“Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, ‘I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.’ . . . So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.” (Genesis 29:18,20 NIV)
“So what does what I eat have to do with my relationships?”
Going into a relationship can be as fulfilling as a Big Mac or as scanty as devouring a Snickers bar. Let’s use a formula called the glycemic index to see why! (glycemic what?)
Everything we eat goes through a digestive process. After so many breakdowns, every choice bite is used to provide us with the calories we need to function. Each waking moment and every blink of the eye requires energy. But not all of the foods we eat are digested the same—not all foods are what they appear to be!
The glycemic index is a measurement used to track how fast or how slow foods are utilized. Proteins and fats have an evenly based glycemic index. The digestive process uses the calories from these foods in a steady way. So a Big Mac and fries allows a stable up flow of energy.
Breads, sweet drinks, and all sugary foods … are complex carbohydrates, digested quicker. The result is fast energy, but it’s used up as quickly as it appears. The instant gratification of a Snickers bar; the sweet, smooth chocolate enhanced by the salted peanuts, intermingled in a layer of caramel goes down fast and boosts your mood. But after the high, you’re left deflated, let down and outright stripped of ambition.
Moving slower in a relationship than your heart and hormones want, will allow for an incubation period. But love can strike you blind so you go for the instant satisfaction.
The Snickers bar relationship will peak and then fall, leaving you with a sudden void. A more thought out, well rounded relationship will go a long way, not letting you down in a tumult.
When you meet that perfect one, when the sensations of the right chemistry are upon you, make the right choice. Don’t throw away the opportunity of a lasting relationship for the quick fix of a Snickers bar!
Notice the title says “We Were Made to Worship.”
Not “We Were Made To Worship God.”
We were made to worship, period. The way you live fills in the blank. Each of us was born with a desire inside of us to give something or someone praise. Unfortunately, many of us fill this desire by worshiping things other than the One who created us. John 4:23-24 explains:
“It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit… that’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship… those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves…” (MSG)
It’s what you say, the way you act, and your love that reflects what’s in your heart—and your heart reflects who or what you live for.
If you’re a teenager, then you’ve probably caught yourself drooling over another teen of the opposite sex and craving to give into peer pressure. Or maybe you’ve caught yourself raising your hands at a concert or a football game.
We live for what we love.
Are there any desires in your heart you’ve subconsciously put before your Heavenly Father? If so, ask him to remove those and replace them with the desire to worship him only.
“The secret things in their hearts will be made known. So they will bow down and worship God…” (John 4:23-24 MSG)
You were made by God. You were made for God. But are you living for him?
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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“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” (Romans 13:1 NIV1984)
“Pulling shopping carts from the parking lot is the most boring, low life job I could get. There’s just nothing else to apply for. With school and homework, this is all I have time for. At least I’m outside. Bill’s stuck inside stocking shelves.” Jeff grumbled loudly.
Hey, there’s Bill. “What are you doing out here, man? Did ya get fired!?”
“Don’t be funny, Jeff. Manager sent me out here to help you. They’re all out of carts inside and the after dinner rush is starting.”
“I know. It’s the highlight of the evening. Shop Super Shop & Mart for the big sales.” Jeff walked off.
It’s getting cold. Hey, my jacket’s in the car. Bill won’t miss me for a sec. I’ll get it and come right back. Besides, he’s a moving target with that reflective vest. What a kiss-up he is. I won’t get caught wearing that lame looking orange thing.
“Hey Jeff, where were you? And where’s your safety vest? The way people are driving around here, you’re likely to get run over without it. Besides, it’s policy to wear it after sundown.”
“Oh chill out Bill. I don’t need to glow in the dark and besides that vest won’t fit over my jacket. I’m tired of freezin’ out here. If you keep glowing the way you are these crazy driver’s will think you’re worth seventy points.”
“Seventy points? What’s that mean?”
“You know, like target practice, Bill.”
“Man, this guy is thick. Follows all the rules but doesn’t use his head. Rules are made for breaking. Sometimes you have to take the survival route. I’ve seen people do that with speeding, lying, and cheating on their taxes. It’s just the way of the world.”
