Going Deep Into God’s Word | Guest Post By Ariana Evans (From Ariana’s Archives)

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.”

Matthew 23:3

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.
  • Ask questions!
  • 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:

Matthew 7:7

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.

Blog: https://arianasflyinglife.wordpress.com

Podcast: https://anchor.fm/ariana-i-evans


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/78127957-ariana-classified

Hey guys. It’s Emmie here. Thank you so much for reading! This was such an amazing guest post by Ariana, and I’m so amazed at how it turned out!

If you would like your guest post featured like this one, I am opening guest post submissions are now open! You can submit your guest post here, and I’m looking forward to seeing your guest posts!

Are you planning on submitting a guest post? What do you think about this topic?

PS. Before you go, we’d love it if you would reblog or sign up to be an author! Don’t forget to send us your prayer requests, too!

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Take a moment and imagine.

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.

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The Message Devotional Bible. NavPress, 2018.


Lit Aflame: The Third Day Official Launch Post // Giveaway, Schedules, and PRAISING GOD

Lit Aflame: Karis’ Testimony // A Guest Post

Soldier Girl Stories: And It Was Good

A Need To Breathe: Testimony

Stories By Firefly: The Third Day || Easter ’19

A Passion For Christ: Testimony

Books, Life, and Christ: Testimony

Standing Firm In My Faith: Imagine

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~ The First Prize Includes ~

~ A signed paperback of “He’s Making Diamonds” by S.G. Willoughby

~ A cool little candle

~ A wooden bookmark

~ A Bible verse wall sign

~ And 2 medium sized magnets

~ The Second Prize Includes ~

~ A PDF Copy of “O To Be Like Thee: How Deep Love Runs” by Kassie Angle

PS. Before you go, we’d love it if you would reblog, guest post, orsign up to be an author! Don’t forget to send us your prayer requests, too!

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What Christians Forget About Their Identity: Finding YOU Behind Life’s Labels (Guest Post by Julia)

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Hey there people, my name is Julia.  I’m a writer, blogger, bookdragon, Ice cream lover, and a kazillion other things. (Annoying being one of those.)

You know what else I am? A Christian.

Now, if you’ve been around the blogosphere a time or two you may have noticed something.  Many bloggers, in their bios, mention a handful of things that define them – such as a writer, reader, entrepreneur, etc.  And in the same way, they will also include things like “Christian”, “Child of God”, “Believer”, and “Jesus follower” to let people know about their Faith in God.  This is all perfectly fine, I firmly believe that we who are saved should make it clear Who it is that we serve.  


Christians have fallen into the incredibly deep pit of LABELS.  And this habit is starting to not only dampen our lives — but it’s also the very source of our IDENTITY PROBLEMS.

Do you call yourself a “writer”? — that tells people that you write (obviously) and gives them a picture of one of the things you spend your time doing. But, what if I was to take away that title – that label of a “writer” from you.  Guess what? You would still be you! Me taking away that label does absolutely nothing to change you.

Are you a “reader” or a “bookworm”? That tells us you like to read — a lot.  But if that label of a “reader” was taken away, you’d still be the same book-loving person as before.

The same is with an artist, or a plumber, or a chef – you strip them of their labels and they remain the same people.

Labels help define you, but they are not you.

-Colin Wright

This is because, like Colin Wright once said, these labels — they are an easy and fast way to let people know what sort of things you like to do or are interested in.  But they are still just labels – and no matter how well a label may describe you, it is still not truly who you are.

This is why people have such a hard time with their identity and knowing who they are.

Because we put so much on labels.  We want to be able to grasp a title and say “THIS IS WHO I AM” – but its not that easy, and often, even once you’ve found a title that fits you really well, you’ll still feel discontented because that’s not who you are – things that define something can never be that thing themselves.  

So how do you discover your true identity?

Speaking specifically to Christians, the answer to this is the same thing we forget while telling the world “I’m a Christian”.

We’re so busy using the title or label of a Christian, that we forget what that actually means.  We start to view it as this thing, something we put on as our identity – like clothes.

The key to truly finding our identities is in remembering that Christianity is NOT a label – Christianity is WHO WE ARE.  

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.

Galatians 3:26 NIV

You are a child of the Great I AM. Once you were the child of Sin, but now you have been adopted into God’s family.  Which means, that old identity, that old name, that old person you used to be is GONE. Now you are a Christian and that’s not just some title or label that describes you.


When you’re saved, that Sinful person dies and a new person is born – not on the outside, but on the inside – your identity – your very being is made new.  

A Christian is not WHAT I am, a Christian is WHO I am.

You can strip away my claims of being a “writer”, “reader”, or “blogger” –you can tear away all the labels I’ve ever used to describe myself — but you can NEVER, NEVER, take away my identity.

All those labels, they can be lost, after all, they’re only temporal – but my position as a child of GOD is ETERNAL.  

Because that’s the deepest part of who I am.

And behind all the labels – that’s who you are too.

