The Story of Jonah

Welcome back everyone, I hope you all have a great day! I know, my day I started off great! The snow is all melted and I’m free all day! For those of you who view my post regularly, we are doing a flashback to this summer. For those of you who are new this summer, I was given a wonderful opportunity to coach younger kids the game of soccer, and the story of Jonah.

For those of us, who grew up in the church, we all know the story of Jonah and the big fish, but really we are missing the bigger picture. The picture of God’s love that he shows Jonah throughout the whole story. But, it is also about the amount of Love he shows us from a day to day basis. 

For those of us who don’t know the story of Jonah, I will give you a brief summary. 

Jonah was a prophet of God, who was told to go to a faraway land called Nineveh. Well, Jonah was in an area where Nineveh was his enemy. 

So when Jonah was told that he fled the other way, away from where God told him. Jonah ended up on a ship heading the opposite direction. 

While on this ship, God sent a storm, all the other crew members couldn’t figure out what was going on until  Jonah came, then long story short. Jonah took the blame and the crew members threw Jonah off the ship into the water, where he was swallowed by a giant fish. 

While Jonah was in the fish he prayed. He prayed to God, and God commanded the fish to spit Jonah out on land. The land of Nineveh.

To be continued next week, but now we are going to talk about how this is relevant to us. 

When we look at this story. We just think to ourselves. Well, I will never be eaten by a giant fish. So, I’m fine. The story is forgotten but that isn’t what the story is. It is relevant to us in a number of ways. The first way is we all have run from something God has called us to. RIght? There has been a situation where we have thought we knew better than God. I know I have. Thinking Oh I know so much better than God, I’m not going to listen to his directions to obey my parents.

There has been a number of times where that has happened and guess who has been the one to get the punishment because they thought better? ME. 

Just like Jonah, I thought I knew better and it just backfired. Not to a point where I got swallowed by a fish, but to a point I feel as if I swallowed a ton of butterflies. 

My last point on this story. No matter what happened Jonah never gave up on him. That is the same for us. Even though we mess up God forgives us, and he is still there for us.

I want you guys to remember that this week. No matter what God is still there and doesn’t give up on us.

Thanks for popping in,

Raegan

Emma Update

Hey guys!

Just wanted to check in with you guys with an update on sweet Emma.

First off, thank you guys so much for your continued prayers. It is a joy to inform you all that Emma is still with us! About a week ago, she moved her hand and opened her eyes! Miracle after miracle has happened in that hospital room, and I thank God for that! Today marks one month since the asthma attack that put Emma into cardiac arrest. Her heart stopped twice & she went 10 minutes without oxygen to her brain. Doctors gave her hours to live and now there is hope that Emma will return home in the beginning of 2020.

God has been so evident through this entire journey, and it is so cool to see. Emma is still in a coma, but soon they plan to wake her up. Specifically, if you guys could pray for her “neurostorming”, I know that is a big concern right now. It has caused many setbacks in the process of trying to wake her up, and it is just another hurdle she needs to jump. Today, the family received information on caring for Emma at home, adjustments that need made to their house, and the type of life Emma will live upon returning home. Prayers regarding her parents and family as they try to navigate that hurdle would be so appreciated!

It has also been so awesome to see different communities around the state and beyond come together to support Emma. The support, love & prayers from others have been so encouraging and uniting.

I am glad to report back to you guys that Emma is making progress, but she still has a mountain to climb. Keep praying, God’s not done with her! I hope you guys have a great week! Love, Alyssa

Not Very Typical

Hey guys, welcome back, I’m so happy you guys could join me today. I don’t know where everyone is from, but I am from Ohio. And I am not a fan of the snow and the sheets of ice everywhere. I feel like I’m driving or walking on ice everywhere I go. Walking into school wasn’t walking it was straight up skating. 

