Thursday, December 31, 2015

A New Year

A New Year

By Adebisi A.
This is the season everyone loves. Who doesn’t want to proceed to the New Year? This article is more of a challenge, yeah, Christmas. But, do this before the New Year.                     

Just sit down for a few minutes and think about 2015. The joys and sadness, as well as other
things. You find more than enough reasons you need to thank God for. So, just spare a few minutes to thank Him for the year and also for the season, without Jesus there would be no Christmas.

Psalm 118:1 Says:
Thank God for He is good and His love endures forever. (NIV) 

After doing this, start writing down your new year resolutions. If you haven’t, make sure they are realistic and achievable. If your resolutions don't work, try to figure out why they don't work. Forgive and forget all grudges before the New Year. It's so important. Enjoy the season, God Bless you!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Take a Deep Breath

Take a Deep Breath

Sarah P.
“Praise the LORD! I will thank the LORD with all my heart as I meet with His godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the LORD! All who delight in Him should ponder them. Everything He does reveals His glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails. He causes us to remember His wonderful works. How gracious and merciful is our LORD!” -Psalms 4-111:1 NLT
I’m a fan of a Christian band known as The Afters. I want to start off today by introducing some lyrics from their song “Breathe In Breathe Out,” which is one of my favorites. It goes like this:
“[I] Always think tomorrow will be better
There will come a day when I arrive
The list of everything I’ve gotta do would be a page of empty lines
I apologize…for living in the future…
Cause if happiness if always down the road, then I’m missing it today.”
How often do we live in the future? We get so caught up in our next class, our next assignment, our next meeting, our next meal, our next everything, when life is lived not in the future but in the present moment. Sometimes we just need to slow down, take a deep breath, and thank God for the amazing things around us. In this psalm, David chooses to focus on God’s greatness and glory for a few minutes out of his busy day- and he was the king of Israel! Surely we can set aside time for God in our days as well!
As teens, we tend to focus on the future. We tend to think our lives will “get better” or we’ll “arrive” when we turn eighteen, or get our driver’s license, or graduate, or start college. Yet we need to focus on appreciating what we have right now. Planning for the future is good, but we can’t get so caught up in it that we forget to be thankful for what we have. Today, that is my challenge to you: slow down, take a deep breath, and thank God for something in your life. It doesn’t have to be difficult; maybe you’re just thankful for Christmas lights, or your sweet dog, or chocolate. You might be surprised at how many things you can come up with! The point is that gratitude helps us focus on the One who gives us our lives instead of what’s down the road from here.
What are you thankful for today?

Sowing the Seed

Sowing the Seed

Rachel V.
Matthew 13:1-9
The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, and some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Recently, some friends and I were passing out flyers for a church event. We were going through an apartment complex, and since one of the friends lived in an apartment there, we took a quick break. When a car pulled up to one of the doors, we watched to see what they would do with the flyer. They got out, pulled the flyer out of the door, crumpled it up, and tossed it aside.

Now this is so discouraging, and trust me, I’ve learned from experience. We are trying so hard to please our Lord; put people don’t give us, or God, the slightest thought. They just brush us aside, and laugh at us for being zealots.

But Jesus said this would happen. In Matthew 13:1-9, He tells us about a farmer who sows some seed. Some falls on the wayside and birds eat it up. Some falls in the stony ground, and it springs up, but it withers, because the dirt is too shallow. Some falls in the thorns, and gets choked.
All that good seed on the stony, shallow, thorny, crow infested ground. I’m sure the farmer was feeling discouraged, and thinking it was a waste of his time.

But some seed fell on good, fertile, rich ground, and brought forth a whole crop! Now had the farmer gotten discouraged, and not gone out to sow seed, would he have all that food? Of course not. You won’t get anything if you don’t try.

So don’t give up sisters in Christ! Keep planting the seed, even if it doesn’t seem to bring forth a whole crop at once. God will use your faithful hearts!

1 Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Mountain Movers

Mountain Movers

By Caitlyn S.
Psalm 121:1-2 "I lift my eyes to the hills- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and earth."
When I was younger I used to think this verse meant that the Lord was in the hills. That we would literally look up and see Him.

Instead of that, I think we actually look around and we see these mountains of life- fear, insecurities, death of a loved one, or grades at school. And we ask God with a genuine doubt "Where is my help?!" That's when He whispers, "right here".

How amazing is that?! That we can question and doubt our God when the mountains seem to be closing in around us, but our God still comes to our side- A God that is shrinking and moving mountains RIGHT NOW.

Matthew 7:20 takes on this same concept with a little twist when it says "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain 'move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

So not only do we have the Lord that created the heavens and the earth on our side, we also have His power living inside of us!

I don't know about you, but I don't want to stand in front of a mountain with my knees shaking, frozen with fear, when in reality, all I have to do is say "move". I don't want to forget that the Holy Spirit that lives inside of me is stronger and more powerful than ANY force or person.

