a humble heart, boasting of his greatness rather than our own.

JEALOUSY

 You may think that you’re not a jealous person, but jealousy exists outside of relationships! When was the last time you’ve thought “I wish I had her hair, her body, her outfit, etc.”?  God loves when we’re content in our own circumstances, not longing for the circumstances of others.

Proverbs 14:30 says, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

It’s exhausting to constantly desire the things of others. Focus on loving who you are and the things you are blessed with. Thank God for everything he’s given you instead of wanting the things he’s given others!

HOLDING A GRUDGE

Holding grudges makes us bitter and stubborn. God wants us to extend forgiveness to everyone, no matter how bad they’ve hurt us or how wrong they’ve treated us. This doesn’t mean to let those people walk all over us, but more so forgiving them like God constantly and whole-heartedly forgives us!

Nobody’s perfect, but we can try our hardest to avoid these sins and be in prayer over them. Pick one that you want to focus on this week, and make a daily choice to practice it!

– Chelsea

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Led by Emotions?

There are so many people that forget to “think before they speak” and let emotions take over. We would all be lying if we said this didn’t happen to us…

There are so many people that forget to “think before they speak” and let emotions take over. We would all be lying if we said this didn’t happen to us time and time again. We’re only human, and temper can take over, causing us to say things we never wish we would’ve said and do things we never wish we would’ve done.

Think of the last time you forgot to bite your tongue or think before you spoke. Once we cool down, a sense of regret seeps in and makes us feel embarrassed for the way we acted. It’s one of the worst feelings, and can result in the feelings of anxiety and shame.

Proverbs 29:11 says, “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” And again, in Proverbs 15:18 there’s a verse that says, “A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.

What does this say about emotions? Solomon brings it up twice in the same chapter, and even a couple more times throughout. When we let ourselves be led by emotions, we stir up conflict and cause bigger problems than we can handle.

So, what should we be led by? Our heart? Our head? Our gut feeling?

Psalm 143:10 says, “Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” When we’re led by the Holy Spirit, we get to experience God’s will for us. He knows when we wake up, when we go to class, and when we go to sleep at night. Why would we trust ourselves over him when he knows our past, our present, and our future?

Galatians 5:16 says, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

This verse in Galatians is yet another reason why we should be led by the Holy Spirit. When we follow the Spirit, we desire less of the world more and more every day. We discover that God always has our best interest, and leads us in the way we should think, talk, act, and live entirely.

In our daily lives, the world will encourage us to be quick to gossip, quick to argue, quick to jump to conclusions, quick to react to anything and everything… All of these things are driven solely by emotion. Spend some time in prayer, and let the Spirit lead you in your responses, actions, thoughts, and so much more!

Next time you feel anger stirring up or anxiety creeping in, remember who leads you and gives a sense of peace in every circumstance.

– Chelsea

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Show Me That in Scripture Please

The Bible has many questions and myths surrounding it that leave people confused, frustrated, and wondering more. We live in a generation where people want to “see it to believe…

The Bible has many questions and myths surrounding it that leave people confused, frustrated, and wondering more. We live in a generation where people want to “see it to believe it,” and sometimes with God, we can’t always do that.

Although the Bible is considered a religious book and a moral compass, it is also historical and a primary source of things that actually happened at some point in time. Sometimes I read through the Bible and forget that those stories aren’t just stories. They’re real life events that once took place… How cool is that?!

If you’d put yourself in the “see it to believe it category,” then I have good news for you! There is written proof of the things God promises us. The things you hear in church aren’t just myths or hypothetical events. We can rest in the comfort of knowing that the Bible solidifies the promises God gives to us!

Promise #1: God is with us through hard times.

Isaiah 43:2 says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

When we go through a rough patch in life, it’s easy to feel like God is nowhere to be found. The verse above is only one of the many verses that states God’s constant presence. Even when we feel like we’re alone and helpless, God will always be by our side, whether we believe it or not at the time.

Promise #2: God will provide for all our needs.

Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

When we’re in prayer over the things we need, God will show up and provide in accordance to his will. Of course, God won’t always give us a brand-new car or a free trip across the world, but he will provide his numerous blessings he gives us each and every day. You just have to trust him and be in communication with him!

