Jesus, Talking, Food

I've been spending a weekend with my grandparents for Christmas, and it's been enjoyable as always! I always cherish the times I have with them. How has all of your Christmas breaks been going? Mine has been good; I've read so much, haha. Today Grams, Mom and I went out to eat at Godfather's, our tradition. We do this a lot, and Mom and I do it back at home too. I've learned three things by always having these times to talk with them, and they're something you can apply to your life too.

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1. Jesus makes life rich.

Every time we're together, we always talk about Jesus. By the grace of God, we've been saved, and we love talking about him to each other. We can bring all of our struggles to each other and be totally open with each other. We can share our victories and how God is working. It's awesome. Jesus says he is the bread of life in John 6:35, and it's so refreshing talking with them about him.

It's so important to have godly people that you can be totally real with, hold accountable, and come together as sisters/brothers in Christ. You talk about the things you love most, right? I love talking about Jesus. I'm not afraid to because I know he's what matters; he's the only thing that matters.

for more on mentoring and connecting with people: On Being a Mentor and the Mentors in Your Life

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2. We need real, authentic people.

We need people. That's how we were created. But we don't just need any people, we need people that will care for us no matter what, that won't give up on us despite our flaws, yet someone who can help keep us accountable, people that are real about life and Jesus. I'm so thankful for Mom and Grandma; they are those people for me. Do you feel alone and need some mentors like that? Read this post. I've been alone, too, and in many ways, I still am. But Jesus will never leave you. He does provide, and He will be faithful.

Also . . . since I know what it's like to be alone, it makes me want to make sure I reach out to other people who feel that way, who are forgotten or rejected by the world. So I want to prompt you to reach out to someone who may not have anyone godly that can help them through life. I especially encourage you to do that for someone who's lost, because let me tell you, they need the fierce, relentless love of God most, and we're on a mission to go get those people (Matthew 28:19). Reach out. I truly believe that's our purpose as Christians, and that's why I do what I do.

I had the awesome opportunity to reach out to someone lost, someone drowning in their sin and mess they'd made of their life, and all they'd received was hate for that fact, so I got to reach out and tell them about Jesus: his perfect, unconditional love, his amazing forgiveness he can give when everyone else refuses to, and the indescribable, perfect joy found in him alone (John 14:6). It was awesome! That person, well, who knows if they have anyone who will encourage them, and I felt drawn to reach them because I know what it's like to be alone. I know what it's like to feel unwanted and hopeless. And I want them to know about the one who never left me.

One thing we talk about is reaching the lost, how so many people are hurting and dying in their sin. It's so important to fellowship with other Christians (Acts 2:42). But we're also going to get all of eternity to do that, so don't become so focused on that where you forget about reaching other sinners in desperate need of Jesus. This is that mission:

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
— 1 John 1:3 NIV

Go find people all around you that need him so that they can be part of this awesome fellowship we have with Jesus and with our fellow believers. I don't care how sinful someone is. Romans 3:23 makes it perfectly clear how we're all "done for it" with our sin, and Jesus died for ALL (2 Corinthians 5:15), so labeling someone as too sinful for the forgiveness of God is nothing but pure hypocrisy on our parts (Ephesians 2:9).

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3. Lastly, Jesus promises to provide for our needs.

Don't worry about anything. Jesus promised he will provide. When I'm out eating all that lovely junk food, I always take a moment to count and reflect on how Jesus has provided for my needs and beyond. He told us not to worry about ANYTHING.

‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?’
— Matthew 6:25-27 NIV

Don't worry about your life, the food, clothes, nothing. Jesus has got it all taken care of. With him, we're safe.

So when I'm out eating with them, I remember . . .

Only Jesus can make life meaningful, and knowing him is what makes life rich. Connecting with others over him is great, and finding others for him is even greater. And as I'm leaving and done eating, my job is to trust him with everything, keep loving and knowing him more and more, and then. . . .

Go find other people who need him. Being alone at school for me has been hard. It's been really hard. But I can truly say that Jesus never, not once, left me. And for that reason, even despite me being alone, I think I'm more joyful than all of the other students because they worry about their lives and don't understand the amazing peace Jesus gives. And I can say it's fueled my faith, made it stronger than I ever thought it would be, and it's given me a deep desire to go reach the lost. Especially those that are so lost they're forgotten and rejected by everyone else because it's so amazing telling them about the most beautiful, eternal fellowship ever. The fellowship that hasn't forgotten or rejected even them. The fellowship I've found with Jesus.

