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3 Keys to Conquering Guilt

Anastasis Faith

             In the past, guilt has been a big struggle for me. I carried the burden of my sin around, thinking it made me humbler to be constantly reminded of my failures. I thought it made me godlier.

             That was a lie.

             Sister, I can tell you from what I’ve experienced in my life and seen in others. I beg you, do not try to bear the weight of you sin. Because you will stumble under it. It will crush you. Christ died for us so that we won’t HAVE to bear this overwhelming burden.

             I’ve experienced an incredible freedom from my guilt and it helped me realize three keys to conquering guilt that I hope you will find useful.
Overcoming Guilt Regret Shame

1. Look Upward

When you’re feeling the weight of your sin, you are thinking, “Me. My sin. My struggles. I’m bad.”

I’m not saying that coming to the point when you realize that YOU ARE A WRETCHED SINNER is bad, because we all need to come to that knowledge before we can even be saved. But once you have been saved and repented of your sins, it’s time to move on. You are righteous and holy before God because His Son claimed your sins as His own and bore the penalty.

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.  For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,  so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”

Romans 8:1-6

Fix your eyes upon Christ, upon the cross, upon His sacrifice. When you’re struggling with guilt, sing songs in your head, or recite verses to yourself. Turn your eyes from you, the sinner, to the One who makes you clean. And KNOW that you are clean. You are free.

One thing that has helped me tremendously is to understand that Jesus did not just take my guilt, He took my shame. I no longer must be ashamed of my sin. Christ took that shame. You don’t have to bear it.

2. Fight Your Sin

I discovered that the guilt doesn’t go away if you’re still tempted to commit the same sin. The more you fall, and the more you’re tempted, the more you will hate yourself for succumbing in the past. The more it will weigh on you because you don’t feel free. This sin is still an encumbrance.

“Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.”

Colossians 3:5

I know it’s hard to just label a point, “Fight That Sin,” since you could have hundreds of blog posts and books written on that alone, but that’s not what this blog post is about. But it’s true—you’re not going to feel free from your sin until you’ve begun conquering it.

However, understanding that God has taken your guilt and taken your shame will help fight the sin in your life.

Get accountability. Get plugged into a local church. Find an older woman to mentor you and help you through your struggles. Don’t try to do everything alone. And definitely don’t wait to come to Christ for help until you feel worthy. Read this post, Come as You Are, about that.

3. Taste Something Better

Once you get a taste that the Lord’s ways are better, it becomes so much easier not only to beat guilt, but to beat temptation. God knew what He was doing by establishing right and wrong. Right is good, and wrong is bad. For some people, it may take some experimentation to find out that, “Oh, yeah, God IS right about this.” But it’s so much better if you just believe that it is.

“O taste and see that the Lord is good;

How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”

Psalm 34:8

It makes all the difference when you not only KNOW that something is better, but you UNDERSTAND that it is. Experiencing the beauty of God’s design makes anything else seem worthless. It makes it look like trash. Why would choose to wear filthy, ratty, old clothes to something like prom when you could be wearing a lovely, glittering gown? Why believe the lies of the devil when you can believe the truth of God?

Wrapping up…

God didn’t create you and free you from your sin so that you can still live in bondage. Our heavenly Father desperately desires for you to feel the freedom from your sin. Don’t let it bog you down. Surrender your sin and your guilt to Him.

If you cannot seem to get over your guilt, I recommend finding an older, godly mentor to help you talk through your sin and process your forgiveness. Sometimes you just need someone with a different perspective and more wisdom.

Jesus loved you enough to take your sins from you. Don’t cling to them—it’s an ugly weight to bear.

Have you struggled with guilt? What things have helped you overcome it? Any thoughts or stories? Share in the comments! 

Why You Should Sign Up for the Daily Devotional

Anastasis Faith
Teen Girl Daily Devotional

Maybe you're out the door at 6:00 am for school. Maybe you're swamped with your to-do list. Maybe you can't seem to find time to spend with God every day.
Teen Girl Daily Devotional
If you want a short devotional to show up in your inbox every morning, Morning Glory's Daily Devotional is for you. It's not a substitute for your quiet time--but if you're very busy, it can help refocus you when you do not have a chance to have a quiet time first thing in the morning. 

