1. Admit you can’t do everything on your own.
One of the first steps to gaining a closer relationship to God is admitting that you need him in your life. The reality is that we can’t do everything on our own, so admitting this will not only show a sense of humility in your life, but will also show God that you have faith in his strength and promises.
2. Remove yourself from harmful relationships.
One of the biggest roadblocks to finding a deeper relationship with God is harmful relationships. Whether these relationships be with family, friends or co-workers, taking yourself out of the equation will help give you the space and energy needed to first get right in your relationship with God. Although this might sound tough to accomplish, you won’t believe the freedom and liberty you will encounter when being able to solely focus on your relationship with God.
3. Get plugged in to a local church or small group.
You won’t believe how much having a group of people to support you with help you along your journey with God. Getting plugged into a local church or small-group will help keep you accountable, give you wisdom when needed, and even be there for you in times of distress. The Church of God was indented to be done in community, so I encourage you to get yourself plugged in to a community that cares about your relationship with God has much as you do.
4. Read your Bible on a daily basis.
Reading your Bible is key. I’m not saying you need to memorize the whole thing in Greek, but you should be spending reading it at least once a day. Whether you simply read it, listen to a podcast or go through a devotional, reading your Bible will help build a foundation for your faith in God. Write down notes that you can look back on, and always be transparent when incorporating what you’ve learned. God will speak you in ways that will not only transform you from the inside out, but will also give you a better grasp as to who you are as a person.
5. Make prayer a priority.
Prayer is key. Although prayer can sometimes be looked at as weird or awkward, it’s really not. Look at prayer as a conversation between you and God. You don’t need to light candles, burn incense, or even wear a black robe. Just relax, get somewhere peaceful, and begin a conversation with God that will help build your relationship with him. Martin Luther once said, “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” That quote is packed with powerful truth, and I want you to begin looking at prayer as your way of staying connected to God. Any relationship with meaning is one that has great communication.
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- Jarrid Wilson
10 Tips to Help Your Prayer Life
1. Choose a specific place to pray away from distractions so you can concentrate. Ringing phones and crying children will sabotage your “quiet time” before it gets started.
2. Pray at the same time every day, if at all possible. Make it part of your regular routine and it will become habit. Write it into your schedule and then treat it just like a daily appointment.
3. Pray out loud. Many people can pray under their breath or in their minds for long periods and still maintain intensity, but for most of us it’s a quick ticket to dreamland. When we pray out loud we have to form intelligent sentences. We have to concentrate more on what we’re praying about.
4. Keep a note pad handy so you can jot down different things that come to mind while you’re before the Lord. Sometimes you’ll get great ideas totally unrelated to what you’ve been praying about. If you jot them down you can quickly get back to the topic at hand without being too distracted.
5. Make a list to keep track of your prayer needs. This can be done several ways. Prayer needs can be listed by category like “Church,” “Family,” or “Unsaved friends.” Or they may be listed by the days of the week. Each day you pray for a different set of needs. You may want to include prayer everyday for a different area of society that has a tremendous influence on the direction of our nation. These seven categories include 1) the church and religion, 2) the family and the home, 3) the media, 4) government, 5) education, 6) business and commerce, and 7) the arts and entertainment.
6. Redeem time for praying out of unused corners of your schedule. Those who have to drive to work can use the time talking with the Lord instead of screaming at traffic (just don’t close your eyes!). Busy homemakers can combine prayer with housework, especially if the task doesn’t require a lot of concentration. Joggers, swimmers and cyclists can use their workout time for prayer. Sometimes my best times with the Lord have been chats during long, early morning walks or jogs along the beach.
7. Change the pace during your prayer time. Include praise, thanksgiving and singing as well as petition. Spend some of your time reflecting on the Scripture, meditating on it and digesting its meaning.
8. Keep a prayer journal. Here are two variations of this idea. The first is to keep track of what you prayed for and when you prayed for it. Leave a space to jot down the answer when it comes. This will help you to keep alert to God’s answer so you can thank Him promptly. Sometimes prayer answers come in the back door and you don’t want them to slip by you. The second variation is to write the entire prayer in your journal. Make it a personal letter to the Lord on a daily basis. Just write “Dear Lord” instead of “Dear Diary.”