It's priceless, and it's urgent we tell people about it. Why? To sum it up, it's better than any fellowship you'd ever have with someone in this life over greasy pizza.

It's the best fellowship in the world with the one who is the bread of life (John 6:35), and it's available to everyone. Including you. So claim it, and then don't waste any time. Go share it.

Just Do . . . {What God Is Calling You to Do}

I've always had trouble with blogging. Or I should say, continuing to stay motivated with it.

I love to write, and I definitely love to blog, though I would rather write fictional stories any day. But I just love the beauty of writing and the impact that words can have on somebody's life. Fiction or nonfiction. I like to read both, though reading and writing fiction is definitely my favorite, given the choice. I think both are awesome ways to glorify God.

I think one of my main problems with writing nonfiction is that I put way too much expectations on writing it. I never used to do that when I first started blogging. Granted, some of those posts were crap, and all I did was blab about stuff, but I always got my point across and felt so much better when I was done.

When I'm writing my fictional stories, I jot down lots of ideas, but only to get me thinking. I have an outline, but only to keep me on track. I mainly just write when I'm doing fiction. There's a quote that says something along the lines of how you can edit a crappy page, but you can't edit a blank page. And that's always how I've done my creative writing. I write even if I don't have any particular points to make, and I write even if it's absolute garbage.

So that's what I'm doing right now. Just writing. I think the best way to get what you truly want to say out there is to just say it instead of putting all these expectations on HOW you need to say it. That can go for about everything, really.

That's something I'd like to get better about doing on this blog. Just saying what God lays on my heart. No expectations. No using what everyone says is how to write a blog post. Because at the end of the day, I could care less how popular my posts get because of how well they're written. I think that has been too much of my focus when it comes to my writing career. And in doing that, I don't even do what I want to accomplish when I write: which is to write!

Sometimes, you just have to write. Maybe even with no ideas and no outlines. I've been doing that a lot lately. I haven't even been writing the book I'm supposed to be writing, and I'm learning that's okay. Sometimes, God wants you to get away from YOUR plans and do what He wants you to do. So I've been doing that in my writing. The funny thing is, I think some of my best, most profound writing has happened without me even trying.

That's the beauty of writing, and blogging is no different. I blog for God's glory. Not for readers. Not to be the best lifestyle blogger. Not to get a million followers on social media. I blog so that whoever reads my post, even if it's literally just a sentence, can get a spark of faith.

God will even use writing to help ME. There is something extremely liberating about just getting all of your thoughts on paper or reflected on your computer screen. Yes, of course one day I dream to publish a book, the one I've finished and many others. But even God has been speaking to me right there, too. Like, it's okay if I don't publish it this year. Or even the next. Because God showed me so much, revealed so much, even to ME through writing that book. And of course I want others to read it too. But all in His timing. Right now, I have this blog.

That hardly ever gets written on anymore.

Why? Because it takes me like five hours to write a post. Why? Too much PLANNING. That's why. Too much ideas. I love to read Christian blogs, but even that can be overwhelming because I think I need to blog just like a certain blog. For example, one blog I read is super intellectual. All of their blog posts are always about a tough topic, rich with Scripture. Honestly, they're like sermons. They're always probably a good 1,000+ words. You can tell those posts are carefully crafted and planned. Which I think is good. They have multiple great blog posts, and I've written some long, carefully planned blog posts too that have gotten positive responses.

And I've also written some short, sloppy, but also REAL and AUTHENTIC posts, right from my heart, no planning involved, and those have gotten the same amount of--if not more--positive responses.

I always wanted this blog to be what God is teaching me. I've wanted it to be extremely real and authentic. I never wanted to be the most intellectual blog but the most real, about life, about God, and about dreams. Like if I could sit down with you and eat fast food while you drank coffee or whatever (yeah, I do fast food: Arby's cheese sticks, Hardee's onion rings, Casey's donuts, NOT COFFEE), I wanted to keep my life real and, while telling you about my life, tell you about the main, most important thing in my life: Jesus. And how the Lord is working in my life.

One time, it was extremely evident how so much planning can wreck my creativity and just making things harder than they need to be. Writing is simple, really. It's a learning process. It's simple because literally all you have to do is write, and then you grow from there. That's how life is, too. You just live, and God will grow you. And that is what I want this blog to portray. Sometimes, I think I make writing--my books and my blog--WAY too hard. And here's one time that definitely happened.

