On Being Third

Every Christian knows that their desires can’t come first in their life. God has to be our first thought.

However, something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is the fact that, even as we can’t be first, we can’t be second, either.

We have to come third.

Now, I know people talk a lot nowadays about how you have to ‘take care of yourself.’ They almost treat altruism as a character fault.

I don’t believe everyone should be giving all their food to the needy so that they starve in the process, etc., but you do need to make sure other people come before you as much as humanly possible.

As Christians, we are supposed to be unselfish and loving to other people.

Now, you could definitely say that, since God directly told us to love one another, loving God and loving other people is kind of the same thing. That’s probably true. However, sometimes pleasing other people is directly opposed to God.

For instance, perhaps your friend wants you to rob a convenience store so he can have his MilkWay bars for free. Now, obviously God has got to come first in this situation. You can’t place people before God.

However, placing yourself before other people? We all know that’s wrong.

So … be third.

First God.

Then everyone else.

Then you.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of summer!

~Kellyn Roth~

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Being Polite

In a world that becomes more anti-Christian every day, you’re sure to eventually run into some people who tell you that your beliefs are ridiculous.

Although I probably haven’t, I feel like I’ve heard it all.

“What, you don’t want women to have the right to choose what happens to their bodies? You’re so sexist.”

“You can’t say homosexuality is wrong! After all, it’s love, isn’t it?”

“Of course a man can pretend he’s a woman or vice-versa! After all, what they were naturally created to be doesn’t matter so much as what they feel like being.”

“I can’t believe you support {insert candidate here} … {he/she} believes in {insert belief here}.”

“Believing some sky-god created the universe is so stupid.”

“Then your God is racist/sexist/homophobic!”

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The world honestly wants to crush Christianity. I’ve seen it time and time again. They pretend they want to support all beliefs … but really they just want to support all the beliefs that don’t contradict their beliefs.

But that’s really not important.

What’s important is your response.

How do you react to the world’s heckling? Do you fly into a rage? Do you engage in venomous debates?

Well, you shouldn’t.

When someone challenges you about your faith …

Be polite.

As Christians, it is our duty to take the higher road.

As Christians, it is our duty to be kind and loving to everyone.

As Christians, it is our duty to represent Christ in a godly fashion.

Be the kind of person who makes other people want to be Christians. Stand firm in your beliefs … but don’t be caustic if they are challenged. Turn the other cheek.

~Kellyn Roth~

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Responsibility

Nowadays, people just don’t want to take responsibility for themselves.

If you get pregnant, it’s okay. You don’t have to deal with it. Just get an abortion. If you’re underage, your parents will have to pay for it anyway. You don’t have to take responsibility.

If you don’t want to get a job, it’s okay. You don’t have to deal with it. That’s what Obamacare, food stamps, and such are for. You don’t have to take responsibility.

If you riot and destroy personal property, it’s okay. You don’t have to deal with it. The government will ignore it. You don’t have to take responsibility.

If you reveal national secrets, it’s okay. You don’t have to deal with it. We’ll let you run for president. You don’t have to take responsibility.

Even if you’re not guilty of any of these things, you’re not taking responsibility for something, aren’t you? I imagine everyone here has done something wrong and then refused to take responsibility for it.

Thankfully, God offers us His great gift of grace, relieving us of our past mistakes and sins … but does that mean the consequences are removed?

The answer is NO.

Just because, as Christians, we are held down by our sins, that doesn’t mean the natural consequences are removed.

If you become pregnant as an unmarried woman, you still have that baby to raise all by yourself.

If you didn’t get a job, you have to starve.

If you riot and destroy personal property, you’re facing jail-time and fines.

If you reveal national secrets, you’re guilty of high treason and should be served the death sentence.

Unfortunately, our world is working as hard as it can to eliminate the consequences of our bad decisions. Nowadays you can do any of those things and get away with it. Perhaps there will be long-term consequences of some sort of another … but overall, you seem to slide by pretty easily.

But I beg you, don’t take the easy way out.

In the long run, the hard way is better.

Your actions are big. They are louder than words, louder than opinions, louder than sin itself.

Show that you’re the kind of person who takes responsibility, and they will respect you.

Show that you’re the kind of person who cares about your mistakes, and they will admire you.

So accept the responsibilities of your actions. Please, please don’t take the easy way out! If you did something wrong, ‘fess up, take the punishment, and don’t become that stereotypical millennial that everyone’s talking about.

You can be better than that.

Sincerely,

~Kellyn Roth of Reveries~

How much is too much?

