In today’s busy modern world, sometimes times can get tough no matter your profession or what activities you may be participating in. When things get tough, it can be easy to begin to think negative thoughts and be excessively hard on yourself, but we at JCLU Forever believe that these situations can be greatly improved through prayer. Taking the time to reconnect with God and embrace your Christian faith through His words can help any tough situation to seem just a little bit easier, and this can make all the difference when it comes to working through a difficult situation.
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Five Christian Books You Should Pick up This Spring
As of right now, two highly-acclaimed Christian films are playing in theatres: Son of God, including the stories of Adam, Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses and other huge pillars of the faith; and Noah featuring Russell Crowe and Emma Watson, among many others. And who can forget The Bible, a miniseries that ran over the course of summer 2013 and was deemed the year’s most-watched cable TV show with 13.1 million viewers on its first night.
A lot of inspiring faith-based films or series have emerged over the last year, but what about Christian literature for all of us bookworms out there? I love passing the time with a good book. So, here are some great books to add to your “To-Read” list this spring in addition to getting cozy in theatres:
1. The Holy Bible
This one is a given. The Bible should definitely be the first book you commit to reading each and every day to strengthen your walk with Christ. Look to the beginning of a new season to recommit to getting in more Bible time this year. Remember, there are plenty of fun and unique ways to get in the habit of reading the Bible. As Christians, it’s the most important piece of literature we can read.
2. The Pursuit of God by: A.W. Tozer
We should all have one great book in our collection that cuts to the core of the Christian faith. The Pursuit of God does just that, and it approaches Christianity in a practical and understandable way. This book is an oldie but a goodie; the kind of book that, in reviews, many said they bought multiple copies of simply to pass along to friends. Even more inspiring is the fact that Tozer wrote the entire first draft during a train ride from Chicago to Texas in the late 1940’s.
3. The Shack by: William P. Young
For those who are more inclined towards fiction, The Shack is a classic Christian novel that everyone should put on their reading list this spring. The novel centers around a father of five—Mackenzie Philips, otherwise known as “Mack”—and his journey to coming to terms with tragedy, accepting himself, and exploring the relationship he has with the Holy Trinity. The book is highly acclaimed and for very good reason.
4. Redeeming Love by: Francine Rivers
Another highly-acclaimed novel, Redeeming Love has been categorized as “religious fiction” or “inspirational romance” by many, as it is based on the biblical story of Hosea and Gomer. It has been described as “emotional,” “heart-wrenching,” “gripping” and a book that truly showcases the power of love. Many have said that the book left a lasting and very deep impact on them.
5. Spectacular Sins by: John Piper
Spectacular Sins is admired for the powerful biblical reassurance it delivers to readers, which many have said helped strengthen their trust in God more than ever. This book also does a great job of providing the reader with a broader view of God’s plan, helping establish an unshakable faith in all who read it.
What would you add to our must-read Christian book list? Let us know in the comments section below.
Written By Allison Boccamazzo of JCLU Forever!
Allison Boccamazzo is a Christian who has been published in newspapers, magazines, blogs, literary journals and currently serves as Managing Editor at a Connecticut-based content marketing firm. Additionally, she has written several novels of which she is working towards getting published. Boccamazzograduated cum laude from Assumption College in 2012 and holds a Bachelors degree in writing and mass communications.
To ease the pain of boredom, we often look for fun activities to do in order to use up our time throughout the day. While days off can be incredibly relaxing, sometimes sitting at home or watching TV just doesn’t cut it, and you want to participate in something a little more fun and exciting to spice up your day off routine. 4 fun and faith embracing activities that you can do on your day off are:
1. Check out recreational activities at your church – Often, churches will have recreational groups or activities that bring their members together in a myriad of different fun activities. From sports, to interest groups, to bible study gatherings, these activities provide a way for you to have fun and spend your time doing something positive for yourself or others.
Pray. Believe. Receive. It’s really that simple, and now you can remind yourself of this vital message by wearing it wherever you go. Inspired by Mark 11:24 which reads “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours,” this slouchy pullover raglan sleeve sweatshirt represents these three pillars of the Christian faith perfectly.
Remember: The clothes you wear serve as an amazing opportunity to testify to God’s love, mercy and glory and to share it with those you encounter. Whether it’s someone you see daily or a stranger passing by, fun and faith-based clothing is an amazing and easy way to share God’s message with others.
And, just like with all of our clothing and accessories, one of the best parts is that you can share the faith and be fashionable about it, too. Our sweatshirt is just light enough to make it wearable in any weather. For instance: layer it up on a cold winter day; throw it on for a breezy spring afternoon; have it handy for those summer nights spent on the beach; and be sure to grab it when that autumn chill comes rolling around. It really is a sweatshirt for every season.
Wear this sweatshirt to remind yourself (and everyone you meet) of the three things we as Christians should never stop doing each and every day: pray, believe and receive. Serve as a beacon of Christ’s love to all who you encounter today with this statement-making piece.
Written By Allison Boccamazo JCLU Forever!
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Dating in today’s modern world can be difficult, with busy schedules, distractions, and the popularity of online dating. Being a Christian girl in the dating scene can be particularly difficult, as you will want to find someone who shares your faith and your zest for life, but this doesn’t always need to be the case. Today’s Christian woman has many places where she can find great people to date, and these relationships can really blossom into something very special! Whether you are looking for a great new friend, or a deeper connection, there are places where this can be done easily.
Our walk with Christ certainly isn’t along a smoothly paved road. Sure, it may be a walk in the park sometimes, but at others it’s a pothole-filled path with unbearably high hills and super steep ditches. It’s a path that goes for miles long enough to encompass your entire lifespan. It’s enough to make you wonder how you’ll even manage to take another step.
Walking with Christ is a choice that we all willingly make and it’s certainly not easy. It’s important to remember that just as times are good there will also be rough patches. Here are three other things to always keep top of mind as you walk alongside Christ:
1.) Every human has fallen short of what God has created: When the road gets rough and you hit a big pothole, it can be tempting to stay down there and beat yourself up. But remember: we have all fallen short of what God has created. You are never alone when you fall and by the grace of God we are always picked back up and redeemed. As Romans 3:23 says: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
2.) Surrender your “me first” life for a “God first” life: Our ego tries to tell us, “Once everything falls into place, I will find peace.” But God tell us, “Find peace and everything will fall into place.” The only way to find true peace is by placing God first in everything we do, including our prayers and what we ask of Him. John 5:14 does say that “if we ask anything according to His will He hears us,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean God will answer us. Later in the book of John, the Lord also says “I will do whatever you ask in my name so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” This is reiterated in the book of James, which explains that God does not answer prayers that are asked wrongly to spend on our worldly desires. So, remember that a “God first” life means doing everything for the furthering of God’s kingdom, not to further your own agenda.
3.) You should be learning and growing in Christ: Just like any relationship, the relationship we have with Christ is meant to be a committed one—and the point of any committed relationship is ultimately to learn and grow. Would you enjoy a relationship that isn’t making any progress and remains static? How about a relationship where you only flirt with one another and don’t seriously commit? We are warned of this kind of apathetic commitment to Christ in the Book of Revelation where the Lord says: “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”
There are so many things to be mindful of as Christians as we continue to walk along. Have anything to add to these above three reminders? Share them with us in the comments section!
Written By Allison Boccamazzo of JCLU Forever
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