5 Amazing Summer Reads

Yes, school is starting up again but I decided to post some of my favorite summer reads.

1.) Vango by Timothee de Fombelle
An exciting, intriguing read full of suspense and adventure. Follow Vango, a special young man with a mysterious past, as he runs for his life across Europe. You’ll touch down in France, Germany, Scotland and other places and you’ll travel in zeppelins, cars and trains. Meet exiting characters and flirt with danger. Such a great read! Make sure you get the sequel A Prince Without A Kingdom!

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Another high adventure book following four gifted children and thier fight to stop disaster. Full of beloved characters, daring escapes and curious puzzles this book is sure to keep you reading late into the night. Witty, clever and heartwarming as well. Make sure you read ALL of Trenton Lee Stewart’s books! They are some of my favorites!

Watership Down by Richard Adams
A different sort of fantasy, this book follows a group of rabbits as they search for (and fight for) a home of thier own. Enjoy a fresh and beautiful look into rabbits (in a fantasy world) as they keep together as a family to create a home.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
If you have NOT read these, summer is a fine time to start! Classic adventures that everyone must read, adults and kids (because we are all children at heart, right?). Narnia is the most beautiful land I think there could be. You are sure to enjoy the adventures therein!

The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson
Theses books are so beautiful. They will make you laugh and cry and yearn and dream. Full of adventure and many near escapes the delightful characters in these books are going to grab your heart. The Igibys are a family with a secret and what a captivating story it is as you watch those secrets unfold! Love these so much!

Well, there are five quick summaries of five amazing stories. Make sure you read them all!
Priscilla Joy


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Book Review: I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Josh Harris and 3 Bible Verses on Purity

I recently read the book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” by Josh Harris. Now for some of you reading this, the title might scare you off. Please, don’t! If you are thinking that, you are exactly the person who must be read it!

Age: 15+
Rating: ***** 5 stars
Main Synopsis: Harris breaks the “dating” mentality by looking at the “7 Defects of Dating” and then looking at topics such as true love, singleness and purity.

I enjoyed the book. I had already decided not to date but I think if you have not decided to do that this book would be influential for you. He also explores questions like “How do you be ‘just friends’? There is also a chapter about what Godly courting would look like. I recommend this book!

I also wanted to include a few Bible verses I came across in Proverbs about purity. Here you go!

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23

“Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you.” Proverbs 5:15-17

“Keep your way far from her (the adulteress), and do not go near the door of her house. Lest you give your honor to others and your years to the merciless.” Proverbs 5:8-9

Hope you enjoyed the book review and Bible verses! Have you made a commitment to stay pure?

Priscilla Joy


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My Big Passions

First off, I am sorry that I have not done a post in almost a month. That is a long stretch from my three posts a week promise. But I am back with a post about passion!

Passion is a gift that God has given us. He gives each of us a different passion because we are all special and unique. Passion for a certain people, project, subject or skill is the fire that gets stuff done. Don’t ever lose your passion for Jesus and His work.

Below I have about a paragraph about a few big passions of mine. Feel free to comment below and tell me what you are passionate about.

Passion for Jesus
First, I just want to say, if you profess as a Christian, this should be your first passion ever. Jesus. The one who came and incarnated and died on a cross for you. He saved you for himself. Now you are free, but to live in Him. And that is exciting. Jesus is my friend, redeemer and Lord. I gave my life to Him and that is the best thing I ever did. I love my Jesus.

Passion for Missions
I grew up reading and re-reading missionary stories. That is what I always wanted to do. Be a missionary. God planted a love for His lost people in my heart. When I went on a missions trip to Mexico when I was 13, I came alive. I knew that serving others and showing the poor and lost the love and joy that Christ brings was what He made me to do. And I am passionate about that. I jump on any opportunity to be a part of international missions work.

Passion for the Outdoors
God planted in me a love for His world. I love to hike, canoe, climb, run and bike in the beautiful nature that surrounds me. I love the sun, the wind, the grass, trees, mountains, dirt, sunsets and fresh air. I look at the glory of nature and I “sing for joy at the work of His hands”. (Psalm 92:4- my life verse) I am passionate about the outdoors. A burst of energy and excitement curses through me as I gaze at a beautiful sunrise or a breathtaking view.

