Tuesday, July 25, 2017

You'll Take Me Back Always

Christian music is a great source to give us encouragement. One song that came to mind the other day was Jeremy Camp's, "Take You Back." This is such a powerful song with great message.

God will always take us back.

No matter what we have done.

No matter how much pain we are in. We can count on him.

God loves us and forgives us. He is full of grace and mercy.

If you don't know this song yet, then give it a listen now.

Thank you, God, for loving me always.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Have No Fear

When we see bad things happening in the world around us it is easy to get wrapped up in all of that. To become afraid.

We fear pain and death. We fear losing a loved one. We fear war. We fear evil.

And, while those are all very real and scary things, God tells us in Proverbs 3 that we don't have to be afraid.

Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.
Proverbs 3:25-26

Does this mean that we will always be safe, and that nothing bad will ever happen to us? No. But God will be with us. He is with us always, and he doesn't want us to fear.

Over and over again the Bible tells us not to be afraid. Jesus says it multiple times in the New Testament, such as in Matthew 6.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34

Jesus tells us not to fear tomorrow. To not look ahead and worry about what is going to happen to us or if bad things are going to happen, but to trust him. To rely on him to see us through.

God is in control. Good day or bad, sunny or stormy, God knows what is going on in our lives. He will not let us stumble and fall. He will hold us even through the hardest days that we face. And we can trust him because he made us. He loves us. He watches over us always, as it is said in Psalm 121.

He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not slumber.
Psalm 121:3

So, do not fear. Even when disasters happen, even when your life feels rocky and everything is uncertain, God has it all under control. He is watching over you. He is not sleeping on the job, but he is there for you. You can trust him. Have no fear.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Our Grandmother, an Avid Reader

Our maternal grandmother was a great person for many reasons. (Our paternal grandmother was, too, but we'll save that for another time.) She was happy despite the pain that arthritis caused her. She made jokes and got people to laugh at them and the stories that she told. She cared about her grandchildren. She was generous. I loved her very much.

One of our grandmother's wonderful traits... she was an avid reader. She loved all kinds of books. She devoured books quickly. She was always reading. The librarians in her hometown knew her pretty well.

I love that my grandmother loved to read. I like to think that part of the reason that I enjoy both reading and writing is because of her. Whenever we would go to her house when I was young, she would always have her books sitting around.

There was a period of time when we would go to my grandma's house to clean on a weekly basis. Those cleaning visits were not complete until someone had given my grandma a ride to the library so that she could stock up on books.

My grandma didn't have the best vision in her later years so she would read large print books. That cut down on the number of options open to her. She would pick up anything and everything when we were at the library, simply eager to read.

I remember one time when we took my grandma to a library other than her hometown one. This one had multiple floors and new book options for her. I carried her books around for her, and she kept adding to the stack in my arms. By the time we got down to the main floor and I deposited those books onto the counter to be checked out, my muscles were sore and my arms were shaking.

My grandmother passed away eight months before Bethany and I received our contract for our debut novel. I wish that she would have had the chance to know that we were going to be published. I wish that we would have been able to share No Longer Broken with her. I know that she would have been proud of us.

I am so thankful for the wonderful woman that my grandmother was, and the time that I got to spend with her. I am thankful for her love of reading, and the fact that I have inherited that.

By Emily Acker, co-author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day!

Dear God,

Thank You for all of the freedom that you have given us in America.

Thank You for the freedom to worship You.

Thank You that we can write Christian books and have them published in this country without fear of legal trouble.

Thank You for those who have stepped up and fought for our freedom.

Thank You for the history that our country has.

Thank You for the whole concept of freedom.

Thank You for the ways in which you have made us truly free.

Thank You for everything that You do.


By Emily Acker, co-author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Everyone's Different

Everyone's different. God didn't have just one plan that fit with all of the prophets, but he gave a unique plan to each one of them.

God gave each one of them unique gifts and a different way of reaching those they were sent out to reach.

He took Jonah and had him swallowed by the fish to get him to where he needed him to be.

He talked to Moses through a burning bush because that was the best way to reach him.

God knows that each person is different. And he uses the differences between everyone for his good.

It doesn't matter that we're not all the same. It's actually a good thing.

