Book Review: Soundtracks by Jon Acuff

Hello, friend! Welcome back to my blog. Today, I’ve got a book review for you. The only book reviews and lists I’ve done in the past are Christian living books, really, but this book is a bit different. So without further ado, introducing my book review of Soundtracks by Jon Acuff.

Soundtracks: The Surprising Solution to Overthinking, is a nonfiction book about, well, overthinking. Acuff introduces the idea that we have specific sayings and thoughts, or as he calls them, soundtracks, playing in our mind. They can either encourage us (I am the best!) or discourage us (I’m a horrible person, how could I do that?). 

I think all of us can relate with overthinking. Ever gone back to a conversation you had days, months, even years ago and thought — “I could have said something else”? Ever told yourself you’d never succeed at something because of x, y, and z?

Broken soundtracks like to traffic in absolutes. Everything, nothing, none, and forever, are sure signs that you’re overthinking.

Soundtracks by Jon Acuff, p. 122

In the book, Acuff talks about various ways to dial down the bad thoughts (or, as he calls them, broken soundtracks) and maximize the number of good thoughts you have in your brain. For example, writing down encouraging, short sayings and playing them in your mind when you’re feeling discouraged will help you out. 

I actually really liked the book. It was very well written and Acuff had a very conversational and fun voice in his writing. It felt like he was talking to me, and he gave lots of examples from his own life and others. 

One of the strategies Acuff talks about in his book is the New Anthem. Basically, he gives a list of encouraging soundtracks and a script to recite in the mirror every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to bed for thirty days. Apparently, the results he got from a test said it was very beneficial.

I haven’t personally tried it. Partly because saying “I am my biggest fan” in the bathroom mirror is ridiculous (he does address this, though), but also partly because I want to tweak the New Anthem before I try it. 

See, the book isn’t written from a Christian perspective, and I think Acuff’s strategies can be more useful if we use more powerful words than just, “I am my biggest fan.”

Instead of taking Acuff’s playlist of soundtracks, mixing it or completely replacing it with verses or phrases that speak Biblical truth can be much more powerful.

So instead of saying, “I am my biggest fan” say “Jesus is by my side.” Instead of saying, “Everything is always working out for me” say “God has got a plan, even if I don’t know it.”

Pretty easy, right? 

Just because the book isn’t from a Christian perspective doesn’t mean it won’t be helpful. We just have to be careful when reading books like these and make sure we are looking at it with a critical eye and figuring out how the book will work for us, not how we’ll work for the book.

That’s not to say, however, that we should avoid being critical about books labelled “Christian.” People make mistakes and can stray from the truth, and it’s important that we check what people say and write with what God says in His Word. In many New Testament letters, Paul warns those he is writing to about false teachers and twisted messages, and I think that we should still take that seriously today.

But, back to the current review, with some rephrasing and rewriting, the majority of Acuff’s New Anthem can be this:

I am confident in my identity in Christ, and I’m ready to trust Him with what happens next. With His help, discipline, and dedication, I can stick with it. Here are ten things I know:

  1. I don’t have to worry about today or tomorrow. God will provide.
  2. Jesus has given me the greatest gift.
  3. Anything is possible with God.
  4. Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords– He cannot be shaken.
  5. Loving one another is the second greatest commandment, so I should do it.
  6. Jesus is my comfort in times of trouble and worry. I can trust Him.
  7. Jesus never said things would be easy.
  8. God has a plan, even if I don’t know it.
  9. Jesus is by my side.
  10. Jesus gave up everything for me, which was extremely hard. With Him, I can do hard things too.

I simply took the main portion of the New Anthem on p. 153 and rewrote it. If you want to read more and see his overall tips, I’d recommend you get the book!

You can even tweak my list and mix in complete Bible verses. Acuff encourages you to make your own playlists with our own encouraging sayings and quotes, and if we’re Christians, why not just use the Bible?

If you get the book and want to try the New Anthem challenge, shoot me an email at live2thelord@gmail.com or reply to this post with a comment saying so– perhaps I can try it with you!

So essentially what I’m saying is this: The book is good, and will likely be helpful once I try the strategies. However, maybe the surprising solution to overthinking isn’t just listening to different people, but rather listening to the voice of the One who matters most. The One who broke us free from sin and gives us the ability to say, “I am a child of God.”

