Friday, September 25, 2015

I'm in Love

I’m in love

By Rachel S.
You know how they say that when you’re in love there are star sparkles on your eyes and all that jazz, well… it’s totally true.

It’s amazing.

Every morning I wake up just looking for the person I’m in love with, and he’s in everything. Everyone I see, the pumpkin spice muffins, and my coffee, it all reminds me of the person I’m in love with.

It’s hopeless. Don’t try and talk me out of it. I have on the rose coloured glasses, and I totally adore every moment of it.

I know, I’m a hopeless romantic, but I know that my lover loves me too! We have longwinded conversations, and He is with me all the time.

He’s a painter. And an architect. And a potter. He also enjoys shepherding and cow herding. (The irony of my family teasing me about a cowboy…) He’s also a very strong abolitionist and loves people.

He’s basically fabulous.

When I’m sad, he holds me tight, and he is with me in scary situations.

He’s really strong and mighty too. Like… yeah.

(Can I just say I feel like such a tween right now.)

Oh? You want to know who this fabulous person is?

You can read all about him, in this amazing book that he ordained, and his name is Jesus.
You know how I know that he loves me? Because he offered himself for me on the cross, so that I can be free indeed through him.


I’ve been finding myself falling in love with all that God is. How strong and mighty he is. How sovereign he is, sinking deeper into his loving embrace.

I am so in love with Jesus.

I’m not sure when that happened, but I just… I feel like He’s walking right here next to me, and that he loves me sooo much!

I know that I haven’t always felt like that. I have had days when I felt like I was a failure and like I wasn’t worthy of God’s love.

But I now see. I was never too far from his Grace.

And I’m swept up in the power of his Love.

All that time I thought I was falling into an abyss, I was really falling into his never ending love!
And I’m so in love with all that He is.

Loving God means obeying his commands. And God’s commands are not too hard for us, because everyone who is a child of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world—our faith.” – 1 John 5:3

~Rachel Joy

See you at the Pole

See you at the Pole

By Beatrix C.
Tuesday afternoon, after school, I was walking down to the area where my dad picks me up. At the corner of where I turned right, was a lady who had papers in her hand. She smiled at me and handed me a paper while explaining to me that there were free drinks and snacks a little ways ahead. I really wasn't paying attention because I was fascinated by her British accent, but after I got over it, I examined the paper she had given me. It was about a Bible study that was being held at the small church there in the lot. As I came closer, I could hear Christian music being blasted from some speakers. I looked up from the paper to see a few tables set up in front of the church. A man greeted me with a smile and offered me a snack and drink. I accepted with a smile on my face. I sat down and munched on my snacks while other students made their way over. Sitting there, I overhead one of the adults talking to another student. It was about See You at The Pole. I had heard about this in Sunday school just days ago. My curiosity was piqued. When the man was done talking with the student, I asked him about it. He explained to me that the CIA (Christ In Action) club was going to meet at 6:45 the next morning for the international pray around the pole. Now, I was very curious as I had heard about the CIA club that my high school had. 
So I told my dad about it and he was on board. The next day (Wednesday), we woke up right at the crack of dawn and got to school by 6:30. It was really cool! Quite a few kids showed up, a few teachers, and my dad decided he wanted to do it with us. We all gathered in a circle, held hands, and prayed about the school and our country amongst other things. I leaned that this year was the 25th anniversary since it had been started all those years ago by 10 students. Later today, I learned that when my dad went over to my younger siblings' school and my dad mentioned it. My siblings' school the had their first pray around the pole.
I thought this was really cool and wanted to share this with y'all. If you don't have this at your school, or this is the first you've heard of it, why don't you go start it at your school next year? Get it going. It's an experience you wouldn't want to miss. c:

Friday, September 18, 2015

Every Once in Awhile Something Shocks Me

Every once in a while something shocks me

By Hillary Beth Koenig
I remember the 4th grade. I naturally had assumed that I knew of every cuss word that there was, not that I used them, but I thought I'd at least heard them and vaguely knew what they meant. Nope, that was the year I heard the F-word the first time, and had to ask what it meant. I was pretty much appalled.
Then there was this year. I knew there were dating sites and hook up sites of all shapes and sizes, but I didn't know that there was one specifically geared to encouraging and enabling affairs. Yes, I consider that a whole new level of so-wrong.
But what do I find more appalling?
That so many people would believe the lies that Christian women are uneducated, thoughtlessly submitting to a life of being a "proper" wife and mother, according to others' standards, incapable of supporting herself if need be, and above all, that they, too have bought the lies that purity is simply a woman saving sex for her husband.
First of all, I'm a Christian. I'm now a mother and a wife. I currently have multiple writing and editing projects due this week totaling several hundred dollars. The semester before my husband married me, I worked up to 63 hours a week in several part time jobs, and took 15 credit hours' worth of classes. While he was away with the military, I obtained a great job at an IT firm and couldn't wait to tell him about it - even though I was so nervous going to the interview that I would have given anything for his hug prior to it.
I will be taking care of myself and my child for the better part of the next year alone, because that's what happens in the military life. And that doesn't really faze me. I'll be an Awana leader for a bunch of tweens, sing on the praise team at Bible study, and show up to practices and set ups. I'll probably travel the country to see friends and family, and celebrate Christmas and birthdays without him.
I share all of this to answer a certain woman whose post has gone viral. She wrote a catch phrase, a bunch of people read it and said to themselves, “I like that!” and they didn’t stop once to think about what they were saying.
You can say, "'raise them to breathe fire,” all you want. But when the trials come, most of us are complaining about how "life should be fair," "I deserve more," and other nonsense. What's fair? And why do we all think things should be handed to us?
Trials make fire breathers. Not going with the flow makes fire breathers.

