Children & Prayer

Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.””
‭‭{Mark‬ ‭10:15‬}

This past week I attended my church district kids/preteen camp. I worked in recreation and also with a group of young boys whenever I didn’t have a job to do. One night they opened the altars to pray and wow did these kids pray! Never underestimate children’s ability to pray and seek God. Seeing them flood the altars -some in tears and some with joy- with a desire to talk to God made me so emotional. My boyfriend and his nephew were also at camp and during this altar call his nephew went down to pray. We went and prayed with him and after a while I asked him if he wanted us to pray over anything specific. He gave me a prayer request and then I prayed with him some more. After that I asked him if there was anything else he wanted us to pray for. He responded, “I just wanna stay here and keep praying for as long as I can.” and that’s exactly what he did. He actually prayed until church ended! It was such a sweet and powerful moment seeing a 7 year old fall at the feet of Jesus not only for himself but to pray for the needs of others in his life. It was a great reminder that children and youth are not the church of tomorrow, but they are the church of today.

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Contentment in Christ

“To love God is to love His will. It is to be content with His timing and wise appointment.” -Elisabeth Elliot

Contentment in Christ begins with one thing: LOVE. When we have a love for God, it makes it so much easier to be content in Him. 

Contentment in Timing/Waiting:

This is the kind of contentment that can be the hardest (especially for teenagers and young adults). When we are waiting for something in life, it’s hard! Patience isn’t something we always have, however, in times of waiting it’s key, and is commanded:

“But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)”‭‭ Romans‬ ‭8:25‬ ‭
“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”‭‭  Psalms‬ ‭27:14‬ ‭
There’s nothing wrong be looking forward to something or the next phase of your life, but don’t let it consume you and make you discontent. Some things to remember in times of waiting or waiting on God’s (perfect) timing:

 1. God is in control!

 2. He has a plan!

 3. Rushing God’s plan/timing doesn’t help anything.

 4. There’s a purpose in waiting.
Check out this quote from C.S. Lewis:


Being content with God’s timing isn’t always easy, but be encouraged by this verse: 

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:31‬ 

Contentment When God Says, “No”

God always answers our prayers…however He doesn’t always answer the way we want Him to. There are times in life when God will say no to us. But we shouldn’t be discouraged or discontent because God’s “no” is not a rejection, it’s a redirection! We don’t usually understand why God says no to us however, “When God gives you a ‘No’, give Him a ‘thank you’. He was protecting you from less than His best.” That is a hard, but true statement. We have to realize that we are human, we don’t have the knowledge and wisdom God has. We must accept and be content with the fact that God knows more than us. 

Contentment During Trials:

This is the most difficult kind of contentment for me personally. When I’m going through stuff, I want to be content with God, but it’s hard. I get mad, but in the end I still want to please and honor God with my life. According to Bethany Baird, “A desire to please God says, ‘God, I will choose to serve you and praise you whether or not my circumstances ever change.'” That is a really really difficult thing to say and mean. What if your tough situation never changes? Could you truly be content with that? This is where prayer and a desire for the Lord is important. Philippians 4:11 says, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”

‭Paul is not saying that you have to LIKE the situation you are in. What he is saying is that we should be content with where God has put us and serve Him to the best of our ability in that situation.
Contentment is a daily struggle, one which can’t be done without a relationship with God. I encourage you to get into the word of God and find stories and verses that help you during times of discontentment. 
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭6:6‬ ‭

WORSHIP🙏💛

“For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”‭‭John‬ ‭4:24

We hear the word “worship” a lot. And as Christians, we are expected to do it. But what is it? What is worship? Most people tend to think of music and singing when the word worship is mentioned. Music and singing are great, but that’s not all there is to worship.
I love the way Mike Bickle says that worship is a lifestyle. If I had to put worship in a quote I would say,

“Worship is the way you live your life with the intent to honor God.”

Check out this song about worship. It truly hits home and has an amazing message: “Clear the Stage” by Jimmy Needham

Worship takes sacrifice! In 2 Samuel 24:10-25, David was building an altar to God. David was the KING! He didn’t have to go and buy the threshing boards for the altar, but he chose to because David REFUSED to sacrifice unless it COST him something! We should have the mindset of David.

Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.’” {Luke‬ ‭4:8‬}  Notice this verse links WORSHIP and SERVICE together. A big part of worship is to be serving others to serve Christ.

Finally, I would like to share some practical tips and advice for worship:

-Don’t absentmindedly worship. Have intent and do it WHOLEHEARTEDLY.