“Jeff! Watch it! There’s a car pulling out behind you!” The surreal thud made Bill run to help Jeff.
“Oh man, he hit me, Bill. I think my leg is broke. Call an ambulance.”
“Hang loose, Jeff, I’ll get help.”
Later, in the ER, Jeff apologized to Bill. “You know, Bill, lying here in the emergency room makes me feel pretty stupid. I should have listened to you. All this anti-establishment stuff went out long ago and as a Christian, I should know better. Rules are not there to be challenged and if I had taken this one rule seriously, I could have avoided this.”
“Don’t sweat it Jeff, just wear your reflector next time.”
Bill was too nice. I didn’t think my manager would be. But he gave me an opportunity to keep my job after I healed up as long as I promised to follow the safety rules while in the parking lot. “The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Good thing God doesn’t take any of my advice. He’d be awfully busy looking after fools like me!
Life Application: Do you think the Ten Commandments were given by God to command you? Think again. They are there to protect you. It’s your choice!
Ya know, being a kid in high school and at the same time being a Christian in high school, is not easy. So what are Christian students supposed to do? Remain a Christian and pretend it’s not a serious thing? Just act natural? Or should we stick to our little youth group in church and forget the lost sinners who wander the high school hallways? They deserve what they get anyway, right?
In Matthew 28:19, Jesus tells us to go and make disciples of all nations. Sometimes I have to wonder if we, as teenage kids, take this to heart. When Jesus said go and make disciples of all nations he really meant everybody. And, yes, that includes the geek next door and your mean math teacher. The problem with kids in high school (and most people, now that I think about it) is we’re not always sure how to approach someone who could easily look down on us.
Nobody wants to be dismissed as a silly kid.
So what can you do? Start with the Bible. Read daily. Set a schedule. Even ten minutes a day is better than none at all.
Excuse: I’m not a very good reader–I don’t like to read.
Answer: Bible on CD. A kid in my youth group downloaded the Bible on to his iPod so that he could get through Genesis. It’s out there, I promise. =)
Once you’re comfortable with talking to someone about the Bible, talk to friends. Tell them that Jesus will save even the worst sinners. You don’t have to be a theological scholar to talk to your friends. Once your friend has accepted Christ as their Savior, bring them to church. Another good place for you to start if you haven’t already.
Get with your youth group. Set something up. A canned food drive. Do a car wash and donate the money. (That’s very effective where I’m from.) Or, if you’re really ambitious, dinners are also a good thing to do for the local residents or your church. (We usually make enchiladas, but not everyone lives in New Mexico.) A problem I had for a while was not having a youth group. I eventually convinced a few of the leaders in our church to start one. We have exactly three regular members and two that come off and on. But even that’s not bad compared to absolutely nothing at all.
Did you know there are organizations in school you can join that are specifically for Christian students? (Or better yet–students who are not Christians.) The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is a popular one. I’ve joined it and our group currently consists of five kids. And none of us do sports. (I know. Ha-ha.) Or if you don’t have school organizations, make one. You’re the boss! Whatever comes to mind would be a good idea. Even if it’s small.
The sky is the limit.
Son to a farmer, 16 year old Blake lives in rural New Mexico with his parents, two sisters and a brother where they raise cattle, wheat and 4H livestock. He can drive a combine, pull a plow and milk a goat! Blake is a veracious reader: Done with homework? Read a book. Free class time? Read a book. Road trip? Read a book! When he’s not reading, Blake is a very active leader in his school and community where he is President of his 4H club, a member of FFA, BPA, FCA, Student Council, FCCLA (in which he competed at a national level) and, his favorite–journalism. (read more…)
But God shows and clearly proves His love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5: 8
Let love for your fellow believers continue and be a fixed practice with you. Hebrews 13: 1
But if one loves God truly, he is known by God. 1 Corinthians 8: 3
For whom the Lord loves He corrects, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. Proverbs 3: 12
I love those who love me, and those who seek me early and diligently shall find me. Proverbs 8: 17
But God–so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us. Ephesians 2: 4
I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. John 13: 34
By this shall all know that you are My disciples, if you love one another. John 13: 35
And this I pray: that your love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight. Philippians 1: 9
Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4: 8
Who shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword? Romans 8: 35
Read the rest of this article at Real Teen Faith!