Ways to Use It:
-As a discussion tool for mom and daughter on the way to school.
-As you eat breakfast.
-As part of your quiet time.
-While you're waiting for class to start.
-On your lunch break.
-Let me know when you read it! Use #MGDailyDevotional

Why You Should Sign Up:

-It's completely free!
-It's completely fresh every single morning.
-You can decide what days you receive it.
-It's written by girls in all walks of life.
-It's Biblical and relatable.
-You get to see the hearts of girls walking through tough times.
-It's a great place to start writing and getting name recognition in the Morning Glory world.
Daily Devotional for teen girls

"For me it has been a blessing to see and read about girls who are just trying to follow Christ, and are struggling with some of the things I am. I would sign up not just to be blessed but you also have an opportunity to bless others with your comments and thoughts if you choose to write."

"It helps me know how to better praise God in His attributes and how to pray using Scripture."

What People are Saying:
Morning Glory has really taught me many things in many different areas. It really has inspired me to pursue Jesus with my whole heart. God is doing tremendous things through this blog and Daily Devotional!

Wow, you must have read my mind and my heart. This was exactly what I needed today.

Morning Glory has built me up in a lot of ways!  It's SUPER encouraging and helpful to read these two-minute devos to start my day. It's fun getting different girls' perspectives and reading these paragraphs. The growth of Morning Glory has been astounding over these two years, and I'm glad to see it flourish.

I have been writing for a while now. And the most rewarding part is when someone likes my devotional and sends a note saying so. I remember when I got the email, I was so blessed to see that someone actually read my devotionals and were blessed by it!

Morning Glory is the only Godly influence in my life right now.

I started getting Morning Glory Daily Devotional emails about a year ago. I had been looking for a good daily devotional program thing, and was super blessed to find this! I try to read the devos every day they're sent out and I have been SO touched by all the blog posts. It has been SO encouraging seeing what verses have stuck out to people and what it means to them. There have been many days where I read the verse and the devo to go with it, and I can tell it was completely an answer to prayer for that day-- just what I needed to hear. They always remind me of important lessons or refocus me on what really matters. They help me keep my eyes fixed on GOD. They remind me of God's promises, His blessings, His mercies, and His love. All the posts are encouraging. They are convicting. Some bring joy. Some bring tears. All in the very best way. Every day, I hear truth spoken from the verses, and some REAL person's thoughts about it. With the devos, it has been such a blessing to hear what Christian girls my age have to say about their favorite verses, and how it applies to their lives. 

Being connected to so many girls, my age, has been wonderful! Knowing that someone, quite far from me, could be reading the same things I just so cool!

The Daily Devotional is completely free and completely fresh every morning. You can also customize what days you receive it if you do not want to get it every day.

16 Books for Christian Girls

Anastasis Faith
          Hey girls! Some girls and I got together and came up with 16 of our top books that we recommend for teen and tween girls. 

Check it out here!

I remember one day when my mom was teaching me to read when I was very little. She handed me a picture book and told me to sit on the floor and read to her while she applied her makeup.
I did not want to learn to read. Much less practice right now.
I remember panting heavily between each word as I sounded it out, trying to make Mom worry. She just told me, “Quit gasping and read.”
So I stopped.
At that time, I never knew that I would be so in love with reading, writing, and the art of English. When I was older, we would go to the library once a week. I would scour shelves and return with piles of books so high I could not see where I was walking. During that time, I mostly read Nancy Drew and averaged a book and a half a day.
However, I found that I quickly ran out of those books. Finding clean books was a struggle for me. Often I could only resort to romance novels--but even the Christian ones were full of inappropriate scenes. I found I had to quit reading in the middle of books because they were so terrible. Few things are worse than having to put down a book you’ve gotten excited about because it has some unnecessary inappropriate content.
For the readers out there like me who struggle to find clean reads, I have a list of my top five Christian books that I recommend to teen girls. Add to that eleven other books from other girls and you've got a list that should set you up for summer.
Also, in addition to my top five, here are many more books I would recommend for sure. A few wrestled for inclusion in my Top Five list, so I thought I would give them honorable mentions. ;) I highly recommend Do Hard Things by the Harris twins (reviewed on my blog here) and The Chase by Kyle and Kelsey Kupecky (reviewed on my blog here). Also, one that I have yet to read but that I know is outstanding is Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity.
As summer is right around the corner, I highly encourage you to pick a couple books from this list and add it to your reading list.
In a world where novels are getting filthier and filthier, it’s hard to find innocent or even clean reads, much less something edifying. I promise you that any of these books will be far more worth your time than a random romance novel off the shelf.

