40 DAYS OF LENT!

Pancake Day has gone, now it’s time to give something up for lent…for me it tends to be the same thing. I always try to give up chocolate, yet somehow I never stick to it. I guess I have a sweet tooth. But why do Christian’s do lent? What is Lent? Is it another chance to have a go at your new years resolutions? Let’s ask the internet shall we?

“Lent is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter in the Christian calendar. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities.” – http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/holydays/lent_1.shtml

Lent is a time for us Christians to sacrifice something in our lives in reflection of Jesus dying for us. We are preparing ourselves and remembering what Jesus went through before his death. We are looking back at when He got sent to a desert for 40 days which was full of temptation.

But what do we give up? The BBC website says that Lent is marked by fasting, which can either be food or festivities. But can we adapt that to the modern world? A good example is Facebook, we could give up Facebook for 40 days, Or Twitter, Or Instagram, Or even your mobile phone?

My view on Lent is we need to sacrifice something we think we can’t live without, like a phone or a laptop or the TV, or chocolate, take-aways and ready made meals.

So thats my challenge to YOU!
Think of something you think you can’t live without and lock it away for 40 days! Jesus sacrificed EVERYTHING for us and our sins! We can do all things through Christ, so follow Jesus’s example and give up something for 40 days!

GOOD LUCK! And remember, if you are struggling then pray to God or read the bible! You can learn A LOT from that book!!

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Amazing Love

Teenagers today are surrounded by messages and images of love…or at least what the world would like them to believe is love. From magazine ads to television programmes, everyone is trying to appeal to teenagers’ desire to love and to be loved. But this is not God’s view of love; the evidence is in the Bible. The Bible is full of examples of the real, lasting love that flows in and through us when God is at the centre of who we are.

The Book of Ruth is a great example of what this love looks like. The story of Boaz and Ruth is one of the greatest love stories of all time, and while it’s important for teenagers to grasp what real, God-centred love looks like, Ruth ‘s story isn’t just a love story.

“During the time of the Judges a man from Bethlehem in Judah named Elimelech and his wife Naomi, along with their two sons, moved to the land of Moab. This was because of a severe famine in their land. While living in Moab the two sons married two women from Moab named, Orpah and Ruth. Tragedy struck when Elimelech and his two sons died, leaving Naomi, Orpah and Ruth widows. The famine eventually ended back home so Naomi planned to return to her homeland. She urged her daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah to remain in Moab and find men there to marry. Orpah stayed behind but Ruth insisted on leaving with Naomi.

When they returned to Bethlehem, Ruth found fields in which she could go out and harvest left over grain. These fields belonged to a man named Boaz, who was actually a relative of Naomi’s husband. Boaz had heard of Ruth’s kindness to Naomi and not only offered her protection, but made sure she was able to gather a great amount of grain.

Naomi realized Ruth needed a permanent family and encouraged her to seek “marriage protection” from Boaz who was the Kinsman Redeemer. Boaz knew that there was this other, unnamed guy in town whom was a closer relative to Elimelech. Boaz knew this man had the first rights to redeem the property. Boaz called a meeting with ten town leaders and the other guy and explained   the situation with the property. The man quickly said he would redeem the land. But when Boaz reminded him that this deal included marrying Ruth, the other relative turned down the proposal. Boaz, being the next heir in line, quickly stepped in, bought the property, and married Ruth.”

The first aspect of the Amazing Love shown in the Book of Ruth is that amazing love sacrifices. When Ruth stayed with Naomi, she knew life would be hard. She knew that by going with Naomi, Ruth would have to live off the charity of others. But, Ruth loved Naomi and wanted to keep her safe.  In John 15v13 it says “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

The second aspect of Amazing Love we see in this story is how a God-centered love draws others to us, and ultimately to God. Boaz saw how much love she had for Naomi, so he shown her undeserved kindness and compassion. In Matthew 5v16 it says: “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

The third aspect of the Amazing Love we see is that it was a redeeming love, a love that brought light into darkness. This picture of redeeming love in Ruth is perfected in Jesus’ death on the cross. In Titus 2v14 says that Jesus “gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own.”

And guess what? Ruth and Boaz’s son was King David’s grandfather. And the Old Testament prophecy says that the Messiah would come from the line of David. Ruth showed amazing love for Naomi, which led to Boaz showing amazing love to Ruth, which played a vital role in the most amazing love ever shown, God sending His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. Now that is Amazing Love!

Love Verses for Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day! Here’s a few love verses from the bible!

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalms 37v4

“But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” Ruth 1v16-17

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.   It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.   When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-15

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  John 15:13

Need to be Needed?

Have you ever felt like you needed something? For example, you’ve seen a dress or a pair of shoes or some sort of gadget and you’ve thought to yourself ‘I’ve gotta have this’. And you convince yourself you need it in your life, that your life won’t be the same without it. I know that sounds a little bit OTT but in some cases it is true.

You may feel the same about an emotion or feeling that you’ve experienced before. Like you’ve been in a relationship and you’ve felt wanted but then the relationship ends but you’re wanting to feel wanted again because it was a nice feeling.
But do we really need these things? Do we really need to be needed?

The fact is God loves us, God’s love is the biggest love a guy or girl will ever have. But is the love of the world shadowing Gods love? And is the neediness of nice emotions taking over the feeling of Gods love?

When your feeling down and your wanting to feel wanted and needed because you think you’re not, the truth is you actually are wanted and needed. Why would God create you and make a plan for you if you weren’t wanted or needed. You have a purpose in this world. Sometimes it’s not clear but God will reveal our plan when the time is right. You may not be wanted be a certain person but you are always wanted by the King of all Kings.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5 ESV

One of the worlds problem is we love money to much. Money will get us what we want, when we want it but also buys us things we need like food, electric, water etc. But why do we let money control us?
Yea money can get us luxuries to make our lives better but we don’t need luxuries to live. It even says in the bible not to fall into the world’s temptations, and it says in Hebrews 13v5 that we should live free from the love of money and we should be happy with what we have.

Your way of life should be free from the love of money, and you should be content with what you have. After all, he has said, I will never leave you or abandon you. This is why we can confidently say, The Lord is my helper, and I won’t be afraid. What can people do to me? (‭Hebrews‬ ‭13‬:‭5-6‬ CEB)

So in summary, we don’t need other people to make us feel wanted because we are already or we wouldn’t be here today. And we also don’t need luxuries to make our lives better! As long as you are healthy, sheltered and warm, we should be happy with what we have.

Special thanks to my grandad for the inspiration for this post!