Tag Archives: faith

Interesting Articles and Tips for College-Age Students

It’s back to school and the blogosphere is flooded with tons of helpful tips, advice, and info about heading back to college…or jumping in for the first time.

First, I read two articles specifically addressing “20-somethings.” The first was “The 20 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me at 20” by Dr. Karin L. Smithson on HuffingtonPost.com. It has some good reminders worth reading as so many head back to school…about picking friends, staying healthy, the importance of family and faith, etc.

The second was “20 Things 20 Year Olds Don’t Get” by Jason Nazar on Forbes.com. For all my friends heading back to college…or just out of college…or just trying to build traction in your careers, this article contains some fairly sound advice. It’s not necessarily that young people “don’t get it” but rather some good career tips that they “should get,” or maybe “don’t get yet,” or “what to strive for.” From productivity to professionalism, online etiquette to face to face communication, reputation and fiscal responsibility, this article hits the key topics that are crucial for young people to grasp early on if they desire to be successful.

Also, I’m noticing lots of college-age or recent post-college grads struggling with “discerning God’s will for their lives.” One book I recently read that I wish I had read when I started college is Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something. See my recent book review here. Also, remember that you don’t have to read every spiritual self-help book known to man; if you have a Bible and read it regularly, seek godly counsel, and prayer, those three things are more valuable than any “how to” book or article out there.

In regards to what to major in, I read “The Decline and Fall of the English Major” by Verlyn Klinkenborg on NYTimes.com. It is sad to hear that the number of students majoring in English is declining. I could have majored in a great number of things, but I am continually thankful that I majored in English. It has been invaluable in every aspect of my life–personally, professionally, socially, even spiritually. The most beneficial classes I took were probably Critical Writing with Dr. Horton and Philosophy of Education with Dr. Salter (both should be required by every major, in my humble opinion). To think clearly and logically and to be able to write concisely and coherently are two of the most precious yet neglected treasures in this culture. Klinkenborg writes: “Writing well used to be a fundamental principle of the humanities, as essential as the knowledge of mathematics and statistics in the sciences. But writing well isn’t merely a utilitarian skill. It is about developing a rational grace and energy in your conversation with the world around you.” and “No one has found a way to put a dollar sign on this kind of literacy, and I doubt anyone ever will. But everyone who possesses it — no matter how or when it was acquired — knows that it is a rare and precious inheritance.” Well said, Verlyn.

Finally, it’s important in your college years to stay healthy in this fast-paced, stress-filled season of life. Here’s a fun “Cheat Sheet for Healthy School Lunches” from The Honest Co.:

History, Politics, and the Church: Faith, Hope, and Freedom

This 10 minute video clip is worth watching. It starts with the above trailer and continues with an interview with Kirk Cameron (“Monumental” filmmaker) and Marshall Foster (President, World History Institute) by Glenn Beck.

Freedom starts with faith in Christ, serving one another, teaching our children truth at home, and going out and doing right over the long haul.

If you’re in the Greenville, SC, area, the movie Monumental, tonight’s the last night to catch it at the Hollywood 20 Theatre on Woodruff Road. We went Tuesday night and it was a very well done documentary. I loved it! For more information, and to see if it will be playing in a theater near you, check out www.monumentalmovie.com.

Further background of the history behind the documentary can be found here.

Theme: God’s Faithfulness

I’m doing a little research on God’s Faithfulness (hence, the latest post on Learning from Elisabeth Elliot). I’m in charge of decorations for an upcoming Mercy Ministry Dinner for some ladies in our church and I want to make the decor match the theme of the evening: God’s Faithfulness.

I’m still playing with several ideas. Here’s what I have so far:

  • “Great is Thy Faithfulness” sheet music cut into pendants and sewn into banners as table runners

  • Fresh flowers (violets, irises and rosemary symbolize faithfulness)

from BHG.com

  • Maybe incorporating tea cups as vases

from Midwest Living

from KatieBrownBlog.com

  • Candlescapes
  • Rocks that say “Faith” on them (is that cheezy?)
  • Egg theme, since we’re close to Easter

from BHG.com

  • Cross decor?
  • Rainbows (or scattered crystals that would create rainbows when hit with light)
  • The colors white and silver can be symbolic of faith
  • “Fruit of the Spirit” route, decorating with fresh or artificial fruit arrangements (maybe a pear or apple with a ribbon tied to the stem with a card that says “Faithfulness” in a pretty font (like Zapfino)

from BHG.com

  • “Faith as a grain of mustard seed” concept?

from Midwest Living

A secondary theme is Amy Carmichael, so I’ve thought about the following:

  • Adding some of her quotes scattered on the table
  • Adding some of her quotes as part of a decoupage placemat

  • Adding some of her quotes into the “Great is Thy Faithfulness” banner idea

Here are some other ideas I like:

from Southern Living

from BHG.com

from BHG.com

from BHG.com

I also have to keep in mind that they’ll be using white china with gold trim for the place settings, so I can’t be too informal. I want to use bright spring colors. Oh, and I have a budget of $100 for 20 tables. Any ideas?!