Promise #3: Jesus is coming back.

Revelation 22:12-13 says, “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

This promise is one that is constantly doubted, not only by non-believers but by Christians, as well. It’s a promise that’s so hard for us to wrap our heads around, considering the surreal event that will actually take place in the future. If you’re doubtful, read Revelation 22. There is so much excitement to be had in the waiting!

There are so many more promises throughout the Bible. Some will even blow your mind at how powerful and mighty God really is! His promises are true, and we can rest in the fact of that today and every day.

– Chelsea

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Stronger Than Yesterday

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not…

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

True strength is easy to lack. We try to act like we have it all together, but at the end of the day, we are weak, broken, and hurting. It’s easy to let these thoughts and feelings take over our minds and start to believe what they’re telling us.

It seems like strength is something our generation forgets to pursue. Some of us are okay with feeling down or weak and put no work into feeling the opposite. God wants us to know our value, and he wants us to know the strength we can possess through him, his word, and our constant communication with him.

Like the verse in Isaiah says: those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. When we put our hope, trust, and faith in God, he gives us the power to keep on going.

Have you ever gone through a situation that makes you want to stay in bed all day? Or maybe your weakness shows in silence, and you shut yourself out from the world. Regardless of the situations you encounter, you can face them with a sense of confidence, according to the Bible.

Isaiah 40:29 says, He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” I’ve always heard the word “weary,” but when God uses it to describe us, I became more interested in what it actually meant.

The dictionary defines weary as “physically or mentally exhausted by hard work; fatigue; tired.” I could’ve guessed this would be the first definition, but the third meaning is what stuck out to me. Weary can also mean “impatient or dissatisfied with something.”

Think of the last time you’ve been impatient or dissatisfied, and remember the anger or sadness you felt. This is the same weakness God is talking about in the Bible. God uses these moments when we’re feeling sad and defeated and is waiting for us to come to him.

Psalm 72:26 says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Cling to God when times get rough. We will always, always fail ourselves when we depend on anything other than him. This is something I’ve learned the hard way, time and time again.

There are things we can do daily that’ll make us stronger than the day before. Talk to God and be vulnerable about your weakness. When we surrender to him, we allow him to take control and do what he does best, and that’s carrying out the plan for our lives.  

 We can find strength in our weaknesses and throughout the hard times in our lives. Wave the white flag at God, and he will carry you through them all!

– Chelsea

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Accept What Is & What Was

Acceptance is a funny concept. We hold on to the things we can’t change and worry about the things that are inevitable. We spend our lives regretting and wishing, discontent…

Acceptance is a funny concept. We hold on to the things we can’t change and worry about the things that are inevitable. We spend our lives regretting and wishing, discontent with what has been and is yet to come.

Contentment oftentimes comes hand in hand with acceptance. When we let go of the past, we feel a sense of relief and peace. When we accept what is to come, we lose the fear and anxiety of the unknown that we often hold over our head.

Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” God instructs us to take a deep breath, relax, and put our faith in him. When I remember who my heavenly father is and trust that he is who he says he is, a sense of peace fills my heart. That’s exactly what this verse is saying. Be still and know!

When things come up in our lives, whether desired or unwanted, we have two choices: to either accept with joy or move along with dread and hesitation. If we trust that what God is doing in our lives is always for good, then we should have no problem choosing joy over doubt.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Simply reading this verse one time through should put your mind at ease.

God is working for us! The creator of the universe, who created you and me, is on our side and is working relentlessly for our good. It’s one of the most comforting realities of the Bible. We have been called to a life of faith and trust, this comes along with acceptance and obedience to the Lord.

There’s a quote by Joseph Goldstein that says: “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf.” Another humbling reality check! You can’t stop certain things from happening in your life, but you can decide on how you respond to them. If something is going to happen regardless, we may as well trust God and respond how he would: accepting, trusting, and faithful.

Take Jesus’s life for example. He knew the fate he would soon encounter on the cross, and he willingly accepted that fate, solely for us. If Jesus could accept a terrifying, painful fate with a generous and accepting heart, then we too should be able to take on any and every situation with the same attitude.

Next time a tricky situation arises or something reminds you of your dark past, remember who God is and what he says about us: God works for the good of those who love him. Never forget that God is endlessly working for you, each and every day!