And it doesn't matter that we're not all sharing the gospel in the same way, either. Some people are more vocal about their faith, and some show others their faith in the way that they quietly live it out. The peace that they have in their lives is a testament of their faith in and of itself.

And there are people who are called to be pastors. Writers. Or Christian musicians. There are those who are involved in teaching young people about God. There are those who have a coworker they feel called to minister to.

Everyone is different, and that is a good thing. So, we should embrace the things that make us different and be willing to be used by God always.

No matter what your gifts are. No matter how you feel it is best to live out your faith. Ask God to show you what to do and use your unique gifts for him.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What are We Running After?

I like to shop for clothes. I like to find designer pieces at a good price, and I dream of getting designer pieces at full price. There are times when I will go through a website and just browse those items that I know that I can't afford. I would love to fill my wardrobe with all new pieces - and I would love to have all of them come from high-end brands.

I watch YouTube videos a lot. I see vlogs from people who have houses that are big and beautiful. Houses that are new and perfect. I see their bathrooms, their kitchens, all of those extras outside such as pools and ponds. All of that seems amazing.

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Mark 8:36

I could push to gain everything that others have. I could fight hard to earn all of the money that I would need to live an amazing lifestyle. I could attempt to fill my closet with clothing that costs more than it probably should. There is so much that I could fight for, but that is not what is really important.

Would I be willing to give up my soul in order to get those things that I long for? Would it be worth it if I got all that I want but I had to give up my faith? What am I running after, and why am I running after that?

This is not a post about whether or not it is okay for us to become rich while others are poor. This is not a post about envy. This is not a post about giving. I was simply thinking of this truth in writing this: The whole world means nothing in comparison to our faith and our souls.

By Emily Acker, co-author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Comfort From The Psalms

The Psalms are a great place to go for comfort and encouragement. Here are a few great verses from the book.

Hope you are having a great day and a great week!

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

We Just Need To Live - And Rely On God Always

You can't be certain of anything in this life.

But you just have to live.

You don't know what plans God has for you. You don't know where he'll lead you.

But you just have to live.

You need to take his direction. You need to be unafraid.

Bad things happen to good people. Bad things happen every day.

But it doesn't help anything to worry or fear.

God doesn't want us to be afraid.

So we just have to live.

We need to put our faith and hope and trust in God and his timing, knowing that his ways are perfect.

He wants the best for us, and he will never fail us.

So, we just need to live.

We need to love God, and we need to live.

There are times when stress will take over our minds and consume us.

When pain will fill us up inside.

But we need to press on. And we need to live.

There are going to be good times in our lives, too. There will be joy and laughter. There is a time and season for everything.

God has blessed us with so much. In this moment, right now, we can look around us and see that. And we should be grateful for all we have.

God will never leave us or abandon us, but he will be with us every moment.

So we need to live.

And we need to rely on him always, as we live.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

God Knows What We Want... And What We Need

God knows what we want, but more importantly he knows what we need.

Too often we doubt him in this. We pray for the things we want, and we think that we should get them. And when we don't we feel that God has failed us.

But God never promised us that life on earth was going to be easy. He never once said that it was supposed to be perfect.

Life on earth is hard. It's messy.

Sometimes we might feel like God is ignoring us and our pleas for things to go our way. But he isn't.

God loves us so much and he wants what's best for us. And he always knows what that is.

So, as hard as it is, we need to try to trust God to give us all that we need. We have to leave things up to him and ask him to help us through whatever we are facing.

God knows what we want and what we need. And when we have full faith in him to see us through whatever we are facing we will never get let down.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:26

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Do Not Fear For I Am With You

Thinking of the tragedy that happened in Manchester yesterday, I wanted to share some encouraging Bible verses today.

Evil is present in the world, but it will not win. God is life. God is love. God tells us not to fear.

Here are a few of my favorite Bible verses when dealing with fear and anxiety:

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

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Matthew 6:27

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9

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.
Isaiah 40:31

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

It's What's Inside That Matters

So often we forget that it's what's inside that matters.

Shouldn't we be concerned with the junk inside more than the messes around us?

Too often we find ourselves focusing on the messes in the world. On the physical mess. On the things around us that need to get cleaned up. But we forget about the junk that is inside and that is messing us up in much bigger, and worse, ways than what is going on outside.