However, today we are going to talk about my relationship.  With God, but how me and Seth have a relationship together honoring God. So, for those of you who don’t know. Seth is my boyfriend. And we have been dating for seventeen months. We met in LA on a mission trip about two summers ago. Crazy it has been that long. But we built our relationship on God and friendship other than dating. We met serving the Lord, not looking to be in a relationship. 

In this relationship, our goal is to honor God in everything we do. This is different from most relationships. We are in high school, and for most relationships in high school, it is for pleasure or fitting in. However, for me and Seth, it is for us to gain in our relationship with God while getting closer as friends. A verse that actually quite recently a friend of mine pointed out is,

 1 Corinthians 1:18

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

My friend said this verse defines my life very well. And they couldn’t be more right. Because of the way  I live is much different than most high schoolers. When I look at my schedule it is full of stuff for others or for me to grow in my relationship with Christ rather than for it to be partying and for myself. This looks weird to a lot of other high schoolers. I get judged for the number of church things I do from week to week but it doesn’t stop me. 

But the reason why I talked about Seth, in the beginning, is because we look odd to people. When you see us, we are both saving ourselves for marriage. Unlike most people. I believe I once heard that only 3% of married couples make it. This is because it is what God wants.

But for the unbelievers in both of our lives this looks dumb to them. Yes, we do get questioned on the weekly, but we just continue to tell people we are waiting. And since we are saved through the power of God it makes this much easier but harder for others to understand.

In a lot of peoples eyes we are not your typical couple. Buts okay because we put God first. 🙂

Thanks for popping by,

Raegan

Not Defeated

Hey guys, happy Thursday. I know it is odd for me to post so late in the day, but life has been crazy. Just like Alyssa this weekend I was serving at In & Out. For those of you who didn’t see her post, it’s a retreat close to home. For me, we had 30 girls in one house. I was given the ability to talk about salvation to these girls. Also, teach them what reflecting God looks like. There is a post somewhere by me, talking about reflecting God.

But, recently I just started a small at homegroup with middle school girls. We meet on Tuesdays and we met the Tuesday for the first time. We are going over the book Goliath Must Fall, by Louie Giglio. A phenomenal book, one-hundred percent recommend. But, in case you can’t tell it is about giant sin our lives. And defeating them. We learned this week about even though the giant is dead, its still deadly. 

Louie used a great analogy and compared it to a snakehead. 

Even tho the snakehead has been removed from the body, the body still moves and if you hold it. It will wrap around the arm of the person holding it.

We learned about how Satan was defeated by Jesus dying on the cross for us, but Satan is still deadly even though he has been defeated.

I was given the ability with my girls to explain one of my giants and how even though it has fallen, it still is there from day to day. This was the giant of confidence, I struggle with self-confidence quite a bit. Before this year I had very low confidence, but over the course of the last year, I was able to defeat this giant. This giant is dead, but for me, it is still deadly. There has been a number of mornings where I have woke up with a pimple on my nose and my confidence plumped but I have learned that it doesn’t matter. I won’t see these people in a few months and no one will ever remeber. 

Long story short I was able to open up to my girls and watch them slowly open up to me, and I got to learn a lot about them, 🙂

Sorry, this was a shorter post, but I wanted to remind everyone, what I taught my girls this weekend. Your problem might be dead but it is still deadly. For example confidence from day to day. We are not defeated the giant is defeated. We are NOT DEFEATED! Don’t forget that!

Thanks for popping in,

Raegan

Life Update:

Hey y’all! I hope you guys are doing well! Today my post will be a life update about Emma as well as a ministry opportunity I was apart of this weekend.

For Emma, she is still here. We are taking this day by day, it seems as though each time we take a step forward, we take 2 backwards. If you guys could specifically pray for her breathing, I know it would be so appreciated. Her lungs are very weak and are struggling a lot right now. Thank you guys for continually praying for sweet Emma. It is so crazy to think she has been in the hospital for over 2 weeks now.

This weekend I had the privilege of spending it with some 6th grade girls at their fall retreat. It was a local retreat, so we stayed in the area and stayed at host homes. I stayed with a group of 7 amazing, sweet girls and we had a blast!

