Rebekah B.

About Rebekah B.

Rebekah's Blog
Rebekah B. is a blogger, who is madly in love with her Savior, Jesus Christ. She strives to bring glory to God in all she does in this crazy little thing called life. She loves to read books about theology, psychology, and anything mystery. She hopes that what she writes encourages, and inspires you to walk the narrow road.

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3 Things My Anxiety Taught Me About Casting My Care

I recently received an email that gently reminded me that I had a one-week deadline to submit an article I had promised to write. My stomach fluttered and I hit the panic button. One week may seem like a lot of time to some of you, but I am an overachiever and I like to get things done ahead of time so I don’t have to worry about it. I only had one week, which, to me, is the equivalent of one day. Yikes!

Frantically, I searched my mind for a topic to write about but I came up dry. This was not good. Dread began to take root in my heart as I scoured the web for ideas, my heart sinking deeper into my stomach. Nothing seemed right. My mom suggested that I write about trust, but when I sat down to write, my words where not the quality that I wanted them to be.

Dread gave way to fear as I began to doubt myself and my writing. What I didn’t know, was that by allowing myself to get so hyped up and anxious about this deadline, I was doing the exact opposite of what the Bible commands us in Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

This verse boldly states that we should not be anxious about anything. Anything! Not about grades, money, your job, deadlines, etc.. Instead, we are to cast our cares upon the Lord as written in 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” This verse doesn’t say that we won’t get upset, worried, fearful, and anxious, but it says when you do, you cast those upon God.

Anxiety, fear, and dread get you nowhere, and don’t do you any good. Whatever problem that is causing you to be anxious, you can be certain that your anxiety over the issue will not help.  It will only make you miserable. Worrying over my deadline only made me feel depressed, moody, and (wait for it) more anxious than I already was. I love how John Piper addressed anxiety in a sermon that he gave several years back.

Jesus does not want his followers to be anxious. He does not secure his kingdom by keeping his subjects in a state of worry. On the contrary, according to verse 33, (he is preaching from Matthew 6:24-34) the more primary, the more central his kingship becomes in our lives, the less anxiety we will have. Jesus came, lived, died, rose from the dead, in order that he might reign as King over an anxiety-free people.

So come to Jesus. Forsake all other allegiances. Take your vow of loyalty to the King of kings. And seek first in all you do to make known his kingship over your life. This and this alone is the way to freedom from anxiety.”

When you find yourself allowing dread and anxiety to come creeping into your heart remember these three truths.

  • God did not give you a spirit of fear. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 1 Timothy 1:7.  
  • Jesus doesn’t want you to be anxious. “Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’ ” Mark 5:36.
  • God will always provide and give you the strength to do things you didn’t think you would ever have the strength to do on your own. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10.

Before we part ways dear reader, I leave you with a wisdom filled acronym to remember when your start to feel anxious.

F alse

E vidence

A ppearing

R eal

 

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By | 2018-04-04T09:36:49+00:00 April 4th, 2018|

Three Things I Learned from Living Without Wi-Fi For Four Days

Nothing in the room stirred, our breaths were held in bated agony, and faces were ominously lit by the light emanating from the devices held reverently in front of us. Hearts pounded in anxious trepidation, and worried eyes cast searching glances at their fellow man. No eye could ignore the warning that flashed across our screens.

There was no wi-fi connection.

I froze, the blood in my veins ceasing to pump blood throughout my body for a second. My fingers grew cold, and I bit my lip hoping that this was just a glitch, something quick that would be resolved in short notice. Little did I know what the days ahead would bring.

Three Things I Learned from Living Without Wi-Fi For Four Days

“Maybe we just need to restart it?”

My mother’s voice was laced with worry and slight irritation. I didn’t blame her, after all, we had all been doing something that had been rudely interrupted. Quickly, I went to our modem and proceeded to restart the small black box, my heart thundering in my chest all the while, praying that this was just something that would be over soon so that I could get back to working on my book.

It was of no avail, the wi-fi would not connect and the little red dot blinking violently on the box screamed loudly that we had been disconnected.

Whipping out my cell phone, I got on the line with the wi-fi company and sat in painful anticipation for the next thirty-five minutes. My face told it all when I hung up. This was no simple fix. We were to be shipped a new modem that would arrive between 2-6 the next day. This is not what my family and I wanted to hear, but what could we do?

