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Archive for September, 2010

Lover

The majority of my music library comprises of Contemporary Christian Music (CCM), mostly well-known artists like Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, and Rebecca St. James, but when I came across Nate Oyloe’s debut album, I knew it would be a great asset to my collection. Nate is a great man of God with a powerful testimony of God’s work in his life. His strong, clear voice presents his emotional lyrics in a way that gives God the glory He deserves. I can hear every word clearly, which is important to me when I listen to music.

This album contains my favorite song of all, “Father of Lights”. This original composition, like the rest of the album, stirred my emotions as it touvched my heart.A great classic for any time of day, especially when you need a little inspiration. A refreshing treat. 🙂

Click on the picture to check out his website, listen to samples from his albums, or order his CD.

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It’s always a good idea to ask questions. It exercises your curiosity and helps expand your knowledge. Asking questions about life, God, and His Word is a VERY good idea. By asking questions you can see a better picture of God and gain more insight from the scriptures.

Questions I often like to ask God include “What do you want me to do in this situation?” “Why did you let this happen?” “What are you trying to teach me?” Where should I go from here?” “Why did I do that?”. If I’m bored, I let my imagination fly and ask a bunch of strange questions. And believe it or not, I sometimes get answers to them!  If I don’t know what to do, I literally increase my tone on paper. I use bigger letters, more desperation, calling out to God with my pen. I may get answers, I may not. But when I write down my questions, I can see many of them answered. It’s true what people say about God’s traffic lights: “Stop!” “Wait!” and “Go!”.  I literally see God telling me one of these three signs. And waiting on Him and receiving His answers — whether through scripture, people, or events — is so worth it. I get so encouraged when I can reflect on the Q&A and see God working in my life. It reminds me that God is always there, and always knows where I’m going.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

Of course, some questions never get answered. But that’s why God is so powerful and mysterious; man’s minds cannot comprehend Him!

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While studying Proverbs one morning, one verse really stuck out to me.

“Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” -Proverbs 25:28

As Christians, our heart is protected with a wall of God’s Word. The more scripture and truths we know, the higher and stronger the wall. As we meditate on the Word of God, our wall becomes more fortified. That is why daily Bible study is so important. It helps us exercise self-control and protect us from the enemy’s lies. But when we lose self-control and give in to sin, we give ground to Satan. He gains more and more ground until our walls come crumbling down. It lays in ruins until we go back to the Lord and seek out His word to rebuild our defenses. It is a long and hard process, but that’s to be expected when you have to clear up all the debris and then rebuild the walls from what’s left.

Part of Revine‘s mission is to equip you with God’s Word and truth so that you may keep the devil at bay by setting of the Truth against his lies. If you haven’t already done so, establish a daily Bible reading plan, memorize verses, and meditate on them throughout the day, Don’rt wait until your walls come down and leave your heart exposed; fortify them daily to hold strong against the enemy’s attacks. If you need help finding a daily reading plan, check out BiblePlan. For a new verse to memorize every day, check out Verse of the Day. Stay strong in the Word, rely on God’s grace, and live each day for the glory of the King!

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The easiest way to ease into a flow of writing is to free write. Relax and delve into your mind and whatever comes to your mind, write it down. Don’t worry if it’s something completely wacky or random. This is an exercise to free up your mind so you can think clearly.Do this for about 3-5 minutes.

Now, when your mind is bringing up random thoughts, you can look at what you wrote and expand on an interesting thought. Follow that train until you can’t think of anything more on the subject. Then pick another topic and continue the exercise. Doing this for several days will loosen up your mind and allow you to write more freely. Tap into your thoughts and let the pen flow. Don’t worry if you can’t write fast enough; the more you practice, the faster you’ll get. 😛

Remember to practice as much as you can!

