7.21.2017

Encouragement from Romans 5 + A Brief Announcement

Hello, readers!
I hope you are all having a lovely summer. I know that posts on A Purpose and A Promise have been rather erratic lately, but honestly, I've been okay with that. Before, I would have been all stressed out that my posting schedule got messed up, but God's been teaching me a lot lately, and that's included the real meaning of peace. Peace isn't always calm and quiet; it's isn't always the feeling that everything will turn out alright for you. To a degree, peace is knowing that God is in control and trusting fully in that promise, no matter what. At least, that's what God has been showing me about peace lately. 
Reading in Romans 5 has been a real encouragement lately- not only about peace, but about the hope we have as children of God, why there are trials in our lives and how they actually are for our benefit, and a reminder of the best news of all- how Jesus gave His life so ours could be reconciled to God. The first eleven verses are below, but you can read the whole chapter here.


Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. // Romans 5: 1-11 

That said, I do have a small announcement. I will be taking an official break from posting on A Purpose and A Promise for at least three weeks, perhaps a little more. At the moment, I'm not planning on stopping indefinitely, but I think hiatuses are good for everyone. =) I wanted to say it in an actual post, instead of just abandoning the blog for a month. No, I haven't come close to doing that this month.

Thanks again for reading, following, and commenting on A Purpose and A Promise! I have been so blessed by my wonderful readers for this year and a half, learning and growing on this adventure. 

Have a wonderful remainder of your summer, blessed with peace that can only come from Jesus. ♥

7.04.2017

Freedom





O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood 
From sea to shining sea! 

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! 
God mend thine every flaw, 
Confirm thy soul in self-control, 
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America! 
May God thy gold refine, 
Till all success be nobleness, 
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! 
God shed His grace on thee 
And crown thy good with brotherhood 
From sea to shining sea!
~America the Beautiful, words by Katherine L. Bates 



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And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. // John 8:32

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself // Galatians 5:13-14

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. // Romans 8:1-4


















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To those of you who are Americans- Happy Independence Day! God has blessed us with remarkable freedom for nearly two and a half decades in America, and we should never forget what He has given us.
To all believers- no matter what country you live in- we are all blessed with the true freedom found in God's Word, though Jesus! He gives us the ultimate freedom, and may we never forget that as we strive to tell others about this true Freedom found in Christ.





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O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heaven rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto - “In God is our trust,” 
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

-The Star-Spangled Banner (fifth verse), words by Francis Scott Key



6.20.2017

Tuesday Thoughts [4]- Real Love

{via}


love isn't always a feeling.
it's more of an action,
becuase love isn't sometimes-
it's for always,
and feelings only last so long
before they die away.
real love isn't like that;
it's an ongoing sacrifice
-and sometimes it hurts-
but it's worth it if it's real.
so don't rely on feelings
as your confirmation about love.
becuase while feelings will fade,
real love never fails.
- written 4.27.17

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Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. // John 15:13

....Love never fails... // 1 Corinthians 13:8a

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. // Romans 5:8

6.10.2017

More Love


If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. // I Corinthians 13

Love is a word so misused in today's culture. We seem to have a lot of it, yet I really think that we don't have enough of it. Enough of the right kind of love, anyway. We have plenty of the wrong, mixed up kind!
The right kind of love is the kind that the Bible instructs us about- the kind of sacrificial love that Jesus displayed. Of course, we can't ever come close to having that kind of love for someone else, but God has given us some guidelines to follow regarding the kind of love we can have with His help. The Bible talks a lot about love in many places, but one of the verses that struck me recently was John 13:35, "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” How convicting!

I'm convinced that what the world needs is more genuine love. More love for others, and more love for Jesus. If we have love for Him, we should have love for others, so perhaps starting with loving Him more is the way we need to go. This post is a fantastic look at what loving Jesus more should look like.


None of us can love perfectly, but all of us can love more. That's most important thing. We don't have to- and can never- love perfectly, but we can- and should be- striving to love more as we learn and grow in Christ. That's a huge goal to have, but it's an important one! (Besides, I love having big goals and seeing what comes of them- especially when they're something that can only be done with Jesus' help, such as having more love for Him!) I have a long way to go with this goal, but I know it's vital for the future. And of course, with God, nothing is impossible. ♥

What do you think about this idea of having more love- more love for God, more love for others, more love for the world? Do you have any ideas on how we can love more like Jesus? Comment and join the conversation!