We sat in stunned silence, trying to adjust to the feeling of being unplugged, the shivering stillness almost more than we could bear. The haunting quiet was awkward, the bright blue glow from our screens amiss, cutting painfully through the heavy curtain. We sat around the living room, our eyes darting around, wondering who was going to make the first move, mouth the first word, attempt an actual conversation.

We made the best of it though and lit the fireplace to fight the fridge air that surrounded us, and I pulled out all the books I could get my palms on. We sat there that night, huddled around laughing, talking, reading, drawing, doing crosswords and making cookies. This wasn’t so bad we thought, we can do this!

As I remember that night I have to laugh. We had no idea….

The next day rolled around and we waited excitedly for the UPS truck to roll up in front of our brick porch. Our faces pressed up against window pane, our moist breath fogging up the window, and our fingers leaving little prints on the now not-so-pristine glass.

I read anything I could get my hands on, one book after another joining the rapidly growing pile. Our ears perked up as we heard the sound of a truck motor approaching. Yes, we thought, we are going to be reconnected! We watched as the delivery man hopped out and proceeded to remove a huge box that must have been at least four feet wide! He headed to the neighbor’s house. Our hopes shattered around our feet, the glass a painful reminder that we were not going to be up and running anytime soon.  I pulled out another book and tried to drown my sorrow in another realm, a realm where wi-fi existed.

After receiving our new modem a half-hour later, I flew to set it up. My palms were sweaty with excitement and slight anxiety. Would it work? Carefully, I plugged everything in and waited for the lights to turn a beautiful, grassy green. I waited, I hoped, I prayed, I… stared in shock and disappointment as an angry red light blinked wickedly. Its silence mocked me, and I sighed knowing that this was indeed not going to be an easy fix.

I then had another half-hour phone call with a technician trying to figure out what in the world was wrong with our modem, and I listened with heavy heart as the small voice on the other end of line told me that they would have to send someone out in the morning. I glanced at the clock, it was six o’clock at night. We would have to wait until 9:30 the next morning to see if we would once more be plugged in. Until then, we talked, laughed, read, and helped my mom with her crossword puzzle for she had nothing but that to entertain her. Of course, there was always her thirty-year-old transistor radio but the only clear station was in Spanish which none of us knew or spoke a word of.

The hours drug by, I had gone through five books in 72 hours, and my family waited on pins and needles for the technician to say that he fixed it.

He didn’t.

We would be stuck without wi-fi for another day.

We were still stranded. No computers, no tablets, no home phone, no television, no homeschooling online, no business.

Packing up our devices, my dad and I drove down to the nearest Starbucks to use their wi-fi. Our hearts sank to our stomachs when we realized that we had lost a one-thousand-dollar account for our business due to not being able to check our emails. God knew we needed that money, but we would have to trust that it was all going to work out.

After dozens of phone calls, people coming and going, did we finally see a glimmer of hope. The company sent out someone at 7 P.M. and he was able to figure out what was going on, BUT we had to wait until morning because the issue would involve five hours of rewiring the street below us. So we waited and I fretted because my book toll had risen to seven and I had nothing left to read, and this post was three days overdue.

On Friday, March 2nd, 2018, after SIX hours of rewiring, repairing, replacing, and setting up, did we see the beautiful wi-fi signal jerk to life. We decided four days without wi-fi is not for the faint of heart.

It was over.

We were up and running.  

While there were some downs to not being able to access wi-fi, I thank the Lord profusely for the four days that He allowed me to simply become unplugged, because I learned several key things from the hours of conversation, reading, and prayer.

 

1.) Thank God for Family.

Family is SO important! I cannot stress this enough, and I am so thankful for the wonderful members who make up mine. They are the wind in my sails and the song in my heart. They mean the world to me and I cannot picture life without them. Our conversations were lively and I will never forget them. Be thankful for the family that surrounds you, look up from your screen and taking the beauty. Take in the love. Take in the reality that you are going to miss those scenes someday when you are older. Right now they may be loud and annoying to you, but I encourage you to look beyond the now and into the future.

1 Corinthians 13:13

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

 

2.) Listen to The Voice of God.

When we have our headphones on and our minds constantly filled with the things that flood our screens, we miss the voice of God that whispers gently in our ears. We miss the things that He wishes to reveal to us, the words of love and peace that He longs to flood our hearts with. It is good to just unplug and be still in His presence. When I did that over the course of the past four days, I had so many revelations and amazing encounters with the voice of God. So, stop. Unplug. And Listen.

