Great Bible Study Tools!


I would like to share with you a couple great tools that I have found to be extremely helpful in memorizing and reviewing verses. I have been using Memverse for the past few years, and it has been such a blessing to be able to review my memorized verses online with ease... For free. If you have not already, I would encourage you to consider using Memverse as a tool to boost your Bible Memory skills. Especially for those of you participating in the Bible Bee this year, Memverse is a great way to get some extra review, and check you memory accuracy. I'm sure you will not be disappointed.

I have attached a flyer about Memverse, and here's a link to get you started in this wonderful Bible Memory tool! Enjoy:)

http://www.memverse.com/?referrer=--2

The second tool that I have found to be extremely useful is the Bible Bee.
Over the course of several years, I have come to appreciate, and value the Bible Bee as a powerful Bible study tool that can be applied to all ages. In 2010 I came in contact with the Bible Bee, after my Mom looked for a Bible study tool to help our family. She came across the Bible Bee website, and thought it would be a great resource for our family. I (however) was not as thrilled with the thought of having to memorize and retain hundreds of Bible verses. Nevertheless, I participated in the Bible Bee, and I cannot even begin to recount the blessings, and impact it has had on my life. God used the Bible Bee to bring me to a complete realization of His Salvation, and my life has never been the same since competing in the Bible Bee. ( you can read more about my Salvation testimony on the Greatest Endeavors page.) As a personal note, I would like to mention that even though the Bible Bee is expressly designed for ages 6-18, all ages will benefit from the study.

So, long story short, I would encourage you to participate in the Bible Bee, and I can promise you that if you put your heart into it, and focus on the Spiritual benefits, you will be extremely blessed, an detour life will never be the same.

Here's the link for the Bible Bee website to sign up, and participate. http://www.biblebee.org/


I've Been Tagged:)

I've never been tagged before, but I guess everyone gets a chance sometime. I would like to share my top ten favorite Scriptures.

1. "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

2. "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

3. "Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." Psalm 55:22

4. "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee." Psalm 51:10-12

5. "And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me." Ruth 1:16-17

6. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. " Matthew 6:33

7. "Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:18-19

8. "For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not." Isaiah 30:15

9. "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." Colossians 3:1-2

10. "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." Revelation 12:10-11







Be Perfect!

Hello all, hope you are having a good week so far! This week's command is to 'Be Perfect.' The majority of us have already checked this off our spiritual to-do list right?? Yea, me either. This command is not what it seems based on our current perception of the word 'perfect.' When we think of the word 'perfect' we think 'without flaw, sinless, no fault' etc. God said about Job 'that man was perfect' (Job1:1). King Asa had his 'heart perfect toward the Lord all his days' (I Kings 15:14). Is it possible for us to be perfect? And were Job and Asa really perfect? Let's look at what Jesus said to help us understand what it means to be perfect. "For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect even as your father which is heaven is perfect" (Mt. 5:46-48).

Jesus is not saying that we should be at a place where we never sin, this is impossible and only Christ was able to achieve that. The word 'perfect' means to be morally complete or to come to full maturity. It gives the idea of being whole and complete in character.

In these verses Jesus said that if we only love our family and friends, how are we any different than non-believers and the wicked in the world? Do not even wicked people love those who love them back or first showed love to them? And if we only give friendly greetings and hugs to our friends then we are no different than everyone else in the world. Jesus then says to be perfect (or spiritually complete) and go beyond the status quo. It means to look outside our circle of friends to those who are spiritually dry and needy, to those who don't know Christ, to 'sinners.'

John MacNaughton said, "Maturity begins to grow when you can sense your concern for others outweighing your concern for yourself." Is it our goal to be spiritually perfect or are we content being 'good' people compared to some of the really wicked in the world? There are a lot of 'good' people in the world, but only a few who are willing to give their lives to serve God and others by loving those who reject them and hate them.

