**Most of this blog is for girls only! Any boys, please only read the posts linked to in the "For Boys" page on the sidebar. Thank you.**

Friday, 26 June 2015

5-Minute Devotions for Busy Teens

Or not.

I hope you cringed when you saw that title.

Why? What could be wrong with mini-devotions that allow today's teens (or mums, or business-men, or whoever) who lead crazy lives to get their fix of God?

Um, a lot. Here's the key reason:

They promote the idea that 5 minutes is all God deserves from your busy life. Think about it. God created you and loves you personally, so much that He gave His Son for you. But unfortunately, your busyness means you can only give up 5 minutes of your day to spend with Him. WHAT???!!!!! How is that honouring Him, loving Him? Why does your job, your school, your friends, deserve to be first priority, while He is only worthy of being pushed to the back-burner, the '5-minutes-if-I-get-time' slot?

This post isn't really about devotion books. It's about our attitudes. I know I'm guilty of this. When we're snowed under with school, we'd rather catch up on that essay than read our Bibles and pray. When we promise ourselves we'll have our devotion at night, but then our friend rings with a last-minute invite to dinner and board games, we jump right in. What does that reflect about our priorities, our value of God?

So the good news? We can change our behaviour until our attitude changes. (I don't think this has been tested directly, but it would be based of the scientifically-backed theory of cognitive dissonance - if our attitudes and behaviour are mis-matched, we want to change one to be in line with the other. So if we keep behaving against our attitudes, they'll probably eventually line up. Just don't forget prayer - it helps too. :D)

My next post will be about how we can change our behaviour so that it reflects better priorities. If you have any thoughts on how to remain consistent in devotions, please comment!

Cassie xoxoxo

P.S. I do think that there are cases where we legitimately might not be able to set aside a chunk of time to focus on God. And if we can't or forget till the next day, or something, it should not be a cause of guilt. I'll talk a bit more about this next post.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Poured Out

A few nights ago in family devotions, we read the story of Mary pouring the jar of perfume over Jesus' feet (Mark 14:3-9; John 11:2). And something jumped out at me.

Mary could have just given the perfume to Jesus. It was worth a lot of money, and surely it would have been a precious gift as it was.

But no. She didn't just give it to him.

She broke it, poured it on his feet and head.

Yes, the Bible explicitly states the symbolism of this act - "She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial" (Mark 14:8). But I think it relates to other things too.

Like our lives.

How often do we wrap our life, our heart, carefully, and 'give' it to Jesus? "Here, Lord. See, this is my life, neatly packaged. Isn't it precious? There, go put it on your shelf and look at it with pride and pat me on the head for being so sacrificial."

How rarely are we like Mary, actually cracking our life, pouring it out in repentance, awe, adoration, true sacrifice? How rarely are we willing to really let Jesus have our lives, use them as He wishes? How rarely do we let to fragrance of our sacrifice drift throughout wherever we are, until people say "What are you doing?!" How rarely do we proclaim Christ's burial (and resurrection) with our lives?

"But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God."
{Philippians 2:27}

Cassie xoxoxo