Friday, March 28, 2014

Relationship not Religion

Relationship not Religion 

By Leah F.
My old Sunday School teacher kept saying that Christianity is a "relationship not religion." 
But what does that mean? In most other religions, the followers fear their god, seeing it 
as a hateful figure that wants to destroy them. But according to our Bible, even though 
our God is just, but he is loving and kind. One of the 10 Commandments is remembering
 the Sabbath day, and keep it holy; but what does "keeping it holy" mean? Does it mean 
to make sure not to to any work, like the Pharisees thought? No! It means to praise God 
that day and BE with him! God wants YOU to spend time with him. I was reading articles 
on this subject, and this quote stuck out to me. “The difference between Christianity and 
every other faith in the world is that all other religions are about man trying to reach up to 
God. Christianity is about God reaching down to man.” Do you understand what this is 
saying? It's saying that normally, religion is man trying to make their god happy, trying to 
make it so their god doesn't strike them down dead. But with our religion, God is trying
to get to us. He wants us to feel his love, and he wants us to love him. Pastor Mark 
Driscoll says,
 "Religion is about what man has to DO to be right with God. Christianity is about what 
God has already DONE to provide us the opportunity to be right with Him. Religion says 
you must EARN your salvation by doing good deeds or certain acts and not doing evil. 
Christianity says all we need to do is BELIEVE that Christ has already paid the price for 
the evil we have done. 

 John 3:16
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son. That whoever believes 
in him; shall not perish, but have eternal life."

This quote and this verse show how God loves us so much, that He shows it. He gave 
up His beloved son, and He let us kill Him. He took away our sins, and now we can live 
with Him for eternity. If He didn't want us with Him, He could just snap His fingers and 
everything would just stop existing. But NO! God wants you to be with Him, and it 
causes Him grief when we forsake or forget Him. He wants you to love Him, so that you 
can be with Him. I hope that after reading this, that you pray to God, and ask Him to help
 you with your relationship with him. Ask Him to help you love Him, and to help others 
love Him as well. 

Websites I used/cited:

What God Says About Anger

What God Says About Anger

By Beatrix C. 
Recently my mother has withdrawn me from my current school and decided 
that I'm to be home schooled.I don't mind that, and I'm actually happy she did.
I wanted to tell everyone, but Mom said to wait. Well, if she didn't think I was
going to at least tell my BFFL (Best Friend For Life), she's crazy. So I told her.
I also had a game coming up - a soccer game, and my team’s first game. 
Well, I wondered if I could at least play that game, so I asked my friend to 
explain to the coach why I wouldn't be at practice anymore, and if I could play 
that one game. And my friend told her not to tell anyone else. Well, she turned
around and told the ENTIRE team! Cat's out of the bag, you could say. She 
also asked my mom about it. So my mom, in turn, got mad at me for telling my 
friend, who told the teacher. That made me mad; I was furious. Coach had 
broken my trust and blew it! So I sent her an angry text on how I didn't 
appreciate the fact that she told the entire team, and that I was going to tell 
them on Friday. The point is that the text I sent was really, really rude. I also 
got my friend in the middle of it. My friend told her mom, and her mom said 
she should apologize to my mom for telling the teacher and that she should 
have just let me tell coach and that she can be blamed. I immediately felt 
awful. I sent her mom an apology text about getting my friend into all of it. She
found what I did understandable because she had done it once or twice. Then 
she sent me a verse. 

James 1:19-21
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to 
listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not
produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth 
and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, 
which can save you.”

That verse really got to me. And lots of guilt slammed on my shoulders. I sent 
Coach another text. This time it was an apology. And that the words that I had 
sent to her were out of anger. I then sent a text to my Mom, apologizing for 
telling my friend, and for not getting her permission first to do so. And everything
was fine between my friend’s and my mothers. Coach hasn't said anything so I 
wonder....The lesson here, girls, is that we should be slow to anger. For when 
we are angry, we often do not have much thought into our next actions. Learn 
from my mistakes. Don't repeat them. They will only make life worse.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Growing in Grace: The Good, The Bad, and The Barbie, By Kate G.

Growing in Grace: The Good, The Bad, and The Barbie, By Kate G.

Short on time today? Head on down to the bottom of the post for a video that condenses some of the things I’m mentioning today.  But otherwise, lets continue on: 

Did you grow up playing with Barbie dolls? You know, those little, perfect figurine-type hunk of plastics…

Barbie’s, simply put, set impossible, unrealistic standards. One of the websites I was looking at said it well: This children’s toy was first debut in 1959, and she was the ideal role model for all girls, or so it seemed. She was perfectly skinny, had a perfect boyfriend and family, perfect hair, perfect house, perfectly… perfect. Yet how was this perfect doll impacting the millions of young girls (older girls, too!) who were playing with her?

This is the clear effects: It’s estimated that 8 million people in the United States has an eating disorder, and only 10-15% of them are male. Which leaves the 85- 90% of them to be female. And 80% of those females are under the age of 20.

How? you ask. Why? Well, besides the point that no real lady (2014 – 1959 = 55) in her fifties should look that young, with perfect skin, not a single blemish at all, it’s important to note that the figurines have horribly wrong proportions!

People argue over whether her life-size body would 5’ 6” or the extreme 6’ 8”, but let’s face it, when you add in her weight- the “Slumber Party Barbie” came complete with a bathroom scale permanently set at 110 pounds- she is significantly underweight.