-When worshiping through music and singing, pay attention to the words you sing. Listen to understand.

LOOK for ways to be apart of worship. Be active in seeking God.

PRAY!!! Pray for understanding, thank God, and Pray and ask for the right mindset to worship.
-Madison🌻

Prayer☀️

So what’s the big deal about prayer? If you have grown up in church or know Christians, you hear about prayer a LOT. People do it in church, before they eat, when they are hurting, with other people…and if you don’t understand it, it can seem quite weird. Why is prayer so important?  

1) It builds and strengthens your relationship with God. It’s impossible to have a successful relationship without communication. The same is with God. Prayer connects you to God.

 2) You are speaking to the CREATOR OF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE! You have that ability!!! It’s an amazing privilege to be able to talk to God. Don’t lose your awe and reverence to God. 

 3) God wants you to! God desires a relationship with you and wants that connection. 

 4) It gives us the opportunity to express ourselves, needs, and concerns to God.

 5) It gives us the opportunity to praise, honor, and worship God.

6) Prayer changes the world!

7) Even JESUS prayed!

Prayer is more than saying a few words before meals. I challenge you to pray, and to truly pray! You don’t have to use complex vocabulary or have hour long prayers. It’s about a connection with God 


Prayer isn’t just words. It is a lifestyle. I challenge you to live a life of prayer💛 -Madison

Be Still

Hey Everyone! Sorry it’s been a while since my last post. I have been finishing up school and things have been crazy. Since things have been so hectic in my life recently I had to really be intentional with my time and being intentional about spending time reading the Bible and with God. The Bible uses the phrase “Be Still” many times throughout scripture. Here are a few verses:

Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” -Psalms‬ ‭46:10‬ ‭

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!”‭‭ -Psalms‬ ‭37:7‬ ‭

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” -Exodus‬ ‭14:14‬ 

Many people think the phrase “Be Still” means to just sit back and not do anything and let God do it all. That’s not necessarily true. The phrase “Be Still” is a reminder to take time to just be in God’s presence and worship Him. In Psalm 46:10 mentioned above, it says “Be still, and know that I am God.” So often (especially if you’ve grown up in church) we lose our wonder and awe of God. It’s a normal thing that we have accepted since infants. But we shouldn’t just be going through the motions of Christianity. I challenge you to really take time and BE STILL. Think about how marvelous, amazing, and awe inspiring the Lord is. He created the universe! He created you! He saved the world through Jesus! Don’t let the craziness of your life distract you from residing in Christ and being in awe of His wonder. Be still, and KNOW that He is God

Baptism 101

Baptism can be a very controversial topic among Christians. What is it? What is it not? What method to use? All these questions are valid and important questions. I remember being younger and the sacrament of baptism was confusing to me. My [amazing] children’s pastor at my church did a whole lesson on baptism when I was about seven years old and that was when I began to get a better understanding of the topic. I was baptized on my eighth birthday and it is one of my favorite memories. This is a brief, “to the point” post that can hopefully help you better understand baptism.

First, we need to discuss what baptism isn’t. Many people think that baptism is necessary to be saved and to get into heaven. IT IS NOT! Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith–and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” This verse clearly states that FAITH ALONE saves you. There is NOTHING we can do to earn the grace of God.

So we know that baptism is not necessary for salvation, but what is it?

Baptism is an outward testimony of of an inward change.

When you are baptized, you are proclaiming to the world and to the church that you are a follower of Jesus Christ. It is a testimony. Baptism is an expression of your faith in Jesus. Baptism isn’t just something you do for fun. Only be baptized if you have truly confessed your sins to God and desire a relationship with Him. Because although baptism doesn’t save you or get you into heaven, it is a covenant you are making with God. Its a testimony that you are choosing to follow and serve God, and that is not something to take lightly.

What method to use? This probably causes the most controversy in the evangelical church than any of these other points I have mentioned in this post. There are three main methods of baptism:

  • Immersion
  • Sprinkling
  • Pouring

Some people believe that there is one way to be baptized and that its the only way to do it. However, I challenge you to think of it this way, “If baptism doesn’t save you, why does it matter what method you use?” Seriously. Think about it! My opinion on it is, use whatever method you want or you feel the most comfortable with. I’m not trying to offend anyone who has different opinions on this matter. That is totally okay if you have different views than me, however I want everyone to pray about it and think about if it truly matters and is worth arguing and having conflicts with people over.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Matthew 28:19

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful. I hope you stop by again to read future blog posts! -Maddie

Modern Day Idolatry 

If you’ve grown up in the church or have been a Christian for a while, you have certainly heard the verse (its one of the 10 Commandments), Exodus 20:4, “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind of an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.”  Idolatry was a huge issue in the Old Testament, you can basically pick any story and it will have some form of idolatry mentioned in it. 

