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[personal profile] sparowe

How to Face Your Giants

 
Today's MP3

Giants. We must face them. Yet we need not face them alone. Focus first, and most, on God. Read 1 Samuel 17 and list the observations David made about Goliath. I find only two. One to Saul and one to Goliath’s face, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God” (1 Samuel 17:26). David asks nothing about Goliath’s skill, age, the weight of the spear, or the size of the shield. But he gives much thought to God. The armies of the living God; The Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel. In all, the God-thoughts outnumber Goliath-thoughts nine to two.

How does this ratio compare with yours? Is your list of blessings four times as long as your list of complaints? Are you four times as likely to describe the strength of God as you are the demands of your day? That’s how you face a giant.

From Facing Your Giants

sparowe: (Bible)
[personal profile] sparowe

Stay Focused on God

 

You could read David’s story in the Bible and wonder what God saw in him. He fell as often as he stood, he stumbled as often as he conquered. Yet, for those who know the sound of a Goliath, David gives us this reminder: Focus on giants—you stumble. Focus on God—your giants tumble.

You know Goliath. You recognize his walk, his talk. David saw and heard more. David showed up and raised the subject of the living God. He saw the giant, mind you; he just saw God more so. Listen carefully to David’s battle cry: “You come to me with a sword, with a spear and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel” (1 Samuel 17:45).

Lift your eyes, giant-slayer. The God who made a miracle out of David stands ready to make one out of you!

From Facing Your Giant

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[personal profile] sparowe

God Always Wins

 
Today's MP3

See the cross on the hill? Can you hear the soldiers pound the nails? Jesus’ enemies smirk. “This time,” Satan whispers. “This time I will win.” For a sad Friday and a silent Saturday it appeared he had.

What Satan intended as the ultimate evil, God used for the ultimate good. God rolled the rock away and Jesus walked out on Sunday morning. And if you look closely, you can see Satan scampering from the cemetery with his forked tail between his legs. “Will I ever win?” he grumbles. No…he won’t.

Do you believe no evil is beyond God’s reach?  That He can redeem every pit, including the one in which you find yourself?  Trust God. He will get you through this. Will it be easy or quick? I hope so, but it seldom is. Yet, God will make good out of this mess. That’s His job.

From You’ll Get Through This

Ooh.

Jul. 18th, 2017 01:00 am
idleleaves: (fandom - yoi - victor)
[personal profile] idleleaves
My YOI Ship* Bingo card. There are ships I love and have written, there are ships I love and haven’t written, and there are ships that will be a challenge. Nice mix. :D

* Both platonic and romantic relationships count for this - eee.

Yuuri K/Minami Phichit/Leo Otabek/Yuri P Yuuri K/Victor Michele/Emil
Chris/Yuuri K Yuuri K/Yuri P Phichit/Yuuri K Mila/Victor Otabek/Victor
SLASH Hiroko/Toshiya YOUR CHOICE Mila/Sara/Isabella Victor/Chris
Victor/Yuri P Otabek/JJ/Leo Otabek/JJ JJ/Isabella Anya/Mila
Leo/Guang-Hong Minami/Yuri P Emil/Sara Seung Gil/JJ Leo/JJ

YMI: ODJ -- 17 July 2017

Jul. 17th, 2017 04:37 am
sparowe: (Bible)
[personal profile] sparowe

ODJ: NO JUDGEMENT

July 17, 2017 


There is no judgement against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son (v.18). 

READ: John 3:1-21 

Like many people with a guilt-inclined personality, accepting that the gospel is good news for me hasn’t come easy. Having grown up in the church, I knew the story, but could always think of why I might be exempt from sharing the joy of the gospel. I would worry about Jesus’ future separation between true and false believers (Matthew 25:31-46), troubled by the thought that even people who profess faith can be lost. I was haunted by the passage about the unforgivable sin (12:30-32), wondering if perhaps I could push God too far away to return to Him. Christ coming again is supposed to be the best kind of news, but I sometimes wondered for how many people it would feel that way.

Those emotions are difficult to be rid of, and there are still days I feel them return. On those discouraging days, John 3 is one of those passages through which God gently stops my tide of fear and shame and draws me to rest in Him. Jesus said, “God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world” (v.17). To a world already in a state of judgement and brokenness, Jesus was entirely a gift, sent from a God who loves His creation and longs for all to share in His eternal, abundant, overflowing life (3:15, 4:14). Although God must someday judge to restore justice in His world, this judgement is a consequence of rejecting the only solution: seeing the pure, self-giving love of Jesus and still turning away (3:18).