Valentine’s Day, also known as Single’s Awareness Day, has a tendency to be either a love-it or hate-it kind of holiday. If you’re celebrating red roses, candy hearts, and teddy bears with your significant other, Valentine’s Day can be full of giddy happiness. But for those of us who may not have a boyfriend or girlfriend this Valentine’s Day, all the candies and cards have a tendency to make us feel a little left out.
However, instead of letting Valentine’s Day remind us of what we don’t have, maybe we should try letting it remind us of the incredible love that we do have.
“How great is the love the father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1 NIV)
You may not have a boyfriend or girlfriend at this stage in your life, but you do have a God who loves you with an amazing, extraordinary, and unconditional love that is fully satisfying. He is your greatest love, and His love is reason enough to celebrate this Valentine’s Day. You are never really single when you are in a love relationship with the Lord. You are never really alone because God is near to you, wrapping you in His arms of love this Valentine’s Day.
May all the hearts and flowers this Valentine’s Day remind you of the greatest love that you will ever know. May each heart balloon remind you that are treasured, valued, and adored by the King of kings. And may every pink flower cause you to remember how precious it is to know true love, the love that your Father has lavished on you.
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…)
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12 (NIV)
Singles Awareness Day
No matter what you call it – it annoys me…
I don’t like candy. The regular Hallmark movies already make me want to gag. And when I see so much pink and red and white together it makes me want to convulse into seizures.
When I see couples making out in the streets and singles making goo-goo eyes at the remaining brood – I really do convulse into seizures.
It’s just one of those days where I’d rather stay in bed and relive Discovery Channel’s Shark Week on TiVo.
Despite all the pomp and circumstance, and even my excessive distaste for the day, I think someone, somewhere along the line – got it right.
Showing love has changed throughout the ages. The ancient Greeks used to toss an apple to the woman they fancied, and if she caught it – they were as good as engaged.
Ladies in old England would fasten their handkerchiefs to a knight’s javelin to let him not-so-subtly know she favored him the most.
Back in the 17th Century, in Wales, a man would tediously carve a pair of wooden spoons – called Lovespoons – and would give them to the girl he loved to show his affection.
And in 30AD, God sent His son to die a butchered death and bear the sin of a world that had rejected him so that we, ungrateful children, may spend eternity with Him. Because no matter what we’ve done – and no matter what we will do – God loves us.
Kind of puts ‘love’ into perspective, huh?
So this Valentines-Singles-Awareness-Day, take a step out of conformity and spread the greatest love of all with those you hold dear.
The love of Christ.
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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“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1 John 3:16 ESV)
Every girl wants a valentine—someone who will love her with that special love she knows must be out there somewhere. Teenage drama centers on the constant search for the perfect person, but disappointment prevails when that person doesn’t turn out to be who we thought they were. Could it be that this desire for “perfect love” was planted there by God so that he himself could fill it?
In the Bible, we find that there is one Man who has loved us more than we could ever imagine. Stories of self-sacrifice melt girls’ hearts, but God performed the ultimate act of self-sacrifice. He knowingly gave his life to rescue us from our captor: sin. He died a horribly painful death so that you could know his love. Instead of fighting a dragon, He fought death itself and won. One day we will go live with him in his castle. But until then, He has written us a long love letter called the Bible and shares his secrets with us every day in prayer.
How can we still be so short-sighted as to crave love from another place? Even in these moments when we are unfaithful to our Prince, He only reaches out farther to draw us back to himself. That love he displayed for you as he went to the cross is still the same today and forever.
Next time you are craving earthly love, take time to talk with your true Lover.