Let me know below if you’ve read or heard of any of these books! What are your top favorite books that you would recommend to teen girls?

3 Ways to Genuinely Trust in Christ

Anastasis Faith

-By Naomi Hamstra

3 Ways to Genuinely Trust God          “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Psalms 20:7). I appreciate how this verse shows me where the Christian girl is supposed to put her  trust in. She is to put her trust in God. How can we genuinely trust in Christ? Here are three ways. 

1. Read the Word of God
          Hebrews 4:12 tells us how powerful the Word of God is. It says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” By reading this verse, I am reminded to trust in Christ and His Word because I know how powerful it is.

          In order to trust God, we have to trust His Word too.

          We cannot say we love God and trust Him, but believe His Word is false.  “Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him”(Proverbs 30:5) Everything that God has said is true and will always remain true, because of this great promise we can trust in His Word always!

2. Live out the Word of God
          As Christians, it is important that we not only read the Word of God but we must also be a doers of the Word. James gives us an example of what it looks like to hear the Word of God and refuse to obey it. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing” (James 1:22-25).

          This is a good thing to ponder. The man who does not obey the Word of God is like a man who looks at himself and does nothing when he sees that he does not look good. When we read God’s Law or hear it preached to us, we must not forget about what it commands us to do. James 1:25 tells us that if we look into His perfect law and obey it, we will be blessed in those works. If we trust in God’s Word, our desire will be to live it out, and if we obey His Word, then those works will be blessed by God. Let’s make it our goal to live out God’s Word, and therefore trust in Christ more and more!

3. Keep our eyes on Him
          The final way we can genuinely put our trust in Christ is to keep our eyes on Him. When I think of keeping our eyes on Him I think of Psalm 56:3-4. It says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” When we going through hard times, we must keep our eyes on God and trust in Him. In our best days, we must keep our eyes on Him and trust in Him. Second Corinthians 5 tells us that we do not walk by sight, but by faith. We cannot live our lives focused on ourselves, but focused on Him, trusting that He works everything for our good. 

          Proverbs 3:5-6 is a very well-known verse about trusting God, nevertheless it is very important for us to remember. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” I encourage you to trust in God always by reading His Word, living it out, and keeping your eyes always on Him!

 Do you struggle with trusting God? Which of these tips were most helpful? If you could add a 4th, what would it be? Share in the comments!

7 Ways to Get the Most Out of Summer Camp

Anastasis Faith
          It was the Saturday after piano camp. Friday night we had held our recital in Roxy Grove Hall at Baylor University. My friends had driven me the two hours home to their house after the recital finished late and after we had eaten at Pizza Hut. Now, on Saturday, my parents picked me up on their way to lunch.
          I was tired, tired, tired and GRUMPY.
          I actually sat at a different table than my family and read my book until my Dad told me to come join them. Dad asked, “How was camp?”
          I responded, “Can we talk about it later? I am too tired right now.”
          Needless to say, my parents were NOT HAPPY with me after camp. Looking back, I realize how extremely rude I had been—even after they had paid $500 for me to attend this camp!
7 Ways to Get the Most Out of Summer Camp
          Probably some of you have a similar story about the post-camp crash. It could be a church camp, a camp with an organization like TeenPact, or a camp like my piano camp. It doesn’t matter. These apply to all of them.
          Camps are super fun and super exhausting. How do we balance both in such a way as to make camp REFRESHING and rejuvenating instead of draining?
          First of all, why would it matter?

