Since it's November, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner, I thought that it would be interesting for me to talk about one thing I'm thankful for each week. Because of this, I will (hopefully) start posting twice a week, with this series at the beginning of the week, and another, more informative and helpful post at the end of the week, like I've been doing.
I'm really excited about what November has to offer for me and my blog. I feel like it will be a really good and exciting month, so stay tuned for all that is going to happen in the next few weeks
What I'm Thankful For - Week 1
With this week, I am going to include all of the other "spiritual" things that I am thankful for, because the list could go on and on, and I don't want to make every week basically the same thing. So, some of these things that are related to my relationship with Christ include (but are not limited to):
- the Bible
- God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit themselves
- my church
- my faith
- His healing and providing nature
My life has forever been changed because I have this relationship with the Lord and Creator of all things. Through Him, I have been able to do so much and have been able to get through so much that it is just amazing to think about. I love Him so much, and it's nice to know that He loves me even more.
I love this time around Thanksgiving because it reminds everyone to be thankful for all of the various stuff in their life that they may sometimes take for granted. I wish people were thankful year-round, but I don't think America's culture is going to get there any time soon.
That is why I wanted to start this short little mini-series. I know that I'm not necessarily taking this series and making it a permanent fixture on my blog, but it's at least a start, that will help people to think about what they are thankful for.
If you happen to be reading this and you don't have a personal relationship with Christ, and you are interested in having one (it's very easy to do!), then don't waste another second, but reach out to someone that is already a Christian, and they will help you learn about what it means to live for Christ. If you need someone, I am available to talk (except for when I'm at work, of course) - just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can find me on social media (my contact info. is here.)
God sent His only son, Jesus (who is both wholly man and wholly God), to pay for all of our sins through a horrible death on a cross. This is because, no matter how hard we try, there will always be some sort of sin in our lives that causes us to not be holy in God's sight. He wants a relationship with us, but our sin separates us from Him, so He sent His Son to be our gateway to His presence. Now, through Jesus' sacrifice, we can have eternal life. We won't necessarily be perfect, but at least we can slowly but surely improve.
"...but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8 (ESV)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 (ESV)
"100 Hard Things" Challenge
It's whole premise is that there is a "myth of adolescence" in today's culture, that is not at all founded in anything Biblical. This myth has caused teenagers to basically waste their younger years, when, with all of their strength and energy, they could be doing some pretty radical things for Christ.
I know that I have often struggled with a desire to do more for God (not that my salvation is through works, but, faith without works is dead.) Yet, I would still spend so many afternoons after school binge-watching various shows on Netflix. Just think about it and imagine all of the time you could have been spent helping others and affecting the world for Christ's Kingdom, if we even took out one television series' season from our lives. Since a typical episode is about 45 minutes, give or take, and a typical season is around 22 episodes, then watching a whole season of a TV show takes up about 16.5 hours of our most precious commodity - time!
Imagine all that we could get done if we spent that time doing something productive, instead of being lazy!
Now, I'm not saying that watching television is a horrible thing - I've even watched Netflix today - but what I am saying is that we should moderate how much time we waste doing stuff like that. (Social media included.) There is a time for everything under the sun...
We have so much free time during our teenage years, and we should use that for our, and God's, advantage.
This book has transformed my way of thinking about my teenage years in a way that you can only understand by reading it for yourself, or by checking out the website, The Rebelution.
Not all of these things will seem extravagant and overly holy, but the whole point is to push myself outside of my comfort zone so that I can more effectively do big hard things in the future. My comfort zone will look different than your comfort zone, so something that is harder for me might be easy for you, while something that is hard for you to do might come easily to me. This is not a thing to be used for comparison, but simply, growth.
With that intro out, here are my first few days of the challenge.
- Day 1 (10/28/15): I accepted the 100 hard things challenge.
- Day 2 (10/29/15): I resisted the urge to buy some really good cookies that were on sale at my work. I already had cookies at home that I needed to eat first, and I knew that I didn't need all of that extra unhealthy food and calories lying around. So I'm glad I saved those $2.
- Day 3 (10/30/15): I got through a really boring work day without losing my mind and doing unproductive stuff.
- Day 4 (10/31/15): I went trick or treating with my church's youth group (I'm a leader there) for our food pantry. In order to do this, I had to go up to a bunch of random strangers to ask about donating, which is wayyyyy outside of my comfort zone, but only one other person in my group felt comfortable doing so. I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.
- Day 5 (11/1/15): I spent twice as much time with God in my prayer closet than I normally do, and it was really nice.
- Day 6 (11/2/15): I made it a point to make spending time with God my priority, so I literally started out my day by reading the Bible and praying to my Savior - again, this made a huge positive impact on my day.
- Day 7 (11/3/15): I actually left work early when I felt really bad to go to the doctor, even though I really hate bailing on work like that. But, since that was my first time in 2 years (minus snow days and school conflicts) I know it'll be okay. This also took some real guts.
- Day 8 (11/4/15): I got through another work day without blowing up at some annoying coworkers. Most of the people at my work don't bother me, and they can actually be really nice people to talk to, but some of them like to get on my nerves.
- Day 9 (11/5/15): I went ahead and started looking at what classes I need to take next semester in college. Since my school allows us to go ahead and see what classes are offered when ahead of time (even though I can't actually register for them until next week), I added what classes I want to my list so that I can be ready to go at 7:00 am on the day I can register. (I tend to procrastinate, so I wanted to make sure that I didn't do that this time around.)
Thanks for reading, and make sure to check back at the beginning of next week to find out the next thing that I'm thankful for, and a few more hard things that I've done. Please follow me on social media, too, if you want to keep updated with new posts that I publish!!!
What are you thankful for? Let me know in the comments below!!