Tag Archive | bible

4 Verses for Overcoming a Challenging Childhood

gunhilln24My childhood was challenging. I grew up in a tough area in the Bronx where survival was more important than education. Running home from school to avoid fights and gunshots was normal. Then, already in a small apartment, my cousins came to live with us after my uncle, a drug dealer was murdered and my aunt was sent to a recovery program for help with her addiction to crack cocaine. Add-in my ailing grandmother who was struggling with Alzheimer’s and it made for some tough times. But the toughest part by far was when my father left us just shy of my sixteenth birthday.


Often times I felt life wasn’t fair. I didn’t choose these circumstances, I was thrust in to childhood_playgroundthem. And as I grew older these tough childhood experiences created feelings of inadequacy as I thought people would judge me because of where I was from or my broken family. But my childhood experiences could not limit God. God had a plan for my life. He would use me anyway despite where I come from and what shortcomings I had.

downloadMaybe you’ve had a challenging childhood and question God’s purpose for your life. You wonder why you’ve been dealt such a tough hand. You may even feel angry that you have not had some of the same opportunities others have had. Do not let your experiences limit what God can do! God has a plan for you. Despite whatever difficulties you have faced in your childhood – rejection, abandonment, loneliness, abuse, sickness – God has a great plan for you too! A plan to make you great. Adapt a new way of thinking about your future by meditating on these 4 verses:

  1. God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10 (GNT)
  2. O Lord, you protect and save me; your care has made me great. – Psalm 18:35 (GNT)
  3. Every child of God can defeat the world, and our faith is what gives us this victory. – 1 John 5:4 (CEV)
  4. The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come in order that you might have life – life in all its fullness. – John 10:10 (GNT)

NenaPodbury

Nena Podbury is a project associate at American Bible Society. Originally from the Bronx, she has co-authored children’s curriculum and served in children’s ministry for 12 years doing Sidewalk Sunday School. Nena is married with two children, Noah and Emilia.

 

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4 Bible Verses for Repairing YourSelf-Image

What happened to her? I can hardly recognize her anymore. Her sweet, pure, child-like
beauty has changed into a done-up mannequin with an awful spray tan. These were myself-image thoughts as I watched one of my favorite shows, notorious for choosing contestants based on talent and not looks. Revolutionary, right….except once you’ve been selected, in come the make-up artists, hairstylists and fashion police. Why? Because IMAGE MATTERS. It matters to the world, it matters to those around you and let’s be honest, it matters to you.

We care about what others think of us. I did! Growing up in New York City, image is everything. Even grandmas have designer handbags and toddlers have “Air Jordans”. To this day, when I visit my mother, I feel like I must look my sharpest to gain the approving nods of the people on the subway and in the bodegas. But, what happens when you do not have the approval of others. When you’ve been rejected because you’re not pretty enough, or skinny enough, or athletic enough. Perhaps you’ve been told you’re not smart enough for that job. Maybe a parent has told you, “Why can’t you be more like your brother.” Your self-image is destroyed and your confidence is shaken.

Self-Talk-Poster-2-15-13I had to learn to tune out those negative voices and thoughts and replace it with the truth of God’s Word. God loves me and thinks the world of me. The Bible says, I am the apple of his eye. If you’re struggling with your self-image, turn to these four verses to see what God says and thinks about you.

1.  Am Created in His Image: So God created human beings, making them to be like himself. Genesis 1:27

2. I Am Not a Mistake: You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother’s womb. When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother’s womb, when I was growing there in secret, you knew that I was there- you saw me before I was born. Psalm 139: 13, 15-16a

3. I Have A Purpose:  God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

4. I Am Loved and Accepted: …I have loved you, so I continue you to show you my constant love. Jeremiah 31:3


NenaPodbury

Nena Podbury is a project associate at American Bible Society. Originally from the Bronx, she has co-authored children’s curriculum and served in children’s ministry for 12 years doing Sidewalk Sunday School. Nena is married with two children, Noah and Emilia.

How Can You Love Hard-To-Love Family Members?

Not a week that goes by that I don’t remind my son to be kind to his sister and play with her. When he looks at her, he sees an annoying two-year-old girl who steals his toys and the-get-along-jar-to-stop-sibling-bickering-1-20150622125841.jpg-q75,dx720y432u1r1gg,c--ruins all his fun. For him, she is simply too hard to love. While few of us can relate to the irritation of dealing with a two-year-old sister, many of us can relate to the experience of living with a difficult family member. Continue reading

I’ll be My Own Number One

There are days when you wake up and have to be like David and encourage yourself. Not3d89edafa9dd80de939756405b9cb9a9
because you don’t have an awesome other half that listens to you whine, encourages and holds you up when you are feeling down and deflated. No matter how you try to shake it you see evidence of the irritation(s) everywhere you look. Each sign making the tear in the irk fabric larger and larger until its a deep, dark, empty hole. Continue reading