Girls Life Blog: No Longer Broken
 

All the Craziness!

Posted: Saturday, June 8th, 2013

Hey, CoB girls! It's been a while since I posted anything on here, but I finally found time to share something with you.

School is in its final weeks, and as summer gets out, I'm sure we all have lots of plans! (Even if those "plans" consist of hanging around the house reading every book on your shelf.) Maybe you're going to start babysitting over the summer, or going to the pool a lot. Maybe your family has a vacation planned!

I just want to remind you that as we jump into summer, don't let your relationship with God fall to the wayside. Keep reading your Bible, and keep praying. I can tell you from experience that life isn't nearly so sweet without prayer and Bible reading. And sometimes, prayer doesn't mean TALKING to God. Sometimes, prayer just means listening.

So as summer gets underway, and we're all busy with swimming and friends, be sure to take some time out each day to just sit in the quiet with God. Let His peace and love wash over you, and give you the strength to continue another day. I love you girls so much, and God loves you even more. Have a wonderful summer!

~Fifi

Colossians 3:15 "And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful."

Invite Him In

Posted: Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

This is the third of a three part series. Be sure to look back at the previous posts if you haven't already!

So, Jesus has been crucified, and two of his followers were headed home. They were walking along when a stranger approached them on the road who didn't seem to know about Jesus' death. They, of course, filled him in. The stranger then proceeded to explain everything in the scriptures that was written about the Messiah. When they got to where the two men had been going, the stranger was about to continue on. But the men begged him to stay for dinner, and He did. When the stranger broke the bread, the men had their eyes opened- they had been walking with Jesus! And at that moment, He disappeared. The men ran back to Jerusalem, and told everyone what they had seen.

Well, we've talked about how you are not a nobody. We've talked about how, even when you aren't looking for Jesus, He is looking for you. We've almost come to the end of our three part series on Luke 24:13-35. We have only one thing to talk about still.

Did you notice, when you were reading that, that Jesus didn't force Himself in? He didn't even ask if the men would let Him eat dinner with them.

Jesus is a gentleman. He won't barge in without knocking. He won't make you accept Him as your Savior. You have to invite Him in. You have to answer when He's knocking.

If Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart- don't delay. Invite Him in NOW. Invite Him in TODAY. Ask Him to be your Lord and Savior. Turn your life over into His hands. Let go of your fears, your pain, your past, whatever is holding onto you. Invite Him in to your life. I promise, you will never be the same!

(Pst! Guys! I started a blog. Be sure to take a look at it over here- http://walk-in-the-rain-with-me.blogspot.com/ Have a blessed week!)

You Weren't Looking

Posted: Thursday, April 15th, 2013

This is Part 2 of a three part study on Luke 24:13-35. If you haven't done this already, be sure to go read Part 1, "You Are Not a Nobody."

So, Jesus has been crucified, and two of his followers were headed home. They were walking along when a stranger approached them on the road who didn't seem to know about Jesus' death. They, of course, filled him in. The stranger then proceeded to explain everything in the scriptures that was written about the Messiah. When they got to where the two men had been going, the stranger was about to continue on. But the men begged him to stay for dinner, and He did. When the stranger broke the bread, the men had their eyes opened- they had been walking with Jesus! And at that moment, He disappeared. The men ran back to Jerusalem, and told everyone what they had seen.

Last time, we talked about how we really don't know much about the two men. We don't even know what one man's name was. But Jesus came to them anyways. Jesus appeared to THEM. He loved them, and wanted them to know that. And no matter who you are, YOU ARE NOT A NOBODY!

Well there's something else in here to that same tune I want you guys to see. Did you notice that these two men weren't looking for Jesus? If you did, did you realize what that meant for us?

Those men, not only were they not 'important' (at least not in the grand but earthly scheme of things) but they also weren't LOOKING for Jesus. In fact, they'd pretty much given up. Their hopes and dreams had been smashed, and they were headed back home. Yet even though they weren't looking for Jesus, or a sign, or whatever, He appeared to them. And they didn't even realize who He was.

Sometimes it's like that with us. We feel like our whole world has crashed down around our shoulders, and we've basically given up. We just want to get back to 'normal', whatever that might be. But just like those men, Jesus comes looking for us. He comes and walks beside us. He talks to us, reveals things to us, and comforts us. And sometimes, we're so busy trying to get back 'home', we don't even recognize Him.

