Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday's Reflection: John 15:5,7

Rather than posting the Friday's Reflection series as a way to "reflect" on my previous week, instead I am going to post a Scripture reflection. Every Friday, I will post a new Scripture, discuss my reflection of it, then give you the chance to do the same. By participating, you will have the chance to win prizes, as well as the opportunity to meet other Christian teens. =)

The Point System
Yes, there will be a point system, just like the Monday's Minute Challenge. =)

Earning Points:

*To make this more simple, please include the amount of points you will receive at the top of your post. Be sure to calculate correctly!

2 points: If you answer one of the questions. (Details below)  
5 points: If you respond with your own reflection. (Details below)
10 points: If you post your response on your blog. 
10 points: If you pin either the above picture or today's Scripture (below) to Pinterest.
10 points: If you join the Prayer Circle. (Details below)
Points Tracker:
TW Wright: 35
Sarah: 50
His Princess: 12

50 points: You will receive a badge for your blog saying that you are a participant at Friday's Reflection. 
70 points: You can submit your own playlist for Friday's Playlist (see below). 
90 points: You can submit a Scripture that will be used for Friday's Reflection.
110 points: You will receive a free ebook of PURPLE MOON. 
150 points: You will receive a personalized handmade notepad.

Today's Playlist

I think listening to worship music is a great way to get into God's presence. So every Friday, I will post 3 - 5 worship/Christian songs that are currently on my playlist. Feel free to listen to them as you work on today's reflection!

"Do You Know The Way You Move Me?" ~Cory Asbury
"Great I Am" ~Phillips, Craig & Dean
"Brokenness Aside" ~All Sons & Daughters

Today's Scripture . . . 

My Reflection:

Have you ever tried turning on your laptop when it was out of battery? You probably had to plug it into its source before it came to life. Similarly, this Scripture suggests that it is impossible for us to "come to life" without being "plugged into" God--our Source.

However, it's often tempting to want to do things on our own without being connected to God. But not only is this useless, it is also impossible! Just as it's impossible for a branch to bear fruit without staying connected to the vine, we cannot produce any lasting fruit without relying 100% on God. Things means that we need to give all of ourselves to Him: our time, fears, desires, talents, dreams, problems, etc. Don't just be connected to Him during your quiet time, but stay connected to Him throughout your entire day through prayer. And if you ever catch yourself trying to accomplish tasks and face struggles through your own strength, simply plug yourself back to the Source--just like you do when your laptop runs out of battery.

If we do this--if we "stay plugged into" God throughout the day and continue obeying Him--then John 15:7 says that we can ask Him for anything, and it will be given to us (as long as it's in accordance with His will). Isn't that much better than trying to produce fruit on our own?

Your Turn . . .

Answer the questions below to earn points! You will receive 2 points per question that you answer. And if you post your response on your blog and link back to this post, you will receive an extra 10 points!

*To make this more simple, please include the amount of points you will receive at the top of your post. Be sure to calculate correctly!
  1. List specific ways that you can stay "connected to the vine". +2 pts
  2. Do you often find yourself facing the challenges of life on your own rather than through God's? +2 pts
  3. What is the biggest struggle you face in following God's teachings? +2 pts
  4. Describe a time when God gave you something that you had prayed for. +2 pts
  5. Discuss your own reflection of this Scripture (as I did above -- at least one paragraph). +5 pts
Don't forget to check back to read your responses and interact with others!

Prayer Circle
If you choose to participate in this Prayer Circle, you can email me a prayer request at any point throughout the week. On Friday, I will send an email to those in the prayer circle with the updated prayer list, as well as the new Scripture for that week. You will also receive 10 extra points by joining. 
Email me at christiswrite (at) gmail (dot) com if you wish to participate! =)
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  1. heres my answers to questions 1- 5.
    1. try to control my tounge. I don't know if i am the only teen who has to deal with pain, but i often drown my pain though secular music when i feel sad my first
    response is to turn on country music. My life is hard almost everyone hates me. I got in troubble at field day today for telling my girlfriend to beat all compentition and kick ass. 2.question one answers question two.
    3.likely keeping myself from swearing especaaly at my dad who is a good dad but has impossible to keep strict rules on not hanging out with any of the opposite sex. that's a problem cause i don't get along with other boys well i have always not had many friends and my few friends i have ever had are girls. also i guess another thiing i struggle with is sometimes when depressed i feel suicidal and suicide is murder. 4. I am thankful to God that i have not gotten violent and have not attacked the worthless boy who stole the heart of my only true friend since high school started and soon after stealingg her heart he dumped her, smeared my reputation with lies telling everyone that i was a obscene and dangerous boy all the while spamming me about how i am worthless, this boy cyberbullied me and almost drove me to suicide

    1. Whoa, Evan.... Are you okay? I've never been bullied but I know what it's like to not have many friends. :( Either way I'll be praying for you.

    2. Hey Evan, I sent you an email! Thanks for participating. =)

    3. yes i am ok i am mostly depressed when i am up late i am a night owl. Lonely, but ok. Crazy as it is one of the main resons i have attepted suicide in a while is cause last time i did n waas sent to some mental hospital which was lke a prison i could not even text or havve my iPad cause they would not let me bring anything with me. this suicide relief center was not better than a concentracion camp. It was winter and i had to sleep alone in this cold cell of a bedroom every time i got Heater uinit working i had to go see one of their theripists. I hated the stupiid recreation teacher who made us do like one million push ups one of the reasons i was even in the mental hospital was i was on medicine that was known to make people very depressed over their problems and as it has always is i have Bipolar which is a mood disorder. So this mental hospital i was sent to it by my my Psyciatrist for a few days while the pharmasists at the place were to figure out what medicne would work to battle depression. Uggh!!! the worst five days of my life.

