“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)
The Titanic was beautiful.
Well, as beautiful as a nautical steamship could get. A complete masterpiece of modern engineering ingeniously intertwined with the highest echelon of luxury. This ship was destined for greatness – to be remembered.
About 4,460 years ago, a man stood back from a different nautical masterpiece. There were no gold trimmings or alabaster floors, but it was astounding just the same. This ship was destined to serve God and save His people.
The Titanic left New York harbor with a mighty cheer from the passengers aboard. They were waving and throwing hats through the air like an old film. People watched from the docks both in awe and patriotic tears, waving back and shouting promises. A young boy set a pair of slugs down on a railing as his siblings closed the massive door to their boat, listening as the rain began to fall down outside. They were all afraid but they were faithful – God would get them through this.
On April 14, 1912, four days after departure, the Titanic hit a massive iceberg and began a three hour descent as it sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
Forty days later, the Ark reached land and God provided for Noah and his family to flourish in their new environment.
Don’t place your trust in man – but in God who is the author of life and lover of your soul!
Remember: The ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic was built by professionals.
Christine grew up in the windowless basement of her grandparent’s house and has thus been fondly nicknamed “The vampire in a box” by her friends. She has a strong affinity for sarcasm, shiny purple things, and random, useless information that “normal people probably wouldn’t care about.” She likes to sing, act, draw, write, read, and make fun of Prince Charming in her spare time. Some of her epic skills include: surviving a piano being dropped on her, carrying on a five hour conversation with a wall, and making a grilled cheese sandwich spontaneously explode. (read more…)
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Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (NIV)
Grief is hard. Losing a loved one, a treasured pet, a house, or a cherished dream can slice deep. Even when it doesn’t happen to us, but rather to someone we care about.
Have you ever had your own heart-break as you sat and watched someone else’s splinter and shatter into a thousand pieces? What do you do when that happens?
IDEAS ON HOW TO HELP
- Be there. Offer a shoulder to cry on or wrap your friend in a hug. Oftentimes, this will mean more to them than anything else you could do.
- Pray for them. Never underestimate the power of prayer to impact someone’s life or heal their hurt. You might feel powerless to help them, but you can always, always count on God knowing just how to heal them.
- Meet a need. Walk their dog. Vacuum their house. Take them a meal (or if you are culinary-challenged, choose a restaurant gift card instead). If you drive, offer chaffering services (when someone dies, family members sometimes fly into town and might need rides to the funeral, etc.).
- Send Scripture. Through a tweet, a note on their Facebook wall, or best yet, a card or short letter, tell them you love them and that God loves them.Keep asking. You don’t want to push too much, but when the chaos smooths out and real life resumes, that’s when your friend will need you the most. The pain isn’t squelched after just a week. So ask how they’re doing or if they need anything. Often. It means the world to know you remember.
One of the things I love most about Jesus is that He saw people and never shied away from their pain. Showing compassion can make us feel uncomfortable, but it’s always worth shining Christ’s love into hurting lives.
Dear God, my heart breaks for ______ today. I know they’re going through a rough time and I ask that You heal their hurts and show me what I can do to be a blessing. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Have you ever been going through a hard time and had someone blow you away with kindness?
Write out an encouraging Scripture (Psalms is a treasure trove!) on a pretty note card and mail it to a friend.
Visit this devo at Rad Revolution:
MORE ABOUT RACHELLE
Rachelle Rea keeps a Smile Box full of notes, letters, cards, and tiny trinkets friends have given her that have touched her heart. Another box holds colorful note cards that are perfect for scribbling Scripture on and sending to hurting hearts. A college sophomore, Rachelle coaches gymnastics at her local YMCA.
For more from Rachelle, visit her atwww.rachellerea.com.
teen photo by: David Castillo Dominici
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV)
Every day, for 605 days, I prayed for God to send me a Christian friend. I felt alone and isolated at school due in part to the efforts of a group of mean girls. Their constant harassment and belittlement had made my life so miserable it was hard to come to school a lot of days. However, I believed God would make a way for me if I would trust Him. I continued to place my trust in Him no matter what I faced day after day.