Idols are still just as big of an issue in today’s society as it was thousands of years ago. 

Now, most of us don’t deal with idols of false gods and goddesses and having statues of them that we pray to, but we definitely still have idols. Some idols we have today are: 

•money

•fame

•sex

•boyfriends/girlfriends

•outward beauty/praise

•OURSELVES

•religion

•marriage/family

You might be confused at the last two points. However people can put so much focus on the tradition or the proper way to do things in religion that their focus is no longer on Christ. That’s what idolatry really is! Taking our focus off of God & putting it somewhere else. 

Now for marriage and family. So many people (especially women) place their value and focus their entire life for the purpose of being married and having children. And being a wife (or husband) and having kids isn’t a bad thing (it’s wonderful & great!) however, ITS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING! Our life goal should be to serve and honor God. So in a sense, people do make an idol of marriage and family. 

These modern day idols are very tempting, I know! Francis Chan said, “I have one good reason why you should walk away from temptation right now. One reason: GOD. IS. BETTER.” 

Everything in that list above isn’t bad under the right circumstances. It’s when we place our focus and dedicate our lives to those things instead of God that it becomes a problem. 

I challenge you to pray and ask God to reveal any idols you may have in your life. Ask Him to help you overcome them and put your life focus back on Jesus Christ. 

We need to stop placing our focus on meaningless and/or less important things & truly, wholeheartedly focus on Jesus Christ.

Micah 4:5 says, “Though the nations around us follow their idols, we will follow the Lord our God forever & ever.” 

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed this post! -Maddie💛

Apathy & Christianity

The dictionary definition of the word apathy is “a lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern.” But a better definition is “people just not giving a damn.” Apathy is one of the great evils in this world and its terrifying how many people live in this life of just not caring.

The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” -Albert Einstein. The first version of apathy is: Apathy toward the world. An example of this is someone not caring for injustices that are hurting the world and the people around us. Or when people don’t bother to help those in need either because they don’t care, or they say it doesn’t affect them. The people who usually read my blog are Christians so I’m going to assume the person reading this is familiar with the Bible and the stories of Jesus. Think about every story in the gospels when Jesus is there. The LAST thing Jesus would ever be is apathetic toward the people around Him. “The greatest cruelty is our casual blindness to the despair of others.” -Anonymous

There is a second version of apathy I want to talk to you about and it is just as bad-if not worse- than the first one. It is: Apathy towards God. What does that look like? Well it can come in many forms from not caring about having a relationship with Christ, to not having the want to share the Gospel. The most common form of apathy towards God from Christians is not caring about God’s mission or purpose for the world or us. Jesus spoke to His disciples in John 21:16-17 saying, “16Jesus repeated he question: ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ Peter said, ‘you know I love you.’ ‘Then take care of my sheep,’ Jesus said. 17 A third time he asked him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, ‘Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Then feed my sheep.’” I think it is pretty clear what God’s mission is for us. To care for others, to share the Gospel, and to love others.

Here’s the thing, there really isn’t two versions of apathy. They are intertwined and go together. By truly seeking God and caring about His mission for the world, then you definitely won’t be apathetic toward the world, considering Christ’s mission is ABOUT THE WORLD! The greatest commandment in the entire Bible is to love one another, and if you love one another, you will have an interest, enthusiasm, and concern for the world- you won’t be apathetic towards it. “If your theology doesn’t lead you to love people more, you should question your theology.” I am sure many of you have heard the term “Christian Activists” before. There shouldn’t be people labeled “Christian Activists”! For we should all be Christian activists! We should be active Christians. Active in exemplifying the character of God and seeking justice for the world. Here is a link to a speech made by Charlie Chaplin. I highly encourage you to watch it because it is so moving & is still relevant today. My favorite quote from it is, “We think to much, and feel too little, more than machinery, we need humanity, more that cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.