Book Review: Food, Fitness, and Faith For Women

Review: Food, Fitness, and Faith for Women: A 21 Day Journey to a New You, by Freeman-Smith. 239 pages. ($9.99 on Amazon.com or $6.95 on FamilyChristian.com)

This book is a quick and enjoyable read! I would highly recommend it for anyone! If you read one chapter a day, it should take you 5 minutes or less each day. It subscribes to the adage that it takes about 21 days to form a habit. It’s full of practical tips to help you start or continue your journey towards a healthy lifestyle in every aspect of your life, beginning and focusing on biblical truth and principles. Freeman-Smith uses lots of Scripture references from multiple translations for ease of understanding and application. The last few pages of the book contain a suggested “Read the Bible in a Year” plan.

This book is NOT…

  • Overwhelming
  • A workout guide
  • A meal plan
  • Or even a spiritual road map
  • And it’s not just for women (in my opinion)

This book IS…

  • Encouraging
  • Challenging
  • Simple
  • Practical
  • For Anyone! (would make a great stocking stuffer)

21 chapters, each consisting of…

  • Practical tips for emotional, physical, and spiritual health
  • Page of Scripture passages
  • Page of Motivational quotes
  • Page for Journaling with a thought-provoking question at the top

A few of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Healthy living is a journey, not a destination, and that journey requires discipline” (p. 12).

“Food ought to be a refreshment to the body, and not a burden” (St. Bonaventure, quoted on p. 48).

“Regular exercise allows you to build your muscles while you’re clearing your head and lifting your spirits” (p. 59).

“Measure the size of the obstacles against the size of God” (Beth Moore, quoted on p. 68).

“Physical fitness is not the result of a single decision that is made ‘once and for all.’ Physical fitness results from thousands of decisions that are made day after day, week after week, and year after year” (p. 90).

“Remind yourself that on every step of that journey, you have a traveling companion: your Heavenly Father” (p. 95).

“God wants you to get enough rest. The world wants you to burn the candle at both ends. Trust God” (p. 125).

“He does not believe who does not live according to his beliefs” (Thomas Fuller, quoted on p. 151).

“You don’t have to be perfect to be wonderful,” and “If you’re a woman who has become discouraged with your inability to be perfectly fit, remember that when you accepted Christ as your Savior, God accepted you for all eternity. Now it’s your turn to accept yourself” (p. 220).

PS – They have one for men too:

II Peter 1: “Spiritual Vitamins and Minerals”

We’ve been studying II Peter in church over the past few weeks. This week, some of the verses we focused on were II Peter 1:3-9. And they got me thinking, so I thought I’d share.

“3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence” (NLT).

Wow! We have everything we need to live a godly life! God gave it to us, and the way to access it is by getting to know Jesus! How do we do this? Primarily through spending time with Him (Scripture reading, prayer) and with His people (fellowship, discipleship, corporate worship – specifically listening to the preaching and teaching of godly leaders).

“4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires” (NLT).

What are these promises? Freedom from sin when we repent and turn to Jesus, eternal life in Heaven with Him, glorious fellowship and union with Christ Himself, etc.

5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises” (NLT).

Don’t forget about the promises! And in response, take some effort in your Christian life! It’s not necessarily a walk in the park. The Christian life is often compared to a race or a journey. Neither one is entered lightly.

Verse 5 continued: “Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone” (NLT).

Sometimes this list is referred to as stepping stones of faith. That works too. I like to think of it in this way: supplements. We all know what they are and many of us take them. They’re typically vitamins and minerals that help us reach our adequate needs for vitality in our physical lives. So, even though faith in God is our substance, we’re told to fill in the gaps with things like moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, patient endurance, godliness, brotherly affection, and love (things that are daily requirements for the Christian). Here’s one way to look at it:

Essential “Spiritual Vitamins”:

  • Vitamin E: Excellence
  • Vitamin K: Knowledge
  • Vitamin C: Control
  • Vitamin A: Affection

Essential “Spiritual Minerals”:

  • Patience
  • Godliness
  • Love

(Note: 100% of daily requirements for all “spiritual vitamins and minerals” can only be found in God!)

8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins” (NLT).

Just like making sure we reach adequate nutritional values brings vitality to our physical life, so paying attention to our daily spiritual needs yields spiritual vitality. Conversely, as undernutrition yields physical problems (abnormalities, diseases, lack of mental acuteness, etc.), so lack of attention to spiritual needs brings spiritual problems (spiritual blindness and other “heart” problems, increased vulnerability to sin and Satan, etc.).

To download Pastor Brooks’ recent sermons (audio and/or sermon notes) on II Peter, check out the Sermon section of Heritage Bible Church’s website. Or visit the church’s blog.

What Faith Can Do – Lyrics by Kutless

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think it’s more than you can take
But you’re stronger, stronger than you know
Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

Chorus:

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

-2-

It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard
Impossible is not a word
It’s just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody’s scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It’ll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

Chorus

That’s what faith can do!
Even if you fall sometimes
You will have the strength to rise.