We often think about our looks. About what we can do to be beautiful.

We think about our homes and how to decorate them just so.

But what are we doing to be more beautiful inside?

The Bible tells us that physical beauty doesn't matter. That it is what is inside that counts.

First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
Matthew 23:26

We shouldn't be concerned with impressing others with the way that we look, but we should focus more on our actions and the way that we love others.

This isn't to say that we should neglect ourselves or our homes. I don't think that that is right. But I think that we should focus more on our insides. We should see the junk that is inside of us, and we should do what we can each day to clean it up and be better, more loving, people.

Because, when we are beautiful people inside, that is all that really matters.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Loving Those Who Hate You

Loving those who hate you. It's not normal. It's not natural.

But it's important.

God wants us to love our enemies. To do good to those who wrong us.

It might not be in our nature to love those who are hurting us, but God will help us do it. He wants us to live like he did.

There was no reason that Jesus had to die on the cross for our sins. He didn't have to come to earth to save us.

But he wanted to.

We had wronged him, but he loved us still.

We have wronged God, but he loves us still.

God talks of forgiveness so often in the Bible. He wants us to forgive our enemies. And he wants to forgive us our sins.

So, take a look at these verses;

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:43-45

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32

Loving our enemies is never easy.

But loving those who hate you is possible. Because with God all things are possible.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

What is Love?

Our brother is getting married on Saturday, and the upcoming marriage has me thinking of love. The kind of love that I am thinking about is not the romantic kind, though. This post is about perfect love. Biblical love. The love that we have for family and friends. The love that we have for the hurting and those who are all alone in the world. What is love, perfect love, and how can we live it out?

We love because God loved us first. We are reminded of that in the Bible, and it is something that is important to remember as we think about love. Without God’s love, we would not be able to love. Without God first making us and giving us the chance to live our lives out here on earth, we would not be able to love. When we are filled with God’s love, we can love everyone around us in a beautiful way.

1 John 4:19
We love because He first loved us.

Love is sincere. It is real. It is not fake. Everyone has people in their life who treat them in a fake way. There are people who claim to be our friends but really only want to get something from us. Love is not fake or pretend. Love is real, it is authentic, it is honest. Perfect love is from the heart and something that is true and trustworthy.

Romans 12:9
Love must be sincere…

Love is willing to die in order to look out for others. Most of us have someone in our life who we would die for, someone who we love so much that we would sacrifice our own life for them. True love is strong enough that it empowers us to lay down our lives for others. Perfect love pushes us to give all that we are in order to look out for the ones that we care about.

John 15:13
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Love is greater than everything else. There are rules that we follow. Some of those rules come from the Bible and they are good. We should follow them. But no rule is as great as the rule to love others. Perfect love stands above all else. Living in love is more important than anything else. Out of faith, hope, and love, the greatest one is - surprisingly - love.

1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Love is special and it is beautiful. Let us all cling to love and all that it is.

How can you show love to those around you this week?

By Emily Acker, co-author of No Longer Broken

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

God Is With Us Always

There are many Bible verses we can look to when we need comfort, and this is one of the best. In Matthew, it says, "Surely I am with you always to the very end of the age."

Scary things happen. Evil things are going on in the world all of the time, but we don't have to be worried because God is with us.

God is not going to leave us. He will never abandon us.

Hard times come. Hard times pull us down and make us afraid. But we can have hope in God because he will be with us always.

God will never leave us on our own. He will never forsake us, even when it feels like the whole world is against us. Or that the world is falling apart.

God created us. He loves us. He has a special plan and purpose for each of our lives.

Bad things happen. That's the sin in the world. But God is bigger than it. He is stronger than it. And he will love us through it.

No matter what goes on in our lives we should remember that God is with us.

God's love never fails.

God will never abandon us.

He reassures us that he is with us always, to the very end of the age.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Why Me? Trusting God Even When It's Hard.

It's easy to think, "why me?" and it's just as easy to think, "why not me?"

The novel I read recently dealt with this issue. The what-ifs. The why-me questions.

And the reason why everything is so complicated, why we have so many questions, is because there is sin in this world. 

Things are always going to get messy. Life here on earth will never be perfect.

