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Materialism consumes us

I hate the way it grabs my soul and screams, “I want more!”

The shiny item in the corner,

the colorful embroidery,

the empty screens with empty hope.

 

I want more,

But I don’t.

You may have heard it before,

But money doesn’t buy happiness

It only tempts you with its glassiness and shine–

I don’t have time

For this.

 

For this wasted space

For this fakeness

That if you get that t-shirt that’s destined to be yours

You’ll never be the same again.

 

“What you buy is what satisfies”—

Yes, that’s a lie,

But the truth is we’ll always be wanting

More.

 

More

To the core of me I always thought more was what I needed

And more was what I wanted—

But the truth is I’ve always wanted less.

 

And yet I’m not even saying that the motto “Less is best” is how you find perfect happiness

There’s a lot of folks in poverty

Who find themselves in misery because they can’t have more

No matter how hard they try.

 

And you know why?

The secret to your dreams isn’t what you buy

It’s how you fly despite the leftovers

Despite the broken cords or the lack of flavor.

 

It’s how you fly when you’re high

And even when you’re low

It’s how you respond when deep inside you’re screaming, “I want more!”

It’s how you say with a smile, “I have more.”

 

The secret to serenity

Is taking what you got and being content with what you have.

Because when you eat the Bread of Life and drink the blood of Christ

What you have is the only thing that will last

And you don’t need anything more.

 

“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.'” – John 6:35 (NIV)

 

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” – John 6:54 (NIV)

 

 

 

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Like A Child

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I remember one of the first days I experienced the joy of the Honduran children of Las Flores. Wild, sweet, overflowing joy that radiated from their faces when you so much as smiled at them.

I couldn’t engage in conversation with them very well because of my lack of Spanish, but I soon learned that they didn’t care. They hugged, laughed, and played. They ran around, creating chaos.

Beautiful chaos.

Usually I take a step backwards from a high-energy crowd, but this was different. They needed me. They needed my love.

I didn’t know enough Spanish, so I couldn’t give it in words. And what are words to children anyway? All I could do in that moment was forsake all and plunge into the chaos. And what a relief that was, breaking the language barrier with the unspoken message loud and clear: “Yo te ama,” or “I love you.”

I didn’t know them, but God gave me unrelenting love for those kids. I couldn’t stop smiling. I couldn’t stop trying to make them smile. I chased them around, tickled them, played games, and proved to myself that I must be a kid person after all. It makes sense, I guess. God loves children, and His Spirit is inside me.

Not only did God give me love for the kids, but I learned to be a child myself that day. I learned joy. I learned childlike faith. That’s what God wants for us. When we are like children, we can rejoice in God’s love for us without a single doubt of our Father’s goodness.

Sometimes I don’t understand how God could truly love us. But even if we can’t completely understand it, like a simple child, we can understand that it makes us feel alive.

People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” — Luke 18:15-17

A Message to My Sisters in Christ

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Sisters, before we could care
If our hair was untangled
Or our faces were clean
They told us we were beautiful.
Before we knew what it meant to have charm
They adored our smile.

Beauty—we still don’t know what that means
Is it merely aesthetically pleasing?
Is it based on the beholder’s eye?
Or does it exist deep inside?

I don’t know about you,
But beauty seems to define us,
This pressure to beautify, to have skin that glows
It diminishes the beauty of goodness and hope

It’s as if our beauty
Is all that we are
But as sisters in Christ,
True worth is found in our hearts.

Sisters, I know how you feel
You came here today feeling like nothing was right
But you managed a smile that was sweet and polite
Because the exterior is all that people will see
But with God you can find a beauty that He sees.

When do you find a peaceful heart hung in the aisle
Or a joyful smile for a-dollar-twenty-five?
When do you see a submissive spirit toward God
Purchased by girls here and abroad?
How much more often do we strive for attractive designs and complain at the boundaries placed in our lives?

We’ve heard “modest is hottest” so many times
We’ve heard “wear your purity ring”
And stay refined
Why is the focus on all the things we cannot do
Rather than how much we can do to glorify God?

Sisters, the secret to everlasting beauty is this:
Don’t focus on yourself or that kiss
Devote yourself to loving and knowing the King
Because His glorious face is the highest standard for beauty.

 

“One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” — Psalm 27:4

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” — 1 Peter 3:3-4 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” — Galatians 5:22-23 

 

Thank you for reading! Click here to see my post, “A Message to My Brothers in Christ.”

God Bless!

Dear America

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Some thoughts for my country to ponder this week. 🇺🇸

Grace Abounds

Dear America,

You started out as a shooting star, eager to

Leap across the galaxy.

Then you glimmered every night for us to wish upon,

to pursue the happiness we had our hearts set upon.

Now you shine just as brightly as the rest,

If not less,

And you look like all the rest of them.

It’s hard to remember why you’re special,

Why I’m proud to be here

And free.

“God bless America!” —words so few and rare

These carefree days

As selfishness takes over,

Tugging us lightly by the rope to the

Path of anxiety that looks like joy,

The path of hurt that looks like pleasure,

But all end in a chasm of despair.

 

Dear America,

I will always remember you blazing free

But now everything seems surreal.

We think, we cry, we shout,

But we never feel.

We never feel the peace that comes

From…

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A Message To My Brothers In Christ

 

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I want to take a moment to address you, men.
The strong ones;
The brave ones.
I want to address you as my brothers in Christ.
I plead with you on behalf of the girls in my life:
Stop for a moment,
And listen.

Too many of us have bad opinions of you,
And perhaps many of us have a right to;
You have a responsibility as men to take care of our hearts,
But too often you play or you steal or your tear us apart;
Too often you treat us just as you view us—as objects to take pleasure in
Or simply persons to ignore.
And while that sounds harsh, I want to set for you a higher standard,
To encourage you to be the men that God will first and foremost admire.

