Saturday, March 31, 2018

Easter. {2018}

Happy Easter, dear readers! 

I originally planned to write a free verse poem for Easter this year, but it just didn't work out. I hope you find this quotes as inspiring and uplifting as I did. :)

"The death of Jesus Christ on the Cross was not something that ‘happened’ to Him –something that could have been prevented. His death was the very reason He came."
– Oswald Chambers

"The New Testament writers speak as if Christ’s achievement in rising from the dead was the first event of its kind in the whole history of the universe. He is the ‘first fruits,’ the pioneer of life,’ He has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought, and beaten the King of Death. Everything is different because He has done so."
– C.S. Lewis 

"The Gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope."  
– Author unknown  

Rejoice at the celebration of His resurrection! He is risen and worthy to be praised! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

100 Days with Jesus by Diann Cotton {Book Review}

~ Description 

How do you capture who Jesus really is? What words would you use to describe Him?

Explore the endless possibilities with these 100 names and attributes, pulled directly from Scripture, and presented with uncommon clarity and depth. Full in scope. Rich in devotion. 

Through prayers and insights that widen your view of Jesus’ nature and purpose, you will see Him in ways you’ve perhaps never noticed before—specific to your need, complete in His love for you. You won’t just be informed. You’ll be transformed. One day at a time, 100 days in arow, inspired toward a deeper, more knowing sense of worship . . . for a lifetime.

~ My Rating 

3 stars 

~ My Review

I don't like writing negative/ranting reviews. I really don't. I feel even worse about it when it's a Christian book. But since a review is meant to be an overview of my thoughts and opinions on the book along with an accurate rating, I'll do my best. 

Along about the 40% mark, I was really, really wanting to give up on this book. I'm glad I persevered, as the best passages were in the latter half of the book, but the book still felt kind of flat to me. I read the whole thing, looked up all the references, and still didn't get much out of it. It wasn't a bad book, I just feel like it could have been so, so much better. 

100 Days with Jesus is formatted as a 100 day devotional. Each day has a name for Jesus, a Bible verse where the name is found, and a definition. Following that, there's a paragraph that reads like a prayer...and basically just re-words the verse and definition. At the end of every single page was the same line... "Thank Him, praise Him, and worship Him today as the *insert word of the day*." Yep, that's all well and good. But...that's it? Several times I found myself going "wait, I'm done with that one already?" 

Lastly...the grammar. The whole book needed a good edit. If exclamation points are your thing, that's great. I use them plenty myself. But when five out of six sentences end with "!!!"? It gets old really fast. Especially when there's multiple exclamation points in one spot... 

Like I said, it wasn't a bad book and it's not my intention to bash the book or the author in any way. I just expected more from as large a publisher as B&H. More depth, more encouragement, more evidence to show me that this is someone I should be taking Biblical counsel from. 

I'm sure many readers will enjoy the book—and I'm sure there are those who will get more from it than I did. It just wasn't a good fit with me. 

**I received a copy of this book from B&H/Lifeway in exchange for my honest review.** 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Dear Beautiful.

Dear Beautiful... 

Yes, you. The one hiding in the corner, trying to fade into the shadows, slip out of the spotlight. The girl turning her head, hiding her face, averting her eyes.

Because, why would anyone be looking at you? You're nothing special. You think you're plain and ordinary and nowhere near beautiful.

But it's not true, dear. Don't believe the lies. Attune your ears to the truth.

Plain and ordinary are nonexistent.

We were created in the image of our Creator, each of us uniquely and wonderfully made. He fashioned you with His hands and He was well-pleased with His masterpiece. He is perfect, my friend, incapable of creating messed-up and ugly people.

Have I convinced you yet? Let's take a look at His words...

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 
// Psalm 139:13-14 kjv 

Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. 
// Isaiah 43:7 kjv

He hath made every thing beautiful in His time.
// Ecclesiastes 3:11a kjv

Thoughts? What other 'Dear' posts would you like to see? 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Stress vs. Sleep in the Storm

Good morning, friends. :)

I forgot to schedule this post last night, and I woke up thinking about it. Now, having only been up about twenty minutes, I'm sitting on my bed to write.

And I'm thinking back over the past week. I don't always do this on weekends, but I like to. Reflection can be nice—to see what I've gotten accomplished and remember how God has worked in the past six or seven days.

