Recommitment

imageSome people believe in the ‘age of accountability.’ Essentially, this means that, until a certain age (most say twelve or thirteen), children are not accountable for their actions as they are not old enough to choose Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

This way, infants – especially those who died before birth due to miscarriage or abortion – would be able to get to heaven despite the fact that they never became Christians in the traditional sense of believing in Jesus, etc.

However, this idea doesn’t really make sense to me. I want it to be true … but children choose to be the little brats they are (’cause I know I did! Do, actually … I’m not past being a little brat … only now I’m a big brat … and pretty soon I’ll be adult brat … it’s really not cool!) it’s not mentioned in the Bible. It says in Psalm 51:5 –

“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

Obviously from this verse (which can be taken literally … I think all the Psalms can, actually. *holds opinion stubbornly*), we’re sinners from the moment of conception … how can babies get into heaven unless they’re washed by God’s blood? And unless they believe (and I think we’ll all agree that babies can’t really choose God), how can we receive God’s gift of grace?

It’s very confusing, and I’ve yet to have anyone give me a straightforward answer to it. I only believe in God’s incredible grace and mercy and know that He wouldn’t let a little baby go to hell.

bible-1806079_960_720However, regardless of the existence of the ‘age of accountability’ or not, you’ll notice that growing up in Christian homes can breed a sort of a ‘I’m good’ attitude.

You know what I mean (whether this applies to you personally or not). Ever since you were four you’ve been a Christian. You’ve gone to church all your life. All your family and friends are Christian. You’re surrounded by light. You’re good.

Well, we know that’s not true. Growing up in a Christian family doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to church does! Sure, it helps (sometimes … unless you’re rebellious … like me) … but it doesn’t automatically write you in God’s book of good little children. (I know y’all know this … but it needs stated again and again!)

And then there’s that commitment to God you made when you were four. I’m not saying it’s no longer legitimate … but, well, you’re growing up, and, if you were honest, could you say you really own it?

When you were four, life was so simple, remember? Sleep, eat, play, eat, play, eat, sleep in that order. except on Christmas morning when it was more like “wake up at three, try to sleep, wake up at three ten, try to sleep, wake up at three fifteen …” etc. And Jesus was just a fact you accepted.

But sometimes it’s good to question things. It leads to answers, and if you look hard enough, you’ll always find ones that prove time and again that God’s really alive and He’s really the good Father everyone says He is.

There comes a time in every girl who was raised in a Christian family when the faith that your mother and father believe in needs to become the faith you believe in, in a bigger way than you did when you were four. unless you’re Elsie Dinsmore. Hey, that rhymed!

For me, I think I was pretty much in the ‘I’m good’ attitude until a couple years back when I started making Christianity my own. I even got re-baptized. It wasn’t something that happened all of the sudden, of course. It happened slowly, over a period of several years, and I’m still a baby in Christ, but … well, I’m working on it. It’s a slow process, all right?! What? Only for me. Hmm …

So, do you need to recommit to God?

Are you relying on your parents’ faith to save you? Are you just going through the motions or are you seriously involved in worship, in serving your Lord? At your church? At home? At school? Everywhere? Do you really have a personal relationship with God, a relationship all your own that no one can take away from you?

Everyone learns a different way, but here are some things that I’ve done to [try to] form a more personal relationship with God (although … yeah … I’ve yet to find out if they actually work … so bear with me! 😉 ).