I was working on a project. God had laid a massive amount of thoughts on my heart. I knew once I started writing this project the words would just flow. Well, then I didn't write it for a few months. WHY? Expectations. Doubt. I didn't think this project would ever go where I wanted it to.

Well, then I just kept feeling God lay it on my heart. Over. And over. And over. I knew He just wanted me to write it, regardless of what happened to it. So one day I did set out to write it. The problem was by that point I'd read multiple blog posts and had so much expectations placed on myself for what I wanted to say. When I wrote this, I had a book opened, blog posts opened, the things I thought would help me say what I needed to. I wrote this project, carefully and extremely deliberately picked through what I did and didn't want to include (like, every sentence had to be taken into consideration and edited before I could even consider putting it into the project). And I liked what I had when I was finished.

But then when I got to be thinking about it, I still had more to say. So much more to say. What I had written was good, but it was also generic, and there was nothing personal, unique, or authentic about it. It was extremely traditional. Any Christian could've wrote it to anyone.

Which was NOT what I wanted. I did NOT want it to be a traditional, generic project. I wanted it to be real so that it could authentically speak to someone's heart because the people it was intended for didn't need to hear religion or tradition. Yes, they needed to hear the Gospel, but in a real, personal way. They didn't need the project to be something that could resonate with just anyone that read it, but they needed it to be specifically for them. That's what I want to do when I write. Make a personal, real connection with someone that God orchestrates.

I decided, thankfully, to rewrite this project. No blog posts. No book. Just my honest thoughts that God laid on my heart. And it was exceedingly better than the first time I wrote it. I want the people that read it not to think it's some traditional thing I'd say to anyone because I feel like I have to. I want them, when they read it, to hear how I carefully wrote it for them because God laid it on my heart, and I CARE about them and their circumstances. I want to do that with this project, on this blog, and definitely in my novels.

I care for each one of you and your circumstances, and I want to write like that because I care. That's why I started my blog. First, because God laid it on my heart to. Second, as my heart continued to fill with love for God, my heart filled with love for His people. Especially His lost people. I know God cares, and I care because of that. Third, because God has revealed much to me over the years. He wants me to write about it so that He can keep planting seeds in the lives of people who see no hope, no reason to believe in God, whatever your circumstances are.

I know that one day I will die. My books, if they ever get published, and I believe one day they will, will eventually go out of print. It won't matter what I said.

But how God works through me and my writing, the works He's beginning in people's lives because of that. . . . That won't die. So that's why I write, why I need to keep writing straight from my heart, what God reveals to me.

You never know where your spark may fall. You never know who sees the light of you being a sparkler. But God does, and He will use you (Philippians 2:13). So let's stop thinking about how our posts need to be by the world's standards and more how God wants them to be. I really don't think God cares how long my blog posts are, the style they're written in, the format I choose, how many images I put in them, what images I choose, etc. What He wants is for me to write boldly, truthfully, lovingly, personally, authentically, for His glory.

He can reveal more to me in the future. He can work with my weak blog posts and strengthen my knowledge and writing skills. But He can't do anything with a blank post.

You don't have to be perfect to be a light. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you, and then go. God will give you the wisdom, grace, and strength you need for each day (2 Corinthians 9:8). When you mess up, He'll guide you back to where you need to be (Psalm 32:8). He can use a person passionate about telling others about Him, even if they don't always do it perfectly. But how can He use you if you don't even try?

Stop relying on your own strength to write, live, whatever it may be. Let God guide you, and let it come. When you submit to Him, He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). So just write. Just keep going. Keep loving God and living for Him above all, and everything that you do, He will direct.

After all, you never know what He may use in you to be a spark for someone else. And that spark, by His power and grace, may just save someone's life.

5 Tips for Telling Others About Jesus

In our day in age, there are a lot of people who don't believe in God. It is our job as Christians to tell others about Jesus and share his hope for us. It's the heart of what I do, and I've written LOTS about it.


here is why I do this and am so passionate about Jesus: This is Why

why I believe it's our purpose to be a light: Why Being a Light?

the purpose of our lives: We Need to Stop Wasting Our Lives

how to show your faith and why: Show It


Here is what I've found to be the best five tips...

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1. Ask for guidance.

