Of Dads and Daughters by Katie G.
In a mystical land where dragons are common
and most everyone has a fairy-‐god mother there lived a princess. When her sixteenth birthday was celebrated her queen mother and king father gave her a very precious gift. It was one of the most precious gifts they could of entrusted her with: her ?irst kiss. Her father told but one thing when he presented it to her and that was, “Dearest Daughter, save your kiss; don’t give it to anybody, but rather, guard it as your most precious possession, save it for the one man whom you truly love and can fully care for you.” Two years past and it was time for the daughter to leave the protection of her father and marry. She remembered her father’s advice and waited for the right man. One day a young noble visited the castle. Though he looked very much like any other young man, the princess eventually came to love him for his noble character. The day came when he told her he loved her. They were happily married with the blessing of the king, and the princess was forever grateful she had followed her father’s advice. She saved her kiss for her husband. My dad closed the book and smiled at me across the table. I pushed the remains of my chocolate cheese cake away and smiled back. What I have just described is a date I went on with my dad when I was twelve. My relationship with my dad is the most important human relationship in my life. I love going on walks with him in the peak of fall when the colors are all a?ire, I love sitting by the ?ire and sipping hot chocolate with him in the long winter evenings and going on dates like the one described above. Now that I am older people often ask me if I have a boyfriend, I love being able to say that my dad takes the place of a boyfriend in my life. If I did not have such a special relationship with my dad I probably would be chasing after other guys trying to ?ill that void that my dad currently ?ills. I know some girls in
the States who are always talking about boys, it’s all they ever think of! The bible says we should treat other guys as brothers. (1 Timothy 5: 1b-‐2). If you treat your dad with respect and form a relationship with him and treat other guys as brothers in Christ you will not have to go through all of the breaking-‐up and boyfriend drama plus you will have a more than ful?illing relationship with your dad. Take time to water your relationship with your dad. Don’t let it get choked by other priorities in your life; your relationship with him should be your main priority after God. Learn his love language whether it is giving gifts, time spent, serving , affection or words of encouragement. “Even though this world isn’t perfect like the fairy tale world in the story it still applies to our world,” said my dad as he took a lavender jewelry bag out of his pocket. “Will you save your ?irst kiss for one man; a man who will be your provider and guardian when you leave our home?” “Yes!” I breathed. “Here is a necklace for you to remember your promise by.” said my dad as he clasped a silver chain with a box that opened and closed around my neck. I still have that necklace and even though the lid on the box is loose and I am afraid to wear it in case it should break I still cherish that memory. I hope you have your own memories with your dad.
Bible Verses on...Forgiveness “In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace...” -Ephesians 1:7 “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' you must forgive him." -Luke 17:3b-4
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” -1 John 1:9
“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” -Mark 11:25
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” -Colossians 3:12-13
Heart of Worship by Michaela F.
this....God: the Creator of the whole world, the One who spoke everything and everyone into being, the One who parted the Red Sea for the Israelites and then closed it on the Egyptian army, the One who made it possible for a really old lady to have a baby, the One who watched as His one and only son was horribly mocked and cruci?ied and then raised him from the dead. Then, there’s us. We live like we are the only ones on the planet that matter, always trying to make our wardrobe ?it the standard of the latest style, wasting our money on a million little things we end up stuf?ing under our bed. We make ourselves seem pretty big and important, but if we go back to the picture of our amazing God, we realize that we are so puny. Honestly I have no idea how in the world we get the privilege to be in a relationship with such an awesome, loving, and powerful God. We don’t deserve it, not even remotely. Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (NIV). We are absolutely undeserving and there is no way we could ever earn the right because we are so downright human and imperfect. But for some reason that no one on this earth will ever be able to explain, He chose to make us His children. He chose to redeem us from our fallen state and love us. He also gave us the choice of whether to surrender our lives to His control or to live for ourselves. He loves us completely and perfectly even though we are specks of dust on a planet the size of a grape.
