“3 steps to a successful marriage”, “10 ways to get your Instagram following to 2,000”, “5 things you need to drop to have a happy life”... when is life actually not bombarded with those headlines on the daily? And how many times have I actually clicked on them “just to see” when deep down I won’t mind to see something that may make life a bit easier! I think as humans we have a natural tendency to gravitate towards the lists, the promise of the easy fix. Who wouldn’t want 5 steps that would fix life in the messed up world we live in?! Placing our hope in the apparent lessons someone else has learned is dangerous in the fact that no person is the same, no experience is the same, no life is the same. SO in this post about life transitions I will not give you 5 easy steps or anything like that, it will be a raw open post about my walk with Jesus through the ups and downs that come with relationships.
Someone wise told me before I started dating not to forsake my girl friends because you’ll need them! I think it would definitely not to be a stretch to say not to forsake your relationship with Jesus. I’m not going to lie, I really didn’t enjoy dating. That sounds bad but it has nothing to do with Jeffrey. It had everything to do with circumstances and the butt load of driving we did! (Once you drive through more snow storms then you can remember you are very ready to get married.) During dating Jeffrey and I would mainly see each other during church things and maybe once a week at one of our families house. Our relationship was built around people and church ministry. So as someone looking in we probably had a model relationship (actually we were told that many times). That doesn’t mean I didn’t struggle with staying in communion with Jesus, in fact I definitely did.
When you don’t live close to/with your significant other it can be easy to put aside bible reading to text till you fall asleep, or get interrupted and distracted and forget where you were with your time with Jesus. People have most likely told you this but is so worth saying again, you can not live anyone else’s spiritual life, you and Jesus have to have your own. Like any relationship that takes work! But no other relationship will really succeed unless you and Jesus have your own personal relationship. I get it though life gets busy. When you aren’t in the bible school bubble or a set apart time for learning about Jesus it can be hard to set apart time for the King of Kings. Isn’t it so wonderful that he has patience for us! When we get to the judgment throne the excuse that “they” weren’t growing so you thought you didn’t have to put work into time with Jesus will 100% not cut it. Jesus is a God of the individual relationship not the community average status.
In conclusion is Jesus not worthy of our time? Life transitions are not an excuse to put aside the thing we need most, Jesus. Where does your loyalty stand? You 8-5 job? Your house? Your family? Those are all good things but in our humanness we easily forget that, as Christian's, our treasure and life is not supposed to be of this world! There is so much more then we can even imagine going on in the the heavenly realm, and want joy we will have coming face to face with Jesus knowing we were faithful to the calling to which we were called!
"I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called," Ephesians 4:1
Practical blog post today on my biggest social media pet peeve since I started social media. It’s probably a silly pet peeve to have but that’s most pet peeves right. It makes my skin crawl when I see people doing this so I decided to address the issue on how to properly give photo credits! News flash I don’t believe that you pushing the little white button on the bottom of the screen warrants you credit for that photo!
Okay! I broke it down to someone a few weeks ago on when and how a photo credit is deserved and when it’s not.
There are four types of photos taken in which people think photo credits are deserved.
So I’m sure as you read through them that you’ve got a guess of which deserves photo credits and which does not, but I shall give you my reasoning on which need credits and which do not.
When someone takes time out of their day to take semi-professional or professional photos for you, paid or not, it is your duty to give them photo credits! When I say semi-professional or professional I mean they are using a DSLR camera (or a really good iPhone camera lol) and have purposely set aside time to do this with/for you. They may or may not pose you but they are thinking about angles and lighting and the quality of the pictures they are taking to give to you. Whether you edit them or they edit them they deserve a photo credit, especially if they edit them. Not only are they taking time but it may be something they want to do more of and get better at so tagging them gets their name out there and that is vital to helping them further their hobby or career. So 3 and 4 most definitely deserve photo credits and actually should require photo credits no questions asked. If you like that photo enough to post it then you can take the time to give them credit for it.
So number 2. It’s your phone. It’s your time. But you aren’t particularly trying to give them the next Pinterest most-saved-photo hit. In my extensive thought on this I have concluded that it shouldn’t matter if you get a photo credit. You are doing it because they asked, not because you thought to do it. You quickly airdrop or text the picture to them and it’s out of mind. You have no more worries or thoughts of it. You don’t care if they post or not. You did it cause they asked, and maybe because you have a better quality phone camera. I don’t know. I wouldn’t expect a photo credit for this type of picture. It just isn’t necessary to ask for credit when you stood there and took a straight forward easy photo.
Nope you absolutely do not deserve a photo credit for number 1. You stopped took a picture and kept going. If you’d do it for a stranger at a tourist-y thing with no second thought then why do you need credits when you do the same thing for someone you follow on social media?! Going back to 3-4 here are the comparisons. You didn’t really take time out of your day to care about the outcome of the picture. You take a picture till they’re happy with it that’s it. You used their phone/camera! It’s not on any of your phone or computer memory space! You aren’t thinking lighting or angles or quality, you just are being nice and helping them out because they forgot their selfie stick. I 100% don’t expect a photo credit from these types of photos.
