By Katherine White
It is time for a shift in focus. Life feels so small when we only look within. Take a step away from your worries, your current situation- it will still be there! Give a moment to God in prayer. He has the power to transform your outlook in rejuvenating ways.
Prayer draws us into quiet, deep, peaceful moments of refreshing power. We realize so much when we take the time to engage in God’s restoring love. Remembering to pray -anytime and anyplace- broadens our outlook and reminds us that we are never alone.
Focus on the ones you love today in prayer. Instead of feeling stuck in your own agenda, lift up the people around you. Let your mind and soul appreciate the connection through prayer and with the people in your life. This switch in perspective makes life truly full.
Sometimes we go to God desperate in prayer. In these hard times, we just need to trust Him. Rarely can we hear His voice right away, and that can feel discouraging. But as we learn to live slowly we can see His ways in response to our desires if our eyes are open to the truth. Maybe today is not the day you want, in these times trust that God has got you and still your heart in prayer.
I know I’m not alone in wanting this; I need to start taking the mind and heart to live a better way. If we are not constantly trying to improve all aspects of ourselves, we are not doing ourselves or anyone any favors and we can lose the people most important to us. Even when we fail, try along with me to make this a new priority and constant prayer:
Simply think about others before you do something, and your relationships will blossom in strength, dignity, and truth.
1. Have concern for yourself
2. Always be considerate
Let’s think about how we act, the choices we make. Maybe a new identity is in order. How does the way you live affect the ones you love? Do you show them that you care by considering them in how you behave? It is so easy to fall into a selfish mindset, but everyone represents something. What, and who, do you choose to represent with your actions?
Show the ones you love you care about them because they are the most valuable part of your life! Pray for them daily. When we are more conscious of others, we live how we were created to. They would do anything for you, so take conscious to do everything for them. This starts with simple, constant prayer.
Always act in love.
By Katherine White
I heard a song on the radio the other day, “Heaven is God’s Throne” by the Luckett Brothers. Immediately, I grabbed a pen and began to contemplate the meaning behind this song.
Love is splendor, even though all we can see now in the world is disheartening. There is more, this world is not it. Earth has been destined to perish, but Heaven is eternal. Through the pain, we must hold on to the hope that love is real and will win in the end.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12)
Love is not encouraged much here on earth, in fact, often times those who choose to love are targeted by hate. Society has warped in many ways that extend far from God’s intention. This world has distanced and desensitized its people from the notion of love. The world is run by evil, but this universe is run by God.
Live in the peace that goes beyond earthly understanding from this acceptance. God is too great to comprehend, so we just trust in His name. It sounds so simple, right? Then there are the overwhelming, ever-present, and overtaking evils that use all of the earthly power they can to distract you from God and the truth.
When we hold onto the hope of God rather than hope for this perishable world, we inherit real richness. Man will always disappoint you and leave your heart empty, but God will never forsake you!
Hope is a battle here on earth. Hope is trying to be stolen from hearts everywhere with every bad piece of news in the media. Look to God instead. Know your heart is only safe resting in His promises.
When the world tries to tell you He is not there, realize what the world has to offer predominantly- negativity and lies. Living for God means standing apart from the majority, it means knowing something much different in your heart and hope is the holding on to that.
Be strong and have the courage to put your hope in God instead of this world. Doing this defies what the world wants from you and what is generally accepted. When everything surrounding you physically wants you to fall, God’s strength is an incomparable force against this world- rely on it and have hope!
By Katherine White
Midterms, monotony, and the mundane day-to-day of classes can really start to get to you as the semester goes on. Sometimes a little spontaneity can help to keep you sane and refreshed!
Your adventure can be anything that takes you out of your comfort zone! You don’t have to go out and do something crazy to experience a little adventure. Do something you normally wouldn’t and see what kind of blessing God presents you through that -because sure enough, in all you do through Him, He is right there with you!
Today as I sat down with my work laid out in front of me, I noticed another girl working away on her studies a few tables over. Cliché as this may sound: Strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet (sometimes!) So, as she was gathering her things to leave I gathered the friendliness to spark up a conversation. Just by asking a relatable question you can gain a new friend. What a blessing small steps out of our comfort zones can result in!