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A good way to begin your journaling journey is to write to God. Tell Him what you wish to achieve in your journal. What goals you want to accomplish in life. What desires you have. What questions you want answered. Talk to God as you would if you spoke it. But talk to Him. This helps you focus on why you are journaling in the first place (assuming you journal for spiritual growth and self-discovery). It also helps you later to see what questions God answered, where God worked in your life and provided for your needs. It is a great way to measure your growth as well. Plus, it strengthens your relationship with your Father — and that is worth it all. 😛

Write a humorous letter to God, telling Him about a funny recent incident. Bring a Bible verse or passage before Him and ask Him to show you what it means. Pour out your pain to God. Whatever you write is okay, since we each have our own way of talking with our Lord. He justs wants to talk to you! And you can see His replies later when you look back and read these prayers and entries that answer them. Wouldn’t that be great?

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Collage Bookmarks

I make my own collage bookmarks, and often people will ask me how I make them. Therefore, I am making a guide to show you, and them, how. 🙂 I usually make my bookmarks with some sort of verse, picture, or any inspiring piece so that I am reminded of it while reading a book.

#1 Gather supplies

You will need: Scissors, clear packaging tape, and an assortment of different magazines, newspapers, letters, etc.

#2 Cut out the letters/ pictures

#3 Cut and lay out a strip of clear packaging tape twice the desired length of the bookmark.

#4 Lay out the cutouts in desired order, or if you want scatter them randomly across the tape.

Make sure everything lays flat though. Fold one end slowly on top of the other, creasing as you fold to prevent air pockets.

#5 Trim edges.

I recommend using a paper cutter to cut straight edges, then using scissors to curve out the tips. Feel free to cut in designs though. ^_^

There you have it! Your own collage bookmark! Read away. 😛

**DISCLAIMER** Yes, I know the one made in the pictures isn’t very good. x) I kinda made it faster than I usually do. Make sure yours looks better than mine!

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So, you’re interested in journaling, but don’t know where to begin. Don’t worry! I felt the same way when I started writing in mine. It took a while getting used to writing down how I felt, but once I did, I never regretted it. 😛

#1 The Journal

The journal you write in can have, to some degree, effect on your writing. I have heard of many journal types, ranging from cheap and simple spiral-bound notebooks to expensive, high-quality, elaborate volumes. For the beginning journaler, I suggest a cheaper notebook. Most people would be so careful about writing in a higher-quality, expensive book that it ruins the purpose of journaling in the first place. I personally use hard-bound composition books, which I find easy to buy and store together. Since I choose different designs or decorate my notebooks,  each one is unique. I have also given them names to spiff up the empty spaces in the front cover. 😛 But if you do choose to have more expensive journals, make sure you are comfortable making mistakes in them, as journaling is supposed to help one be honest with themselves and their feelings. The last option is to type it up on your computer. Make sure you have a folder where you can organize your entries in the sequence you prefer!

#2 Reason

It’s a good idea to reflect on why you want to keep a journal. Do you desire to grow in your spiritual life? To deal with your past? To know the Lord more intimately? Whatever your reason, write it down on the first page of your journal. Also list your goals, as they will give you direction when you have nothing to write about. Looking back on my goals and reasons, I can see what goals I have achieved and how much I’ve grown. It’s very encouraging! 🙂

#3 Commitment

When are you going to journal? Do you need to make a commitment to writing on a regular basis? If so, it may be a good idea to set aside time every day or week or some other regular interval for writing. Remember, excuses like “not enough time” aren’t going to get you anywhere. You will always have time for items on your priority list. 😀

#4 Privacy

A BIG reason why many people are reluctant to journal is the fear of the journal being found and its contents revealed. It is a valid excuse, but if certain measurements are taken the chances of your journal being picked up and read aren’t very high. Some options include placing your journal in a location where you can lock it up, or disguise it by putting it next to books of similar appearance. I personally keep my journals at my bedside under a pile of blankets and such. I can read them before I fall asleep. My current one I simply tuck into the end of my bookshelves where it is highly unlikely someone will see it. Other options include keeping it in your car, in a drawer, in your desk, in your backpack, among your schoolbooks, and other personal locations. But please PLEASE remember where you left them xD

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