31 Days of Difference | A Gift to Give

Comment

31 Days of Difference | A Gift to Give

Everyone loves a good gift. It’s exciting to unwrap or open a wonderful gift form a friend that means so much. But, you know what? It’s awesome to give gifts as well. It’s actually more rewarding. It’s such a wonderful sight, seeing the faces of your friends and family light up not only at the gift but at the thought behind the gift. We all want to be good gift givers. We want people to remember what we have given them. Hey, not every gift is going to be perfect but with time and thought and practice we can all become really awesome gift givers.

When I think of great gift givers I can’t help but think of God who gave up His son, Jesus Christ, to the world to save us from our sins. The thing that we can learn from this act of gift giving is that the best gifts given are those that mean something; those that have or add value to the relationships that both you the and the receiver both share.

So today,  and really look to make that difference.

day 22.jpg

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Pray for Someone

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Pray for Someone

Praying for others is one of the most effective ways to make a difference. Prayer does two things: it shows people that you care, and it gives God the opportunity to change their lives. So, today, slow down. Genuinely ask people how they’re doing. Pray for them.

The first time I offered to pray for a friend, I was nervous. I got butterflies in my stomach and almost abandoned the whole thing. However, when I finally asked, my friend was so grateful that I did! So much of the time, we miss out on making a difference through prayer because we feel self-conscious. Don’t let hesitancy stop you. It will be worth it to the person you pray for.

Psalm 66:19 says, “But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer” (NLT). God hears us when we pray. Prayer is so much more than the “Christian” thing to do; prayer is a way to change the world. By praying for others, we are allowing God to be the one to truly make a difference. Today, ask God to provide you with an opportunity to pray with someone, and then watch the enormous impact that He makes! 

Kirsten Stricklin

day 21.jpg

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Share your Story

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Share your Story

Today we are asking you to do something that may be scary. It may be simple. Either way, it matters.

Your story matters.

For day 20 of 31 Days of Difference, today we encourage you to share your story with someone! Open up to someone today by telling about how you became who you are, some of your dreams, passions, or even what is going on in your life right now. By doing this, you will encourage someone else and know that your life makes a difference. 

Many times I have found that sharing my life with someone can encourage them more than I ever thought possible. Who knows? You may have gone through something that someone else is right in the middle of. It means so much knowing that someone else knows what you're feeling or what you're going through. But, as I have shared my story with someone else it also encourages me. Speaking out about what God has done in my life is a great reminder of how faithful He is to me, even when I don't deserve it. 

Sharing your story tears down the walls that you build around yourself. It makes you vulnerable. But, it also makes an impact. 

So, share your story today to remind yourself and others that God's grace is never ending.

"And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb, and the word of our testimony."
Revelation 12:11

Crissy Morein

day 20.jpg

Comment

31 Days of Difference | More serving, less me

Comment

31 Days of Difference | More serving, less me

I have never known a greater feeling in the world than the smile that comes from other people when you serve them. It's those million dollar smiles that make any situation better. Today I challenge you to be a servant. Maybe it's helping to do some extra cleaning around the house you don't usually do or maybe it is volunteering in a soup kitchen. It is totally up to you!

Don't be afraid to stretch yourself! Ask your parents, grandparents or even your neighbors if there is something you can do for them. Some of these things may not be something you really want to or like doing but the joy and assistance it brings to others is an amazing payment. 

In Mark 10:45 it says, "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." If we can just think about that for a moment, Jesus came as the Son of Man, Gods Son, a King and yet he came to serve. He did not want nor expect people to bow down and do things for him, he did things for others. I think that is amazing beyond words.

Now, go out today and be a servant and make some change in someones life.

Love,
Cassie

day 19.jpg

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Post it, Note it

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Post it, Note it

Be a light. An encourager. A smile. A warm gesture. A difference maker. Today, use some post-it notes (as many as you like!) and write a sweet little something to lift a stranger's spirit. Get creative with your placement! A "You're alive for a reason (:" on a coffee shop stool, or a "know your worth" on a bathroom mirror will make more of a difference in someone's life than you can imagine. So go for it! Be unique, get ready to make a difference in so many lives.

