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.

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