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  1. Pray. Always #1! Prayer is so important! Trust me; your prayers are always answered. Sometimes the answer isn’t one you want (“no” or “wait” aren’t always the best words to hear!) … but then, quite honestly, what you want isn’t really the priority … it’s what you need. Recently I started keeping a ‘prayer journal.’ I don’t write my prayers in it (that would take waaay too long), but I write certain prayer requests, lists of people I want to pray for, bits of my thoughts, and a list of ‘praises’ (because it’s important to look at the positive side of praying, too! It can get depressing sometimes! :/ ).bible-1136784_960_720
  2. Read God’s word. Reading the Bible is probably #2. Make sure you get some in every day! I try to do a chapter every evening. Some people are more dedicated (I’m reading a short story – or would be in I didn’t keep getting distracted by NaNoWriMo – in which a girl is trying to read 20 chapters every day!), but a chapter every day is a good goal for me. I’m reading through Psalms right now. Although … I skip around a lot. Some days I’m like, “Ooh, Ruth looks good!” and other days I’m like, “Oh, John! I always liked John …” Yeah … well, at least I’m reading it … in random bits and pieces … 😛team-386673_960_720
  3. Spend time with other Christians. ‘Fellowshipping,’ in other words. So important. There are so many chapters in the book of Proverbs about choosing your friends wisely. I’m not saying don’t talk to non-Christians (do! How else can you share the truth?). I’m just saying you also need to spend a lot of time with fellow Christians. And I don’t mean at a Bible study (although you could do that, too, I suppose) or anything like that. Just hanging out – watching a movie, chatting about boys (if you’re *cough cough* so inclined … I’m not, usually) or your latest novel (if you’re me) or … singing Taylor Swift songs drastically out of key. You know, whatever you do with your friends. We, personally (if you can use that word to describe more than one person), dive into creeks in freezing cold weather or play violent games on trampolines. Christians, with Jesus’ awesomeness shining through them, are the lights of world. You need to be around that light to nurture your own.fantasy-181304_960_720
  4. Study historical and scientific proof of Christianity/Creationism. I don’t know how anyone could see the strong evidence that evolution is impossible and that events of the Bible actually happened (miraculously so!) and ignore it. It’s absolutely unbelievable how pig-headed people are! XD Really, though, do it! Besides, you can tell your mom (if you’re homeschooled) that it’s for school. And you’ll be smart. And a better Christian. And math isn’t really necessary. You can ditch math. It’ll work. Trust me. Riiiiiiight.

Well, that’s all I have to say today. That may not have been a very impressive post, but I tried my best.

Until December (when you’ll have to put up with me again),

stars

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7 Ways to Show Gratefulness on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is only two days away, and for most of us that means turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, fun times with relatives, and Black Friday!  Of course this is all well and good, but it appears that more and more people are forgetting what the holiday is all about; being grateful for God’s blessings on us, and for The Ultimate Sacrifice on Calvary.

I’ve put together a list of 7 ways you can show an attitude of gratitude this Thanksgiving!

Send a group text to your friends

Hop on over to your fave editing site(I love Canva), and edit a pretty fall photo with the words “I’m thankful for you”, or something to that effect.  Show your besties some love!!  After all, they are pretty amazing. ;D

Be a turkey on a platter

Ok, not literally, lol!  Though you may feel like one after Thanksgiving dinner! XP Have you ever heard of Elf on the Shelf?  Well, this is a Thanksgiving version!  Instead of going around like the Elf and making mischief and messes for your parents to clean up, sneak around the house and clean things up when your parents aren’t watching!  This will be an awesome way to show your parents how much you appreciate all they do for you-especially when those Thanksgiving dishes disappear or the guest bed room is suddenly spotless! 😀

Make a list of the things you’re thankful for

Make a list of the things you’re thankful for(physical, spiritual, etc.).  This will be a great way to “count your blessings”!

Make a Thanksgiving playlist

Look back over your list of spiritual things you are thankful for, and make a playlist of praise songs that include those things!  Are you thankful for the Ultimate Sacrifice(check out Forever by Kari Jobe)?  How about the promise that God will always work things out for our good(Blessings by Laura Story)?  Or maybe you’re thankful for God’s care and hand of protection on your life(Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin)?  I’m sure there is a song out there for everything you are thankful for!!

Be a tree of thankfulness

Be a tree of thankfulness and spread some leaves of gratitude!  Use a template or stencil of a leaf to make some out of festive scrap-booking/craft paper.  Then write little notes on them for your family and friends telling them why you are thankful for them, and put them in places where they are sure to find them!  These little notes will make their day. 🙂

Help the less fortunate

There are SO SO SO SO SOOO many people in the world who’s lives will never be near as plentiful as even the poorest of our country.  Through a non-profit organization like Samaritan’s Purse or World Vision, you can donate money to give water, food, clothing, farm animals, seeds, medical supplies, etc. to those in need.  What an impact we can make in others’ lives!

SMILE

Sometimes the best way we can show a grateful spirit is just to smile!  People are hurting.  People who have lost all hope of a better tomorrow and a bright future-especially on account of all the emotional turmoil going on in our country right now.  Most don’t see a need or a reason to smile.  When they see your happy face and a heart overflowing with gratefulness, it will give them cause to wonder what the source of your joy is.  It may not seem like much, but you never know how far the simplest things in life can go! 🙂

I for one am SO grateful to have the opportunity to get to know and hopefully be able to encourage you all in your spiritual journeys, and also for the greatest blessing…a Heavenly Father who loves us all so very much! 🙂

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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God for President?

