My grandparents have this “roller” tool for picking up fallen fruit, primarily apples and nuts. When I first saw it, I was fascinated! I loved the way it worked. And, I, along with my siblings, loved using it. Usually we didn’t like picking up fallen fruit, but the new device made it fun.
Fun, that it is, until we’d used it for a few days, until we’d each picked up 150+ apples and nuts. Then it became a chore. It was tiring. It was exhausting. Why? Because the “newness” and the excitement had worn off.
Sometimes it’s the same thing with our faith. We have moments in which we are so “on fire” for God. We love reading the Bible, prayer is the highlight of our day, and we can’t wait to tell others about God.
But sometimes, we get tired of praying without answers. Sometimes we just don’t want to pick up our Bibles. And Sometimes we fear telling others about what we believe.
When you feel like that, remember this verse!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)
Keep on spreading your faith, even if people make fun of you! Continue to pray, even if you don’t have an answer yet! And go read your Bible (Even when you’d rather do something else!) So that we, with Paul can say:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2. Timothy 4:7 (NIV)
Trust me – it’s worth it!
Sarah Susanna Rhomberg is a sixteen-year-old child of God, who lives in Europe, and is fluent in both English and German. Besides writing she spends most of her free time reading, practicing her instruments or doing crafts. She wants to live her life for Christ and writes to glorify Him.
This guest post by Sara Rhomberg is absolutely amazing! Thank you so much for guest posting, Sara! You did an awesome job, and this devotional is super encouraging! 😀
Your turn! What did you think of Sara’s guest post? Were you encouraged? Are you going to submit a guest post like Sara here? Did anyone else Google “apple/nut/fruit roller thingy”? (No? Just me? :P)
Hey everybody! First of all: I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in a few weeks! I was at sleepaway camp for a week and then spent the next week being tired from said summer camp (lol), and also had acting camp and went on vacation in Vail, Colorado. (I miss the mountians!!)
Anyways, excuses aside: As you can tell from the title, I have some SUPER EXCITING news for you guys! Yup, you read that title right: I’m starting a lifestyle blog!
I’ve wanted a lifestyle blog ever since I started American Girl World and discovered all of these incredible blogs where people posted about their life and ideas and hobbies and more. It’s taken two and a half years, but my dream of having a personal blog is finally come true!
My brand-new blog is called Diary of a Daydreamer, and it’s exactly that. An online diary where I share my ideas, stories, tips, tutorials, life, songs, and daydreams. At Diary of a Daydreamer, every Saturday you’ll find posts on Blogging, Dance, Fashion, Lifestyle, Music, and Writing. I’m insanely excited for everything that’s going to be happening on Diary of a Daydreamer and I can’t wait for everything that’s coming!
Of course, I couldn’t do this without my incredible launch team! Thank you so much, guys, for everything you’ve done to help make Diary of a Daydreamer possible. The six girls who are a part of the launch team and I are going to be posting some AWESOME content about Diary of a Daydreamer – so make sure to check the blog tour out!
But that’s not even the best part! To celebrate DD’s launch, we’re hosting an epic giveaway where you can win some awesome prizes! And, it’s completely virtual – you won’t have to give out your address!
Thank you so much for reading! This was just a short little post to let you guys know that I’m starting my new blog, but I hope you check it out, look around, and maybe even give it a follow! Don’t forget to follow the tour and enter the giveaway! Have an awesome day!
Are you excited for the new blog? Are you going to enter the giveaway? Do you like the name Diary of a Daydreamer? What do you think of the new blog?
Hey guys! A couple of weeks ago, I posted 5 Tools Every Christian Blogger Needs, which listed some great resources for Christian bloggers that hopefully helped make Christian blogging a little easier for you!
This post is also in the ‘for Christian bloggers’ category. Today, I’m going to be teaching you guys how to write a devotional! It really helps me to blog about what I’m working on or struggling with, and lately, I’ve been trying to give my devotionals a clear, concise style and a solid format and message, so in this post, I’m going to help you do that in your devotionals!
I hope this post helps you, and whether you’ve written hundreds of devotionals or are about to write your first one, you can learn something from these tips! So, let’s get started!
Step 1: Finding Inspiration
You can get inspiration for a devotional from anywhere! Just take a look around you – what are you thankful for? Is there something in the room that you’ve had an experience with? Do you see the birds chirping through the window and think about God’s creation? Do you notice a book that taught you a really great lesson about life or faith or showed you something new?
