It cripples us and causes us to entertain irrational thoughts. It blinds us from truth and holds us captive. Because of it, we become stand-still, unable to move - or we are the polar opposite, shrieking, running, and shoving our way out. It keeps us imprisoned without the use of chains, locks, or bars.
These are the reactions to a monster we all face - no one is exempt from being held in its clutches.
Its name is Fear.
There are various types of fears. Some are rational: large snakes, the dark, heights. These can give us a healthy respect to potential dangers and can cause us to be careful when engaging in activities where they are present. Other fears are more unique: clowns, tight spaces, dogs. They may seem ridiculous to others, but are often instilled in us due to personal experiences.
Then there are larger fears. When - and how - will I die? What if my mom or dad is seriously injured at work? What if my spouse someday cheats on me? What if the kids get abducted while at prescho…
The neighborhood I live in is locally known for housing many people with significant mental disabilities. Having worked at the coffee shop nearby, I've quickly gotten to know a number of these people and form relationships on a regular basis.
As I was walking to school earlier this week, I came across one of these gentlemen - whose conversation with me would include one of the most profound statements I've heard in a long time.
Humility: a word scoffed at by the world - and yet, one of the central aspects of Christianity. Christ's humility brought redemption. Our humility - given by God - causes us to surrender. The church's humility allows God to work and sanctify. Humility must be that which Christ-followers continually strive for.
And yet, humility is so often misunderstood - and really, undesired - by Christians.
This week I was allowed the privilege to write a guest post for Heather's Ambitions. Heather is doing a series of posts written by various bloggers about verses or sayings that have impacted them and taught them lessons about God.I hope this post centering on God's sovereignty and His plan for His glory and your good might encourage your soul to stand firm in Christ throughout all the storms of life."When Your World Crumbles" by Mandie PitreFor His Glory,
"Relax..." If I had a dime for the amount of times I've heard those words in my life, I'd be a billionare.
I'm the type of person that has always struggled with being still. I'm a "go-getter": always running around from one place to the next, taking extra shifts at work or responsibilities at church, starting new things, and making more commitments. Ever since I've graduated from school, but especially since I moved out on my own, I've barely stopped.
As long as I can remember, I have always been a perfectionist.
Whether it was school, music, sports, or spelling, I would always push myself to the limit - if not past it. Though there is a lot to commend in someone who desires to do his best, there is a false hope that I have noticed can be particularly harmful for perfectionists: we can become in danger of deceiving ourselves into distorting the message of the Gospel, by believing that an achievement of "perfection" could be our hope for righteousness.
So, for those of us who also struggle against perfectionism, here are three truths that we need to remind ourselves: 1) I Can Never Be Perfect
As silly as this may sound, I have spent much of my life frustrated to the point of extreme depression by the fact that I would never be perfect. So many times I would think back over my day or week or life, and as I reminded myself of my actions and attitudes in various situations (especially traits that continually popped up), I woul…
In your personal devotions and Scripture readings, have you ever found yourself continually reading through the same types or genres of books and (possibly unintentionally) ignoring others all together? Maybe you have that "go-to" book that you default to whenever you don't know which book to read through next, but (more often than not) some books just seem really boring or useless for the twenty-first century.
That word seems to have the power to cause dread in any young (and not-so-young) adult's life. Being labeled as "single" is often perceived as being a failure, rejected, or unloved. We are so quick to determine our value by others' opinion of us, and the reminder that we don't have that "special someone" is just another jab in the side.
But why does being "single" always have to have a negative connotation?
What if we decided to change our perspective? If we saw this unique period in our life as it is - unique? What if, instead of bemoaning our singleness, we embraced it?
So often I want to blend right in with the crowd. The thought of being singled out or ridiculed because I might be different from others in a particular area is just plain awkward and uncomfortable. I don't exactly enjoy standing up for what I believe while everyone else standing around isn't afraid to let you see them smirk at your "queerness" - especially when it concerns my faith.
And yet, that's exactly what I'm called to do.