Thank you for reading today’s article! Have you read Soundtracks? What did you think of my perspective on it? Feel free to comment down below or email me through the contact page with an answer. And, if you’d like to get my weekly emails and notifications when I post, please consider subscribing to my email list in the form just below this.

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Have a blessed day,
~Caroline

My Journey As A Homeschooler

Hello, friend! Welcome to my blog. I hope you’re doing well! Today, instead of doing a Christian-focused topic, I’m going to tell you a little bit more about me and my journey through homeschooling. Let’s get into it!

I’m A Preschool Drop-Out

Yep, you read that right. After about a month of preschool, my parents pulled me out and decided to educate me themselves. I’m very proud of having the title of ‘preschool drop-out’ even though I don’t remember preschool at all.

Since then, I’ve been homeschooled. During the early years of elementary school, I did exercises in textbooks for my school for an hour or two each day. As I got older my workload increased and I had to spend more of my day working on it.

I didn’t understand all my subjects perfectly either. There were days when I’d have to ask my parents to explain my math better than the book did, and there were days I could do the exercises with ease. 

In 6th grade, my parents had me try out an online class. In the class, I came to a live lecture where there were other students to interact with in the chat. Sometimes the chat got out of control (the students really like the emojis), but that’s when the instructor stepped in. I loved the class, and I continued taking online classes for some of my subjects through middle school and now in high school.

And if the Lord wills, I’m going to keep at it. 

What I Like About Homeschooling

So now that I’ve given you a brief summary of my homeschool life, let me tell you a few of the things I like about homeschooling as a student. 

1. I choose my sleep schedule

As a homeschooler, especially as a younger one, I could choose when I woke up and do my school. Once I got to middle and high school, though, I had to start getting up at a reasonable hour to get things done, but if I slept in an extra hour it didn’t really matter. There was no bus to catch or class to get to (unless I had an online class, but that usually didn’t take up the whole day), and sometimes it’s possible to get away with wearing pajamas as your school uniform!

2. The desks are very comfortable

Sometimes I’ll rotate where I do my school. Sometimes it’s on the back porch, sometimes it’s on my bed, sometimes it’s at my desk, sometimes it’s curled up in a corner on a pile of pillows. So yes, the desks are very, very comfortable.

3. I get to spend more time with my family

Since I’m at home most days I get to spend more time with my family. Even though we fight and get angry with each other sometimes, I like to think of being around them as a good thing. After I become an adult and go down my own road, I won’t see them as much anymore, so I like spending time with them now.

It also helps with the time we spend in God’s Word. My mom tries to keep up with a schedule of every weekday we have a time where we discuss a Bible story or passage. My siblings and I like to call this “Bible time.” Sometimes we follow a Bible study and sometimes we just do our own thing, but it’s a good time spent either way.

4. My schedule is flexible

Since my online classes only take up a couple of hours every day, I can shift other things around and my parents can schedule vacations during the school year. Sometimes my mom will take us on “field trips” to parks and other places for a day. Some of these “field trips” are just to the park or a nearby beach for the day, and sometimes it’s a more historical park or museum that’s educational.

5. If I get stuck I can slow down

If I’m confused on a subject there’s not as much pressure of “you have to understand it now” but it’s more like, “let’s spend more time on this.” I can email my online teachers or ask my mom and spend more time researching the topic and figuring it out. That way I can also have stronger foundations in the basics of a subject for more complex concepts later. 

Why I Said ‘No’ To Public High school

Almost a year ago, my mom asked me if I wanted to do high school in a public school.

I looked at her and said no.

Why did I say it so quickly? I think it’s partly because I’ve been homeschooled my entire school life, and I didn’t think I would like it. It would be a hard change from a flexible schedule that my parents and I could ultimately choose to a strict public school schedule, from doing school on my bed to sitting in a classroom, from doing school with just my siblings to a whole group of other kids.

If you’re reading this and you’re a kid or teen that would usually go to public school but it’s not going to be the same this year because of the pandemic, or even a parent trying to figure out what you’re going to do. I get it, it’s going to be a hard transition.