So no matter what you face today or what you find your eyes looking at in front of you. Remember His love for you can literally conquer it all.

Seek Christ

Seek Christ

Joy W.
If the duty of Christ was to come and liberate me from oppression, sorrow, fear and from the shackles of sin (Romans 5: 9): (and what is the shackle of sin? Anything that comes between God and me) and rather makes me stand upright with God, why will he instigate suffering on us in our Christian walk as we are made to believe? 
If all good things around us is sent from heaven above as the psalmist sing, what makes you think he will send the bad ones to you his child. The bible does speak of God in relation to these but not with you. He says “I know the plans I have for you…” you can continue that.   
Yes the Christian walk is not rosy, it has thorns, slippery path; we must submit ourselves to learning from these (Romans 5: 3 & 4) and that’s what God want from us, so that we become better people, to encourage others in this Life. 
Many times when we are afflicted, in trouble, hardships, oppression, when things seem crumpling down on us we tend to look for solutions to them. Crying on God and the questions we tend to ask “why me? What do I do? I want to tell you something today. When all hope is lost, you don’t know what to do, in your misery don’t find solutions, look for the man himself Look for Christ
If you have him, you have everything.

Using Etiquette When Arguing

Using Etiquette When Arguing

By Keturah L.
One of my great weaknesses is arguing. Sometimes I can hold my tongue. But a lot of the time...
It's just that when people say such "stupid, false" things or when people or ideas are "unfairly mistreated" I MUST stand up for them.
And sometimes I just look for something to argue/discuss about. :D It's just so fun. :)

So, yeah.
It has gotten me in trouble, but I've learned for the most part that I feel better if I speak my mind and what I believe is the truth and I can even have fun if I do it right :D
I have done a lot of arguing with friends ;) Everyone knows that. And normally it's more of a sport than a fight. Like anything, stuff CAN get nasty.
Thinking about it recently, I realized that when I do argue, my friends and I follow certain unspoken rules.
I'm calling these the "Etiquette Rules of Arguing."

1. It's ok to argue :D Get excited, get into it!
2. Speak your mind.
3. Never use insults in the place of logic. Never call names.
4. Listen to what the other has to say.
5. Be prepared to stand up for what you believe in and be ready to defend it.
6. Be ready to give in if you are wrong.
7. Dignity is ok, but don't be stuck-up or prideful.
8. Compliment the other person if they say something clever.
9. Laugh, but don't do it in a condescending way. Sarcasm is ok as long as you aren't making fun of the person.
10. Remember, you are arguing ideas, not each other. Don't take offense and don't offend.
11. Follow the Golden rule :) What comes around DOES go around when arguing.

One thing that does not help when arguing is pride.
Everyone has it to a degree, but sometimes I think no-one has as much of it as my family does. I mean with a last name like Lamb, who wouldn't?
It's like we think we are the chosen people, Yahweh's lambs, so we are right in everything.
But something my brother said the other day was really good. "As Lambs we aren't supposed to all be the 
Shepherd, but followers of Yahweh."

Matthew 23:8 "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren."

Arguing can become a very tricky art. If you aren't careful you will make enemies. It is always important that you give in sometimes and make the other person feel good.

Let go of your pride if its standing in the way - of course we should have just enough pride to hold on to what is TRULY right, but never allow ourselves to become self-righteous by it.
Arguing IS NOT about putting yourself above others.
It's about getting to know others in a fun way.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

How to be an Influential big Sister

How to be an Influential big Sister 

By Maryann Y.
  Hey, we’ve all been there. You have a younger sister or brother who suddenly grows up and won’t listen to your advice anymore. They used to listen to everything you said, repeat everything you said, do everything you said, and then (seemingly overnight) you no longer matter and what their friends or whoever thinks is way more important than you. Sometimes they even pretend you don’t exist, and ignore you. When this happens, how do you be that Big Sister that you hear about or see in movies? She has it all together, she and her siblings are best friends, and they follow her beck and call in a moment. Wait, what? 

   First of all, there are no perfect sibling relationships. You WILL have fights and disagreements. Second, you have the right to choose; will you fight those petty little fights, turn mountains into mole hills, and leave deep roots of bitterness in your heart? Or will you be a peacemaker and forgive and forget, overlooking the shortcomings and all in all making everyone's lives a whole lot easier? 

John 13:34 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: Just as I love you, so also you must love one another.”    Have you been quarreling or working it out and loving each other? 

My sister and I don’t get along perfectly by a long shot. She is extroverted and tomboyish, loving close cropped hair cuts and sleeping in, while I am definitely introverted, love purple, pink, and frills, have everything neat and tidy, and get up after the crack of dawn to make breakfast or hurry and finish my school work.  
We share a room, and her side is usually the natural disaster, and mine the assorted bins and frilly covers. She is loud and rambunctious and I am quiet. As you can see, pretty much opposites.  