So let’s not forget it.

Meet the Blogger:

Julia Skinner is a lover of fantasies, cleanliness, and sarcasm with a rather concerning fondness of sharp things. She dwells in the reclusive Texas countryside with her parents and 4 siblings where she bemourns her ruthless nemesis: MATH, fumes at her computer’s unresponsiveness whenever she attempts to do her college and buries herself between pages of words. Her existence solely relies on the constant, never-ending mercy of her Savior Jesus Christ and she lives to bring Him glory in all things.

Julia writes about all things inspiring, from books to hobbies, every week over at LITAFLAME.BLOG






Hey guys. It’s Emmie here. I’m honestly at loss for words at how wonderful this post is and how incredible the message is. Thank you so much to Julia for writing it and congratulations to her on winning the giveaway!

If you would like your guest post featured like this one, I am opening guest post submission in a few weeks! (Think March 6). I’m looking forward to seeing your submissions!

Are you planning on submitting a guest post when submissions open? Did you like this post as much as I did? Do you find your identity in God, not labels?

PS. Before you go, we’d love it if you would reblog or sign up to be an author! Don’t forget to send us your prayer requests, too!

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I worked super hard on the new site design! I’d love it if you read this post on the website by clicking here.

Sometimes we need to take a step back and be thankful for all that God has done for us.

Today I heard my dad tell my mom to not worry about wasting because he found out that our insulin was free. Our insurance covers it.

Why am I telling you this? Because when I heard that I realized how incredibly blessed we are. How so many families struggle to get insulin and other basic needs for diabetics. How I need to be more thankful!

There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.

You’ve seen this on signs, Bibles, home decor, posters. For me, just looking at this phrase conjures up images of a wooden sign with a brush font. But despite how common or cliche this saying might be, it really is true.

There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. Because even if somehow you’re in the worst situation even possible, you’re trapped in the darkness and you’re broken inside, God still loves you. And that is something to be thankful for!

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

So today, I want you to take a look around you. At the food on your table, the roof over your head, and the clothes on your back. Because these are things that too many people don’t have. Be thankful, for you are blessed!

Thank you, Lord, for all of my blessings. Thank you for the little things. Thank you for the big things. Thank you, God, for running clean water and light and food and a home and a family. Thank you for all you do for me. Please help me to be thankful. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

(I’m ending my devotionals with prayer now, so you can follow along and pray with me or just read the prayer while you think about the devotional. What do you think?)

What do you think of the new design? The prayer at the end? What are you thankful for?

PS. Before you go, we’d love it if you would reblog or sign up to be an author! Don’t forget to send us your prayer requests, too!

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Every year, my family picks a word for the new year. This year, we picked a word that has a lot of meaning and I really want to strive towards this year: release.

 Release [ri-leese]
verb (used with object),re·leased, re·leas·ing.
    1. to free from confinement, bondage, obligation, pain, etc.; let go
    2. to free from anything that restrains, fastens, etc.
Last year, was full of many hardships and pain. I was diagnosed with type one diabetes, my grandfather died, and I had a lot of anxiety. So this year, my family is making a resolution to let go from the pain and hurt and worry, let go of old problems and arguments, and let go of 2018.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 

Letting go makes room for new things. Sometimes those new things can be hard, but sometimes they can be the most abundant blessings that you never dared dream of. In 2019, ask God to help you Take the Plunge and release your old self.

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Ecclesiastes 3:6 (MSG)

When we become Christians, the blood of Jesus washes away our sins. We are made new in the eyes of Jesus! All you have to do to become a Christian is say this prayer aloud with me:

Dear Lord Jesus, come into my heart. Forgive me of my sin. Wash me and cleanse me. Set me free. Release me, Jesus. Jesus, thank You that You died for me. I believe that You have risen from the dead and that You’re coming back again for me. Fill me with the Holy Spirit. Give me a passion for the lost, a hunger for the things of God and a holy boldness to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m saved; I’m born again, I’m forgiven and I’m on my way to Heaven because I have Jesus in my heart.

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

-Romans 10:9-10

Thank you for reading, and have a lovely day! God is on your side in 2019! Stay tuned for a post on my personal word of the year, flexible. This trusting God in 2019 has become sort of a series!

PS Thank you for 50 followers! It means so much to me that you all like my devotionals. I’m working on something awesome for our 1-year blogaversiary + 50 followers celebration! Make sure to check back on Monday, the 21st of January, because that’s when SFMF will be turning 1!

PPS Thank you to Bigskybuckeye for the inspiration for this post! In the comments, your shared your words for 2019 and that prompted me to write about mine!


What does the word release mean to you? What’s you or your family’s word of the year? What does that word mean to you?



PS. Before you go, we’d love it if you would reblog or sign up to be an author! Don’t forget to send us your prayer requests, too!

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Take the Plunge: A Devotional

5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”

Revelation 21:5

It’s the new year. 2019 will be full of blessings, hardships, joys, and challenges alike, but God’s got you this year!