We had great conversations about Jesus and I had the chance to really pour into them. On Friday, we had the main session at one of our campuses, and we talked about if we are actually on God’s team or if we are just watching from the stands. It was so cool to see the kids to interested in this conversation and I know many of them took something great away from it.

I led discussion that night for our small group time, and I challenged my girls. I challenged them to think to themselves “Would my teachers know I am a Christian? Do I do things to set me apart?”. This really challenged them to be bold in their faith and live radically for Jesus.

On Saturday, we had a full day ahead of us. We went to the dollar store, Chick-Fil-A, the Zoo, and then we went hot tubbing. The girls were so content with everything we did, and I never heard any of them complain once. We had a blast making Tik Tok’s at the Zoo & just running around to the different exhibits. Unfortunately I had to work Saturday night, so I had to leave my group. They had a session and then went back to our host home for more fun.

I think that it is so cool that my church offers these opportunities to experience God close to home because with the transition of taking what you learned home with you (you’re already home!!).

I am so thankful for a weekend spent investing into the youth, that is something I am so passionate about!

I hope you guys have a great week, keep praying for Emma!!

Love, Alyssa

Highlighters For God

Hey guys, welcome back. I hope everyone is having a great day, and having had a great week as well. My name is Raegan, and I am so happy you have joined me today, to talk about being highlighters.

Tony Livigni, the pastor at my church, did a great job explaining what we should look like as Christians. In everyday life, we are tempted to blend in with the crowd, rather than living out God’s word.  

Matthew 28:19-20

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

We are told as Christians, to make other believers. Some might think this as a game for Christians, but it isn’t a game. It is a commandment we are told, by God. in reality, we are to highlight Him. But how do we highlight God? Let us see what the Bible has to say about that.

Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

1 Peter 2:11-12

Verses eleven and twelve tell us that we should highlight God through our lives. 

The first example in the verse is talking about living ‘[A] good life among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong.” We should make it so people notice something different about the way we act. Also, it says through Good Deeds. This doesn’t mean just do good things to be noticed and praised. We should do good deeds to glorify God, then people will recognize that the deeds that are being done, are being done for God. We should live like Jesus did, when he walked the earth. Jesus walked this Earth-loving everyone, and being a loving person. That seems to go unnoticed, but they don’t understand why we are acting a certain way.

For example, the one time I was talking to someone who most people ignore at our school. I wasn’t doing this to be noticed and to be praised, but rather just to Love them the way Jesus loves me, and show them Jesus’s love through me. As I was being kind to this girl, people questioned why I was so nice to them. She even asked me, and I just said, “I care about you, and I want to show you the love I experience every day.” She was confused at first, but it made sense and the girl started to investigate a relationship with God. Later, she decided to pray with me, and started going to church with her family.

This wasn’t done for me feeling good, but rather for me to glorify God. This was me just being a highlight for God,  so that people can see God through me.

This week I challenge you to reflect God to someone. It can be as small as being kind to someone in school, to serving in a soup kitchen.

Have a great week,

Raegan

Emma Update

Hey guys, I hope you all are doing well.

Today I wanted to give you guys another update on sweet Emma. Emma is still alive, and we believe this is a miracle only God could fathom to bring. Going from not expecting to make it through the night to making plans of bringing her home is AMAZING and I thank God for that everyday.

On Wednesday during school, a few friends and myself put together a prayer and worship session to lift Emma up to God. This was completely voluntary & about 300 kids showed up. I shared the Gospel, we worship & prayed. I know that many of them encountered God for the very first time that day, and I think it is so awesome how God uses situations like this to bring others to Him. I know many seeds were planted that day & I cannot imagine a better way to spend my 18th birthday.

It is so crazy to think that we have witnessed a miracle right in front of our eyes. This week has shown to our whole community that GOD IS REAL and PRAYER IS POWERFUL.