5.31.2017

Wednesday Words [1]- Spring Rain




the spring rain thunders down
in torrents and streams,
dripping and splashing and
speckling the windowpane.
it silences my heart,
making me stop to
listen
look
and feel.
it slows to a drizzle
drip drip dripdroping
then pours down again.
the rhythm,
the sound,
the patterns,
they all remind me of my heart
and its feelings.
they ebb and flow,
just like the spring rain
and reminds me
that God's love never fails.
it comes and restores.
it wipes away the doubts.
it cleanses and refreshes.
just like the rain.
listen
look
 and feel.
be refreshed with His love,
just like the spring rain.
- written 5.4.17

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 "...Rain from the Lord in the season of the spring rain, from the Lord who makes the storm clouds, and he will give them showers of rain.." // Zachariah 10:1


“Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit; let the earth cause them both to sprout; I the Lord have created it." // Isaiah 45:8

5.20.2017

The Heavens Declare (Psalm 19)

The Psalms are all so beautiful that it's very hard to for me to pick a favorite one! I do have favorites, though, and among my favorites is Psalms 19, in which the psalmist begins by saying "the heavens declare the glory of God". It's true! When I see a beautiful sunset, I'm reminded of the stunning glory of God- and thankful that He allows us to experience just tiny glimpse of it through natural beauties like breathtaking sunsets. Below is Psalm 19, accompanied by some snapshots of sunsets over the years. (Note: the photos below are mine.)



The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech and night to night reveals knowledge.


There is no speech, nor are there words whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.



In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. 


Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat. 



The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; 


the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.



More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.


Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me!


Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.



Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, Lord, my rock and my redeemer.



5.04.2017

Be the Change


most people are waiting
they're waiting for the change
the change that will change the world
reform it
refresh it
renew it
remind it
of what it was, is, and could still be



these people have the right idea
but they're missing the key component
it rests in one simple word swap

when you change it, it goes like this:

some people are being
they're being the change
the change that is changing the world
reforming it
refreshing it
renewing it
reminding it
of what it was, is, and is becoming



and they're people just like you
not all professors
or scientists
or phd's

they're parents
and teenagers
and kids
and older people
just doing what God has put in place for them to do



the world just needs you
being where God has placed you
doing His will in your life

the world just needs you
being the change
right where you are
in every single area of your life



and you know what?
it might be something huge

if it is, that's amazing
and if isn't, that's amazing too
becuase it means
that He has something much better in store for you

and remember
even small things can be can worth more than we think
they usually are



so just be where He has you
don't wait for the change
be the change
in every single thing you do

don't wait for the change
be the change

becuase, remember that
"I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.." // Philippians 4:13 

and that's the only way that we can ever be the change- through Him



this picture reminds me of what the world could begin to look like.... if we all began to be the change




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Just some random thoughts, mostly to myself. It's not quite a poem, but it's not quite a regular type of post either. It's mainly just some scattered thoughts that I attempted to put together as a post. Anyway, I hope it can somehow inspire  you- along with me- to be the change in the world by simply doing what God has for us to do- no matter what it is. ♥

4.28.2017

Jesus, Friend of Sinners


Jesus, friend of sinners, we have strayed so far away
We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing
Jesus, friend of sinners, the truth's become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You but they're tripping over me
Always looking around but never looking up I'm so double minded
A plank eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided

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Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours

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Nobody knows what we're for only what we're against when we judge the wounded
What if we put down our signs, crossed over the lines, and loved like You did

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You love every lost cause; you reach for the outcast
For the leper and the lame; they're the reason that You came
Lord I was that lost cause and I was the outcast
But you died for sinners just like me, a grateful leper at Your feet

~~~~~


'Cause You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever


~~~~~

lyric excerpts copyright by Casting Crowns




Jesus, help us all to see that we truly are all the least of these.... so undeserving of the love that you have poured out on those of us who you have called your children. May we learn how to stop judging and love more like you did- becuase you came for the sinners just like me. ♥

4.21.2017

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Hello, lovely readers!
Savannah  kindly nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger award, and since I haven't done a tag for quite a long time, I decided to give it a try. Thanks again, Savannah!



~ Rules ~
 ~Answer 11 questions from your nominee
~Tag 11 bloggers
~Ask them 11 new questions




Do you own any signed books?
I have a signed copy of The Mystery of the Midnight Trespasser, written by the lovely Hosanna Emily.

What are three of the prettiest books you own? Here's two of my favorite book covers that I own:







If you could re-write the ending of one book, which book would it be? I'm going to have to think about this one for a while.......