It's so important to ask guidance from God, and the Holy Spirit will give you discernment on when to say something. It's also important to consult a mature Christian and have them help you and follow the situation.


for more on mentoring and the importance of it: On Being a Mentor and the Mentors in Your Life


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2. Tell them gently.

To begin with, you can't just expect someone to know all about the story of Jesus. You have to tell them. Tell them your story and how Jesus saved you. If they show some interest or don't protest against it, great! Keep sharing Jesus! However, if they start to make comments about being against God, or you know they are a different religion even though they have heard about God, then that's where we need to proceed to #3 if you feel God is calling you there.

3. Be patient and live your life for God.

There is a quote I really like that says something like how some people are too hurt to listen to your message, so you have to live the message. And another says something on how you are the only Bible somebody will ever read. That couldn't be more true.

Every situation is different. People are different. In the situation I'm faced with, the things I feel like God is calling me to do right now are to just live my life imitating the peace He gives me, being thankful and content, acting mature in shallow situations, and to pursue a relationship with Him and live that out. My friends know about Jesus. I've told them (probably WAY too aggressively when I was younger...thank goodness people mature), and now I feel like the best thing for me to do is to answer their questions when they have some and make gentle comments when the Holy Spirit prompts me to, but other than that, I'm just going to live my own life and do the best I can to make sure it is pleasing to God.

Like I said, I don't know your situation. You're going to have to pray for guidance because maybe one of these tips will work for you, but another the Holy Spirit is telling you to wait on. I think this tip is huge, though. We can't force our light into somebody's eyes. That's disrespectful and will only turn them off. Don't shun these people, either. Pray for them, and don't give up! To successfully live out this tip, though, what does that mean...?

>> This means that you're going to have to develop a strong relationship with Him because we are sinners, and we need His guidance. Pray, read Scripture, study God's Word. We're going to make mistakes. Please don't be one of those Christians who looks down on people. I feel you - that's really easy to do! It's easy to lose your patience when somebody sins, but God forgives you when you sin, and He gives you another chance. We have to do that, too. This doesn't mean we never confront anyone. In fact, I wrote a blog post on living your faith and what to do when others are tempting you or caught up in temptation.


for more on confronting and dealing with your friends stuck in sin: Living Your Faith: I Will Not Chill Out


Sometimes the best thing to do is live your life working on YOUR OWN sin while also confronting when the Holy Spirit directs you to, pray for the people who don't know Christ, and wait for opportunities. God will orchestrate those, but we must be patient.

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4. Ask gentle questions.

If you believe God is leading you to ask one of your friends a question that might get them thinking, do it. What's the worst that can happen? They get mean? Oh, well. At least they'll be thinking. This could be a question such as, "Why are you okay with {insert something that's not okay}?" and see where that takes you. It's important to listen to their point of view as well. I'm not saying you have to agree with or act like you agree with it, but show that person that you are listening to them.

Also, don't go along with something they say that is not true. You can share your opinion in a respectful way, but don't say something is right when it's really not out of fear of hurting that person. It's so easy to do that; I get it. One time I was talking to a kid, and he made a comment about how we don't know for sure if our religion is right since there's many others out there. And what did I say?! I said, "Yeah."

Immediately I thought, "No no no! That is NOT right - our religion is right, and we can know that because of all the evidence for it!" Thankfully I was able to regroup saying that last comment, and we actually had a pretty good discussion.

I wouldn't necessarily come out and say, "You're wrong," when somebody shares their opinion. Instead, gently direct them to the truth. If someone says they're okay with gay marriage, instead of getting all defensive and being all "that's wrong!!!" try saying, "I also believe the Bible says this about so and so...which is why I believe it's not okay." Get what I'm saying? If you are gentle and respectful, people are going to notice that. Some might get mad anyway, but God sees, and you'll be rewarded.

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5. Know your stuff.

Truthfully, I think this one is the most important. We have to know what the Bible says. We're obviously not going to know every answer to every question, but it is so, so important to study God's Word. Especially nowadays with all of the different religions and how they twist things that are SO unbiblical it makes me wonder how they even made it possible to believe such a thing. One time my friend was asking me one question after another about some different topics, which was great! I'm happy to answer her questions and happy to know she's curious. However, it occurred to me just how important it is to know verses. She asked me about angels after a discussion about heaven and hell, and then I was like, "Oh crap! Where's the verses on angels?!"