Happy adventures,
A fellow journeyer
Nicole Finnell

day 18.jpg

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Phone a Friend

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Phone a Friend

I'm not going to beat around the bush on this one. Our generation today has many things that are ruining true communication among people. I'm sure everyone has heard someone say something along the lines of "Well that's not how I read it.." or "People never understand through text.." Believe it or not there was a time when the world didn't have unlimited texting and a billion different social media pages you could sign into to do your daily communicating. And, believe it or not.. They made it.

Yeah. They did this cool thing where they would punch in a series of numbers on a phone, wait for someone to pick up, and then actually talk with their voice. Crazy right?
 

That's what this day is all about. Communication. Communication is what a relationship with somebody thrives on, whether that's with your best friend, a sibling, a parent, and new friend, or even God. While texting or social media is a form of communication, they don't come close to the connection you make by using your voice or talking in person. That's the reason we have a voice is so that we can connect with one another.
 

"Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing."

                                                                                                            -Rollo May 


 You may not have actually made a phone call in a while to just talk to somebody and see how they are doing, but it is so worth it. My personal experience with this runs deep. My best friend, Christian, is in the U.S. Army and is based in Alaska. We used to hang out all the time in high school and were always talking but then, just like that, there were over 3,000 miles between us and over a year and a half since I've seen the goofball. One thing is for sure though; we are still best friends.

One thing I know that helps maintain that friendship is the fact that we actually talk on the phone. Yeah, its just every once in a while. But every time we talk we pick up right where we left off. God gave us the ability to talk to one another and share feelings and emotions in a way that letters on a screen just don't do. So, I encourage you today, pick up the phone and just call someone. Ask how they are doing and see where it goes from there. I promise, you will see the difference and be happy that you decided to phone a friend.

Josh Buckner

day 17.jpg

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Doll Up

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Doll Up


Earlier this month, we did a product free day. However, your beauty is not on the outside, but the inside. So whether you are have no make-up or a lot of make-up, you have the same beauty shining from inside! So today, dress up just for fun!

1 Samuel 16:7 says, "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

The Bible tells us that even in Bible-times people cared about outward appearance. But as followers of the Lord we must desire to see as God sees. When God sees us, He sees us as beautiful because of what is in our hearts. God looks to our hearts to find beauty. God cares about our hearts so much that He tells us to guard our hearts above ALL else (Proverbs 4:23). God does not care what we look like on the outside as long as it is honoring him (ie. As long as the focus of how we dress is not to attract more attention to ourselves than to God). God cares about the inside, because that is where true beauty lies. So have some fun today—put on your best outfit, fix your hair up, and maybe even go out with some friends. A part of discovering who you are is learning to let go and have fun, so doll up!  

day 16.jpg

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Talent Central

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Talent Central

Somedays, I honestly wish that people would show off, hat life was like a circus and I could see all the crazy, weird, and beautiful things that people have been given by God.

We have all been given these different talents, so why not show them off?  My talent is singing.  I love to sing all the time. I didn't realize how much of an impact I made when singing to myself or during worship, or whilst
being a goose until people began to approach me and telling me how much I have blessed them through that.  Romans 12:6 says " Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them".  

So, go out and share it.  Show them what you are made and show them just how incredible you are!

day 15.jpg

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Treat Yourself

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Treat Yourself

The problem here is that we have “treat others the way you want to be treated” and Mark 12:31, “Love your neighbor as yourself” so engraved in our head that we don’t actually take into consideration the reverse point of view with these sayings and the question that goes along with that.

“How DO we REALLY want to be treated?” How can we fully understand that statement and verse without knowing how we actually want to be treated ourselves? I think today is a great day to sit down and list at least ten ways we, as individuals, would want to be treated, such as respected, loved, shown courtesy, etc. and then find a way that to treat yourself that way today.

You are just as important as those you treat kind-heartedly. Take some time to yourself! Maybe, ask for the day off if you work too much! If we can’t take care of ourselves, how can we treat others? You know, like when you’re on an airplane and the stewardess announces that if the plane were to be coming down and you needed oxygen masks to put yours on first! Because if you pass out, you’ll be of no help to your neighbor and then you’re both doomed!

...That may be a terrible example to help you to understand what I’m getting at, but hey... I’m not a writer and I love airplanes, so work with me. I guess all I’m saying is that I believe “when you bless others, you are blessed” can go both ways. It’s reciprocity. When you truly feel blessed you want to give more! So treat yourself today! Stop looking at your messy room/house/life like it’s slowly killing you and take a nap. Stop making life harder than God intended for it to be. God is TOTALLY a God of fun.

