Tag Archives: Bible Verses

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Book Review: The Calling by Rachelle Dekker

Hello!  Welcome to another book review!  The Calling by Rachelle Dekker is the second book in the Seer Series, the first of which, The Choosing, I reviewed a few weeks ago (find that review here).  You probably haven’t read the first book yet since my review about it was only posted a few weeks ago, so I’ll make sure not to totally give away how it ends.  Enjoy!

The Calling by Rachelle Dekker:

This book follows the story of Remko Brant, a character from the first book and main character of The Calling.  Remko has fled the city to escape the corrupted government, known as the Authority, and has chosen to follow Aaron.  Aaron is a man who contradicts the Authority by telling people to let go of their fear and live in peace, knowing that they are loved.  The group of people who have chosen to follow him and his ideas are called The Seers, and Remko is the unofficial leader of the group.  He leads the other Seers on missions into the city, where they try to rescue prisoners that the Authority have locked up and recruit more people to join the Seers.  But, as these galavants into the city become increasingly risky, Remko questions whether they are any good, or if The Seers should just stop fighting.  Is Aaron telling the truth?  If so, are his words worth all the Seers who have been caught or killed?  Who can be trusted?

My thoughts:

As I mentioned in my review of The Choosing, these books are dystopian novels.  The Calling is a typical sequel to any dystopian series; in the first book the characters realize the problem and rebel against it, and the second book usually consists of the continued rebellion, fighting, some betrayal, and almost victory.  This pretty much sums up what happens in The Choosing and The Calling.  The plot line is basically the same as any other book of this genre, but that Biblical twist I mentioned in my first review is present in book two as well.  Characters struggle internally with what they believe to be true and have a hard time “letting go of their fear” as Aaron instructs them to do.  This Biblical allusion aligns with what the Bible says in Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.” Though this book followed closely to a classic dystopian story, it was nice to have a new element to keep it fresh.

Like the first book, The Calling is written in a few different perspectives- mostly from the perspective of Remko, but also from the perspectives of Carrington Hale (the main character in The Choosing) and Damien Gold, the new Authority president.  There was some mystery in this book that kept me hooked on the story, as well as some enjoyable action scenes.

I would give this book 3 and a half out of five stars.  Out of the two books in this series, I definitely liked the first book better.  In The Choosing, there was a lot more variation to the events of the story, whereas with The Calling it seemed like the characters kept doing the same thing over and over again.  There was plenty of action, but it was just repeated a lot.  As for things to be aware of while reading this book, the only comment I would make is that there is some violence, the extent of which being description of dead bodies and fights involving gunshot wounds.

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Too Much Togetherness

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Hey everyone!  Summer is approaching quickly, and with summer comes a lot of time at home with your family.  You can do a lot of fun things with your family, but sometimes after spending so much time together things can get a little out of hand.  During the year when you go to school every day, you aren’t with your family 24/7.  When summer comes around, even if you aren’t with them every second of every day, you still spend a lot more time with them.  Being together so much can cause siblings to get on your nerves, arguing, and other ways of provoking and annoying.  When this happens, how can you honor God with your actions?  Here are some Bible verses to read for when you are fed up and need a breather:

Exodus 20:12                                                                                                                                                           “Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land of the Lord.”                                              In the summer months you are spending more time with your parents as well as your siblings.  As you can tell by this verse, parental respect is very important to God!  We are all sinful, and we all sometimes get into arguments with our parents.  The next time this happens to you, remember this verse and be respectful, even if you are disagreeing with your parents.

Romans 12:5                                                                                                                                                           “So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.”                        When interacting with your family, remember that all of them are part of the body of Christ, all made in God’s image and loved by Him.  Treat them how God would love to see someone treat one of His children.