Now this is my opinion but number 3 and 4 are actually pretty serious. If you don’t give photo credits to those types of pictures, especially edited by them, it is considered stolen property. There is no why that I know of that you can get charged for it and it’s kinda pointless to get into a legal dispute but it is not yours. I see it so much following bigger photographers where they have to reiterate over and over how they require people to tag them, and not to change their edit of the picture because it’s there trade mark so to speak (but that’s a whole other topic!).
So case and point!
Give people credit so they don’t have to ask you to but don’t ask if you don’t really deserve it!
Material possessions. Touchy subject sometimes. We have to remind ourselves that even though we are to be good stewards of the things God has given us, sometimes you have to let go and remember that your treasure is not on this earth. I had to remind myself of that with getting married and having few worldly possessions that they aren’t actually mine! I need to be willing to give everything I have away if Jesus asked me to. That includes money! We live in a world of such entitlement that everyone just thinks you need a Mobil phone, or a new pair of shoes. I’m so guilty.
I have taken the love languages test (and would highly recommend everyone do it!) and my testing came out as follows
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
Gifts at the bottom of the list meaning I appreciate gifts but don’t need them to feel cared for, I’d rather you and I go for coffee and spend tiiiime together! But something I’ve noticed about myself is that I love to give gifts (most of the time)! Which is a little contradictory but its my way of telling people I care for them if I am not able to get together with them. For me it can be a simple chocolate bar, yet the fact that I gave it to them blesses my heart. I honestly would give an arm and a leg for my friends.
So how does that tie into your treasure not being of this world. Well I have been personally effected by someone holding back their money from helping me out only to turning around and get something for another friend that was expensive and probably not necessary. That hurt, even though gifts isn’t my love language it taught me a lesson. Up till that point I would’ve quit my job if it would’ve helped that person out, yet it really made me look at myself and how I viewed my possessions.
Do I selectively give? Or do I freely give?
Do I think of my possessions as mine? Or do I think of my possessions as Gods?
Do I hold onto possessions in my heart? Or can I let go of material possessions?
Do I steward the money and things God has given me? Or am I throwing that stuff around willy-nilly?
God tells us in the bible that we need to give freely because we received with what He freely gave us. That doesn’t just apply to worldly possessions though, that applies to the gospel. He freely gave love and so must we. He freely gave His life, even for the person that ditched Him for another, so we as Christians must to! As hard as this is to swallow in lots of cases! He was perfect and so must we be striving for perfection. We will never reach that point yet it is our goal, life is pretty pointless without an end goal. He gave us our goal through how He lived His life, our standard. He didn’t value material possessions as things worth crying over, He valued souls. What do you value?
The other day I was exploring our little creek bed that flows along the property line. I can never help but enjoy times of beauty such as those and live in the moment in those times of spending time in nature. The creek isn’t really flowing right now but that makes it perfect for reflecting the colourful tress above. Those are the settings in which my soul is rejuvenated. I couldn’t really sit on the ground unless I wanted to get wet but I crouched right beside the creek and took some pictures and enjoyed the simplistic yet complex makeup of my surroundings. Everything dying due to the unusually cold weather, still entering into the seclusion of the creek is seemed as though the trees were holding on to life a little longer. The colours were brilliant!
You all know that I love fall. So it’s not hard for me to see beauty in this season of dying plants haha. Just saying that brings to mind the song by All Sons and Daughters that goes “You give life, you are love, you bring light to the darkness.”. I believe that there is a great need for joy/life in this world at present. It seems everywhere I go there is someone who is trying to do life on their own and failing which dominos into little joy in their life. Everyone needs a creek-side-in-the-fall moment I tell ya. There is a lot of death in this spiritually dying world and my goodness is the devil having a hay day in identity deceptions these days!
It breaks my heart when I stumble across a “coming out” post on Instagram and in it the person talks about how they know God still loves them. It is just a sentence to make the person feel good about sin. We all have done it! “Oh God forgives so this won’t really matter because I’ll ask for forgiveness later.”, even as little as not helping the widow you have ample opportunity to help, because someone else has got it. Nope there are commands. Sin is sin. My pastor the other day said “God hates the sin but loves the sinner, I don’t know because you can’t have the sin without the sinner.” That caught me off guard yet the more I have thought it through the more I agree with that statement. So no wonder this world is so sad! Trying to find their identity in themselves or things, and convincing themselves of things that are mixed with lies. You need the whole truth which is found in a relationship with Jesus!
The beauty that Jesus gives us in the season is not offset for me by the grim situation of this world. There are inevitably ones that will always fight and kick against Jesus love here on earth, but I have that love to warm my heart and fill me with life and love! I pity the person that’s deceiving themselves, or is just plain deceived, that God loves their sin, although I doubt they see as sin. I pray that Jesus will give the words to say when the time comes to stand up for what I believe meeting someone like that. Don’t let your joy be dampened by Satan, he will try, and through that joy of salvation through Jesus Christ may your soul be refreshed!