~*1 John 4:7*~
- Princess Catherine ~*~
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Have you ever seen the movie Pollyanna?
It's the story of an orphaned girl who goes to live with her wealthy Aunt Polly in a stuck-up town full of pomp. While there her cheerfulness and "glad" outlook touch everyone, and people start changing their attitudes and becoming more glad about life in general. Pollyanna brings sunshine into their lives.
However, something happens and now the townspeople need to show Pollyanna how much she has done for them and how much they love her. They all arrive at her house to make her realize that.
You see, Pollyanna was touching lives by simply living her own; she was going about her daily business and was unconsciously making a difference.
I recently watched this movie and realized that this applies to us. As Christians, we are called to be a light in the world and to let our lights shine before men. In John 15:19 Jesus says that we do not belong to the world but that he has chosen us out of it.
We should be making a difference in the lives of the people around us. And it should eventually become second-nature to us. There are ways we can purposely touch lives, such as taking food to a sick person, helping with a ministry at church, or spending time with a sibling. There are also ways we can unconsciously show Christ: having good attitudes(oh, a tough one!), being an encouragement, giving a smile.
Jesus should be seen in every aspect of our lives, wherever we are, whatever we're doing. If someone sees you having patience in a situation instead of getting upset, that's not the way they would usually see people respond; there must be something different about you!
Take some time to think about some areas where you need to change in order to show Christ in your life. Do you need to have better attitudes? Are there ways you can be more encouraging to others? Perhaps for you there are certain places that need to be worked on. For example, can you maintain a pretty good attitude at school or with friends, then once you get home all that goes down the drain and you're complaining, grumpy, and altogether sour?
Once you pinpoint something, make an effort to change it for the better. Take action and determine to make a difference in this area. As you continue to practice touching lives and cultivating some good habits, showing Christ and making differences becomes natural. That's exactly what should happen.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
"You aren't serious, are you?" Naomi asked, simply staring at him. "You want me to get all the way up there?"
"Unless you would rather get eaten." Dallian replied, following Cheydine. Jayrin did the same, and Naomi was left alone on the ground. As another scream split the air, she gasped.
"It's getting closer." Dallian said, giving Naomi an urgent look.
Seeing no other choice, Naomi reached for the branch above her and pulled herself up. This wasn't nearly as hard as it looked. Moving as carefully as she could, she ascended the next few branches until she had joined the others.
Jayrin smiled at her friend. "I knew you could do it."
"And just in time, too." Dallian said, pushing the leaves aside so he could see through. "Look!"
Naomi did, and immediately wished she hadn't.
The beast that emerged out of the forest to her right was the most terrifyingly hideous thing she had ever seen. It resembled a mountain lion, though it was much, much bigger. It was pure black, except for a single silver stripe that ran down its back from the top of its head to the tip of its tail. Everything about it gave off a sense of utter evil.
It screamed again, showing its dagger-like teeth and drawing its claws through the loose dirt.
"What in Estrellica is that?" Naomi gasped.
"Its an Alunsian." Dallian whispered. "I've never seen one this far down the mountain before."
"You've seen one before?" Naomi cried.
Dallian glared at her. "Is that serious question? Ever since Lucien set the Alunsians free in the mountains, not a year has gone by when someone in my village wasn't eaten by one."
"Is...is that what killed your parents?" Cheydine asked tentatively, obviously hoping that Dallian wouldn't explode.
He didn't, which was a surprise to everyone. "Yes." he whispered simply, averting his eyes. Naomi looked at Dallian, and then back at the Alunsian. She thought about her own parents, and realized how terrible it would be to have them killed by that monster. It made her feel as though she understood Dallian...at least a little.
"What are we going to do?" Jayrin asked finally, breaking the silence. "That thing is going to find us sooner or later."
Before anyone could replied, the Alunsian screamed and turned in their direction.
"I think he heard you, Jayrin." Cheydine whispered.
The beast took a step closer, growling and tossing its head.
"I've heard that it's almost impossible to kill one." Dallian said. "No one can get close enough."
"Do you have any better ideas?" Jayrin asked, starting to panic.
"I think it's possible to shoot one...but that's the only way."
Naomi took a deep breath and reached for the bow that hung down her back. "I could try."
"Are you sure?" Dallian asked, nervously eyeing the monster as it took a step closer.
"Well...I think so. I mean, I've never actually shot anything that moves, but..."
"You've never shot anything that moves?" Dallian interrupted, eyes flashing. "Then how can we trust you to do this?"
"I think she can do it." Jayrin said, in a softer tone. She turned and looked at Naomi. "I know you can."
"I...I'll try." Taking one arrow from her quiver, Naomi took careful aim and drew the bowstring back. Then she waited.
"Hurry up!" Cheydine said, voice rising as the Alunsian came still closer.
"Wait..." Naomi whispered.
"We don't have much time!" Jayrin gasped as the beast turned in their direction and crouched down.
