Tuesday, September 27, 2016

God Calls Us To Love Those Around Us.

God calls us to love one another.

He calls us to be there for the broken, to care for the fatherless.

God wants us to be all about loving one another. He even says that the greatest two commandments are to love Him, and then to "love your neighbor as yourself."

God doesn't want our excuses when it comes to this. He doesn't want to hear us saying that we don't have time to show love to our neighbors in this world.

As Christians, we should always be showing love and care to those around us.

We should want to do this for God.

In Matthew 25 verse 40, Jesus says that "whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

By showing love to strangers, we are doing a good thing.

Does that mean that this is easy? No. But nothing good ever is.

So love more. Love even when it is hard. Ask God to fill you with love for your neighbors, for your enemies - because he doesn't even let you off the hook when it comes to them. He says to love them, too.

When you live a life filled with love and compassion, you will feel better about all that you are doing. It will benefit not only those around you, but you, too.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Love Grows - Two Kids Draw Closer - Part Four

He looked into the eyes of the most beautiful girl he had ever seen and knew that he was lucky to have been chosen by her. The friendship that the two of them had started with was long forgotten. They were so much more than friends now.

He lowered his lips to the girl’s, hers soft against his. He loved her as much as he had ever loved anyone, and he wanted to be with her for a long time. Already, they had been together for weeks, sneaking out together and spending time in the park, under the stars.

Being with this girl was amazing and it was special. It made him feel things that he didn’t feel on his own. Yet, there was something missing. He didn’t know what it was, but he longed for something more. And, he hated himself for that. He wanted to be content with the relationship that he had. He wanted this to be enough.

“What are you thinking?” She asked, pulling back from him as a frown wrinkled her brow.

“Nothing.” He leaned forward, ready to kiss her again.

“No. What are you thinking?” She kept her distance. “You’re not here with me. It’s like you’re somewhere else.”

He leaned back, resting his elbows in the grass behind him and his body’s weight on them. “It’s not important. All that’s important right now is you.”

“You can talk to me, you know…”

“I know.”

“I’d be happy to help you.”

He wished that she could help him, but she was everything that she should be and it just wasn’t enough. He forced a smile as she rested her head on his chest. The warmth of her body against his helped him to relax. He let out a breath. “I love you.”

“And I love you,” she responded. “You mean the world to me.”

“I’m lucky.”

“No, you’re not the one who’s lucky.” She turned onto her side, resting half on him and half on the grass as she wrapped him in a tight embrace. “I’ve never known anyone quite like you and I am so lucky to have you in my life.”

He closed his eyes, soaking in the moment, what it felt to have her one with him. Things were perfect. How could he be longing for something more when he had this? This was what life was all about. He had a girl who he loved with all of his heart. Every guy dreamed of having this, and he had it. Forget everything else. I don’t need anything more than this.

Find part one of this story here!

By Emily Acker

If you enjoy this, you might enjoy No Longer Broken by Emily Acker and Bethany Acker. Find it in paperback and eBook form on Amazon, and through Barnes and Noble and eLectio Publishing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Finding Peace by Entrusting Life to God’s Will

This has been something that has been on my mind lately, and it is something that I am still learning about. Can we trust God with our lives? How do we trust God with our lives? Can trusting God actually give us peace?

It can be so easy to stress about the future and to worry about all that it is going to hold. It can be easy to stress about what we should be doing right now to make a better future for ourselves, and it can be easy to stress about all that we should have done in the past to create better lives for ourselves. Allowing God to take control of our lives and entrusting those lives to his will can help to eliminate some of our stress.

Can We Trust God with Our Lives?
Can we trust God to take care of our lives? Can we trust the one who made the world, who made us, to take care of us? The answer seems pretty simple. As scary as it might be to consider just what God might have us go through, we can trust him to take care of us and watch over our lives.

How Do We Trust God with Our Lives?
We all want to hold onto control when it comes to our lives. We don’t want to let anyone else dictate what happens to us, and we like to feel that we are in control of our own futures. Really, though, God is in control whether we choose to let go or not. Choosing to let go simply makes things easier on us.

Can Trusting God Actually Give Us Peace?
When we decide to give God control of our lives and when we ask for him to work them out according to his will, we can feel at peace. When we know that no matter what happens - good or bad - things are going to happen according to what will be best in the end, we can feel peace.

I love the song that Hillary Scott and the Scott Family released not too long ago. "Thy Will" talks about all of this, about letting go and allowing God to take control of our lives.

