Sometimes, you just need some rest.

Wow. The past few weeks, I have just felt like a busy bee, going from one flower to the next, trying to soak up all the pollen. With test after test, meeting after meeting, paper after paper, I’m running on a lot of coffee, but still going. Sometimes, it’s a good thing to be busy. It keeps us focused and motivated. But we cannot let ourselves become too focused on the life around us.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2

God wants us to have a time of rest, filled with His word. Even Jesus would leave His teachings and go spend time with His beloved Father. We, as Christians, must do the same.

Life gets busy and it gets crazy, but within the craziness of life, we must find rest, so we can be renewed and strengthen. The only way, we as humans, can be strengthen, is by our Lord and spending time in His word and prayer. It’s easy for us to be swept up in the world and all that is around us, but Jesus tells us straight and clear what He wants from us in Luke 10.

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:38-42

Martha was distracted and caught up in all the worldly things around her that “needed to be done”. However, Mary knew that there were things that needed to be done, but to her, Jesus’ presence was WAYY more important than anything else. And Jesus completely noticed that.

Honestly, we are a lot like Martha most of the time. We get so caught up in the things that “need to be done” and miss Jesus’ presence around us. Let’s try to be more like Mary in these situations. I’m not saying that it’s easy, and it definitely takes some practice. But Philippians 4:13 tells us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

What an amazing reminder. CHRIST GIVES YOU STRENGTH. Today and every day. Believe it. Find rest in the Lord during the craziness of life. He will give you strength and peace through it all.

Love always,

Claire

A Deeper Look

Today, let’s look at Colossians 4:2-6

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” 

Here, Paul is writing to us so that we can clearly understand how we should live for Christ. There are many other places in the Bible where it says how Christians should live, but for me, this passage stands out a little different. So today, I want us to dive in this scripture together, sentence by sentence, so that God can reveal to us how we should live.

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” – Colossians 4:2

Here, it says the word “devote” when talking about prayer. Paul used this word on purpose. He didn’t say “pray daily” or “it’s recommend that you pray”. He chose DEVOTE.

God knows that it’s easy for us to forget to pray and thank Him for the good things. We get caught up in the craziness of life. BUT, that doesn’t excuse us from prayer. In everything that we do, we must devote to prayer. We can’t just push it aside and say “‘oh I’ll do that later”. We should want to talk to God everyday more than just once.

And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. – Colossians 4:3

To me, these sentence stands out and Paul is telling us that we should pray for the other missionaries in the world. The people who are in chains, other countries, or even right around you that are trying to get the word of God out there. He wants us to pray for the other believers and that they may proclaim the word of God to others.

This is so important because the power of prayer gets overlooked so much. Prayer can really change people’s lives and we sometimes don’t even realize that.

Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. – Colossians 4:4

This next part still follows the last sentence in that we should pray for other believers, but we also want to pray that what they say about the gospel is true. It doesn’t help God if people go around saying false words about Him. We want to pray that what others say about Christ is clear and right.

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. – Colossians 4:5

Woah, Paul hit the head of the nail right here. He tells us clearly that we must be wise in how we act to others. We shouldn’t go around and excluding people just because of their race, gender, belief, etc. We should make the most of every opportunity. Now, this doesn’t mean that we have to go around to every single person on campus and have a gospel conversation with them. I mean, that would be awesome if you do that but here Paul wants to understand that we should make the most out of every conversation that we have with the people around us, the people in our classes, the people in front of us in the lunch line, the people that we have conversations with everyday and see daily.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. – Colossians 4:6

We, as Christians, need our words to be kind. Our words need to reflect who are amazing God is. We don’t need to gossip; we don’t need to cuss. In every conversation, our words need to glorify the Lord.

The way Paul writes and the words that he uses make such a difference in this passage. Colossians is a wonderful book that shows us how we need to live and advice to get to that point in our lives. So, thank you Paul for writing such wonderful words, and thank you God for allowing Paul’s words to impact not just my life, but everyone out there.

I hope this has been encouraging and helpful to you as we went through this little passage together. I am praying that whatever you are going through, that you remember you are not alone and God is right there with you, fighting beside you.

Love always,

Claire

Caught Up in a Dry Thunderstorm

WOW. Do you ever have those seasons where you just don’t feel like anything is going the right way? You’re facing all these struggles and just feel so overwhelmed? The past few months have been rough. I feel like I walk out the door every morning, and I find myself in a desert, in a drought, trying to remember what rain tastes like.

Dry seasons, spiritually, are not my favorite time. For me (and maybe this goes for you), I feel like I have no motivation to do anything, physically, mentally, and spiritually because every time I do something, I feel like there was no point and that it didn’t help anyone.