The Alunsian uttered a low growl from deep in its throat, eyes fixed unmoving on their position. It drew one paw through the earth, turning up the soil with razor-like claws. Even time seemed to stand still as the four Storyseekers stared into its glittering black eyes. It crouched lower, advancing forward ever so slightly.
"Naomi!" Even Dallian was starting to panic.
"Not yet..." Naomi said, paying attention to nothing but her aim.
In one moment, the Alunsian gave its loudest scream yet and lunged for the tree. Naomi let go at that exact instant, and her arrow stuck in the monster's side. It screeched in pain and anger, drawing back for one last leap.
Crashing through the branches around them, it seemed to be using every once of strength it had left.
Jayrin screamed as its cruel claws tore through her arm, knocking her backward into Cheydine. Both of them tumbled out of the tree, hitting the ground far below.
The Alunsian gave one last pitiful screech, falling backward to its death with Naomi's arrow still lodged in its side.
"Jayrin! Cheydine! Are you alright?" Naomi gasped as she and Dallian quickly descended.
Jayrin struggled to her knees, blood soaking through her sleeve. "I...I don't know."
"Let me see."
As Naomi knelt next to Jayrin, Dallian stood and looked around. Something didn't seem quite right, and it didn't take him long to figure out what. Dallian had seen Jayrin and Cheydine fall out of the that tree at the exact same moment. So if Jayrin was here...why wasn't Cheydine?
Dallian tried is hardest not to look worried as he rejoined Jayrin and Naomi. "Where is Cheydine?"
The girls followed his gaze, growing more concerned as they surveyed the deserted landscape.
"He was here just a minute ago." Jayrin said. "Wasn't he? Come to think of it, I haven't seen him since the second we fell out of that tree."
Naomi stood and helped Jayrin to her feet, looking slightly panicked. "Where else could he be?"
"I really don't know." Dallian replied. "It's been less than ten minutes since we last saw him."
"Look at this!"
Dallian and Naomi rushed to where Jayrin was standing, wondering what could have her so excited.
"Those are footprints." Naomi gasped.
"Exactly." Jayrin replied, "Footprints that obviously belong to someone much bigger than Cheydine. And look at the dirt beside them."
Dallian looked closer. "It looks to me like whoever made those footprits was dragging something with them."
"That's what I thought, too." Jayrin responded. "But the dirt here is so lose, the marks that the Alunsian's claws made have already dissapeared. For this path to still be here, they must have been dragging something unusually heavy. Something like a human."
Dallian stared at her. "What are you suggesting?"
"I'm suggesting that, while you two were climbing back down that tree and I was worrying about myself, someone jumped out of the forest over there and kidnapped Cheydine."
"But how?" Naomi asked. "They wouldn't have had enough time!"
"See how dark the forest gets just a few feet away from this spot?" Dallian asked, starting to understand what Jayrin was saying. "For someone to get Cheydine out of view before we noticed, they wouldn't have had to take him very far. After they were hidden, they could simply continue on their way with no fear of us finding them."
"Oh, this is terrible!" Naomi cried. "What in Estrellica are we going to do?"
To Dallian, everything about this journey seemd ten times more dangerous and complicated than it had before. If Lucien and his minions would do something like this...what else would they be willing to do?
Saturday, January 29, 2011
This post is in answer to a follower who asked me to share a devotional by David Jeremiah after reading a previous post, No One Like You ,which is based on his thoughts.--P.G.
Wednesday, January 19
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them.
When we think of uniqueness, we often think of snowflakes--the classic example of "no two being alike." But there are other worthy examples: Forensic science developed around the uniqueness of human fingerprints--no two being alike. And now the retina of the human eye is being used as a means of identification and security clearance because, you guessed it--no two are alike.
Those unique traits of humans speak to the larger uniqueness factor that every human being possesses: There has never been a person in history with the same combination of appearance, personality, natural talents, and spiritual gifts as you! And there never will be. That should be the basis for the positive self-esteem of every person in the world--and especially every Christian, once spiritual gifts are added to the mix. If you are a follower of Christ, no one in the world is qualified to take your place in the kingdom of God. Every Christian's prayer should be, "Lord, guide me into fulfilling the calling for which You created and gifted me."
Uniqueness is not a human boast, but a boast in the creativity and generosity of God. Ask Him today to use you to be a blessing to others that is unique to only you.
Take note of what God gives you, then you will also know the task He sets before you.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I was recently reading a devotional by David Jeremiah that was talking about uniqueness and it mentioned how no snowflakes or fingerprints are alike. God specifically creates each one.
As I read, this phrase caught my attention:
"There has never been a person in history with the same combination of appearance, personality, natural talents, and spiritual gifts as you! And there never will be."
Reading this, I thought that since no one is, ever has been, or ever will be like us, only each one of us can make a particular difference to further God's kingdom. No one has done it yet, and no one will ever do it, because it waits especially for us.