If you found this post to be something that encouraged you or if you think that others might appreciate it, please take the time to share it on social media.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

A Boy and a Girl Meet - His World is Changed - Part Three

He walked through school with a backpack full of homework that was untouched. There never seemed to be enough time to get to it, never enough energy to use to finish it.

He made his way down the hallway and to the classroom of one of his favorite teachers. The woman spoke in a way that was exciting to listen to. She made learning fun. Or, she had. He found it hard to pay attention to her now. The talking that she did only made him feel tired.

He sat through the class without actually learning anything. It was too hard to learn when all that he wanted to do was sleep. He pushed up from his desk and started for the classroom door, nearly colliding with a thin figure as he stepped out into the hallway.

“Uh, sorry.” He reached out and caught the girl by grabbing onto her arm.

“It’s okay.” She smiled, her entire face lighting up as she looked over at him. “Hi!”

His heart beat in a funny way. “Hi.”

“I’m new here.”

“Oh.” He kicked himself for the lame response. He needed to say something that would get her attention, that would make her keep talking. “Me, too.”

“You’re new?”

“Uh, no.” He felt heat creep up the back of his neck. “I… no.” He pulled his hand off of her arm. “It’s good to meet you.”

“It’s good to meet you, too.” The girl’s smile stayed in place. “Hey, I don’t have any friends here yet, would you want to hang out later?”

He offered the girl a smile. “Sure.”

They parted ways, and he found himself feeling something that he hadn’t felt in a long time. Excitement. He was looking forward to the time that he would get to spend with this girl. He was eager to know her better.

He walked through the school with a lightness about him. This girl was going to be just what he needed. He was going to make it. Everything was going to be okay.

The world was changing for him. He knew now that he would be alright and that love would keep him moving.

Love. He smiled as he stepped into the classroom where he was supposed to be next. He had only just met the girl, and already he was in love.

Find part one of this story here and part two here.

Written by Emily Acker

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

We All Have Worries, Stresses, And Fears. But Should We Be Feeling That Way?

Worry. Fear. Stress.

The anxiety that comes along with each day threatens to pull us down.

At times, we feel alone because of how strong the pull of our anxiety is. And God knows this.

Several times in the Bible he mentions our worries and fears. He tells us to cast our cares on him. He tells us that we will not add an hour to our lives by worrying. He tells us not to fear because he is with us.

Does that mean that not stressing is easy? No.

Does it mean that trying not to stress is the right thing to do? Yes.

We all have worries, stresses, and fears. There are things and people that we care about, and we want everything to turn out alight. That is understandable.

But there is nothing that we can do to make things turn out best.


Not on our own.

God asks us to cast our burdens on him because he will care for us.

He will sustain us.

He will take away our worries, and he will hold us as we walk through our darkest days.

All that we need is to trust in him more. And we need to worry and fear less.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

A Boy and His Mom - Something Missing at Home - Part Two

He spotted his mom’s sedan in the driveway as he walked down the sidewalk toward their house. He remembered her telling him that she was off that evening, that they would have an early dinner and hang out.

He slowed his steps. As much as he loved his mom, he would rather be alone than spend time pretending that everything was okay. He didn’t feel like talking with her and faking excitement in regard to school, sports, or movies.

“You’re home.” His mom looked over with a smile as soon as he stepped through their front door. She was seated on the couch with her feet up on the coffee table in front of her, and she patted the cushion beside her. “Come sit.”

He shifted his backpack on his shoulder. “I should get my homework done first.”

“Oh.” His mom frowned. He hated disappointing her. “Okay.”

He move across the room.

“We’ll watch a movie later,” his mom said. “I rented a good comedy. It’s not a chick flick at all. You’ll love it.”

“Okay.” He nodded before heading for his bedroom. He and his mom were the only ones living in the house, and the place was quiet.

He stepped into the large room that was all his own and stared over at the unmade bed. He felt like climbing in and going to sleep, but he had to at least attempt to take on his homework.

He plopped down onto the floor to avoid the temptation that the bed offered. Homework, then a movie with his mom. He would sleep later. He would attempt to sleep later. Sleep hadn’t been coming too easily as of late.

He heard dishes clattering in the kitchen, and he knew that his mom was making dinner. She was probably cooking one of his favorite foods, something that he had loved when he was younger. She was always trying to please him, always trying to make him happy.