Take a break from your central focus. Don’t get so consumed in your daily demands that you forget how to live, because sometimes that is really what it can feel like. Break into adventures out of your comfort zone and routines at times to follow God in new, even creative directions. If you really can’t logically take a break from your studies, venture to a new study-spot.
With the right mindset, any experience or opportunity can be viewed as a little adventure! Cut loose and allow yourself to have fun. Let go of vain aggressions and hesitations that hold you back from this mindset. Even getting a random phone call to go help your sister out can be an adventure when your heart is in the right place.
By Katherine White
With pure intentions, a strong will, and -most importantly- faith that is alive inside, anything is possible. To be able to obey God’s callings, which seem impossible and defy the ordinary in this world, we must live in and believe in our faith.
If we do not have the faith that God is fighting through us, that it is His strength inside of us, we will not realize the power we hold as Christians. He is right here with us, wanting only for us to succeed in all we choose to do for Him. In the end, we know love will win- we are on the winning side when we fight for God. All it takes it faith! To be able to go to the dark places that God requires us to save others from, where He needs us the most, we must know He is there.
The first time God spoke to me, I was stricken by stage fright and opened my Bible for some confidence. I opened it to Jeremiah 1:6-8, which tells us:
“’Alas, Sovereign LORD,’ I said, ‘I do not know how to speak; I am too young.’
But the LORD said to me,
‘Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the LORD.”
God is alive, and His work is not finished. Through us, though our faith, God can do miraculous things. Always test your faith to make sure you are living genuinely for Him. It is the winning way and the only true source of strength in the end: faith.
A Testimony of Powerful Faith
I hope you are loving Spark’s newest song: Head Above Water by Avril Lavigne. This is her most recent song in five years, and it is quite the comeback.
The first time I listened to this song, it gave me chills. This powerful message is a testimony of Lavigne’s faith in God.
Lavigne, age 33, was bedridden for five months, deathly ill with Lyme disease. She shared the following statements with People Magazine in an article published by Maura Hohman September 19, 2018:
“One night, I thought I was dying, and I had accepted that I was going to die.”
“My mom laid with me in bed and held me. I felt like I was drowning.”
“Under my breath, I prayed ‘God, please help to keep my head above the water.’ In that moment, the song writing of this album began,” she continued in the statement. “It was like I tapped into something. It was a very spiritual experience. Lyrics flooded through me from that point on.”
“God, keep my head above water. Don’t let me drown, it gets harder. I’ll meet you there at the altar”, Avril Lavigne’s powerful lyrics from her newest song in five years will give you chills. Her inspiring faith through facing the hardship of nearly dying from Lyme disease has landed her song to Spark radio. Listen, enjoy, and keep your faith alive!
By Katherine White
You’ll have no worries if you’re in no hurries. In a society where everyone always seems to be running, under stress, so focused on getting to that next point whatever it may be- spark some patience into the world around you. The best thing you can do is walk slowly in trust and patience through life. Forget that “live fast die young” garbage. Slow and steady wins the race. Trust in the big picture and have calm, peace in your heart getting there along the way.
When you slow down, you begin to understand a lot about things outside of yourself. Nature is still, all around us, and always changing. These changes don’t come in a day however, they come through seasons. Each season, all so unique, holds so much beauty -along with their ever-present downsides. Get out of the rapid, rushing, currents of society. Resist the urge to go with the flow as it pulls you, and be still in God’s refuge. Slow down today, on the day the Lord has created for our rest, and remind yourself to be patient as God’s plan for you unravels in His time. When you trust in God, patience will bloom, and peace will break through into your worried heart.
The freedom that comes with putting your understanding in God, not this world, is transformative peace and calming patience. Notice the things that try to sabotage and steal you from living a patient life. Try having patience today and spot the blessings that come from your choice. Deception is all around, keep your eyes on the truth, the way, and the light.
Peace and blessings.
Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” (NIV)