If it feels like life is crashing down around your shoulders, and you just want to get back 'home', stop. Take a deep breath and look around you. It could be that Jesus is standing right there, and you didn't even realize it.

Posted:Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

You Are Not a Nobody

Most Resurrection Sunday messages speak about Jesus' death, resurrection, and/or appearance to the women at the tomb. When you talk about the Easter story, those are the passages that immediately come to mind. There's another part of the story that I hear less about. Maybe it's different for you, but I hadn't really listened any big sermons on this story yet. At least not on Easter Sunday. I have now, though.

This past Resurrection Sunday, we talked about 'The Road to Emmaus' from Luke 24. It's a really cool passage, and it has some very interesting messages in it. Too many, in fact, to talk about it all at once! So, I'm going to post three mini sermons on this passage. Be sure to check back in for the next ones!
~*~

Now, let's get started. It was what we now call Resurrection Sunday- a day of celebration for us. Back in the time of the crucifixion though, it wasn't a celebration. Not at first, certainly. The disciples were confused. Jesus' tomb was empty and His body was missing. The person they thought to be their Messiah had been crucified along with common criminals. All their hopes and reams were shattered. They didn't know what to do.

Two of Jesus' followers were heading home to Emmaus. They were just walking along and talking very animatedly (I'd guess) about the recent events. Suddenly, a man approached them on the road. He asked them what they were talking about, and the men were stunned. Was this the only man in all of Jerusalem who didn't know what had just transpired???
One of the men, Cleopas, voiced his amazement, and asked Him how He did not know what was going on. They proceeded it 'fill Him in' on the details.

They told Him that the man they had hoped would be their savior, was now dead. The stranger then began talking to them, revealing things in the scriptures about the man they called Jesus. He went through the prophesies telling them everything they wanted to know, answering their questions, and clarifying what they were confused about. The men were amazed at His knowledge.

When they got to Emmaus, the stranger said that He was planning to continue on down the road, but the two disciples begged Him to stay and eat with them. He agreed, and followed them to their lodgings. The three sat down, and the stranger blessed the bread, broke it, and began to hand it out. At that moment, the two disciples' eyes were opened, and they knew that the stranger was Jesus. And with that, Jesus disappeared. The men were astounded that they had seen Him, and RAN back to Jerusalem, telling everyone what they had seen.

There is something very interesting that you probably didn't notice-- because it's not there. Can you guess what it is? The name of the second man. We know that one man was named Cleopas, but the other? We don't even know who he is. He was a nobody. He wasn't some big ruler or important scholar. He was probably much like you or me. And yet Jesus appeared to him. Jesus could have shown Himself to the High Priest, Pilate, or the Roman soldiers. But He didn't. He revealed himself to these two 'nobodies.' He died for them, He loved them, and He showed His return to life, to them personally.


Just like those two men, Jesus loves you. Don't ever let yourself be convinced that He doesn't love you because you're 'nothing'. That's not true. You are God's child, a co-heir with Christ, who died and rose for YOU. So don't ever think you're nobody. Because in God's eyes, you are a princess... And you're worth dying for.

~Fifi

The Passover Seder

Posted:Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 

It's the time of the year now when lots of people are celebrating Easter. In fact, Easter is one of the biggest celebrations of the year. Even people who only go to church a few times a year, or even not at all, grace the church buildings with their presence on this particular Sunday. Stores market candy specifically made for Easter- everything from chocolate crosses to pagan candy eggs. (Don't even get me started on that one...)

However, there's another holiday that's celebrated at roughly the same time as our 'Easter.' And it's a pretty cool holiday. You've probably heard of it, whether you realize it or not. It's called Passover, although you might know it better as 'The Last Supper', for it is indeed the festival Jesus and his disciples were celebrating just before He was led off to be crucified.

Passover- or Pesach (Pey-sah-k)- is an incredibly interesting and awesome Jewish festival. God commanded that the Israelites celebrate it each year at around this time. Originally, people thought it was simply the remembrance of God bringing Israel out of bondage and slavery in Egypt, and God 'passing over' the Hebrews during the tenth plague. For some, that is all it still is. However, Christians and Messianic Jews (Jews who recognize Jesus as the Messiah, or Savior) now realize that it is so much for than that. It reminds us of the even greater Passover that we have through Jesus' death and resurrection.

