Whom shall I fear?

My my. It has been a while since I’ve done anything remotely productive here. 

Anyway

I figured I share something I’ve learned lately. 
(Seems logical, I suppose)

Anyway

It’s common knowledge that through Christ, death and the devil have power over us no longer. Paul boldly announces this in 1 Corinthians 15:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”

So it is true. If Christ is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8) 

Sadly, this truth is lost to me in many ways, but my failure is most prominent when I lie down to sleep. 

The devil cannot have victory over me. But he robs me of peace. 

In the dark, my imagination goes wild.
Any image can be used against me. I wimp out, turning every doll in the room so its eyes cannot see. I move anything and everything that resembles any shape that frightens me. 

I could go into much greater detail, but I won’t dwell on it. Simply put, it’s ridiculous. It’s childish. It’s embarrassing. It comes and goes in phases, and I hate it.

This week has been one of those times. It began with a strange dream about one of my images that frightens me. A few odd things later, and I was left fearing the fear I knew would try to overwhelm me once again.

And once again, I was instead overwhelmed by my God. 

I’m not a fan of popular worship songs. They always seem shallow and repetitive, all with the same message, designed to instill the same gushy feeling in the throngs that sing along.

Apparently, though, a simple worship song that suddenly was stuck in my head was all I needed to pound the truth into me. 

“I know who goes before me.
I know who stands behind.
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side.

“The One who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine.
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side.”

And only one other line really applied.

“And nothing formed against me shall stand.”

Victory over my fears is only possible through Christ.
Not by pretending I’m not a wimp.
Not by running around in a panic.

Truly, Christ’s power and goodness shines all the brighter in the darkness of my weakness.

In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8) 

                                                                                                              Image

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Food for the Soul

“Man shall not live by bread alone.”


     Many people know this verse, since Jesus uses it to combat the devil in Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4. I was excited to recently discover where Jesus quoted it from. It can be found in Deuteronomy. I am finding more and more how this verse is really an eye-opener.  


“Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” –Deuteronomy 8:3b (ESV)


Man needs bread to live. This has been a truth for all time. Of course, we don’t really live on mainly bread today, but the truth still stands. Man needs fuel, something to live on, something to give him enough energy to survive and to live. 


Personally, if I don’t eat real food for a little while, I get, well, kinda useless. It makes a difference whether I eat something that is substantial and actually nutritious rather than junk food. I’ve noticed lately that it is very, very similar with food for the soul. If you feed it junk, you will feel junky.   


Scripture is food to our faith, but often, I find that I am filled with lies instead throughout my day. I’m sure you know what I mean. Something along the lines of “You’ll get by without it this morning. You don’t have time, anyway. What’s the big deal?” It can be hard to battle the mindset of the world, that feeding our bodies is more important than feeding our souls. Our bodies are but temporary tabernacles for our eternal souls. How could feeding the temporary be more important than feeding the eternal? 


     Here’s the truth, my friends. We need, more desperately than we could ever begin to realize, the Words of our God. We need it even more than we need bread for our bodies. We need it every second of every minute of every day.


     My pastor recently preached a sermon, in which he spoke of “eating grace” while or even before you eat your daily bread. Feast on Jesus through His Word. He invites us to come to Him in John 6, to feast and never hunger again.


Here’s my challenge for you and me, as Christian young ladies striving to follow Him. When you get up, as you begin your day, eat grace. Feast on Christ. Feed your soul with the only One who could ever satisfy you, for man cannot live by just the food he shovels into his mouth in an effort to satisfy his stomach, but by the Words of his God, revealed in the Scriptures. 


“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” –John 6:35 (ESV)

melody-sig-1(also published on Altogether Separate under my real name, Hannah)

When I Survey

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All other things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
See from His head, His hands, His feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did ere such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all!

~~Hymn by Isaac Watts

As I have mentioned before in this post ((see link below)), I am prideful by nature, but as I was praying the other day, I feel that God put this hymn into my head, mainly the first two verses. 

When compared to all our achievements, Christ is far more superior. These are my Tuesday thoughts.

Hope your Tuesday is great,

melody sig 3

(( http://mysongofmercy.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/a-new-song/ ))

Simply Thankful

I hope y’all have a wonderful day full of food, fun, and family. I thought we’d take a few moments to compile a list of things we are thankful for.

  • Growing up with parents that know the Lord
  • Having more than enough warm, comfortable clothes and shoes to wear
  • Having more than enough food to fill our tummies
  • The privilege of being homeschooled
  • The privilege of being schooled
  • The ability to read
  • Having my own copy of the Bible
  • Writing
  • Words
  • New books
  • Justification (Romans 5:1-2)
  • Adoption (Romans 8:14-17)
  • Sanctification (2 Corinthians 3:18)
  • The ability to worship as we see fit in the USA
  • Music
  • Hugs
  • Friends
  • Chocolate 🙂
  • Movies
  • A clean house
  • Fellowship with other Christians

I could go on, of course. Remember on this day that all the wonderful blessings we have are through Christ.

In His name,

Melody

Boy Questions and Discussion Up and Running

Hiya, my friends! Melody here. As I have mentioned previously, my friend, Mary Kate from 21st Century Girls, and I have recently been gathering resources and finalizing answers to the boy discussion questions. A couple of them are finished and have been posted on her blog. You can find them here: http://21stcenturygirls-mk.blogspot.com/p/topics-and-discussions.html Feel free to ask your own questions. We would love to help!

Hope y’all have a wonderful day!

Melody

Blessed be the name of the Lord

Today, I am reminded how short life is.