It’s going to go from having a strict public school schedule to a flexible one, from doing your school in a classroom to doing it in your home, from doing school with your public school friends to doing it with any siblings you might have or even just alone.

It’s Going To Be Hard, But You Can Do It

But it’s going to be okay because your friendships can still continue. Your best connections will still stay strong. Be thankful for the cell phones we have during this time so that we can text and call friends. It’s not like you’re never going to see your friends again. In fact, you might be able to get together more this school year depending on how things go!

And remember, even when the days seem hard, when you feel that everything is hitting you in the face and that you just can’t do it, remember that Jesus has got you.

He’s got you safe in His arms.

Pray, plead, cry, praise, whatever you have to do, talk to Him in your hardships. 

In James, it says,

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

James 4:13-15

Remember that everything is in God’s control, and whatever happens is in His mighty hands. It’s during this time that we especially need to trust Him, and expect the unexpected.

And if you haven’t ever heard the Gospel before and are reading this post and wondering, “What on earth is this girl talking about?” Then please, hear me out.

The Gospel

There’s a person named Jesus Christ. He lived the greatest life ever lived. He never sinned, He never did anything wrong, He was perfect. He was both God and man at the same time. He was tempted and struggled with human needs, but also performed miracles according to God’s plan.

Jesus lived and preached in Israel. He was popular among some but others hated Him and wanted to kill Him. These people got their wish. Jesus was arrested, a man who had done no wrong was beaten, mocked, and delivered to be crucified.

He was taken to a cross and hung on it with nails through His wrists and His ankles. He died a criminal’s death and was buried.

But on the third day after His death, something amazing happened.

Jesus rose again. He defeated sin and death and appeared to His disciples and hundreds of other people. After proving that He was indeed alive, He ascended into heaven, sending His disciples out to become fishers of men and tells others about the good news.

And what is that good news?

Because Jesus lived a perfect life and died on the cross, He was the Ultimate Sacrifice. He took all of our sins and made us right before God again. And if we believe that He is Lord and what He did for us, we’re saved. When we die, we can join Him in heaven.

So if you aren’t a Christian and you’re reading today you can accept Jesus right now. All you have to do is pray and tell Jesus, “Yes, I believe that you are the Son of God and that you died for me and everyone in this world. I accept you into my heart today. Amen.”

But it doesn’t end there, it’s only the beginning. Jesus is going to change your heart and life for the better. Still confused and have questions? That’s okay. Please do message me via the Contact page if you do, I’m willing to answer questions and help you start figuring things out.

Final Thoughts

Thanks so much for reading today! I hope you enjoyed my ramblings about homeschooling and the Gospel, and that they were helpful in some way! If you need prayers or encouragement, don’t hesitate to reach out through the ‘Contact’ page.

If you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to my email list! When you subscribe, you’ll receive three exclusive articles, updates when I post, and my monthly newsletter. 

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Have a blessed day,

~Caroline

The Bible Doesn’t Have To Be Boring

Hello, my friend! Welcome to my blog, and I hope you’re doing well. Today, since we don’t have an Imperishable Inheritance article, we’re going to talk about how to read God’s word without getting bored or sidetracked. To begin, we have a little story from me, let’s get into it!

A Story From Me

After finishing Imperishable Inheritance, I wasn’t sure what I would be writing next. My week began and I debated in my head what I should do.

On Tuesday, I had my online Spanish class. The lesson went well enough, but as we neared the last ten minutes of the class, my teacher asked me to read a story in Spanish. I don’t mean a little one-paragraph story with only dialogue; It was a full-on article, seven paragraphs long, and most of those paragraphs were pretty substantial.

I’d like to take a moment to say, don’t worry, I won’t write my articles in Spanish (For those of you who hoped I would, I’m sorry, no).

I began reading the story, and for the next ten minutes I read the article, mumbling words in a droning voice and not understanding what I was reading at all. I was just trying to survive (I feel like it may have been torture for my teacher too, my Spanish reading voice is not interesting).

The only thing I really got out of the article was that it was about lions and lionesses. I didn’t know anything about the percentages mentioned, what the lions did, or anything like that.

Why am I telling you about my Spanish struggles?