It's also okay, as someone at my church told me, to tell that person you're not very sure, but let's look it up. I've noticed a trend with atheists, and a book I was reading identified it. Most atheists will ask some really hard questions, and when the person being asked doesn't know, they will feel satisfied. But does that mean there's NOT an answer? No! You just have to find it.

Okay, I hoped these tips helped you! The biggest thing of all is to stay close to the Lord, and He will guide you.

Living Your Faith: I Will Not Chill Out

One of my photos on Instagram was captioned something that inspired this post. I wrote the caption after dealing with the stresses of sticking up for my faith.

I said...

Nothing

Kidding, kidding. Squarespace has that as the default text when I enter a quote block haha; I thought it was appropriate.

What I really said was...

Live for God despite whatever this world says. He sent His son for you, for everyone, and we need to share that despite the consequences. He will never stop fighting for you, so don’t stop fighting for Him.
— @sparklesbyashlee photo caption from Instagram

And for more of that follow me on Instagram: @sparklesbyashlee!

Now back to the quote. Have you ever been in the situation where somebody calls you "too strong" in your faith or that you need to chill out with it? Let me tell you why that's a bunch of crap.

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In my opinion, I don't think you can live for God "too much" or be "too passionate" about him except for one thing. I don't (and neither does God) want you to shove it down people's throats. It's a choice, and unfortunately, there will be people who don't choose God. But it's not our job to change them or force them into our beliefs. We can be a light and share Jesus, but we can't shove it down their throats.

As Christians, we're going to get made fun of. To the Christians who are serious and mature in their faith, they're especially going to get it. Some common things I see being said of us are stuff like, "You're such a goody two shoes," or there are names like "prude" and what not. Then people make it seem like we're too tense and don't know how to have fun. They might say, "It's just -insert whatever- it's okay." Or they might just say, "You're really into your faith" and make fun of you for it.

Thankfully, I haven't encountered too much of this yet. I probably will, though - especially in the society we live in. I wouldn't say I haven't experienced it at all, though. I think we all know by now I don't date. This doesn't mean I will never date, but a) I am thirteen. THIRTEEN. I have one friend who doesn't think it's okay to date at our age, and literally ask every other single person in our grade, and they will be all for it. B) I haven't found the guy I want to marry yet. You're probably like, whoa, whoa, you're thirteen. And you're right. But that's the thing. Why would I date if I know I'm not going to marry any of the guys in my school?

So I think my friends have learned to stop asking me for dating advice. And sometimes they call me a "prude" because of it. It doesn't even bug me, though. If you're going to call me a prude for doing the right thing, that's your loss, not mine. That's about as bad as it's gotten so far. But now let's dive into how you should react to these other common comments of the world.

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"You're such a goody two shoes. You're a prude."

I understand these comments definitely don't feel good. It's not like I want people going around telling me this. And I understand it's even worse when your friends are doing it to make fun of you. However, these comments, for me personally, go in one ear and out the other. I honestly pity the person saying them. I'm not trying to sound like I'm better than that person - I'm not - but if you're obeying God, let Him deal with the other person. Don't get mad at them, just pray and ask God to show them the right way.

You see, it's kind of like if somebody's getting drunk and you want to stay sober. If the drunk person calls you a prude for not drinking, ummm, you're protecting yourself, aren't you? You don't have anything to lose - the drunk person does.

How to react

Let it go

I understand, though, that nobody wants to be called names. Nobody wants to be made fun of - especially when YOU'RE doing the right thing. But see, you have to remember that. If you're doing the right thing, who cares what humans think? Instead of caring about what people think, how about we start thinking about what the Creator of the universe thinks?! He will reward you for guarding your heart, for not getting drunk, for not participating in that sin your friends are doing, etc. And that's all that matters.

Which is why I let it go in one ear and out the other.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
— Romans 8:31 NIV

Don't get angry - pray

God has been convicting me of my pride lately. I get so frustrated with people I know at school and just in my life sometimes when they don't obey God, but that is truly my pride speaking. I don't want to overlook their sin, but I also don't want to overlook mine. That's why instead of being mad that somebody hasn't figured something out, pray for them instead. I promise you there is something wrong with you that you need to fix.