 

That’s right. Today we’re talking about cosmetics. No, I’m not going to give you beauty tips. I’m going to talk about Christianity and makeup. Some people seem to think they don’t jive. Well, I disagree … to a certain extent. So here are my thoughts – and my advice – to you.

As girls, we want to look our best. We like to be pretty. Makeup can definitely enhance our natural beauty … or cover up anything you don’t think is beautiful. We also want to feel safe. Makeup can give you security. We want to be accepted. Makeup is definitely popular nowadays.

This isn’t going to be another post about you being beautiful on the inside. Being beautiful on the inside is what counts – but that’s not what this post is about. This post is about makeup.

I think I was about twelve when I started wearing cosmetics of any kind (except for costumes or when my big sisters put it on me). Of course, I only wore something to cover up that nasty acne (which was almost nonexistent then … *sigh*) and some lip gloss. I only bothered to put it on for special occasions.

Now? You won’t see me go a day without putting on my mascara and cover up if not more. Now, that’s not a lot, I know … but it’s every day no matter what and I don’t feel put-together until I put it on.

Here’s what I look like in the morning before and after makeup:

beforeandafter

It’s a bit of a difference … but it’s not a lot. I argue that, after some of the sleep got washed off of me, I wouldn’t look too bad without makeup.

So why do I feel like I need to wear it? Do I wear it for other people? No, I don’t think so. I’m not aching to attract a boy (my friends will affirm this … *apologizes to a lot of boys for being mean to them as kids*), my family knows what I look like without makeup, and most of my friends don’t wear makeup anyway.

So that must mean I wear it for myself. Because it makes me feel good. But in the Bible it says …

“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

We’re obviously not supposed to be too focused on outward beauty, then, right? Which means we shouldn’t wear makeup … right?

Well, to be honest, I don’t think the act of wearing makeup is wrong. I think you can wear any amount of makeup and still be a godly woman.

What matters is why.

Here are some bad reasons to wear makeup.

You Probably Shouldn’t Wear Makeup …

  • To attract boys. Look, you can’t wear that stuff for the rest of your life! 😉 Seriously, though, if you can’t attract him without makeup – without a face, for that matter – then he’s not worth it. Trust me. Whether or not you wear makeup in this case is totally irrelevant. (Not that you should remove all your makeup every time you meet a guy. That would be a hassle. Just that that shouldn’t be your reason for wearing it.)
  • To attract friends. Again, anyone who cares about how you look isn’t worth your time. You are a special, unique person, created by God for His glory, and you don’t need to be involved in any kind of meaningful relationship with anyone who judges you based on how you look.
  • To be beautiful. Hooooold it there, why else would you wear makeup? Well, I have some pretty good reasons, but first let me explain why this is a reason not to wear makeup. You already all beautiful! I thought we established this fact already. There’s no need to add a bunch of gunk onto your face. Cosmetics can’t make you beautiful. They can add to your natural beauty … or they can erase the true you and replace her with someone else, depending on how you use them. But they can’t make you beautiful.

Now that we’ve gotten through those, let’s move on to some good reasons for wearing makeup.

You Should Wear Makeup …

  • To dress up. Makeup is no different than a fancy dress and a new pair of shoes! You wear nice clothes to church, right? Then wear makeup to church, too, if you choose to! So wear makeup because you want to ‘dress up’ nicely.
  • To glorify God. Say what? That’s right! As I said before, wearing makeup is no different than putting on nice clothes … and if you can put on nice clothes to glorify God (which I really think you can), then you can put on makeup to glorify God. You are His perfect creation, and you represent Him. Look your best!
  • To have fun. You gotta admit, putting makeup on is fun!

So is wearing makeup wrong? Not at all! However, you can wear makeup for the wrong reasons. So take a peek inside your heart. Why do you wear makeup? Is it really for the right reasons, and are you really honoring God by doing so?

Let’s go back to the title question.

How much is too much?

There is no such thing! Wear as much makeup as you want to wear. Just remember that, as a Christian, you are representing God, so …

  • Don’t call unnecessary attention to yourself. Leave that to the movie stars and models. 😉
  • Don’t make yourself look garish or ridiculous. Remember that makeup is to enhance your natural beauty … not to make a whole new you!
  • Let God be your guide. If you feel like makeup is going to call attention away from what is important – namely glorifying God – then don’t wear it! Use your conscience. 🙂

Before I go, a quick disclaimer:

It’s not just up to you.

