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#verseofthemonth
just hanging with my buds.
We have a new key ring around here, if you know what I mean...... • • “Yes, I truly have reason to bless the Lord for abundant supplies; His treasury has been wide open to me, His riches have constantly outweighed my necessities. He has multiplied His mercies above all my desires.” -Susannah Spurgeon
“I am afflicted and in pain; let Your salvation, O God, set me on high! I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise His own people who are prisoners.“ -Psalm 69:29-33 That last verse holds more weight for me than it ever has. But, more than that, as I read this passage this morning, I realized how appropriate and applicable it is for the current landscape of our national state of emergency and the worldwide pandemic called the coronavirus. So many words have been spilled on this topic and I don’t presume to add any additional wisdom to those of medical professionals, trusted church leaders, or those with greater insight than I into what is going on. I don’t know any of that. What I do know is that which I am compelled (and commanded) to say. So here I stand (sit), joining my voice with thousands of others by proclaiming what we pray and believe is more pleasing to the Lord than a sacrifice of ox or bulls, and that is this: God has not left the throne. He has not and will not ever abdicate. He faithfully remains in sovereign control over every molecule in this universe. Therefore, we have every reason to praise our God with a song and magnify Him with thanksgiving. We should let our hearts revive by commanding them to bless the Lord and forget not all His benefits (Psalm 103) because He hears the needy (spoiler: that’s us all the time, not just in a global crisis). He does not despise his people who are prisoners—whether imprisoned in a jail cell or in isolation or by physical ailments wracking their body. He does not despise His own people. Period. End of story. Christ’s blood is too precious for God to waste by despising those purchased and covered by it. Therefore: “Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and everything that moves in them.” -Psalm 69:34 No caveats. No conditions. He is worthy.

Follow me as I follow Jesus

25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years

25thingsIvelearned

I’ve been 25 for a whole week now and even though my insurance has gone down a few cents, it’s been a challenge (emotionally) to land in this milestone of being a quarter century old.

In the days weeks leading up to the birthday, I began to look around me at what other people had done with their life by age 25 (particularly my sister, who was married and had two babies at that point) and started comparing myself with them [note to self: That’s never a good idea]. As I shared this struggle with a few people, the Lord used a dear, sweet friend to speak truth into my heart and, wow, has God used it.

Maybe you need to hear it too.

“I know exactly how it feels to compare yourself to everyone around you and say, “Why not me?” It is kinda silly but at the same time it’s a very easy thing to do…provided your eyes are on what everyone around you is doing. The command to look onto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:1-2) is God’s gracious way of keeping our eyes well above our circumstances and on the One who has ordained the circumstances in which we find ourselves.” -Kofi Adu-Boahen

There it is. The ever-present command to look and live.

In an attempt to stop comparing myself with others and shift my gaze to our holy and victorious Lord, the day after my birthday I compiled a list of some of the lessons I’ve learned in these 25 years and thought I would share them with you. What are some things you’ve learned in your time on this earth? I would love to hear them. Let’s learn from each other.

 

25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years

(other than the first one, these are in no particular order)

1.  Above all, Christ is gloriously and radiantly beautiful and more satisfying than anything this cheap world offers.

2.  Sports are awesome to play but athletics don’t last forever and neither does fame.

3.  Better is wisdom than gold, even fine gold. Even Olympic gold.

4.  You can waste time trying to be perfect. Instead, strive for excellence.

5.  Your parents are on your team. They aren’t against you, they’re for you.

6.  Feelings do not equal truth.

7.  Even in my best, most put together moments, I am in desperate need of a Savior.

8.  If in doubt, don’t. [My dad’s mantra… one of them.]

9.  Love is a choice. Love is a verb. Love is only possible because Christ first set His love on us.

10.  I need the Gospel every day [all day er’ day].

11.  “Be hard on sin, easy on forgiveness.” -Michael Durham

12.  Every moment you are faced with the choice to either speak life or death. Both are in the power of the tongue. Choose life. (Prov. 18:21)

13.  Not everyone you meet will be your best friend or even your friend at all, and that’s OK.

14.  Choose your friends wisely. You will become like them. (2 Cor. 15:23, Prov. 13:20)

15.  Read. And then read some more. Fill your brain and heart with words that matter.

“Give yourself unto reading. The man who never reads will never
be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted.
He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains,
proves that he has no brains of his own. You need to read.”
-Charles Spurgeon

16.  College is wonderful, exciting, blissful and thrilling. But it is about more than the adventures. Be sensitive to what God is trying to teach you more than the professors.

17.  Compromise is seductive but you’ll always regret it. Stand firm.

18.  Be more consumed with being a friend than becoming one. Seek to understand not to be understood.

19.  True beauty comes only from a life fully devoted to following Christ.

20.  The sorrows of those who run after another god multiply. (Psalm 16:4a)

21.  Intentionally seek wisdom and understanding and to develop your character.

22.  Don’t look to a man (or woman) to do for you what only Christ can.

23.  Don’t compare the story God is writing in your life to what He is writing in someone else’s. You may try to write your own story and make your own plans but remain open to God’s sovereign leadership—His plans will stand. (Prov. 19:21)

24.  Make it your goal to out-serve everyone around you to the glory of God, because He first served you.

25.  My life is not about me. (1 Cor. 6:19b-20)

BONUS:

26.  You can’t make everyone happy. Instead of trying to please everyone, concern yourself with honoring the only One who truly matters.

27.  Embrace the current season of your life and the opportunities it brings. This season, this year of your life, will never come again so, “Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.” -Jim Elliot

8 comments on “25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years

  1. whittmadden says:

    Wow what a great list! So many things there that I am still learning! So blessed to see Gods work in and through you.

    1. Thank you, Whitty! It’s mutual. I’m glad you’re my brother.

  2. An encouragement as always, dear sister. Already been said but blessed to see God working in you greater contentment and love for Christ 🙂

    1. Thank you, sir, and for allowing me to quote you (even without permission…). Thanks for praying for that very thing! Grateful for you.

  3. kellymccuddy says:

    Wow! These are some solid, solid truths. This is such an encouragement and reminder that abiding in Jesus is worth it. Wherever you are, be all there- too true. Thank you for sharing your wisdom

    1. Wow, Kelly! Thank you for those sweet, encouraging words. So grateful! Praise Him for His revealed mind and for His help in learning and re-learning His ways!

  4. Lauren Gray says:

    Great list Sophie. Happy belated birthday 🙂

    1. Thanks, sweet lady!! 🙂

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