We will always wonder "why me" about something or other. But we need to trust God's plan for us.

There isn't always going to be an answer to the "why me" questions, but we need to know that God has a plan. Through the darkness and pain, God has a plan.

Why was it me who __? Why wasn't it me who __? We all have questions. We all want answers.

But we need to have faith.

Faith is blind. Faith is unexplainable. We won't always get answers.

Faith means trusting.

Faith means letting go of our questions and anxiety.

And faith is what we need in times when these questions plague us.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Joshua 1:9

Strength and courage. The ability to stand strong when faced with a scary situation. The courage to fight the battles that are before us. The knowledge that we have a God on our side who will be with us always. There is a command for us that is shared in the book of Joshua, and it is a command that I feel provides us with much hope.

Joshua 1:9 instructs us to be "strong and courageous". Whatever lies before us, we need to have strength to face that. And we can, with God's help. I love knowing that God is going to help me be strong no matter the battles that come my way.

Courage is important, as it helps us to stand strong when we know the good that we should do but we are afraid. When we see a need but are scared to meet it, the courage that God gives can help us step out in faith.

Joshua 1:9 tells us not to be afraid or discouraged. No fear, no matter what. No need to fear, because we have a God on our side who is stronger and better than anyone. A God who has everything in His control.

Discouragement can drag us down. When we feel that we are not good enough, we feel discouraged. When we are discouraged, we are tempted to give up. God is with us to encourage us, to push us on, to keep us from surrendering and giving up on the life that is before us.

There is instruction in Joshua 1:9 and there is a promise there. We serve a big God, and there is no need for us to become afraid or discouraged.

By Emily Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

It's Not As simple As Just Reconnecting With Your Child... Or Is It?

""I'm Isaiah. Isaiah Russo," he said, wondering if maybe she had forgotten the name after all of the years that had gone by.
Hailey's face paled slightly. "Isaiah."
Apparently not. "Hello."
"Dominic's father." Hailey leaned against the wall next to the door. "You're Isaiah.""
Excerpt from No Longer Broken.

Everyone messes up. If you have made mistakes in regard to your child, by growing distant, or by abandoning them altogether, don't give up hope.

It's not as simple as just reconnecting with your child... or is it?

You can change the situation. You can love your child and make things right.

Sometimes the first step just needs to be taken in order for good things to occur. And sometimes the first step is easier than we make it out to be when we overthink things.

The journey might be hard, but you are strong enough to overcome the obstacles that get in your way. It will be worth it for you to push past them, so that you can get to know your child once again.

Don't let fear or pride get in your way.

God does not promise to make your life perfect here on earth, but he will help you if you let him. Allow him to lead you and guide you as you are thinking of reconnecting with your child. Draw close to God during this time, so that you will know just what to do and say.

Apologize to your child. Remember that they are the one who should have been able to depend on you through the years. Look out for them now. Be patient with them. Love them. Step back when you need to, but let them know that you are not going anywhere.

Prove to them that you are a changed person. Let them see God in you.

In No Longer Broken, Isaiah meets his son for the first time when the boy is a teenager. And he has to fight hard to prove to Dominic that he loves him and is always going to be there for him. He has to fight to find a place in his life.

Jack, Isaiah's brother, struggles as he reconnects with the children who had been taken away from him. And their father and Isaiah have a hard time as they get to know one another again. The reconnecting in this book is about all different people at different ages and stages in life. And we hope that it might inspire families to reconnect and love each other more.

You might not be able to fix all that has been broken. Real life is not as easy as fiction. But you just might be able to start fresh with a new relationship with your child. And if so, then that will be everything.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Five Things I'm Grateful For Today (Because Gratitude Is Important)

1. God's Word. The Bible is filled with so much wisdom and comfort. I can look at it anytime that I want. I can read what Jesus has to say. I can read stories of people who lived so long ago, and yet, who are so much like me. The Bible is something I often take for granted, but it is a way for God to speak to me. And I want to be more grateful for it.

2. My Family. I wouldn't be who I am without them. My ten nieces and nephews mean the world to me. I am grateful for my family.

3. Writing. I enjoy all kinds of writing, and especially novel writing with Emily. It has been a blessing to see No Longer Broken published.

