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Welcome to the New

We have been made right with God because of our faith. Now we have peace with him because of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through faith in Jesus we have received God’s grace. In that grace we stand. We are full of joy because we expect to share in God’s glory. (Romans 5:1–2)

I’ve been listening the last few days to MercyMe’s latest album, Welcome to the New. It’s just track after track of rejoicing over God’s grace, and it’s absolutely amazing. Their lead singer, Bart Millard, has really gone through a massive transformation since their last album after a couple of his close friends helped him discover the peace and joy of grace that he had been missing for years (see his post linked below). It’s just so apparent in the music and so encouraging. One of my favorite choruses is from “Dear Younger Me:”

You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed

^click for Spotify player with the album

thenewbart:

My Identity in Jesus Christ

John 1:12 - I am a child of God (Romans 8:16).

John 15:1,5 - I am a part of the true vine, a channel (branch) of His Life.

John 15:15 - I am Christ’s friend.

John 15:16 - I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit.

Read More

jspark3000:

Whenever someone asks me my opinion about gay people, or people who support abortion, or people who picket funerals, or people of other religions, or transgender people, or overly religious people, I usually say, “You mean what do I think about people?  Well I’m a people too, and we’re all pretty screwed up.  And I think we all need Jesus.”

God loves people.  We’re all invited.  End of story.

— J

This

(via anordinaryreblog)

The thing that tortures me more than anything is that I’ve mostly wasted my life so far. And I keep doing it…

On Robin Williams or How It's Not Your Fault.

girlvswhale:

A few years ago in therapy, my therapist made me make a list of things that helped me make it through. She wanted me to put it in a place where I could see it every day. In going over the list, we came to Good Will Hunting. .She was immediately confused.

"The movie, with Robin Williams and Matt…

via soapthief

‘Unconditionally’ by Katy PerryWouldn’t have thought I’d ever post a Katy Perry song, but this is actually really great

‘Unconditionally’ by Katy Perry
Wouldn’t have thought I’d ever post a Katy Perry song, but this is actually really great

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Interesting thought: Baptists (and maybe other denominations, idk) practice immersion because it more closely resembles baptism as depicted in the Bible, but they think it’s fine to substitute grape juice for wine. Meanwhile, there are other denominations that use wine because it’s a more authentic replication of the first Eucharist, but they substitute sprinkling for full immersion.

anordinaryadventurer:

The Choice by Grace Ding, based on an idea by D

I’m so excited to finally share this project with you all! This is my first real (albeit short) comic project. Its been a long and difficult process (much longer than I expected it would be), but its finally done! I’ve learned a lot artistically through this project, but I’ll save those thoughts for a future post.

I do want to explain the origin of the story though. D, one of my friends, was telling me about a time in her life when she was struggling with self-hurt issues. D told me about how, in the midst of those struggles, God spoke to her by giving her the images that form the basis of this story. It helped her through that than and inspired me to make this comic.

Thanks for reading and I hope this story can be encouraging to you as it was for me. 

wow, this is awesome

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A prayer

I’m out in the desert right now. I’ve never been able to sense you very well, and now I’m stranded away from all of my friends. My family is distant even though we live in the same house. I feel so alone. I thought that maybe my friends were your emissaries, that their love was your love. But now you’ve let me fail and fall away from their presence.

God, I need encouragement and guidance, but I don’t know how to find it. Reading the Bible feels dry. It’s so familiar that it feels mundane; the writing style is so weird (because it’s been translated from other languages and cultures) that it doesn’t feel like a person wrote it. It doesn’t feel personal or alive. I can’t hear your voice inside me, or at least I can’t tell it apart from my own thoughts.

I need discipline to work hard. I need inspiration to work on. I need determination to fight sin. I need clarity to see the idols and rebellions in my life. I need vision to pursue. I need hope to fight off despair. I need dedication to you.

You are powerful. Your love is amazing, beyond anything any human is capable of. Nothing is worth more than to live in your love. Help me to not just believe these facts, but to feel them and be driven by them. I wish that I would praise you all day long in my thoughts. Help me not to take your grace for granted, but to be in awe of it. Make me thankful for your mercy at all times, and help me act on that gratitude at all times.

God, I want to much to be with the friends I love. Help me to get back to Pittsburgh in the fall, or to know and accept if it’s not your will. Help me to go back to CMU in the spring, or to know and accept if that’s not your plan. Just please don’t leave me in the dark. Show me a path, and help me limp down it, then walk, then run.

Thank you for the mercy I take for granted. Thank you for allowing this basket case to live and to have such amazing friends. Thank you for the opportunity to go to CMU and learn so much there. I’m sorry that I am nearly always oblivious that I am a sinner in the hands of a just god. Thank you for your extreme patience with my weakness and rebellion. Even while I’m so impatient with you and demand that you fix my problems immediately.

Note: this part isn’t that important, the prayer in the block quote is the main content.

Usually when I try to pray, my mind wanders really quickly, and I probably don’t get more than a minute in before I’m deep in thought on something completely different. I don’t say amen, I just realize like ten minutes later I was supposed to be praying. I’ve tried writing down prayers, but then I get distracted by trying to write more neatly, and it still just doesn’t flow. Both methods end up feeling more like letter to Santa than a psalm.

Just now, I tried writing a prayer on my computer instead, and it all came pouring out. Abstract feelings I’ve had for God that have been in my head for months finally became words sent up to him with purpose. It felt natural, conversational, and I think it has more substance than just being a list of requests.

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"Mirror, mirror, what’s behind you?
Save me from the things I see
I can keep it from the world
Why won’t you let me hide from me?"

"Mirror, Mirror" by Jeff Williams