So on those days when the voices of guilt and shame keep you from believing in God’s love for you, come back to the solid foundation—that He is good, that He is love and that in Christ life abundant and unending is freely available to all who are hungry for it (6:35)—even you.

—Monica Brands

365-day plan: Matthew 14:13-36

MORE
Read Romans 8:1-11 to see how Christ’s Spirit enables us to live free from the condemnation and suffering sin leads to outside of Christ. 
NEXT
Is there anything in your past or present that makes you secretly wonder if you’re beyond God’s love and forgiveness? What steps can you take to release your shame and rest in His love? 
keiliss: (Default)
[personal profile] keiliss
Need to update more often. Ummmm.

June SWG challenge fic is not yet finished but will be eventually. Have a strong urge to pick a song from the July/August challenge too, but fortunately I can't settle on just one. Life is very upside down and upsetting right now, but I will still get the new chapter of Flamingo to Red in a day or two -- yes I've been saying that for a while but I mean it now, cannot expect aspects of life to settle down just because I need a calm mind for writing. Need to get over that. Write out the angst the way I used to as a teenager (I can vaguely remember such a stage in my life, a long, long time ago --- and no, do not want those days back, thanks).

It's finally winter. Snow on the ground in Sutherland, rumours of a sprinkling of snow on the top of Table Mountain itself, snow on surrounding mountains. So yes, it's cold and we are Africa's children so we are huddled around our heaters, whimpering.

I swapped out my DW icons, I'll need to do that regularly. 15 slots, good grief. They don't let you buy more slots unless you have a paid account, which is kind of self defeating. Certainly not getting a paid account at this point. They cost more than LJ and I'm working with an exchange rate of $1 costing around R13, which makes $35 more than I'd be willing to pay for good antivirus protection.

My space bar is still jamming. The laptop is under warranty, which means I can't take it anywhere else, but they won't fix it under warranty as they'll call it wear and tear, so they'll come pick it up, take it away, fix it when they're good and ready and charge whatever they feel like on the day. I keep hoping one day I'll switch on and find it's just miraculously fixed itself. Might need to get my old laptop back from M though, purely to write with. It has a key missing but that's fine, I can type on it anyhow.

Grandmother section of the post under the cut --- grandchild dealing with A Situation. It was either this or one of the pictures where she looks like she's planning world domination - creepily focused eyes, dead serious face.
pictures )
sparowe: (Bible)
[personal profile] sparowe
Do not say, "I'll pay you back for this wrong!" Wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.



Thoughts on Today's Verse...

Vengeance is an awful and painful way to respond to those whom we feel have wronged us. The LORD is our assurance of just rewards. Leave it to him. Escalating vindictiveness only leads to broken people and to broken lives. Worse yet, it leads to broken character.

 

My Prayer...

Through your Spirit, Abba Father, please empower me to be patient for you to right injustices committed against me. Please help me to be more concerned about the salvation of those who may have wronged me than I am about getting even. Please give me more of a heart like your Son, Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.

 

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.


hhimring: (Default)
[personal profile] hhimring
I quite thought I was about to fail this SWG challenge as well, but managed to get this written, right on the day of the deadline.

Of Voronwe's Parents (1146 words) by Himring
Chapters: 2/2
Fandom: The Silmarillion and other histories of Middle-Earth - J. R. R. Tolkien, TOLKIEN J. R. R. - Works & Related Fandoms
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Major Character Death
Relationships: Aranwe/Voronwe's mother
Characters: Voronwë (Tolkien), Aranwë (Tolkien), Voronwe's mother, Turgon of Gondolin
Additional Tags: Textual Ghost, House of Fingolfin, Fall of Gondolin, The Sindar, The Noldor, Challenge Response
Summary:

Vignettes featuring the parents of Voronwe.
Inspired by Oshun's character bio of Aranwe on the Silmarillion Writers' Guild Archive.

sparowe: (Glory)
[personal profile] sparowe

God Recycles Evil Into Good

 
Today's MP3

Life turns every person upside down. No one escapes unscathed. Not the woman who discovers her husband is having an affair. Not the businessman whose investments are embezzled by a crooked colleague. Not the pastor who feels his faith shaken by questions of suffering and fear. We would be foolish to think we’re invulnerable.

But we would be just as foolish to think that evil wins the day. The Bible vibrates with the steady drumbeat of faith. God recycles evil into righteousness. Joseph, saddled with family rejection, slavery, and imprisonment emerged triumphant— a hero of his generation. Among his final words to his brothers are these: “You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20). It is the repeated pattern in Scripture. Evil–God–Good. Trust God. No…really trust Him! God will make good out of this mess.