Pieta was a Filipino slave girl who worked under a harsh and cruel master. One day she heard the Gospel from a missionary woman, but told the missionary she had done too many bad things to ever be forgiven. The missionary explained to her that the blood of Jesus could cover all her sins and would forgive her. Pieta then trusted God as her Savior and purposed to use her life for Jesus. She would tell her master about Jesus, but he would become enraged with her and punish her harshly. One day she found a little piglet and decided to raise it so she could give it to God. As the pig grew, Pieta also continued to grow in the Lord. The day came when the pig was full grown and Pieta proudly brought her to class with a big bow. "Will you please give him to the Lord for me today?" Pieta asked the missionary. The missionary decided to give it to the Lord by selling the pig and using the money for Bibles. For several days after that, the missionary did not see Pieta at school. The school children finally told her that Pieta's master had planned on having the pig for a feast and when he found out it was sold he beat her badly; they thought she was going to die soon. In distress, the missinary went to find Pieta and found her lying under her master's house in the dirt. The missionary, with tears streaming down her face, scooped the frail girl into her arms. In a weak voice Pieta said, "Are you crying for me? Do not cry. I am going to be with Jesus, and I can hardly wait to see Him." After a pause Pieta asked, "When I go, will you tell my master about Jesus? He is all I have and I so want him to be saved." The missionary promised and after a few minutes she saw Pieta grow still. The missionary took Pieta to the master and confronted him, but he did not care. The missionary then began to share with him the Gospel but he only became angry. The children of the Bible class began to pray for this master in honor of Pieta's last wish. A few days later a man walked in, it was the harsh slave-master; he fell to his knees, confessed his sins, and put his faith in Jesus. He became a powerful witness for Christ and ended up dying for his faith.

To be perfect is to be like Pieta, who loved even those who despised her and purposed to preach Christ even when it would cost. Will we go beyond what is easy and comfortable to reach the lost? If we want to be spiritually mature we must be in the Word daily, in prayer fervently, and hiding His Word in our hearts. We cannot be perfect in our own strength and will need the power of God and the Word working in us to do it.

-Do I reach out to more than just my close circle of friends? Who is God calling me to befriend?
-Am I abiding in the Word and in prayer so that I can come to spiritual maturity?

"Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace" (Ps. 37:37).

Blessings,
Amanda
Notes adapted from the IBLP Commands of Christ Journal and Pocket guide.
Read the full story of Pieta in Pieta and Her Pink Pig by Jean Tuiniga

Let Music Swell the Air, and Fill the Breeze so Fair!

Springtime is a wonderful time of the year that seems to always involve music for our family.

This past week I had the privilege of performing with my siblings and friends in a benefit Concert for India Evangelical Missions. The concert was well attended, and the music was artistically performed. Here are a few pictures of the event, and some videos of the performances.
I hope you enjoy:)


The overview of the church from the balcony.


Jordan did a great job as always introducing the One Accord musicians.( aka The Strang Siblings;)


A quick mic check before the concert.


A photo can't get much better than this.


Eden did a wonderful job singing " The Prayer". Her voice is amazing!


Judah looking as Cute as can be:)


Pre-concert talks with some of my favorite people.


The youth choir from the church where the concert was, performed a couple of great songs.


"Behold how good and how pleasant it is, when brethren dwell together in unity"


There was also time for a bit of food before the concert:) Anyone want some?


One of those moments when you and your best friend discover that you're being watched by a cameraman:)

Overall it was another wonderful event filled with all the things that make life worth living. It was a blessing to share the evening with special friends and family, and I thank God for allowing the performances to be glorifying to Him and a blessing to others. I'm especially grateful for God answering my prayers, and giving me peace and strength throughout the performance. Sometimes you can't see the future until it's past, and you realize how much God cares for every little detail of our lives. What a magnificent God we serve.

"Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised. The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens." Psalm 113:1-4

Click Here to Watch Videos of the Performances:)

Personal note:) Special thanks to Evan, and Josh for the filming and photography! What would we do without you guys?
Please don't use any of these photos or videos without permission!

Spring Church Outfit:)



Here's an outfit I created on Ployvore for a friend's Spring Clothing Designing contest! I hope you enjoy it:)


Untitled #1


Untitled #1 by biblebee featuring a tweed jacket

1stdibs.com

aliceandolivia.com

modcloth.com

$91 - debenhams.com

guess.com



carters.com

Command of Christ # 10

Hello! It's another typical day in Oregon...rain, sunshine, rain, sunshine, hail, rain, sunshine.... : )

This week's command is to 'Love Your Enemies.' Isn't it just like God to command something completely opposite of our natural inclinations?! I know I am often tempted to backlash or talk bad about my enemies, but rarely does the idea pop into my head to show love to my enemies! Matthew 5:43-44 says, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies; bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you."