Your parents get to make the final decision as to whether you wear makeup or not and how much makeup you wear. Remember to respect their opinions. They probably have a good reason for their decisions. If you want more makeup privileges, try bringing it up to them in a respectful manner. 🙂

Thanks for reading,

stars

Do you wear makeup? Why or why not? What kind of makeup do you wear (if you do)? How often do you wear it? What are your thoughts on the great makeup debate? Comment below!

Merry Christmas! And I mean it.

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Hiya y’all!

Before I go any farther, I just want to say …

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Don’t you DARE be afraid to say it to EVERYONE you meet in these next couple weeks! HAPPY HOLIDAYS IS HEREBY BANNED FROM YOUR VOCABULARY!!! Politically correct? Puhleeze. Don’t even try. Trust me; it’s impossible to be a politically correct Christian (see my most favorite non-carol Christmas song).

Why can’t you be a politically correct Christian?

Because the Truth isn’t politically correct anymore.

It isn’t politically correct to say that homosexuality is a sin.

It isn’t politically correct to say that women can’t kill their babies.

It isn’t politically correct to say that Jesus Christ is the only Way, the only Truth, and the only Life.

Never be afraid to shout the truth to the world! Don’t fight with every person you come into contact with … but you do have to stand up for what you believe in.

Sorry for this being such a short post, but hopefully it’s ‘short and sweet.’ 😉

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Recommitment

imageSome people believe in the ‘age of accountability.’ Essentially, this means that, until a certain age (most say twelve or thirteen), children are not accountable for their actions as they are not old enough to choose Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

This way, infants – especially those who died before birth due to miscarriage or abortion – would be able to get to heaven despite the fact that they never became Christians in the traditional sense of believing in Jesus, etc.

However, this idea doesn’t really make sense to me. I want it to be true … but children choose to be the little brats they are (’cause I know I did! Do, actually … I’m not past being a little brat … only now I’m a big brat … and pretty soon I’ll be adult brat … it’s really not cool!) it’s not mentioned in the Bible. It says in Psalm 51:5 –

“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

Obviously from this verse (which can be taken literally … I think all the Psalms can, actually. *holds opinion stubbornly*), we’re sinners from the moment of conception … how can babies get into heaven unless they’re washed by God’s blood? And unless they believe (and I think we’ll all agree that babies can’t really choose God), how can we receive God’s gift of grace?

It’s very confusing, and I’ve yet to have anyone give me a straightforward answer to it. I only believe in God’s incredible grace and mercy and know that He wouldn’t let a little baby go to hell.

bible-1806079_960_720However, regardless of the existence of the ‘age of accountability’ or not, you’ll notice that growing up in Christian homes can breed a sort of a ‘I’m good’ attitude.

You know what I mean (whether this applies to you personally or not). Ever since you were four you’ve been a Christian. You’ve gone to church all your life. All your family and friends are Christian. You’re surrounded by light. You’re good.

Well, we know that’s not true. Growing up in a Christian family doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to church does! Sure, it helps (sometimes … unless you’re rebellious … like me) … but it doesn’t automatically write you in God’s book of good little children. (I know y’all know this … but it needs stated again and again!)

And then there’s that commitment to God you made when you were four. I’m not saying it’s no longer legitimate … but, well, you’re growing up, and, if you were honest, could you say you really own it?

When you were four, life was so simple, remember? Sleep, eat, play, eat, play, eat, sleep in that order. except on Christmas morning when it was more like “wake up at three, try to sleep, wake up at three ten, try to sleep, wake up at three fifteen …” etc. And Jesus was just a fact you accepted.

But sometimes it’s good to question things. It leads to answers, and if you look hard enough, you’ll always find ones that prove time and again that God’s really alive and He’s really the good Father everyone says He is.

There comes a time in every girl who was raised in a Christian family when the faith that your mother and father believe in needs to become the faith you believe in, in a bigger way than you did when you were four. unless you’re Elsie Dinsmore. Hey, that rhymed!

For me, I think I was pretty much in the ‘I’m good’ attitude until a couple years back when I started making Christianity my own. I even got re-baptized. It wasn’t something that happened all of the sudden, of course. It happened slowly, over a period of several years, and I’m still a baby in Christ, but … well, I’m working on it. It’s a slow process, all right?! What? Only for me. Hmm …

So, do you need to recommit to God?

Are you relying on your parents’ faith to save you? Are you just going through the motions or are you seriously involved in worship, in serving your Lord? At your church? At home? At school? Everywhere? Do you really have a personal relationship with God, a relationship all your own that no one can take away from you?