Confront if needed

You don't want to think you're righteous and better than somebody, but you also don't want to totally dismiss their sin. You need to confront them, but you also need to be expecting and craving confrontation as well. Yes, you should want to be confronted because if you need to work on something, you want to know so that you can fix it. Sometimes, people won't change no matter how many times you confront them. You can be patient and keep praying, or you can distance yourself from them. Ask God to give you discernment.

Also, you can't confront somebody about every little thing. If somebody you know gossips too much and you confront them about it, it's probably not the best to go and confront them about their swearing problem the next day. Sometimes it's better to just pray for them instead of telling them every little thing wrong with them. Ask God to give you discernment. The Holy Spirit will guide you.

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"It's just this, it's okay. You don't know how to have fun."

This one hurts my heart for both the people saying it and the people who are accused of not having fun. First, I hurt for the people saying it because if that's what they truly believe, it makes me sad. God didn't come to take away our fun! He loves us so much; He just wants the best for us. And I feel for the people who are accused of it because who wants to be known as a person who isn't any fun - especially when you're actually trying to do the right thing?

Well, here's the thing. It's not just something if God commands you to steer clear of it. God wants us to have life abundantly, but we have to listen to Him. In the long run, when you do that, you'll see how it benefits you.

He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’
— Luke 11:28
But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
— James 1:25
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
— John 10:10 ESV
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
— Matthew 6:33 ESV

How to react

Repeat the first 3 steps we learned

1) Let it go - you do good for God, and He sees it; 2) pray - don't waste time being angry - the people participating in the sin are the ones getting hurt anyways; and 3) confront if needed - the Holy Spirit will help you. All of these require these three things. I'm also adding a fourth step that is also applicable to all of these, but I felt that it was especially necessary for this one because most of the time when we are accused of being not fun, it's for something big like drinking or not going to a party, etc.

Distance yourself from sin and temptation

And by this, I mean the people doing it. This isn't always necessary. ALL PEOPLE can fall into temptation - do not get prideful and say you won't. (In fact, usually the people who are so confident they won't are the people who do.) You can be friends with people who don't believe the same thing as you, but when they're starting to tempt you into their sin, run.

Some people are more grounded than others. That's not to say it's impossible for them to slip up or give in to sin - we all do, and we all can - but some have better self control when their friends are persuading them to take part in sin. Then there are others who don't have good self control, and they need to run. Basically, if you ever even consider participating in sin when your friend is offering, or even if you see their lifestyle and want to join in those ways, RUN! It is not something to mess around with!

This is one of those things where, again, you're going to have to use good judgement. However, if you're feeling something inside of you that is off or even hints that certain behavior or people are not okay, I would run. That's probably the Holy Spirit. Besides, I would rather run when it might've been okay versus not running and then getting tangled into sin. We're all going to sin. It's inevitable. But there's enough temptation in the world as it is. You don't need more people encouraging you to sin, too.

And here's one I want to talk about. Which, no duh. That's all I've done with the others, self.

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"You're really into your faith."

All of these responses might trigger people to say something like the above. And this one, to me, doesn't really have steps to it. I would just tell the person something along these lines.

Shouldn't I be? Seriously, Jesus went to the extremes and died for my sins when I am so undeserving, and he NEVER gives up on us! That is something to be shared, and if he can go to the extremes for us, then we need to do our part in obeying his commands and sharing him.

There are so many Christians who don't share Jesus, and I would like to know why. We don't earn our way to heaven by doing anything, and we're all sinners, but why wouldn't you want to share him? We get so wrapped up in things of this world. I'm not going to share him because I'm afraid of what they'll think of me. I'm not going to share him because I might lose my job or my dream. The list goes on.

But people, this world is fleeting, and when we die...that is what matters. This world will be destroyed, but heaven and hell are forever. And hell is a very real place. We can't save anyone, but it might be your words that prompts somebody to know Jesus, which results in them going to heaven and having an abundant life here. God will work through anybody who is willing. And too many people aren't willing because of their own selfish desires. But it's not this life that matters, it's the next one. And we have work to do.

for more info on how and why to show your faith: Show It

for more info on why it matters so much to share JesusWe Need to Stop Wasting Our Lives

for more life and faith lessons11 Things We Can Learn About Life from a Hockey Game

I cannot stress this enough. If we only knew how much it mattered now, and believe me, this is not the last you'll hear of me on the importance of sharing Jesus. In fact, it's my entire mission - being a light.

Related: Why Being a Light?