Now let me go back a different direction.
The writer asserts that women have purity standards imposed on them.
I will tell you - I chose my own standards. I was presented morals, viewpoints, rules, and truth as a child - along with lies, urges to do what I felt like, and peer pressure. But most of all, I was raised to think for myself and ultimately I made the choices to be a woman who followed God. That includes doing sex the way God intended - one man, one woman.
I married a man who waited for me. I waited for him. It took a lot of patience and some guts to explain to my coworkers at the writing center where I worked what my purity ring meant. The guy and the girl both said they'd never met a single person in their life before who had actually waited. I felt sad.
There's not a chaste and proper wife rule. It's a free to love wholeheartedly, free from guilt and shame, free from drama and tough consequences, free to be passionate and yourself thing to have sex with your spouse and your spouse alone. He was my first kiss. I was his first kiss. And the only reason that's hard to talk about, is because that's not something that happens a lot. 
I risk heaping more guilt. That's why people attack Christians who choose to do sex God's way. I don’t want you to feel guilty – I want you to be free. The truth of God’s word sets us free, and what Jesus did on the cross makes us pure, no matter what the sin.

In high school, I wasn’t caught up in drama. I was starting GGFG!
When you stay true to one person, you don’t deal with the drama, pain, and consequences of having had intimate relationships with many.
It may seem silly, but, I don't have to:
  • wonder if my husband has other, even unknown to him children out there
  • wonder if an old ex will pop up and cause sexual tension
  • explain to a child that they have siblings that are his, mine, and ours
  • feel ashamed of anything I did prior to marriage when talking to my kids about my past
Other people have asked if this was a first child for both of us. They assumed my husband may have had other kids with other women before me. Or, that I had a child that doesn’t live with us.

You’re not there yet. You’re a teen. But the choices you make now have consequences that last into adulthood. Choose to do things God’s way!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Willing to Pay

Willing to Pay 

By Emily M., additions by Hillary Beth Koenig 

I was reading a book by Max Lucado and one of the headings was ....wait for it......WHAT IS YOUR PRICE?  It momentarily caught me off guard. What is my price? For what exactly? And I began to think. We are in this life temporarily, just like being on a stage. Our ultimate goal is to be in Heaven with our Father. But on a daily basis, we have choices to make.  
Are we willing to pay the price? What is more important, that backstreet abortion because you could not obey your parents, the bad mix with drugs because you were willing to sacrifice every good sense for a momentary high? Perhaps you think those are harsh examples. But who says that except for grace, one choice might lead to another, and you could be at just such a pivotal place of decision in your own life. What price are we willing to pay? 
Now, it is easier to make my decision. I would rather be on God's side. His gifts of obedience cannot be compared with anything on this earth. Sometimes it's painful to give up temporary pleasures, but in the end, He will look at you and describe you as a good and faithful servant.

How do you see Me

How do you see Me?

Samantha W.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 NIV

The above verse is a reminder that none of us are just skin deep. Yet outward appearance doesn’t stop with the physical makeup of someone. Appearance, simply termed, is how others view us.

We see people as pretty, sweet, rude, or self-centered, etc. We form opinions by the way they look and act. And, more often than not, we judge them by these opinions.

A good example in the Bible is Jonah. When he begrudgingly preached to Nineveh, God used him to save the entire city.

God was pleased. Jonah wasn’t.

How did he see them? As the dirty, thieving, wicked people they were. The city teemed with murderers, cutthroats, adulterers…you get the picture. Why should they be given the same grace as Jonah, who’d always been one of God’s chosen people?

But how did God see the Ninevites? Though the people were indeed wicked and sinning, God looked past it, and saw hearts that bled and had need of a savior. In his love, he didn’t measure their worth in the way they dressed, lived, or acted. He looked deeper—at the heart.

Today, He does the same with us. It’s a good thing; otherwise, none of us could be saved. For we all have fallen short.

We can’t see the pain and scars hidden in others like God does. We never know what is inside people, but we can choose to look past their offenses. We can choose to turn the other cheek and not judge by outward appearance. We can choose to love as God loves. Having received such grace ourselves, isn’t that one of the greatest things we could give in return?



Stariana W.

            How many times do we stop a day to count our blessings? Or how many times do we even stop to think how blessed we are? In our world we are often too busy to do this. But how long does it really take to consider them? Just to stop and praise God for our good fortune takes a minute. But do we have a minute? Or if we do, do we take that time?

            “Someone is praying for the blessings we take for granted.” –Unknown. When I read this quote, it hit me hard. I had never thought about that. But as I got to thinking about it more, I realized this is so true. I began thinking about blessings that I had that some people don’t have and how I complain about them, never stopping to think about how I would feel without them. I admitted to myself, much as I hated too, that I had been completely and totally selfish.

            An example would be my hair. I have waist-length curly, wavy hair.  And for those that have curly hair, you know it often becomes frizzy and messy in the humid weather.  I’m a neat freak about my hair. I like it flawless. And with curly hair in humid weather that is often very difficult. I complain a lot about it and often wish for straight hair. But what if I didn’t have hair? How would I feel then? I should be grateful for what I have, not what I would rather have.

            Gratitude is an important part of our blessing also. God likes us to be grateful. Without gratitude we soon become spoiled and want things we can’t or shouldn’t have.  It’s human nature to want things and not be grateful, but gratitude is a very important part of our life. Why? Because without it, we no longer appreciate what we have, we just want more.

            In conclusion, we should stop and consider our blessings and thank God, every day for them.  We should always keep in mind that people around the world are praying for what we take for granted.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

I Thessalonians 5:19 (KJV)


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