Heather Beyer

day 14.jpg



Comment

31 Days of Difference | Journey

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Journey

Alerts, deadlines, mental to do lists, and vibrating pockets are the background music of our everyday life. With every moment bombarding us with new messages, it is easy to forget about the simple, and lose sight the most basic concepts of life. 

With a full time college course load, a couple of jobs and ever changing relationships to think about, my brain is always running at a million miles an hour, so even as an extreme extrovert, after a few days of nonstop I can feel myself begin to shut down. 

This semester as I faced new challenges and a busier schedule than ever before, I was forced to look for a way to release stress. One night when I was near breaking point I went for a walk, and since then I have taken walks nearly every day . These journeys have helped me to reconnect with reality, remind myself of the big picture, and actually take the time to process everything that is going on in my life. 

The Bible mentions Jesus going on walks or going down to a lakeside or up to a mountain several times in the gospels, and I'm sure that was where he sought his Father outside of the noise of the crowd. Luke 6 even records Jesus spending an entire night on a mountain praying! 

It's amazing the difference that a short (or sometimes not so short) walk can make! So I encourage you, separate yourself from the constant noise for an hour or so, grab your journal, guitar, bible, or simply your shoes, and go for a journey. On your walk take the time to simply tell God where you're at, and allow him to quiet you and give you peace and strength to take life by the horns and not just allow it to drag you along.

Hope Hamilton

day 13.jpg


Comment

31 Days of Difference | Dare to Dream

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Dare to Dream

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams". We all have dreams, ambitions, and goals, but not many of us ever dream of chasing them. 

It's very easy to dream big. The hard part is believing that your dreams can become reality. The good news is that you have someone in constant support of your dreams, standing beside you every step of the way, and opening doors for your dreams to come true. That someone is God, and all you have to do is stay faithful to Him and everything you dream of having in life He will help you see it through! 

So today I challenge you to dream. But don't just dream, dream a God-sized dream. If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough. So make a list, 5 that are semi-possible, and 5 that are completely outrageous, scary, and may even seem impossible. Then tape them somewhere you will see them daily. Your bathroom mirror, the dash of your car, the front of your planner. Every time you see them say a little prayer to God that with His help you will see your dreams become a reality. 

I am so glad you are making this journey with us! May God continue to bless you as you make the commitment to 31 days of difference!

Crissy Morein

day 12.jpg


Comment

31 Days of Difference | Unplug

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Unplug

I started by looking up a definition of unplug on the internet before I began to write this post. Websters.com had a very literal definition of the word, but I loved the Urban Dictionary definition more. To take yourself off any social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. for a few days. To unplug the computer and enjoy real life interactions with live people such as your family and friends. To live life without computer related devices.”

I found it humorous at first, and then I realized how true this was. Some of you might be able to relate to my nightly routine: lay in bed, check Facebook, Tweet, scroll through Instagram, and repeat about 14 times before finally going to bed. As a society, we have become so dependent to social media that we almost don’t know how to function without it. Today is day 11 of Discover 31, to unplug or give up social media. Think about why you fast something. You fast to plug into something more. Be intentional today as you unplug from social media. Here are some ideas: Call a family member, write a letter to someone you haven’t talked to in a while, or grab coffee with someone outside of your regular circle. I challenge you today to focus on being present.  

Emily Duncan

day 11.jpg

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Stopping Time

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Stopping Time

Growing up, everyone wants to have super powers... I know I did. You know, something special that can stop the bad guys or save the world. Now, what about stopping time? That would be a really cool power to have, would it not? What would you do if you could? The thing is, all of us have that power. We are all so busy all the time, and even when we aren’t busy, we find more things to do. You see, stopping time, especially with God, is extremely important. Having that one-on-one with Him is the best thing you can do for yourself. When we stop to spend time with God, the creator of time, we actually get closer to the one who helps us with our time throughout the day, whatever it may be: school, work, or even relationships. When we connect with our source, our strength, which is Christ the Lord, we get not only rejuvenated but encouraged. We see clearer what our next step in a hard pressing situation should be.

You see, we all have 24 hours to make an impact and a difference in other people’s lives each day. When we stop to make time for the creator of time, we have a better chance to do so. So today, stop your time to spend time with God!