1 Corinthians 13:7                                                                                                                                                “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”                              We all love our families, and even though we love them we still sin by being rude, unkind, or annoying towards other family members.  In this verse it says that love endures all things.  Maybe your little brother is annoying you by kicking the back of your seat in the car, or running around the house yelling.  Maybe your older sister is making fun of you or bossing you around.  Instead of getting mad an yelling or telling your parents about it, ask them kindly to stop, and pray and ask God to give you patience and respect.

I hope these verses encouraged you!  Any time you get into an argument with a family member, look back at these verses and handle it respectfully.

What are you looking forward to this summer?  Comment below!

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What Makes a Good Friend?

Hey everyone!  It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and Valentine’s Day is a great time to talk about love and friendship.  How can you be a good friend?  How do you love others the way God intends?  I found a few Bible verses to share on this topic:

Luke 6:31  “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”                                         We’ve all heard it before- it’s the golden rule!  Treat others the way you want to be treated.  If you want to make some new friends, simple kindness is the first step.  If you want to build better relationships with old friends, the same thing applies.

Proverbs 17:17  “A friend loves at all times.”                                                                                                                  Being a true friend means you stick by them all the time, no matter the circumstances.  People will want to be friends with you if they know you will be looking out for them.  The person you are best friends with is the person you can rely on to be there for you, right?  Make an effort to do the same for them.

Proverbs 27:17  “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”                                             This is metaphorical, of course.  It’s meaning that friends are so insightful and can help shape you into what God wants you to be.  They can encourage you and guide you along the road God has set for you.

God values friendship a lot, and He wants you to be close with more of His children.  He wants you to make other Christian friends so that you can worship Him together, but also reach out to those who don’t yet know Him.  This gives you a chance to show His love to others.  Make this your goal this Valentine’s Day- to be kind to others and love what God loves- which is all His children!

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Dealing With: Stress

Picture this:  You walk into the first day of school, ready to see all your friends and ready to learn some fun, new stuff.  You go to your first class and love your new teacher.  You think she has an effective, fun way of teaching and you are so excited to have her all year.  The end of class approaches, and the teacher gives the class an assignment due the next day.  That’s right.  Homework.  You didn’t think you would get homework on the first day of school.  But, as you go to each class and your homework load piles up, you realize you were wrong.

If you struggle with homework and stress, first check out my post Getting Homework Done for practical homework tips.  Those tips might help you with the routine of homework, but what about stress?

The dictionary definition of stress is: “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.”  Doing homework can be a demanding circumstance.  You might encounter other demanding circumstances, like an important sports game or musical performance.  Other demanding circumstances could include going to a new school, handling hard stuff in your family, or dealing with the day to day challenges of being a teenager.

Now that you know what stress is, how can you keep it under control?  Let’s see what the Bible says:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”     John 14:27

God is giving you peace, not stress.  If you pray when something is hard or challenging, if you pray that God will give you peace of mind, you can rest assured that He will.  You don’t have to be fearful of your homework load.  God will not give you more than you can handle.  Trust Him to help you handle it.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”     Proverbs 16:3

Do everything to the glory of God.  Don’t worry about being perfect and getting perfect grades or being the best on the soccer team.  Do these things to God’s glory and you will not have to stress about being “the best.”

“Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight.”     Psalm 119:143

Read the Bible.  Let God’s Word fill you and listen to where God wants you to go.  In your trouble or stress, be delighted in God’s plans.  You don’t need to worry about being perfect.  Accept challenges with God’s perfect plan in mind, that He will lead you and guide you all the way through.

So, the next time you march into school with confidence and walk out biting your nails, open your Bible or pray that God would give you peace in His perfect plan.