         Three quick reasons:
          You should never act the way I did to my parents when you return from a camp. They paid for my way and bent over backwards to get me there and made arrangements for me to get home. I was rude to them and ungrateful.
          Most of us have to “hit the ground running” and how to live your week or weekend at camp will determine how well you can recover quickly to take care of what needs to be done.
          At least at church camp, it’s supposed to refresh your spiritual walk with God. If we come back physically destroyed, it will be hard to implement what we learned to walk closer with God.

          I approach camps VERY differently than I did even a year or two ago and I’m learning how to best approach them to maximize my time back at home.
          Let’s launch into the tips!

1. Life is not about camp.
          You cannot be living life for the next camp. I’ve been guilty of this and it’s a waste of time and it completely neglects the sweetness of a daily walk with Christ.
Jesus cares IMMENSELY about your routine. Don’t waste your life pining away for the next camp or the next “spiritual high.” That’s not what real life or real living is about.

2. Camp is FOR your life back at home.
          Why do we have camp? So that we are better equipped to honor Jesus by the way we live back at home. Have this in mind when you are at camp. You are not living FOR camp. Camp is FOR your life at home. Live life at camp preparing to go home. Make practical lists of things you are going to change when you get home. They don’t have to be big, though they can be. They might be to pray for ten minutes in the morning and night. Whatever it is, use camp to maximize your time at home. Learn how to honor Christ MORE in your routine.

3. Know how much rest you need.
          This is a huge one for me. I need a ton of sleep. Camps where we get less than seven hours of sleep every night seriously destroy me emotionally and physically. You need to know how much rest you normally need—and remember that you will probably need more at camp. The camps I’ve been to require a lot of physical exertion. Whether it’s walking like ten miles every day on Baylor campus like I did at piano camp or if it’s physically demanding games, they usually deplete energy.
          If you cannot sleep enough at night, do whatever you can to take a nap. Don’t neglect your rest. When you can, cut out of late night games to get a good night’s rest.

4. Factor in whether you're an introvert or extrovert.
          I don’t know where you are on the scale, but if you’re an introvert, camps can end up a nightmare. Sometimes you’re with your best friends 24/7. Other times you’re with strangers 24/7. Either way, find a way to be alone and spend time with God EVERY DAY. Even if you’re an extrovert. 

5. Don’t cut your diet to soda and candy.
          This can be a huge temptation at camp. There’s candy everywhere and soda and coffee shops. Often, camp food can be gross. If you know that you’re going to a camp that hasn’t gotten down how to serve decent food, then please bring some protein bars, snacks and/or fruit.
          There was a camp I went to a couple years that simply never had enough food for everyone! My cousin convinced me to bring protein bars and I was so thankful.
          Also, drink lots of water.

6. Plan ahead.
          Come to camp with a spiritual goal. Plan ahead for the camp by bringing whatever you need, but also plan ahead for life when you get back home. Keep going in home at the forefront of your mind.

7. Make sure others have the BEST week or weekend of their life!
          I’ve heard it said that the best way to have the best week of your life is to help someone else have the best week of their life! And I wholeheartedly agree! Use this as a time to grow closer to your church friends.
          A camp is a great atmosphere and place to have deep conversations with your friends and get to know them better.

          Those are the things I’ve learned from going to tons of camps throughout the years. Even if you’re the “party pooper” by going to bed early, if you launch back into life better and strengthen your routine, I think it’s worth it.
Of course, there are so many things like injuries that can happen at camp. My sister walked into a window and seriously injured her nose (she thought it was really funny though). I got a concussion at a camp (and I did NOT think that was very funny). ;) You can’t plan for those things, but           God is working through every circumstance!
          If you could get one thing out of this blog post, this is what it would be:
          Live at camp in such a way that makes you stronger when you get home.
          For more articles on this topic, please check out this one on The Rebelution, and if you want to read about what I learned last year at church camp, read this one

What are some of the things that you have learned at camp? Any tips to share? Which is your favorite of mine? What has been your favorite camp ever? Share in the comments!

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