Well, my friend, keep reading.

How Do We Read God’s Word?

When you read the Bible, do you skim or skip? Do you get the main idea and leave the heavy parts that involve hard thinking behind?

The Bible is how we get to know and love God more. If you were trying to start a friendship with someone, would you avoid learning about them? Would you say “I don’t care” when they talk about their likes and dislikes? Probably not. In fact, you’d probably do quite the opposite. As you engage with conversations with your new friend, you would ask them questions, and get to know them and love them.

If Jesus is your friend, do you respond in the same way? Do you search God’s word to learn more about His character? Do you try to figure out what He likes and what He dislikes?

Part of loving God is loving with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. We need to be filling our minds with knowledge of Him, with thoughts about Him. We need to know what He says is right and what He says is wrong because it changes the focus of our lives.

I know, the Bible can be boring sometimes. I recently finished reading the book of Leviticus, and before reading it I had always said things like, “Leviticus is so long and boring” and, “No, not Leviticus.”

But then I started from the book of Genesis and worked my way down through the first books of the Bible, and I got to Leviticus and read through it. Guess what? I survived! 

It won’t kill you, I promise, and it can be very interesting at times too. What we need to do is realize that the Bible isn’t something far off or hard to comprehend. It’s not in a different language like my Spanish article, and we can understand it. But if we don’t put our minds to it and don’t put the effort in, we won’t get anywhere.

A tip I have can be reading it before your day gets chaotic, or after the day is over, or even when you have a break with free time. If you try to read it while the house is crazy and loud, you’re pressed for time, or anything like that, you won’t get a chance to think and meditate on it. You won’t get a chance to understand it.

And even after you’ve finished reading, keep it in the back of your mind! Remember the message you learned in the Bible and try to keep it in your thoughts for the rest of the day. The Bible shouldn’t be something on your to-do list that you check off once, it should be a wonderful time spent with God.

If you’re having a really bad day with reading the Bible, and you just can’t read or meditate on anything, turn to the Psalms. The Psalms are pure praises and pleas to God, and if you look and listen, you can feel real emotion flowing through the words of the psalmists. Their devotion to God is apparent and clear, and if you really meditate on the words you can see what they were getting at too.

Want to see what I mean? Turn to Psalm 148 and take a moment to read it.

A Piece Of The Bible

In this Psalm, there’s a lot of praise going on. And I mean a lot (I counted the number of times the psalmist says ‘praise,’ it’s twelve).

This is just one of many praises to God in the psalms, and this one is calling out to everything to praise the Lord. In just two verses, the psalmist uses the word ‘praise’ five times.

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts!

Psalm 148:1-2

Indeed, we should praise Him. He created us and He loves us and He sent His son to die for us. And reading and thinking about this psalm is part of learning more about Him to love Him. We see His power, His majesty, His goodness for this praise, all in just fourteen verses.

So if you haven’t done so in a while, pick up your Bible and read. Don’t just read, but really think. Think about what the passage tells you about God and His character and think about ways to apply it. 

You can also challenge yourself! Try reading and studying a book you’ve never read before (or maybe even dreaded)! Don’t be afraid to try because of past failure in reading the book, you can do it!

Final Thoughts

I hope this article was helpful for you. Let me know in the comments or through the contact page what book of the Bible you’ve struggled to get through before, and if you’ll accept my challenge to try again!

If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my email list to receive three exclusive articles about reading the Bible with a friend, notifications when I post, and my monthly newsletter!

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Have a blessed day, 

~Caroline

Our Hope Through Suffering

Hello, friend! Welcome to my blog, and I hope you’re doing well! Today I’ll once again be combining our Imperishable Inheritance passage with one of my usual posts like last week when I talked about our worldly passions. This time, I’ll be talking about suffering and struggle.

Imperishable Inheritance Pt. 6

The passages for Imperishable Inheritance Pt. 6 are:

1 Peter 3

1 Peter 4:12-19

As always, I encourage you to read both of those passages before reading this post as to understand it better yourself!

What Is Suffering?

Suffering is undergoing distress or hardship. It’s struggling through a situation, or sometimes just with life, depending on what’s going on. 