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Today millions of American have to choose between two presidential candidates.

One is Delilah in her trickiest form.

The other is a bull-headed Samson.

That’s a hard choice, and I won’t even try to tell you which one is better. This is one of the most debated elections in the history of the USA, and I think I’ll stay out of it, especially since I can’t vote. 😛

Secular audiences seem to be of the opinion that if Clinton or Trump (whomever is their favorite) is chosen, America is going to become ‘great’ again. Because man is going up, up, up! (Ha!)

But that leads to the supposition that America was once great before.

Let’s think. When was America great? Most would say it was pretty good when the US first started up, back in the late 1700s. They might say it was greatest in the 1940s, the 1910s, or some point during the 1800s. Some point back to the 1950s as the ‘good old days.’

I don’t have a personal opinion about this, though as a general rule, I say that if it was before 1960, America was doing pretty good.

What did all those eras have in common? I find these three is most (because Sin is always there, but generally) every movie and book written pre-1960.

  1. Respect for elders. The teachings of those who came before us were never ignored. As the teachings of God are a big part of the teachings of those who came before us (especially in American history), the teachings of God were respected and oftentimes believed and, furthermore, OWNED.
  2. Respect for morality. What was right and wrong was never debated. It just wasn’t, and most of it (if not all) was Biblical (based on God’s word). I’ve never watched a movie made during the 1940s (or 1930s) that didn’t give me a good feeling inside because they were just so clean! Even if the subject-matter was slightly depressing (such as a war story or something like that), there was a respect for morality – for the right thing triumphing – and this made the movie somehow happy. This doesn’t mean they were all perfectly free of bad stuff. It just means that the bad stuff was treated as bad, and, though probably less importantly, it was handled classily. But … yep, that’s another conversation entirely.
  3. Respect of [or belief in] God. The other two points were basically another name for this one. God was respected, His rules were respected, and America served Him. You’ll hear a million stories about men fighting during WW2 who stopped and prayed before a battle. They weren’t scorned or thought to be odd; they were accepted, respected, and joined.

I’m not saying that everyone was a Christian. I’m saying that Christianity in one form or another was the accepted religion, and its laws were the ones that were followed.

Yes, yes, we’ve made many technical advancements and a lot of things that used to be okay (like not letting people of certain races have the same privileges) have been changed … but America is no longer great. It’s a good IDEA, but it’s ceased to be put into ACTION.

God made America great.

Now, hold it a minute, you say. America hasn’t been God-driven in forever!

Well, it hasn’t been great in forever! This isn’t a recent thing! We’ve been going downhill for forever!

So if we really want America to be great, there needs to be a revival of Christianity in a big way. A similar revival to the one found in Acts, perhaps:

“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” (2:41)

“And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (2:47)

“However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men [not counting women and children in some translations] came to be about five thousand.” (4:4)

“And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” (5:42)

That’s some pretty huge growth! Think about it. Thousands upon thousands of people are being saved in a space of weeks – or days, even. I argue that that can happen again. Why can’t it? We have the Holy Spirit; God’s still alive and working in this world in big ways. Yes, there were eye-witness accounts, but we still have them in the Bible.
Maybe people are more skeptical now than they were around the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. They have other ways for the existence of the world, other explanations for things ‘supposedly’ God-ordained, but God is all-powerful.
There can always be a revival. This isn’t the end of the world.

Only God can make America great again. 

So no matter who is elected today, we know that …
  1. God is in control and …
  2. Only HE can make America great again.

Thanks for reading,

stars

Are You Overly Obsessing?

The definition of obsessing according to Google is this:

[To] Preoccupy or fill the mind of (someone) continually, intrusively, and to a troubling extent:

Obsession in relationships is so common these days.  Even to the point of people being overly obsessive.  Most think obsession is fairly innocent and a common occurrence that goes hand-in-hand with infatuation.  But is it actually as innocent as it seems?  Well, over time obsession can grow to an extent that is far from healthy.

