Patrick was a normal boy living in fifth century England. He probably had a mom and a dad and maybe some siblings. They might have had a farm with livestock to care for. They had neighbors and close friend. Maybe Patrick had a friend he’d known his entire life.
But all this changed when Irish men landed on England’s shores and captured Patrick. They dragged him back to Ireland and sold him as a slave. For seven years, Patrick worked as a slave in a foreign country. Who knows exactly what happened to him? Did his master beat him? Did he go hungry most days and nights? Did he cry himself to sleep and dream of better days spent with his family?
Through his captivity, Patrick was a strong Christian. He remained faithful to God and trusted in the Lord through all his trials.
At last, after seven years of slavery, Patrick escaped Ireland and sailed back to England. His family was overjoyed to see him. It was like getting him back from the dead.
It seemed as if Patrick’s life would go back to normal now. Instead, God asked him to do the hardest thing yet.
Return to Ireland.
There aren’t a lot of details known of Patrick’s life but I’m sure he wrestled with God over this message. He was human. He was confused, scared, and maybe angry at what God was asking him to do. But despite sleepless nights arguing with God, Patrick said yes to God’s call. He packed his things and sailed back to Ireland.
Once in Ireland, he began to tell the people about Jesus, and God used him. Through Patrick’s willingness to say yes and obey, God reached thousands of people. He changed thousands of lives. Many Irish people heard the Good News of Jesus Christ and dedicated their lives to him. Patrick planted 700 churches and trained 1,000 pastors.
Patrick’s life is a miraculous story of what saying yes to God could look like. God doesn’t need perfect people to do his will. He doesn’t need powerful people or people who are good at speaking or debating. All God needs is a person who’s willing to say yes to him.
God has destined you for a great purpose. He can do amazing things with you if you are willing to say yes. Listen to his call on your heart. Listen to what he has to say, and once you hear him, obey.
What would it look like to say yes to God? What would it look like to be used by him to change nations?
It’s time to find out.
My name’s Danielle Dodge. I’ve found it’s a hard job to summarize fourteen years of life into a small paragraph so I’ll just mention a few things. I’m an avid writer and reader. I love to write young adult fiction/fantasy novels and devotionals. I’m a ballerina, a violinist, an amateur photographer and an amateur horseback rider. I like BIG words, bright colors, cats, and of course, chocolate. And if you didn’t guess already, I’m a born again Christian, follower of Jesus Christ.
Modern Fashion can be risky. Media attempts to persuade us girls in a myriad of ways. Magazine articles, television commercials, store advertisements: they can bribe our minds to desire risqué and revealing clothing that is unhealthy, for not only our appearance, but our spiritual walk as well. I’m not trying to make this about what you should and shouldn’t wear, but it is important for us as women of Christ not to be sucked into the “seductive wave.”
First off, as a woman of Christ, it is essential that you know it’s important you stay pure and modest, no matter how old you are. If you are searching for attention from guys that would place you as their distraction piece or are looking for that feeling of seductiveness, there might be a bigger issue that needs to be dealt with. When you get dressed in the morning, think to yourself, “Do I feel beautiful and modest or seductive and revealing?”
A friend of mine has a daily checklist that she goes through to make sure she is not going to attract the wrong kind of attention from her body. She calls it, “The ABC’s.”
If you can lift your arms up, squat down, or bend over and any of these three areas are exposed, you should rethink your wardrobe selection. The reason God warns us about this issue of modesty in the Bible, such as in Proverbs 31, is because guys tend to be visual. They look at a girl and see either modesty or no modesty, and that determines where their mind travels. Purity and cleanliness is a big deal, so why don’t we start treating it like it? Modesty is the best policy.
My name is Alexa Clark, and I love to write in all sorts of formats, but my favorites are advice articles. Besides writing, I am in the marching band, I run, and I dance. I’ve been a Christian my entire life and love my God with all my heart. I love to live out His word, especially through music and performing.