Because we are all unique, we can't expect all our differences to be the same. Oh, yeah, I guess that's why they're called differences. Sometimes this is where the difficulties arise. We can easily see that girl who openly witnesses to others, or that person who can fly over the piano or play that guitar like nothing else, but when we don't have those accomplishments, it makes us feel inferior. In reality, those aren't things the Lord has determined for us to do. What would happen if no one cleaned the church bathrooms? Or if no one babysat the kids whose moms are in Bible study? What if everyone wanted to sing but there was no one working the tech to make the microphones and speakers work?
Every Christian's place and contribution to the the Kingdom is valuable. Though some are more visible than others, each one is special and important.
There is a difference somewhere that only you can make. What is it?
Sunday, January 23, 2011
3. Go on a Date with Him
I wish I could have seen your face when you just read that! :) But, like before, I'm being honest to goodness serious.
I went to a Christian summer camp this past year, and one of the ladies talked about how a close friend of hers would always have her "dates" with Christ (I'll call her Amy). It wasn't easy. As the oldest, Amy had a lot of responsibilities. She lived in a small house with seven siblings (and when I say "small house" I mean small house), plus the daily chores were almost never ending. Still, she managed to sneak out into the only place where no one else would bother her: the outhouse (no, not a bathroom. An outhouse). It was smelly, leaky when raining, and cramped, but still it was important enough to her that Amy was willing to push aside the unpleasantness to go on her dates with her Prince. There she would just start talking to God, singing to Him, sharing her hopes and dreams with Him, and strengthening her relationship with Him. She would write Him letters, songs, and poems, or just caress flowers from the garden that He had "given" to her. How many of us would do the same? I pray God gives me that same urgent desire to be still and just enjoy His company. You don't have to go into your bathroom for it to be a "date", but just try and spend time with Him on a more personal level than "Hey God, how's it going?". His love for us is above that of any mortal, because He is immortal and omnipresent. He is love, He created love, and His love for us is so vast that even the oceans couldn't contain it!
Point of Grace, a singing group that I really enjoy listening to, captures this picture in a beautiful way. Their song "Love of Christ" describes the vastness and largeness of His adoration of us.
How long (how long)
How wide (how wide)
Is the love of Christ
How deep (how deep)
How high (how high)
Is the love of Christ
It would take ten thousand lifetimes
To comprehend, a love with no beginning
A love that knows no end
More than any heart could measure or ever hold
His love could fill the oceans
'Til they overflowed
Higher than the mountains
Deeper than the ocean
Farther than the reach of the sky
Wider than the heavens
Longer than forever
Greater is the love of Christ
So go on a date with your Prince. His schedule is very flexible! :)
4. Write Him Love Notes
When you're doing something for someone, it makes you closer to them. You've taken the time to prepare something for them, and you were probably thinking about them while preparing it. Writing Him songs, poems, letters, or little lines of random thoughts is a special and unique way to draw you closer to Him. Like I stated in my previous post (Falling in Love, Part 3), He has written you lots of love letters. Why not write Him some in return? It not only is spending time with Him, but it's spending time thinking about Him, and that is obeying His word (see Philippians 4:8)! :) It can be whatever you want, and it doesn't have to be literature. You could make Him a quilt, or paint a picture, or perhaps teach others about Him. Even if you don't write down your acts of service for Him, let your life be a living testimony of your growing adoration for your Prince Charming.
Hopefully these four tips will start you on one of the most amazing journeys of your life; it will definitely be the most rewarding!
If you seek after God by asking Him for the desire to fall in love with Him, He is more than willing- and able- to grant it. Also, if you read His love letters to you, it will give you a new appreciation and love for Him. It really is a mystery that He loves us! Go on a date with Him, and spend time with Him. Not only that, but since He has written love letters to you, write some back. However you want to will work. We're all "wired" different ways- He made us that way- so use what gifts He has given you.
Princess Catherine ~*~
Thursday, January 20, 2011
2. Read His Love Notes
He's written you a letter.
No, I'm being serious. In fact, He has written full books to you! What do you think the Bible is, if not a letter from God to man? It contains romantic stories in it though. Think of Ruth and Boaz (see story in the book of Ruth). And what about the whole book devoted to a bride and her groom, the Songs of Solomon?
But we need to be reminded. Humans are forgetful. Think about the Israelites in the Old Testament, and how they continuously asked God to save them, complained, and then fell back into sin. Or recall what your biology definitions were, word for word. What about that Scripture verse you memorized a year back, and haven't kept up with? I could go on and on, but you know what I mean. So we, as humans, need to be reminded of what is in His love letters to us. I've heard an acronym for the Bible that I really liked: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. He's showing us through His word how to grow closer to Him, and how to have a walk that is deeper than our previous one. As Christians we should continuously grow (see 1 Corinthians 3). Think of it as the straight and narrow road. You're safer than on the broad and crooked, but the farther you walk along the straight and narrow, the better and better it becomes. Yes, you many still have trials, but you can face them with a new strength knowing He is your strength (Philippians 4:13). So read His love letter to you. It will plunge you on a new and exciting ride that brings you closer to Him, and more in love with your Prince of Peace. :)
Princess Catherine ~*~