Poetry is one of those genres I've never written much of, but I love it. It has a way of connecting with your emotions that no other form seems to possess. Maybe it's the rhythm, or perhaps it's all the literary uses of alliteration, similes, and rhyme patterns - I don't know. Regardless, a well-written poem is a beautiful piece of literary art.
"for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." - Philippians 2:13
This is one verse I have been constantly reminding myself of lately. I'm the type of person that always feels the need to prove (even if just to myself) that I can defeat or conquer or complete something on my own.
What strikes me about this verse is the critical reminder of my total dependency on God.
This weekend I enjoyed the privilege of attending a wedding of some dear friends of mine. The wedding was beautiful, the bride was radiant, and the evening was a joyous celebration of two lovebirds joining into life-long union.
As I sit here musing over the wedding celebration, this evening brought a question to mind.
"If you take away one thing from this book, let it be this: Jesus has no half-hearted followers."
~ This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years, Jaquelle Crowe, p. 19
This statement reveals the heart of the author's message in her new and first book. Written by one teen to another, This Changes Everything challenges young people to center their lives on Christ - not just in theory, but in every word, thought, action, and decision they make even today.
As Christians in our modern-day world, we are constantly put under pressure to keep our faith silent, especially concerning anything that may be offensive. This is especially evident when discussing the truth about Hell. People do not want to be told they will go to Hell because they rebelled against God, and so they refuse to listen and will often push us away when we speak of it.
Unfortunately, more and more often people do not need to tell Christians to 'lay off'. Instead, we automatically assume others are not interested in or willing to consider the Gospel, and so we never (or fairly rarely) give them the opportunity to hear the ultimate story - the story of a King who would die for His people for His glory's sake.
We have a variety of reasons for why we think we aren't sharing the Gospel with those around us. Perhaps we assume we are being kind by not making others feel uncomfortable. Maybe we don't want to scare that friend from Jesus or make them think that…
It's a freezing cold day here in Halifax. It's days like these that people seem more likely to be irritable and frustrated. People mumble and grumble over pretty much nothing - all because there are freezing temperatures and blustering winds. Funny how our whole attitude can be affected so easily by something like the weather.
All too often, we lose our joy in life just as easily. One moment, everything is perfect and wonderful and the world is great; the next, the world is out to get us with fire and brimstone. It only takes one small thing - a rude comment, a long line, a messed-up coffee, an unexpected (and undesired) snowfall - and happiness is ruined. We spend the rest of our day frustrated and miserable.
Have you ever felt beyond being loved? That if people knew who you really were - complete with all your faults, problems, and mistakes - they would turn away and leave you? You know who you truly are behind the facade so often kept up.
Does it ever seem as if there are not enough hours in a day (or week... or month) to do all the things that you need to do? So often it's as if we are perpetually playing catch up from the day before. Inevitably some things tend to get dropped as business increases and time decreases.
The things that we generally ignore when we feel that time is limited shows what our priorities are. We usually do not stop doing the things we see as most important, so we end up letting go of what we do not consider necessary.
In light of this, I can't help but ask, why do we so often ignore God when we are busy?
Do you ever feel as if God has forsaken you? You know in your mind that God loves you and that "for those who love God all things work together for good" (Romans 8:28), but do you ever struggle to actually feel that God is near when the dark storm clouds come rushing in? Have you ever been so lost in depression that you simply lose all hope, that you feel as though God no longer cares?
I have. In spite of all I know and believe is true about who God is, His sovereignty, and His love, I still struggle so often with my feelings and emotions. It's easy in those moments of deepest despair to feel as if we are completely alone, that no one understands, and that none care.
How do you focus on God when you feel so lost - when you feel as if you are drowning in a whirlpool and you don't have the strength or ability to get yourself out?
Out of all the places I had been hoping to be working for at this point in my life, the fast food industry was not one of them. This time last year I felt as though I was finally "moving up the social ladder" in my occupational life, but due to various circumstances and necessary consideration, I left my previous job and soon found myself making ends meet at a fast food joint.
So often in life, we find ourselves in situations that we don't want to be in, but we currently have no control over. How should we, as Christians, respond in these situations?