A lot of you have probably suffered in some way during your lifetime. Maybe it was many years ago, maybe it was a few months ago, maybe it’s right now during Covid-19. Suffering is hard, but it’s also part of life. We can either be pushed by it or push through it. I’m sure everyone wants to push through it, but that’s easier to say than put into action.

Don’t Be Surprised

Some people believe that when you become a Christian everything gets easier. God wouldn’t let things keep hurting us, right? Well, not exactly.

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

1 Peter 4:12

Everything can’t be perfect just because we follow Him; We’re still broken humans in a fallen world, and have you ever noticed that you grow closer to God when things are outside of your control? It’s through hardships that we depend and trust God more. We humble ourselves and are reminded that we are weak and He is strong.

So what do we do when we suffer? Do we cower and hide? Do we try to go through it ourselves? Who do we turn to?

Well, let me tell you some good news, you have a Friend.

Our Friend

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh and made alive in the spirit,

1 Peter 3:18

Christ suffered through pain that we probably couldn’t even imagine. Not only was He beaten, but He was mocked and accused of things He never did. He never sinned but was given the death of a criminal. He went through not only physical pain but also emotional suffering. It says in the Gospel of Luke that before His betrayal:

And being in agony he [Jesus] prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Luke 22:44

God doesn’t snap his fingers and make everything easy for us. However, He does give us the hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that light is Jesus.

Since Jesus became human and went through temptations, hunger, thirst, other worldly struggles, as well as experiencing death itself, He can empathize with us, and that makes Him an even greater friend.

And when we’re tempted, when we’re suffering, struggling, in pain, we can cry out to Him and remember what He did and what He went through, and grow closer to Him all the more.

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.

1 Peter 3:15

Life is hard, and doubts, fears, hardship, and suffering are always going to be part of it. However, since Jesus stepped in we have a living hope, an imperishable inheritance.

Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

1 Peter 4:19

A Psalm & A Song

In 1 Peter 3, Peter quotes Psalm 34. Psalm 34 paints a beautiful picture, 

Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Psalm 34:13-14

Not only is Psalm 34 a great reminder for us, but it’s also a song we can listen to. 

“Psalm 34 (Taste and See)” by Shane & Shane

Recap

Remember, friend:

  1. Suffering is hard but
  2. Jesus is our Friend during any trial
  3. And though things aren’t easy, we still have a great hope.

Final Thoughts

I hope this article about suffering helped you! If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my email list (by clicking to the home page of the blog and filling out the form) to receive three exclusive articles, notifications when I post, and my monthly newsletter. Thank you for stopping by!

Have a blessed day,

~Caroline

How You Can Give Up Your Worldly Passions

Hello, friend! Welcome to my blog, and I hope you’re doing well! Last week, we talked about the distractions that hinder our Christian lives, and I challenged you to try and cut back your usage of time-wasting things such as social media and TV. This week, I’m going to talk about solutions I have figured out during this week to those problems as well as combine it with the passage for Imperishable Inheritance Pt. 5!

Imperishable Inheritance Pt. 5: 1 Peter 4:1-11

If you’d like to read this passage directly, you can click here.

Last Sunday, the pastor at my church preached on this same passage, and he addressed some of the time-wasting things I talked about in my post last Friday. In his message, he talked about reinvesting our lives to better things- such as instead of social media you can call an old friend, or instead of watching TV you can spend more time with your family.

These verses are instructions to the exiled Christians of Peter’s day that tell them how to live, and a lot of it is still applicable for us today. Peter says,

Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased to sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.

1 Peter 4:1-2

As Christians, we should try to become imitators of Christ and cease sinning and living for sinful passions. I really like the words, “the will of God” because they sound so powerful. Ultimately, it’s God’s will that will be done, not ours, so we should think about our lives and look for ways we can serve God instead of our sinful passions.

Our Worldly Passions

Our worldly and sinful passions may not seem that sinful when we’re doing it. What’s one more TV show? One more movie? Maybe just five more minutes on social media? Ten more on Youtube? 

But let me ask you this, how much time do we spend with God every day? How much time do we spend reading the Bible, praying, and reflecting? 

After you answer that question, how much time do we spend watching TV or scrolling through social media? How much time do we spend playing games on our phones or computers and watching meaningless Youtube videos?