This morning, I'm recalling that this week was kind of crazy. Several days found me stressing over all the things I needed to get done. The to-do list with reminders of homework, editing, blogging, writing. (And reading? I haven't read a book for the pure enjoyment of it in two weeks... O.o) Things going on in our family and church family. The science midterm that I'm still not sure how well I did on was the cause of much of this stress.

But even in the busy seasons of life, when we just can't seem to keep up, has God forgotten us? Left us to fend for ourselves?

No, of course not. He's right here with us—we only have to remember that. To reach out to Him. To call on His Name.

On Monday morning, I knew I had a lot to get done, so I didn't take the time to read my Bible first thing. And you know what? Monday was a terrible day.

On Wednesday morning, I overslept. But I still took the time to read my Bible before grabbing breakfast and dashing out the door to ceramics class. When I returned, I had lunch, took the chemistry test, and got ready for church.

Wednesday nights at the Potts house means prayer meeting/Bible study/youth group. (Last week, it also meant Chick-Fil-A and nearly being involved in a wreck, but that's a story for another time.) Our youth group was rehearsing for an Easter skit we're doing in a few weeks. And you know what? I don't know when I last laughed so hard. Although I'm several years older than most of them, that group of kids and teens are pretty awesome. And an hour spent with them was exactly what I needed halfway through a stressful week.

There is blessings in the chaos, y'all. Run to the One who offers sleep and rest in the storm. <3

In the midst of all this, I came across this song. I love Unspoken's music, but I had never heard this one before. It's a beautiful reminder and exactly what I needed this week. Give it a try and be blessed. <3

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Pray With You. {Song Lyrics}

This song has really touched me lately, as I've prayed for a few different friends concerning different situations. When we say we'll pray for someone, how seriously as we really? Are our words as true and dear and loving as these lyrics? 

Check back next week for some more thoughts on prayer, but for now, enjoy this beautiful song. <3 

I know that You got the weight of the world, there on your shoulders
I know that you’re feeling your whole life is starting to crumble
Wish I had words, that didn't sound cheap
Wish I had answers, in times like these

But I will stay right here, through the tears you cry
And I'll hold you close while you ask "God, why?"
It might be the tallest mountain
But there is One who can make it move
Until the night becomes the day
Until He shows the way
I will pray with you

I know that it's hard to see but still, He's standing here with you
And you're not alone, no matter how deep a valley you walk through
Sometimes our pain can hide His face
But when you're down in that dark place

But I will stay right here, through the tears you cry
And I'll hold you close while you ask "God, why?"
It might be the tallest mountain
But there is One who can make it move
Until the night becomes the day
Until He shows the way
I will pray with you

When the burden gets too heavy
When the journey gets too hard
When the hardest thing to carry
Is your breaking heart
I will pound the door of heaven
When you don't have the strength
And I will beg the King of Mercy
For a miracle today
Wish I had words, that didn't sound cheap
Wish I had answers, in times like these

I will stay right here, through the tears you cry
And I'll hold you close while you ask "God, why?"
It might be the tallest mountain
But there is One who can make it move
Until the night becomes the day
Until He shows the way
I will pray with you

Yeah, I will pray with you

How can I pray for y'all? 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

I Don't Know Why, But I Know Who.

I've had some good, lengthy, deep talks with some dear friends in the last few months. Some thoughts from then, some things discussed, and some lessons God has been teaching me lately led me to write this. My prayer is that is touches someone's heart. <3 

I don't know why... 

I don't see the purpose in pain and trouble.

I don't know why good people have to experience pain and confusion.

I don't know why some people pray for years for a child of their own, while hundreds of thousands of innocent babies are aborted every year.

I don't understand why some people desire love and marriage so much, and others toss feelings aside like they're nothing.

I don't understand why it seems like some people have it so easy, and some have it so hard.

I don't know why some can see their futures so clearly, while others struggle years to find some direction.

I don't understand why some are called to wait, when they want to move, and some are called to move, when they want to wait.

I don't know why life has to be hard.

I don't know why I wrote this down at all, but I did, so here it is.

But I know who... 

I know Who is with us, in the pain and chaos.

I know Who comforts us in the midst of trouble and grief.

I know Who holds those parents with empty arms and those unwanted babes.

I know Who writes the love and life stories, of every person across the globe.

I know Who is strengthening each of us, in the seasons of trusting and waiting.

I know Who has a purpose for each person that He breathed life into.

I know Who is with us in the good times and the bad times and every moment in between.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 
//  Romans 8:28 kjv

Thoughts? What's He been teaching you recently? <33