4. My Country. The United States of America is a great place to be. We have freedom here that others do not, and I am grateful for the freedom to pursue my dreams.

5. Food. It's a basic. It's something that I don't think to be grateful for often. But there are people who are hungry, and I am grateful for to have all of the food that I need, and to be able to cook and bake and play around with it, too.

What are you grateful for today?

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Matthew 11:28-30

Simple message for you today:

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Cast All Of Your Anxiety On Him

Cast all of your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

All of your anxiety.

Not just some of it. All of it.

God wants us to be fearless.

He wants us to trust in him completely.

He wants us to take his hand and to know that he will see us through.

We need to fear nothing.

We need to worry about tomorrow never.

He will always provide. He will always take care of us.

Over and over again in the Bible God tells us not to worry. Not to stress. But to trust in him.

We need to cast all of our anxiety on him.

We need to leave it up to him to take care of the big and little things in our lives.

He is so much better at taking care of us than we are at taking care of ourselves. We should know that, and we should trust in him at all times and in all ways.

Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Where Would I Be Without Trust in God's Faithfulness?

I was praying recently and thanking God for all of the ways that He has been faithful in my life. I was thinking of all of the "little" things that He had done for me, as well as some of the big ways in which He was working. While I was praying, I got to thinking about how hard it would be if I didn't trust in God, if I didn't believe in His faithfulness.

I am writing about a character right now who has had a lot of bad things happen in his life and who is doubting God because of all that has happened. I know that there are people out there who are living just like him, those who are hurting because of all that has gone wrong and who don't believe that God truly is faithful and good. I feel for such people and I cannot imagine how scary life must be for them. I cannot imagine living without believing that God knows what He is doing and will always be faithful.

I think about my life and I know that I have not come through all of the hard stuff that others have come through. If I were to lose someone close to me in a tragic way, would I doubt God? I don't know how I would respond if I was put in a very tough situation, but I really hope that I will always cling tight to God. I know that if I don't do that, if I stop believing in His faithfulness, then I will have no reason to keep on living and no way of moving on.

By Emily Acker, co-author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

God Uses Imperfect People For His Good

God uses imperfect people for his good.

He uses imperfect people to make his plans turn out perfectly.

We are all human. There is no way to change that. We are never going to be good enough, no matter how much good we do.

We are always going to fail. We are always going to feel that we have let God down.

But the important thing is that we get back up again. That we try harder the next time.

God wants to use us for his good. But he doesn't require perfection from us. He wants us to be willing to help orphans and widows, to love our enemies. But he doesn't hold this over our heads and say that if we do it we'll get into heaven, and if not, we won't.

No. God is all about grace.

He loves us no matter what.

But he does want us to follow his plan.

Imperfections and all, God has accepted us. He has loved us. He knows what we are capable of, and he knows our doubts.

He is there to help us. And we should be willing to help him. To be his hands and feet here on earth.

We will never be perfect, no matter how hard we try.

But maybe that doesn't matter.

Because God uses imperfect people for his good.

To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless.
Psalm 119:96

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Two Reminders About Love - Happy Valentine's Day

Two reminders this Valentine's Day...

God is love. 
His love his perfect. 
He loves unconditionally.

We should love like God does. 
To be more like him, to love more like him...
that should always be our goal. On Valentine's day or otherwise.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 
John 13:34

Happy Valentine's day!

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

We Can't Earn Our Way Into Heaven.

It's not up to us to earn our way into Heaven.

It's not good works that are going to get us there.

How could we believe that anything that we could do would be good enough to earn God's love? To earn a place in his Kingdom?

He doesn't give up on us when we disobey him. He loves us.

He doesn't give us grace because we are good enough or because we deserve it. He gives us his grace and salvation because he is perfect.

God is perfect.

He doesn't expect us to be perfect.

He doesn't ask us to do good things to earn his love.

He loves us always.

We are blessed by his love always.

There is nothing that we could do that would separate us from his love.

God is there for us.

He saved me because he wanted to. Not because I am good enough.

He loved me because he created me and wanted me. Not because I am worthy of his love.

We can't earn our way into Heaven. Only God's grace and mercy will get us there.

He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. 
Titus 3:5

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

5 Ways To Build Healthy Relationships

Your family, your friends, your significant other... they all deserve to have a good relationship with you. And you will need to work hard to make your relationships with each of them work. Here are five tips for building healthy relationships.