I challenge you to evaluate your life and see if you are an apathetic Christian. Because it is easier than you think to slip into the selfish world of apathy- of not caring. This is exactly what Satan wants. He wants a bunch of Christians sitting on their butts NOT caring, NOT proclaiming Christ, NOT striving for justice, NOT bettering the world, NOT being on fire for God. So I beg you, don’t fall into that trap

Compromises

Psalms 119:3 says, “They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in His paths.” Most people like to view themselves as upright, good, moral people. We try our best to live our lives according to the will of God. However, as humans, it is very easy to compromise our faith for worldly desires. People do not like to think of themselves as fallible or with the ability to do wrong, but everyone is, even Christians. In scripture, there are so many examples of people who are thought of as heroes and amazing people who compromised their faith for worldly reasons. It should be the goal of believers in Christ to look at these examples and use it to help keep on the right path of following God.

2 Samuel 11 is a very familiar story. It tells of the sins David and Bathsheba. First, David slept with Bathsheba while she was married, and when he found out that she was pregnant with his child, he committed another sin. David sent Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, off to be killed in war. David compromised his faith and relationship with God for lust, sexual immorality, and murder. Colossians 3:5 says, “So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for the greedy person is an idolater, worshipping the things of this world.

Abram, or as he was later known, Abraham, was elderly and childless. In Genesis 16 it tells the story of how Abram and his wife Sarai were promised a son by God. However, Abram soon grew impatient and began to doubt God and His promise. Abram then took the situation into his own hands and had a child with another woman, who was not his wife. This caused an abundance of conflict later. Not too long later, Abram’s wife became pregnant and gave birth to a son. God had a plan for Abram’s life, however, Abram chose to take control because he didn’t trust God and was lacking in faith. Proverbs 3:5 quotes, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

After the people of Israel were delivered from Egypt by the almighty God, a lot of things happened. Numbers 13 goes into detail about how the Israelites were coming to the promise land and they sent twelve spies into Canaan to see the land. Two of the scouts had faith while the other ten let fear compromise their faith. Because of this, the Israelites wandered for forty more years and all of them but the two faithful spies died. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.

A large majority of people stumble in their faith and compromise where they know they shouldn’t have. And as you can see, they have many reasons for it. The only way to keep pure and focused on God is by committing to Him and by continually seeking Christ in all that is done. Worldly desires can be very tempting, but compromising a relationship God isn’t worth it. Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you by changing the way you think. Then you will learn what God’s will is for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Don’t Follow Your Heart

“Follow your heart” We have all heard that phrase many times. We see it all over Pinterest and Instagram. We are constantly surrounded by people telling us to “Follow our heart”. If I could only give someone one piece of advice, it would be: “DON’T FOLLOW YOUR HEART!”  Let’s look at Jeremiah 17:9- “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”  Notice it says ‘the heart is deceitful’. Our hearts can betray us. Our hearts are emotional, we need wisdom as well.

      As Christians, we shouldn’t be following our heart, we should be following the convictions of the Holy Spirit.  

1 Chronicles 16:11 says,  “Search for the LORD and for his strength; continually seek him.

1 Corinthians 6:19 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;” 

This is saying that we do not belong to ourselves, therefore we should be following God’s heart, not our own. For God has more wisdom than anyone can imagine.     

 Most teenagers hate depending on people. They don’t like the idea of not being able to do things themselves (me included!) They want to be independent and make their own decisions. Read this quote by John Bevere, “When we invite the Holy Spirit into our decision making processes, He will ALWAYS bear witness through the peace of Christ Jesus.”  While the overall first impression of following our heart sounds okay, it’s not. Here’s the tough truth: 

When you follow your own heart, it’s saying that your priorities and what you want in life is higher than God’s priorities and His will for you. 

Ouch. That kinda stings, but we often do just that, often without meaning to! Continuing off of that, By following our heart, we are turning against God and living a life self-focused instead of Christ-focused.

 Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Now this is not saying that God is a Genie and will grant you any wish you want. No, this verse is saying that if we truly delight in the Lord, what we will want is what God desires and wants for our lives.

 John 16:13 has a great message, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

When you place your trust in God, the Holy Spirit will guide you and help you with discernment and wisdom. 

 I feel very strongly on the topic of fully surrendering yourself to God and His wisdom so I want to help others understand the best I can. William Booth said this, “The greatness of a man’s power is in the measure of his surrender.” 

Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When we live by the convictions of the Holy Spirit and strive to do the will of God, IT WILL SHOW! Acts 1:8 stated that when we have the Holy Spirit we will be witnesses to the people around us. And as followers of Christ (not our own hearts and desires) being examples and living a life as a testimony to God is something we should all strive to do. Your life is your ministry.

-Maddie💛