One reason is that it can effect your friendships.  I read this on Project Inspired  once, but I shrugged it off.  However, over time, I’ve found it to be true.  Gushing about guys around your gals is probably something that we’ve all done at some time or another, but those “little gushes” can turn into feelings of distance, annoyance, and even jealousy.  Anyone who has gone down that road will tell you to avoid it.  The best way?  There is a time for talking about boys, but also make sure that you are as enthusiastic and interested in their hobbies, dreams, lives, and most importantly, their relationships with our Heavenly Father.  We should be so obsessed with God that no other relationship can compare to ours’ with Him.

Secondly, it can effect THE relationship.  Some guys prefer the flirty girls, but a good Christian guy doesn’t want a girl who is batting her eyes at every “blessed” male out there.  A good Christian guy is going to be looking for a girl who is so lost head-over-heels in love with God that he has to deepen his relationship with Him before she’ll even give him a second look.  Also, I think we owe it not only to our future husbands, but to God, to be this way.  Think of it like this…

You’re dad made you a gift that was beyond all of your wildest dreams.  He told you that he had made it, but that it  wasn’t the right time to give it to you.  You were ok with that for awhile…but you soon grew tired of the waiting game.  You started looking online and in stores for that perfect “something”, and you started obsessing over them.  Time and time again your dad saw this.  It hurt him because you were not satisfied enough with his promise to wait for something that he had made perfectly and only for you.  You may not have bought those “somethings”, but you were still being impatient and maybe even selfish because you didn’t want to wait.

That gift is your future husband.  Those “somethings” are all the other guys out there.  Check the inventory every little while, but don’t even wish for someone you know the Lord would not have “him” to be.  Save your affection and obsessions for the One.

Lastly, it can effect your reputation.  What are your thoughts to girls who are overly obsessive or flirty?  What is their reputation?  Do they show love for God, or do they seem rather distant?  Don’t be the girl with this reputation.  Be the girl who God’s love radiates from; be a girl after God’s own heart.  Be the girl who every guy can look at and see a virtuous woman in the making.  Be the girl who is not looking for Prince Charming but instead exclaims with confidence, “My Prince Charming has already come!”.  Set your focus and base your life’s decisions on God, and you will be 100% satisfied.  Guaranteed!

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Interview with Kylie Jacobs

Hello ladies! (and guys. 🙂 )

Recently I have had the Chance to interview Kylie Jacobs of Christ Centered Girls! Kylie runs a magazine and blog; you can find the links to both at the bottom of this post. 😀

Right, let’s get started!


What’s your name? Tell us a bit about yourself!

Haha well, my name is Kylie Jacobs. I am a blond haired blue eyed Jesus freak from California. I love music and sports, sugar and my favorite animal is a horse! I have them all over my room. I am a foster kid and I am not ashamed to admit it! I write music and articles in my spare time I started a magazine for Christian teen girls, and have dreams of one day inspiring people in Hollywood to live their lives for the Lord and reaching people on a bigger level! Oh ya and I’m 16.

What inspired you to start CCG?

That is a really good question 🙂 when I was thirteen years old I started to get really into magazines and pop culture. As I started reading more and more magazines issues such as J-14 and Seventeen I began to realize that the advice they were giving wasn’t uplifting AT ALL. They would tell me what styles were IN and how to kiss the RIGHT way, but really I began to notice that what I was reading started to change me as a person. So one day I decided to google Christian magazines or sites that would actually uplift me. Sadly I didn’t find many but was lucky to stumble upon this one site that was filled with GREAT Christian advice but talked about things a thirteen year old girl would still be into.

As I read more and more articles and magazine issues I could feel God telling me to pursue this. God was telling me to start my own online magazine just like this one I had discovered. So I contacted the owner of the magazine and asked her how she did it and what I needed to do to start my own. She was very helpful and encouraging! I remember her being one of the only people who actually believed that I could do it. I told people what my dream was, but imagine a thirteen year old coming up to you and saying “I’m going to start an online magazine for teen girls!” You probably wouldn’t believe her either. I literally contacted every magazine, blog, and Christian site I could find asking them to give me some pointers and advice. I did that for three whole years. Finally with lots of prayer I started my magazine at age 16.

What is your favorite Bible verse?

1 Timothy 4:12. Although I swear it changes every month, it says “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

I love this verse because God has put it on my heart to share with others that it doesn’t matter how old you are YOU can still make a difference. This is actually Christ Centered Girls Go-to verse and you will see it at the top of our site 🙂 something I always like to tell people when they look down on me for being so young to start a magazine is “Because I am young, I have the most impact.” Because it’s true! How many young people do you see trying to pursue a relationship with the Lord? Or trying to make a difference? Probably not many. So when people see that they become inspired.

