[from my notes] comparing God to a chair.

I know a lot of people who have a “life verse.” A life verse is that Bible verse that carries you throughout your life…a line you always come back to…something that really hits home to you. I don’t know that I have ever really had a life verse. I have a lucky number (47) that pops up in my daily life…literally…I see that number every single day. It’s spooky. But a life verse? Mmmm…not so much. Until recently.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 (ESV)

I’ve read that verse more times in my life than I could possibly count. But it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I really READ it…and understood it. My Iron Group (or Bible study group) is going through the book “Discerning the Voice of God” by Priscilla Shirer. In one of the chapters, she writes about this verse.

She says, “This doesn’t mean that He’s necessarily giving you what you want, but rather that He is in the process of transforming your soul to desire what He wants” (55).

Did you hear that? That was your brain exploding.

I’ve heard people (but mostly girls) talk about how:

– I’m choosing to wait on God because if I do, He’ll give me what I desire (AKA He’ll give me what I want AKA a boyfriend AKA a husband.)

– God will answer that prayer (for that husband) because it’s what I truly desire in my heart. And the Bible says He gives us the desires of our hearts!

– I really want to go to that college. I know I’ll get in because it’s what I want. I’ve done all the right things…God will get me through this (AKA God will send me an acceptance letter.)

Sound familiar? [insert buzzer sound] Wrong! This is a perfect example of how we’ve taken scripture and mighty morphed it to fit our needs. The Bible isn’t a magic 8 ball.

This verse is saying that God will give us the things in our hearts that we desire. He will put the desires in our hearts…not give us WHAT we desire. The more we choose Him, choose His way and His Word, the more of His desires He will give to us.

So, yeah it’s really interesting but why is it my life verse? How does this verse pick me up and carry me onward?

I have a nasty habit of wanting things. I’m a reader and a dreamer. I have a picture of how my life should look now and in 5 years…and in 10 years, etc. I tend to push aside what God is clearly showing me that He wants for me because it doesn’t fit into my plan. I don’t have room to pencil in His desires. This verse is constantly reminding me that when my focus is on Him and on furthering His kingdom, our desires align. I find myself wanting what God wants for me. I’m no longer making room in my plan for God…He IS my plan.

It’s like that latest Haverty’s commercial (you know…with the girl that looks like me?) I’m designing my life around the chair. Did I just compare God to a chair? I mean…it’s a good looking chair… Is that a stretch of a metaphor? Yes. But it made for a snappy title.

Delight yourself in God. Ladies, He made you as beautiful, dignified women whose purpose is to seek His face and foster relationships among believers. Fellas, you are leaders whose purpose is to further His kingdom in strength and loyalty. When you answer the call – when you live your life by His word – He fills you with His desires. What better existence could there possibly be?

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[unmentionables 6.0] a deadly sin.

“Lust” is one of those words that feels strange coming out of my mouth. Lust is almost always painted in a negative light. It’s an intense desire…a craving. You can lust after something or someone, you can lust for knowledge or power, you can lust after someone else’s chocolate bar…is just one of those words. Lust is something that every religion has something to say about. It’s in the Bible. It’s considered to be one of the seven deadly sins. It’s kind of a big deal.

If you Google “lust”, you’ll find the word mostly used in a sexual, physical context. Lust vs. Love, poems about lust, lust and desire…the list goes on and on. It seems to be something everyone faces. Right?

Right.

Lust isn’t some low-brow emotion that only non-Christians feel. Lust is something that is spoken about in a lot of churches with a “we don’t experience that” attitude, but that’s a lie of the devil. Thinking that we, as Christians, are above feeling lust in a physical or emotional context is one of the world’s great lies.

Lust in this context automatically makes me think of the ever popular “Fifty Shades of Grey” series. I know a lot of people who have read this series and I also know a lot of people who don’t have a clue what these books are really about. Romance novels have been around for the last 50 years or so, but never has a romantic fantasy book taken off in such a way as this particular series. Why? What’s so different about it?

This series has permeated our culture in many ways. In our sex-saturated world that’s obsessed with sexual fantasies, these books found a hook. The song “Feel this Moment” by Pitbull has lyrics that say, “She read books, especially about red rooms and tie ups/I got her hooked, Cause she seen me in a suit with the red tie tied up.” Those lyrics are a direct reference to this popular book series.