I heard a sermon recently and the pastor talked about the power of God. He mentioned a verse from Daniel that really hit the nail on the head. It is Daniel 4:34-‐35 and it says “His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” (NIV). This really de?ines how small we are in the big picture. The verse says that even ALL the people in the whole world together with all the angels in heaven, we still amount to NOTHING compared to God and His power. It says that even all those billions and billions of people, we can do absolutely nothing to change the will of God. That is how much power we have, none. Sometimes we get in in our heads that we are somehow helping God out. We are sacri?icing for Him and doing all this good stuff for Him and the list goes on and on. But get real! God doesn’t need anything from us. He has it all under His control. The reason we are supposed to do what He commands is because He chooses to give us the privilege of being part of His master plan. When we ask God to show up in the midst of what we are trying to do for Him like telling someone else the gospel or speaking, we should think of it as the opposite. It is God who is using us, not we who are using Him. That realization changes everything. It is a lot like the familiar analogy “It’s God’s party; we were invited merely as guests.” When we remember how puny we are compared to God’s power and love, it is then that we can really live for Him because we realize it is NOT about us. That is what living for Jesus is all about. Check out Isaiah 40 for more verses on how small we are compared to God’s greatness.
Raising MKs Overseas A Mom’s Perspective by Ann Cochrum
we began the preparation of moving
overseas for a long term assignment, the term TCK (third culture kid) began to surface. At first, I ignored it. We had been on overseas missions trips and on an overseas internship with both kids before and it hadn’t seemed relevant. But now, I was being told that this move would have some kind of unique impact on our kids in terms of their identity and how they related to the world. WHOA, was this going to be okay? What kind of long term impact was this going to have? This area became another of the many things that we entrusted to our faithful God as we responded to his call on our lives. As we moved to Asia and raised our kids in that context for the next 12 years, there was definitely a process of letting go of the plans I had for them based on my own growing up experiences and embracing the plans that He had for them. Bottom line, I had to choose to trust Him with their lives. • •
Where I grew up watching American football, they grew up watching International football (soccer) Where I grew up walking, riding my bike and driving 7 minutes to school, they took public transportation (bus and subway) which took up to an hour to get to school. Where I spent summer vacations on a farm, they spent vacations on exotic beaches.
Where I was surrounded by English and mostly white Americans, they were surrounded by many languages and were in the minority as a white face. Where the only religious buildings I saw were churches, they saw temples, mosques, churches and spirit houses. Where I never needed a passport, they never thought twice about going through immigration. I am convinced that God considered Travis and Amy in every move that we made! All along the way He would assure me of the specific good plans he had for them and that he was using their experiences to shape them into who He wanted them to be. Now we are back in America and Travis and Amy are both in college. Upon reflection, this is how I would summarize raising them overseas: The hardest part: knowing that I can never fully understand their experience of growing up as a TCK. I actually have to remind myself that they see and experience the world differently as a result of it. The best part: watching God provide, protect and use their time overseas to shape them into the delightful people that they are today. I know that His plan will continue to unfold for them and it will reflect their unique heritage.
I will rise
No more cries.
One day I will fly away. One day I will find my way.
Love will always be growing. Peace like a dove overflowing.Â written by Rebecca M.
by Travis C.
This past summer was my sister, Amy’s, birthday. So, naturally, to celebrate life, we put it in danger by going skydiving. It was a blast! There was very little safety training (as in none) and then they just pretty much shoved you and your tandem instructor out of a plane at 15,000 feet. My top 3 takeaways from skydiving
Know what risks to take and when. There is a balance between “Do not put the Lord your God to the test” (Matt 4:7) and “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him…trust in the Lord.” (Ps 115). It is sometimes hard for me to push myself to take risks and I can easily fall prey to living in fear – and “do not be afraid” is the most repeated command in the Bible. The world is not a safe place, so you will have to take risk. Therefore, pray before you take risks and ask for guidance. Was skydiving a necessary risk? Probably not, but I thought it was worth taking for bonding with Amy and the experience.