Passion for Pioneer Living
Half of my childhood I wore a pioneer dress. I loved learning about the pioneers in the prairies with the covered wagons and Indians and all the excitement back then. I loved pioneer living. I would rather toil over handmade candles then flip on a lightswitch. I would rather spend two hours making bread then five minutes at the grocery store. I love homesteading. I got chickens and started a big garden and as we move we hope for more animals and a bigger garden. God gave me this love for whatever you would call it. Farming, homesteading, pioneer living, going off the grid, sustainable living. Those excite me. I love cooking and pie making and trying my hand at homemade cheese. God made me a farm girl.

Passion for Literature and Music
I started piano lessons at about nine years old. Soon I wanted to play those long, epic piano scores from the Lord of the Rings book, so I did. I have a passion for beautiful music. It is a way that I can worship the Lord and give glory to His name. I also have a passion for reading. I literally devour books. When I was four, I started reading. I taught myself. From then on, it is history. I read with intentsity, soaking up every word. When I go into a bookstore I get that shiver of excitement up my spine and making book lists is like a hobby for me. I love reading and music.

All of these passions are loves that the Lord has put in me. I don’t say these things to boast but as an example of how God has made each of us passionate. He made me in a specific way to specifically love certain things so I could specifically serve Him in a specific way. He did the same for you too. So tell me, what are your big passions? Comment below!

Priscilla Joy


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If I: The Do or Die Statement

Today I have selected two passages that have a do or die feel to them. Both of these passages have similar wording and I think they have something that we can all learn.

The first passage is found in Genesis 43:14b. It reads like this:

“And as for me, if I am bereaved of children, then I am bereaved.”

As for the second, it is found in Esther 4:16b. It says:

“And if I perish, I perish.”

These might not seem like much but just wait until I give you the background.

In the first passage it is Jacob speaking. Yes, the same Jacob who stole his brothers birthright and blessing, married Leah and Rachel (Labans daughters) and had a son named Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers. Now Jacob is old, he still thinks Joseph, his favorite son, was killed by wild animals and so he clings even more closely to Joseph’s brother, Benjamin. There is a severe famine in the land, the same one that Joseph, a prisoner in Egypt, had foretold through Pharohs dream.

Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy food and they come back with a story. Joseph (although they didn’t know it was him) had been testing them and told them that he would not see them again until they brought Benjamin with them.

This posed a problem. Jacob would not let them take Benjamin. But this turned into a life or death situation. The famine was severe and they had no food. So finally, Jacob said this line: And as for me, I f I am bereaved of children, then I am bereaved. Jacob had lost Joseph, Simeon was a captive in Egypt and he did not want to lose Benjamin. But he knew that this was a do or die moment and he decided to follow God and trust God with his children. And if they died, they died.

The second is spoken by Queen Esther. Esther, a Jew, was chosen as the Queen of Persia. Hamaan hated Jews and came up with a plot to kill all of them. This would be a total wipe out of Jews. Esther was the only one who could stop this plot. But she had to go into the King, without an invitation. If you went into the King without an invitation, he could raise his scepter and you would be killed. Or he could find favor with you and let you enter. It was a risky thing and no doubt Esther was a bit scared. Her words? If I perish, I perish.

Both of these phrases show a choice. This is do or die. These are do-what-must-be-done words. These are complete laying it in God’s hands words. These are words of trust. Jacob didn’t want to give up his childeren but he put them in God’s hands and if God chose to take them away, then He took them away. Esther didn’t want to give up her life, but she laid it in God’s hands and if she died, then she died. So be it. God gives and God takes away. So. Be. It.

What happened to Jacob and Esther? Let’s look at the Bible to find out.

Jacob found out the amazing truth that Joseph was alive. In one fell swoop he had all his children with him. Here are God’s words to Jacob in Genesis 46:4:

“I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again and Joseph’s hands shall close your eyes.”

Esther went in to the King and was successful. The King didn’t kill all the Jews and God used Esther to save His people. Listen to what Esther 8:16 says:

“The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honor.”

God blessed both Jacob and Esther and He used thier trust to accomplish great things and save His special nation.

So whatever God wants to do with your life, so be it.

Priscilla Joy


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Character, Not Color

Martin Luther King Jr. famously said in his “I have a dream” speech that he wanted his children to grow up in a nation where they would be judged not by the color of thier skin but by the quality of their character.

This poses a good question for us. How do we judge people?

Let us not be hindered by what a person looks like but who God made them to be.