I was to be at a loss when she hit the independence stage(and in some ways still am). At the innocent age of 6 my opinion rating in her eyes went to near zero, and I was suddenly no fun to be around. Now she’s 8, and it’s still the same. BUT there is hope for your relationship! 

 I have found ways to spend time with her doing what she loves to do. I taught myself to do cartwheels (after nearly breaking my neck) for the sole reason of knowing she wanted to learn. I read The Bobbsey Twins books to her and let her stay up a bit late so she can color all over some random piece of paper before we flip the light off. Find something she (or he) loves doing and even if you don’t necessarily enjoy it. Overcome the fear of water slides and chemistry, or the so called ‘boringness’ of hikes and MineCraft to spend quality time with them. Think of funny jokes they would like, or really, do with them anything they like doing, and teach them things through it. 
 And when disaster does strike, and you have that fight, don’t escalate it. See how you have erred and apologize. Tell them you’re sorry and make a comprimise 

I would like to suggest a book to you; it’s called ‘Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends: How to fight the GOOD Fight at Home!’ I love this book! It is so funny and I identify with it so much!  It was written by three young siblings (21, 16, and 12 if I remember correctly) who had this problem.  I would seriously recommend this! Really! 

Final thought: Put what they want first; allow them to tell the big news first, and get that joke in. Let them pick the movie and choose dinner, JUST put them first. It won’t go unnoticed. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Breaking Through Social Media

Breaking Through Social Media

By Kaitlyn F.
As we all know, the media is powerful in the world that we live in. With a click of a button, we can send a message for the whole world to see, whether it be a positive or a negative message. Now if we were able to categorize all the media into two categories, positive and negative, it would most defiantly seem that there would be a ton more negative than positive. On the news majority of the stories are negative, the stories that are found on social media are negative, the conversations on the radio can be negative, etc. It is very easily to get depressed because everything seems to be going wrong in the world because that is all we focus on. But we can change that. 
God called us to be the salt to the Earth and a light in the darkness. (Matthew 5:13-16) One way that we can do that is by infiltrating the media with positive messages, and positive stories. In my eyes the media is one big black whole, and we need to place little glimmers of light in it, to help people see that there is more to life than just all the bad that is happening. This could be as simple as putting an encouraging Bible verse up on social media, or writing encouraging words to a friend who may be going through a hard time. You can start a blog, or create a website that is uplifting just to name a few. There are so many things that we could do, and as being teens, we are the ones who are best equip with the ways to use social media that we can do more than an average adult could, and we can reach more people our age with encouragement. God gave each of us a set of gifts and resources and we can each use our special gifts to reach a multitude of people. 

So I challenge everyone who is reading this to change the things we put on social media to something that will bring light into the darkness, and give hope and encouragement to those on social media.

Friday, November 13, 2015

A Letter to a Persecuted Christian

By Rachel J.
I have  realized how privileged I am. The other day as I was looking at blog stats, I realized that I have viewers from a country in which it is illegal to be a Christian. 

This blows my mind, and I am so honored by this. 

The person reading this text could be put in jail for what they believe— perhaps because of my blog. A blog written by a 16 year old who honestly doesn’t know what she’s doing. I am so amazed, honored and scared for your lives. 

As I was realizing this and just praying over this person/people I decided that I wanted to write something to you. Because people who stand for the Gospel--perhaps even to the death—are honestly my heroes. You guys are amazing to me. 

 I was thinking and praying about this. What do you say to someone who could lose their life because of what you believe? 

I guess I would start with thank you. Thank you for bearing witness to the name of Jesus even when it’s hard. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for making that stand. Thank you for being an example of what it means to stand strong. That's amazing. Thank you so much. 

Secondly I want to say something to encourage you. Something that kind of sounds like, “Stand strong because in the long run it’s so worth it.” 

I’ve never been in that situation, and I have no clue what it would be like. To be honest, the very thought of police showing up at the door and to be like, ‘Are you a Christian?’ then to say ‘Yes’ even though you know what it means? 


Keep standing strong you guys. Keep being that light and keep holding onto hope. I can only imagine how hard that would even be, but keep the faith. Paul talks about running the race until the completion, and you can do that-- but only through Christ who will give you both strength and the words to say at the right time.  

Jesus says that in this world there will be trouble, and you guys are at the very soul of that. But he also says to take heart, because he has overcome the world. He is holding you close through it all. 

He will be right there with you through the trials and the pain of the world. Just trust and believe that.  

I’m praying for you and I hope to meet you someday.  

Until then, your sister in Christ, 

~Rachel Joy 

“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as it loves its own. But I have chosen you out of the world, so you don’t belong to it. That is why the world hates you.” ~John 15:18


Bible Gateway Blogger Grid member badge