If you’re like me, the Time-Wasting category probably has a bigger time frame than the Worship and Praise category.

“Now wait,” You may be thinking, “I use TV to relax, are you saying I shouldn’t relax?”

No, we need our periods of relaxation too. But what if our time with God was our relaxing time? What if we no longer looked at TV to ease our minds and distract us from stress but looked at God to reassure and comfort us?

Are we going to continue to keep our eyes fixed on worldly passions? Or are we going to run into our Father’s arms and see that He is better?

I don’t know about you, but I like option number two. 

People May Question It 

In the next few verses, Peter says to the Christians that the Gentiles might look at them and wonder why they don’t go along with the sinful passions such as “drunkenness” or “lawless idolatry” and they may make fun of them for it.

In the same way, when you back off from doing something sinful with a stranger, friend, or even a family member, they may question you, they may mock you. However, that should not worry you:

But they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

1 Peter 4:5

But remember, Jesus said to pray for your enemies as well (Matthew 5:44), so don’t think that those people that mock you at the moment won’t ever be with God- because of Jesus everyone has a chance to be with Him forever. 

Give Up Worldly Passions

Last week I challenged you to experiment with logging out of your social media or turning off the TV for a couple of days. I have been experimenting with that for the past few days too. I limited my time watching TV or Youtube videos, chatting on Discord, and playing video games.

The result? A lot of free time! I had time to read some classics, read the Bible more, and really just think about things. I also have been going to bed nearly an hour earlier because I’m not staying up to watch Youtube or chat online late into the night. 

Some of you, though, may have tried last week but weren’t as successful. That’s okay! In this article I’m going to give you some pointers I’ve learned myself.

So how did I do it?

Let me just say this, two is better than one. Around the time I was writing my article for last week, I messaged my friend and explained what I wanted to do, and she decided to set similar goals with me. Since we talk so frequently we gave each other updates about how we were doing with our goals and just held each other accountable in a friendly way. 

So, step one for giving up worldly passions is:

Find a Friend

That friend can be a parent, sibling, son, daughter, another family member, best friend- anyone who you think would be willing to attempt this with you, just ask them. Explain your intentions and if you want, you can even point them to this article to prove your point!

After you find a friend, the next step is:

Set Your Goals

When setting goals, also keep in mind what you can do to replace the passion you want to get rid of with something else. For example, when you think to open your phone to social media, decide at that moment you’re going to go pray. When you reach for the remote to the TV, use that action to direct yourself to some Bible study instead.

If you’re worried about forgetting and starting to do these things anyway, maybe try turning off the notifications for your social media. Another handy trick is to move the app away from its usual place on your phone screen and onto another page. That way, when you open your phone to go click on the app, you’ll think a little more when you’re looking for it. You’ll ask, “Why is it over here? Oh, wait…” and stop what you’re doing in an instant.

Once you have your goals in mind, write them down somewhere and then share them with your friend. That way you both know what the other is aiming for, and you can help encourage them. It’s also helpful if your friend has some similar goals, that way you can empathize with him/her when they’re struggling to know what to do.

And my favorite step, step three:

Find Your Free Time

About a day into your goals, you might realize the amount of free time you have all of a sudden. And you can not only use that time for more worship and praise to God, but you can also do some more enjoyable activities. Such as taking walks outside or reading more books. Maybe you’ve been wanting to try out some skill or art and haven’t had the chance to, and now you do!

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.

1 Peter 4:7-9

Recap

We’ve covered a lot in this post, so let’s recap:

  1. 1 Peter 4 tells us that we should do things for the will of God, not our sinful passions.
  2. People may mock us for not going along with them, and you should still love and care for them, but ultimately God will judge.
  3. Find a friend to give up your passions with.
  4. Set your goals together.
  5. Find your free time!

I hope you have at least found one thing helpful in this article, and that it has inspired you to try setting some goals of your own! To end it off, here’s a song that can remind us that the Lord is better.

Jesus You’re Better – Lakeshore Worship

Final Thoughts

Thanks so much for joining me today as we connected the Bible with some of our modern-day distractions! If you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to my email list to receive three exclusive articles, notifications when I post, and my monthly newsletter. You can subscribe by clicking to the home page of the blog and entering your email in the form. Let me know either through my Contact page or in the comments below how you’re doing with your goals or what plans you have to set some!