But here’s something I am so guilty of forgetting: Even in the midst of a dry season, God is still present. Sometimes, it feels like you’re just praying to a brick wall, not getting any response, but Jesus is still there. It’s a lot easier to say that then to believe it at times, but He is still there. He’s always there, and He’s always got your back.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9

Some of you may be facing hard struggles right now. You don’t remember what rain tastes like. You may have been in droughts in relationships, with illness, with financial problems, or just being so stressed or overwhelmed for the longest time.

It’s so important that when you are in this season of drought, you cling to the Lord. Make Him your anchor in the hardships. Dive in His Word, even if you feel like you aren’t getting anything out of it. Pray to Him even when you feel like He is silent. Remember that He has already won the victory for you, and His plans for you are going to be worth all the struggles that you’re going through.

Love always,

Claire

A Summer To Remember

Brownsville, Brooklyn. It’s not like your normal neighborhood. It’s also not the safest neighborhood, but after spending three weeks there, I really got to know some of the best kids I have ever met!

I worked with a church called Graffiti 3, and they were having a summer program (VBS camp) for the whole month. My job at the program was to teach the missions rotation, so every week we would talk about difference missionaries and what they did. This was really neat because some of these kids didn’t know what missionaries were or why the world needs them. It was so neat to see God open their eyes and minds in this subject, and it was even cooler for me cause I got to watch it happen every day.

My summer in Brownsville was definitely eye-opening. It is a town where a lot of things happen behind the closed-doors. Most of the kids live in broken families. Many of them didn’t normally have Godly conversations with their families or friends. I think that was the main reason why they loved coming to the summer program so much. They weren’t use to hearing the same story about the Lord’s supper over and over again. They normally didn’t get that chance, so when the gospel was mentioned to them, they loved it. It was something new and interesting to them. The gospel brought them so much joy everyday. They loved singing songs and being God’s children.

However, during my time in New York, I didn’t just get to met kids. I got to meet women who had a lot of pain in their families, men that didn’t feel worthy to be called a Christian, teenagers that wanted to serve God daily, but struggled with consistency, and so many more people. God placed me in a new place to show me that I could be used anywhere for His glory. He placed me there to help love on these kids and families that normally didn’t get a lot of love.

I learned so much in the three little weeks that I was there. I learned that God can use anyone for His glory, even when we don’t feel worthy or good enough. I learned that not that many people get to hear about God on a daily basis, so your conversation with them makes a difference. Most importantly, I learned that life is like a tree not a ladder. It has many branches and it is not just straight and narrow. God is going to let that tree keep growing. You just have to keep on climbing it where He leads.

I hope you have had a wonderful summer, and I pray that whatever season of life you are in right now, you will remember that you are so loved by the Lord.

Love always,

Claire

 

Filth Is Overwhelming Me

Filth. Have you ever woke up and just felt like you were covered in filth? You just feel gross and like you’re going to be sick? I always hated the word filth because it was always just a gross word. But it feels even worse living in it. Filth has been overwhelming me lately. It’s all over the place. All the gross earthly things are racing around me and infecting me. It sounds gross, and it honestly is.

The enemy makes us worry and scared about almost anything it seems. He likes to throw us curve balls a lot of the time to throw us off. It could be something as simple as a sarcastic comment that just makes us lose it. Sometimes, we get so caught up in what is going on in this world, and we forget to find the light.

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. – Psalm 119:105

The darkness seems so wrapped around us, but we still have to find Jesus in all of the hot messes. Life is full of hot messes, but hot messes are there to help us remember that even through the rough times, Jesus can always been found. He is waiting for us to look towards Him because He is going to give us everything we need to get through it. He provides for us.

We need to step out of OUR world and dive into the Word of God. 

Just remember that even when you feel unworthy, overwhelmed, or useless, remember that you are a child of God. You are so important to Him. Sometimes, you just have to take a step back from the school work, the latest trends, the popularity, and all the earthly possessions that we get so caught up in and look towards Jesus. He is what we find our identity in. He is what we need to strive for. He is enough for us.

He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God. – John 1:10-12

God wants us to get rid of all of our moral filth. He wants us to choose freedom instead, the freedom that He gives us. When our faith is tested, perseverance is being produced. He wants us to believe and have faith in Him, not doubt. He doesn’t want us to worry or be afraid because He is in control of everything.

“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” – James 1: 4-6

Clear your mind. Take a step back and look at all the beautiful things that are filled with the joy of the Lord. Find Jesus in the good and the bad. He loves you and He will give you hope and guidance. Remember that you are so loved and He is always with you.

Love always,

Claire