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Showing posts from October, 2010

Friday Footprints

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A trace of where we've been on the web this week...

set apart girl magazine

Leslie Ludy's online magazine has been a resource that the Lord has used mightily. Filled with pages and pages about life with Jesus, relationships, how to serve, and everything else between, it's one magazine you won't want to miss. Check it out!

Philippians 1:12

Sometimes circumstances can overwhelm us and make us feel hopeless, but that is often because we're looking at it from our own standpoint, not God's. Bethany Beasley shares Philippians 1:12 and a thought-provoking post on how God can use whatever situation you're in right now for His glory.

Until next week,
Joanna, Jessina, and Megan

Quotations: Setting Your Affections Above

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The true cure for a dull memory in religion, is to get deeper love toward Christ, and affections more thoroughly set on things above. We do not readily forget the things we love, and the objects which we keep continually under our eyes. The names of our parents and children are always remembered. The face of the husband or wife we love is engraved on the tablets of our hearts. The more our affections are engaged in Christ’s service, the more easy shall we find it to remember Christ’s words. The words of the apostle ought to be carefully pondered: “We ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” (Heb. 2:1.) J.C. Ryle
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Guys. Girls. Friends?

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It’s one of the biggest questions for girls: “What does it look like to be ‘just friends’ with a guy?”

And as a Christian, I feel the question is fraught with even more worry and questions. There’s all this talk about purity and sisters and guarding your heart and not enough about what it looks like practically. Is it even okay to have guy friendships? Is it even possible?

These questions were on my mind a lot last year, when I went to college and made a lot of guy friends for the first time. What does it look like to have a God-honoring friendship with a guy? Everything I read seemed to be in the context of dating or marriage. What about just friends?

I’m going to share some things that I’ve learned, but please know that this just a start – I’m still learning! Please don’t take these suggestions and boundaries as legalistic; they are simply ways that I have found to be helpful in navigating these friendships. That being said, I do think they are based on some wise principles.
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Let m…

Friday Footprints

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A trace of where we've been on the web this week...
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Doubt's Beauty
Robin Dance writes this beautiful post over at (in)Courage about questioning God: "Paradoxically and mysteriously, the way faith often functions, God redeemed what I considered 'counter-Godly' to be used to bring me closer to him." A must-read.
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Lessons on the Sanity of Friendship
Nicki has a great little article up on She Seeks about some of the things she's learned about being a good friend. And don't miss Shannon's follow-up video, where she talks about learning your friendship style.
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The Disease Called "Perfection"
Ever feel like you have to wear a mask and pretend to measure up to everyone and everything...just so people don't find out that you really don't? This is a stunning article by Single Dad Laughing shows what a dangerous and tragic thing this really is - and how much it has infested every corner of our society. I'm not sure whether he's writing…

Quotations: On Failure

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"After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very
often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this
power of always trying again. For however important chastity (or courage, or
truthfulness, or any other virtue) may be, this process trains us in habits of
the soul which are more important still. It cures our illusions about ourselves
and teaches us to depend on God. We learn, on the one hand, that we cannot trust
ourselves even in our best moments, and, on the other, that we need not despair
even in our worst, for our failures are forgiven. The only fatal thing is to sit
down content with anything less than perfection."
C.S. Lewis -

Conversations | Edition Ten

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Continuing our weekly conversations . . .
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The deal: Each Thursday, we announce a question of the week. We seek to ask questions that spark interesting conversations, whether it simply be about books, traditions, spiritual disciplines, more theological matters, or anything related to life in general. You can join in our conversations two ways:
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1. Leave a comment with your thoughts!
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2. Or, if you prefer, post an answer on your own blog and leave us a link to your post so we can comment and add to the conversation. If you post on your own blog, you are welcome to use the picture above as long as you link back to us somewhere in your post.
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This week's question...
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Yesterday we shared some of our favorite artists and songs. Now, we want to hear from you! What has been playing over and over on your iPod? What are your favorite albums?