One day a tall, skinny girl, with long brown hair and a smile that went from ear to ear, walked into my class. Mrs. Greene, my teacher introduced her. “Class, I’d like your attention. I’d like for you to meet Dianne Miles. She’s just moved into the area and she’ll be joining our class. I know that you all will make her feel welcomed.”
I could already hear the mean girls giggling at Dianne because she was so skinny. I wasn’t sure if we’d be friends, but I felt it was important to introduce myself and make sure she felt accepted. I knew what it felt like to walk in her shoes.
God gave me the words and the courage I needed to speak to Dianne. “Hi, my name is Crystal and it’s nice to have you here. I’ll be glad to show you around if you’re interested.” To my surprise, within no time, we had become best friends.
Dianne became a target for the mean girls, too, but we were able to face the bullies together. God had heard every prayer I’d prayed and today, four decades later, Dianne and I are still BFF.
Crystal Y. Hathcock and her husband Tony, live in Liberty, South Carolina and have been married for thirty-two years. They have two puppies, Hankie and Calvin. Crystal is a freelance writer; a student with the Christian Writer’s Guild and writes religious articles for the area’s local newspaper. She enjoys cooking for family and friends, couponing, jewelry making and singing. (read more…)
“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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“Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me.” (Psalm 119:175 NIV)
Our God is a God of second chances and that fact was never more real to me than one summer afternoon.
In a single moment, I decided carelessly to jump in a pool. My swimming skills were lacking. A nanosecond after I hit the water, I knew something was wrong. I should have floated right back up. The water was only four feet deep. If only I could stand up! But buoyancy was working against me, and the shimmery floor below was evading my efforts to plant my feet firmly on the surface. During this harrowing experience, I went from a confident, bubbly teenager giggling on the sidelines to a scared, terrified little girl fighting for her life.
Panic set in. So this was it. This is how I would go home. I was about to die.
Immediately following my thoughts came an absurd sense of peace. I knew where I was going if I died. When I put my faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I was assured an eternity in heaven. And that fact, in what I thought to be the last few seconds of my life, was immensely comforting.
But I knew if God wanted me on earth, he would bring me out of this. I had swallowed some water and was choking, so I prayed fervently to God for clarity of mind, something I could do, or some way out of this nightmare. My arms and legs were still flailing all over the place. Spots swam in front of my eyes, and for a couple seconds it went black. I knew I didn’t have long. Only a miracle could save me now.
And a miracle is exactly what I got. Somehow, God gave me the sense to stick my hand out of the water and wave it frantically to get someone’s attention. Then, I heard a voice whisper across my heart, “Calm down, my daughter. Everything will be all right. Calm down and plant your feet.”
Suddenly, my head was out of the water, and I was gulping in glorious, wonderful air. I was clinging to the side of the pool with a fellow teen bobbing beside me. I’m not sure how he got me out, but I know that God is definitely active in my life, and as the pool incident proves, I’m here and have a purpose. I keep thanking God for giving me another chance at life.
Since then, I’ve found that I am able to laugh more, love better, and share more. During those horrifying seconds under water, I decided I would live my life for God and make every second count
“The LORD will keep you from all harm- He will watch over your life, the LORD will watch over your coming and going, both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 121:7-8)
Shannon Meiers is a 16 year old home-schooled sophomore in high-school. Shes an aspiring writer, and is currently working with the special needs ministries at her church. Shannon, or Shan as her friends know her, is constantly learning… (read more…)
STOCKTON, Calif – A California teenager has learned the hard way that he’s no Santa Claus.
The Stockton Record reports 18-year-old George Herrera got stuck in a chimney while trying to sneak into his house Thursday. Art Ray of the Stockton Fire Department says the teen was breaking curfew and trying to get inside his home.
Ray says Herrera was trapped near the chimney bottom for about 90 minutes before emergency crews were called around 10:15 a.m. When they arrived, they could see his feet sticking out of the fireplace.
Rays says rescuers secured ropes around the teenager’s wrists and pulled him up about 8 feet with the help of a firetruck ladder. Officials say Herrera wasn’t hurt and was allowed to return home after the rescue, which took about 15 minutes.
“You are a liar.”