From You’ll Get Through This

 
sparowe: (Shepherd)
[personal profile] sparowe

Make a Plan and Trust God

 
Today's MP3

You cannot control the weather. You are not in charge of the economy. You can’t un-wreck the car. But you can map out a strategy. Remember, God is in this crisis. Ask God to give you two or three steps you can take today. Seek counsel from someone who has faced a similar challenge. Ask friends to pray. Reach out to a support group. Most importantly, make a plan.

You’d prefer a miracle for your crisis? You’d rather see the bread multiplied or the stormy sea turned glassy calm in a finger snap? God may do this. Then again, He may say, I am with you. I can use this for good. Now let’s make a plan. God’s sovereignty does not negate our responsibility. It empowers it. Don’t let the crisis paralyze you. Trust God to do what you cannot. Obey God, and do what you can.

From You’ll Get Through This

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[personal profile] sparowe

God is in your Crisis

 
Today's MP3

Calamities can leave us off balance and confused. Consider the crisis of Joseph’s generation as recorded in Genesis 47:13. “Now there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very severe, so that the land of Canaan languished because of the famine.” Joseph faced a calamity on a global scale. Joseph told his brothers, “God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you” (Genesis 45:5-7). Joseph began and ended his crisis with God. God preceded the famine. God would outlive the famine.

How would you describe your crisis? Do you recite your woes more naturally than you do heaven’s strength? You are assuming God isn’t in the crisis. He is. Even a famine was fair game for God’s purpose!

From You’ll Get Through This

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[personal profile] sparowe

A Reunion is Coming

 
Today's MP3

The word good-bye. This word may be the challenge of your life. How does a person get through raging loneliness, strength-draining grief? The rest of the world has moved on and you ache to do the same. Take heart. God has served notice. All farewells are on the clock.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 begins, “The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God’s trumpet blast! He will come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise. Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we’ll be walking on air. And there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. Reassure one another with these words!” (MSG).

Revelation 21:4 promises He will wipe every tear from our eyes. Isn’t this our hope? God has promised a restoration of all things. All things—and that includes yours.

From You’ll Get Through This

sparowe: (Fell)
[personal profile] sparowe

Forgiveness Can Bring Healing

 
Today's MP3

Colossians 3:13 says, “As Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” Really, God?Begin the process of healing. How? Well, keep no list of wrongs. Pray for your antagonists rather than plot against them. Hate the wrong without hating the wrongdoers. Turn your attention away from what they did to you to what Christ did for you. Outrageous as it may seem, Jesus died for them, too. If He thinks they are worth forgiving, they are.

Does that make forgiveness easy? No. Quick? Seldom. Painless? Forgiveness vacillates. It has fits and starts, good days and bad. Anger intermingled with love. Irregular mercy. We make progress only to make a wrong turn. Step forward and fall back. But it’s okay. As long as you’re trying to forgive, you are forgiving. It is when you no longer try that bitterness sets in. Keep trying. Keep forgiving.

From You’ll Get Through This

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[personal profile] sparowe

Offer a Sacrifice of Praise

by Joyce Meyer - posted July 10, 2017

Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name. 
—Hebrews 13:15

The Bible teaches that you must acknowledge and glorify God and offer up a sacrifice of praise regardless of what you may be going through. Perhaps you have been experiencing a time of trouble in your life, and you have been praying and trusting God to meet the need…but nothing has changed. While you are waiting for the answer is a perfect time to offer a sacrifice of praise.

It is easy to praise God when everything is going well, but when you acknowledge and glorify Him in the midst of a troubling situation, that is a sacrifice—and it does not go unnoticed. So offer a sacrifice of praise as you spend time with God at the end of your day.



From the book Ending Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2004 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

YMI: ODJ -- 9 July 2017

Jul. 9th, 2017 10:05 am
sparowe: (Casting Crowns)
[personal profile] sparowe

ODJ: COME APART

July 9, 2017 


Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile” (v.31). 

READ: Mark 6:7-1230-32 

During a particularly tense period at work, I found that the stress was making it difficult to concentrate. My mind was constantly racing, and I struggled to focus even on Bible study and prayer. I had to learn to deliberately separate and guard my heart from prevailing winds— wherever they came from.

Jesus understood the importance of taking steps to preserve our mental wellbeing. In the midst of a bustling public ministry that included miracles such as restoring eyesight, healing the sick and raising the dead, He “often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer” (Luke 5:16).