A family from my church was on vacation at Disney World with some of their relatives. News from the mother came this morning that her five-year-old nephew was found dead, face down in a swimming pool. {please be in prayer for this heartbroken family}

This story has haunted me all day. At any moment, the Lord could call anyone home. Aren’t you thankful that our God is sovereign over all His creation? Every single little happening is perfectly planned. Every thing is in His hand. He knows what He’s doing.

The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. My prayer today is that I won’t take  anything for granted. Not food. Not warmth. Not family. Not life.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

For I am SURE that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor any powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  –Romans 8:38-39 (emphasis added)

Melody

Awkward and Awesome Friday 9/21

Hiya, ladies. This week, Karen and I are doing the A ‘n’ A. I’ll label ones from me, Melody, with a M, and ones from Karen with a K. Sound good? Feel free to comment and list some of your own moments. We’d love to hear them. 🙂

Awkward

  • Trying to sip your milk from the top of your glass and ending up sticking your nose into your milk. I hope no one saw me….    M
  • Trying to explain something you thought was really hilarious to your friend, and not stopping when you know they don’t understand a word you’re saying.    M
  • Wearing a sticky note on your forehead, and, not wanting to leave it at home, you then stick it to the back of your shirt and then go to youth Bible study. It was funny having everyone guess why I had the number 6 on a sticky note on the back of my shirt.    M
  • Swinging on a swing set with a skirt on.   M
  • For some reason, you find out that you have been surfing the web too long, and you have NO idea how you got to all those websites you have open.   M
  • Suddenly having to transpose music.   M
  • Playing a baritone sax part on your flute.   M
  • Taking videos of yourself and realizing that you make a lot of stupid faces on default.   M
  • When someone points out to you that the word you just said wasn’t really a word, Like forgetted, or yepidoodles. But if you think “yepidoodles” was a word before I invented it, there might actually be something wrong with you.    M
  • Doing your handwriting and realizing that your upper case Q’s are rather dorky lookin.  K
  • While doing science, your cat comes to sit on the table, right in front of you. “Hello! I most definitely deserve every drop of your attention!”  K
  • When the same cat visits you at least once a day to stick her tail up in your face. “Just in case you didn’t notice I’m here…”  K
  • Trying to figure out what other awkward things to list, and reasoning that since Melody listed more awkward things than me, she must therefore be more awkward.  K

Awesome

  • True friends, the ones you can be real with about anything.  M
  • The color blue. K (sensing her randomness?)
  • Writing a story that’s all your own.  M
  • Foggy mornings, perfect for randomly spying on people. 😉  M
  • “Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper. Just two chapters in, and I’m hooked.  M 
  • Youth Bible Study on the book above. I can’t think of a better way to spend my Wednesday evenings.  M
  • Homemade granola.   M
  • Little things that cheer you up. (@ you, MK 🙂 )  M
  • Realizing that today was September 21st, making tonight the 21st night of September!!!!!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S8ZrQG0y6g&feature=related   Video is not necessary for the awesomeness.
  • Going out for spontaneous ice cream because it’s the 21st night of September!!! 🙂 Chocolate, anyone?

So, in conclusion, I suppose that all makes me more awkward AND awesome than Karen. But enough of that. 🙂 What was awkward and awesome about your week?

Perfectionism

Good evening! This is the post on perfectionism from my other blog. I’ve only really touched on the subject. My perfectionism struggle, as mentioned below, is connected to all this. Questions? Comments? Don’t worry, they’ll probably be a part 2.

Perfectionism.
Perfection.
Perfect

Our word “perfect” comes from the Latin word, “perfectus”, meaning “finished”, or “completed”. In modern day, “perfect” means, as a verb, “Make (something) completely free from faults or defects, or as close to such a condition as possible”, and as an adjective, it means “Having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.”

What does the Bible say about being perfect?

Matthew 5:48 says, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”         ……..Ouch.            (If you wish to read it in context, here’s a link: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5&version=ESV  It’s part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount)

However, can we be good people at all, let alone perfect? As David wisely states in Psalm 53;

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity;
there is none who does good.

God looks down from heaven
on the children of man
to see if there are any who understand,
who seek after God.

They have all fallen away;
together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one.
(emphasis added)

We are all corrupt in our nature. We are all sinful, rebellious creatures of God from the moment we were born. Any glimmer of redemption for us comes from Jesus, not from our good deeds, and anything truly good that we do, think, or say is really from the Holy Spirit working on our hearts. We are not powerful enough to overcome sin and death. We were hopeless. This is why God sent Jesus to be our Savior.

What does this all have to do with perfectionism?

My personal struggle with perfectionism has been believing that I can earn my way into heaven. Sometimes I don’t even realize that my mindset is actually that I need to earn God’s favor. That’s when I am called back to the truth.
Newsflash, Melody. You can’t earn heaven.

But Jesus earned heaven for us. He took the punishment we justly deserved. And he defeated death for us, His chosen people, so that we never have to fear death again. We never have to fear to draw close to our Creator. In that one perfect sacrifice, Jesus took care of our punishment once and for all.

Will we struggle with sin? Yes.

Can we ever be perfect by ourselves? Not a chance.

Will we ever be perfect? You betcha.

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

Jesus didn’t sacrifice for us, convert our souls, and then back off and leave us on our own. He sent a Helper, the Holy Spirit (who is God). Therefore, we are not on our own in this world, in our sin. God is with us.

And God WILL finish the wonderful work He began in us.

We are sinful. But someday we won’t be. Someday, when Jesus returns, or when He calls us home, we’ll go to be with Him. And we’ll be perfect, because Jesus was perfect for us.

We aren’t perfect. Yet.

Melody