    4. yes like the stupid cordinators there specificly this one black man did not understand a clue about disorders like some people have this thing called ticks where while they are trying to talk they lose sppech abilities for a few minutes and hard to stop strange sounds come out of their throat, well i was dealing with that and the stupid black cordinator threatened me. The place was dated and cold, and like there was one girl there who was realy dpressed and i kept wanting to tell her to try to be happy and that Jesus loves her. Well the main problem at the place waas yo will get busted for talking with anyone of the same sex ass you are. so in generaal i got busted by the workers there for calling them nazis and communists and calling the place a Guloug, which is the name of Russion communist camp.

  2. Hey Tessa were you ever bullied in High school??? also i will join the praryer group

  3. Hey Tessa, I answered all the questions and wrote my own reflection: 13 points. I also posted it on my blog: 10 points. 23 points total.
    Thanks for doing this!
    I LOVE 'Brokenness Aside' song. Thanks for sharing that.
    In Christ,

  4. 10 pts –for pinning today’s picture with scripture on Pinterest
    13 pts- for questions answered
    =23 points total

    List specific ways that you can stay "connected to the vine":

    By choosing Him and His ways rather than my own thought-up ways or that of the world’s. Some of the ways I plug myself back to God throughout my life includes reading good books that allow me to get to know Him, keeping a playlist of Christian songs, and just silently meditating on God’s love and awareness of me as His child. :)

    Do you often find yourself facing the challenges of life on your own rather than through God's?

    I do… Especially when certain times seem to cave in on you. I feel that it is so easy to feel trapped in your own mind, reactions, and emotions when the going gets tough in particular. We might get lost like sheep do, not knowing how to get back to our place of refuge, until God finds us and leads us back to safety as our shepherd almost. So I’d have to say that I do find myself being driven by what makes way for me when it becomes an ordeal or dilemma, but somehow, God is always there, leading me back to His safe arms no matter what strikes my way. I feel that as we train ourselves in a way to grow closer to Him, getting to know Him better…we’ll become a bit more tolerant in any situation that arises, because we’ll rest in knowing that God is for us and not against us.

    What is the biggest struggle you face in following God's teachings?

    No struggles at the moment. I honestly prefer to follow God’s ways along with obeying His teachings. My mind and entire being is at peace when I choose His path.

    As mentioned by Tessa though, I feel that when we unplug ourselves from Him is when situations seems to cave in on us. So at times when we’re forgetful of His promises is when we’re probably occupying ourselves with our current struggles. We’ll become emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and even physically drained as a result to that. But in the midst of all our chaos, He shines never leaving us.

  5. Describe a time when God gave you something that you had prayed for:

    I remember when I had ended up in the emergency room for the very first time a couple months back around the Holidays. I had a bad case of hives (a severe allergic reaction) along with an unbearable abdominal pain. I was only 17 and more than frightened for my life, because I had never ended up in the hospital before. My health had always somehow been in top shape even throughout hardships (I’d like to think that God was always watching over me even when I wasn’t mindful of it.) Although, the hives and abdominal pain appeared in an instant and without warning, coming off as a kind of wake-up call to me. I remember praying to God, and begging Him to rescue me and to intervene, because I was extremely frightened and I was also in extreme pain. So I surrendered. I had realized that I was vulnerable and weak without Him. But with Him I was saved and made new, and He had answered me.

    After having ended up in the emergency room three times, in about a week I had gotten better. I knew that God had answered my plea to heal me and restore me back to good health, because I could have lost my life since the hives spread all over my body top to bottom. My throat was beginning to swell up. I’ll never forget it. I’ll also never forget that during that time I had bumped into a song called “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely” by The Band Perry. Me and my mom were being driven back from the hospital miles away and I remember feeling almost shocked of what had happened and what was making way, and then this song immediately came during the quiet night. It was the first time I had heard a song that described exactly how I felt in general and that I could relate to. I was an overly overwhelmed teenager was what I realized while bumping into this song. And although it wasn’t exactly a Christian song, it was enough to reveal to me how I truly felt, and I felt it was the perfect song that described how much I needed God. I didn’t want to be alone. I didn’t want to perish. I yearned to be free. I just wanted Him to come sweep me up and show me of the real beauty of life. And so bumping into that one song was also a miracle to me, because it came without my knowledge at the right and perfect time. It was a wake-up call for me. And to this day, I find it amazing how God can use special songs in His own way to communicate and speak to us. Deep down I am thankful for His endless love and grace.

    Discuss your own reflection of this Scripture:

    I choose to plug myself to my Father throughout my life, and if I find myself unplugged…I’ll go and tend to it to adjust it back! :) In reality and in truth God knows us more and better than we know ourselves. His ways and thoughts are even higher than our own. So if He’s the vine that brings us to life…why not turn to Him? And if His ways exceed our own and that of the world’s…why not surrender it all? Your dreams, your worries, your fears, and your brokenness, tears, wants and so on. He is our vine. He’s the one who builds us to be strong, nourishing us with His spirit to live each day and make it count. So why leave Him out? Leaving Him out is useless and worthless and even unfulfilling, and we’ll come to realize it (or already have.) :) If I can flow with the wind in this life without fear, because I rest in knowing that God is practically my vine…I choose Him! Will you? :)


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