Sometimes all you can do is trust. I had never jumped before. I did not know how to work a parachute, and did not know how to read an altimeter, so all I could do was sit back and trust that my jump-‐master knew what he was doing (and he did – he has over 19,000 jumps, one of the most experienced in the world). The other half of this is putting your trust in something trustworthy – just because you have faith in a lie won’t make it true. In the same way, God knows what I need way better than I do and He is de?initely trustworthy.
Perspective is important. I was surprised because I expected skydiving to be more intense than it actually was. I think I was more scared jumping off the 40ish foot bridge at men’s retreat last year. Why? Because of my reference frame. When I jumped off the bridge, I could clearly see the water rushing at me very quickly and knew that pain was coming. But in jumping out of the plane, the ground was so far away that you couldn’t really tell how fast you were falling (except for the wind that almost tore off my face).
taken with permissions from:
by Courtney R.
I was curled up in my bed on a rainy, cold afternoon editing this month s issue when Taylor Swift s hit single, Tim McGraw, started playing. At ďŹ rst the country melody just made me smile and snuggle deeper in my bed, but when the chorus came I really started to the think about they lyrics. Part of the chorus goes, When you think Tim McGraw, I hope you think of me. I don t know about you, but I hope that when I enter someone s thoughts, Tim McGraw does not accompany me. I d much rather it be Jesus. 2 Corinthians 2:15 says, For we are the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. and Philippians 2:14-15 says, Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. As Christians we should be the fragrant aroma and shining lights of Christ. Others should see Jesus through our actions. Does that mean we have to be perfect all the time? Of course not! God doesn t expect us to be perfect or identical to Him. As creations we can t be exact replicas of our Creator, but we are expected to imitate Him (Ephesians 5:1). The dictionary deďŹ nes imitate to take or follow as a model . Thus, we re to model God s behavior. The word model is an action; it s not passive. Too often Christians are passive in their faith, including myself. It s so much easier to just believe in God and act like everyone else. But the Bible says that even the demons believe in God (James 2:19). The next verse challenges those with passive faith, calling them foolish to think that faith can stand by itself free of works. Faith is completed by works (James 2:22). If we are truly walking with God, we will grow and produce fruit. By spending time with us, others should be able to taste that fruit and see Jesus. They should be able to smell His sweet fragrance and be drawn to His dazzling light. In His word (Galatians 5:22-23), God gives a list of fruits that should be growing in our hearts if we truly are walking with Him. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control. These fruits should come naturally as you walk with God. If you immerse yourself in God s word and pray on a daily basis, your relationship with God will only get stronger and you ll produce these fruits. In this coming year let this be your goal: walk with the Lord in a way that everyone around you will be able to smell and see Him. As Christians, we represent our faith and our God. Represent them both well. When people think Jesus, hope they ll think of you.
Itâ€™s important to have quiet times on a daily basis. Besides reading the Bible and praying, a good Truth-filled book is a great way to learn more about God and enhance your quiet times. Here are two great choices!
by Francis Chan
This book has
become quite popular since it came out a few years ago. It is known for it's poignant and controversial views on Christian faith. This book gives you many things to wrestle with and causes you to look at your faith in God with a new perspective. This book is challenging but it changes your life in a way you can't forget! The author uses mostly God's Word with a few real life stories mixed in to make his point which makes it a very interesting read. You will not regret reading this book!
by Natalie Lloyd
Paperdoll is like having a cup of peppermint tea in a cozy teahouse on rainy day with your best friend. Natalie leads you through the story of the woman at the well in John 4 with wit, grace, and wisdom. She encourages girls of all ages to break free from being a two-dimensional paperdoll and transform into a three-dimensional girl living freely and fully in God. Each chapter focuses on a certain aspect of breaking from your paper self including love, worship, depression, grief, beauty, dating, and money. From hot pink cover to cover, Iâ€™ve thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you want to be challenged in your faith and inspired to truly live, read this book; it will rock your paper world.
Reviews by Michaela F. and Courtney R.
What did you think? send all comments to: notofthisworld.r firstname.lastname@example.org “It’s not my ability, but my response to God’s ability, that counts.” -Corrie Ten Boom
Happy New Year!