Whenever you get stuck, try thinking about your life right now. What are you struggling with or going through? Sometimes, I don’t always like talking about how to stand firm during a struggle I’m going through, since I’m still trying to figure that out for myself. Other times, writing about a struggle is like encouraging yourself and others who are going through the same thing.
Take a look at your daily life. Usually, my devotionals are inspired by conversations with my family or my friends, or maybe the topic of a sermon or lesson I learned in church. Think about your favorite parts of the day. What makes mornings so special for you? Is it because you get to relax in the silence while spending time with God? Or maybe you love evenings because that’s when you read your Bible plan? You can take those moments, conversations, and lessons, and use that as inspiration for your next devotional!
I also get a TON of ideas from my daily devotionals. Each of the topics in my daily devotionals always inspires something that I want to write about! It’s wrong to take the devotional and copy it word for word on your blog or write a post REALLY similar to it – that’s called plagiarism and it’s illegal. But, it’s always okay to use the devotional as inspiration! If the devotional was about God’s love, then you could take inspiration from that concept and write a post on that same topic in your own words and ideas.
I’m also really inspired by my The Message Bible because it helps me look at Bible verses in a totally different way! Since it’s worded very modernly, it’s easy to understand and grasp the concept of each verse. Once, by just flipping through it, I came up with four ideas for blog posts! I always quote the verse I was inspired by in the devotional, so that way my concepts and ideas are backed up by the Bible.
As you can see, there’s a TON of different ways that you can get inspiration! All it takes is flipping through a book of devotionals, looking around the room, or thinking back to a conversation. And once you’ve found inspiration for what you’re writing about, you’re ready for the next step!
Step 2: Creating an Outline
Everyone’s minds work differently – especially the minds of writers and bloggers. There’s a constant debate in the noveling world between plotters, those who keep their story on track using an outline, and ‘pantsers’, those who write by the ‘seat of their pants’ and discover their story as they go along.
Even if you may be a ‘pantser’, it’s really important that you write an outline beforehand. It helps keep you on track, and it will save you a ton of time editing in the end if you have the message of your devotional already identified and incorporated beforehand.
There are tons of different ways to write an outline. It’s going to take a little bit of experimenting to find one that works for you, and that’s okay! You want to find an outline that fits your style, personality, and writing and is most comfortable for you.
When I’m writing a typical blog post, like this one, my outline is way different from what I’m starting to use in my actual devotionals. Here’s how I outlined the first step of this post:
Step 1: Finding Inspiration
QUESTION: Where can you find inspiration and ideas for devotionals?
Since in this post I’m teaching you guys something, instead of a topic sentence, I had a question written down in my outline that I wanted to answer through those paragraphs. But, let’s say I’m doing a blog post on my experience at camp. Here’s what the outline for one of my paragraphs could look like: (This could probably be a post in the future!)
Section 3: How I Grew Closer To God
TOPIC SENTENCE: At camp, I grew closer to God in so many different ways.
Batter’s Box Devotionals
Team Meeting at the Sanctuary
But for devotionals, your outline is probably going to be a lot different from this. Before you start your devotional, even if you don’t really use an outline, make sure to answer these questions:
What is the main topic of your devotional? What is the message or theme?
What Bible verses and scripture can you use to back up your points?
How do you want your readers to feel after reading your devotional? Empowered? Loved? Empathetic? Generous? Encouraged? Happy? Comforted?
Once you have these questions, you’re ready to start either outlining or writing your devotional! If you don’t really like outlining and it’s not your style, you can always skip to Step Three! But for those who want to learn a little more about outlining devotionals, stick around!
After you’ve answered the questions, all that’s left is to map out where the main points of your devotional will go! For example, an outline for a devotional could look like this:
Update them with a little bit of what’s happening in your lifeIntroduce the topic
Thanks for reading
But, of course, just like every writer/blogger is different, your outline will be different from this too! Like I said before, it takes a lot of experimenting, changing, and playing around to find the outline that works for you. The outline that works could be detailed descriptions of every paragraph, a simple map like this one, just the main questions, or no outline at all! (Although, an outline is always recommended!)
Step 3: Write!