Although I would normally never encourage anyone to speak these words, there is an exception to that rule when it comes to one thing: an eating disorder. In fact, if you have an eating disorder, I encourage you to look it in the face and tell it, “You are a liar.”
Through an eating disorder, Satan tricks our minds to exchange God’s truth for lies, which can convince us easily that we are ugly or invaluable. Whenever we think these things, a red flag should alarm us that we are believing lies. But even when an eating disorder shouts lies that bring hopelessness, God’s truth can fill us with strength and life.
When the lies seem unconquerable, God’s power is stronger.
When an eating disorder tells you that you are not pretty enough, God says you are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14)
When Satan tricks you into thinking that your eating disorder is unconquerable, know that “if God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
If you feel invaluable, remember that you are “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
If you think that God is not interested in your problems, don’t buy the lie. Trust God when He says, “I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (Isaiah 46:4)
Wherever truth dwells, lies flee. We can conquer lies by surrounding ourselves with God’s truth. Let’s saturate our minds with truth by pondering God’s Word, posting Scripture on our mirrors, praying often, and listening to Christian music. When we ask God to fill us with His truth, the lies of an eating disorder will have no place to belong. His truth sets us free!
Ashli Roussel, a nineteen-year-old sophomore at Harding University, is passionate about sharing the truth and love of the Lord through writing. She loves camping, running, playing the piano, and participating in missions. Most of all, she is passionate about knowing, following, and serving her Lord and Savior. Without Him, her stories would mean nothing.
Ashli has battled and overcome an eating disorder, which God used to teach her great truths about who He is and how He is involved in our struggles. Now she desires to comfort others with the comfort that she has received from God. Keep an eye out for Ashli’s regular articles on iBegat.com! (read more…)
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. (Exodus 20:16 NIV)
“Do not go about spreading slander among your people.” (Leviticus 19:16 NIV)
“But I tell you that men will have to give an account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.” (Mathew 12:36 NIV)
Tears stream down your face onto your pillow as you lay in bed. “How could they do this?” you think. Pulling out your phone and reading the text again, it hits you: the people you trust most told lies about you behind your back.
This recently happened to me with a close friend in my youth group. We were on a mission trip, but I got sick and had to leave early. When the rest of the group got home, friends of mine were mad at me because of things my friend told them about me. All of the things she said were nowhere close to the truth. My friends wouldn’t hang out with me because of lies that were told.
The Bible specifically says, multiple times, not to lie about your neighbors. If God thought it was important enough to say over and over again, we should listen. Each and every one of us is a loved child of God. Would you want someone going around telling lies about your child and hurting them? Well, God doesn’t either. In fact, Mathew 12:36 says, “But I tell you that men will have to give an account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.”
Gossip and lies hurt everyone involved, including God. One day we are going to stand before God for judgment. With that in mind, my challenge to you is to not slander one another,, but to love each other as Christ loves.
I’m Haley Faye Snyder. I’m 14 years old and a freshman in high school. I’ve lived in the same Christian home in Kentucky since I was born. I have one little brother and two loving parents. I go to Westport Baptist church and have my whole life. I accepted Christ into my heart when I was six and then re-committed my life to Him when… (read more…)
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Maybe because when I was little, it seemed that change only brought bad things. Change brought stressful jobs to my dad. Change moved me away from my best friends. Change was a little bit scary. And change hurt.
Then I grew up (not necessarily matured, just sayin’,) and realized that change could also bring good things. Change brought a better job to dad. Change moved me to new friends. Change wasn’t so scary anymore, and sometimes it could even be fun!
Then I grew some more and realized that God always has a plan or my life, and He uses the change to bring good things from it.
Always. Every time. Maybe not instantly, maybe not anything that we can see, but we can be assured that He will bring… Read the rest of this article at Real Teen Faith!
By RTF Staff Writer Shannon Meiers
Shannon Meiers is a 16 year old home-schooled sophomore in high-school. Shes an aspiring writer, and is currently working with the special needs ministries at her church. Shannon, or Shan as her friends know her, is constantly learning new things about God’s grace, forgiveness, and unmeasurable love. Shannon came to know Christ at the age of 5, and has been striving to live for him ever since!