5 Great Christian Gift Ideas for New Believers 5 Great Christian Gift Ideas for New Believers

5 Great Christian Gift Ideas for New Believers

Do you have a friend, family member, or colleague who’s a new believer? You must be excited to see them start their new chapter with Christ. Welcome them to the Christian faith with these great Christian gift ideas.

1. New Bible

To help new believers begin their journey with Christ, a new Bible is a great gift idea. Consider picking a translation that is accurate and easy to read, such as the New International Version or English Standard Version.

2. Devotional Books

Devotional books cover different topics that can help your friends strengthen their Christian faith. These include knowing and seeking God, the power of prayers, finding courage, and keeping hope. You can even make your gift more personalized depending on your friend’s stage in life, like a devotional book on motherhood or a devotional for teens.

3. Bible Verse Shirts

Practical Christian gift ideas also include Bible verse T-shirts. Some remarkable prints include “Walk in Love,” “Be Still and Know,” and “Faith Can Move Mountains.” With these types of shirts, they can take pride in their new relationship with Christ and inspire others.

4. Personalized Bible Cover

Bible covers are great for protecting a new believer’s Bible from dust and wear. Some Bible covers provide built-in pen holders and a handle perfect for traveling. You can even give them personalized Bible covers with a name, verse, or special message to make it that much more special.

5. Blanket With Bible Verses

Bible verse blankets are one way to remind a new believer of God’s love for them as they fall asleep each night. For example, you can get a soft and comfy blanket with Joshua 1:9 on it, “ “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Final Thoughts

Becoming a new believer is a great milestone worthy of recognition. So, show them your support in this new journey with the best Christian gift ideas like Bibles, Bible covers, and Bible verse blankets.

How do I cope with losing my beloved? How do I cope with losing my beloved?

How do I cope with losing my beloved?

The Stoicess, Lori Stith

Mindset

It all seemed like a fairy tale come true. The past few months were like living in Camelot. Each day was the absolute best of times. We laughed, we sang, we held hands, we teased, and we had deep conversations. We were at the pinnacle of enjoying life together.

That is until I awoke one morning to a text saying, “I’m breaking up with you, but we can still be friends”.

My mind went blank. I was devastated. I was humiliated.
I thought to myself, “What will my friends think?” “I told them just yesterday, that I couldn’t be happier in my current relationship?”

For me, when facing this “gut-wrenching” situation, I was determined to focus on the positive experience I had. I realized I may have lost him in my day-to-day existence, but that I would never lose those feelings we shared together for the past few months.

I considered it a blessing to have experienced what some would call “puppy love”. I also learned that love can be a blessing and a curse. We are blessed that we got to experience wonderful feelings with another but cursed as there is heartache once it is lost.

However, I now know the feeling that another will have to arise in me in order to gain my favor. For I learned a new happiness and this IS the way I will spend my life once finding My Trusted Friend. 

Now using My S-T-O-I-C STORYTELLING method:

(S) How do I cope with a stressful personal loss?   

(T) “Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” Seneca
(O) As much as I didn’t want to go on, life continues.
(I) I had to pull myself together and keep on living even though it seemed impossible.
(C) The character trait that I improved was perseverance in the face of humiliation.

The Stoicess’ Secret?
Puppy Love may teach you a new happiness.

Here’s the video link if you’d like to watch it: https://youtu.be/9KMHBjzDUlY

When leading, there’s No “I” in Team, But There is a “M-E” When leading, there’s No “I” in Team, But There is a “M-E”

When leading, there’s No “I” in Team, But There is a “M-E”

The Stoicess, Lori Stith

Mindset

It’s one of the most thankless jobs you’ve been assigned – serving as a team leader. A job loaded with responsibility and accountability, but no power of enforcement.

Even those who have the best people skills can be brought to their knees by that one individual in the group who is not a team player. Sadly, that’s the individual the group is looking to – to challenge your authority as leader.

My challenge occurred during a meet and greet with the newly formed team.  When I gave guidelines that the team was expected to follow—guidelines given to me by management — an individual spoke up and said, “There’s no I in the word TEAM”.

Because I was caught off-guard, I called an hour recess so the situation would not escalate as well as give me some time regarding how to respond. You see, I knew my actions were being watched by a few who would report to management as to how I handled the team.

During that recess, I thought, should I blame management for giving such guidelines, should I tackle this person face to face—”mano a mano”—that hand-to-hand mental combat they’re really looking for? If only I had a great one-liner to derail this uncomfortable situation.

