Archive of ‘College’ category

The Power of Your Story (Part 1)

In the past three years, God has continued to show me over and over again how he can take my story and use it for his plan and his purpose. For the longest time I struggled believing this. I thought there was no way that God could use my broken life in any positive way. My freshman year of college, I was sexually abused. Immediately, the feeling of shame entered my heart.

I thought my story was filled with too much pain to bring God glory. Have you ever thought your story was too shameful to share or help anyone?

We all have a story, and we all have parts of our story we don’t think will bring the world any good. We all have been through challenges in life. We all have faced heart ache, anger, sadness, struggles, but if you are a believer in Christ and have a personal relationship with him, God can and will use your story to bring him glory.

Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

God has a purpose and a plan for your story. He knows that it will be used to further his kingdom, impact eternity, and bring him glory.

Why, you ask?

Because our stories are powerful.

Revelation 12:10-11 says, “And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.  And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.”

These verses take place in the middle of a battle between God and Satan. “They” refers to Christians, and the verses explain the two ways that Christians can triumph over Satan.

The two reasons are:

  1. By the blood of the Lamb – Jesus’s death on the cross and his resurrection.
  1. By the word of our testimonies – our stories.

Our stories have so much power that they are in the same sentence as the power of Jesus’s death!

Why do our stories have this power? Because if you are a Christian, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is inside of you. The power of the Holy Spirit is inside you.

Your story is an extension of God’s power.

God has shown me how my story is powerful. He has used it to bring him glory.  He has brought many women to me who have similar stories and used my story to help these women find power in their stories. He has used my story to impact others eternities. He can and will make a beautiful thing out of all your pain and suffering.

Never let Satan convince you that your story has no purpose. Never let him convince you that your story is too shameful to share with others.

Allow God to use your story to bring him glory.

 

Check out: The Power of Your Story (Part 2) and The Power of Your Story (Part 3)

 

I hope this post has been encouraging! Be sure to add me on social media and share my blog with your friends! Thanks!

                       

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3 Ways to Grow During Summer Vacation

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Dear Summer Vacationing College Student,

Congrats on making it through another year of college!

Now you get to rest up! Enjoy your break, time away from school, and rest! Not only does summer provide rest, but it can also challenge your faith and obedience to Jesus. During the school year, you have your routine. You wake up, drink your coffee while reading the word, get ready, and go to class. But during the summer, you might not have a schedule, and it becomes easier to forget about spending time with God. Summers can also be spiritually isolating because you might be going home to non-Christian family and friends, and you’ll be away from your church and Christian community. All of this can make growing in your walk with God a challenge, but take heart because you can make decisions now that will allow you to continue to grow during the summer.

Why is it important to continue growing in your walk with God during the summer and not just take the months off?

If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:10-11 (NIV)

Joy (not me Joy, but the adjective which is a settled state in the mind of contentment, confidence, and hope) can be complete! This means that we can have contentment – we will no longer think something else will satisfy us more than Jesus, confidence – we will no longer doubt God’s love for us, and hope – we will no longer question the point of our sufferings. We will have complete joy when we keep God’s commands and remain in his love. And how can we do that? By continuing to grow in our walk with the Lord, spending time with him, and getting to know him more.

Now that you know why this is so important, here are 3 ways to grow during summer vacation:

Daily time with God in the Word. The number one priority in your day and life must be fellowship with God. To get to know someone, you must spend time with them.

  • Plan into your day 30-45 minutes or as long as you would like to read the Bible, pray, journal, and worship. Set a practical realistic goal. For example, if you know you only have time for a 20 minute devotional, then don’t plan an hour quiet time. You’ll end up feeling disappointed.
  • If you don’t know where to start, look for an inductive Bible study on a book of the Bible or download the YouVersion Bible app. This app will send you a notification each day to read the day’s verses.

Fellowship with believers. It is important to have Christian friends doing life with you. They can encourage you and provide Biblical truth when you need advice. It can be hard if you are going home to a place with no other believers, so you have to be intentional about seeking fellowship. Here are some ways to do that.

  • Get involved in a church while you’re home, maybe they have a college age summer Bible study.
  • Keep in touch with Christian friends from school. Partner up and decide that you will intentionally ask each other through the week how your quiet times are going and how you’re doing.
  • Read books by influential Christians. Right now I’m reading a book by a Crulebrity Chad Young called Authenticity.
  • Download church podcasts or apps to listen to their sermons. I’m home in Pittsburgh for the summer, so I downloaded my church from Tampa’s app so now I can listen to the sermons without being there. It helps me to feel connected!

Discipline. Discipline is the ability to order your life around the goals that you determined to accomplish or achieve.

  • Set spiritual goals for yourself for the summer.
  • What would you like to see God do in your life this summer?
  • Make a plan and stick to it. These decisions you make today can impact your summer and your eternity.

I want to encourage you all that you are not alone. I’m right there with you trying to figure out the transition back home for the summer and to make sure I continue growing. If you have any other ideas or found something that has worked for you comment below!

Love, Christian College Gal

 

For other Dear Friend Series posts click here!

Most of these ideas were pulled from my favorite resource Cru Press Green. Click here for the complete Cru Summer Survival Guide. I hope this post has been encouraging! Be sure to add me on social media and share my blog with your friends! Thanks!

                       

Approval Addiction

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My name is Joy and I’m addicted to approval.

I want to get real with you all. My desire for approval is an issue that God has revealed to me and has begun working on in my life. I’ve realized that this issue effects every aspect of my life. For example, I want my parents approval, and that sometimes leads me to follow their plan for my life over God’s plan for my life. I want my friends to like me, and because of that I’m not always honest or true to who God made me to be.

My approval addiction hinders my authenticity as a Christian, and hurts how others view Jesus.

I realize it is impossible for everyone in my life to approve of me. I’m working on realizing that none of their opinions matter, only God’s.

We want approval, and to gain it we think we have to perform. We perform when we change from who God created us to be into a person who we think others will like more.

Recently, I have started watching Dancing with the Stars. What drew me to the show was Candace Cameron Bure, most commonly known as DJ Tanner from Full House. Candace openly shares on the show that she puts faith first, likes the light, and performs for an audience of one.

On last weeks episode she said, “I always remember, that no matter how many people I’m performing for, I’m really performing for an audience of one. And that’s for God.”

I admire Candace because she is an authentic Christian. It would be easy for her to get upset over negative comments from the world, but she chooses to not let them bother her. Instead of letting them upset her, she chooses to only care about how God views her and how she is performing to him.

Thank you Candace for being a great example to the world and for being a truly authentic Christian.

People will always have opinions. Some may hurt you and some may help you, but we have to remember that what other people think of us doesn’t matter.

Who are you performing for? Who are you trying to please? Would God approve of what you say, think, and do?

Remember, you are performing for an audience of one.

candace-cameron-bure

I hope this post has been encouraging! Be sure to add me on social media and share my blog with your friends! Thanks!

                       

 

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