In the days leading up to Passover, families clear their homes of all leavened breads. (Breads containing yeast or other rising agents.) The yeast signifies sin, and you make it a point to remove all sin from your home in preparation for the coming holiday.

On the day of Passover, the family prepares a nice meal and the items required for the Passover Seder. 'Seder' means 'order', and in this case, it is the order of events for the celebration dinner. The dinner consists of 15 parts, and I have labeled each section throughout the article.



1. Kaddesh
Once everything is set up, the family sits down. Traditionally, you recline at the table. However, this isn't always an option in today's culture. The head of the household conducts and guides the family through the ceremonies. He begins by greeting the family and any guests present. He explains that the purpose of the evening is to remember and celebrate God's deliverance of the people of Israel from their bondage in Egypt, and also our deliverance from the bondage of sin. He tells the family that we are also remembering how God passed over His people during the tenth plague, and saved them from the loss of the first born, and how we are passed over through Jesus' death.

“He took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, saying, 'This is my body, given to you; do this in remembrance of me.'” [Luke 22:19]

The leader says a prayer for the family and their celebration, and they begin.

First, they 'kindle the festival lights.' At this time, a woman at the table (usually the mother or oldest daughter) says a special blessing in Hebrew, and lights the festival candles, symbolizing God's presence in their lives.

The leader then explains that they have a 'Seder' plate, which has items that allow you to see, taste, touch, and smell the story of the Exodus. This begins the Haggadah, or 'the telling'. The leader goes on to say that during the night, they will drink four cups of wine or grape juice- the cups of Sanctification, Plagues, Redemption, and Praise. He also points out the fulfillment of each cup through Jesus,

Sanctification:
Traditional- We are to be clean of yeast.
Fulfillment- We are to be clean of sin, and Jesus is the only way we can do that.

Plagues:
Traditional- Remembrance of the plagues on Egypt.
Fulfillment- Remembrance of our trials and tribulations, which develop perseverance, humility, and maturity in our walk with the Lord.

Redemption:
Traditional-Symbolizes the blood of the Passover lamb who saved the Israelite people from death.
Fulfillment- Jesus is our Passover lamb who's blood saved us from death. This cup is used during communion.

Praise:
Traditional- Give thanks to God for guiding the Israelite people out of Egypt.
Fulfillment- We are always to have praise on our lips for our salvation through Jesus.

At this time, the whole family says a traditional Hebrew prayer over the wine, and they drink the cup of Sanctification.

2. Urechatz
Next, each person washes their hands in a prepared basin, accompanied by a prayer in Hebrew. This symbolizes a renewed commitment to have 'clean hands and a clean heart.'

3. Karpas
Now, the whole family says another special prayer, and takes a parsley sprig from the Seder plate. They each dip their parsley two times in the prepared salt water, and eat it. This symbolizes the tears of the Israelite people during their time in Egypt, and that God always delivers us from tribulation.

This is also a picture of the Israelites and the Egyptians going into the Dead Sea. When the Israelites go in, (the first dip) God brings them out. But when the Egyptians go in, (the second dip) they are immediately consumed!

4. Yachatz
Now, before we continue, I have to explain two things. The first, is matzah. Matzah is simply unleavened bread. It looks similar to a cracker, and I'll explain a little more about it later. The second is a matzah pouch. All this is, is a special pouch or bag thingy with three sections, one on top of the other. It's only used for the Passover ceremony.

The leader now takes the matzah pouch and three pieces of matzah, placing one piece in each section of the pouch. The leader points out that we will be breaking the middle piece of matzah momentarily. He goes on to say that, while non-Messianic Jewish people have many theories on why this is done, the most logical one is that this is a picture of the Trinity. The middle matzah (or the afikomen (uh-fee-KOH-men), meaning 'bread of affliction.') is broken just as Jesus was broken and sacrificed for us. The leader removes the afikamin from the matzah pouch, and breaks it. He now wraps one half in a cloth, and asks all of the guests to hide their eyes. While the guests have their eyes closed, the leader hides the afikamin. The guests open up their eyes, and the other half is placed back in the matzah pouch. The leader states that later on, the children will have to find the hidden afikomen, and he will buy it back with a reward.

