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.
Many times in my life, I have heard many different inspirational speakers and pastors. I often would sit in church, but never realized the meaning of one true sermon. When I heard Christian for the first time, I was immediately interested in his testimony and the lesson that he had to share about what he learned about his walk with God. The reason why I chose to interview Christian, was because he is an amazing guy, and can enlighten someone’s life with the word of Jesus Christ and him crucified. Being able to have contact with Christian Chapman on Facebook and also being able to text him and know him personally has been a complete blessing. His sermonette that night touched my heart and I rededicated my heart to the Lord.
1. If you could give the people advice about the world in the shape that it is in today what would you tell them?
I would repeat the final words of St. Paul found in 2 Timothy 4:2-7 where he says to be in season at all times and always be prepared to preach the Word. Why? In verse 3 of that same scripture, it talks about the end times, churches will be filled with preachers telling people what their compromising itching ears are wanting to hear and that people will be turning away from the gospel and turning to myths and other beliefs that aren’t true at all. Sound familiar? It should because it is exactly what’s going on in America and around the world today.
2. What is your testimony on how you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior?
In 1987, after going from being a ranked athlete in North Carolina to living homeless on the streets as a drug overdose victim in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I came home to Charlotte, North Carolina to rehab and live with my father. Even though I was a high school dropout, I got a job at Charlotte Honda because my father was the manager there and I raced motorcycles on the weekend. Even though, I was trying to straighten out my life I ended up at a party in downtown Charlotte one night with a line of cocaine at the tip of my nose. For some reason I had the strength to say No to the hit and started heading back. I ran out of gas at around 3:30 A.M. at Harris Boulevard right off of I-85 and began to thumb for a ride. A taxi cab picked me up and took me to get gas. He brought me back to the bike and put gas in my tank. As I waved goodbye to the taxi, I realized I left my keys in the car as he drove away and it was then around 4 o’clock in the morning, the Lord let me see a slow motion replay of all the failures I had in my life. This caused me to fall on my face and pray for the first time and ask God to reveal to me, that he loved me, that he cared for me, and that he wanted a relationship with me. As soon as I prayed that prayer I looked up with tears in my eyes and I saw a navy-blue Pontiac Firebird pulled over. I walked up to the window, he rolled it down and and turned the light inside the car on and the first thing I saw sitting on the passenger side seat was a Bible. Then I looked at this man and he looked back at me. The words that he said to me I will take to my grave. He said “Son, The Lord told me to pick you up and share with you that He loves you and that’s he’s got a plan for your life. I got in the car and talked with this man about Jesus, as he took me all the way home in North Carolina. It changed my life forever knowing that I am love. Love is what science can’t offer or explain, and unconditional love is what other religions don’t have is a basis for their foundation. Yet is the one thing that we need is humans it certainly was the one thing I needed in 1987 as a young teenage boy who was on the verge of suicide because of the multiple failures in his life. The man who picked me up that night was an African-American man and to have an African- American man pick up a white kid on the side highway and invest his life is the reason why my wife and I adopted 3 bi-racial children and also why I am now the pastor of one of the most diverse churches in Charlotte.
Favorite portion of Scripture?
1 Corinthians 9:19 Though I am free and belong to no man I make myself a slave to to win others to Christ. In fact, this is tattooed on the left side of my bicep because in 1987 a man made himself a slave so that I could hear the gospel of Jesus and so I make myself a slave so others can hear the same message today.
Is there any advice that you would give to a teenager who has not gave their life to the Lord?
If they don’t stand up and fight, live, love and serve Christ then a whole generation of believers will be lost and the future of the church in America will be lost.
Christian Chapman is a man full of the anointing of the Spirit, and
evangelizes many teens and adults across the nation. He is a full-time
pastor at his church located in Charlotte, NC. The first time I ever
heard Christian testify, I felt the presence of God enter the room and
his testimony spoke to my heart and I rededicated my heart to the Lord
that night. He currently has two books on sale on his website
www.christianchapman.com/ and also on Amazon. He also takes
modern-song rhythm and adds christian lyrics to it.
Hi my name is Andrew Brunet. I am a teenager who is very zealous for the Lord and his works. In my spare time, I like to relax and enjoy God’s wonderful miracles, each and every day whether unveiled to us in his word or through just looking outside the bedroom window. Currently, I have my own teen ministry where I pray and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to teens on Facebook. I am hoping to end up being a preacher some glad day soon.
“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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