David Krstevski

day 10.jpg


Comment

31 Days of Difference | Secrets for Strangers

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Secrets for Strangers

Instead of writing something to someone you know, decide to sneak a letter or note to someone you don’t really talk to. Be a light into their life and I know that you will brighten their day!

Encouraging words have such an impact on people and can completely change the course of one's day.  We don't always know what people are dealing with or thinking about.  For example, my thoughts and words can so often times be motivated by my ever changing moods.

Whether I was productive that day or watched 10 episodes on Netflix; Whether I forgave my friend or family member after a heated conversation or I went to my room and thought of every possible comment I could have said to further push my perspective down their throats.

We all can let our circumstance dictate our response to life. But God calls us in Hebrews 12 to "throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles".  Encourage someone today. This time, encourage someone you don't really know. Give them a fresh start, a chance to see how others view them from afar. A chance to throw off their little mistakes and circumstances that might have brought them into a funk.  Let them see what you see.  People can be so masked; hiding stress about post college plans or discouraging words from a trusted friend.  One encouraging note is all it takes to inspire change.. Inspire a different perspective that enables them to focus on being a positive friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, or family member.  

Lauren Deal

day 9.jpg

Comment

Comment

31 Day of Difference | Treasure your thoughts


Thoughts. What a strong word. This one word holds so much power. This one word carries so much meaning, but today I want to discuss more specifically the thoughts that we think about ourselves.

Santosh Kalwer once said: “We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking.”

… Whoa! But like seriously, think of how true that is. People can build us up or tear us down, but we have that power as well. How do we expect to pour out blessings and positivity into others lives when we can’t even do it for ourselves?  

Everyday, I’m faced with the temptation to point out everything I hate about myself. I’m always told how I’m made in the image of God and I should value myself, but it’s so hard to actually apply that way of thinking to my life. If you would ask me to name a list of things I would change about myself, that would be easy, but a list of things I love about myself well that’s a different story.

So today, let’s start a journey together. A Journey of thinking positively about ourselves! It definitely won’t be easy, but it will be so worth it!  Today and everyday, we will treasure our thoughts.

Now here is the first step, remember this very simple yet true statement.

You are loved. You are valued. You are beautiful.

Katie Stanford

day 8.jpg



Comment

31 Days of Difference | Pen a Pal

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Pen a Pal

Alright, you may not be into letters, but letters are something that are so treasured! A simple encouragement or thought behind a letter can make somebody’s day years later! It’s value may not seem much in your eyes, but in their eyes, it is far greater than anything money could ever buy! So write a friend, a loved one, a family member, and send them words of treasure!

“ Dear Nii Kpakpo, I love you. You make me a proud mom. I was so inspired yesterday by the way you showed how much you love God by choosing not to sin (remember you went picking up things). I am so proud of you….” 

My mom wrote this letter I think when I was in 4th grade. I remember waking up in the morning and finding an orange note for me, and a green note for my brother on the table. If you don’t know me, I can be a sentimentalist and I tend to keep stuff way longer than I should (in fact I even have an acorn this little girl gave me as a gift at a church picnic when I was in 4th grade), and so of course I kept this. I still remember how I felt when I read this and the rest of the small letter.  There is something so special and intimate about a letter. It communicates the thoughtfulness of your words and it is something that is tangible. I didn’t keep that letter because my mom doesn’t tell me she loves me anymore, but because it meant the world to me that she would take time out of her day and just affirm something I didn’t even know she noticed. They don’t have to be complicated, you don’t have to dig up Shakespeare’s grave and write some archaic prose, just speak from your heart! Your friend, loved one, family member, or significant other will appreciate it!

Nii Abrahams

day 7.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comment

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Fight the good fight: Fear

Every single person has fears. Some we may think are silly and some extremely serious. 2 Timothy 1:7 says "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline." So right there we are told that God does not want us to fear. He has not given that to us. 

Look through your bible and you will see that it is COVERED in the words "do not fear". In fact there are 365 times it is said! I'd like to think that wasn't just a coincidence.

So I encourage you to take a small step today and overcome a small fear. Maybe it's talking to new people. So, try making friends with a stranger or someone you don't know very well. Personally I'm TERRIFIED of snakes, I'm going to take a HUGE step and figure out a way to hold one today. After today I encourage you to keep on fighting your fears one small step at a time. You are bold. You are beautiful. You ARE bigger than your fears. 