5. Maggid
Now, a young child stands up and asks these four questions...
One all other nights we eat bread or matzah. Why on this night do we eat only matzah?
On all other nights we eat many kinds of vegetables. Why on this night do we eat only bitter herbs?
On all other nights, we do not dip our vegetables even once. Why on this night do we dip them twice?
The leader answers that tonight is different from all the other nights because we are celebrating what God has done for us, and then goes on to tell the Passover story. At this time, you may read a condensed version, or you may read the full version from the Bible. Sometimes, the leader will read it, and sometimes they will go around the table taking turns. It all depends on the family and how much time they have.

You now fill your cups for the second time with the cup of Plagues. Instead of drinking it yet, each person dips their little finger in the cup and lets one drop fall onto the plate. You do this one time for each plague, and say the plagues together.

The leader then picks up the prepared lamb shank bone off of the Seder plate. He explains that this represents the lamb that Israel was commanded to sacrifice. They were to spread the blood over the top and side door posts of their houses, and the spirit of death would pass over them in the tenth plague. They would be spared death. We have something similar through the death and blood of Jesus. We are passed over and spared death and judgment because of our Messiah.

The leader then lifts the other half of the Middle matzah. He tells that we eat the unleaved bread because it is a symbol of the fact that when the Israelites left Egypt, there wasn't time to wait for the bread to rise. Just as when the second coming of Christ is here, there will be no time to waste.

The leader lifts the bitter herbs. (Horseradish.) He explains that we eat the bitter herb because of the hardship Israel endured, and the bitterness of slavery.

He lifts the egg, and says that the egg has been added to the Seder. The egg was added during the time of exile in Babylon, and does not have any great significance other than to remind us of our heritage and the obstacles that we have overcome through God.

The leader now blesses the second cup, and they all drink.

6. Rachtzah
They now wash their hands a second time.

7. Motzi
The leader blesses the matzah on the Seder plate as food, although they do not eat the matzah at this time. This is also the bread blessing the Jesus pronounced at the Last Supper.

8. Matzah
The leader holds up the top and what is left of the middle matzahs. He explains that the matzah at Passover is not just food, but also the fulfillment of commandment. He says a special blessing over it, but it is not eaten yet.

9. Maror
Now, everyone says a special blessing together, and everyone eats a piece of the top matzah with 'maror' or bitter herbs, on top of it. The bitter herbs are horseradish, which is a very bitter and spicy herb/veggie.

10. Korech
They now say eat the bottom matzah with the bitter herbs, and follow that with eating the remaining middle matzah with both the bitter herb AND the haroset. Haroset is a sweet mixture of apples, nuts, and cinnamon.

11. Shulchan Orech
This is probably one of the best parts of the Passover celebration, as this is the time when you break to eat the prepared meal. This is most likely several hours after you started the celebration. For us, it took about two hours to get to this point. When we go slowly, it takes longer.

Once everyone is finished eating, you return to the table(if you left) and the children must find the hidden afikomen. If the afikomen is not found, the Seder cannot continue. Whoever find the afikomen is given a reward by the leader.

12. Tzafun
The leader now lifts the afikomen, and reminds us that the taste as we eat it should linger in our mouths. It was about the afikomen that Jesus told His disciples 'This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.' [Luke 22:19]  The Passover cannot be completed without the afikomen, as our salvation cannot be completed without Jesus. At this time, everyone eats a piece of the afikomen.

The leader also explains that the matzah paints an incredibly amazing picture of Christ. He was without sin, just as the matzah is without yeast. There are holes in it, just as Jesus was peirced with the nails. There are dark spots like the bruises Jesus suffered, and stripes up and down it, just as jesus had stripes when he was whipped.

13. Barech
At this time, everyone fills their cup for the third time with the cup of Redemption. This was the cup with which Jesus said 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.' [Luke 22:20] Everyone says a special blessing, and they drink.

The leader lifts the extra cup prepared for Elijah. This was in keeping with the theme of redemption for the Israelites from Egypt. We also have a Messianic redemption through Jesus. A child goes and opens the door for Elijah, which also signals opening out heart to the truth.

