Joyful January

I’ve decided that for this blog’s monthly wrap-up that I would have a word for each month starting with the letter of the month, this month’s word is “joyful” (next month is “faithful”).

I had a hard time being joyful this month, I found myself feeling really down and lonely a lot, I think it’s mostly the dreary weather that is getting to me, but I’ve been trying my best.

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Highlights

  • The teens from my congregation went to a winter retreat, it was beautiful weather and the lessons were amazing. The theme was 2020 Vision (I think everyone there was waiting for 2020 to name it that, haha). It was really good because the lessons were about our focus and what we focus on and what we should focus on in 2020.

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game time
spicey uno… if you know, you know.

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K.P. duty

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  • I started studying the Bible with someone and it’s been really good so far! I hope they become a Christian soon because their heart is in the right place. ❤
  • We hosted a ladies’ day at our congregation and I met some wonderful sisters in Christ as well as heard some really convicting lessons. There was one about gossip, and I’m pretty sure most people apologized to all their friends after that one (my friends and I sure did).

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Lessons learned

 

  • Stay focused. This month I’ve really struggled with feeling unneeded or out of place, but I find that every time I’m feeling really discouraged or unloved that I am not focusing on God and the Bible like I should be. My Lord is everything to me but sometimes I trick myself into thinking that I don’t need to be devoting so much time to worshipping Him or studying His word, but when I don’t, I leave so much more time to devote to anxiety and discouragement.

It’s like my camera when I’m taking pictures, sometimes it gets out of focus and I have to readjust the aperture and IOS, and as a “photographer” (it’s just a hobby right now), I have to remember to be mindful of what I’m focusing on and I need to do that in my daily life with God or else everything will be blurry.

  • Force yourself out there. This one is something I come back to probably every week if not every day. One of my biggest fears is rejection, and my flawed logic is that if I don’t put myself out there, I can’t be rejected because I never gave people a chance to reject me. This is obviously a terrible mindset and one I am struggling to get out of, but I know I am making progress, it’s small, but I’m getting better.

Jesus was rejected by the very people he made and came to save (John 1:11-12), and yet that never stopped Him from reaching out and loving people, it never silenced His teachings.

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I guess those would be the two biggest lessons I’ve learned/contemplated this month, now it’s your turn.

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How was your month?

What did you learn?

 

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To the Person Who is Losing Hope,

It seems like the darkness is taking over the world, choking out the last strands of lights.
It seems like every week there’s a shooting, terrible violence, unjust deaths being counted on the TV, on our phone screens.

To The Person Who is Losing ope

It seems like the devil is winning, sin catching us all in a rut that we dig ourselves deeper and deeper into until we realize how hard it will be to climb out.

And in that hole, the darkness grabs hold of you, and you can’t breathe.

All you want is for the way your heart feels like it shattered in your chest and lodged itself in your throat to end.

I know, because I’ve been there.

Many times in the past I have slid down doors and bathroom walls to the ground, crying, begging for an end to the pain, to the hopelessness that surrounded me.

“There’s no light anymore for me, there’s nothing. Let it end.” 

But then, I found God, I found the meaning in His Word, and in His Word, I found my purpose.

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photo credit @ me

Dear friend,

The darkness cannot win in the end, it has already lost. 

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” -John 1:4-5 

We have nothing to fear. 

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 

When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.” -Psalm 27:1-3

The darkness cannot win over God, but it can win over you.

Without God, there is no hope, because He is the hope.

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You were created in the image of God, you were made fearfully and wonderfully.

The Lord of everything loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us.

He calls the stars by name, calms roaring seas, knows the number of hairs on your head, and He loves you.

He did not create you to be hopeless, he did not make you worthless.

He made you to be His.

How powerful is that? How little does that make the darkness in this world seem?

 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”-Jeremiah 29:11

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Have you ever felt hopeless?
How does it make you feel to realize how much you are loved by God?

P.S. My inbox is always open if you need to talk or if you need encouragement! 

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How I Make Lists In My Bible

I don’t know about you, but I have the memory span of a goldfish.

After having bible studies with a few people, I’ve realized how it is so important to be prepared to answer the questions that are thrown at you.

How I Make Topic Lists in My Bible

I thought I was able to easily explain the Godhead but when I was studying with a lady, my off of the top of my head knowledge about that topic was tested when we read through a verse about the Godhead and she asked how it worked and “Is He really three in one?”

In situations like that, I started to appreciate the method of a lady who goes to our congregation, and since then it has helped me immensely.

Bible notes in Romans
my messy notes + list on the left side

I typically write little notes in my bible about greek words, correct contexts, and cross-references, but I have added lists of topics that are most important / brought up a lot in studies.

micron pens
I’d recommend these micron 005 pens for your note-taking + lists in your bible, they’re small and don’t bleed through the thin bible paper.

Anyways, onto how to create lists!

  1. Find a topic

The Blue Letter Bible can be a great app when you’re looking for verses with specific keywords! Just make sure you know the context of the verses before you add them to your list.

I have topics listed such as baptism, repentance, obedience, confession, the call, modesty, etc.

     2. List the topic in the back of your bible and find a starting verse to put under the title

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Like this:

Baptism

Colossians 2:12

  3. Go to the verse you wrote under your topic

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Highlight or underline the keyword and start making your lists of other verses in the column beside it.

         4. Go to the other verses you listed

Underline or highlight the keyword and make sure to write where the full list is beside the keyword.

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And there you go! An easy way to sharpen your sword and be better prepared for the questions of others. 

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How do you write notes and prepare for bible studies?

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