You may be surprised with what you hear. 😉

Psalm 46:10

“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

 

3.) Stay Connected…to God.

I didn’t realize how much I depended upon wi-fi until I was cut off from it, and I realized that there are days that I don’t find time to read my Bible. I didn’t feel any should I say, anxiety? We should feel even more about God as we do wi-fi, because He is our TRUE source of connectivity. One hour without Him and we should be longing, yearning, and in the words of King David, “pant for the Lord” (Psalm 42:1).

Plug into God and disconnect from the world, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or whatever form of social media you use and just tune into and worship God. Let go of all earthly ties and just be in Him.

Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

By | 2018-03-06T00:32:42+00:00 March 7th, 2018|

Broken Together

The most beautiful things in life are broken.

Look at broken glass, the way it shimmers and dances in the sunlight. For some reason though, society does not accept broken things or people.

Everything has to be perfect, or give the illusion of perfection.

 

Broken Together

 

When people ask how you are doing the only thing that seems like an acceptable response are the usual suspects of, “I’m fine.” or “I’m good!” — even when things may not be. We hide behind a smile and a wave, skimming along the surface of relationships but rarely dive beneath the surface and reveal the truth.

The Church, or more specifically, a Christian community, should be the one place that individuals feel safe to be vulnerable. When we gather with our fellow Christians we should feel like it’s okay to reveal the realities of life. Being vulnerable means to stop hiding behind the shell of a smile that we put on when we are asked the question. To be vulnerable means being honest about sin, personal struggles, and weaknesses.

Vulnerability means showing the scars of anxiety, depression, loneliness, sadness, anger, guilt, or lack of joy and satisfaction. Some of us struggle with doubting God, feeling overwhelmed, worrying about being a good wife, father, student, sibling, employee, or child.

When someone broaches an issue and another person responds with a flippant remark, Christan clichés, total silence, or shock, it communicates to the one who shared or to a group, that what they shared was unimportant. When Christians fail to respond to tender moments with Christ-like love and understanding, it stunts friendships, ministries, and relationships.

A term that I heard recently is, redemptive vulnerability. Being vulnerable means to be susceptible to being wounded or hurt. In the context of community, vulnerability means being honest about your humanity. It is admitting that we are not perfect people, far from it in fact. We have not arrived, we are broken, we are flawed, and we live in a world that became broken ultimately because of the fall.

We experience burn out, depression, anxiety, anger, disability, lust, relational strife, health issues, etc. The list goes on, and on.

But our story does not end ultimately in brokenness, and this is where redemptive vulnerability comes in. Redemptive vulnerability is vulnerability that leads to life. It is where we share our brokenness to show the power and healing of Christ and the Gospel, which transforms our brokenness into the likeness of Christ. Our vulnerability should point us, and others, to the sufficiency and power of the Bible.

Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 that God calls the weak, the broken, the foolish, the inadequate, and lowly. “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.” (1 Corinthians 1: 26-17)

God uses weak people to do His best work.

When we recognize that we are weak, we can stop trying to keep up our façade and instead look to God for redemption, strength, healing, and comfort for our struggles.

It’s okay to be broken, but it’s not okay to wallow in that brokenness and crave pity.

So, how does all this play out in the real world?

It requires wisdom and lots of prayer. It’s not simple and clean cut. We walk with each other through the hard things that may not have an easy solution or may never end on this side of life, turning to the truth of His Word, letting it flood our hearts like a healing salve.

There are rarely quick and easy fixes for life’s problems, but we can turn to our loving, powerful, comforting, and sufficient Father for the strength we need as beautifully broken people.

No matter how weak or vulnerable you may be, look to Christ whose grace sustains you and whose power is made perfect in your weakness. Be like broken glass, reflecting God’s light through all your beautifully unfinished edges.

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.

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The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life
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By | 2018-02-06T10:53:42+00:00 February 5th, 2018|

How to React to Tragedy as A Christian

All tragedies leave behind them a mass of questions, the most recent one being in Las Vegas, which has left us all reeling and asking: “What do we do? How can we pray? Is God still good, and what does the Bible say about how we should respond?”

Some of the things we can look at are….

How did Jesus respond to tragedy?

In Luke 13, we find Jesus in an interesting conversation in which He makes a reference to a recent tragedy, “Of those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Luke 13:4-5).