10 days into 2019, it may seem like you’re dipping your feet into the waters of new things. You’ve probably written down resolutions and goals and have an idea of who you want to be this year, but don’t know how to dive in and start making this year the best one yet.

Continue reading “Take the Plunge: A Devotional”

A Reminder


Everyone hates them. Seriously, who likes to feel like their stomach is inside-out? Like their heart is going to burst out of their chest? Like nothing will ever feel safe again?

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give 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 offers to take away this feeling – like we discussed in the last post, God takes our burdens away from us. He offers us His Peace!

This was a very quick, short, (so short, I’m not even sure it qualifies as a mini-devotional!) but hopefully meaningful reminder post about just how much God loves and cares for you. You matter so much to Him – you’re His child, after all!

“And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:8)


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Rest in His Presence

Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks.  Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus.

-Philippians 4:6-7

Have you ever lay on your bed, on the verge of tears? Have you ever chased rest, but it slipped away from you the moment you thought sleep was finally going to come?

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

-Matthew 11:28-30

The dictionary says a yoke is ‘a frame fitting the neck and shoulders of a person, for carrying a pair of buckets or the like, one at each end.’

A yoke is a heavy thing to carry; it takes extreme strength and perseverance to simply lift it on to your shoulders. If we lived our lives carrying a burden such as this, we would eventually give out or give up.

But we no longer have to carry this yoke, for God says that we can give all of our troubles and burdens to Him! He will take them away or use them for our good. He loves us, even at 2:00 a.m. when our eyes can’t seem to close.

Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

-1 Peter 5:7 ESV


That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

– Romans 8:28 MSG*

The next time you just can’t sleep, don’t worry. God is there by your side, no matter what. Every storm eventually passes.

God will give you rest!

*The Message (MSG) is a modern Bible translation. It doesn’t add to the Bible, for God’s Word speaks for itself, but offers modern wording to help aid the ordinary reader’s understanding.

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Created by Him: A Mini Devotional

God created the entire world, galaxy, universe, with his own two hands. Every small detail He placed on this earth serves a purpose in His amazing plan.

You are part of that plan! You are one of those details! God has an amazing plan for your life. If you trust in Him and obey him, you can help that happen.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

God has a purpose for us, even when it feels like we don’t belong or we don’t matter. Even when the world won’t accept us, or make us feel like we belong, God will.

I hope you enjoyed this mini-devotional! Stay tuned for more ways to stand firm in your faith!
With much love, hope & faith,

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Insulting God: Something We All Do

        Have you ever felt down about your appearance? Maybe it’s your eye color, your hair color, your weight or height…the list can go on and on. You hear the message “Be Yourself” and “Accept the Way You’re Created” so maybe it cheers you up for a little bit, but soon you forget it and you go on comparing yourself again – which is way wrong.

Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.

Galatians 6:4-5

         See, let me share with you something about that. When you insult your appearance, you insult God. That sound a little over-excessive? Let’s put it into story-form.

          Imagine that you drew a picture of a face. (Artistic abilities do not apply in this case) You’re really proud of it – you finally got the eyes right and the mouth is near perfect. You’re holding it up to the light, thinking about framing it maybe, but all of sudden, it says something. Something along the lines of this:

“Why couldn’t I have blonde hair instead of being brunette? Ugh. Oh, that little freckle is annoying me so much – I could be so pretty without it! If only I had a nice complexion and curly hair…I’d be so much happier then!”

      (Note: We are disregarding the fact that pictures do not and cannot talk)

      How would you feel? Insulted, right? I mean, you just created that face and now it’s basically telling you that you messed up! Well, Romans 9:20-21 gives us a pretty good verse telling us that God feels the same way.

But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?'” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

Romans 9:20-21

       We all believe that God created us, right? Well, when you complain about how you look, you’re basically accusing God of making mistakes. He doesn’t. God never, never, never, let me repeat never makes mistakes in how you’re made.

      If you believe that you’d be prettier with longer lashes – let me tell you, I’ve thought that a lot – then you’re really actually saying that God didn’t know what He was doing when He created you. Is that really what you want to say?

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Psalm 139:14

      A lot of girls in our society don’t know that, though. They believe that wearing tons of makeup to cover those freckles or using dye to change that hair will answer their problems and make them beautiful. They’re wrong.  By doing that, you are insulting God.

       Even if you think, “Oh well, I don’t really complain that much and I really don’t put on as much makeup as the next girl” that isn’t an excuse. In fact, it’s even worse because you’re putting others down and feeding your pride while you’re at it.

       So, I want you all to be satisfied with the way that you are made. Even if you believe that you’d be prettier with a few pounds shed or a different eye color, you wouldn’t be. God knew exactly what He meant when He created you, and if you try to change anything about that, you’re saying that He was wrong. Would you really want to go through such terrible extremes? I think not.

        Thank you so much for reading, and God bless you! Because believe it or not, He loves you. ❤

Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

Isaiah 64:8