That's why I live out my faith. I have witnessed how meaningless this life is and how meaningful Jesus is. That's our purpose - to love others and share him. And that is why I will not "chill out" when it comes to sharing my faith.

So how about you? Do you need help sharing your faith?

Why Being a Light?

Why-Being-a-Light-Sparkles-by-Ashlee.jpg

The main theme and mission I chose for my blog and life in general is to be a light, and I encourage others to as well. I feel like everyone has a main message they stand for. You can stand for a lot of things, but there’s always that one big theme above all. Mine is being a light, and there is one huge reason on why I chose that for Sparkles by Ashlee to represent.

Related: This is Why

It’s our purpose.

As Christians, we are on this earth for one reason: to share the news of Jesus and His love. By demonstrating the love of Christ, we are being a light. By talking about His love, we are being a light. By aspiring to be more like Christ, we are being a light.

I feel like being a light covers everything for us as Christians. If we’re truly being a light, that means we’re on fire for God (see what I did there…?), and we really do aspire to fix our mistakes and share His news - which was dying on the cross for our sins.

We cannot be shy talking about God, you guys. To me, there is no such thing as talking about Him too much, unless you’re shoving Him down someone’s throat. Otherwise, that is our purpose. I’ll never really understand why some people choose to keep quiet about their faith. I’m not saying that everyone has to have a blog and just broadcast it everywhere, but just so that you are talking about Him and living for Him in your everyday life.

Because without Him, what is the point?

I’m really curious - what do people without Him think the point of life is?

Some of the common ones I hear are family, love and relationships, work and working hard, or just living it up while you can.

But what happens when your family dies? Where do they go? Are you comfortable not knowing where you and your family go when you die if you don’t have God? I wouldn’t be.

Why are you working hard? To make yourself money? To make the world a better place? But what about when the world ends? That will happen, and then what? It was pointless, wasn’t it? Yes, you need to work hard while you are here to make the world better while we’re here, but that’s not the point of life.

And living it up while you can? So you just believe there is no point to life other than being happy and living a “good” life? What exactly defines a “good” life? Accomplishing all your goals or something, and what is even the purpose of that? When you really stop and think, what the heck are you even living for?

If you do not have God, it’s all pointless. I don’t mean to be a downer here, but it’s something I’m going to try and be real about. You see, being a light is everything. That is our purpose - to live an abundant life trusting God’s will and sharing His love while we are here. That’s why I want to be a light and why I encourage everyone to be.

Related: Show It

You might be thinking, why can’t I just have faith and keep it to myself? Isn’t that enough? It’s good that you have faith, no doubt about it, but what’s the point if you’re not sharing it? Yeah, it helps you, but that’s it. You’re not doing anything for the world around you, and God calls us to be a light. After all, Jesus died for you and your sins, and he did it so the whole world would know. Why keep that to yourself?

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 ESV

For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” Acts 13:47 ESV

Do you have to have it all figured out to be a light? Absolutely not. You could have just become a Christian a minute ago and still be a light for people. We’re imperfect and flawed, but that’s why Jesus died for us. Being a light is sharing that and doing our best to live for Him. Also, let’s be real about that. I’m so done bragging about my family/friends/things or whatever. A common thing I’ll see Christians do (even some of the well known ones) is write a bunch of sappiness on social media about their family. Now family, you know I love you so much, and that’s kind of the point. You know that, so why do I need to go write a book about that on social media?

It’s truly just to brag about them. Yes, I do love my family, and sometimes I definitely do want to brag about them, but they’re sinners. They’re amazing, but they’re still sinners. I don’t like it when Christians go on and on about how stinking wonderful their boyfriend/mom/dad/etc. is. We don’t need to do that. That’s not at all saying we don’t love them, but we’re not supposed to brag. Besides, I love how people only spout the good. I mean, imagine if we said this…

“Happy birthday idiot! Last night you were being really mean and stupid, and I wanted to punch you in the face really hard! I don’t like you sometimes!”

...but we all feel that way at points about everybody. JUST ADMIT IT.

We’re all on different levels, too. And that’s okay. Jesus died for us, and it’s okay if we don’t know it all yet.

Related: We’re All on Different Levels

My point is to just live for God. Being a light is very hard at times, and I want to write more books on it. We’re going to make mistakes, and we’re not going to be the best light at times, but that’s where we just have to know God and live for Him. That’s our purpose for this life, and I’m going to make the most of mine. Thank you all for listening to my thoughts on all this.