On Friday, we received the news that the MRI of her brain came back poor. Even though she won’t be the same Emma, the doctors and family are hopeful that she will return home in time. In a matter of days, we went from Emma probably not making it through the night to making plans of her coming home. This is something only God can do.

On Saturday, we received a message stating that Emma was in a critically unstable state and to please pray. I was at work when I got this message, and my heart sank. I remember breaking into tears and pleading for God to get her through this valley. At this point, many didn’t think Emma would make it through the night, but she did. I believe fully that God is getting her through these lows because He isn’t done with her yet.

So to recap, Emma is still here but has a long way to go. When she comes home, she won’t be the same Emma, but she will still be here & that’s all that matters. SHE STILL NEEDS YOUR PRAYERS! She has a mountain to climb, but she has a powerful God by her side that will carry her through this situation. Thank you guys so much for your love and prayers during this time. -Alyssa

Still Pray for Emma. Here is an Update!

Hey guys! Welcome back I hope everybody is having a great week. I’m Raegan, And I’m so happy you were able to join us today within the last few days we’ve had a crazy amount of yours is such a great response for praying for Emma. And I want to thank you all for praying for Emma. Prayer is so good and powerful. you’re just going to talk about how powerful it is. 

Before we get to that I’m going to talk about how Emma’s doing for those of you who are wondering, she is still in a coma. This means she is still fighting, but guys we were originally told she wasn’t going to make it overnight the day she went in. But this does not mean to get discouraged. We believe that prayer can make a huge difference, so keep praying it’s making a difference already and we can already see it. So we can just continue to pray for Emma.

Now we are going to talk about the importance and praying right now, 

Well to start, it’s powerful. We can see that with the story of Emma, right? She has been stable more days then the doctors expected. This is because God has His own time for everything. One of my favorite quotes is,

God is in Control Even When it Seems Like He Isn’t.

That’s so powerful to know. Because sometimes I know we feel like our life is out of control and so out of control, we can’t control it anymore. But it doesn’t matter because God’s in control and He has His own time for everything and it’s not on our time it’s on His time. And that’s one of my favorite things ever to remember too, and that’s why prayer is so important because we’re just having a conversation with God and telling Him about. What’s going on. God is so powerful, and if God is powerful then so is prayer. Because of prayers just conversation with Him which means He’s all-powerful so he can help with that you know the conversation that you just had with Him.

Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

This verse here is just telling us to pray on ALL occasions right not just in times of need. But also in times of happiness and excitement in celebration in all different types of emotions guys, it’s not just when you’re sad and when you need him. He’s always there, but guys, this means that we can pray to Him in time of need. We’re supposed to cry out to Him and that’s what we talked about a couple of weeks to talk about in the post called Patience. When we talked about Psalms 40:1

I waited patiently for the Lord he turned to me and heard my cry.

That’s what we’re supposed to do. That’s what it says in Psalms that says turn to Him and cry. Because He wants to listen to you He is a good, loving father to us. He is just there for us.

Everything is just in his own time. 

That is how prayer is so powerful, I’m going to pray for Emma, and that’s all we can do right now because He is so powerful!

Dear God,

Thank you for this beautiful day. I just left up Emma and her family to You. I know you already know what’s going to happen and I know that you have a reason for everything. But right now you know we’re just praying for Emma that she can get help from. And just for her family to find comfort in you because I know this could be so hard. I can’t imagine having my own daughter you know being in the hospital in a coma at such a young age. Who is an athlete, it would be so confusing? but God I know you’re a loving God. And you’re going to be there for them and just help them find comfort in you. Help Emma no feel better and heal very quickly. And I just pray for that family.

In Jesus name, I pray

Amen

Raegan

PRAY FOR EMMA

Hey guys, welcome back to our page! My name is Alyssa and I am one of the owners of this blog. I hope this post finds you well.