The second coming of Elijah was to herald the coming of the Messiah. This was fulfilled through John the Baptist, who announced the coming of Jesus.

14. Hallel
At this time they read through the text of Psalm 136, with the leader reading a sentence and the rest replying, 'His love endures forever.'

15. Nirtzah
This is the end of the Passover Seder. The leader encourages everyone to read through the story of the first Passover, and also the second Passover, or the Easter story.

After the leader is done speaking, you typically sing a song of rejoicing. This is not technically part of the Passover Seder, but it is a part of the celebrations. Most Jewish people will sing a traditional song that accompanies the Seder. However, for those who do not know Hebrew, just a nice praise song is good. My family sung Psalm 126 (You Have Done Great Things) by Charlie Hall. A simple song that almost everyone knows or that is easy to pick up on is preferred.

So there you have it! The Passover Seder as practiced by Messianic Jews and Christians who wish to participate. I think it's amazing that we can celebrate something that Jesus would have taken part in, and how something even older than the Easter story itself points to Jesus all the same. God commanded them to do these things long before the coming of Jesus and their Messiah, but it was all still pointing to Him.

Passover this year started at sundown on March 25th. However, it continues throughout the next week with the 'Feast of Unleavened Bread' in which you eat nothing with leaven in it.

[(This information is from a real Messianic Seder guide! I did not make up any of this information.)]

Posted: Tuesday, March 19th, 2013  

Once upon a time, there was a girl. She wasn't much different from you, I'll bet. Just an ordinary person, in an ordinary town, with an ordinary life. She grew up with a mom and dad who took her to church every week. She loved going, and accepted God into her heart at a young age. She was baptized a couple years later, and life seemed like it was going pretty well. She loved God, she loved Jesus, it was all good.


And then, after a few years, everything started going wrong.

It seemed as though problems were following her everywhere she went. Her great-grandparents, her best friend's dad, her uncle, all of them passed away. Life just kept throwing things at her. Her dad lost his job, friends moved away. No matter what she did, it seemed as though nothing went right.

And she felt like giving up. She was so tired of everything. She couldn't handle hurt and pain anymore, and it seemed to be the only thing life promised. It was wearing her down, and she was indeed feeling worn. And tired. But most of all, broken... 

Have you ever felt like this? Has life ever gotten so hard, you just wanted to give up?

When times like these come, remember that God is always there. He never leaves you. He never goes on vacation. He's never so busy with other stuff that He's not there- even if it feels like He's not. When your heart and life are broken, run to Him. Let Him heal you. He is the only one who can.

“I have told you these things, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have oppression; but cheer up! I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33

Your Golden Heart


Your Golden Heart

Your golden heart is broken

Shattered on the ground

Broken by the many things

That tend to come around

A feeling you're unloved

The death of one you love

Your whole life crashes down

The sky falls from above

 

Your golden heart is broken

Shattered on the ground

Broken by the many things

That tend to come around

Until the Savior reaches out

And scoops up your Broken heart

The pieces shattered on the ground

And scattered all about

He holds your golden heart

In the palm of His hand

Broken to a million pieces

That no one else can mend

Smashed beyond recognition

They who know it are few

And yet with the blink of His eyes

Your heart again is new

- Me


About The Author: Fifi
"Hmm... you want to know about me, huh? Well, I guess we can start with the basics. My name is Fifi, I'm 14 years old. I love Jesus with all my heart, and have pretty much since I could talk. I did hit a rough patch a couple years ago, but through God's saving Grace, I am close to Him once more. I live with my mom, dad, and four siblings. All of us who are school-aged are homeschooled by our mom, who stays at home. I spend a lot of time with my family. We're pretty crazy and weird, and I wouldn't change it for anything. I love reading, acting, and crocheting. I also have a passion for writing. Poetry, short-stories, novels- you name it, I probably tried to write one! I am very quiet, and have a hard time making friends in real life. I don't like large crowds, big cities, or clowns. So there you go- me in 155 words and 792 characters!"

Hey girls! Fifi is one of our newest authors to join the Crown of Beauty Magazine team! Leave her some love in the comments section below. Let her know what you thought! :)