I’m a curious person. I love reading. I like being able to participate in conversations. Naturally, I started reading this series to see what all the hype was about. I didn’t even make it halfway through the first book before I called Amazon and asked for a refund for the Kindle copy I had purchased. (Read the synopsis here.)

When I decided to read it, and I’ll admit that I knew what the basic premise was, I thought of all the girls I knew that raved about it and never thought it would be as toxic as it was. My first thoughts about the character Anastasia is that she has a pretty messed up notion of what love is. When I read the synopsis for the other books in the series, I realized that her idea of love continues and the storyline ends “happily.”

This is incredibly disheartening. The character finds worth in a rich, handsome man wanting her. She finds worth in the idea that her love can change his twisted ways. That’s not love. This series is all about lust and becoming slaves to lustful desires. This is not the life that God intended for His children. We are worth more – deserve more.

I’m not saying we’re supposed to feel guilty about every little sexual thought.In a lot of ways, we’re teaching kids to be afraid of sex, then they get curious and it all hits the fan. Conversations are key. Safe places are so important for this particular topic of conversation. Someone has to tell young, teenage girls that love is more than sex. Someone has to teach girls what God says about them. Otherwise, they’re going to get swept up in this toxic culture and fight battles the rest of their lives.

Capturing thoughts. That’s what we should be focusing on. 2 Corinthians 10:6 talks about capturing our thoughts and making them obey Christ. I’m so visual that when I read that verse I imagine grabbing a strand of thought (very Harry Potter-esque), twisting it around, and forcing it to go the other direction. We have complete control over our thoughts. (“The Fantasy Fallacy” by Shannon Ethridge is an amazing book that talks a lot about the different kinds of sexual thoughts. You should check it out if you find this topic as interesting as I do.)

We have complete control over our thoughts.

We have complete control over our thoughts.

That’s so important for us to remember. It’s so easy for us to blame the devil for “putting” a thought into our heads, but we forget that we’re capable of shutting those thoughts down. Galatians 5:16 says that when we walk with the Spirit, we won’t gratify the desires of the flesh. Meaning, we won’t give the sinful body the sinful satisfaction it craves.

I haven’t even scratched the surface with this topic. Again, if you want to read more about the different kinds of sexual thoughts you should read “The Fantasy Fallacy” by Shannon Ethridge. I can’t rave enough about it.

Advice from an [unmentionables] collaborator: “Don’t hide from or try to avoid temptations that occur with dating. The more one denies it, the more likely that person will be taken by it by surprise and fall into it when the temptation is at its peak.”

[next up: a guest post!]

*Disclaimer: This is not intended to review the “Fifty Shades” series or judge those who have read it. I’m not the judgement type. This is merely my thought process.

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[unmentionables 3.0] an unprotected heart.

I read a book called, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” [IKDG] by Joshua Harris. One of the first things in this book is about going through life in a series of short-term relationships. There’s a girl who has a dream that all of her groom’s ex-girlfriends were lined up behind him on their wedding day. Think about having all of your past baggage and relationship mistakes with you at the altar. Imagine having all of your ex-boyfriends or girlfriends standing in a line next to you. Not only could that potentially be incredibly uncomfortable, but what would they have to say about you?

Would they mention all the promises you’d made to them about a future together? Would they stand there feeling betrayed and misled?

One of my guy friends thinks this idea is dumb. Ha! Isn’t it interesting how girls and guys view things? When I read this in IKDG, I thought, “Oh, man! That makes so much sense! How humiliating…oh wait…they’re not literally standing next to you…but still!”

One of my [unmentionables] collaborators says that she connects songs, restaurants, movies and places with past boyfriends. She assumes that it will be hard to create a life centered around joyful moments with her future husband when places they go to or things they do may bring up past hurts. She said her youth minster once told her that each thing you do with a boyfriend prior to your husband is one less thing you save for him. This is true not only with sexual boundaries but with other experiences as well.

Whether we want to admit it or not, each relationship, each kiss, each indulgence is like taking a piece of our heart and giving it to someone else. Then we stand there on our wedding day to give whatever is left to our future bride or groom. For some, there’s a lot to offer. For others, we have scraps of our hearts left to offer up. This can be caused by past relationships, physical abuse, emotional abuse, etc.

