5 Signs You Have the Right Attitude About Change

Anastasis Faith
The new year is just around the corner—2016! I’m looking at this year, not sure what it’s going to hold, but definitely seeing some major changes that will come. Before I know it, we’ll be launching into the spring semester and all that that entails.
Change can feel good or bad. Most often, we don’t know what change will bring with it, if it will feel good or bad—and the uncertainty can be terrifying.
Last night, my sister and I were talking about change. We both know it’s coming. So how do we prepare for it? How do we be like the Proverbs 31 woman and “laugh at the future”? (Proverbs 31:25)
Here are 5 signs that you have the right attitude going into this new year.

1.     You’re not afraid.

You’re not afraid of the future because you know you can trust God. He has a perfect plan for you that is for your good and His glory (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28). Being afraid of change is a sign that you lack faith in God’s promises, God’s goodness, God’s sovereignty, and even His love for you.

“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace because he trusts in You.”
Isaiah 26:3

Yes, it’s normal and human to be afraid of change and the future, but if you think about it, it’s really silly that we ever are afraid because God is in control.

2.     You find your joy in Christ.

If your joy is rooted in Christ, no matter what circumstances come your way—no matter the trials—you will be able to be joyful even in the midst of change. 
It’s very easy to find our “joy” in our circumstances—but that’s not joy, That’s happiness. You can tell if you have true joy anchored in Jesus or just circumstantial happiness by if whether or not you can smile and praise Him even in the hard times.
Finding your joy in Christ means you can glorify Him when everything’s out of order and when everything’s in order. I love the lyrics in Blessed Be Your Name by Matt Redman.
You give and take away,
You give and take away,
My heart will choose to say,
Lord blessed be Your Name.

3.     Jesus is the center of your life.

If Jesus is at the center of your life, it doesn’t really matter what on earth happens, whether good or bad. If you get married and Jesus is at the center of your life, you will find your marriage far more fulfilling and lasting than if not. If your best friend gets in a car wreck, you know that Jesus will give you comfort and care for your hurting heart.
Jesus is all we need, so if we live like it and believe it, everything will stay in perspective.

4.     You’re busy with ministry.

You’re not sitting around the house crying for the upcoming change. You’re rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty serving God and serving people. 
When you’re busy with ministry, again, change will stay in perspective. Serving in ministry helps you see other people’s struggles and see the bigger picture, which leads to this next point.

5.     You’re focused on others and what they’re going through.

Are you the most important person in the world? Nope. In fact, we’re supposed to consider ourselves the least important person in the world. When we’re focused on others, we don’t have enough time to mope about our own problems and the scary changes we’re facing. We realize that other people are fighting battles worse than ours.

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Philippians 2:3-4

Do you have the right attitude about change? Which points do you have down, and which ones do you need to work on? Share in the comments! 

Too Many Failures?

Anastasis Faith

-By Sunny Bodenhamer

“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.”
Psalm 103:10-14

I used to think that God didn’t really understand. I used to feel like I was a burden to Him. A pain. I would pray about something I was struggling with, for strength to overcome it and forgiveness for that sin, and then before I knew it, I was doing it again. Then I would realize it, and think to myself, “God must hate me. I’ve failed so many times, He must have given up on me by now.”
Every time those thoughts entered my mind, I could feel the chasm grow between my Heavenly Father and my heart.
I knew that He loves me unconditionally, and that I wasn’t going to lose my salvation just by messing up—I knew He’s not that kind of God—but that was only head knowledge. I came to realize that I didn’t really believe it in my heart, in my soul, deep down where it really counted. I’d grown up in a Christian home with wonderful parents who had taught me those things all my life, but that wasn’t enough. I needed to take hold of my faith as my own, not just something passed down to me by my parents.
Looking back, I remember imagining God holding each one of my failures over my head, looking down from above, just waiting for me to fail again because He couldn’t wait to punish me even bigger this time. I imagined Him saying to Himself, “Look at all this she’s already done, and there she goes again! She’s really going to get it this time!”
But friends, that is a lie straight from the pit that Satan had been feeding me, and I listened! I had been doubting my Savior, who loves me so much He died for me on that cross!
1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”
I was not perfected in His love. I didn’t understand it. I feared punishment, and while yes, it’s true that God is just, and there are consequences to our sin, it doesn’t bring God pleasure to punish us. In fact, it hurts Him to see us make wrong choices and to suffer the consequences. He wants us to succeed, just like any loving father would desire their child to succeed in life.