9. Pray with someone else. Though some prayers can only be said in solitude, there will be times when you’ll want to join hearts with another person in prayer. If you commit to meet on a regular basis, the accountability can really help build consistency. Such prayer trysts can become powerful, life-changing events.
10. Pray one-sentence prayers. If the thought of laboring over a topic wears you out, pray short, sincere prayers instead. A sentence or two may be all that’s needed to exhaust the topic for you for the time being. If so, just move on to the next item without feeling guilty for your brevity.
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Since eyes are the primary sensory organ for light, it is no surprise that eyes have been called the windows of the soul. Our eyes reflect our outlook, our attitudes, and our openness. Conversely, they tell when we filter or screen out information. Only the very noticeable examples count. If you cannot immediately tell whether a person’s eyes are very wide apart or very close together, don’t read the feature.
- A. Widely Spaced (more than one eye’s width apart): You have a broad, open perspective and a far-sighted imagination, but you hate dealing with details. You may be less grounded than most people and may even be considered “spacey” by those with a narrower field of view. Your challenge is gaining the financial reward you deserve for your broad insights, because compensation for your efforts is a detail you may overlook.
- B. Closely Spaced (less than one eye’s width apart): You are very focused on details and excel at exacting tasks where minute details are important. You do well in positions that require extreme focus, such as accounting, technical support, proofing documents and the like. Your challenge is learning to see the big picture and relating to others on their terms
10 Great Bible Verses For Youth
Ecclesiastes 12:1 -3 “Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, ‘Life is not pleasant anymore.’ Remember him before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is dim to your old eyes, and rain clouds continually darken your sky. Remember him before your legs—the guards of your house—start to tremble; and before your shoulders—the strong men—stoop. Remember him before your teeth—your few remaining servants—stop grinding; and before your eyes—the women looking through the windows—see dimly.” (NLT)
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (NIV)
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)
1 Timothy 4:12 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” (NIV)
Psalm 127:1 “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” (KJV)
Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (NIV)
Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (NIV)
Psalm 119:9 “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.” (NIV)
Isaiah 40:29-31 “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (NIV)
2 Timothy 2:22-25 “Have no part at all in the wrong things that young men like to do. Believe. Have love. Follow what is right. Live at peace. Do these things along with others who have a clean heart and talk to God.
The Celtic Tree Zodiac is based on the ancient idea that the time of our births is pivotal to the formation of our personality and behavior. The spiritually savvy Celts, particularly the druids were expert observers. Over time, they recognized that a child born within a certain season would develop certain qualities. Further, the druids observed patterns in the color and shape of a persons life according to the motions of the moon (their calendar being based on a lunar year being 13 months) and the season in which we are born. Below is listed the Tree characteristics of each Tree.
Birch - The Achiever
December 24 - January 20
If you were born under the energy of the Birch you can be highly driven, and often motivate others they become easily caught in your zeal, drive and ambition. You are always reaching for more, seeking better horizons and obtaining higher aspirations. The Druids attributed this to your time of birth, which is a time of year shrouded by darkness, so consequently you are always stretching out to find the light. Birch signs (just like the tree) are tolerant, tough, and resilient. You are cool-headed and are natural-born rulers, often taking command when a situation calls for leadership. When in touch with your softer side, you also bring beauty in otherwise barren spaces, brightening up a room with you guile, and charming crowds with you quick wit. Celtic tree astrology Birch signs are compatible with Vine signs and Willow signs.
Rowan - The Thinker
January 21 - February 17
Celtic tree astrology recognizes Rowan signs as the philosophical minds within the zodiac. If you were born under the Rowan energy, you are likely a keen-minded visionary, with high ideals. Your thoughts are original and creative, so much so, that others often misunderstand from where you are coming. This sometimes makes you aloof when interacting with others as you feel they wouldnt understand where you are coming from anyway. Nevertheless, although you may appear to have a cool exterior, you are burning within from your passionate ideals. This inner passion provides inner motivation for you as you make your way through life. You have a natural ability to transform situations and people around you by your mere presence. You are highly influential in a quiet way and others look to you for your unique perspectives. Rowan pairs well with Ivy and Hawthorn signs.