Forget the past and get excited for the future. God will be with you every step of the way!

– Chelsea

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Stop Waiting for Tomorrow

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” – Proverbs 27:1 Living for tomorrow is easily one of the most common lifestyles for…

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” – Proverbs 27:1

Living for tomorrow is easily one of the most common lifestyles for our generation. Everyone’s waiting for their perfect boyfriend, their perfect job, their perfect car… The list goes on and on.

We act like we know what’s going to happen when we wake up in the morning and that everything will go according to our perfect plan. This is where disappointment creeps in. We let ourselves down when we overestimate what we alone can do and plan for our life.

God wants us to depend on him and his plan because he knows far more than we do about our lives, including the present and the future. And if he, being all-knowing, instructs us to cast our cares far, far away, then we should happily live in the present, without second thought or hesitation.

God commands us to live in the now and be content in our current circumstances, because we truly don’t know what tomorrow will bring like the verse above says.

James 4:13-15 says, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’”

This verse is one of the biggest reality checks in the Bible. Whenever I need humbling, this is the verse I go to. When we sit around waiting for things to come to us, we waste the precious time we could be using to put things into action. There are too many times we think “I’ll apply for that job tomorrow” or “I’ll reach out to that friend next week.” There’s nothing worse than planning for something that ends up never even coming close to happening.

There’s a quote by Oprah that puts it perfectly: “Living in the moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift.”

Every day is truly a gift… God’s gift. He wants us to make the most of each day, without fear of the future or waiting around for something to happen. Call your friend, apply for that job, talk to that boy in your class… Stop waiting!

Start today by living IN today. Stop waiting for things to come to you. Instead, take a leap of faith and trust the plan God has for your life. Even if you think something better is coming, stay strong on your foundation, trusting that the Lord your God will take care of tomorrow and the days that follow.

– Chelsea

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Battling Comparison

Comparison is like a disease. It eats at us slowly until we’re left feeling sad, empty, and worthless. With our generation growing up posting our lives on social media, it’s…

Comparison is like a disease. It eats at us slowly until we’re left feeling sad, empty, and worthless.

With our generation growing up posting our lives on social media, it’s easy for comparison to creep in. We think things like, why can’t I be that pretty… that skinny… that social… that wealthy. It’s a dangerous game to play when we constantly wonder why we’re not enough.

But it doesn’t stop there… Sometimes we compare ourselves to others and then boast about the things we’re doing and the people we’re hanging out with. It makes us feel validated, like we’re wanting other people to see how much fun we’re having or how good we look in a photo.

When thoughts like these cross my mind, I think about a verse in Galatians that humbles me without fail, every single time I read it. Galatians 1:10 says, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

This verse brings up a very true and humbling point. Why are we concerned about the opinions of others when we’re supposed to be finding our identity in Christ? We spend so much time worrying about what others are saying or thinking, but God already told us all we need to know about ourselves. Psalm 139:13-14 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

If we truly believe this verse, then we fully believe that all of His works are wonderful, not just the ones we want to think are. When we look in the mirror in the morning, we should believe in the fact that we are works of God: wonderful, beautiful, and made in His image.

One thing I like to do is monitor how much time I spend on social media. If I’m feeling down or catch myself having negative thoughts of comparison, I put my phone down and pick up my Bible. Spending time with God and diving deep into the truth of what God thinks of us, instead of what the world thinks, puts my mind at complete peace.

One of my favorite passages to reflect on is 1 Peter 3:3-4. It says, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

Outward beauty fades, but God delights in inward beauty. Focus on who you are, how you treat others, and how your attitude toward life is. When we create an atmosphere of love, optimism, acceptance, etc., we can focus less on our flaws (or what we think are flaws) and focus more on being a devoted follower of Christ.

Have joy in who God created you to be. Love yourself like He loves you!

– Chelsea

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Until God Opens a Door…

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and…

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20

Life has a funny way of turning upside down just when we think things are leveling out. Hard times never come at a good time, and it is in those times that we need God’s word more than ever to guide us through and out of them.