Graduating High School - Brought to You From: Christian Forums.net
[Senior year for me has so far been one of my favorite years in high school. My friends and I have a lot of optimism for the future. Still, though, I feel like I'm getting old and regret being as studious as I've been all these years. I think I should have been looser and had a bit more fun. Anyone else feel the same way?] ~7teenyearsold
[It is true, in your higher years of secondary school, you figure out how much of a joke the previous years were and how marks really don't matter until grade 11 and 12. I sometimes wonder how my parents/teachers tricked me into working hard when I was younger. In grade 11 my mom parents sometimes convinced me not to go to fellowship events because I had too much homework, but in grade 12, I went to fellowship even more than I did in grade 11. Don't neglect your studies, but have as much fun as you can while you are still in high school. Having just started university about a month ago, I find that it is much more difficult to make time for stuff I enjoy without falling behind in my studies.] ~bigllama
[Keep in mind that there is something to honoring God with your school work. Maybe society does not treat school correctly, but that doesn't make it okay for Christian not to. You never know what knowledge God will use to change someone else's life through you.] ~Blazin Bones
[I think the point here is that teachers and parents put so much pressure on students to do well in school, sometimes to the point that grades take a much higher priority in our lives than they should. And often, pressure to do well leads some students to have a less active social life than we should. Teenagers should appreciate and enjoy having a social life in high school without neglecting their studies, because in college...] ~bigllama
“Many people are somewhat familiar with Passover, mostly due to watching movies like “The Ten Commandments” and “Prince of Egypt.” However, the holiday is very significant to the Jewish people, and was just as significant to early Christians.
Before the 4th Century, Christians celebrated their own version of Passover known as Pascha, during the Spring. It is believed that Jewish Christians celebrated both Pascha and Pesach, the traditional Jewish Passover. However, Gentile believers were not required to participate in the Jewish practices. After the 4th Century, though, the Pascha festival began to overshadow the traditional Passover celebration with more and more emphasis being placed on Holy Week and Good Friday.” About.com
“The purpose of Lent is to search the soul and repent. It began in the 4th century as a time to prepare for Easter. Lent is 40-days long and is characterized by penance via prayer and fasting. In the Western church Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts for 6 1/2 weeks, because Sundays are excluded. However, in the Eastern church Lent lasts 7 weeks, because Saturday is also excluded. In the early church the fast was strict, so believers ate only one full meal per day, and meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products were forbidden foods. However, the modern church puts a greater emphasis on charity prayer while most fast meat on Fridays.” About.com
So confusing. At least to me. And I noticed almost everyone on Facebook gave up something for lent. I grew up in a Catholic family and Easter was, well, bunnies, colorful eggs, candy, surprises under my bed in the morning, and lot’s of Italian food. I never understood the meaning–but I loved the fun.
The only part I remember being “religious” was the traditional watching of “The Ten Commandments.” I still like to watch it. Although the movie seems to go on for hours, you should take the time to curl up on the couch with family, and view this rendition of the meaning of Easter.
It’s the best part of the entire holiday. The Greatest Story Ever Told.
“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God… Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (Romans 12:2 MSG)
If you’ve seen the movie “Grease,” then you probably remember Sandy—the quiet girl who’s made fun of by her friends for being a “goody-goody.” Eventually she decides to grow up and asks her friends to help her to become more like them. When this is accomplished, she feels accepted by her peers and is suddenly viewed as cool. Unfortunately, she didn’t grow up. She just stooped even lower.
Being mature doesn’t mean getting a car for your 15th birthday, having a baby at sixteen, or even being able to carry on a mature conversation with an adult. Romans 12:2 states that true maturity is developed when we are able to stay close to God. It isn’t based on popularity or knowledge … only wisdom.
This scripture also says to “fix your attention on God… unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to it’s level of immaturity.” Doing this won’t be easy. You will have to fight hard against the high school lifestyle, which may result in rejection from your friends. But so what? Wouldn’t you rather please God and allow him to bless you eternally than try to earn worldly acceptance from your so-called friends?
So would I.
Tessa Hall is a writing and coffee obsessed seventeen-year-old. She lives for Christ only and believes that it’s not just a religion, but a relationship. Her Young Adult, Christian fiction contemporary novel, Purple Moon, is currently under contract with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She also writes a blog called “Christ is Write” where she posts teen devotions, writing tips, book reviews, author interviews, and coffee recipes.