 “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so GREAT is His LOVINGKINDNESS toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west, SO FAR has He REMOVED our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.”
Psalm 103:10-14
(emphasis added)

Did you get that? Do you see it? He knows we’re human, and we’re going to fail and disappoint Him, but He has compassion on us, because we are His children, and He loves us no matter what. My eyes are tearing up right now, just writing this. I am so overwhelmed when I take time to be still, to remember all He has done for me and how much He loves me.
I can’t help but think of the Casting Crowns song “East to West”:
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest, cause You know just how far the east is from the west: from one scarred hand to the other…”
So remember today, you are loved more than you will ever know, no matter how many times you fail, no matter what you’ve done, don’t be afraid to come before the Lord again, and ask for forgiveness and a fresh start.

“He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and a bulwark.”
Psalm 91:4

“The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and he delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.”
Psalm 37:23-24
(emphasis added)

Notice this verse says “when he falls,” not “if he falls.” He knows we aren’t perfect and He knows we never will be until we see Him face to face in heaven one day. He understands. He delights in you. You are His beloved child. Rest in Him; believe these truths. Don’t ever doubt His love, as Satan wants. He is holding your hand every step of the way. Believe that in your heart, not just your head. This is so important. The more you doubt and allow Satan’s lies to get in your head, the farther it will drive you away from your Heavenly Father, and that is the worst place to be.

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord…”
Jeremiah 29:13-14a

Seek Him with all your heart and you will find Him. He wants to help you. Maybe it’s time you let Him, by believing He loves you unconditionally.

Sunny Bodenhamer is a Christian, homeschooled girl learning to be a light in this crazy, amazing life we’ve been given, reach for the stars, and believe that anything is possible through Jesus Christ. She believes that every day is a miracle full of second chances and beauty, if we stop and take the time to see it. She loves to write, crochet, drink coffee, and hopes to inspire and encourage through the written word.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your failures? What has God taught you through those times? Any stories or thoughts? Share in the comments!

3 Ideas for Serving Jesus

Anastasis Faith

By Taylor

“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a vapor that appears for a little time, then vanishes.”
James 4:14

In my devotional this morning on Morning Glory’s Daily Devotional, I talked about how our lives are so short, and because of that we need to strive for Jesus all of our days. You may be wondering, “What are some ways I can do that?” Here are some ways that have really helped me glorify Christ in some things I do.

1) Volunteer.
Giving up my time to serve others and selflessly serving Jesus through them and shining His light to bring others to Christ.

2) Pray.
Seek God throughout His word and through communicating with Christ and ask Him for some ways that will allow the gifts He has given you to shine for Him. Pray to God and ask Him if He is calling you to become an active missionary in your hometown, or even another country!

3) Serve with Your Gifts.
For example, offer free babysitting for some young families at your church! I know from personal experience that this can be an amazing blessing to parents. What an amazing opportunity to serve Christ!

I hope these tips spark some ideas of your own for how you can serve Him through your gifts! Philippians 2:1-11 is a great scripture to find out some characteristics of Jesus.

Hot Pumpkin Mug

Anastasis Faith
                                Photocreds: Kathy from Healthy Happy Life

Submitted by Beth

Y'all know I love pumpkin. Who doesn't? What's funny though... is that without the spices pumpkin would not be... well, pumpkiny (if that's even a word.)

Here are two things you should know about me: I love coffee and pumpkin. A pumpkin spice latte is pretty amazing... but it's not like I'm always at a coffee shop and can get one. And at 9 o'clock at night I don't really need the caffeine.

Today I want to share with y'all my favorite alternative to a pumpkin, high-caffeine, coffee anything; so if you don't like coffee or try to avoid caffeine, you'll love this Hot Pumpkin Mug. Oh, it's so good.