He doesn’t always take the hard times away, sometimes He allows us to walk through them as He guides us to teach us a lesson. Isaiah 43:2 says “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

There is a line in The Sound of Music where Maria says, “Where the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.” At different points in my life when the path I was traveling was suddenly closed off and the door sealed shut in my face, her words gave me a glimpse of hope. The Lord is our healer and can do “exceedingly abundantly above all we think and ask” (Ephesians 3:20). These times of trial reveal God’s presence to us more and more.

Until the Lord opens your door, praise Him in the hallway. Praise Him in the waiting and in the quiet and allow Him to break through your gloom and darkness. The Bible is full of stories where people chose to praise the Lord during times of real suffering. Take Paul and Silas for example. They were beaten and tossed into jail, and yet they continued to sing praises to the Lord.

So, what can YOU do to give praise in your toughest time? Pray and praise. Pray to the Lord and communicate your feelings to him. And, praise. Listen to your favorite praise songs and allow the lyrics to wash over you. Sometimes the door takes longer to open than we hope, but it is up to us what we do during our time in the hallway.

How will you spend it?

Chels

 

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Turning the Other Cheek

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If…

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also.” – Luke 6:27-29

Turning the other cheek was always a hard concept for me to grasp. It seems easy to do until you’re face-to-face with a situation that leaves you frustrated, angry, and short-tempered.

We can look at the way Jesus lived for example. The way he walked, the way he talked, and the way he went about his everyday life is the perfect testament to loving your enemies. As Jesus was fully human, he knows the pain and struggles of showing grace to those who don’t always deserve it.

Jesus was the perfect display of selflessness. He laid down his life for others, even for those who betrayed and mocked him. When Judas betrayed him, and turned him over to the those who would soon crucify him on the cross, he went willingly, without resistance or anger.

We can learn something from these true stories in the Bible. When we see Jesus willingly accepting the harsh fate he would soon encounter, it should encourage us to have the same gentle, willing, and humble spirit that Jesus once had.

All that being said, turning the other cheek is not a phrase to be misinterpreted. Allowing people to mistreat you and walk all over you time and time again is not what the Bible is saying.

It comes simply from a place of love, grace, and mercy. As followers of Christ, people take notice of the way we treat others. When we’re extending love to those who’ve done wrong to us, they, and others, see the love of Christ being displayed through us. Isn’t it cool to know we’re being used by God for a much bigger purpose?

Luke 6:31 says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

I’m sure this sounds familiar to all of us. The “Golden Rule” as most of us know it as, is a fantastic rule to live by. Loving your enemies and turning the other cheek shows a lot about your character and a lot about the God you serve. God uses us as vessels to be a reflection of him and to follow Jesus’s footsteps when it comes to extending love and selflessness.

Next time someone tests you, tempts you, or hurts you, show them forgiveness and the power of God’s love in the way you respond. The world could always use a little more love, so let it start with you!

– Chelsea

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Be a Full-Time Christian

Part-time Christianity: choosing to follow Christ at times that are convenient, but abandoning him when things get hard. Sound familiar? We’re all guilty of being part-time Christians from time to…

Part-time Christianity: choosing to follow Christ at times that are convenient, but abandoning him when things get hard.

Sound familiar? We’re all guilty of being part-time Christians from time to time. The world can tempt us, question us, and pull us away from God, causing us to fall short. But the hardest part is making a conscious effort to get back on track and remember who our heavenly Father is after all.

1 Kings 8:61 says, “Let your heart therefore be wholly devoted to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments, as at this time.”

God asks us to be wholly devoted, committed, and surrendered to him. He asks us for a fully committed life, not only in times of need or in times of praise. If we only followed Christ during the good times in our life, then living a Christian life would be easy. But God doesn’t call us to an easy life, he calls us to a life of devotion which leads to true joy, God’s grace, and so much more.

I witness a lot of people being one person with their friends, another at church, another with their family, etc. Their morals, values, words, and actions all change depending on who they’re with or where they’re at. I know I’ve been guilty of this at times, whether I like to admit it or not.

This is one area where part-time Christianity oftentimes takes over. People think it’s okay to only follow Christ around others that are doing the same.

We all know people that are guilty of this, referring to even each of us at times. But it’s especially important to avoid switching up our actions and personalities around those who take notice. When people know you’re a follower of Christ, they expect our words and actions to match our beliefs. If we’re not practicing what we preach, then what’s the point of following Christ in the first place?

