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Showing posts from November, 2009

Advent Conspiracy

- A friend recently brought to our attention a program known as the Advent Conspiracy. Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent, and as we enter into this Christmas season, we encourage you to watch the video below and consider participating in the Advent Conspiracy. It provides another opportunity to not only dwell more on the central meaning of Christmas, but also to show the world that young people can make a difference. Check it out!
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For more information, see here:
www.adventconspiracy.org
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grace & peace,
Jessina, Megan, and Joanna
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Thoughts on Thanksgiving

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- - Perhaps this was a rough year or a difficult few months. Perhaps your family is struggling because of the recession, or perhaps there have been some challenging family issues recently.
- Maybe it is difficult to be thankful this week--or at least to the extent you have been before. - We all know the story of the first Thanksgiving, with the pilgrims and the Native Americans and all that. But Thanksgiving didn't become a holiday then; the holiday actually began in 1777. - It was the middle of the Revolutionary War and a pretty bleak time for those on the American side. (Rather than a feast in 1776, two days were set aside for prayer and fasting.) Philadelphia fell to the British on September 26 and John Adams wrote dolefully that "The prospect is chilling, on every Side: Gloomy, dark, melancholy, and dispiriting." Worse news followed. More battles lost. A brutal "massacre" where over 300 American soldiers were killed and 100 taken hostage. - October 31 was the bat…

Friday Footprints & Giveaway Winner

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- - The random winner of our advent book giveaway is Kayla! Congratulations, Kayla! Just send us an e-mail at bloommag@comcast.net and let us know which book you would like to receive.
- And here's a trace of where we've been on the web this week... - Free Copy of Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand The Voice of the Martyrs is giving away free copies of Tortured for Christby Richard Wurmbrand. Just follow the link to sign up to receive your free copy. And you can send three free copies to your friends, too! - Goodness Precedes Greatness I read this article by Jon Foreman and was struck by the importance of his message. It is a call to new heroes. As Foreman writes, "I would like to suggest that the best parts of our human nature can be seen in sacrifice or surrender." - We'll be back Monday... - grace & peace, Jessina, Joanna, and Megan -

Advent Book Giveaway

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- The malls are decked with wreaths and Christmas trees, Christmas music has snuck into my Itunes account, and I saw my first Christmas lights yesterday. I know it's still November and not yet even Thanksgiving, but Christmas will be here soon!- In preparation for Christmas, Megan, Joanna, and I have been looking over a few advent devotional books for the Christmas season, which prompted us to have an early Christmas giveaway. Most of the following advent books are to be read throughout the Christmas season, some even starting in late November. So while Christmas might still be 39 days away, it's certainly not too early to begin to consider the reality of what we celebrate. - Here's the deal for the giveaway: We came across three advent books that we have looked over and highly recommend, but we couldn't choose which one to give away. So we decided instead tell you about all three and let the one winner choose which one book she likes best. Here are the choices: - - 1. Let E…

Friday Footprints

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- --- A trace of where we've been on the web this week...- Molly Piper in El Salvador Molly Piper just spent a week in El Salvador as a Compassion Blogger documenting the work of Compassion International and meeting her sponsored child. Check out her posts about her trip...and perhaps consider sponsoring a child. - Stories from India While we're on the theme of missions in places throughout the world, we thought we would direct you to Christina Dickson's blog (who recently wrote for us). She is currently in India taking pictures, documenting stories, and sharing the love of Christ. - Let Us Tell You a Story A challenging and convicting article by Chris Armstrong published on Christianity Today's website concerning the importance of spiritual biographies and how we should read them. - That's it for this week! We'll be back Monday. - grace & peace, Jessina, Megan, and Joanna - P.S. If you have any of your own articles or blogs that you'd like to bring to our attention t…

Sister to Sister: On Rest

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- - In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. Isaiah 30:15 - Dear Sisters in Christ,
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Rest has been a word that God continues to speak to my anxious heart and busy mind. As a student at Cornell University, I daily struggled with rest. And it was through these daily struggles that God taught me the importance of rest. He has revealed to me that in order to rest we must trust Him with our entire being for it is only in God that we find true rest. - St. Augustine said, "Thou hast formed us for thyself and our hearts are restless till we find rest in Thee." I think this explains why I want to relate with God. When I am not resting in Him, it becomes so easy to forget who God is and who I am in light of that. I begin to put my identity and trust in my work, my success, my personality. I give my heart over to other gods which inevitably fail me, and I find myself working harder and harder for a goal that I cannot achieve on my own. I become stresse…

A Circle of Words

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 I’m such a talker.
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I can talk about anything, write about anything, and read about anything. Sometimes, I can even make it sound like I know what I’m talking about. But sometimes, I hide behind my words. I’m so busy reading, writing, and talking about something that I’m not actually living it.
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And I find that I’m often approaching God this way. I want to learn all about Him, I want to soak up the rich nuggets of wisdom from others, I want to share what I’m learning. I read good, classic Christian books, subscribe to the blogs of people I admire and respect, and sometimes parrot these lessons and thoughts about God back out in my writing and conversations.
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And none of this is bad, of course. But all I’m doing is running in a circle around God. I learn all about others’ views of God, I talk about my own, and I just keep running, running, running.
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Do I ever slow down to actually come to the center of the circle, where God is? Do I ever stop running around to ask Him who He is? Do …

Friday Footprints

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- - A trace of where we've been on the web this week...
- Reading and Christian Charity My (Jessina) English teacher assigned my class to read this article on how a Christian should read classical literature. Of course it's not necessary to agree with everything the author suggests, but I found the essay very insightful. - A Disciple's Notebook We found this blog recently and have been inspired and challenged by the author's twice-weekly posts of excerpts from Christian literature. As the tagline says, the blog is composed of "simple, brief, and poignant truth for meditation to encourage sincere and pure devotion to Christ." - We'll be back on Monday! - grace & peace, Jessina, Megan, and Joanna -

The Good Christian

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- - Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you, in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer; the Confession of Sin-

Today, I think I am a good Christian. I read my Bible, and take careful notes. I pray often. I remember to write a note to the friend whose week is stressful; I encourage the girl next to me in class. Yes, I tell myself as I brush my teeth and prepare for bed, I’m certainly doing well at this Christian thing.-

Until, that is, I begin to pray this prayer. I can get through the first two lines just fine – I nod in agreement and think about how faithful and godly I am. Then, I reach line three. I stop. I r…

The Personal World Changer

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- Thanks for your patience as we took a temporary break from blogging. We're back this week with an excellent article by Christina Dickson. - - The New Testament is rich with profound stories of Jesus as He lived among us. Interestingly enough, most of these stories aren't about Jesus' miracles to the masses. The most powerful descriptions of His touch aren't to the entire state of the Jewish people or the Roman guard, or to the thousands that followed Him into the hills. - The greatest stories about Jesus are the personal ones. - Because Jesus is a personal savior. - Jesus sought out Philip. Nathaniel. Matthew. - Jesus healed the lame man. The official's son. The blind man. The leper. The paraplegic. Jesus conversed with Nicodemus. The Samaritan Woman. Mary. Martha. The Roman Officer. The Rich Young Ruler. Jesus redeemed the adulterous woman. The demon possessed man. The thief on the cross. Jesus washed each of His disciples' feet. - Though He had power over all things crea…