On her blog Healthy Happy Life Kathy contrives this amazing pumpkin concoction. Enjoy, m'friends! Let me know how you like it. :)

Note: I find that the best milk for this recipe is Vanilla Soy milk with a teaspoon (if even) of Agave Nectar instead of a teaspoon of maple syrup.

Hot Pumpkin Mug, Spiced
vegan, serves 1

1 cup non-dairy milk (soy or almond works best)
1 1/2-2 Tbsp pure pumpkin puree, unsweetened (I used organic/canned/BPA-free liner can)
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
2-3 drops vanilla extract (or a few pinches of real vanilla bean pod seeds for an extra special flavor)
1 tsp maple syrup, grade B
For extra spiced, add:
2 dashes cayenne
1 pinch fine black pepper
1-2 pinches of nutmeg

Try this sometime and let me know what you think in the comment section!

Pumpkin Cake

Anastasis Faith
Submitted by Beth

So with Thanksgiving less than a week away (happy squeal), grocery lists are being made, food ideas tossed around, pie requests coerced, etc. One of my most favorite flavors is...Haha...You'll never guess: pumpkin.

I haven't met a person who doesn't like pumpkin... well, pumpkin everything. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin cake... Oh! Y'all. Pumpkin cake is incredible. I'm so thankful my birthday is in the fall; hence, I had the excuse of asking my mom to bake me a pumpkin cake. Oh, goodness. This thing is delectable to say the least. On her blog Cooking Classy Jacelyn shares this lovely and absolutely delicious cake creation.

I have a feeling my relatives will love this Thanksgiving treat. Doesn't that cake look sublime? (I feel like I need to say that in an English accent. Aaaaand... I just did. Try it.)

Lord, Thank You for this Trial Because...

Anastasis Faith

Lord, Thank You for this Trial Because…

by Anonymous

…this trial reminds me of how dependent I am on You.

…this trial is a test of my faith and will reveal my faith for what it is.

…this trial will give me opportunities for ministry I may have missed.

…this trial is driving me to spend more time in prayer.

…this trial is an opportunity for You to display Your glory in my life.

…this trial reminds me that Earth is not my home.

…this trial is making me a stronger person.

…this trial will make me more aware of my blessings.

…this trial tests my ability to “rejoice in all things.”

…this trial is bringing me fresh wisdom and perspective.

…this trial is revealing sin that was otherwise hidden.

…this trial is humbling me.

…this trial is teaching me patience.

…others are learning and benefiting from witnessing my trial.

…this trial sheds new light upon Your Word as I study it.

…You have promised that it will work for good in my life.

…this trial is teaching me to hate sin more completely.

…I can worship you in my unique sufferings.

…this trial forces me to ask myself, “Is Jesus enough?”

How do you respond when trials come? Do you thank God for them? Any stories? Share in the comments!

When You're Not Strong Enough

Anastasis Faith

I was sitting alone in my room. Thinking. Then those thoughts turned to quiet whispers. Then, to tears.
I had to face it.
I wasn’t strong enough.
I was weak.
I felt the weight of my failures, my weaknesses, and my sins drowning me in self-pity.
Then I just couldn’t hold it in any longer. I couldn’t pretend that I had everything worked out. I couldn’t keep lying to myself that I was strong enough to handle my life and my struggles on my own.
That night, someone sent me a devotional for Morning Glory’s Daily Devotional for the next day. I was going to proof it and draft it to be sent out. I pulled it up and my eyes fell on this verse.

“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

My tears came harder. I read those words over and over again, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness,” and then, “for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
If that wasn’t enough, I got an email talking about God being strong in our weakness. And then, the next chapter I was supposed to read in my Bible was 2 Corinthians 12. I guess that STILL wasn’t enough, because then, awaiting me in my Blogger feed was an article posted on The Rebelution called, “I Am Weak (And That’s My Greatest Strength).”
Sisters, I am weak and so are you. There will be times in your life when you will reach the end of yourself. Times when you will be faced with this fact.

I. Am. Weak.

But listen, it’s okay to be weak, because our strength can’t come from us and isn’t supposed to come from us. It comes from our gracious Lord and Savior.
When you realize your limitations and discover how weak you are and when you surrender that weakness to God, then you can become the effective tool that God created you to be. When you stop trying to be strong in your own strength, THEN God can use you to fulfill the works He has for you (Ephesians 2:10). God doesn’t just use us despite our weakness, but even He uses us through our weakness.
I am weak. You are weak. And that is good. Our strength is in Christ.

