In Ender’s Game, the hero catches the eyes of his instructors at a young age. Mr. Wiggins’ amazing tactical mind soon advanced him to the most prestigious branch of the military academy, and to the test which, if he passed, would designate him as the leader of the entire army. It was a simulation in which his objective was to destroy the alien fleet. But he went farther than that. He used his army’s “super weapon” to destroy the insectoid’s planet. He beat the game, but then he realized the simulation had been real. Ender had wiped out an entire species.
Now, some might say that he did the right thing. After all, he had dispelled a threat. The aliens would never again pose a threat to mankind. But there was no evidence the insectoids would go to war. Their armies held thousands upon thousands, but there wasn’t a whisper of evidence to suggest an attack. The leaders of Earth ordered the strike out of fear. If that’s right, we might as well go ahead and kill every man or beast that has the capability to commit a crime.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Ender trusted in the leaders, who condemned him to murder based on a misguided notion.
While many of us won’t destroy an entire race during our lifetimes, what about other things? What about a friend that passes you a beer? They say it’ll be fun, you won’t get in trouble, you’ll be “cool.” Maybe they even believe themselves. But then one beer turns into another. Two beers turn into ten, and eventually you wake up next morning in a puddle of your own puke, and someone’s stolen your wallet, phone, and that really expensive watch your grandparents got you for Christmas.
Make it a point to have godly people in your life to advise and direct you. One small, bad decision can and will multiply into another, worse choice; from fighting an alien race, to telling a little white lie.
Ian Fleming is a sixteen-year-old with a passion for sports, who lives in the mountains of North Carolina. Ian’s dream is to play baseball for the University of South Carolina, where he hopes to become a light for the one who changed his life, Jesus Christ. He currently plays with a local Christian homeschool organization, where he works hard in hopes that someday his dream is realized. His passion for writing developed only recently, after he began to write short stories spinning off his favorite novels. Ian is interested in a career in sports journalism.
Looking to the future, there are some big decisions to make. What college do you want to go to? What major would you like to study?
Finding the “right fit” is important. With more than 16,000 colleges and universities worldwide, there is a variety of options. Sound a bit overwhelming? What you need is a plan of attack.
Step One: Research. Deciding whether to go to school close to home or far away, to a large school or small, to public or private, and what to major will help you find specific options. When you find several schools you like, look into them and compare. Don’t just look at the surface, but look deeper into the schools vision, mission, and everything they have to offer you as a student.
Step Two: Visit. Choose several colleges and schedule a visit. Most schools have preview days with tours of the school, meetings with an admissions counselor, and opportunities to attend a class. Walk around and talk to students about what they like most at the school. Every college will make their website look as amazing as possible, so it is important to visit so you can get a real feel for a school.
Step Three: Apply. Narrow the list of schools to a couple that really interest you. Each college has a general application to fill out with your information. It may or may not include an essay. In addition, be sure to have your transcript and SAT scores ready to send in.
Step Four: Pray, Consider, and Accept. As acceptance letters (and rejection letters) come in, pray that God will lead you to make the right decision. Consider each option carefully, and think about which school feels best for you. What school has your favorite programs? Which school did you feel at home at? Once you’ve made your decision, make sure to let the college of your choice know!
God has a plan for each one of us, and he will direct our paths, even to college. College is a journey full of new opportunities around every corner; you just have to find them.
Happy college hunting!
Carlie Stach is a homeschooled senior from North Carolina. In the fall she hopes to study Communications and Media Studies at the school of her choosing. In her free time she enjoys writing, photography and camping.
According to a recent Campus Life survey, 80 percent of our readers say they’ve cheated in school. Most of those say they’ve cheated “seldom” or “only once,” but one reader actually admitted to cheating every day! Only six percent of you say you’ve never cheated.
And almost three-fourths of you (73 percent) say cheating is a problem at your school.
When we asked why people cheat, the most common answers were: “they didn’t study” (87 percent), “to get a passing grade” (80 percent), and “to get better grades” (77 percent).
All right, enough statistics. It’s clear that cheating is a big issue.
An issue, yes. But is it a problem? After all, it’s so common, almost everybody’s “doing it”—even the nation’s very best students. According to the latest survey of Who’s Who Among American High School Students, 80 percent of them admit to cheating.
Many students find cheating easy to justify. “Cheating never hurts anybody,” one guy told the Chicago Tribune in a recent story about cheating in school. “Ten years from now, who’s going to care?” Click here to read on.
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.”
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“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.