The past conversation surrounding Siloam probably sounds very familiar, “Jesus, why did this happen? Was this an act of God’s judgement on their sin? Should the builders be punished for their poor work? Why!?”

Here Jesus points them back to the Gospel reminding them of the bigger picture beyond “who’s to blame”, and “why” stating, “All are in need of salvation…” So, our message in tragedy should be the same as every day, “Come to Jesus, for it is only in His arms where true peace and joy can be found. Only in Him is there forgiveness of sin, and freedom from shame.”

Jesus grieved

He was deeply compassionate towards both His friends and His enemies. In His grief, He wept for his dear friend Lazarus, and in His grief, He wept for the people of Israel who would soon reject the hand of salvation (read John 11:35, Luke 19:41, and Luke 23:24).

Paul says in Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn.” This is not a commandment for Christians to share in the burdens of other Christians, but for Christians to share in the burdens of all people.

So, what do we do now?

We can love fellow sinners

Jesus engages with the despised Samaritans of this world, and calls them into a personal relationship with Him. It is time for us to get uncomfortable and share the Gospel with the Samaritans and tax collectors of our day, whether it is a non-Christian friend or a neighbor who is a grouch. As we develop relationships with others around us, God will use us to “bind up the brokenhearted [and] to proclaim freedom for the captives,” just as He did.

We can unite as one Body and serve with passion

God is glorified whenever believers come together, putting aside their political differences, and devote themselves to the greater works of His Word. The Bible also emphasizes the importance of unity in the Body of Christ, and the more that we push aside the things that hinder us from uniting as one strong voice for His kingdom; the more He will increase our numbers (see Acts 2:42-47).

How can we pray?

How is the Lord leading you to pray? Seek His guidance, asking that He would give you the words. Here are some good prayer points to keep in mind:

  • Pray that the lost would come to know Christ, and that the families and friends left behind would be able to experience God’s comfort as they mourn.
  • Grieve deeply for those who died without coming to know Christ as their Savior, and are now spending eternity apart from Him.
  • Pray that the Lord will give our leaders wisdom.
  • Pray that God will help us love others radically, just as His son Jesus did.
  • Pray that God will use tragedy to open people’s eyes to their need for His unending grace.
By | 2018-01-31T02:31:00+00:00 November 29th, 2017|

The Miracle of Dry Bones

The Miracle of Dry Bones by Rebekah B

The Miracle of Dry Bones by Rebekah B

What would you do if God brought you to a valley full of bones, and asked you if those bones could live?

This is what happened to the prophet Ezekiel.

“The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:1-3)

Can you imagine being Ezekiel in that situation? There he stood surrounded by lifeless, dry, bones that where clearly very dead, and the Lord says to him, “Son of man, can these bones live?” How would you respond, and what would you say? How can something that is already dead live again?

These are the questions that my earthly mind asks, the questions that perhaps Ezekiel asked within his heart as he stared out over a seemingly hopeless situation. Yet, despite the doubts that he may have had he responded to the Lord’s question simply, and without hesitation.

“I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

But then the Lord says,” Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.'” (Ezekiel 37:4-6)

“How Lord?” I asked as I read this passage, “How can something so broken, so hopeless, and so lost be made new? How can what is cast aside and deemed impossible become possible?” Then it struck me, we are the dry bones.

We are dry bones that are broken, helpless, and robbed of the life that He has so graciously given us because of our sin.

Yet, He loved us enough to give us another chance, a chance that would bring us back to life but would ultimately cost Him his. In this passage the Lord is showing us that nothing is too big or impossible for Him, and that we are never too far gone for His love.

His love breaks the chains that enslave us to our sin, addiction, depression, lust, pain, heartbreak, etc. We are lost without Him, His love, and the grace that He so graciously pours out over us day after day.

He could have left us where we were, but He didn’t. Instead, He chose to breathe the breath of life back into our thirsty bones, and tenderly put us back together into the people that He created us to be.

We were bones once broken, dry, hopeless, lifeless, godless, and worthless, yet now we are proof that God is stronger than death, stronger than sin, and stronger than what is perceived in this life to be impossible.