When have you seen your own weakness and Christ’s strength? Do you have any stories or thoughts to share? Feel free to leave a comment! 

5 Tips to Seeing God as Your Friend

Anastasis Faith

--By Audra Salmans

“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
John 15:15

I don't know about y'all, but I have a hard time thinking of God as my friend. There's just something about me referring the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, as my friend that I just can't wrap my mind around. But it says right here in John that He wants to be our friend. Here are five strategies I've used to help me know God as Master and Friend. 

1. Talk to Him
Whenever something happens to me, even if it's not something particularly exciting, I am normally dying to tell my best friend. Talk to Him about more than just your problems. Bring it all to Him because He wants to know! Tell Him the funny stories, the aggravating moments, the things you can't wait to do tomorrow! Tell God everything you would tell your friends. He cares about us and He loves to hear us talk! 

2. Listen to Him
Just like when you tell your friend all your woes and she gives you all the advice she can, God not only listens, but He responds. His Spirit is always with believers, guiding, reminding, prompting, and illuminating. He is sufficient for every situation, like when that one kid is pestering you in class, or that new girl that would love to hang out with you at school. Sometimes we forget that He wants to answer our prayers!

3. DO with Him
Do you have certain things that you ALWAYS do with your friend? Maybe you take walks around your neighborhood, maybe you skip rocks at a pond, maybe you listen to music in a certain place that no one else knows about. God wants to DO with you. I want to laugh more with God. That's pretty much the thing I love most about my best friend: she can make me laugh when I think I'd rather mope. If I can laugh with her I can laugh with my Heavenly Father! After all, He knows all my funny stories and embarrassing moments even better than she does! Set aside a certain time to DO with Him. Go on a walk with God and laugh like it's just the two of you! :)

4. Read the Word
When you see a text from your best friend, what do you do? Open it like it will evaporate if you don't read it fast, or leave it and promise yourself you'll get to it later? Of course you read it! We can think of Bible verses in the same way. He wrote the Scriptures for you—are you going to leave them there to read later? He may have something very important to tell you right at that moment. When you feel down He may remind you of Lamentations 3:22-23; when you feel alone He has given you Hebrews 13:5; and when you just don't know where to turn anymore, He wrote Psalm 46:10. He has sent us these verses knowing that we will need them. Use the tools He has given us. 

5. Strive to Become Like Him
The only way you can be best friends with anyone is if you share common interests. God's ways are entirely holy and good. We need to become more like Him, and loving others is an easy place to start. John 15:12 says, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” He has loved us in spite of our faults. In response to this amazing love, let’s strive to become more like Him in our thoughts and our actions. 
God is good! He wants to be our friend! If we can choose Him over the ways of this world, He will provide all we crave: The Love of a Friend.

Do you think of God as your Friend? What ways do you want to grow in this area? Share in the comments!

Come As You Are

Anastasis Faith

The guilt was heavy. The voices in my head cried over and over, “Hypocrite! Hypocrite!”
I had been struggling. I felt like I couldn’t win. I felt like, no matter how hard I fought, I always lost. I felt like I couldn’t get a grip on my emotions.
The worst thing?
I didn’t want to kill my sin.
I didn’t want to fight. I didn’t want to win.
It just felt so good.
As I’ve said before, all the practical tips in the world don’t help unless you have a heart to fight. I kept thinking, “I’ll get a handle on my emotions and then I’ll come to God and He can do the rest.” I had concluded that I should come to God as soon as I decided I didn’t want to continue this way.
Do you see the problem with this? After days…weeks…months, I made a discovery when we sang this song in church.

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, love and power.

I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms.

Come, ye thirsty, come, and welcome,
God’s free bounty glorify;
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings you nigh.

Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
Lost and ruined by the fall;
If you tarry till you’re better,
You will never come at all.

Let not conscience make you linger,
Not of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.
Come Ye Sinners Poor and Needy, Joseph Hart

The whole song stood out to me, but I emphasized the lines that particularly slammed me in the face. And then it made me think of the song, Come As You Are.