Just look at her: Her larger head rest  on a neck twice as long and six inches thinner. Her 16-inch waist,  thinner than her head, wouldn’t give room for her organs. And like her fragile 3.5 inch wrists, her 6-inch ankles and child shoe-size 3 feet, would prevent her from standing….It'd be an entirely impossible feat requiring her to walk on all fours, her head, as a real woman, would be impossible to lift. (You can see more comparison data here.)

You see, neither normal folk, models, or anorexics can have a body that set at “Barbie Standards”, you wouldn’t even want one. The ones that seem to be, as in media, are photo-shopped and fake!

 You can refer also here to see biblical scriptures on the topic.

And finally, here you are with a question and that video I mentioned: What messages did/does Barbie send to you?

Thank you, Kate for guest writing for us today! Check out Kate's site, Growing in Grace! 

Have a great first week of Spring!

Waiting With Jesus

Waiting with Jesus 

 By Sarah P.

 Patience is not a popular concept. When we’re confronted by anything that causes us to wait, we become angry. We fume. We tap our fingers impatiently. We groan about how we have to suffer through not being able to perform whatever task as soon as we would like. The world does not recognize the value of patience. You can see that in everything from instant messaging to instant microwave pizza. We all seem to have lost the perspective that patience is a virtue.

 As godly young women, what should we do when we’re forced to wait? James 1:2-4 (NKJV) says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” 

Count it all joy. That’s not exactly the easiest response to forced waiting. It definitely seems like waiting is the “testing of our faith,” when we start to become impatient! Yet, with Jesus, we can be patient. We can “count it all joy” and let patience perform its work in our lives. 

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” 

-Galatians 5:22-23, NLT (To see what the work of our sinful natures produces in our lives, check out Galatians 5:19-21. It’s really bad; a direct contrast to the fruit of the Spirit!)

 You see, perfect patience is completely impossible without the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. With Jesus, we can always choose patience. Now, do we always? No, we usually choose impatience as the easiest response. Yet through the power of the Spirit, we can overcome the sinful desires of our old selves: even impatience! Luke 1:37, “For nothing is impossible with God.” So when you’re forced to wait, remember to choose patience! Choose to count it as joy and wait cheerfully with Jesus.

Friday, March 14, 2014



By Kaitlyn F.

We all go to church just to check it off our to-do list. We go once a week, and we call it good. But what if
church is a place not to just go to but to connect with other Christians in an act of fellowship. Fellowship is a group of people gathering to share a common interest. But God made fellowship to be more than that. 

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
”We are to encourage each other in our walk with God. Going to school, and hanging with friends, and doing 
homework just drains a person. Church is a place where you can go to fill up with God’s love so that you may pour
out God’s love during the week to people who need it. Church isn’t something that you just do, but something that
 you can use to fill up with God’s love and to fill up with encouragement from your friends.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Godly Girls, By Emily M.

Godly Girls

By Emily M.

I love the title of the group "Godly Girls." I pray often that the ladies here may take being a godly girl seriously, because it is usually the hardest thing to remain that way.

I have witnessed the gradual dying of a young man because of the choices he decided to make when he was still young. It is true most often people will use the Bible to their own disadvantage by quoting it erroneously. In this case, they look at such verses as enjoy your youth, and then they forget to read the rest of the verses. (See Ecclesiastes 11:9, for example - "Young people, it's wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do." (NLT version))

I have witnessed the gradual wasting of a young man. He can't move; he can't eat without help, and now has to use a diaper. It kills me inside to know that despite the many times we preach this gospel of put God, first it seems to fall on deaf ears. You only get to live once. The secret here is to live without regrets. Love is not a bad thing, and you can love responsibly without giving up your God given right to make right choices.

Men come in all shapes and sizes, even speaking of their character, and that is why we are required to pray about God guiding our steps even in that direction and giving the burden of looking for "Mr. Right" to Him. He comes through. I know He did for  me. He can for you, too. it is clearly stated that the wages of sin is death, and eventually we reap what we sow. (Romans 6:23) What kind of wages are you looking for? What kind of harvest do you want? So when you choose to love, dont rush into things. Sometimes that can be a real life saver. If you can't control it then take it to God one step at a time.

Courage, By Leah F.


By Leah F.

Courage. Strong word isn't it? Lots of people had courage; Martin Luther King Jr., Martin Luther, Paul, and Peter to name a few. But sometimes people don't have courage; take the lion from "The Wizard of Oz" for example. ;) But a question for all of us is; do you have courage?

2 Chronicles 15:7 says, "But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded." This verse should help you be courageous, because it shows the outcome of your actions. It shows if you keep courageous, you will be rewarded. Now I don't know about you, but I like to be rewarded.  Joshua 1:9 says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified and do not be discouraged, for The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." This verse shows you another view on courage, because it gives you a reason. It tells you WHY you should be courageous; because God is with you. Just his presence should keep you body clean of fear. God doesn't waver to stop helping you, and you will feel his  presence with you even more if you stay courageous.  This verse is even basically repeated throughout the Bible. God tells his people not to be frightened or dismayed because he will provide, and that promise hasn't been lifted!

Everyone suffers from lack or courage. On March 16, I'm singing/playing the offertory at church, and it will be the first time that I sing in public by myself. It's hard for me to even just sing in front of my parents, and so I'm worried that I will go and do awful or lose my voice. But these two verses help me because they show me how God will he there and help me get through whatever my problem is.
I hope these verses help you with your "courageous acts," but if you want prayer or advice, either comment on this devotion or private message me on the forums @leahjoy. I would love to pray for you, and I hope that you find courage in the next week, till the end of the year!


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