So, I spent the hour reading wisdom quotes in order to gain some perspective while easing my mind. When I came across Willam James’s quote that the art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook, I realized that this word “TEAM”, I needed to address head-on. I started tinkering with the word and then it came to me.  

Yes, the word TEAM does not have an I, but it does have a “M-E”… ME.. and per the dictionary, the word ME is the person receiving the action. I thought, could such a strange twist on a word actually work?

When the recess was over, I did a quick recap with the team of what we had previously covered. I then came to our last topic, the comment about the word “TEAM”.

I said, “Regarding the word TEAM, there is no “I” in the word TEAM, but there is a “M-E”…ME… who is the person receiving this work. For further clarification, check the dictionary and philosophy texts.  Any questions?”

The room was silent.

I NOW was their leader.

Now using My S-T-O-I-C STORYTELLING method:

(S) An employee is not willing to follow my direction.
(T) “The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.” William James
(O) Overlooking the “not so positive” to looking at the “positive” made the team respect me.
(I) Looking back, treating a potentially negative situation with respect through the use of philosophy as a rational approach, encouraged the person to change their mind and work with me.
(C) The character trait I improved was to remain firm in using philosophy as a guide to teaching myself and others.

The Stoicess’ Secret?
There’s no “I” in the word TEAM, but there is a “M-E” – ME – who is the person receiving this work

Here’s the video link if you’d like to watch it: https://youtu.be/YtsJkKrNBz4

4 Tips to Memorize Scripture 4 Tips to Memorize Scripture

4 Tips to Memorize Scripture

As Christians, we are encouraged to memorize scripture. It is a way to keep God’s words close to our hearts and meditate on His promises. However, memorizing scripture can be a challenge. Here are four tips that can help:

1. Find a Quiet Place Where You Can Focus and Be Uninterrupted

Anytime you want to learn and retain something new, it’s important to find a good environment for learning. It means a place where you can focus and be uninterrupted. For some people, this might be a quiet room in their house. For others, it might be outside in nature. Wherever you feel most comfortable and able to focus, that’s where you should go to study Scripture.

2. Write the Passage Out Several Times, and Then Say It Out Loud

One of the best ways to commit something to memory is to write it out several times. It helps your brain learn better and remember the information. Additionally, saying the passage aloud can help you memorize it more easily. You may want to try writing it out and saying it out loud several times before moving on to other methods.

3. Create a Mnemonic Device or Acronym To Help You Remember the Passage

If you’re struggling to remember a particular passage, try creating a mnemonic device or acronym to help you. This can be anything that will help you remember the passage’s key points. For example, if you’re trying to memorize a list of items, you could create an acronym for each item on the list.

4. Put the Verses Into Practice by Living Them Out in Your Life

Living out the verses that you’re trying to memorize is a great way to help them stick in your mind. When you put the verses into practice, they’ll become more than just words on a page. You’ll be able to better understand and apply them to your life, which will help you to remember them more easily.

These are just a few methods that Christians use when memorizing scripture. By trying out a few of these tips, you’ll be well on your way to memorizing any passage you set your mind on.

4 Impactful Christian Books 4 Impactful Christian Books

4 Impactful Christian Books

As a Christian, it’s essential to continue to add knowledge to your life and understanding of the Word. Here are some impactful Christian books that can help you grow closer to Christ.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Mere Christianity is the groundbreaking work of Christian apologetics by author C.S. Lewis. A compilation of three of the most important books written by C.S. Lewis, it’s an effort to establish common ground among all Christians, regardless of their different beliefs and personalities. It’s a must-read for anyone who wishes to strengthen and deepen their understanding of Christianity.

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel

The Case for Christ showed that there are many pieces of evidence at hand to support the Christian faith. It’s a book that encourages Christians to strengthen their faith because, as Lee Strobel says: “Faith is one thing; active faith is another.” If a Christian has a passive faith then they need to take action and realize their faith can help them move forward and make a difference. Additionally, it gives Christians a step-by-step process on how they can strengthen their relationship with God.

The Mortification of Sin by John Owen

John Owen’s The Mortification of Sin is a helpful and insightful work on the life of Christians and how they should strive to please God through mortification and not simply by abstaining from sin. It provides a perspective on the different kinds of temptations that we face in our daily lives. Also, it covers how we can overcome temptations to live holy lives and how to become more effective in prayer.

The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges

In this book, Jerry makes a solid, logical argument for pursuing holiness. The book also dispels lies you may believe surrounding holiness and explains how easy, attainable, and necessary holiness is as a Christian. As one of the most spiritually encouraging Christian books, it will lead you to think more about your own spiritual life, and how it affects the way you live out your faith.