Now that you have inspiration, the main questions answered, and an outline of your devotional, it’s finally time to actually write the devotional! Use your outline as a map of your devotional to help keep you on track. Don’t let your outline restrict your creativity – use it as a guide to help you create the best devotional possible!
Make sure to incorporate Bible verses along the way that clearly state your point and back up your message. Don’t forget to cite where you found the verse in the Bible (e.g. John 3:16) and the translation you’re quoting (e.g. MSG). Bible verses are an awesome way to connect the Bible to your devotional!
Make sure to use clear, easy-to-read sentences in your devotional. You don’t need to jazz it up with melodramatic metaphors or big words – I admit, I’m guilty of doing that in the past, haha. 😉 But, I’ve learned that simply stating the powerful message of your devotional has greater impact. Take a look at this: which paragraph is easier to understand?
Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Savior, the Holy One, the Prince of Peace, dwindled on a cross so perhaps we could become emancipated of our transgressions and have perpetual life with Him forever.
Or: Jesus, our Savior, died on a cross so that we could be free of our sins and live with him eternally in Heaven.
The first one is a super exaggerated example – hopefully, nobody’s written a devotional like that, haha. But there’s a huge difference between the two sentences – the first one leaves you looking at the dictionary, and the other one reminds you why God died for you and leaves a little sense of peace. Keep in mind that simple is better!
After reading all of this post, you might feel a little overwhelmed – but writing a devotional is easier than you think! If you get stuck, use your outline and pray that God will use you to write something that will impact others. Remembering who you’re doing this for will help you keep going even at the toughest of writer’s block moments!
Step 4: Revise & Edit
You’ve found inspiration for what you’re writing about. You’ve answered questions and created an outline. You’ve written out the entire devotional, and even maybe added some graphics or a featured image. So, surely you’re done, right?
Unfortunately, there is one last step. But don’t worry – this doesn’t take too long! Revising and editing are kind of like a double check to make sure everything is perfect. You correct mistakes, spelling, and grammar, strengthen your points, polish your sentences, and make sure everything is clear and concise.
To help with all of that, it’s nice to have an extra set of eyes look over your devotional and give you feedback. A great person for this is your mom, who will hopefully give you honest feedback! You can always ask your friends, blogging friends, or people on an online group such as The Young Writer’s Workshop Community.
The more people that read your devotional before you post it, the more opinions you’ll have – which can be a blessing AND a curse! Having too many different opinions and feedback will completely backfire, since you won’t know what to think! People will always disagree with you or other feedback, and you can’t please everybody. But, having a few people read over your post is a great way to revise and edit!
After you’ve gotten feedback from others, use their feedback to help edit! You don’t have to use other’s feedback if you’re on a crunch for time – for example, if I’m just writing a little blog post, I might not edit very much at all. But, if I’m submitting an article to a magazine, I would have several weeks’ worth of editing and rewriting to polish my devotional.
Step 5: Publish!
All that’s left is to add tags, categories, and maybe some images, and you’re ready to hit publish!
Writing devotionals is a lot of hard work, but it’s super rewarding in the end. Not only will you help share a positive message and show Jesus to others through your writing, but you’ll also grow closer to Him through writing your devotionals!
Thank you so much for reading! I really hope you learned something new from this post, and that you were inspired to try writing a devotional of your own.
Did you learn anything from this post? Have you ever written a devotional? What’s YOUR number-one devotional-writing tip? Did you read the whole thing? 😛
In today’s Christian culture, we see a lot of preaching, but not a lot of practicing what you preach. In fact, we’ve seen this throughout Biblical history. in Matthew 23:3, Jesus himself says,
“So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.”
They were talkers, but not walkers. The Pharisees, (who Jesus was talking to in the verse above), preached many good things, but of course they also taught wrong things, like Jesus was not God, or the Oral Law (a man-made add-on to the Torah). We can see that throughout the Bible.
And just like the Pharisees, sometimes Christians can fall into the habit of talking, and not walking. As Christians, we are examples for non-believers. So, what are non-believers supposed to think? It’s fair for them to be very confused.
If I wasn’t a Christian, I would be confused if I saw some of the Christians I see today! I know a lot of “Christians” but I don’t know a lot of true Christians, who practice what they preach, who walk and not just talk.
I have this one friend who is extremely close to God and she truly searches out for the truth. She is a prayer warrior, an amazing friend, and she loves like crazy. That’s God in her life! I’ve rarely seen a Christian such as her.