Who exactly are our enemies? For many of us, no one is trying plot our death or is even actively being malicious towards us. How can we apply this to our present day 'enemies'?

1) Political enemies: Our current government openly stands for what is against God and therefore against Christians. Many of our government leaders stand for unbiblical ideas and seek to erase God and His Word from having any influence in this country. While we may be tempted to rally for our rights and criticize President Obama, Jesus has called us to love our political 'enemies', pray for them, bless them, and do good to them. "I exhort, therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority" (I Timothy 2:1-2). Make it a point to pray for our president and his marriage and family; that he would have wisdom. Pray for your state representatives, that their hearts would be turned to God's Word. Write letters to government leaders thanking them for investing their lives for our country. How else can you bless our political 'enemies'?

2) Religious enemies: We are in a day that exalts man and has forgotten God. The majority of the people we come in contact with throughout the day are not saved. They are living in darkness and do not walk in the truth. Many openly oppose Christianity and actively blaspheme God and His Word. My natural response to the outspoken unsaved is to comment about how foolish they are, how rude, how selfish, etc. Once again, God's ways are not my ways and God has to remind me that we were all that 'unbeliever' at some point, who rejected God for our own ways, but God in His mercy plucked us up from the path to hell and put us on the path to life eternal. Are we in ourselves any better than the atheist? Are their sins too big for the cross of Jesus? Let's pray for the lost around us, bless our neighbors who reject God, do good works to those who openly oppose us.

I went skiing for the first time last week and had signed up for a lesson. Since we went night skiing, there was not a lot of people around and I ended up getting a private lesson! My middle-aged female instructor walked up and her first questions really surprised me! I was dressed different than the normal ski-bunny and she asked me all sorts of questions like if I was Muslim. I said, 'Oh no! I am a Christian!" She kept asking me questions about what I did, if I had a degree, what my mom did, etc... I was surprised because I thought she would want to know if I had skiied before or if I had experience on the mountain. I soon found out that she was quite liberal and had moved from San Fransisco to Seattle, which are pretty liberal climates. At first I was thinking that maybe this 2 hour lesson was going to be more like a battle on political correctness, but I thought this would be a good opportunity to 'let my light shine.' I found out some things we had in common (which ended up being a lot) and tried to be joyful and respectful. We ended up having a great time and at the end of the lesson I was able to share with her about Jesus and eternity. We talked for awhile after my lesson and she was very receptive. I know God ordained that private lesson and was asking me to love my 'enemy' even if I didn't want to at first. If you think of it, pray for Ms. Wong and that she would trust Jesus as her Savior.

Loving our enemies does not just mean that we should tolerate our current leaders until they get re-elected or 'coexist' with non-believers; this command is calling us to go beyond ourselves and show love. It calls for action.

-Who are some political 'enemies' in my life that I can pray for or write to?
-Who are some religous 'enemies' in my life that I can minister to?
-Have I asked God to make me a channel of His love?
-Do I continue to do good to my enemies even when I do not see changes in them?

"If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink, for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good" (Rom. 12:20-21).

Blessings,
Amanda
Some notes adapted from IBLP Commands of Christ journal and pocket guide.



30 Life Lessons From Anne of Green Gables!

One of my favorite movies is Anne of Green Gables. It's always my preferred choice for my birthday every year, and so this year, while we were watching the series over my birthday week, I decided to look for life lessons from the movie that could benefit my life. I always try to see movies from a fresh perspective each time I watch them, and so I hope you enjoy my 30 life lessons from Anne of Green Gables.