What You Wrestle With God Over What You Wrestle With God Over

What You Wrestle With God Over

Sin is like a besetting thorn in our sides. It’s something that we wrestle with God over, and it’s a constant battle to try to keep it under control. We know that we shouldn’t do it, but we can’t seem to help ourselves. You feel the weight of your sin and the shame that comes with it. You try to hide it from God, but you can’t. He sees everything. Yet, despite all of that, He still loves you.

Get More Out of Life With God’s Help

God wants you to come to Him at the throne of grace and confess your sins. He wants you to be honest about your struggles, and He wants to help you gain victory over them.

Admitting that you have a problem is the first step. You can’t do it on your own; you need God’s help. He is more than glad to give it to you. 

The second step is to be honest with Him about your struggles. Tell Him what you’re wrestling with and ask for His help. Yes, He already knows what you’re struggling with, but confessing sin to God means that you’re in agreement with Him that your sin is wrong. 

The third step is to take action. This may mean making changes in your life, such as getting rid of things that trigger your sin or avoiding situations that tempt you. It may also mean seeking counseling or accountability from a trusted friend or pastor. Whatever it looks like, taking action is necessary if you want to gain victory over sin. 

The fourth and final step is repetition. Sanctification isn’t a one-time thing; it’s a lifelong journey. If you’re honest with God and yourself, and you’re willing to take action, He will help you gain victory over your sin.

How To Think Biblically How To Think Biblically

How To Think Biblically

Think about the last time you had a big decision to make. Maybe you were considering switching careers or moving to a new city. How did you go about making that decision? If you’re like most people, you probably weighed all of your options and considered the possible consequences of each choice. You tried to look at things from every angle and then decided what you felt was best for you.

Biblical thinking is similar to this way of making decisions. Rather than looking at things from our own perspective, we try to look at things through God’s eyes. We consider what Scripture says about the situation and ask for God’s wisdom in making our decision. There is no one “right” way to think biblically, but some principles can help us as we learn to think Godly thoughts.

Regular Bible Reading

The first step in thinking biblically is building familiarity with what God has to say. You can’t think Godly thoughts if you don’t know what His thoughts are in the first place. Make a habit of reading your Bible every day. If you’re not sure where to start, try a devotional or study guide that will help you understand and apply what you’re reading.

Pray Constantly

Another important principle is to pray constantly. This doesn’t mean that you need to be on your knees 24/7, but it does mean that you should be in regular communication with God. Talk to Him throughout the day, and ask Him to help you understand His Word and give you a heart like His.

Manage Distractions

In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to get distracted from what’s important. If you want to learn to think biblically, you need to make a deliberate effort to focus on God and His Word. When daily situations, those unprepared-for disruptions cause difficulty staying connected to God, we must be able to quiet our minds immediately and keep our focus on Him so we hear Him speak to us.

As you learn to think biblically, you’ll find that your decisions become more Christ-centered and less self-centered. You’ll start to see the world through God’s eyes, and your thoughts and your life will begin to reflect His character. And when facing those horrific situations, you might try repeating in your mind over and over the following words: “It’s the Situation Keeping My Connection with Him.”

How to handle someone’s nitpicking over silly things when you’re not wrong. How to handle someone’s nitpicking over silly things when you’re not wrong.

How to handle someone’s nitpicking over silly things when you’re not wrong.

Mindset

You are one of the best employees they’ve got. You’re competent. You deliver on time. You do excellent work with no hiccups. And then it happens.

You’re at a weekly catchup meeting with the boss and they hit you with something—a comma you missed in a sentence, two spaces after a period versus one—some minor error in your written report that they say has placed the entire organization in jeopardy. It’s as if the world has come to an end.

You’re speechless, but the pounding does not end. You wonder if you’ve stepped into some alter world like Alice in Wonderland. The pounding continues. The boss wants answers. “How could you do this?”, they ask.

What first seems so surreal, so unimaginable, becomes reality.

Anger enters your mind. All defense mechanisms kick into high gear.

If you’re lucky enough, you hold your tongue for the moment.

Silly little things. These nitpicking moments—the needling – are what bother us most.

We can’t seem to get them out of our minds. We think, “Such a harsh punishment for a small infraction, if it was even that.”

So, we seethe, we fume. The intensity grows to a point that we later say something we shouldn’t – possibly costing us the job.

For me, I take these moments as a sign. A very happy sign I might add. “Why?”, you ask.
Because when there’s nothing left to critique you on, nitpicking is a wonderful last-ditch effort.