Come out of sadness
From wherever you've been
Come broken hearted
Let rescue begin
Come find your mercy
Oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can't heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You're not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

There's hope for the hopeless
And all those who've strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There's rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can't cure
There's joy for the morning
Oh sinner be still
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can't heal
Come as You Are, David Crowder

It was one of those "Oooooh" moments. One of those moments that, despite how weak and powerless I felt, I just needed to come to Jesus. 
I got to spend about an hour in my Bible and in prayer the next afternoon and I'll tell you that it was sooooooooooo refreshing. I want Jesus to always be first place in my life. Nothing is worth more than Jesus. God created us to be fully satisfied in Him and anything less will let us down.
Ladies, we can’t wait until we think we have it sorted out. We have to come now. We have to come and surrender to Jesus everything—even if we don’t want to.
God is faithful, even when I'm not. He loves me with an everlasting, unchanging love that will not waver despite my wayward heart. One of my friends said something on this topic that has stuck with me. He said that God's love for us isn't based on us, but Him. God loves us because it is His nature to love. God loves us because He is love (which doesn't make sense to us). That gives me so much comfort when I sin and when I run from God. I know that His love for me won't change because it's not based on me.
Don't we serve an incredible God? Some days, I'm just blown away by who He is and what He's done for me--and I don't even fully understand everything! In fact, I can barely scratch the surface of the vast ocean of God's love. 
So remember, come as you are. Whatever you’re struggling with. No matter how weak you feel. No matter if you think you have the solution or not. Don’t wait until you think you have it under control. Don’t wait until you think you’ve got a handle on things. Come now. Come as you are. Broken, sinful, and empty.
If we wait, we will never come. So we must come to God now and ask Him to help us through our struggles.

Come as you are.

Marshmallow Party Dip

Anastasis Faith

I LOVE this stuff! Its totally addictive, fast, easy, and of course, SCRUMPTIOUS!!! You can make it in basically any setting and it goes with EVERY fruit!! Even bananas!! You can dip gram crackers in it, along with grapes, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries (my personal favorite!). I LOVE THIS DIP!! AND YOU WILL TOO!! XD

Servings: 8      
Yield: 1 bowl                                                                                                                 
• 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
• 1 (15 ounce) jar marshmallow cream
• fresh fruit

1. Blend cream cheese and Marshmallow Cream with hand mixer until combined.
2. Goes well with assorted fresh fruit and graham cracker sticks and anything, as I established earlier--and that includes your finger.

ENJOY THIS!!!! And share it with friends and family (and leave a comment about how it went for you!)!! God bless y'all!!

10 Tips for Beating a Crush: Final Thoughts Part 2

Anastasis Faith

Today is the very last day of 10 Tips for Beating a Crush series! Before we leave this subject, I have a few final things to say.
I wanted to share this story from a sixteen-year-old girl that talks about many of the things we’ve discussed thus far here on Morning Glory.

One time I had a crush on a guy, but then was thrown into a situation where I wouldn't be able to see him anymore.  It was a temptation to feel sorry for myself, and to start asking God too many questions, such as "Why me? Is this Your will? Why did You let this happen to me?"
That's when it really hit me: having a crush on a guy is more of a choice than it seems. I could have kept my focus on him, nurturing my crush on him and letting myself daydream.  I have could continued to allow myself to give my heart away, or I could, as I saw him less and less, slowly take back my heart.
And for a while, I didn't guard my heart. And the more gave my heart to this guy I wouldn't see anymore, the more it hurt.
That's when I started to open my eyes to my friends. True, I wouldn't be able to see this guy friend anymore, (and I had been trying to work on seeing him for what he is; a friend and a brother) but God graciously allowed me to spend time with my other friends. I can't even begin to explain how much of a blessing it was, and still is, to have godly friends that I know have my back. I'd encourage anyone to nurture and focus on friendships with godly girls and guys. Don't spend so much time nurturing a crush! Nurture your relationship with God, and look for ways to help others.
Now that I look back and see the crush I had on him, I realize now that so much of my daydreaming was pointless. Giving my heart away in ways I shouldn't have was pointless, and it hurt so bad.
Please, don't give your heart away too soon. Don't focus on him; focus on God and other people. It's safer to open up your heart to God and to your friends, not to a crush! Now I realize that all the time I was wanting his company, I could have been doing other things; better things, like serving harder in ministry, giving more time to my friends and family, working more diligently in school...etc. Don't waste your time focusing too much on guy, because, like with me, it might end up being a pointless endeavor! I'd encourage anyone who spends any good amount of time focusing on their crush to turn their gaze to other things, because you never know how the future will work out. Of course, this doesn't mean that having a crush on someone is sinful; but it can be dangerous if you give your heart away too quickly and spend too much of your God-given time wishing he was around.