Has writing on your blog impacted how you think about yourself and others?

Writing is one of my passions for sure! I get so many emails and messages from girls all over the world saying how my articles have inspired them! 🙂 So I guess in a way It has changed the way I look at myself and others. I used to think that nobody would want to read what I had to say, but I knew that God wanted me to write and he wanted me to write for him. So I had to push away my fear. I remember the first time someone had praised me for my work, It was a girl all the way in Nigeria! She had said that she was too afraid to start an outreach team in her community but apparently I had inspired her to be brave and do it anyway. Now she goes out weekly with her church and shines Gods light to his people. It made me realize that God was using me to help others through my site and my writings. I wouldn’t even have this gift if it wasn’t for him, he speaks through me.

If you had the entire world’s attention for one minute, what would you say?

Hmm…that’s an interesting question I don’t get asked often! Well I know if I had the entire world’s attention I would probably be freaking out because I don’t really like to be the center of attention! But I would also use it as a time to let God speak through me to them. I would probably tell them to not be afraid, I would tell them that there is something greater out there if they just let go and accept it. I would want them to know that they are loved no matter the trials they are facing and the pain they are going through. I would tell them that God has a plan for each and every single one of them and that it doesn’t matter who they are or what they have done God can and will use them to change this world. So basically If the whole world is listening right now I would want you to know that Jesus Christ Is a real guy who loves them unconditionally! There is so much I would want to say though!

 

Has being a Christian been easy for the most part, or do you struggle on a daily basis to keep your faith? If so, what helps you keep your faith?

Being a Christina easy!?! Haha I have never heard of that! Being a Christian is hard, especially since I am in ministry and the entertainment world. I have so many people coming up to me trying to persecute me. My entire life I had been looked down upon for my faith. But you see that what happens when you decide to follow a man who is an outcast. God never promised it would be easy, actually he was completely honest with us and said it would be hard. But even though I have had to give up so much for God I wouldn’t EVER take that back. Because I gained so much more than I ever had without him. The world tries to tell us there is something better out there, when really it’s a trap and I have everything I need right here with God. Something that always helps me when I am doubting my faith though is this.

Jesus was a man. A human being, he never lied to us, never tricked us, and only loved us unconditionally. Yet we beat him, and spit on him, and screamed harsh words at him. But that didn’t stop him. He still continued to share Gods words and love to the world. If anybody knows how you feel it’s Jesus, and he can show you how to fight the right way. That’s the secret you see, is fighting with Jesus not against him. So next time you are doubting your faith, remember that Jesus suffered more than you did, and because he didn’t give up he changed the whole course of humanity.

Do you have anything else to say to STL readers?

Yes! Oh I have lots to say to you guys! But I will keep it short. I want you to know that God has a plan for you, no matter what your age, race, or gender is. God can and WILL use you if you let him. He has given us each our own gifts to use for him. Maybe you like to write, so start a blog, maybe you like to sing, so sing his praises, maybe you like to cook, so cook meals for the homeless. You all have things about you that make you YOU. So don’t take those for granted.

You are POWERFUL. You are capable of changing this world for the better, so take advantage of that. Listen to whatever God tells you to do and don’t listen to what other people say. Because it doesn’t matter what they think. The world is going to try to tell you who you are, but don’t listen, because you are God daughter/son and there is nothing that can change that. BE YOU. It’s the best thing you can be, and don’t worry about this world, because you do not belong here. (John 15:19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

Lastly I want you all to know that I love you all and I want to hear from you! So you can either email me here; christcenteredteengirls@gmail.com

Or message me on any of the social media sites!

