“Let’s go, push yourself!” the exercise instructor yelled. “We didn’t come here to be mediocre!” I laughed, or possibly just grimaced, and clumsily attempted the physical feat she demonstrated so easily. After class, I joked that given my age and lifelong lack of coordination, I aspire to be mediocre.
Our reasons for praising God are innumerable, yet I often fail to find words that accurately express my praise. Thankfully, the Lord Himself provides words of praise in the Book of Psalms. Although the psalms are wrought with all types of emotions, some of the best (and most popular) words of praise are found in their pages. The Psalms give us words of praise for what is good, how God is good, and how He works for us and loves us.
This post is adapted from Words of Strength and Promise: Devotions for Youth. Read below for a devotion written by Juliana Shults.
For as long as I can remember, the word rest has never been in my vocabulary. As a child, my parents reported that I would constantly move and shift items around in my room, rearranging and retooling. Going from one activity to the next. I would read, then write, then play, then bike, then talk, then—well, there were so many “thens.” That overly planned childhood nature ended up demonstrating itself in adulthood.
This blog post is adapted from Inspired by the Holy Spirit: Four Habits for Faithful Living by Christina Hergenrader.
For the past few years, a popular T-shirt slogan has been, “Be kind!” There are variations of the message, such as “Kindness matters!” and “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” This slogan is not only on T-shirts, but it’s also on backpacks, water bottles, and bumper stickers. Kindness is suddenly everywhere.
And yet, it doesn’t seem like there is kindness in our schools, neighborhoods, or churches. Kindness most certainly does matter, but many times it also feels extinct. As a mom and a teacher, I see the absence of this most often in how we parent. Let me say that more directly: our generation is teaching the next how to be mean and self-righteous.
The Japanese kintsugi cultural tradition is a wonderfully pure example of what a life in Christ is like.
The art of kintsugi is practiced by only the most skilled artists in Japan. These artists spend years studying the art of pottery. They give each jar special grooves, designs, and nicks that result in a perfectly crafted piece with an absolutely vulnerable, breakable, lovely form. Each of these jars could run up to $1,000 American dollars—one pretty penny!
This excerpt is taken from the January–March 2021 edition of Today’s Light.
You may ask, what is the “wilderness”? A wilderness is usually an experience that follows a season of highs. When Jesus was baptized (which was more accurately a coronation), He took His rightful place as the final and greatest king of Israel.
But as soon as the event was over, He was immediately thrown into a wilderness experience where He fasted for forty days while being tempted by Satan. (See Mark 1:9–13.) Wilderness experiences usually happen when you are at the end of your spiritual rope. They are times of seeking God’s will and direction for your life.
There is a glossy sheet of paper adorned with the face of a young man, which I keep in my car at all times. I like to pull it out and look at it as I am driving home. It makes me feel at home. I have written a Bible verse in the bottom right corner that reads:
The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:25 (NIV)
Our hope is not in our circumstances.
It’s something I need to be reminded of regularly. Especially during times that are not routine or are unexpected, or when it becomes apparent that so little is in our control.