An [unmentionables] friend says, “My heart is full and I could right now, today get married to my boyfriend and he wouldn’t get some chipped-away-at heart. Sure, I’ve been hurt, I’ve had sex before, but thinking your heart is anything less than full and perfect because you have loved another is the work of the devil, who wants to make you feel worthless…God had forgiven me a long time ago. I just had to forgive myself. My heart has never been fuller.”

Later, we’ll talk about forgiveness and redemption – healing our hearts. We’ll talk about how Christ makes them whole again.

Another analogy that an [unmentionables] collaborator shared is that our hearts are like stickers. When we give our hearts to someone, it’s like taking that sticker and sticking it on them. When we want to take our sticker back, we have to peel it off and it leaves behind that sticky residue stuff – a piece of our heart. If we keep sticking and unsticking it on someone, it loses its stickiness. Dating before marriage does have its benefits in some situations; there are lessons to learn and relationships to build. However, not every relationship will have its benefits. Some can leave us bruised and broken. These relationships harden our hearts.

[next up: dating.]

Advice from an [unmentionables] friend:

Guard your heart. My friend mentions how men often give “love” to get sex and women tend to give sex because they want love. (This is something that is talked about a lot in Shannon Ethridge’s “Every Young Woman’s Battle.”) When a woman wants emotional support and attention, she tends to accept physical needs. As women, we have this intense desire to be loved. Sometimes that desire goes so far and is so intense that we’re willing to do just about anything to feel loved.

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[unmentionables 1.0] a new series on the things we don’t talk about.

Nobody likes to talk about the hard stuff. I think most of that comes from conflicting ideas about what Christians should and shouldn’t be doing regarding sex and relationships. Nobody wants to look like a “bad Christian” for having different ideas. Nobody wants to have people’s opinions of them changed.

I want to preface by saying I’m not writing to damn those who have already fallen to sexual temptation. And by “fallen”, I don’t mean beyond the reach of help. And by “help”, I don’t mean you are downtrodden and that I’m looking down my nose at you. Most of us are victims of sexual temptations, be it thoughts or actions. Those who aren’t are either really blessed or lying.

I’ve been reading a few books about sexual temptations and the Christian life. I’m not going to be one of those people who pretends that they don’t deal with sexual temptations. I’m a human being, after all. A 20-something college student human person. That’s a recipe for disaster.

One of the books I’ve been reading is called, “Every Young Woman’s Battle: Guarding Your Mind, Heart, and Body in a Sex-Saturated World” by Shannon Ethridge and Stephen Arterburn. Whew…that’s a really long title! I didn’t realize it until I started typing it! I’m going to write a series on sexual temptations and the Christian life. Don’t know why…I just think I’m supposed to.

I also don’t think I’m supposed to do it alone.

That’s right! I’ve got a group of awesome ladies who have agreed to be guest bloggers and collaborators for this series. This new series about the “tough stuff” is going to be written using 7 brains. That’s a lot of information and a lot of life experiences. I really believe God will utilize this partnership for His glory and that together, we can encourage others. I’ve even managed to wrangle up some guys to give their perspective on a few things!

Be looking for posts in this new series: Unmentionables.

I’m really excited about this project. If you want to follow along with this series, make sure you’re subscribed so you’ll be notified when a new post is up! Email me your thoughts if you have something to say at a2911student@gmail.com

Some of the books I’ll be referencing are:

“Lady in Waiting” by Jackie Kendall and Debby Jones

“I Kissed Dating Goodbye” by Joshua Harris

“Every Young Woman’s Battle” by Shannon Ethridge and Stephen Arterburn

“The Fantasy Fallacy” by Shannon Ethridge

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[notable] “The Atonement Child” by Francine Rivers

I know…I know…YES, I’m going to talk about another Francine Rivers novel. I’ve been on a Rivers kick for the last couple of months. I also recently bought “The Last Sin Eater” and “The Scarlet Thread” which are both by her, as well. So brace yourself for reviews over those two.

I read “The Atonement Child” almost a month ago and quickly loaned it out to one of my best friends who wants to be a midwife. I knew she would love it and she ended up reading it in only a few hours. I swear she has a reading super power.

Despite having read it so long ago, I just now realized I never wrote about it! Le gasp! What was I thinking?

Much like in “A Voice in the Wind”, Rivers tackles some tough issues. I now cyber applaud her for this. It’s interesting that I chose to write about this while the presidential campaigns are in full swing. Hmm.