Christ Centered Girls Magazine: www.christcenteredgirls.wordpress.com
Facebook: @ChrsitCenteredGirls
Twitter: @CenteredGirls
Instagram: Christ_Centered_Girls

LOVE YOU ALL!! XOXOXOX

-Kylie Jacobs

Twitter: @Itsjacobskylie1

Instagram: @Itsjacobskylie

Facebook: Kylie Jacobs

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Christ Centered Girls is a magazine that focuses on sharing Christ’s love and rising up young women in his word. It started with a dream that became a reality with lots of prayer, faith, and hard work. Kylie is the founder of Christ Centered Girls. When she was 13 God put the desire to start her own magazine in her heart. Three years later It became a reality and at 16 she had successfully had her fairy tale ending of just ONE dream. But anyone who knows her knows that there will be many more to come, and many more challenges to face. Kylie’s passion has always been for the youth and troubled teens. Helping people has always been her weakness and one of her passions. In this magazine and site you will find articles written by her and her fellow writers with a mission to inspire and touch the young women who read them..so welcome to Christ Centered Girls!

https://christcenteredgirls.wordpress.com
https://christcenteredgirls.wordpress.com/magazine/

*taken from the CCG blog*


Thank you so much, Kylie! Go visit her blog! She is a genuinely amazing young woman who has inspired me so much.

And thank you for reading! You all mean the world to me!

~Jenna~

p.s. Yes, I did change the spelling of my name. 🙂 I thought it looked better, and I like it more.

Verse Studies

 

I personally know how frustrating it is sometimes to read your Bible and not be able to remember what you read later on.  We want to read our Bibles, grow closer to God and learn more about Him, but we sometimes ask “What’s the point of all this?” when it feels like we’re not learning anything.  Well, I have a cure!

About two months ago, I remember finding a link on Project Inspired one day which led to a blog post about something called Verse Mapping(if you type it into your search engine, you should be able to find tons of results).  Verse Mapping seemed a little extreme for me at the time, so I decided to do it with some tweaks and a few of my own twists, and ended up with something I call Verse Studies.  Here’s how it works.

What You Need…

~ Journal(or notebook with heavy paper; you don’t want the highlighters to bleed through)

~ Highlighters in various colors

~ Pens, pencils, or my personal favorite, mechanical pencils!

~ Bible

~ A Bible concordance(most Bibles have one in the back of it)

What You Do…

Once you’ve gathered up all your supplies, it’s time to find a cozy spot in your room or a shady tree in your backyard; any place that’s quiet so you can concentrate on your time with God.  Now the first thing you’re going to do is to create a highlighting method.  You may want to use one like this…

Key Words

Verses I want to memorize or already have

Verses I ❤

Apply to my life

Study deeper/things I don’t understand

Names of God

Or come up with your own!  Write it on the first or second page of your journal.

Now you’re going to choose a word or topic to study!  So far I’ve done wisdom, patience, and some on righteousness.  You may want to do diligence, honesty, confidence, or even a character study!  If you’re unsure of a word or topic to study, I would encourage you to pray about it!

Once you know what you want to study, look up the word, person, topic, etc., in your Bible’s concordance.  Then(this is optional but makes things much easier) you should copy down the references to all of the verses they have listed.  Then it’s time to get to work! 😀 Copy all the verses in your journal, color coding them as you go.  I like to go full out with color coding, and I also suggest that you summarize the verses in your own words, as well as writing little notes here and there!  Here is what a page of my journal looks like…

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I also write notes from church sermons in my journal, so it’s filling up quickly! 😀

This may seem like a neat idea to you, but you may not understand why I think it’s so much fun and understand how it works so well to help you remember what you’ve studied.

Why Verse Studies?

Did you know that writing something once is equal to reading it seven times?!?!!  Amazing, right?!  This is one of the main reasons why it works so well.  Instead of reading a verse a million times, you can just write it down! 😀  The color coding also forces you to pay attention and ponder the key points.  Not to mention that Verse Studies are super fun because you’re able to be creative while you learn!  Try it once and I promise you’ll be hooked!  It’s seriously addicting. 😀 Oh!  And I do believe there are other similar methods out there like this one, and I think there is something else out there called Verse Studies as well.  I may not have been the first to think of this, lol! 😛

God bless!  Let me know if any of you decide to do this!

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Trusting Him

Trusting the Lord is such a vital part of our relationship with God.  Unfortunately, it’s not always easy.

This past year, the Lord has revealed and taught me so much.  But through it I’ve also had to endure some heartache.  I’m learning that sometimes, trials can be blessings.  I have come to understand that the Lord may be trying to prepare me for some of the things I’ll have to face later on in life.  I also know that it can be hard to face the uncertainties of the future and fully trust Him to work out everything for our good.  My life verse is Proverbs 3:5-6:

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

One of my Youth Pastors has said that we should be able to apply our life verses to every minute of the day, and I find that this is one that I can always turn to.  It tells me that “Ya know, God’s got this covered, and He’s got it all in His hands!  I just need to look to Him; acknowledge Him; and He will give me direction.”