He opened his algebra book and stared down at the page. It was all too deep, too hard to understand. He didn’t want to look at the study guide and try to figure out what he was supposed to do with the problem. It wasn’t like algebra was going to get him anywhere in life. It wasn’t going to solve any of his real problems.

He closed the book and leaned back against the wall. Maybe he would feel better if he just closed his eyes for a few minutes. He would rest for a little bit and then he would get up and work on his homework.

He rested, and it seemed like just seconds later that he heard his mom calling out his name. She knocked on his bedroom door. “Are you done with your homework yet? I put parmesan on the garlic bread, just the way that you like it.”

He pushed up from the floor. Forget the homework. He rubbed at his eyes as he stepped over to the door. It was time to pretend that he was actually hungry and that the spaghetti meal that his mom had made was appetizing to him.

Find part one of this story here and part three here!

Written by Emily Acker

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Embrace The Moment

There are times in our lives that feel good. Really good.

Everything seems just right, but true happiness is still distant.

Even though we're in a good place, we are worrying about what is to come. We're dreading the days ahead.

Maybe it was the summer before your oldest child was going to start kindergarten or was going off to college. You felt happy for the special moments that you were able to spend with them during that time, but a shadow was over you the whole while that you were with them, as you thought about them leaving.

It's easy to let that happen to us, but we need to learn to let go. To, as the saying goes, let God.

Embrace the moment.

Enjoy the blessings that are in your life.

Today, look around you and think about all of the good things that God has given you. Think about them, and be grateful for them. 

We should all embrace each moment and blessing that we are given. We should live in the moment and not worry so much about the future.

Every breath that we breathe is something special.

Every moment offers something new and a great opportunity.

Hold the ones that you love close. Appreciate your time with them. Do whatever you can to make memories with them.

Embrace each and every moment, and your life will be full.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Alone in a Crowd - A Boy Living in Pain - Part One

Tried creating a new kind of story. This fits with No Longer Broken in a way - those who have read the book will probably understand that - but it is also written in a different style and it shares a different kind of story. Hope you enjoy.

He moved through the hallways with his gaze on the floor. There was talking all around him, voices that didn’t quite make sense. He couldn’t pay attention to them. All of his focus was on the books in his hands and the class that he was headed to. The last class of the day.

He brushed past a group of giggling girls. They were so happy. Their biggest worry was the lipstick one of them had managed to smudge on her tooth. They didn’t know what pain felt like.

He stepped into the large room that was going to fill up quickly, making his way toward the back of the space. He lowered himself behind a desk, setting his health textbook in front of himself.

The teacher moved into the room, her gaze traveling around the space but never really landing on him. She seemed to see through him, as everyone did.

He shifted on his seat and tried to focus on what was being taught. His mom expected him to pay attention in school, and he didn’t want to let her down. He was all that she had, and he was hoping to make her proud.

“For your homework,” the teacher spoke to the class as she finished up with her lecture. “I want each of you to look into your past. Consider your family history. See what it is that makes you, you.”

He frowned. How was he going to accomplish that? How would he find the energy that he needed to do something that required so much thought?

He pushed up from his seat as they were released to go home. His final class of the day was finished and he was now free.

“You going to the party?” A voice stopped him.

He turned toward the one who had spoken, ready to respond, then saw that the kid was focused on someone else. The question was not for him.

He moved out of the room and down the school hallway. He stashed his books in his locker and looked toward the school’s exit. He was about to be free. The outside world was calling him.

“Hey!” He heard a voice behind him and turned to find a boy from his biology class following after him.

“Yeah?” He asked.

“Do you have a partner for our project next week?”

He shook his head. He didn’t remember being told that they needed a partner. He hadn’t paid much attention in class earlier that afternoon. It was hard to pay attention when he really didn’t care about what the teacher was saying.

“Everyone else has already found a partner,” the boy said, giving a shrug. “I guess we’re stuck working on things together.”

“Okay.” He turned away from the other teen and headed for the exit again. So, he had the partner that he needed. Great. It wasn’t like he was concerned about that. Homework wasn’t a big deal.

Maybe he wasn’t completely invisible. Not when someone needed his help. If there had been someone else around to partner with the other boy, then he never would have been picked to help him out.

He stepped out of his high school and made his way down the stairs. No one would care if he was gone. No one would miss him, and he sure wouldn’t miss any of this.

- By Emily Acker. Find part two here!

Get your copy of No Longer Broken on Amazon, BN.com, or here!