Here are three truths God has been teaching me about the attitude and character He requires of me:
During the past couple of weeks I have come to truly appreciate the email subscriptions to blogs and websites that provide encouragement and teaching to Christians throughout the week - a few favorites of mine being jaquelle.ca, www.challies.com, and www.desiringGod.org. Though admittedly I don't read every article sent to me, the ones I have read have been a great source of encouragement to me.
My read this morning was a post Desiring God emailed to me yesterday (February 8, 2017), titled "Seven Costs of Disciple-Making" by David Mathis. In his excellent exhortation, Mathis not only discusses what disciple-making is, but more importantly what makes it so difficult. This challenging article showed me the heart of Christians' neglect to disciple: discipling is a costly road, and we in our self-centredness would prefer the cheap and easy routes.
So often, when we share the truth of the Gospel with others, we can have a tendency to end our presentation with the following: choose whether you want to go to Heaven or Hell. We want our faith to sound easy and appealing so that others will be attracted to it.
The thing is, many people are quite okay with letting a God take care of their punishment and then just living their lives the way they want. Sure, they'll try to do some good things (don't kill anyone, be a good person, read your Bible, pray, be involved in a church, start a youth group, take care of the poor and needy, counsel others, etc.), but at the end of the day, their lives and everything about them is more-or-less the same.
Here's my point: Christianity isn't about making one big choice and then continuing to live your life no differently. Christ didn't come and die for us simply so we can say "thanks" and keep going on life's journey however we'd like. This misses the entirety o…
Thank you for stopping by my blog. My name is Mandie Pitre, and I am a young adult who loves to read and write, especially about God and living for Christ.
Writing is one of my main ways to not only express myself, but to understand myself better and stay focused on what I know is true.
Reading so many great books by authors such as the Josh and Alex & Brett Harris, David Platt, Kevin DeYoung, and Greg Gilbert - as well as following other blogs and websites such as jaquelle.ca, challies.com, DesiringGod, The Gospel Coalition, and AlbertMohler.com - have encouraged and inspired me to hold fast to Christ, regardless of what is happening in my life or how I feel.
This is why I want to write. God has used reading and writing in my life to draw me closer to Him - I simply wish to see if maybe He would use me and my desire to write about Him for His glory.
Hope this humble little blog might be used as a source of encouragement.
As we are presented with the Gospel, each of us is faced with the fact that we have a choice to make. We either continue resisting God, refusing the gift of full pardon for our crimes and eternal life by insisting on being our own gods and choosing to live in our fantasy worlds; or, we can choose to humble ourselves, admit that we can't save ourselves, and accept God's gift of redemption - we stop trying to be god, and surrender our throne to the one who really is God.
Our response will have implications. If we refuse God, we will get what we asked for - separation from God. This may be presently preferred, as we can do whatever we want without having to follow someone else's rules - but one day we will have to answer to a Holy God for the choice we made, whether we our faith and trust in Him or not. If we reject God in our life, we will spend eternity in Hell in our death, forever separated.
If, however, we believe that Jesus came, lived, died, and resurrected to redeem …
A word that is so often misunderstood. But what does it really mean?
Type "definition of Christianity" into your average browser's search engine, and you'll come across an answer such as "the religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or its beliefs and practices". In the secular world, "Christianity" simply refers to a set of beliefs that surrounds the person of Jesus.
If you dig a little deeper and ask a self-proclaiming Christian, you should hopefully get a different and more in-depth answer. Though the responses may vary depending on their specific beliefs, many who call themselves "Christians" would describe Christianity as a life-style choice, or a relationship with God. Being a Christian means that Jesus Christ is your Saviour and, if you put your faith and trust in God, you will go to Heaven when you die.
But is that it? Is being a Christian simply about not going to Hell and having a God to he…
First off: Welcome! Thank you for the privilege you've given me by stopping on my blog!
As start off, I want to begin by considering what this blog is all about: how the truth of the Gospel transforms our lives. Due to the fact that there seemed too much information to cover in only one post, I decided to open up with a 3-part mini series, titled "The Truth About Christianity".
Over the next three posts, I will touch on three sections: What Christianity Is (and Isn't)Our (and My) Response to ChristianityOur Calling as Christians