My mom gave my sister and I African-American baby dolls when we were little. We loved on them and never thought anything of thier skin color. My parents raised us to look and learn about other cultures, not judge and sneer on them.

You see this is what the Bible says after God created man…

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.”
Genesis 1:27

All men were created in the image of God and we all were created for the same reason, to glorify our maker.

We also all sinned. Romans 3 says that “none are righteous, no not one.” And later, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Just as we all bear the image of God, we also all bear the sin nature. But it doesn’t end here.

We are also all saved. Romans 5 says “God shows his love for us in this, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

You see the gospel is for everyone.
Americans.
African Americans.
Hispanics.
Asians.
Europeans.
The disabled.
The fatherless.
The rich.
The poor.
The list goes on.

Just like Martin Luther King Jr. I long for the day (we have made progress, but we are not perfect.) when people judge each other, not by their skin and outward appearance but by their character, love for Christ and thier heart.

“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7b

“For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people.”
1 Timothy 4:10a

Priscilla Joy


Posted in Bible, character, God, history, holidays, Living for God, words by with 1 comment.

Keeping Words of Beauty Beautiful

In this day and age, people use words of beauty flippantly. Lightly. Nonchalantly.

What is a word of beauty?
Words of beauty for me are descriptive words that show your love and pleasure for something. Words like beautiful, pretty, amazing, awesome, wonderful, good and great.

Today though people use these words all the time. We exchange words of beauty for slang terms and make beauty something cheap.

Now we introduce words like ‘hot’ to refer to beauty.

Now I can’t say “I’m so hot!” (hot- weather wise :) )without being misunderstood.

Now people use words like awesome and amazing to refer to things that really aren’t.

We always grew up reserving the word ‘awesome’ for referring to God and the phrase “Only God is awesome” could be heard whenever we used it another way. Our family jokes about our little brother, when having a woman over she used the word ‘awesome’ in another context and young William corrected her “Only God is awesome!”

The story was funny but I can’t help but look deeper and say ‘where did that respect for words go?’

How many of us automatically respond with ‘good’ when asked how we are doing? I too am guilty of this. It is grammatically incorrect for one thing and it is an automatic response that doesn’t show sincerity of heart in our answer.

Lets save words of beauty for the things that truly are beautiful!


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A New Day- A poem

I jump out of bed
Wipe the sleep from my eyes
Get dressed, brushed and ready
I feel like I could fly!

Dive into the Word
Find a nugget of gold
Get caught in the story
Jesus never gets old

My feet in the grass
My face to the sun
The breeze through my hair
Gods great day has begun!


Posted in Children's Poetry, God, words by with no comments yet.

Remember Your Freedom

Sometimes we can forget the true extent of our freedom in
Christ. The reality is that if you have turned from your sins and trusted in Jesus you are free from sin, forever. I want you to convince you of this incredible truth through Bible verses. Lets embark on this search about freedom in Christ together.

“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
John 8:36

Freeindeed. I think this is key. It doesn’t say just free, it says free indeed or really, truly free. If Jesus sets you free you are really free. It is not the superficial freedom the world offers us, it is true, real freedom.

“Now the Lord is Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.”
2 Corinthians 3:17

When we are walking with the Lord we have peace, love, and freedom! The Lord is all of those things.

So this freedom is not everyones. It is only if you trust in Jesus for your sins. Before you do that you are a slave to sin, you are under the burden of sin and you are a captive to it. Every unbeliever lives with a burden, just like Christian in “Pilgrim’s Progress”. Only when you reach the cross will you become free from that burden.

“For freedom Christ has set us free, stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.”
Galatians 5:1

You never think about it that way do you. If you forget the freedom you have and feel guilty and ashamed you are bending to the yoke of slavery! Christ paid the price for your freedom. He gave it to you!

“There is therefore now no comdemnation 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.
Romans 8:1-2

Notice the words “in Christ Jesus”. We need to make sure that we keep our eyes on Him and remember that He is the only one that we can go to for that freedom.

Now I wanted to post the bridge of a song called “Man of Sorrows” by Hillsong. It explains the truth of this freedom in a very joyful, thankful way and I love it. Here you go.

Now my debt is paid
It is paid in full
By the precious blood
That my Jesus spilled

Now the curse of sin
Has no hold on me
Whom the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed

Isn’t that truth amazing? Lets keep going.

Once we place our trust in God we are actually still slaves…..but to God and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom, right?