1. Study hard
2. Make friends with everyone you know
3. Pray
4. Love and honor your parents
5. Make apologies when you are wrong
6. Take every chance to make something of yourself
7. Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it
8. Do the best you can all the time
9. Take the opportunities that come along
10. Life's too short to hold grudges
11. Keep studying all the time, even by correspondence is better than nothing.
12. Thrive on study
13. Be persistent, and don't ever give up
14. Use every opportunity you can to make a difference for others
15. Don't waste your life, make the most of every moment
16. You are the one who can choose to be happy or sad in every circumstance
17. Treat everyone like they are special
18. Help other people by teaching them what you know
19. It's not about what the world holds for you, it's about what you bring to it.
20. Love and want to be loved
21. Don't be easily influenced! Stay strong, and devote yourself to your dreams
22. Go above and beyond the call of duty, and do what others are not expecting of you
23. Never loose hope in the future, and in God
24. Listen to counsel
25. We all have unfulfilled dreams
26. Trust God that everything will work out
27. Be grateful and happy in every circumstance
28. Walk by faith not by sight
29. Never give up on someone you love
30. Enjoy every moment you have, and treasure the beauty of life


Blog Questions:)

I would like some input from you my dear readers! What on this blog would you like to see changed? Do you have any suggestions for how I could get more followers? What topics would you like me to write about on this blog? I'm interested in your perspective and want to keep this blog as encouraging and uplifting as possible!

"Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday." Psalm 36:3-6

Command of Christ # 9

Hello! This week's command is to 'Go the Second Mile.' In Mt. 5:38-41 Jesus says, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek turn to him the other also, and if any man will sue thee at the law and take away thy cloak, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain."

In the time of Jesus, the people were still living under the Law and had turned justice into revenge. The Law had specific commands to make sure justice was carried out. The people had begun to use it for more than just justice, but to retailiate and make the offender suffer. In these verses, Jesus confirms the spirit of the Law: to love God and to love others. Rather than Christians bringing others to court to get their revenge, He calls us to turn the other cheek and actually show love to our offenders. Naturally, this is the opposite of what we would like to do.

When Jesus said this, the Romans were ruling the nation and the Roman soldiers could reguire any boy to carry their heavy backpack one mile in any direction. Jesus commanded them to not only go the first mile, but to also go an additional mile to show honor and genuine love. God is calling us to do the same; when an undesirable boss or authority tells us to do something, we should not just do the bare minimum, but go beyond what is required of us. The first 'mile' we go is just our duty, but when we go the second mile, we are investing of ourselves and showing the love of Christ.

Jesus said to offer the other cheek when we are slapped. While most of us will not be physically slapped, we will probably be verbally slapped. Oftentimes we are 'slapped', because of something offensive we have said to them first. When we are innocent and someone 'slaps' us, our response should be polite and not defensive. Christ was slapped, beaten, spat upon, cursed, etc. and could have easily destroyed them, but He kept silent. "Who when He was reviled, reviled not again, when He suffered, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him that judgeth reighteously" (I Pet. 2:23). We must be gracious when we are treated 'unfairly' and seek to love that person like Jesus did.

Ray Comfort is a very good example of someone who turns the other cheek. Ray Comfort is an evangalist by occupation and has been one of the most influential Christians in my life. His life is used to spread the Gospel and he gets a LOT of opposition. He receives hate mail and people say horrible things to him and about him. He very kindly replies and does not show any sign of retaliation. He often gets e-mails filled with bad language and blasphemies and Mr. Comfort will reply graciously and even tells them to have a good day or asks them how they are doing. They often reply by apologizing for being so vulgar and thank him for his kindness. Some of these strict atheists end up having lengthy conversations with him, because Mr. Comfort shows love to them and turns the other cheek. How would these situtations be different if Mr. Comfort would have replied defensively?

-How can you use insults to shine the light of Christ to the offender?
-Is there a present situation where you could go the 'second mile'?
-How can you invest in the lives of those who have offended you?
-Do you consistently show the love of Christ when you are offended?

I don't know about you, but I have a LOOONG way to go to perfect this command! Jesus will give us the grace to respond properly, do not resist His help!

"Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing, but contrawise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing" (I Peter 3:9).

Blessings,
Amanda
some notes adapted from IBLP Commands of Christ journal and Pocket Guide

P.S. To learn more about Ray Comfort and his ministry, visit livingwaters.com. His materials and videos have greatly impacted my life and given me a desire to win lost souls!