Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Thought For The Day- the words we say & the actions we portray

"What we allow our heart to dwell on is typically what we portray in our actions. Whether we lash out in anger or bitterness, or cower in depression and hurt feelings of insecurity, it still affects those around us. What you feel in your heart is IMPOSSIBLE to hide from the world, and most importantly from those closest to you." 

What are you saying and portraying today? 


Sunday, October 27, 2013

on my bookshelf

I love LOVE love reading. I'm always on the lookout for my next book, so I decided to share some recommendations with you! And I'll warn you, I AM a girl, so I do read romantic fiction and all that, BUT that being said, my bookshelf has always been and always will be quite eclectic. 

1. Mended by Angie Smith
          This is one of my absolute favorite books. Jesus used it to heal me. He truly speaks through Angie Smith. I usually base how much a book impacted me on how much I underline/highlight in it- this is a book that has multiple things underlined and/or highlighted on every page. If you are broken and in need of healing from our Savior, turn here. 


2. Kisses From Katie by Katie Davis
           Oh my heart. Katie Davis is a Christ-loving single mama of 12 Ugandan girls. She followed Jesus into the unknown. Literally. Oh, how I long for my heart to be more like the heart of this girl, who gave up American luxuries for African dirt. 


3. Deadly Reunions Series by Lynette Eason
           Love me some mystery thrillers. Just don't read this at night, in your apartment, alone...

4. The Savannah Series by Denise Hildreth Jones
            Knee slapping good fiction. An insane southern family...just, yeah. 

5. A Songbird Series by Sara Evans
           A vintage loving free spirit with a rough past marries into what she thinks is a picture perfect family. Southern soap opera-esque. (Don't let the covers fool you- this is not for preteens or teens- it;'s all adults, well out of college, with flashbacks thrown in.)

6. Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill
           The Secret Service agent who was assigned to protect Jacqueline Kennedy, from her first day as First Lady til she remarried Aristotle Onassis. Jackie Kennedy has always been my favorite First Lady. Mr. Hill paints a lovely picture of the woman he protected, all the while keeping it classy. 

7. Esther by Beth Moore
           Our summer girls bible study group did this this summer. I was only able to attend a few of the lessons, but I'm planning on going back through it. Such a touching, life altering, divine story. 

8. Everything by Mary DeMuth
          I just finished this one... it's what you give and gain to become like Jesus. Isn't that your goal at the end of every day? t's mine. This book is evidence that there is no greater pursuit than Christ. 

more book recommendations to come... love, bethany

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Just Wing It

Last night I was challenged by a friend, who said, "Can't we just wing life? Planning SUCKS!" 

Isn't it so like Jesus to get us thinking through such simple statements? It really got me thinking. Planning so rarely goes the way we want it to. More often than not, we end up having to scrap the original plan anyway, and go with a thrown-together-last-minute plan. 

If you plan everything in your life, how can God do anything in your life? In you? 

So here's to winging life. Here's to chucking that planning thing out the window. Here's to embracing whatever God has in store. 


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Marvelous Light

Lord, yours is a light that overtakes the darkness... 

OVERTAKES, not softly illuminates. Boldly announces its presence, making known that it is here to stay. 

Light that consumes the darkness. 

Light that swallows the darkness. 
Light that ends the darkness. 

Light that leaves nothing and no one in the shadows. Light that beckons to far reaching places and commands,"COME FORTH!"

Light that shines through our cracked places. Light that can't be missed or ignored or kept small. Light that demands attention, demands acknowledgement, because it is worthy of both. 

Oh Holy Light, that when we see you we would find the strength to face the day; that because of your presence ALL our fears would be washed away. 

HIS light, like the brightest sunlight that burns at the darkest midnight. 

Won't you come fill this place. 


Monday, October 7, 2013

somewhere between raising hell and amazing grace

I'm kinda loud. Usually outspoken. Pretty social. I won't go as far to talk to a brick wall, but if you're standing alone, I WILL strike up a conversation with you. It's in my genes. (BUT, I can also shut up and listen pretty darn well...not in the genes)

I'm opinionated. I don't always voice those opinions; only those closest to me can read me well enough to know if I agree or disagree. Unless I truly disagree, I won't overwhelm you with my thoughts. 

I've noticed our society has this need- no, actually, it isn't a need; it's a desire- to be heard, about everything. Every one has an opinion on every thing. And we all like to think that our opinion, our voice, is the most important in the room. It doesn't matter if we are right or wrong, or if we hurt someone's feelings by squashing their thoughts, or if we ignore someone else's words. We only care about our voice being heard. 

If that isn't Satan's influence in the world, then I don't know what is. 

We, myself included, need to back the truck up*** and check our opinions with God's Word. What are HIS truths? Should we not be communicating those instead?

Words are not only used to convey a message; they also reveal the attitude of our hearts. The reveal how much we respect others. They reveal us, in essence.  

So often, we forget that with grace, even difficult truths can be communicated. Colossians 4:6 commands us to "let our conversation always be full of grace." 

Grace: undeserved favor that extends unconditional love to another

So, basically we're called to speak truth, speak life, have conversations full of grace, and extend unconditional love to others...including people we might disagree with. Whoa that's alot. But the best part is that we don't have to do it alone, ever. 

Rather than trying to drive home your point, why don't you try understand theirs for a change? May we view each conversation as an opportunity to extend grace. 


***Sidenote: I said that phrase at middle school youth group the other night, and 30 boys responded by making truck-reverse-honking-horn sounds. OYY. 

***Sidenote 2: apparently I use weird phrases...in the last month alone, I've had to explain three different phrases to my best friend... 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Some Roads Lead Nowhere

We're always running. I know I am. Running to the next thing, the next place, the next person, the next focus of our attention. Sometimes literally running. But I've found the one place I need to run to the most is the one place I find myself the least- His arms. 

So, I'm running to His arms for a change. 

"But you’ll welcome us with open arms when we run for cover to you. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield." 
~Psalm 5:11-12 (11A The Message; 11B-12 NIV)