[guestpost]She’s baaaack!!! My fab roommate and friend, author and speaker Laura L. Smith has a new book releasing next week! Laura is beyond incredible with a fantastic fashion sense and a heart for Jesus and others that makes you want to grab her hand and sit beside her the whole time you’re together. Her motto: Writing that’s REAL, RAW, and RELEVANT for young adults. She writes about tough issues that no one wants to talk about. Things that stop a conversation at a dinner party in its tracks, or really heat it up. She writes about eating disorders and sex and divorce and alcohol and death and rape. She tackles topics so many people deal with in the dark, in their personal “closets,” alone, to give them a voice, a sounding board, a place to start. Enjoy her post today![/guestpost]
You have it all taken care of, right?
You have a date with the Big Man scheduled in your iCal on recurring for every day. You have a regular prayer time, a routine for reading the Word, a group you meet with either on Sundays or during the week to talk about your relationship with Jesus.
It’s like clockwork. Until you go on summer vacation. And we all know vacation is a temporary thing, but time away from the Lord is bad any way you slice it. And sometimes, on vacation is when you need Him the most.
[pullquote]Time away from the Lord is bad anyway you slice it.[/pullquote]
So, how do you keep up with your relationship with God when you’re on the road, at camp, at a relative’s house or as distant from real life as a foreign country? When everything about your normal schedule is out of whack, how do you stay in sync with Jesus?
In today’s electronic age it’s easier than ever before. You have a Smartphone. You have a laptop or access to a computer at your aunt’s house or your hotel lobby. You have a sense of adventure. You’re all set.
Bible reading is a piece of cake online with BibleGateway.com. You can look up any chapter or verse in almost any translation. Don’t have access to a computer? There’s an App for that – YouVersion – The Bible App – touts more translations than you’ll ever be able to read, bookmarks your spot for you, and has a search engine to help you find any chapter or verse on demand.
Churches are everywhere. So, it’s not your home church. So, it’s a little different. It’s still a group of Christians gathering together to proclaim God’s word, sing His praises and pray to Him. Find one with beautiful stained glass or an interesting history. Focus on the cross and the music and the readings for this week.
If you’re out of the country, a church service in another language can still be amazingly spiritual and uplifting. The architecture and history of ancient European churches create a sense of awe, and help you realize how important God has been to generations upon generations.
Now, that you have the actual Word at your fingertips and at least a Sunday service to attend, how do you supplement it with discussion, advice, inspiration? There are so many cool opportunities on the web! Encounter Magazine has The Scene that takes a current event and tackles its relationship to scripture each week. You can download it here and work through it personally.
Choose Now Ministries offers weekly articles about beauty, dating, friendships and so much more from a Christ-centered view. There are hundreds of churches with podcasts and vodcasts of sermons for more online immersion in Jesus.
Find one that meets your needs – male, female, sister, brother, athlete, musician, artist, dancer, bookworm, outgoing, shy, highschooler, homeschooler on-your-way-to-collegegoer — there’s a website, a blog, a speaker on the internet who speaks directly to your heart via Jesus. Find them on your favorite search engine, plug in and make it part of your day.
You don’t have to stop with scripture and sermons. Download your favorite Christian tunes onto your iPod and an inspirational read onto your Kindle app, iBooks or e-reader for further immersion. My latest novel, It’s Addicting releases this week. It’s Addicting follows four college roommates and how their seemingly innocent addictions pull them away from Christ. It’s only $2.99 on Kindle or your free Kindle app LINK.
Just like at home where you had a set time of day, you need to commit to a daily date with God on the road. Do you wake up before the rest of the family or stay up past the rest of your crew – this alone time is perfect for you to hang out with Jesus. If your travels give you a little down time every day after lunch, make it then. Do you schedule a daily run? How about right before or after that workout?
But remember wherever you are, your Creator is there within your heart. He’s ready to chat, listen, comfort, encourage or just hang out whether you’re at home or on the road. Jesus wants to be your best friend wherever you go. So, even when you’re in new surroundings, you can still surround yourself with the Lord.
[reminder]Where are you traveling this summer? How do you like to incorporate your faith with your travels?[/reminder]
I believe in God. I believe in true love.
I believe if I bang hard enough on the back of my wardrobe I’ll get to Narnia someday.
I believe eating chocolate is good for you.
I believe part of my soul lives in France, part at the beach and the other part here in Oxford, Ohio, because when I go to those places I feel at home, as if I’ve always belonged.
I believe heaven will feel much the same.
I believe God created me to be the mother of my 4 kids, and to write stories He wanted to tell. My novels include the new Status Update Series, premiering with It’s Complicated, Skinny, Hot, and Angry.
Laura L. Smith is the author of It’s Complicated, It’s Over, Angry, Hot and Skinny. Smith writes about tough issues that no one wants to talk about. Things that stop a conversation at a dinner party in its tracks, or really heat it up. She writes about eating disorders and sex and divorce and alcohol and death and rape. She tackles topics so many people deal with in the dark, in their personal “closets,” alone. Smith writes to give them a voice, a sounding board, a place to start. Smith lives in the college town of Oxford, Ohio with her husband and four children. www.laurasmithauthor.com