What is the last movie you watched, and what did you think of it? A recent new movie I watched was Is Genesis History? It's a great documentary, by the way. :)


How did you come up with the title for your blog? The title of my blog reflects what I wanted my readers to realize through what they saw here; their ultimate Purpose and Promise. I did have quite a time coming up with a name that fit, but I'm pretty happy with it. :)


What's one of your favorite memories from 2017 (so far)? 2017 has had some great memories so far, but I would have to say that one of my top favorites would be the amazing trip that I went on with my church's youth group in February. 



How is a raven like a writing desk? They are both related to writing. xD


What are your three favorite fandoms? I'm honestly not into the "fangirl" type of thing that most people are for their favorite music, movies, books, etc. Since I assume that most the things that most people have fandoms about fall into one of those three categories, I'll shift the question around a little bit. My favorite fiction book is definitely The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. One of my favorite musics artists is Casting Crowns, and the Anne of Green Gables movies would be up there with my favorite movies. 



Do you prefer writing by hand or typing?  It depends, really. For short stories and some poems, I like handwriting them, but I always type from second drafts on for longer works. 



What's a story you'd like someone to do a re-telling of? A Little Princess would be an intriguing start for a re-telling....




~ Questions ~

~ What is your favorite devotional book?
~What are five of your favorite blogs?
~What is your favorite book, music artist/band, and movie?
~ Is there a story behind your blog's name?
~ What question would you ask your favorite author is you had the chance?
~What is the last movie you saw, and how did you like it?
What is one tip you would give bloggers who are trying to reflect Christ in all their posts?
~ What are your three favorite books that you own?
~ What is one of your best memories from 2017 so far?
~ What is your favorite Christian Living post that you've read/posted in the last month?
~ Do you own any signed books? 




~ Nominees ~

Hosanna Emily @ Having a Heart Like His
Anna @ Just Anna
Kara Lynn @ Saved by Grace

....and you! Feel free to use this tag if you'd like. 




Thanks for reading! ♥

4.07.2017

but they do




the little girl sits alone and helpless
on the ground of a dirty subway entry
she just sits, holding out her hand
asking for money to buy some food
you know what you've been told
about beggars and thieves
- and orphaned children-
it's the same heartless words
that every visitor hears
but this time you just can't ignore
the feeling that you have
you've seen them before
but somehow, this time it's different
you drop two coins into her hand
as you pass by, she glances up
her dark eyes hold yours
and you can't help but stare into them
they hold such sorrow
such grief and pain
that a child's eyes should never see
but they do

you can't forget that little girl's eyes
as she sits alone
her skinny body shivering with cold
and her dark eyes staring at nothing
waiting for a penny
that might never come
you tell yourself "of course I'd do more
if I really knew how, if I really could
but that's just one- one little girl
and two coins that will be gone tomorrow
what good will they do?
nothing. not much. they don't matter"
but they do

weeks go by, but still
you can't forget that little girl's face
on the last day, you take the same route
hoping that you might see
that little girl a gain somehow
you don't even know what you'd do
if you saw her again, you just know
you have to do something
you approach the place where you last saw her
and eagerly look around
but it;s empty- no signs of life
except for the subway janitor, sweeping nearby
you know it's crazy, but you walk over
and ask about the little girl
the man says that just yesterday
a beggar child was taken away-
because she died
you just know it was her
and with silent tears, you turn and walk away
they don't care
but you do

years pass and you live your life
but somehow, you can never forget that day
then one day comes- it's your day at last
as you enter the golden gates
you're overjoyed and overwhelmed
suddenly, you see those eyes staring back at yours
and that little girl greets you
with all the gratefulness there ever was
you can't believe it
as she leads a group of children to you
five children you've never seen before
yet they're thanking you for setting them free
"from what?' you ask, "who are you?"
and they reply, "we're her siblings
and becuase of you, we are all here
that day, you gave us all something so precious 
you see, our sister ran home with the coins
and used them to buy some food that day
she met a missionary at the market
who came back to our hut and told us about Jesus
and just a few weeks later
our sister suddenly died-
but not without hope"

you're amazed and stunned
that just two little coins
had saved six precious lives
through God's grace
you thought it didn't matter
then you hear a Voice that says
"truly, when you do it for the least of these
you do it for Me
you thought it didn't matter
but they do- 
and I do"

~written 1.29.17


And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ // Matthew 25:40