Today, I come to you guys pleading. Please pray for Emma. Emma is a cheerleader at my school with the kindest heart, and she is currently fighting for her life in the ICU. We need a miracle for her to be healed, and we know that God is the only true miracle worker than can deliver this.

It was such a God thing that I learned about Emma Sunday morning. I was volunteering with my middle school girls and we were talking about how God does the impossible. We were learning about the story of Moses and the Red Sea. For those of you guys who do not know the story, I’ll tell ya about it.

God told Moses to go talk to the Israelites. The only problem is that between Moses and the Israelites was a sea. Not just a river, but the Red Sea. How could Moses possibly get to God’s people? He can’t just swim across an ocean, or walk around it. Moses knew that He needed God to preform a miracle through him to make this possible. God told Moses to raise his staff and to stretch his hand over the sea. Next thing you knew, the winds came and the sea split. God made a way for the impossible to become possible. (Exodus 14)

One of the key verses that really stuck out to me is when Moses told the Egyptians “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today… The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still.” Exodus 14: 13-14

We need to not be afraid with what comes for Emma, we need to give it to God. We need to stand firm in our faith and trust that the miracle worker will deliver once again. We need to tell our storm about our God and tell God that we believe He can do the impossible.

“God, we love you. We thank you for Emma and her kind spirit. God, right now, we are praying for a miracle. We know that you give and take all things, and we pray that you will give healing and health to Emma. We pray that you will keep your gracious and peaceful hand over Emma, her family & friends, as well as her healthcare team. Be with the hands of the nurses and the hearts of the family. We’ve seen you move mountains and we wholly believe that you can and WILL do it again. We raise a hallelujah louder than our fears. Let dry bones be awaken. Let others come to know You through this situation. God, we need a miracle that only you can grant. You are the ultimate peacemaker, the greatest Father, the Miracle Worker. We cry out to you for the sake of Emma. We love You. Amen.”

Maybe this story of Emma has you thinking. Maybe it has you wondering about where you stand with God. If you were to die right now, where would you go? If you want to talk to someone about this, I beg of you to do so. Email me, DM me, text me, call me, send me a letter, heck, send a smoke signal. I would love to navigate this with you and help you know where you are going.

Please pray for Emma.

Have a good week guys,

Alyssa

Mirror Mirror, I Am Loved

Hey guys! Welcome back, or welcome for the first time. I’m so happy you could join us for those of you who this is your first time welcome my name is Raegan and I am a high school student and I am so glad you were able to pop in today!

For those of you who are returning how did this week go when it came to looking in the mirror and thinking who you were. I struggled yesterday to be completely honest I woke up and I looked in the mirror in my eye swollen and I said “that’s disgusting” and proceeded to try to fix it. But it’s okay if you messed up, we all do. Because we are still going to be talking about it today in case you can’t tell by the title. Today we’re going to talk about more things that we are that we’re not just a masterpieces. We are loved!

So, we are going to start off talking about how we are loved. Yes, I know, somedays we don’t feel loved, but it doesn’t matter because we are loved by God. Let’s look at these two verses.

1 John 4:9-10

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Romans 5:5-8

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

These are both verses straight out of the Bible showing us the love that God has for us. It shows that God has a crazy love for us. Even though we are messed up people God still loves us and He still cares about us. That’s what that last line of the verse says while we were still sinners Christ died for us. It’s showing us that even though we did mess up and we are still to mess up He still died for us and He still loves us. Which is crazy.

When we turn our backs to God, He still loves us. When our best friend turns our back on us… Do we continue to LOVE them? For most of us, we can’t say yes. We’re not as loving as God is but that’s what it is when we look in the mirror we should see someone who is loved and who is cared about. I know some of us don’t feel that way some of us might be adopted, or told no one loves us. But, we have a Father up in heaven who loves us an abunt amount.

So, this week when we look in the mirror we should see someone who is loved. Rather than a hated person. Because we might be hated here on Earth, but the God in heaven doesn’t hate you. He loves you.

Thanks for popping in!
Raegan