Bloom! Favorites: Music Edition

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 Several of you mentioned last week that you'd like to see some more music reviews on the blog. So we decided today to share some of our current favorite music albums. Please feel free to share your own favorites in the comments!

1 Painted Red by JJ Heller
It is no secret that JJ Heller is currently my favorite music artist. I love this album's indie sound along with its beautiful and contemplative lyrics. Save Me and All I Need are probably my two favorite songs from the album. And, by the way, JJ Heller is coming out with a new album on October 19 - be excited! (Jessina)

2 Seasons EPs by Jon Foreman
Jon Foreman, whose articles we have linked to around here before, has four different EPs based on the four seasons. The majority of his songs have a melancholy and reflective sound as well. Two of my favorites are House of God Forever and The Cure for Pain. (Jessina)

3 The Light Meets the Dark and Over and Underneath by Tenth Avenue North
If I had to pick a favorite artist right n…

Grace, Truth, and Time

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"Growth = grace + truth + time."

Kim leaned over and wrote that little formula on top of my paper. I'd just been confessing to her how frustrated I was with myself, with my continual struggles and failings and sins.

"What's the matter with me? Why am I still struggling with so much?" I asked her. If intentions counted for anything in the Spiritual Development program, I should have been perfect already.

Or at least awfully close to perfect, if you want to be precise and remind me that we'll never be perfect here on this earth.

But Kim gently reminded me of something I'd never paid attention to before: to grow in our relationship with God and develop spiritually, we need His grace. We need His truth. But we also need time. It won't happen over night.

As she pointed out to me that day, there are a lot of similarities between spiritual growth and physical growth. I can imagine my five-year-old sister coming to me and telling me, quite seriously, t…

Conversations | Edition Nine

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-Continuing our weekly conversations . . .
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The deal: Each Thursday, we announce a question of the week. We seek to ask questions that spark interesting conversations, whether it simply be about books, traditions, spiritual disciplines, more theological matters, or anything related to life in general. You can join in our conversations two ways:
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1. Leave a comment with your thoughts!
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2. Or, if you prefer, post an answer on your own blog and leave us a link to your post so we can comment and add to the conversation. If you post on your own blog, you are welcome to use the picture above as long as you link back to us somewhere in your post.
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This week's question...
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We want Bloom! to be a community where we can all talk about things that are important and relevant to us and things that we're going through. With that in mind, is there any topic that you would like to see us address? Is there something you wish we'd do more of or less of? We want to know what you think!

**EDIT*…

Quotations: The World Needs Women

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A Holy Struggle

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"Many of my daily preoccupations suggest that I belong more to the world than to God. A little criticism makes me angry, and a little rejection makes me depressed. A little praise raises my spirits, and a little success excites me. It takes very little to raise me up or thrust me down. Often I am like a small boat on the ocean, completely at the mercy of its waves. All the time and energy I spend in keeping some kind of balance and preventing myself from being tipped over and drowning shows that my life is mostly a struggle for survival: not a holy struggle, but an anxious struggle resulting from the mistaken idea that it is the world that defines me." (Henri Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son, pg. 42)
Lately, I have felt very much like a small, vulnerable boat tossing about and struggling to stay afloat in a vast sea. Just after I think I’ve learned how to stay upright, some new struggle crashes into me and upsets my delicate balance. Recently I have been hit by a wave…

Friday Footprints

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We apologize for disappearing for a little while! But come back Monday and we'll be back to our regular posting schedule. In the meantime, here's a trace of where we've been on the web this week for your weekend reading!
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Why I'm Scared of Community & Why I Need It
Bonnie Gray writes on (in)courage about real community and what it means: "True spiritual community is based on a spiritual connection to One Friend who unconditionally approves of us. Contrast this with human community, which is a social network of friends based on mutual approval. This type of community is based on our expectations of how we think people should interact with us, with God, and others."
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Fighting For Life
Lila Rose is a 22-year-old woman doing great things. For the past four years, she has appointed herself an undercover investigator to expose Planned Parenthood. Here, she writes a bit about her experiences.
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Experiencing the Resurrection Life
Josh Harris has a few great quotes (from…