Amazon.com says about this book:

“Dynah Carey knew where her life was headed. Engaged to a wonderful man, the daughter of doting parents, a faithful child of God, she has it all. Then the unthinkable happens: Dynah’s perfect life is irrevocably changed by a rape that results in an unwanted pregnancy.

(Eeerrrrrrr. [That was me slamming on the breaks.] Yes, you read that ^^ correctly. The main character in this novel gets raped and then gets pregnant. Whoa….okay, now you can continue.)

Her family is torn apart and her seemingly rock-solid faith is pushed to the limits as she faces the most momentous choice of her life: to embrace or to end the life within her. This is ultimately a tale of three women, as Dynah’s plight forces both her mother and her grandmother to face the choices they made. Written with balance and compassion, The Atonement Child brings a new perspective to the most controversial topic of our times.”

Her faith is pushed to the limitsUHHH yeah! Dynah Carey is probably my literary hero. One of the biggest things I learned from this book is the importance of talking. Dynah learns so much about herself and her situation just from talking it out! This is one of those books where if you try and put yourself in the main character’s shoes….you’ll be ready to take them off pretty quickly.

I can’t even begin to describe how Rivers delicately and yet forcefully handles the issue of abortion. Obviously if a young girl gets pregnant from a rape, the issue of abortion is going to be prevalent. This book is about taking a stand for what you believe in, no matter who that puts you up against. Sometimes that forces you to make your family unhappy or lose someone you care about. But man…what treasures in Heaven await you when you follow God!

As usual, I’m going to rate a Rivers novel far and above the average 5/5 scale and go with 10/5. Now, I know that a couple of Rivers’ novels have been rated in the 800’s/5 range…but those books changed my life. “The Atonement Child” changed my thought process, yes. It made me cry, but again…that isn’t hard to do. I finished it in a few hours because I was so emotionally connected to Dynah and didn’t want to leave her side like so many of her friends had done.

Now I’m reading “Divergent” by Veronica Roth. I plan on picking up the 3rd book in the Mark of the Lion series when I finish this book. Surprisingly, that’s another Francine Rivers novel.

[notable] “An Echo in the Darkness” by Francine Rivers

One thing I love about the Mark of the Lion series is that the stories move. I mean, through the dialogue you learn what’s happened since you last left a character. There’s no lengthy description of how so-and-so left for Rome with what’s-her-face, you learn about it when this character tells that character. In writing like that, Rivers moves the story along fluidly. These books take place over a period of years and it’s only 3 books! Moving right along!

In all of this series, the point of view changes a lot. However, it’s easy to figure out what’s going on when the POV switches. Not all writers can master this device as well as Rivers. So kudos for that.

If you’ve read the first book, “A Voice in the Wind”, but you haven’t started the second book…there’s something you hope happens. There’s that cliffhanger that leaves you speechless…and you dream of a happy ending magically revealing itself. All questions are answered in the second book. That’s all I’m going to say. Is that cryptic enough? Too cryptic?

The first book ends so insanely that I’m afraid I’ll reveal too much of what happens and it’ll ruin it! Dilema!

When I wrote about “A Voice in the Wind”, I mentioned how bold Francine Rivers is. In this second book, her boldness continues. This time, though, she’s dealing with questions that I think every Christian has asked at some point:

Why do good people die?

Who is this God?

Why did the apostles die such terrible deaths?

What’s nice about this book is that the reader follows along as a character makes it his mission to see these questions answered.

One of the most moving parts of this book to me (and this time by “moving”, I mean the inspiring kind of “moving”) is when two of the characters travel to the Asklepion to select a dying person to try and nurse back to health. The devastation there is incredible. There are countless male and female slaves left there by their masters to die. Then, the narrator points out the various “early morning worshippers” that arrive on “plush, veiled litters born aloft by slaves”. The main character is overwhelmed and seeks God’s guidance on who He wants them to rescue. The character asks her friend,

“Is it better to hide from what’s happening in the world than to know?”

That’s some powerful stuff, Francine!

I love how much history Rivers includes in this series. In the first book, it’s history-heavy in the beginning, but power through! In the second book, the history continues. There’s more about the gods of Rome and Greece as well as some more Judean history which I always think is interesting.

As always, Francine Rivers book rocked my world. I’m sock-less. They’ve been rocked off. I rate this book 850/5. Yeah. The first book only got an 800/5. This one’s just a teensy bit better, in my opinion.