This is true for each one of us.  If we diligently pursue His will for our lives, we have no reason to worry!  I love the song Write Your Story by Francessca Battistelli, because it reminds me that the Lord is the Author of MY story-and the amazing part is that He is not capable of mistakes.  My story isn’t in the first draft; it isn’t in the second draft.  It’s a beautiful, completed story that He wrote before He even created the Universe!  Whatever situation you may be in, God has your back.  He will NEVER, EVER fail you!  Here are three ways to help you learn to trust the Lord.

Talk to Him

Worried?  Upset?  Even angry?  Tell Him!  He wants to know your heartache; he wants to heal it.  Talking to Him is a great step to learning to trust Him-and you know why?  Because He ALWAYS answers.  Sometimes He may say no, sometimes yes, and sometimes He tells us to wait.  But He’ll never ignore us.  Not to mention that knowing God has answered your prayer is an amazing feeling that’s indescribable!!

Study His Word

Study God’s Word!  You’ll find so many stories of how people such as Noah, Joseph, and Esther learned how to fully put their trust in God!  Now of course they were human and had their doubts at times, I’m sure, but in the end they overcame that doubt; and found that He is always faithful.  And I know you will too. 🙂

Seek Counsel

There are so many people around you such as your parents, grandparents, and Youth Pastor, that have endured-and become victorious, over their trials because of their faith in God!  I’m sure that they will understand your troubles and be more than willing to help you in any way possible. 🙂 And of course, feel free to get in touch with me through this form if I can assist you in any way, and I’m sure the rest of the girls here at STL would be more than happy to help as well.

Have an amazing rest of your weekend! 😀

Send the Light!

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Diligence

Well, guys, one of my biggest problems as a human being is laid bare for the world as I push the blue button on the left labeled ‘published.’ We human beings like to hide our sins, so … this is hard for me.

On the other hand, I’m probably so full of sin that I don’t even realize the half of it!

Anyway, one of the things I find difficult in my life is diligence.

Diligence: careful and persistent work or effort.

I don’t know why, but …

I find it hard to finish things I start.

I find it hard to keep doing good work throughout the school year.

I find it hard to brush my dog every single week.

I find it hard to exercise often.

I’ll start out excited about something … and then my enthusiasm will fade away.

What does the Bible say about this? Well, there are many, many Bible verses about diligence, actually.

A few of my favorites include:

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. ~Proverbs 13:4

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. ~Galatians 6:9

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. ~2 Peter 1:10

So it’s clear that God values diligence, that He wants us, His children, to persevere in all things good (and yes, that does include cleaning out your cat’s litter box every single day!).

But what can we do about our own laziness?

Here are a few things that help me.

  1. Hold yourself accountable to your friends. Tell your friends that you are probably gonna be grounded and won’t be able to see them anymore if the lawn doesn’t get mowed weekly. Ask them to remind you if it seems like you’re forgetting.
  2. Hold yourself accountable to God. I know this may sound silly, but I sometimes wake up in the morning and say, “God, please strike me down with a lightning bolt if I don’t clean out the fish’s bowl today.” And the thing is, I’m only partially kidding … Seriously, though, folks. Tell God that you need help completing a task today! He always hears you, and He always helps.
  3. Checklists! What? I like making lists …
  4. Just getting in the habit. After a couple weeks of getting it down, you can’t sleep unless you’ve done something! I’m not even kidding. One of my problems a while back (like, a couple months ago!) was reading the Bible. I’d have trouble remembering to do it. Then I promised myself to read it every night without fail, and after forcing myself the first week or two, I can’t sleep until I read a bit, even if it’s only a verse or two.

Thanks for reading!

~Kellyn Roth

15 Years…and Towers are Still Crumbling…

As I’m sure you all know, yesterday was 9/11.  The terrorist attack.  The crumbling of the towers.  The cries of those who had lost loved ones.  Of those who had lost all hope.  There were those who were brave; noble enough to risk their lives to save others.  And some of them didn’t make it.  They sacrificed, and showed Christ-likeness like many of use could not.  Unfortunately, the battle isn’t over; the towers are still crumbling.  Our world needs Jesus Christ so very much!  It’s heart breaking to think that there are so many that reject His gift of salvation and follow someone or something else, as ISIS does.  We’re backing off from the duty we have as born again believers and children of God!  Our Nation, which says that it is under God, has been trying to instead place itself above God, and is forgetting the principals that we were founded on.  Have we forgotten that God will judge?  When will we fall down on bended knee and ask His forgiveness?  How long will we let the towers crumble?