My friend, who’s name shall remain unknown for her privacy’s sake, even differs on her beliefs than her parents because she has different beliefs, (it’s on a few small things, it’s not much), but I used to say, “My parents believe it so it’s right.” Of course, that’s when I was about seven-years-old, because I read the Bible, I had faith that was boundless, but I didn’t know the words theology, doctrine, or supernatural being.
Of course, my mother talked to me about these things, she always pushed me to be better and think deeper. I loved to think about motives of actions, since I was seven. I had probably heard those words, yet I didn’t know exactly what they meant. Now, as I’ve grown older, I’ve grown as a Christian.
Unfortunately, many people stay at a state where they aren’t growing as Christians. Then, when they get older, those people stray from the faith and trust in God and possibly all religions because they were never rooted in their own faith, they were holding their parents hands. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” If we do not have conviction, a firmly held belief, then we do not have true faith.
We hear a lot of sermons on doing good but we never make an effort to. We read a lot of quotes on being kinder but don’t try to be kinder. We see a lot of people that we admire but we don’t model ourselves after them.
Where’s the disconnect? I’ll tell you. It is this: Holding onto someone else’s faith, like your parent’s, instead of your own.Not looking out for answers for yourself. Not caring enough. “I will go to Heaven anyway…” or “It doesn’t matter. I’m not dead yet!”
Those are wrong attitudes/beliefs to have as a child of God. My challenge to you is this: Practice what you preach and believe in it to the fullest.
How to Start:
Read the Bible for yourself.
Look up root words and know their meanings instead of just reading them.
And finally, just pray like you mean it!
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye. shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
And with that I leave you. Good bye and good luck! Thanks, Emmie, for letting me guest post. ❤
Meet The Guest Blogger:
Ariana Evans is a Christian teenager, who very much loves her family and friends. I she wants to be a lawyer and counselor when she grows up, and loves to write and practice photography. She was saved when she was four years old, and blogs at Ariana’s Archives.
Blogging in general isn’t easy, but Christian blogging especially can be really challenging. There’s so many different elements to it, difficult topics, and can be too close to home or really difficult to write – and then you have to worry about citing every Bible reference, making sure nothing conflicts with the Truth, proving your point in a clear and concise way that people can understand. And, of course, there are always going to be people who don’t agree with your views or don’t get it.
If blogging is so hard, then why do we do it? Because we have a voice that needs to be heard and a story that needs to be told. If you’re getting uninspired or discouraged with Christian blogging, think about who you’re doing this for. Spoiler alert: The whole purpose of this is to honor God and share his message.
So, I’ve put together a list of tools for Christian bloggers that will help make that blogging journey a little bit easier! So, let’s get right into it! (These aren’t in any particular order, and this post is not sponsored.)
Imagine that you have been sent down from Heaven and become something that you’ve created. Imagine thousands of people hanging onto your every word. Imagine calming storms, walking on water, healing the blind and the sick and the paralyzed.
But through all the incredible things you are doing throughout your perfect life, people are plotting against you, trying to overthrow you. But you know that the day they will succeed in arresting you is coming.
Imagine you are sitting at a table with twelve people who have devoted their lives to following you, and knowing that one of those people will betray you in a few hours.
Imagine crying out to the LORD, saying, “Father, remove this cup from me.” But imagine, as you are praying, guards come up to you and arrest you, one of your own disciples leading them.
Then imagine being held for trial, and then an official asking the crowd, “Which should I let go? This man, Jesus, who has done no wrong, or Barabbas the murderer, riot-leader, and criminal?” Then imagine them shouting the name of the murderer, as you drag your own cross up a steep hill.
Imagine they nail you to a cross, mocking you and adorning you with a crown made of thorns, hanging a sign above your head reading King of the Jews.
Then imagine the sky growing dark, thunder booming in the Heavens as the curtain separating the priests from the people is torn in to. Imagine shouting, “It is finished.” Imagine breathing your last breath.
Imagine that you have done no wrong, but you have taken the punishment of the world’s sins and made everything new with that very last breath.
Imagine that you are a young woman, holding onto your daughters and crying because you are watching your oldest son, who the LORD gave to you, who is the son of God, dying on a cross, treated as a criminal. You are overcome with grief, tears streaming down your face as you hear his last words over and over in your mind and stare, shocked, at the torn curtain before you.