Have a blessed day,

~Caroline

The Distractions That Hinder Our Christian Lives

Hello, friend! Welcome to my blog, and I hope you’re doing well! Today I’d like to talk about some distractions we face often in our lives, mainly ones that are time wasters and don’t do anything to help us. And then next week, I’m going to talk about how we can stop or slow down the intake of those things.

It’s Not Just You

First of all, it’s not just you. Everyone wastes time and procrastinates at some point, including me. The point of these next couple of articles aren’t just to instill guilt and leave you wondering what to do, but also to help you (and myself) find a way to use time more wisely.

I think during quarantine a lot of us have liked to slack off and use the time to really relax when we don’t have school or work to do. And while relaxation and rest are good and needed, too much rest results in laziness and time-wasting. Time that could be spent with God. 

Time Wasting TV

TV is probably the biggest time-waster of all, especially if you have Netflix or Disney+ or other streaming services. You find your show, click on an episode, and suddenly you’ve watched closer to five episodes. If each episode is 20 minutes, and you watch five episodes, that’s 100 minutes or an hour and 40 minutes of time watching something that isn’t very profitable for you!

John Piper says in his book Don’t Waste Your Life:

A mind fed daily on TV diminishes. Your mind was made to know and love God. Its facility for this great calling is ruined by excessive TV. The content is so trivial and so shallow that the capacity of the mind to think worthy thoughts withers, and the capacity of the heart to feel deep emotions shrivels.

John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life

Social Media Scrolling

As a teenager, I only have access to a couple of basic platforms that can hardly be considered social media, but I hear plenty about social media from my parents, other teenagers, and other adults. And from what I’ve heard, time spent reading posts and liking images isn’t exactly the best time spent either. 

For me, I use a platform called Discord, and I like to chat with people there. It isn’t the same as Instagram or Facebook but it’s still a way to socialize. I spend time roleplaying and talking about various topics with random people instead of being productive or doing something more worthwhile.

Now don’t take me wrong, there are amazing friends I’ve made on there that I love to talk with, and using social media to make better connections is useful. But if you’re on a platform for hours upon hours not really doing anything for anybody or yourself, that’s wasting time.

An Example From A Specific Hound

In my family, we have two foxhounds: Oscar and Ginger. Ginger is the most food-driven animal I have ever seen. If she had to choose between our family and a bowl of bacon she’d choose the bacon every time.

For example, the other day my dad was trying to put some medicine on the dogs’ backs. This involved running a little bottle down their backs while squeezing out some liquid. To keep the dogs calm, we gave them treats while this was being done to them.

Oscar didn’t handle it so well; he isn’t as dedicated to food as Ginger is, and so we temporarily gave up on him. Ginger, however, was so focused on the treats she didn’t even flinch. She glanced at what my dad was doing to her once and then went back to the treats. 

Of course, we’re above the dogs, but we sometimes can have a mindset like Ginger here. We’re so stuck on seeing the next episode of our favorite shows or liking posts we don’t realize what’s happening, that we’re putting these things before God. 

The Solution?

The solution for all of this may be hard, but it will be worth it. It’s time to rip the bandaid off and see the wound. See what we have been wasting our time on, and then put ointment on it by knowing that God is greater, and He is better than any TV show we could ever watch.

Over the next week, challenge yourself. See what it’s like to not watch TV for a couple of days. Maybe, if possible, log out of your social media accounts and see what it’s like. I’ll be trying to do similar things, and then next Friday I’ll give you an official post of ideas for pulling yourself out of the hole of distractions, while still having things to do. 

I probably didn’t mention half the things that distract us today, but you can look at your own time spent on various things and evaluate, “Is this helping me glorify God?” and if the answer is no, then consider cutting back on the time spent doing that, and go on from there. 

Final Thoughts

Thank you for joining me on this eye-opening journey of our modern-day distractions! If you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to my email list on the home page of the blog to receive updates for when I post and my monthly newsletter. Remember to stay tuned for my next post!

Have a blessed day, 

~Caroline