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Hey Everyone!  What questions do you have about me or this blog?  If you have anything you’re wondering about, ask me in the Comments section. I’d like to do a Q&A post in the near future, and I need your questions.  Ask as many as you want.  I would love to answer them!  P.S. I read all the comments before posting them to the site.  If you would like to ask me questions but you don’t want them to appear on the blog (I understand), comment anyway and indicate that you would like your question answered anonymously.  I will read it and use the question in the Q&A but I will keep it anonymous.  You can also email me your questions here: emma@appletreesandpumpkinseeds.com

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Inspiring People: Joni Eareckson Tata

Hi everyone!  Today I am back with another Inspiring People post.  This person inspires me so much, and here is her story:

Joni Eareckson was born in 1949.  She loved to be outside and do things like swimming and hiking.  One day when Joni was a teenager, she was swimming in the Chesapeake Bay.  Thinking the water was deep enough, she dove in head first.  She hit her head on a rock on the bottom and broke her neck, becoming paralyzed from the neck down.  Joni had to be in rehab for two years, during which time she had many spiritual struggles.  Before her accident she was a strong Christian, but now after her accident she doubted her faith in God as she lay useless in the hospital.  She had lots of friends who came to visit her, but she needed spiritual as well as physical healing.

One day Joni’s friend Steve came to see her.  She was so fed up and angry with God for letting her accident happen that she burst out with questions for Steve like, “Why did God do this to me?”, “If God is so powerful then why didn’t he stop it?”  Joni felt like she didn’t deserve to be handicapped for the rest of her life, and she was blaming God.  Steve shared a Bible verse with Joni that challenged her thinking.  Acts 4 :28, which reads, “They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.”  If you read a little bit above this passage in the Bible you can figure out that this section is talking about Jesus’ death.  Meaning Jesus dying was no mistake on God’s part, or anyone else’s.  God knew what was going to happen to Jesus way before it ever happened, and it was for a reason.

This gave Joni the assurance that God allowed her accident for a reason.  She soon learned to paints pictures with her mouth instead of her hands and was out of the hospital in a short time.  Joni now knows that God’s plan is not always the plan she has in her mind, and she uses her disability to praise God.  She is now married and often speaks publicly about her faith.

I find this story inspiring because Joni went through so much, and God never failed to provide what she needed.  Her injury did not stop her from living for God and glorifying Him.  She went through some very hard emotional and spiritual times as well, but God came out on top.  God will always be with us, no matter what’s going on in our lives.

Did you like this story?  If you would like to find out more about Joni or read a more detailed version of her story, I recommend this book:  Joni: An Unforgettable Story by Joni Eareckson Tata, or this blog post by GirlDefined.

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What Does The Bible Say About Education?

The Bible is a great place to go if you want to learn more about a certain subject and what God says about it.  That is exactly what we are going to be chatting about this week!  Let’s see what the Bible has to say about school and education:

Proverbs 16:16, “How much better to get wisdom than gold!  To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.”

Learning and knowledge are both so much more valuable than material things!  You can have knowledge with you wherever you go and put it to good use in countless situations, whether it be taking a school test or ordering off a menu in a far away country (Glad you took that language class now, huh?).

James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

When God talks about “knowledge”, “education”, or “wisdom”, He  doesn’t mean just academic knowledge, He also means spiritual and Bible knowledge.  In God’s eyes it is so important to read the Bible each day and gain further understanding of Him, as well as what you learn in school.  If you ask Him to deepen your relationship with Him, He will gladly and generously answer that prayer.

2 Peter 1:5, “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge.”

Heighten your faith by practicing things like love, peace, and kindness and learn more about these things to live for God.  Knowing more about the world will help you to appreciate God for making it.  The outcome of having a deeper faith in Christ will be wanting to be more like Him, and the outcome of that will be wanting to be know more about Him.

So, to summarize:

-Knowledge is important                                                                                                                                       -If you want to know more about God, He will generously give you knowledge (a.k.a. His Word the Bible).                                                                                                                                                         -When you have a relationship with God, fill it with knowledge and understanding, as well as growth in Godliness.

From the Bible we can know that knowledge is really important to God. So, keep going to school!  Keep learning, reading, and praying.  Comment below on your favorite Bible verse and maybe it will make an appearance in an upcoming post! (You never know).