He also taught His disciples to rest. When the disciples came back from proclaiming His message (Mark 6:7,12), they were eager to tell Jesus about everything they’d done and taught (v.30). After all, they’d preached repentance, cast out demons and healed many sick people. Jesus listened to them, but then said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He did this because He knew they needed rest: “There were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat” (v.31).

David offers another example of intentionally caring for ourselves in the middle of anxiety. In Psalm 131:1-2, King David stated that he didn’t “concern [himself] with matters too great for [him]. . . . Instead, [he] calmed and quieted [himself], like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk.” David illustrated the intentionality of calming and quieting our minds by choosing not to dwell on disquieting matters, but rather settling our minds by putting our “hope in the Lord” (v.3).

May we too learn to come apart from the bustle and busyness of life and refresh ourselves in Jesus.

—Remi Oyedele

365-day plan: Mark 4:1-29

MORE
Read Isaiah 30:15 for God’s words to Israel during a period of unrest. 
NEXT
Are you able to turn off the mental chatter related to stressful or difficult situations and find rest in God? Why or why not? How can you truly rest in Him? 

Silm ficlet: Mablung

Jul. 9th, 2017 09:59 am
hhimring: (Default)
[personal profile] hhimring
Belated fill for a Tolkien Weekly challenge, which I had been thinking about at the time, but did not manage to write. 
I suppose, in some fashion, a coda to Such Great Deeds, which features Mablung and alludes to the wolf-hunting scene from Beleg's POV.

Last One Standing
(200 words) by Himring
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Silmarillion and other histories of Middle-Earth - J. R. R. Tolkien
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Major Character Death
Characters: Mablung of Doriath
Additional Tags: Battle of the Thousand Caves, Double Drabble, Sindar, Doriath
Summary:

Mablung's last stand before the Treasury of Menegroth during the Battle of the Thousand Caves.


ETA: This had a couple of the kind of errors in it that happen when you try and write fic in the early hours of the morning. I think I've caught them now, but if you spot any that I overlooked let me know, please. I should post more slowly, really, rather than editing online, but sometimes I need to hurry to escape my inner censor who is doing his best to cut me off.
sparowe: (Bible)
[personal profile] sparowe

Stay the Course of Forgiveness

 
Today's MP3

Vengeance is God’s. He will repay—whether ultimately on the Day of Judgment or intermediately in this life. God can discipline your abusive boss. He can bring your ex to his knees or to her senses. Forgiveness doesn’t diminish justice; it just entrusts it to God. He guarantees the right retribution.  The God of justice has the precise prescription.

Forgive your enemies? Ah, that’s where you and I come in. “Do not let the sun go down on your anger,” Paul wrote, “and do not give the devil an opportunity” (Ephesians 4:26-27). Don’t give the devil territory or ground. Bitterness invites him to occupy a space in your heart, to rent a room. Believe me, he will move in and stink up the place! When it comes to forgiveness, all of us are beginners. Stay the course!

From You’ll Get Through This

sparowe: (Bible)
[personal profile] sparowe

God Will Never Give Up!

 
Today's MP3

God moves us forward by healing our past! Can he really? Can God heal this ancient hurt in my heart? Of course He can. In fact, God cares more about justice than we do. He eminds us in Romans 12:17-19, “Never pay back evil for evil…never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God, for He has said that He will repay those who deserve it.”

We fear the evildoer will slip into the night, unknown and unpunished. Escape to Fiji and sip mai tais on the beach. Not to worry. Scripture says, “God will repay,” not “God might repay.” God will execute justice on behalf of truth and fairness. Unlike us, God never gives up on a person. Never. Long after we’ve moved on, God is still there, probing the conscience, stirring conviction, always orchestrating redemption. Fix your enemies? That’s God’s job.

From You’ll Get Through This

almost alive

Jul. 7th, 2017 04:00 am
keiliss: (Default)
[personal profile] keiliss
Sick unto death for a week! I do not recommend having a procedure that requires you purge your insides just before getting a massive cold. It seems to break down any kind of immunity. I didn't even check my mail for days, and for me that's unheard-of. I owe replies to comments from like a week ago and there are posts I want to comment on too. I am so sorry, I just couldn't. I'll be there tomorrow.

Writing? Hell no. Even reading is still a challenge!

Happy birthday, Rhapsody

Jul. 7th, 2017 02:08 am
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[personal profile] keiliss
bday banner

Happy birthday, my dear. Wishing you a year of achievements, happiness, and many wonderful memories. May all go well for you and yours. Much love.

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