Everyone learns a different way, but here are some things that I’ve done to [try to] form a more personal relationship with God (although … yeah … I’ve yet to find out if they actually work … so bear with me! 😉 ).

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  1. Pray. Always #1! Prayer is so important! Trust me; your prayers are always answered. Sometimes the answer isn’t one you want (“no” or “wait” aren’t always the best words to hear!) … but then, quite honestly, what you want isn’t really the priority … it’s what you need. Recently I started keeping a ‘prayer journal.’ I don’t write my prayers in it (that would take waaay too long), but I write certain prayer requests, lists of people I want to pray for, bits of my thoughts, and a list of ‘praises’ (because it’s important to look at the positive side of praying, too! It can get depressing sometimes! :/ ).bible-1136784_960_720
  2. Read God’s word. Reading the Bible is probably #2. Make sure you get some in every day! I try to do a chapter every evening. Some people are more dedicated (I’m reading a short story – or would be in I didn’t keep getting distracted by NaNoWriMo – in which a girl is trying to read 20 chapters every day!), but a chapter every day is a good goal for me. I’m reading through Psalms right now. Although … I skip around a lot. Some days I’m like, “Ooh, Ruth looks good!” and other days I’m like, “Oh, John! I always liked John …” Yeah … well, at least I’m reading it … in random bits and pieces … 😛team-386673_960_720
  3. Spend time with other Christians. ‘Fellowshipping,’ in other words. So important. There are so many chapters in the book of Proverbs about choosing your friends wisely. I’m not saying don’t talk to non-Christians (do! How else can you share the truth?). I’m just saying you also need to spend a lot of time with fellow Christians. And I don’t mean at a Bible study (although you could do that, too, I suppose) or anything like that. Just hanging out – watching a movie, chatting about boys (if you’re *cough cough* so inclined … I’m not, usually) or your latest novel (if you’re me) or … singing Taylor Swift songs drastically out of key. You know, whatever you do with your friends. We, personally (if you can use that word to describe more than one person), dive into creeks in freezing cold weather or play violent games on trampolines. Christians, with Jesus’ awesomeness shining through them, are the lights of world. You need to be around that light to nurture your own.fantasy-181304_960_720
  4. Study historical and scientific proof of Christianity/Creationism. I don’t know how anyone could see the strong evidence that evolution is impossible and that events of the Bible actually happened (miraculously so!) and ignore it. It’s absolutely unbelievable how pig-headed people are! XD Really, though, do it! Besides, you can tell your mom (if you’re homeschooled) that it’s for school. And you’ll be smart. And a better Christian. And math isn’t really necessary. You can ditch math. It’ll work. Trust me. Riiiiiiight.

Well, that’s all I have to say today. That may not have been a very impressive post, but I tried my best.

Until December (when you’ll have to put up with me again),

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God for President?

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Today millions of American have to choose between two presidential candidates.

One is Delilah in her trickiest form.

The other is a bull-headed Samson.

That’s a hard choice, and I won’t even try to tell you which one is better. This is one of the most debated elections in the history of the USA, and I think I’ll stay out of it, especially since I can’t vote. 😛

Secular audiences seem to be of the opinion that if Clinton or Trump (whomever is their favorite) is chosen, America is going to become ‘great’ again. Because man is going up, up, up! (Ha!)

But that leads to the supposition that America was once great before.

Let’s think. When was America great? Most would say it was pretty good when the US first started up, back in the late 1700s. They might say it was greatest in the 1940s, the 1910s, or some point during the 1800s. Some point back to the 1950s as the ‘good old days.’

I don’t have a personal opinion about this, though as a general rule, I say that if it was before 1960, America was doing pretty good.

What did all those eras have in common? I find these three is most (because Sin is always there, but generally) every movie and book written pre-1960.

  1. Respect for elders. The teachings of those who came before us were never ignored. As the teachings of God are a big part of the teachings of those who came before us (especially in American history), the teachings of God were respected and oftentimes believed and, furthermore, OWNED.
  2. Respect for morality. What was right and wrong was never debated. It just wasn’t, and most of it (if not all) was Biblical (based on God’s word). I’ve never watched a movie made during the 1940s (or 1930s) that didn’t give me a good feeling inside because they were just so clean! Even if the subject-matter was slightly depressing (such as a war story or something like that), there was a respect for morality – for the right thing triumphing – and this made the movie somehow happy. This doesn’t mean they were all perfectly free of bad stuff. It just means that the bad stuff was treated as bad, and, though probably less importantly, it was handled classily. But … yep, that’s another conversation entirely.
  3. Respect of [or belief in] God. The other two points were basically another name for this one. God was respected, His rules were respected, and America served Him. You’ll hear a million stories about men fighting during WW2 who stopped and prayed before a battle. They weren’t scorned or thought to be odd; they were accepted, respected, and joined.