Now imagine you are a young man, a man of good character and heart. You go to Pilate and ask for the body of the Son of God. You take him down from the cross, wrapping him gently in linen cloths and placing him in a rock tomb, a tomb that nobody had ever used before. A heavy stone was rolled in front of the tomb.
Next, imagine you are one of a group of women, bringing burial spices you prepared yesterday. Finding the stone rolled back from the tomb, imagine you step inside, only to find nothing there. Then suddenly, two angels stood in front of them, filling the tomb with light. You bow down. The angels said, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead? He isn’t here. He has been resurrected.”
Amazed, you run back to your friends and the disciples of Jesus, telling them the news. But nobody believes you.
Then imagine you are Peter, one of the disciples of Jesus, hearing that news and not believing a single word. “In order to believe, I must see it,” you exclaim, running down to the tomb. But you don’t see Jesus there. You shake your head, confused, wondering where Jesus has gone.
Finally, imagine you are a man named Cleopas, walking with one friend along the road, still grieving Jesus’ death. You talk with the friend, puzzling and asking questions and trying to figure out exactly what is going on. But soon, a strange man you don’t recognize asks what exactly you are talking about. Thinking he is probably the only man in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard what’s been going on, you explain everything to him as all three of you walk together down the road.
Once you’re finished explaining, imagine the man starts pointing out everything in Scripture that explains Jesus and how he has to have been resurrected. Imagine every single one of his points make perfect sense, and for some reason as he is talking to you, you feel as if you are on fire. “Come with us,” you say to the man. “Have dinner with us.” He agrees.
But as the man takes the bread, blesses it, and breaks it, your eyes are opened. Instantly you know who this man is. “Jesus?”
But then, suddenly, the man disappears.
Imagine that you and your friend race back to the disciples and your friends, exclaiming, “It’s real! It actually happened! Jesus is risen!“
Imagine Jesus appears just as you are explaining everything. You shake with fear, thinking that you are seeing a ghost of Jesus. But then imagine that he says, “Peace be with you.” Then he lets you touch him, and he says, “A ghost doesn’t have muscle and bone. It is really me.”
Imagine that everything just seems too good to be true. You sit there, bewildered, and feed Jesus some leftover food just as he starts to say:
“You are a witness to the world. Everything since the beginning has been leading up to this moment.” He helps you understand the Bible. Imagine he is opening your eyes so suddenly everything is crystal clear.
Imagine Jesus is risen.
Now stop imagining.
Everything that you just imagined really happened. Jesus really died for our sins. Jesus really conquered the grave and made us new. Through Jesus, we now can see everything clearly.
You aren’t just imagining things. Jesus is risen, and someday, he’s coming back again.
This Easter Sunday, think about everything that God has done for you. Two thousand years ago, he died for you. He took the punishment we all deserve so we don’t have to suffer, and he conquered death. God couldn’t be around sin – so he sent his one and only son to take the punishment of our sins so we could be with him. So now the gates to Heaven are open for you to step through and meet your Savior someday.
All you have to do to become a Christian and go to Heaven someday when your life ends is, first, ADMIT. Admit that you are a sinner and repent from everything you’ve done. Then, BELIEVE. Believe that Jesus died for your sins and rose from the grave, so you could go to Heaven someday and be with Him. And then, CONFESS. Confess your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, speaking with your heart and lips out loud saying that you are now a Christian. You are made new, and you’re going to Heaven someday.
I’m looking at the calendar for April, and I’m totally overwhelmed. I’ve got school, Camp NaNoWriMo (a slightly insane novel-writing challenge), dance, a ton of birthdays, holidays, events, trips, and a gala I’m an ambassador for.
I thought, How on Earth am I going to do all that AND have post a blog post every week?! I have trouble doing that already!
I decided I needed to cut back…but I love blogging so much! I was torn. What should I do?
But then, I thought…What if I didn’t take a full-on bloggingbreak? What if I just went on…a consistency break?
Basically, for the month of April, I’m taking a break from posting every week (like I’ve been doing that, haha. I’m trying, people, I’m trying). But! When I have the time and energy to blog, I’ll post!
So this means you’ll still be seeing posts from me: just not every single week.
Are you gonna miss me? 😛 Just kidding! Head on over to the American Girl World YouTube channel to watch the video version of this post. Thanks for supporting me in my blogging journey. Love you guys!