Aimee Lynch is a homeschooled high-school student in Gaithersburg MD. She has a heart for children whose parents are divorced because she grew up in a single-parent home after her own parents divorced when she was five. Her blog, allfilledup.wordpress.com, is a place where she seeks to encourage other kids in difficult situations. In what little free time she has, she enjoys gardening, reading, getting involved in various youth projects, taking walks on the beach, and writing articles. (read more…)
Is taking a year off between high school and college really such a bad idea? With all the parental pressure, peer pressure, and school pressure urging high school seniors to immediately proceed to a college campus following graduation, you would think it was a crime; however, I personally think it may better prepare a teenager for college.
I truly feel a year off between high school and college is a great idea, as long as that year is spent interning, traveling abroad, or working in a related field. If a student simply plans to take the year off and become a couch potato, then a year off is probably not a good idea. But, for those students who are passionate about life and want to use a year off to better themselves, it could be amazing.
Taking a year off could benefit a student in two important ways. First, the time off would allow the student to learn who she is and what she desires to do with the rest of her life. Secondly, taking a year off offers the student a chance to learn about the world outside of the school walls and gain life experiences that will change that student for the better.
Interning in a field that a student might possibly want to work in after college is a great idea. For instance, if a student thinks she would like to go to college to become a fashion stylist, it would benefit that student to intern with a professional stylist for a year and learn firsthand what it takes to be a successful stylist. At the end of that year, the student will know whether or not fashion styling is something she wants to pursue for a career, and if it is, she will be able to approach her fashion styling major with new found excitement and direction. Interning provides a student the chance to figure out if that is really something she wants to do for the rest of her life. If not, then she just saved herself a lot of confusion and “major changing” in college.
My sister Allyson is the perfect example why interning and exploring one’s desired profession is crucial before investing time and money into it. Ally had once aspired to become a fashion designer, but this past summer she went to California to get a taste of what it would be like to design for companies, and it turns out she didn’t enjoy it as much as she thought she would. Instead Allyson has decided she would rather be a fashion stylist, which is where she would put the outfits together just not make them. If Allyson had not had these intern-type experiences this past summer, she would have declared the wrong major and cost herself a lot of money and time.
Many students realize that taking a year off between high school and college may be the only time they will ever have to travel abroad. They realize after college graduation, most students will get a full time job in their field and many times, they will get married and encounter family obligations that would make traveling abroad almost impossible. So they just go for it and take the year to encounter different cultures.
Personally, I think this is a great idea. This past summer I went to Italy for almost three weeks, and it was a great growing and learning experience for me. The trip helped me become more mature, and it forced me to become more independent and self assured, which will benefit me when I am on my own at college. In addition, I found the trip to be very educational. Learning a vast amount of history and experiencing cultural diversity forever changed me. It was a crash course in art appreciation, foreign language, and public relations. Imagine if those three weeks had been an entire year?
Another way to spend the year off is working—especially if that student can work in a field related to her future area of study in college. A student who works in a related field will gain life experiences that will make her college classes more interesting and relative.
For example, if a student plans to pursue a career in elementary education, it would be excellent for that student to work in a daycare or possibly at the Boys’ Club or Girls’ Club. Interacting with children will not only look great on a college application, but also it will reinforce the reason this student is pursuing a degree in elementary education. In addition, working during this year off will allow students to make money to put toward their education, as well as give them a taste of the real world. In other words, if a student spends a year flipping burgers for a living, going to classes in college will mean more because that student knows that a college diploma will open up doors so she will never have to flip burgers again.
There are just so many benefits to taking the year off, including: growing as a person, discovering what one really wants to do, gaining invaluable life experiences, and getting a taste of the real world. So when you are debating about going to college, please consider all of these aspects. Taking a year off between high school and college might be the best option for you.
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Seventeen-year-old Abby Adams is an outgoing high school senior who is known for her infectious laugh and charismatic personality. As a cheerleader and gymnast for the past seven years, she plans to try out for cheerleader in college next year. Abby not only enjoys participating in cheer leading, but also she loves coaching it. She is currently the Cheer Coach for a middle school cheer team in southern Indiana and a gymnastics teacher at the local Girls Club.
Abby serves as Vice-president of her senior class and excels in leadership. She plans to pursue a career in elementary education at either Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky or Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. (read more…)