I’m not saying that everyone was a Christian. I’m saying that Christianity in one form or another was the accepted religion, and its laws were the ones that were followed.

Yes, yes, we’ve made many technical advancements and a lot of things that used to be okay (like not letting people of certain races have the same privileges) have been changed … but America is no longer great. It’s a good IDEA, but it’s ceased to be put into ACTION.

God made America great.

Now, hold it a minute, you say. America hasn’t been God-driven in forever!

Well, it hasn’t been great in forever! This isn’t a recent thing! We’ve been going downhill for forever!

So if we really want America to be great, there needs to be a revival of Christianity in a big way. A similar revival to the one found in Acts, perhaps:

“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” (2:41)

“And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (2:47)

“However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men [not counting women and children in some translations] came to be about five thousand.” (4:4)

“And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” (5:42)

That’s some pretty huge growth! Think about it. Thousands upon thousands of people are being saved in a space of weeks – or days, even. I argue that that can happen again. Why can’t it? We have the Holy Spirit; God’s still alive and working in this world in big ways. Yes, there were eye-witness accounts, but we still have them in the Bible.
Maybe people are more skeptical now than they were around the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. They have other ways for the existence of the world, other explanations for things ‘supposedly’ God-ordained, but God is all-powerful.
There can always be a revival. This isn’t the end of the world.

Only God can make America great again. 

So no matter who is elected today, we know that …
  1. God is in control and …
  2. Only HE can make America great again.

Thanks for reading,

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Diligence

Well, guys, one of my biggest problems as a human being is laid bare for the world as I push the blue button on the left labeled ‘published.’ We human beings like to hide our sins, so … this is hard for me.

On the other hand, I’m probably so full of sin that I don’t even realize the half of it!

Anyway, one of the things I find difficult in my life is diligence.

Diligence: careful and persistent work or effort.

I don’t know why, but …

I find it hard to finish things I start.

I find it hard to keep doing good work throughout the school year.

I find it hard to brush my dog every single week.

I find it hard to exercise often.

I’ll start out excited about something … and then my enthusiasm will fade away.

What does the Bible say about this? Well, there are many, many Bible verses about diligence, actually.

A few of my favorites include:

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. ~Proverbs 13:4

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. ~Galatians 6:9

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. ~2 Peter 1:10

So it’s clear that God values diligence, that He wants us, His children, to persevere in all things good (and yes, that does include cleaning out your cat’s litter box every single day!).

But what can we do about our own laziness?

Here are a few things that help me.

  1. Hold yourself accountable to your friends. Tell your friends that you are probably gonna be grounded and won’t be able to see them anymore if the lawn doesn’t get mowed weekly. Ask them to remind you if it seems like you’re forgetting.
  2. Hold yourself accountable to God. I know this may sound silly, but I sometimes wake up in the morning and say, “God, please strike me down with a lightning bolt if I don’t clean out the fish’s bowl today.” And the thing is, I’m only partially kidding … Seriously, though, folks. Tell God that you need help completing a task today! He always hears you, and He always helps.
  3. Checklists! What? I like making lists …
  4. Just getting in the habit. After a couple weeks of getting it down, you can’t sleep unless you’ve done something! I’m not even kidding. One of my problems a while back (like, a couple months ago!) was reading the Bible. I’d have trouble remembering to do it. Then I promised myself to read it every night without fail, and after forcing myself the first week or two, I can’t sleep until I read a bit, even if it’s only a verse or two.

Thanks for reading!

~Kellyn Roth

Can Christians be Gay?

I’m reblogging this wonderful post from pnuematicrain. 100% true.

Pnuematic Rain

(This was actually a response I made, but like some of my comments do, it turned into the size of a blog post, and while it is not my usual style…)

Well, the difficulty here is that the bible clearly lays out homosexual acts as sin (Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:26 & 27, etc.). Today’s world would call that unjust, because most believe that homosexuality is something that people are born with. I.e: ‘Didn’t God make people gay?’

As a Christian, I do not doubt that people can be born with a stint toward homosexuality. But does that mean that GOD made them gay? The bible teaches that when sin was introduced to the world it corrupted all of humanity, it caused sickness and death to enter into the human race:

‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all…

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