Also, this book made me cry a few times. That’s cause for 50 more points. Then again, I’m kind of a weeper. So it’s no surprise I reached for tissues while reading this book.

What do you think? Have you read this series? I may take a break before picking up the third book in the series. I already own it, so we’ll see how long I can resist it. Probably not long.

Now I’m reading: “The Atonement Child” by Francine Rivers

[notable] “The Lightkeeper’s Daughter” by Colleen Coble

Mardel is a dangerous place for me to go to. They have that crazy sale area that has books for like…$3. And $5. And even $2! It’s pure insanity. And purely heavenly.

I went to Mardel simply to get a wedding gift and came out with a handful of books. “The Lightkeeper’s Daughter” by Colleen Coble was one of these books. This book is the first of the Mercy Falls Novels. I actually got an even better deal because I paid $5 for a two-volume book. So, it has this book as well as the sequel, “The Lightkeeper’s Bride”.

“The Lightkeeper’s Daughter” is one of those books that you think you have all figured out. In my case, I had about 3 different scenarios figured out and thought one of them was bound to be right. I was wrong. All of my thoughts were wrong.

This book has mystery, romance, murder, insanity, shipwrecks, lying, conniving, backstabbing, oh my!

I finished it in 2 days. Not just because I had bundles of time at my disposal, but because I was desperate to find out what happens.

Coble is one of those authors that loves her characters, so they have their happy ending. This is no “Game of Thrones”.

I’d say this is a feel good novel. You like certain characters who end up personally deceiving you, but the heroine is so blissfully happy in the end that you forget all about how you were wronged. And yes, I took the offense very personally.

The Amazon.com description of this books says:

Growing up as the lightkeeper’s daughter on a remote island at the turn of the century, Addie Sullivan has lived a hardscrabble life. When a long-lost and wealthy relative finds her and enlists her to work as a governess at a lavish estate, she hopes to discover the truth of her heritage. But at Eaton Hall, nothing is as it seems. Not the idyllic family she hoped for, not the child she was hired to help, not even the aloof man she’s immediately attracted to. Soon she must turn for help to Lieutenant John North, a man who views her with suspicion. As Addie edges closer to the truth, danger threatens even as her romance with John blossoms and together they unravel a decades-old mystery. As Addie faces down her enemy, she discovers that faith in her one true Father is all she needs.

She leaves her home, everything is topsy-turvey, obviously she falls in love with John, she solves a mystery. Boom.

Even though the description of the book gives a lot away, you don’t know who’s going to try and get away with what. There are still some surprises in store. You think you have it all figured out…but you don’t. Coble’s sneaky.

Addie’s story of faith is a little more subtle than say…oh, I don’t know…Hadassah’s or Angel’s. However, Addie relies on God’s guidance throughout her struggles and her faith in Him is touching. Also, her faith inspires the man she loves to return to God, which is always nice to see.

Altogether, I’d give this book a 4/5. I enjoyed the characters and the plot was different from any book I’ve read before. Three cheers for Addie Sullivan and Colleen Coble! Hip hip! I’m probably not going to jump into the sequel. But I do plan on reading it at some point. I already own it, after all.

Now I’m reading: “In the Shadow of the Sun King” by Golden Keyes Parsons [[edit: I didn’t make it past the first 4 chapterszzzzzzzzz.]]

[notable] “A Voice in the Wind” by Francine Rivers

This is not the first time I’ve read this book. A few friends recommended it my freshman year of college and it changed my life.

Not in like a “I’ve never read anything like this it’s so fantastic I can’t wait to read it again and tell everyone about it” run-on sentence kind of way. It literally changed my life. My life has been changed. Changed, my life has been.

I have it on my Kindle. Which means I can read it whenever I want. God personally invented Kindles. That’s the only logical explanation.

If you’ve ever read a book by Francine Rivers (such as “Redeeming Love”) then you know that it’s fantastic just because she dreamed it up.

The Amazon.com description about “A Voice in the Wind” says:

This first book in the classic best-selling Mark of the Lion series brings readers back to the first century and introduces them to a character they will never forget—Hadassah. Torn by her love for a handsome aristocrat, a young slave girl clings to her faith in the living God for deliverance from the forces of decadent Rome.

HA! That doesn’t even BEGIN to describe the glory of this book. There’s love, romance, flirting…oh, and stuff like violence, glory, honor, there’s a lack of chivalry, Christians in hiding, Christians being attacked, Jews being attacked…everything a moving novel needs!