Tessa has always enjoyed writing and has a passion to spread God’s healing, love, and comfort to her peers through the written word. Some of her other passions include acting, film, music, photography, and dance. She has big dreams and high hopes for her future, but believes that God can grant the desires of her heart as long as she puts Him first. Her favorite scripture is Ecclesiastes 11:9 (MSG): “You who are young, make the most of your youth. Relish your youthful vigor. If something looks good to you, pursue it. But know also that not just anything goes; You have to answer to God for every last bit of it.”
<<<more posts by Tessa…
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow;” (Isaiah 1:18 NKJV)
I grew up where it snowed a lot in the winter. But cement streets, traffic, pollution, and garbage strewn about made the days gray and dingy. Even a colorful sunset often would be marred by a brown lingering haze.
One winter, things were extra nasty. A garbage company strike left streets scattered with bags of trash. Most had been ripped open by animals. Rats and roaches were everywhere. Every kind of creature roamed, making a fitting stage for a horror flick.
On a frosty afternoon, I walked home from school, counting the icicles hanging from the power lines. My breath lingered on the thickness of ice cold air. When I reached the lifeless block I lived on, I hoped a thick blanket of snow would fall to cover the dreariness.
That night it did snow, and in the morning it was if I had been given a new chance to live. Everything was white. School was closed so kids were everywhere throwing snowballs and diving into snow banks made by the plows. Some slid down the tall piles of garbage covered with enough snow to imagine they were each manicured ski runs on top a far away mountain.
I met up with friends and quickly forgot about the dirty old setting underneath. We walked the streets and hung out for hours. But as afternoon approached, temperatures warmed up and the beautiful white snow began to fade to gray and brown slush. Mountains of garbage resurfaced as snow drifts slid down into the grime. Late afternoon brought about the old neighborhood, now more depressing as ever.
The snowfall in my neighborhood only lasted until the heat came. When it was exposed to the change in temperature, it melted away. I trudged inside and wondered why the newness couldn’t stay forever.
Have you ever lived where it snows all winter? Or a place that gets just one snowfall? Maybe you are living in snow country right at this moment. If it’s winter, you probably have fresh snow on the ground. Fresh, clean, white snow. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow . . . “
Jesus shed his blood to cover all our sins. We were like that dingy old neighborhood that was transformed into a winter wonderland. But because of the sacrifice Jesus made, we can have newness that will stand the heat. The snowfall of grace and mercy is one that will not fade away when difficulties intensify.
The “Tebowing” that reportedly led to the suspension of two New York high schoolers continues as more than a dozen students chanted Tebow’s name and struck his kneeling, fisted signature pose in front of the school Friday, the New York Post reports.
The students gathered Friday as one of the 17-year-old twin brothers who were suspended this week served out his single-day punishment for leading dozens of students in the same homage all week in a hallway.
Twin brothers Tyler and Connor Carroll of Riverhead HS in Long Island and classmates Jordan Fulcoly and Wayne Drexel were hit with one-day suspensions for kneeling and bowing their heads like Tebow does when he scores a touchdown, the New York Post reports.
“It’s not the most exciting day. I sat there. I did my work.” Connor told the New York Post in response to the suspension.
Tyler is set to serve his suspension Monday saying, “I feel like we were kind of singled out,”Tyler, who also plays football and baseball. “If we were told to stop, we would have stopped.”
The weeklong “Tebowing” craze was a distraction and a hallway hazard after dozens of classmates followed their lead, administrators told the newspaper.
“It was basically just a tribute to Tim Tebow,” said Connor, 17, who planned the prank with his brother and friends. “It was more than a religious thing. There was some of that involved obviously, because he prays. I guess it was basically like a moment of silence.”
The brothers have to serve their suspensions, while the others were rescinded because the other participants had not been given warnings, officials said. About 40 students had been gathering in the hallway all week emulating Tebow.
School administrators said the stunt jammed the hallway, creating a fire hazard.