By | 2018-01-31T02:31:12+00:00 November 18th, 2017|

3 Things to Keep in Mind This School Year

3 Things to Keep in Mind This School Year by Rebekah B.

3 Things to Keep in Mind This School Year by Rebekah B.

“So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

1 Corinthians 10:31

The month of August symbolizes the beginning of a new school year, back to school shopping, and all those annoying backpack commercials. Whether you are a freshman in high school or a senior in college there are three things you need to know to help keep God at the center of your school year.

 

1# The most important book you will read this year is your Bible.

All the homework you have been assigned will be a temptation (or an excuse) to slide on your Bible reading until that paper is done or when the next break comes. Don’t give in! The time you take to spend soaking in His word will be the most fruitful and character building time of your entire education.

Nothing can replace the wealth of information in the Bible and nothing can prepare you better for life, family, a job, or your next class. Take the time to grow in grace and the benefits you reap will be invaluable.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Matthew 6:33

 

2# Don’t let pride grow in your heart.

God despises the prideful (James 4:6). This is enough to know that pride is really dangerous. Your pride will pollute you (Matthew 7:20-23) and keep you out of the Kingdom of God, as we have seen with Satan. Your humility though, is a testament to God’s forgiveness of your sins and His work that is being done in you.
The classroom has, unfortunately, become a breeding ground for pride and comparison. Pride can most definitely be present before our education, but school contest, awards, certificates, and grades seem to encourage the wrong kind of competition — the self-seeking kind. This pride clashes with our Savior’s sacrifice like socks with sandals.

Let us practice being quick to encourage and celebrate others, but slow to think more highly of ourselves then we ought for Romans 12:3 says, ” For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”

Remember that in all of your good projects, tests, and papers it is God working through you for His glory.

“For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

Philippians 2:13

 

#3. Someone younger than you needs a role model.

When I was younger I always admired those older than me, and still do! I wanted to be like them, act like them, and couldn’t wait to be their age or grade. Most young people do, sixth-graders can’t wait to be eighth-graders, who can’t wait to be juniors and so on. The bottom line is that no matter what grade you are in, you will always have someone looking up to you and probably wanting to be like you. Whether you like it or not, you are a role model. So, why not model Christ like love, humility, joy, and service?

Keep your eyes open for the guy or girl looking for someone to look up to, and spend some time and energy pointing them to Christ. Think up some creative way that you can invest the gospel into their lives and show them that they too can be a role model.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Matthew 28:19

Whether you’re going to walk, drive, ride the bus, or even bike to school, as you prepare for a day of work and study, remember to keep Him at the center of you day, week, month, and year. By His grace and mercy, I pray that this will be the year that your relationship with Christ blossoms, and that you will be a light to others on campus.

 

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By | 2018-01-31T02:36:50+00:00 September 7th, 2017|

Hope is Never Lost

Hope is Never Lost by Rebekah B

“For he wounds, but he binds up; he shatters, but his hands heal.” Job 5:18

Why does God allow suffering?  

This is an age old question that I wish I could answer. I wish I understood why He lets bad things happen to good people, and I wish I understood why people have to go through horrific things. This is a mystery that we may never understand for as the Lord says, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways, my ways.’” (Isaiah 55:8)

Suffering for a Christian is a painful paradox because we know that with one word God could end our pain, and when He doesn’t we wonder, “Does He really love me, and if He does then why isn’t He taking this from me? Am I really asking too much? Our wounded hearts feel rejected and hurt, trying to figure out how our loving heavenly Father could allow us to suffer.

He sympathizes with us, understanding our pain and hopelessness. Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

We may not be able to see it, but our suffering does indeed have a purpose. In suffering we find out how strong our faith is, and in suffering we have to lean on God more than ever. When we suffer, we get the unique chance to see and experience the faithfulness of God up close and personal. We can also comfort others with the same comfort we found through our trials.

When we are weak He is strong, lifting us up above the waves of depression, shame, and hopelessness.

It does gets tiring, fighting day in and day out, not seeing a change. It hurts, it is discouraging, and at times gut-wrenching. But remember: hope is never lost.

No matter what your burden is, there is always hope. There is a light in the darkness, even if it is a small sliver. This earthly suffering that you are going through will end, and in the darkest of nights God will always be there, holding out His hand and urging you to not let go.

He knows your pain, and He knows the despair you feel, but He also knows that you will emerge from the darkness a stronger person than you were before.

I leave you with the following hope: “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10) and in the words of the apostle Paul, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)

 

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By | 2018-01-31T02:50:53+00:00 June 27th, 2017|

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