If you haven’t already, please spend some time praying for the families of the deceased and praising the Lord for their courage!

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Your Best Friends

Friends are one of the greatest blessings that God gives us, but will they really be our best friends forever?  Unfortunately, not always.  As time goes on, we change, we start setting goals, go off to college, start a career, get married, have a family, ect.  And sometimes we, or our friends, drift away, and well, that’s that.  However, there are some people in our lives that, even though we may not necessarily recognize them as our BFFs, are the friends that will always be there for us; no matter what…

Your Mom

Over the last year, I have found my relationship with my Mom changing.  Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, or maybe I just never noticed it before; but it’s pretty awesome.  A few months ago, I told my Mom all about my crush.  Yep.  You guys probably think I’m pretty crazy, huh? 😀  Well, to be honest, I was SCARED TO DEATH(which is fairly common, I would think ;D)!  I knew that she wouldn’t tease me, but I DID NOT expect her to react the way she did.  She told me “I feel like a giddy girl again!”, and at that moment she seemed more like one of my besties than a mom! 😀  The point here is, I think so often we think that our parents have forgotten what it feels like to be a teen; but surprise!  They DO understand, and they have SO much wisdom to pass on to us!  Knowing that my Mom understood me helped me feel as if the bridge of our mother/daughter relationship had been made stronger.  I know that whatever happens, my Mom will ALWAYS be here to listen to me, give me advice, and love me for just, well, being me.  And your’s will, too. 🙂

Your Dad

My Dad is one of those people who can be quiet and serious one minute, and then dancing to a Toby Mac song the next! 😀 He loves to make me smile and laugh.  But also over the last year, I’ve realized something; my Dad has so much confidence in me.  Whenever I doubt if I can do something, my Dad will tell me that I can.  He listens to me when I play the piano, watches me and my siblings play sports, and is interested in what I’m reading or writing, or even what I’m looking at.  My parents are definitely my biggest fans, and they believe that if it’s the Lord’s will for me, I can do anything that I set my mind to.  So when you want to know that you’re beautiful, want a bear hug, want to goof off, or want a confidence boost; run to Daddy(even when you’re 30 :P)!  He’ll ALWAYS be there to encourage and protect you. 🙂

Your Sibling(s)

SIBLINGS?!?!!?!!  THOSE LITTLE BALLS OF TROUBLE!?!?!  OR THOSE DEMANDING “FIRST BORNS”!?!?!!  SERIOUSLY!?!?!!  Seriously.  I know sometimes it can be REALLY hard to be a big or little sister, or maybe you’re both.  But despite the fact that they may not always understand the meaning of “personal space”, they’ve always been there for you.  When you’re bored, they’re the ones that bring out the baseballs.  When you’re lonely, they drive it out of you by pestering non stop for the next hour.  When you want to get in a little trouble, they’re the ones you play ruff with.  And when you want to make some noise, they’re the ones that bring out the instruments, start the singing, or dance around the room.  You’re most competitive when they’re around, and it sometimes gets a little out of hand.  But hey, they’re your siblings, and while you don’t always “like” them, you’ll always love em’; and they’ll ALWAYS love you!!  🙂

God

And lastly, but most importantly, God.  He’ll never leave you or forsake you.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made.  He has a plan for you.  He DIED FOR YOU.  When you see wounded, He sees mended.  When you see flaws, He sees perfection.  You can know that, because of Him, life has such a meaningful purpose.  He’ll never lift His hedge of protection from around you.  You can know that you’re never alone.  You can know that when you need someone to talk to, He’s always there with a listening ear.  You can know that whatever you do, He will always love you with an unending love.  He’ll never give you more than you can take.  You are worth more than gold.  You can know that all things work together for good, to them that love Him.  And SO many more things that it would take me most of eternity to write them all here.

God is, and ALWAYS will be your BEST FRIEND, and He loves you SO, SO, SO, SO, SO, SO, MUCH!! 😀 😀 😀  Never forget that!

1 John 3:1

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”

King James Version (KJV)

Good night, all!

thVN2CUP5I