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August 19, 2023

Good afternoon! I am so glad you come to read the update for this week. Let me just start by saying this has been quite an eventful last couple of days. It started with school in general, this was the first “real” week of school. I say “real” because it was like the first week of work, lectures, homework, etc.  Which just reminds me that this is my last year of high school. That is so crazy to think about, it feels like just yesterday I was the little 7th grader returning from the biggest battle of my life. However, I am so thankful to have the story I have and to have opened up and grown so much closer to God throughout this time. I wanted to share a little bit of insight today, I cannot remember if I told you all, but I started a new Bible study and it has been really good. If you know me, you probably have some sort of idea as to my short attention span lol! So, I found a 40 day long study that has different topics each day. The lessons are not long, maybe 10 minutes but it is so good for me because each day is a new focus. So, I wanted to share one that I read this past week that really stood out to me  and it looks into how God’s word brings forth light and pushes away darkness. 

 

I am sure you all know or have even experienced yourself the darkness in our world. When I say living in darkness, I simply mean walking through life without knowing God’s truth and walking according to it. When God says “darkness”, He is referring to the wicked, harmful, and evil desires of our hearts as humans and although living in darkness is miserable, we tend to not even realize the pit we are living in until the light is revealed in our life and we see how bad it has been. The good news is : JESUS. Jesus is the light of the entire world, he is able to dispel darkness and shine his light brighter than any other with no fear of it being put out. (John 1:5). I’m not sure if it the same for you, but when I look at the darkness I have in my life before knowing Christ,  I am reminded of the anger and selfishness I experienced, I had no joy and I couldn’t seem to forgive anyone for their wrongdoings. I lived in a constant state of fear and didn’t think there was any other alternative. But that was only until I accepted Jesus into my heart. This was the moment I was able to see that God’s truth is what would set me free from these demons. (John 8:32)

 

Now, you may be wondering, what does this mean in terms of my life? What do I do from here? Well, God now calls you and me both to be a witness for Christ through all we do and say. We are now the light off the world according to Matthew 3:14 therefore, we are called upon to show just that in all we do. Showing Christ in our actions, speech, and thought allows those around us to notice something different and be more apt to find Christ themselves. For those that do not know Him, we are called to pray that they would also see the light of Jesus and accept Him into their heart. 

 

I challenge you all this week to help me grow the kingdom of God. Let’s make Heaven crowded and the only way to do this is to shine the light God has instilled within you. I love you all so much and pray you have a fabulous week! 

 

July 31, 2023

The last day of July, can you believe it? Crazy right, it feels as if summer just started and now we have less than a week until we go back. This blows my mind, but I am excited in the same since because it is my SENIOR year!! I am so ready to graduate and move on to college and living on my own. Many adults are telling me, “Gracie do not rush it”, but that is so hard when you have been in school for twelve plus years and are so flipping close to the end. However, I know that I need to soak up every second of this year because I am positive there will be a time that I want nothing more than to be back living under this roof, not worrying about bills, not having a daily job, and going to high school. 

 

Anyways, this week I wanted to focus on three things my relationship with God brings into my life on a daily basis. Or at least three things I want to be visible in my life. Before we start, I challenge you to grab a Bible or your phone and look up the 1st book of Psalms. Now read Psalm 1:1-3 and pause. Take a second to think about these few words for a minute. What does God want from us? The verse in simplest terms is reminding us that one who delights in, meditates, and studies the word of God holds and portrays stability, fruitfulness and prosperity. Now if you are like me you are reading these three words and thinking WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? But do not worry, I am going to explain. When Christ says :

“delight in” - He is just saying to desire or have a want for His instruction and teaching

“Meditate” - He means to wonder and be thinking about His word

“Study” - Take time daily to seek the Lord and what He has to say

 

STABILITY: 

When you think of the word stable, what is the first thing that comes to find? For me it is the huge trees in the redwood forest. Those plants are absolutely massive and it seems as if nothing can destroy them. They are grounded by roots the size of school buses that dig deep into the earth’s surface. Those trees that are firmly planted into the ground and take a lot more than a gust of wind to sustain damage however, there are also trees such as the ones on the sides of the roads that can be blown away in an instant. God wants nothing more than for us to be planted in His word just as those redwoods are. Deep and firm in Him without fear of being taken out by life’s storms. God wants us to be planted firmly in Him. This characteristic is tested on the daily for just about everyone. Think about the last time you found yourself loosing your temper or feeling overwhelmed with nerves, well being “STABLE” in God would teach us to look past those feelings and see peace in the fact that God is always there to help us through life’s battles. 

 

Fruitfulness: writi

Memorizing and pondering on the word of God brings forth fruitfulness. Let’s be honest for a minute, life is busy or at least for me it is. I am constantly doing something while thinking about what is next on the list. Life gets chaotic and sometimes being the distract-able humans we are, we slip up and forget to get our daily dose of God. But we must remind ourselves that no matter how busy we get, we are NEVER too busy for God. In John 15:5 He says, “Those who abide in Him will bear much fruit.” This means by living and remaining in God’s word, we are living fruitful lives. You cannot simply go to church once a week and expect to produce much fruit. We are called to live by Him in everything we do, think, say, and act. Don’t let your busy life override your fruitful life.  Seek Him daily, whether that be spending time in prayer, reading His word, being on mission, or even better all three. 

 

Prosperity: 

Wherever I hear the word prosperity my mind immediately goes to money but this is so wrong. Prosperity is so much more than financial abundance, in fact it is a word that describes something that is thriving or whole. This can include things like  relationships, talents, positivity, and spirituality. God calls us to prosper in the intangible qualities of life which are the fruits of the spirit. “Love, Joy Peace, Patience, Kindness, and Respectfulness”. By showing these qualities in all we do we are living a life projecting on God alone and that is just what we are called to do as Christina’s

 

I encourage you this week to look in your day to day life and see if you can find yourself being stable, fruitful, and prosperous in your relationship with God. I am here to tell you that when you do all three of these things and others witness these many blessings within our lives, people will see goodness of God and desire that same life He offers for all. 

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