1. Communicate with Them
If you want to keep your relationship with friends or family going well, then you will need to communicate with them. Tell them what is going on with you. Let them know if something is bugging you. Don't hold back, but be as open as possible.

2. Always be Honest
To go along with communication, honesty is a key component to any healthy relationship. You should never lie to your friends. You should never hold something back from your family. Let your loved ones know the truth about everything that is going on in your life, and your relationships will be much healthier.

3. Be Patient and Kind
Building a good relationship takes a lot of work. And you should dedicate yourself to putting as much work into it as possible. Practice patience. Be kind. Try to understand what your friend is going through, and give them time and space if that is what they need, while letting them know that you will always be there for them.

4. Manage your Time
Speaking of always being there for them, you should make the time to visit with your family often. Set up a day each month or week when you take time for them. Do what it takes to get hold of your time and to manage it, so that you can see your family and friends more, even if that means cutting out some time for hobbies.

5. Go Out of Your Way for Them
Actions mean more than words, and you will need to do what you can to show your friends, family, and significant other that you care. Go out of your way for them every chance that you get. Bring them flowers. Shovel a path to their car. The little things mean a lot, and you will show them that you care through every loving action.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
John 15:13

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Finding Contentment.

You can always be looking for something bigger and better.

But you will only ever have one moment like this.

So don't rush it by.

Don't long for the future when you have a beautiful day to live in right now.

Don't ignore the every day moments. The things that seem mundane. But appreciate them. Appreciate where your life is at right now. Find contentment with what you have been given.

This is something that I need to do - we all need to do - more.

There are so many things to be grateful for in each moment of life.

Every breath that we breathe is something to be grateful for.

Every special moment. Every hug from a child. Every sunset we witness.

Find contentment in the everyday things.

Try not to long for the future or brighter days so much, but seek happiness and peace in the here and now.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

You Are Never Too Far Gone. God Is Ready To Forgive.

You are never too far gone to turn back again.

It's not too late for you.

As long as you have breath. As long as you have life.

God is waiting for you.

God loves you.

He knows all about your mistakes. He knows how many times you have fallen. How many times you have failed.

And He is ready to forgive.

God is waiting for you with grace and mercy. He is offering you a gift far better than any earthly treasure.

God's love for you is great.

His mercies are never ending.

God knows right where you are. And He is willing to help you up. To get you back on your feet. To give you a life you are happy to live.

God will give you the help that you need. All that you have to do is to call on Him.

Reach out to God, and He will help you.

It is never too late.

You are never too far gone.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Jesus Christ Remains The Same. Through Everything That We Face, He Is The Same.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Through everything in life, He is the one constant that we have to hold onto. He is there for us through the struggles and darkness.

In every situation. In our pain and weakness, Jesus remains the same.

In the stressful moments when we have no clue where life is going to take us, He remains the same.

Through financial struggles, He remains the same.

During times of loss, He remains the same.

Every day. Good or bad.

Every moment. Through every fear. Every excitement.

Jesus Christ remains the same.

We can count on Him to be there for us. We can know that He will help us through. We just need to call on Him.

We need to have faith, and to trust in the fact that He will never change.

Jesus loves us.

And He remains the same.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Enjoy Each Moment Of This Year, 2017

None of us know what is to come for us in 2017.

None of us have a clue what the year will really bring, even if we have hopes for the year. Even if we have fears.

God is in control, and even the scariest of things don't have to be so bad if we trust in him.

Life is a wonderful, beautiful thing when we have faith in God to take care of us.

I didn't know what this year, 2016, would be before it happened.

Emily and I didn't even know that we would be published this time last year. We didn't know that it would happen in this timing, and we are grateful that it did.

There is so much good that comes unexpectedly. And there are hard things that come and that we have to deal with each year, too.

There is so much in life that we just can't control.

But there is beauty in the unknown. Good things happen when we aren't expecting them. Each milestone in life is so special.

Enjoy each moment of 2017.

Soak up each success.

Thank God for every good thing.

Love more. Fight less.

Trust more. Stress less.

Know that everything is going to work out for you. God will be there for you through it all.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken