Sweet Esther

This is Esther:

Esther has stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She is only 16.

Today, she has her first round of chemotherapy. Pray for her…

That she will stay strong physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Pray that others will see unconventional beauty through her sweet smile and her vibrant, loving spirit.

And pray for all of us as we embark on this journey alongside of her and her family.



The world.

The world is a very big place. It is filled with billions of people located over miles upon miles of land. All of these people, though they all live on earth are very different. They have different cultures and customs. They eat different foods, their day to day lives are different.It is not only the nations that are different but also the people in the nations. Whatever the differences may be, there is one thing that every single person on earth has in common. Every person on the planet, whether they realize it or not, needs Jesus.

Some countries have more physical need than others.



Or this:


Compared to this:


The line between poverty and wealth is even very evident within a nation.

The following two pictures were taken in China within weeks of each other.

The first was on the outskirts of a small village.

The second was taken in Beijing.

A shepherd

And a BMW

People, take the time to realize the needs — both spiritual and physical. We are all humans. We all share the Earth. Why should we not take time to help one another? Think about it.


  • Gossip:

–verb (used without object)

to talk idly, especially about the affairs of others; go about tattling.

  • Slander:
a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report: aslander against his good name

Ephesians 4:29

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Proverbs 26:20

20 Without wood a fire goes out;
without a gossip a quarrel dies down

  • Malice


desire to inflict injury, harm, or suffering on another, eitherbecause of a hostile impulse or out of deep-seated meanness
1 Peter 2:1

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.

My question is this: Why is it that people who are given to such things do not stop to consider the effects they are having? Why do they not think about the stress they are causing?

Surviving the storm

She stood — cold

In that vicious storm


The rain poured — thunderous

Threatening the sun’s return


The thunder rolled — resounding

On that dreary day


The lightning struck — luminous

Breaking the sky in pieces


The wind blew — furious

Over the war-torn field


The woman stood firm — patient

Though the storm taunted her livelihood

Encouragement? It should be.

Verses like 1st Thessalonians 3:3 really encourage me.

1st Thessalonians 3:3

so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. You know quite well that we were destined for them.

You feel the sarcasm yet?

I read this verse this morning. It made me think.

Youth group last night made me think too.

So did Tuesday morning’s passage in 1st Thessalonians

The verse that really stuck out to me on Tuesday was this:

1st Thessalonians 1:3

We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Life is hard. In the hardships, we need to strive for excellence. Yes, God’s grace abounds, but that does not mean we can gallivant around doing whatever we feel like doing and ask for forgiveness later.

Our purpose is to glorify God. Therefore, by being intentionally stupid and fulfilling the desires of our flesh, we aren’t doing a very good job of living out our purpose. Also, caving in because life hurts too much, says little about the power and might of the Creator of the Universe.

Trials refine us. They grow us. They bring us closer to the finish line.

Should runners stop running because they have to push themselves?

Should people not learn new things just because they have a hard time learning?

Hard times in life must happen in order for us to grow in who we are in Christ. They force us to depend upon our savior when we realize our strength is not enough. They help us to put life into perspective.

In short, trials should be an encouragement.

They remind us that we are still human, that we still have room to grow, and that our God is still bigger than our circumstances.

Trials are among God’s promises. Why should we not be joyful, and look for ways to learn in them?