This young lady’s story demonstrates all these points we’ve been making in this series. Crushes are not sinful in of themselves, but they can waste our time, energy, thought life, and give our hearts away too soon. Having a crush is a choice, despite what people may tell you. It’s your choice to daydream. It’s your choice to view him as there to satisfy you. It’s your choice to have a crush.
Yes, it doesn’t feel like a choice. It feels like we’re involuntarily falling in love and out of control. But unless it’s the God-planned romance we’re all waiting for, you can choose to save your heart. You can choose to fight.
However, don’t expect to win every battle. You may, through God’s strength, win the war. But the battles will be slow, painful, and exhausting. Let me tell you that you will feel like quitting. Trust me, I know the feeling of wanting to quit and give in. Yet, I want to tell you that no matter how many times you fail—no matter how many battles you lose—remember that God is still Lord and He will always be faithful. He will get you through this and He will never leave you alone.
I love these lyrics by Matt Redman in his song, Never Once.

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God
You are faithful.

Sometimes, when we have a crush, the tempting response can be, “God, why won’t You take this away? I can do so much for You if I didn’t have this crush!”
But recently, someone said something that struck me hard. She told me about the concept of “material for sacrifice.” This is the idea that God gives us something, like a crush, so that we can have something to give back to Him. God asks us to trust Him in everything. Our love for Him is evident in how much we are willing to trust Him.
Are you brave enough to trust God with everything? Even your crush?

Samuel said, "Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.
1 Samuel 15:22 

Our sacrifices to God are when we choose to obey Him with our everything—even our emotions. We are called to obey God; we are called to sacrifice our desires to Him. God doesn’t want us to offer up literal sacrifices because Jesus already was the sacrifice. But He wants us to sacrifice ourselves to Him through obedience.
Before we leave the subject of crushes, I have two more things I would like to share.

First of all, I said in an earlier post but I’m going to say it again: crushes are not a sin. However, it is an opportunity to sin. That is why we spent thirteen posts talking about beating a crush. My very wise mother, who has helped me tremendously with this series, told me something very important the other day. Even though it may sound like a contradiction to what has been posted thus far, it is not. But it is the flip side of the coin. She says this:

While we should not look to a guy to satisfy us and we should always find our satisfaction in the Lord, He also created us to not feel complete alone. He says it is not good for man to be alone. So while He is all we need, He also did create a longing for a spouse that is good, natural and right. It is unnatural to not long for true, lasting love.
Some people are given a special gift of singleness, but for most of us, we have been created to feel incomplete without a spouse (when we are old enough for that to apply). In one sense, giving someone a loving relationship with a spouse is one way the Lord does fulfill us and satisfy us. Marital love is a gift from Him. (That is why having crushes is completely natural.)

This is a very important concept to grasp. God created us with a desire for a boyfriend and, eventually, husband. There is nothing wrong with this desire. However, for many of us who are in junior high and high school, we cannot do anything about this desire except take it to the Lord. Right now, we need to be preparing ourselves for a future relationship by building our character and deepening our relationship with God. As someone once told me, “Developing characteristics of a godly wife doesn’t begin once I’m a wife—it begins now!”
Finally, the last thing I have is an important piece of advice from Bethany.

As Christian girls we need to make Jesus our God, not ourselves, not a guy, not the opinions of others, and certainly not how many guys "like" us. Whenever we're tempted to idolize someone, let's remember the three things involved: feelings, you, and the guy. Take care of your feelings. Take care of yourself. And, if you really do like someone, take care of him. Be respectful. This may be an easy feat for some and yet very difficult for others. But we can do all things through Jesus Christ! He gives us strength!