“This is not about religious discrimination,” Riverhead School District Superintendent Nancy Carney told the Post. “It is about being sure kids are able to get to class on time and keeping the kids safe and orderly.”
But Tebow himself said the kids should play by the rules.
“You have to respect the position of authority and people that God’s put as authority over you,” Tebow told the media.
“So that’s part of it, and just finding the right place and the right time to do things is part of it, too.
“But I think it does show courage from the kids, standing out and doing that, and some boldness.’’
Tebow has led the once-lowly Broncos on an unlikely winning streak filled with late-game heroics while touting his religious beliefs by praising God to reporters and taking the kneeling stance on the field, the New York Post reports.
So, confession time with Abbie. (And don’t get excited – no stories of coffee shop humiliation today.)
Ready? Here goes…
I am a scrooge.
But not the kind of scrooge you might think.
I’m a scrooge in a way that is probably largely frowned upon in Christian circles. A scrooge with a bad church-girl secret: I hate stuff Christians say at Christmas time.
It’s true. There are a lot of cliches being thrown around this time of year. And umm… they sorta get on my nerves.
You know the ones I’m talking about? It’s not about the presents. Jesus is the reason for the season. Keep CHRIST in CHRISTmas. Wise men still seek Him. Santa is bad. Santa is just another way to spell Satan. Christmas traditions have pagan roots. Real Christians don’t get caught up in the glitter and commercialism of Christmas.
Okay, so maybe those last few aren’t exactly well-known cliches. But you definitely hear them this time of year. People can get a tad preachy and overbearing with their Super-Christian Christmas spirit. Christmas shopping, lights, trees, decorations, and that jolly man in the red suit are given an all around bashing in an attempt to put the focus back on Jesus. Which, in a roundabout way, brings me to another confession:
… I like presents, y’all. Just needed to get that off my chest.
Here’s the deal: I don’t want anyone to succeed in making you feel guilty for enjoying the trappings and trimmings of Christmas. Decorate. Celebrate. Go out to the mall and battle the crazy hordes of last minute shoppers, if that’s your style. (*Raises hand guiltily.) Listen to Jingle Bell Rock and Santa Baby if you like. (I won’t judge.) Watch Elf eight hundred times. Then watch it again if you want to.
But do yourself a favor this Christmas season: sneak away by yourself. Sit down, and take a while to let the authentic Christmas message seep into your very soul. Don’t do it because I’m telling you to. Or anyone else is telling you to. Do it because you want to. Do it because one day, approximately 2,012-ish years ago on a date that probably wasn’t December 25, a baby was born with one purpose.
History hinged on that one squalling infant because He came to do something incredibly, magnificently, mind-blowingly heroic.
He came to save us.
To save me. I know I need a savior, deep in the recesses of my grinch-like heart. (You know – two sizes too small?) I know it, and that is why I like to sneak away and soak in the hope.
I’m not here to preach y’all a sermon today. Those are easy to come by. I’m here to share a smidgen of honesty.
Don’t forgo the festivities in favor of sackcloth, ashes, and solemn remembrance – unless of course, you feel you should do so. Deck those halls. Put on that hideous reindeer sweater with the antler headband your Aunt Penelope gave you four years ago.
Be merry, and be out in the world. Just remember… you have a whole deeper reason for rejoicing.
Check out our friends at Real Teen Faith!
By RTF Editor Abbie Miller
Now this may sound greedy, but let’s be honest: we all want money, we all like walking around with some spending money in our pockets. But summer is for fun not work, at least in my mind it is. So I’ve come up with a solution: jobs we like to do!
In school when picking electives, teachers advise me to pick classes that relate to what I want to grow up to be and major in while in college, but I think that we should have the same attitudes about the jobs we hold. If flipping burgers is your only work option then hey- if opportunity knocks don’t turn it away. But say you like to work with people, then perhaps apply for a retail job or a position as a restaurant host.
It’s been said that as teenagers we can’t be too picky about the jobs we get, we’re notorious for asking: Read the rest of this article at Real Teen Faith!
by Staff Writer Stephany Mendia