Ash - The Enchanter
February 18 - March 17
Those born under the Celtic tree astrology sign of the Ash are free thinkers. Imaginative, intuitive, and naturally artistic, you see the world in water-color purity. You have a tendency to moody and withdrawn at times, but thats only because your inner landscape is in constant motion. You are in touch with your muse, and you are easily inspired by nature. Likewise, you inspire all that you associate with and people seek you out for your enchanting personality. Art, writing (especially poetry), science, and theology (spiritual matters) are areas that strongly interest you. Others may think you are reclusive, but in all honesty, you are simply immersed in your own world of fantastic vision and design. You are in a constant state of self-renewal and you rarely place a value on what others think about you. Ash signs partner well with Willow and Reed signs.
Alder - The Trailblazer
March 18 - April 14
If you are an Alder sign within the Celtic tree astrology system, you are a natural-born pathfinder. Youre a mover and a shaker, and will blaze a trail with fiery passion often gaining loyal followers to your cause. You are charming, gregarious and mingle easily with a broad mix of personalities. In other words, Alder signs get along with everybody and everybody loves to hang around with you. This might be because Alders are easily confident and have a strong self-faith. This self-assurances is infectious and other people recognize this quality in you instantly. Alder Celtic tree astrology signs are very focused and dislike waste. Consequently, they can see through superficialities and will not tolerate fluff. Alder people place high value on their time, and feel that wasting time is insufferable. They are motivated by action and results. Alders pair well with Hawthorns, Oaks or even Birch signs.
Willow - The Observer
April 15 - May 12
If you are a Willow sign, you are ruled by the moon, and so your personality holds hands with many of the mystical aspects of the lunar realm. This means you are highly creative, intuitive (highly psychic people are born under the sign of the Willow) and intelligent. You have a keen understanding of cycles, and you inherently know that every situation has a season. This gives you a realistic perspective of things, and also causes you to be more patient than most tree signs. With your intelligence comes a natural ability to retain knowledge and you often impress your company with the ability to expound on subjects from memory. Willow Celtic tree astrology signs are bursting with potential, but have a tendency to hold themselves back for fear of appearing flamboyant or overindulgent. It is your powers of perception that ultimately allow your true nature to shine, and what leads you to success in life. Willow signs join well with the Birch and the Ivy.
Hawthorn - The Illusionist
May 13 - June 9
Hawthorn signs in Celtic tree astrology are not at all what they appear to be. Outwardly, they appear to be a certain persona, while on the inside Hawthorns are quite different. They put the term never judge a book by its cover to the test. They live seemingly average lives while on the inside they carry fiery passions and inexhaustible creative flame. They are well adjusted and can adapt to most life situations well making themselves content and comforting others at the same time. You are naturally curious, and have an interest in a broad range of topics. You are an excellent listener, and people seek you out as an outlet to release their burdens. You have a healthy sense of humor, and have a clear understanding of irony. You tend to see the big picture, and have amazing insight although you typically wont give yourself enough credit for your observations. Hawthorn signs match up nicely with Ash and Rowans.
Oak - The Stabilizer
June 10 - July 7
Those born under the Celtic tree astrology sign of the Oak have a special gift of strength. They are protective people and often become a champion for those who do not have a voice. In other words, the Oak is the crusader and the spokesperson for the underdog. Nurturing, generous and helpful, you are a gentle giant among the Celtic zodiac signs. You exude an easy confidence and naturally assume everything will work out to a positive outcome. You have a deep respect for history and ancestry, and many people with this sign become teachers. You love to impart your knowledge of the past to others. Oak signs have a need for structure, and will often go to great lengths to gain the feeling of control in their lives. Healthy Oak signs live long, full, happy lives and enjoy large family settings and are likely to be involved with large social/community networks. Oak signs pair off well with the Ash and Reed, and are known to harmoniously join with Ivy signs too.
Holly - The Ruler
July 8 - August 4
Among the Celtic tree astrology signs the Holly is one of regal status. Noble, and high-minded, those born during the Holly era easily take on positions of leadership and power. If you are a Holly sign you take on challenges easily, and you overcome obstacles with rare skill and tact. When you encounter setbacks, you simply redouble your efforts and remain ever vigilant to obtain your end goals. Very seldom are you defeated. This is why many people look up to you and follow you as their leader. You are competitive and ambitious even in the most casual settings. You can appear to be arrogant but in actuality you’re just very confident in your abilities. Truth be known, you are quite generous, kind and affectionate (once people get to know you). Highly intelligent, you skate through academics where others may struggle. Because many things come to you so easily, you may have a tendency to rest on your laurels. In other words, if not kept active, you may slip into an unhealthy and lazy lifestyle. Holly signs may look to Ash and Elder signs for balance and partnership.