Remember, always give God first place. Put others before yourself. And then run after Jesus with your whole heart.

What final thoughts about crushes do you have? Any tips that you have discovered for beating a crush that wasn’t listed? Stories? Share in the comments!

10 Tips for Beating a Crush: Final Thoughts Part 1

Anastasis Faith

The subject of crushes is so extensive and it’s impossible to cover in one blog series about all the different situations that could arise. I’m learning and growing and this series is what I have learned thus far. However, I’m young, like you, and I don’t want you to think that I have all the answers, or treat these blog posts like the Bible or something. These are suggestions and tips that I have found helpful—and I’m sure there are many more things you could do to beat a crush than these ten tips that I have listed!
Of course, there are times and places for crushes. I absolutely hope that you have a crush on your husband! But for teen girls in a world that is assaulting us with the notion that we need a guy to be happy—we’ve got to remember that we don’t need crushes. We don’t need guys. We need God. As soon as we realize that, we can make a huge impact on the culture around us. 
One thing that I’ve learned is that, even if your crush is super godly, your relationship with Jesus must ALWAYS come first. Your relationship with Jesus doesn’t go on hold while you run after this guy and then resume once you’re dating, or married.
Right now, for many of us, we’re in a season of waiting. Waiting to meet someone, waiting to fall in love, waiting for him to fall in love with you, waiting for him to ask…etc. And I know that waiting is hard. But just because something is good and you want it doesn’t mean it’s God’s time for it yet in your life right now—or ever. We must rest in the fact that God desires to do us good and that He desires to give us what we want. However, we must first delight ourselves in the Lord and then we can enjoy His gifts to their fullest extent.
Our natural desire is to one day be married and raise a family of our own. But sometimes it can feel like God doesn’t want us to have the biggest desire of our heart. However, that is a lie that Satan will try to make you believe. God loves to do good to you.
Here are a couple verses that prove this point:

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!”
Psalm 37:4-7
(emphasis added)

“What the wicked fears will come upon him,
But the desire of the righteous will be granted.”
Proverbs 10:24

"The Lord God is a sun and a shield; no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of Hosts, blessed is the man that trusts in You."
Psalm 84:11-12
(emphasis added)

 “ But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Matthew 6:33

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
Jeremiah 29:11-13
(emphasis added)

What stood out to me in Jeremiah 29:11-13 was the last promise:
"You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."
Sometimes it can seem like pursuing Jesus is like running after your family's car when they've left you somewhere and don't notice. It can feel impossible.
But here is a promise from the lips of God Himself—that He will be found. He's not going to hide Himself from us if we truly desire to see Him. If we seek Him with our whole hearts He promises to be found.
Tell me, sisters, is this not a beautiful promise? It’s so easy to get overwhelmed and it can feel like God is so far away. But something about this promise that God would make Himself known to me if I ran after Him has given me so much strength so many times.

We can pray for God to take away the feelings, but sometimes the answer to that is no. However, there is another prayer we can pray, that if God won't take away the feelings, He will take away the distractions.
Even though my heart wanders so much from God, I can truly say that I want nothing more than to pursue Jesus with my whole heart. Through His grace, He always draws me back. He patiently teaches me again and again that He is all I need.
It's hard, when you have a crush, to believe that God is all you need. But He really is, and sometimes, I just had to trust that God is enough. I've just had to believe that He is the only thing that will fulfill me and act on that knowledge against what I felt.
Remember, even though we wander and even though we run, God will always still be there with open arms. He is faithful, steadfast, unchanging. These are promises that I cling to every day.

"If we are faithless, He remains faithful— for He cannot deny himself."
2 Timothy 2:13

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
Proverbs 4:23

"And all the people said to Samuel, 'Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king.' And Samuel said to the people, 'Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the LORD but serve the LORD with all your heart. And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. For the LORD will not forsake His people, for His great name's sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for Himself. Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. Only fear the LORD and serve Him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things He has done for you. But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king."
1 Samuel 12:19-25
(emphasis added)

What thoughts or stories do you have? Share in the comments!

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