And there’s a German. Oh boy, is there a German.

So yes, there are a lot of surface, superficial wonderful things about this book. The love story makes my heart melt. But there is also an incredible love story between the main character, Hadassah, and God. If you’ve read my latest post then you’ll know I recently lost faith in humanity but have gained it back. This book helped me to do that.

Of course there are characters you wish you could strangle (*cough*JULIA*cough*), but your heart breaks for them as well because they are lost and don’t understand their actions.

Francine Rivers is a bold lady. She touches on abortion, homosexuality, adultery, murder, classism, racism, sexism, all the other -isms, and then has the gaul to leave the reader wondering about the fate of their beloved heroine! Talk about a cliffhanger. Believe me, you’ll want to keep reading the series. You should just purchase or borrow the first two at the same time, just so you can immediately begin the second when you’ve finished the first.

Hadassah is so immersed in her devotion to the Lord that it shakes you to your soul. She endures so much heartbreak and hardship and yet stands firm in her belief and in her faith. She lives in a time when it is extremely dangers to be a Christian, let alone tell others about your faith. Who are we to live in a comfortable world and be silent? Hadassah is a true heroine. My first daughter will probably be named Hadassah and she will hate me until she’s old enough to read this book. Then she’ll understand.

I’m a sucker for a good romance novel. I forgot how much better a book can be when that romance is between a woman and her Savior. Sure, a knight in shining armor makes me have sweet dreams, but a book like this reminds me that I already have my Knight.

I wish I could be like Hadassah. That’s what a good book should do to you, right? It should make you say I need to change. I’m better than this.

So basically what I’m saying is that I’m rating this book 800/5. It’s that good.

The other two books in this series are called “An Echo in the Darkness” and “As Sure as the Dawn”. The entire triology is called “The Mark of the Lion Series”.

Now I’m reading: “The Lightkeeper’s Daughter” by Colleen Coble

[notable] “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers

I recently read the book “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers who is, by far, my favorite author of all time. Every time I read one of her books, I have a really hard time putting it down. This book was recommended to me by multiple people and here I am, recommending it to you. Every girl needs to read this book, for sure. Especially if you’re hurting, struggling and fighting a past with an ugly, rearing head. Guys should read it, too. There’s a lot of insight into the workings of women and of God in this book.

I can’t even begin describing how great this book is. I don’t know where to start. Here’s a little summary:

This book draws inspiration from the book of Hosea in the Bible. The storyline of the book mirrors, in a way, the storyline in God’s Word. The story is about Angel, a prostitute during California’s gold rush era, who is rescued from bondage by a man named Michael Hosea. The plot follows their trials and tribulations during their marriage and their walks with God, both together and apart.

This book convicted me. Judgement, jealousy, lust, being unforgiving, this books has it all. It’s also filled with redemption, love, hope, light, beauty, and all things Heavenly. I would go into detail, but that would ruin the story.

Read it. I bought it on my Kindle, otherwise I’d lend it to you. Did I mention how great it is? This book kept reminding me of the song “A Mighty Fortress” sung by Christy Nockels. It says, “Our God is jealous for His own, none could comprehend His love and His mercy” and “A mighty fortress is Our God, a sacred refuge is Your Name. Your kingdom is unshakeable. With You, forever, we will reign.”

In the book, Angel starts to idolize and worship her husband, rather than give glory to God. That’s a huge problem that our culture refuses to acknowledge.  The first commandment in Exodus says we shouldn’t have any other god before Him. So if our faith is starting out idolizing the one who brought us into the light, we’re off to a bad start. God is jealous for you! When you choose things of this world over Him, He feels it! He knows that the best thing for us…is Him! And He wants that for us..that unrelenting love.

Romans 7:19 says “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.” Is that you? Really unpack that verse.

Let’s be real: we know what good things are. We know the differences between good and evil, right and wrong. We want good and we don’t want evil. So why do we continue allowing evil in, even though we’re completely aware of the good things we could be doing. Follow me?

Are you “dying of thirst by the side of the fountain?” (Charles d’Orleans)

-Caitlyn

Listening to: Christy Nockels’ “Life Light Up” album

I also love these Rivers novels: “The Mark of the Lion” series, “A Lineage of Grace” and “Sons of Encouragement.”