We may not always admit it to you,
But we’re weak—
Just as you may not always admit to us.
We may not always say it, but when you open the door wide for us our soul smiles wider;
When you take the time to just listen to us,
We admire your endeavor to honor us;
And when you ask us how we’re doing,
The whole world seems all right again.

Men, we might act casual, but you are important to us.
We often look up to you hoping we can trust,
Hoping we can trust you to be truly good men.
Don’t ignore the power of sensitivity—
To us, it’s the highest form of masculinity.
Be interested in who we truly are inside, not merely what we are on the outside;
And while this may be a lot to ask,
View us as your sisters in Christ—good friends whom you will never marry;
And when we see the deep respect you carry,
Your selflessness will teach us more of God and His glory.

Men, don’t settle for less than your best;
We challenge you to be truly great men.
Dare yourselves to be the men you want to be;
Dare yourselves to be good, strong, and free.
Don’t compare yourselves to those around you;
Compare yourselves to Christ who is in you,
And you always see that you can be something more.

“[Treat] younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” — 1 Timothy 5:2b

“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” — 1 Peter 3:7

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” — 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Thank you for reading, and look out for my next post, A Message to My Sisters in Christ!

My Childhood Best Friend

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Don’t be bitter.
Even if your friend walked away
As you stood with your hand reaching out
And your voice about to shout,
Don’t be bitter.

These words I tell myself
Whenever I think of her.
I’ve mourned for her as I mourned for my dog when he went away,
But it’s even worse.
I can’t be bitter.

We planned to be best friends forever,
Because as children we couldn’t imagine being without each other.
We shared laughs, we shared dreams;
There wasn’t much of a thing she didn’t know about me.

She won my heart from the start with her wild game plans;
She knew how to have fun like no one else I’ve ever met.
And when the day was over, and our laughter died,
We talked of deep things, the kind that make you cry.

I’d always ask her what she wanted to do,
She’d say, “How about this?”
And I’d let her choose.
We poured out our hearts like cement,
And I don’t know about hers,
But mine’s been stuck since.
Our sisterly love was like nothing I’d ever known;
She was my hero, she was my home.

When she drifted away, I felt rejected;
I felt like a worm being dissected,
Unworthy and small.
I guessed our personalities weren’t right for each other at all.

I blamed her for things that weren’t really her fault;
I opened my wounds and poured out the salt.
And when I finally gave up trying to make her be my friend again,
That’s really when I looked up from the ground,
And God got my attention.

He told me I was clinging to a plant that would die;
He told me I was missing out on His Son who was crucified.
He grabbed hold of my shoulders and looked me in the face, said: “Now you’re done with your best friend being your idol in My place.”

The Things You Say

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“Did you hear that…?”

“Isn’t so-and-so so stupid for…?”

Too often hearing gossip affects my perspective on the not-so-liked people. It’s terrible that before even meeting this one girl, I had a bad opinion of her. It’s easy to judge people, because it makes us feel better and more valuable. But your pride costs the dignity of others. And it often doesn’t give people a chance to change.

Whether we like it or not, gossiping is hurtful. The victim of gossip is likely not altogether a horrible person. Maybe they just messed up once. Or maybe they could transform if they noticed you had high expectations of them instead of low expectations. Think about it: would you more likely stop your habit of boasting about yourself if people whispered cruel words about you or if they gently congratulated you for being good at playing the piano?

Often people do stupid things because they feel insecure about themselves. So instead of rolling your eyes at them, try to just love on them, to let them know you care and they don’t need to do anything out of the ordinary for you to care about them. Expect the best from them. Assume they are going to be a nice, humble person by treating them how you would want to be treated. Get on their level and treat them with respect.

The gossip I had heard about the girl drastically affected my view of her for awhile in a negative way, so I was cautious about being friendly with her. Interestingly, it turned out that later I realized she was one of the kindest, sweetest people I have ever met. The rumors may have been true, but everyone messes up sometimes, and messing up doesn’t define people.

God loves each person deeply and gave up His Son for us to live freely for all time. The value He places on us is the only thing that should define us… Wow! Isn’t He so good to us?

The fact is, gossiping is for prideful people. We have all done stupid things at one time or another. We all need Jesus desperately, and, with His strength, we can forsake pride and reach higher. We are all under the same God, and He cares for us no matter how stupid we act.

“The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” — James 3:6 (NIV)

 

A Puppy-like Faith

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Thank you, Things Above, for allowing me to guest post on your blog! The above pic is of my puppy, Buster! =)

Things Above

By Grace Caylor

img_4325I got a puppy for Christmas last year. I didn’t get him right away, and when I did, I wasn’t sure if I wanted him. This 5-month-old border collie-basset hound mix had legs shorter than I expected. (Yes, laugh all you want, but it’s true. For some reason that made me hesitant to get him… [Read More Here]

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An Update and an Excerpt

An update and an excerpt on my novel, The Thrall’s Sword! =)

Grace Caylor

pexels-photo-417223.jpegHey everyone! I have been working on sending query letters and book proposals to literary agents. I need a literary agent in order to present my book to good-sized publishing companies. Next week I am going to the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference, where I will not only meet with other writers and learn a lot, but I may have the chance to present my novel to literary agents face-to-face! Prayers very much appreciated. ❤

And without further ado, here is an excerpt from my Viking novel, The Thrall’s Sword. Comment your thoughts! 

“I screamed as a wave crashed over me. The ship turned over, the dark mass smothering me, driving me down into the depths of the sea. My instincts took over, and I swam away from the ship, escaping the ship’s malicious urge to drown me. The current whipped me about like I was a mere strand of…

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