It’s a child’s game you just haven’t played in some time.

So, here’s the game’s rules if you forgotten. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”.

So, realize you’re entering the door of greatness in the eyes of the nitpicker. It’s your last challenge, to achieve your prize. Ignore their words – AND WIN!

Now using My S-T-O-I-C STORYTELLING method:

(S) How to I handle someone correcting me over silly things when I’m not wrong.
(T) “Men are disturbed not by things, but by the views which they take of things.” Epictetus
(O) I felt empowered that I was able to keep my composure.
(I) I was satisfied with myself that although I may not agree totally with the person, I was able to rise above the scrutiny by letting them feel that their opinion matters.
(C) I was saddened over the event, but satisfied that I didn’t react in a negative way toward the person.

The Stoicess’ Secret?
As you enter the door of Greatness, their nitpicking is the final challenge.

Here’s the video link if you’d like to watch: https://youtu.be/TciaCyHyu-g

Your Faith-based Bucket List Your Faith-based Bucket List

Your Faith-based Bucket List

Are you a Christian wondering how to live a life that honors God? Have you thought about creating a bucket list to stretch your faith?

Creating a bucket list is generally a great way to set goals and live out your life to the fullest. It’s not just something reserved for the most adventurous among us, but also a tactic believers can utilize as they work to serve the Lord.

Here are some ideas for your own faith-based bucket list that can encourage and build up the faith of others:

Host a Regular Bible Study

Your faith is strengthened when you read the Word and study it with others. A Bible study will help you apply God’s Word to your life and grow in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of His will for you. If you’re not sure where to start, you can look into commentaries or books that may help you understand Scripture better!

Go on Mission Trips

One beautiful way to serve God is to participate in a mission trip. Mission trips can consist of many different activities, like painting homes, babysitting, and evangelizing to help build up the church body. It’s not just about helping others — it’s about deepening your faith. Mission trips are a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the Bible and grow in obedience to the Lord. The Bible commands us to put our faith into action, and what better way than serving others with God’s love?

Disciple Someone

Just as Jesus led His disciples, we are in turn expected to disciple one another. Meet with a friend at a coffee shop or in your home, and read the Bible together. Talk about where you are in your walks with Christ, and find ways to keep each other accountable in the faith. 

Wrapping Up

A faith-based bucket list could help us discover new facets of our spiritual journey, refocus and increase our time in prayer, and inspire us to reach out to those around us. What are you waiting for? It’s time to start living a life filled with purpose.

Being guilted by a friend to give up confidential information Being guilted by a friend to give up confidential information

Being guilted by a friend to give up confidential information

The Stoicess, Lori Stith

Mindset

They ask, “You’re my best friend and I want to apply for this position that is the same rank as you and I know I’m qualified, but don’t know how much money to ask for. How much money do you make?”

You think to yourself, I know I make much more than they think I do.
If I tell them, will they get upset and throw my personal information out to the world?
But if I don’t tell, will they say we’re no longer best friends and degrade me in front of others?

I think we all have had someone that has tried to guilt us into giving them confidential information. Trying to make the decision on whether to divulge can be very upsetting; but the aftermath can be catastrophic if the information is not held in confidence.

For me, it’s my perception of the situation that is most upsetting. I realize that I’m being asked to give up MY CONTROL – control of information that could be used against me by this person.

In reaching my decision, I also consider whether this person is My Trusted Friend.
You see, being a Trusted Friend is a one-way street.
The person may consider me to be their Trusted Friend knowing that I am faithful when they share information with me; however, currently they may have not reached that status “in my book”.

So, for those not a Trusted Friend, the answer is “No”

But Stoicess, What if they say, “Then we’re no longer friends if you won’t tell me?”
Hmmm… that’s pre-schoolish behavior, so that goes into my bucket when considering whether they’ll ever be My Trusted Friend.

Now using My S-T-O-I-C STORYTELLING method:

(S) A family member, friend, or co-worker is trying to guilt meu into giving up confidential information.
(T) “When friendship is settled, you must trust; before friendship is formed, you must pass judgment.” Seneca
(O) I refused to divulge the information because the person was not my trusted friend.
(I) Being considered a trusted friend is a one-way street; each individual decides, by their own standard, if the other meets the standard of being a trusted friend.
(C) Each day that passes, I improve my role of being a trusted friend to myself as well as to others.

The Stoicess’ Secret?
Never share with another what you control unless they are a Trusted Friend.

Here’s the video link if you’d like to watch: https://youtu.be/vKSR6jmHGso