Other times it comes from a place of aggravation. We get so frustrated with God during the hard times in our lives that we abandon him when we need him most. Something goes wrong and we doubt God instead of thinking of it as a blessing in disguise. Sometimes we even shut him out instead of praying and talking to him.

These are all situations in which you could be tempted to become a part-time Christian. But I assure you, sticking it out with Christ is the best thing you could do. God would never give up on us, so why would be abandon a god that is so gracious, loving, and forgiving? Whether times get hard or the world is against you, do your best to remain unaffected, living the life God created you to live.

– Chelsea

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Forget Your Perfect Plan

Being only a few days into the new year, I’ve learned a few things from 2018 that I want to bring with me into 2019. One of which, that I…

Being only a few days into the new year, I’ve learned a few things from 2018 that I want to bring with me into 2019. One of which, that I could possibly consider the most important, is to forget my perfect plan and turn my focus somewhere else.

A lot of my life has consisted of planning. I’ve planned where I’d go to school, where I’d move to, who I’d end up with… or at least I thought I had the perfect plan. But at the end of the day, there were always changes, both big and small, that I had to factor into this so-called “perfect plan.”

My favorite verse, Jeremiah 29:11, always humbles me when it comes to the future and how I see it. “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

For HE knows the plans he has for us… This small part of the verse gives me comfort and humility, knowing that, despite what we want for our lives, God is ultimately in control.

It’s okay to have a direction in mind or a path you know you want to take, but we should approach planning with a different mindset, one that’s godly and surrendered to Him. Instead of saying: “I will do this,” ask God: “should I be doing this?” or “what do YOU want for my life?” It will completely change the way you approach the future, and will make planning less about you and more about what God knows is best for your life.

Jesus knew the plan and destiny for his life, and he never questioned or doubted God once. He knew the fate that lied ahead, and he surrendered himself willingly. We should take notes of the way Jesus lived and mirror our lives off of him. Approach the future with certainty and confidence in the way Jesus did.

I’ll leave you with this: Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

In this new year, remember Proverbs 3:6. If you’re struggling for control over what’s to come, remember to acknowledge God. Talk to him, trust him, and rely on him and his plan over your life. Let go and let God!

It’s as simple as that. When we surrender our lives to God and acknowledge the authority he has over our lives, he will direct us in the way we need to go. Put your trust in him and let him carry you into the amazing future he has prepared for you.

– Chelsea

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How to Start Studying the Bible

When it comes to studying the Bible, a lot of times, for me, the getting started is the hardest part. Actually, knowing where to start is really my problem. There…

When it comes to studying the Bible, a lot of times, for me, the getting started is the hardest part. Actually, knowing where to start is really my problem. There are so many Bible studies I want to do and so much I want to learn! I can even become anxious about opening my Bible because I don’t know where to begin, and the intimidation threatens to keep me from starting at all.

If you want to be able to dive into God’s word and take advantage of all the wisdom it has to offer, here are a few ways to get started.

  1. If you’re truly wanting to study the Bible in its entirety, don’t actually start at the beginning. Genesis is full of a lot of genealogy and it can be overwhelming and a little intimidating. You don’t have to ready the Bible start to finish, you can jump around! Choose a book like Matthew, Mark, Luke or John if you want to learn more about Jesus’s sacrifice and His time on this earth in a deeper way. That is a great place to start.
  2. Ask around. Ask your friends or family what they are studying or what topics they are loving at the moment. They may even bring up a topic you’ve never considered! I actually find Pinterest to be a good resource. Think of your life and what is going on at the moment. Think of your struggles, your trials, your victories, your worries, all of it. Let those things inspire your topics of study. Engaged? Search for a study on preparing for marriage. Newly single? Look for a study on heartbreak and hope. Lost a loved one? Find a study on healing. The Bible has wisdom on every situation that occurs in our lives, sometimes we just need help finding that wisdom. That is where guided Bible studies come in.
  3. Make it a habit. Once you’ve found a study you like (whether it be through a book, Bible app, or online) make a habit out of completing your study every day. Schedule it for the same time and place and, before you know it, studying your Bible daily will become second nature.

So, where will you start?

Chels

 

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