Love,
Cassie DeClerc

day 6.jpg


Comment

31 Days of Difference | Words of Beauty

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Words of Beauty

"You are beautiful." 

    As I was praying about and writing Insecurely: A Spoken Word, I was taught a lesson of just how important those words are to hear. I discovered how much power can come from one simple sentence.  It's more than a compliment or a polite gesture. It is a phrase that could change the world. You see, beauty goes beyond someones shirt, hair, or voice. Beauty is something that goes to the core of a person's being. To truly tell someone, "You are beautiful" and mean it from you heart is a bigger deal than we take it to be today. Now you may be saying, "Well I understand that it is nice and means a lot, but how could it seriously change the world?" To answer I'll quote Robin Williams in the film 'Dead Poet Society':


"No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world."


    I apply this quote to my life very seriously and realize now just how true it is. Everything in life starts with words; conversations, relationships, fights, and stories. Even this world started with words! Genesis 1:3 "And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light." God Himself SPOKE the world into creation through WORDS! 

"In the beginning there were words
For no sky nor dirt
Rocks nor birds
Heaven nor Earth
Death nor birth
Had yet been given proper syllabification
So nothing physical had yet entered creation
But despite the lacking of material manifestation
There did hang one true annunciation

Words"

                                                    'I Believe in the Scriptures'
                                                        -David Bowden


    Now, I'm not sure about you, but I think that if words can create the world we live in, then words can surely change the world we live in. That is where you come in. You are the speaker, the microphone, the leader of change and it can all start today by telling someone that they are beautiful. That doesn't mean driving down the street, sticking your head out the window, and yelling it at every person you see. This is something to do seriously and with abundant love. You never know the difference you'll make or the life you can save through 3 little words. Pray to start you day, look for opportunities, and take advantage of each and every one that you get to honestly and seriously tell someone "You are beautiful." 

Josh Buckner


day 5.jpg


Comment

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Carefree & Product Free

You are beautiful NO matter what. Be confident of the person God created you to be. So don’t only leave the make up off, but lets leave the hair products on the shelf for the day. (Boys, this includes you too).

If you are anything like me, this day is not exactly easy. Your image matters to you, and that’s okay! Beauty is wonderful, it is a part of God’s creation—you are God’s beautiful creation. The issue is not thinking makeup, hair products, or clothing make you look nice. The issue arises when those things are more important to you than your beauty on the inside. Think about it: if you didn’t have pop culture telling you what “beauty” is, you would just be you. You wouldn’t worry about makeup, hairstyles, or clothing; you would recognize the beauty in who you are. We see this in 1 Peter 3:3-4,“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.” God has wrecked my heart to recognize that who I am on the inside far outweighs what I could ever be on the outside. (You can read more about my personal journey on my Insecurely blog: http://www.insecurelymovement.com/blog/2013/06/23/emily-taylor-beauty-is-________)

         Today is a day to come to the reality that you are beautiful just the way you are—without touch ups, pin backs, or jewels. So my challenge for you today is this: take the time you would normally spend on primping and spend it on beautifying your heart through prayer, reading the Bible, or simply making a note to stick on your mirror to recognize the beauty that you behold. Take off the products and recognize the undeniable beauty within your very being.

Emily Taylor

 

day 4.jpg

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Forgiveness to Freedom

Comment

31 Days of Difference | Forgiveness to Freedom

Forgiveness. It's not simple, and it can seem impossible to do on a whim. But today, we challenge you to do just that. Forgiveness is a choice. It isn't saying "I wasn't hurt." Or  "What you did didn't matter." It's a way of saying, "I am strong enough, and I am capable of moving on. I am no longer held captive."

The unforgiving mind is full of fear, torn with doubt, confused about itself;  it is afraid, angry, and weak. And as sad as it is to say humanity is born into this. Bitterness and unforgiveness is innate; we are born with it. We are born with the instinct to look out for ourselves, for our pride, for our well-being, and we'd rather be dead than let someone take any of that from us.
However, forgiveness is acquired. It is DIFFERENT than what we are born to know. So today, show the immense difference God has made in your life, and forgive someone.

-xoxo from the girl who learned her lesson,
Nicole Finnell

day 3.jpg

Comment