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.”
Romans 6:22

So we are slaves still, but to God and that is a even better than being free by ourself.

“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover up for evil but living as servants of God.”
1 Peter 2:16

So living as a free people is the same thing as living as servants of God! Anything with God is better than anything else that isn’t.

Our freedom really has some power. This isn’t just like a ‘yeah yeah I am free, woo hoo!’ Its more like….

“I shall walk in a wide place because I have followed your precepts.”
Psalm 119:45

“You who were once alienated, hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, He has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you, holy and blameless and above reproach.”
Colossians 1:21-22

“Creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption, and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”
Romans 8:21

Yes, you heard me right, this freedom makes us children of God, above reproach before Him and walking on wide ways!

However, we must be careful with this freedom and gaurd it closely. We must not use this freedom that was freely given to us for wrong.

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an oppurtunity of the flesh but through love, serve one another.”
Galatians 5:13

“Out of my distress, I called on the Lord and He set me free.”
Psalm 118:5

“The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has annointed me, to bring good news to the poor, He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.”
Isaiah 61:1

We are to use our freedom to love oneanother, proclaim liberty (Jesus’s liberty) to the captives and in our distress, call to the Lord and He will make us free.

I hope that after hearing these amazing truths from the word of God you would see that if you are in Christ you have freedom. Freedom with power.

This freedom keeps you from condemnation.

This freedom makes you a slave to God, not sin.

This freedom gives you the boldness and power to go proclaim that liberty to those still in bondage.

This freedom is God’s power in you.

So don’t keep quiet, shout it from the rooftops, yell it through the mountains, proclaim it from any high place.

YOU ARE FREE!!!

Freed by Christ,
Priscilla


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#33- Took Steps At Abortion Clinic

So I have not been keeping up with my hard things as much as I would like. Sorry! But yesterday I did a couple hard things while at the abortion clinic (hard thing #2) with my family. I talked for the first time with a mother going in. I was standing by the driveway trying to hand out booklets when someone actually rolled down the window. My mom was right there and together we talked to her. She ended up going in and getting an abortion but it was cool to see how God can use your holding up a booklet to open a conversation.

Priscilla


Posted in 100 Hard Things Challenge, abortion, challenges, do hard things, Living for God, myth of adolescence, teens, teens doing big things, the rebelution, words by with no comments yet.

The Love of A Letter

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How many of you have listened for the mail truck? When you hear it, you run down to the curb to meet it and see if there is any mail for you. There is quite a bit of junk mail, some bills and maybe a catalog for clothing. Doesn’t your heart jump when you see an envelope addressed to you? It could be a birthday card, a postcard or a letter from a friend.

According to the Huffington Post, teens now send over 60 texts a day. Everytime you get a text is it as special as receiving a letter in the mail?

Some might argue that writing letters is a waste. It wastes paper, money (for stamps), and time (who wants to sit and write letters?). But receiving a letter in the mail, is a special experience. It lets the other person know that you care about them, you took the time to make and personalize a letter to them.

As I write this, my sister is sitting across the table from me. For the last hour or so she has written four letters for friends. She has a letter box which contains stamps, envelopes, address labels, pens, cute stationary and her friends addresses. She personalized each of them, adding hearts and smiley faces to the envelopes. Carefully, she cuts stationary and scrapbook paper and writes a nice letter that sincerely inquires how her friends are doing. It makes me smile to think about the young girls who will recieve those letters. Letters bring a smile to peoples days.

“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
Proverbs 16:24

How can you share love through letters? -Application

Who will you write to?
Some suggestions…
1. Someone elderly. (a grandparent or elderly neighbor)
2. Someone who needs encouragement. (a young mom, a person who is sick)
3. Someone you want to get to know better.
4. Your friends.
5. A penpal. (you can probably even get a penpal overseas)
6. Someone you don’t see a lot. (a cousin, friend who moved away)

What should I include in my letter?
Some suggestions…
1. a Bible verse
2. a brief update on how you are doing
3. a sincere inquiry on how they are doing
4. a question to have them answer
5. a game (my sister plays tic-tac-toe with her penpal through letters)

A couple tips…
-make it personal! (stickers, drawings and small gifts)
-if writing a birthday card try to send it off at least a week before the birthday
-try to respond as soon as you can after you receive a response

I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world. Mother Theresa

Thank you for reading.
Priscilla


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