Hazel - The Knower
August 5 - September 1
If you are born under the energy of the Hazel, you are highly intelligent, organized and efficient. Like the Holly, you are naturally gifted in academia, and excel in the classroom. You also have the ability to retain information and can recall, recite and expound on subjects youve memorized with amazing accuracy. You know your facts, and you are always well informed. This sometimes makes you appear like a know-it-all to others, but you cant help that; youre genuinely smart and usually know the right course of action because of your impressive knowledge base. You have an eye for detail, and like things to be just so. Sometimes this need for order and control can lead to compulsive behaviors if left unchecked. You have a knack for numbers, science and things that utilize your analytical skills. You like rules, although you are typically making them rather than playing by them. The Celtic tree astrology sign of Hazel joins harmoniously with Hawthorn and Rowans.
Vine - The Equalizer
September 2 - September 29
Vine signs are born within the autumnal equinox, which makes your personality changeable and unpredictable. You can be full of contradictions, and are often indecisive. But this is because you can see both sides of the story, and empathize with each equally. It is hard for you to pick sides because you can see the good points on each end. There are, however, areas in your life that you are quite sure about. These include the finer things of life like food, wine, music, and art. You have very distinctive taste, and are a connoisseur of refinement. Luxury agrees with you, and under good conditions you have a Midas touch for turning drab into dramatic beauty. You are charming, elegant, and maintain a level of class that wins you esteem from a large fan base. Indeed, you often find yourself in public places where others can admire your classic style and poise. Vine signs pair well with Willow and Hazel signs.
Ivy - The Survivor
September 30 - October 27
Among other cherished qualities of the Ivy Celtic tree astrology sign, most prized is your ability to overcome all odds. You have a sharp intellect, but more obvious is your compassion and loyalty to others. You have a giving nature, and are always there to lend a helping hand. You are born at a time of the waning sun so life can be difficult for you at times. This sometimes seems unfair because it appears that obstacles are coming at with no prompting on your part. Nevertheless, you endure troubling times with silent perseverance and soulful grace. Indeed, Ivy signs have a tendency to be deeply spiritual and cling to a deep-rooted faith that typically sees them trough adversity. You are soft spoken, but have a keen wit about you. You are charming, charismatic, and can effectively hold your own in most social settings. Ivy signs are attracted to the Celtic tree astology sign of Oak and Ash signs.
Reed - The Inquisitor
October 28 - November 24
Reed signs among the Celtic tree astrology signs are the secret keepers. You dig deep inside to the real meaning of things and discover the truth hidden beneath layers of distraction. When there is a need to get to the heart of the matter, most certainly the Reed sign will find the core. You love a good story, and can be easily drawn in by gossip, scandals, legend and lore. These tendencies also make you an excellent historian, journalist, detective or archeologist. You love people because they represent a diversity of meanings for you to interpret. You are adept at coaxing people to talking to you, and sometimes you can be a bit manipulative. However, you have a strong sense of truth and honor so most of your scheming is harmless. Reed people join well with other Reeds, Ash or Oak signs.
Elder - The Seeker
November 25 - December 23
Elder archetypes among Celtic tree astrology tend to be freedom-loving, and sometimes appear to be a bit wild to the other signs of the zodiac. In younger years you may have lived life in the fast lane, often identified as a thrill seeker. At the time of your birth the light of the sun was fast fleeting and so you take the same cue from nature. You are often misjudged as an outsider as you have a tendency to be withdrawn in spite of your extroverted nature. In actuality, you are deeply thoughtful with philosophical bent. You also tend to be very considerate of others and genuinely strive to be helpful. These acts of assistance are sometimes thwarted by your brutal honestly (which you openly share solicited or otherwise). Elder Celtic tree astrology signs fit well with Alders and Hollys.
1. No matter how long it takes, and how beaten down you are, refuse to give in, or to relinquish your dream. Just get up one more time and then decide to try again.
2. We all slip up, and encounter obstacles. Just determine to keep going, and to get on track again. It doesn’t mean it’s over. It’s…