“I’m going down the orange one,” I told my older sister.
We climbed up the stairs to the top of the waterslides. My sister walked to the line for the open-top, green slide. I stood in line for the closed-top, orange slide. The dark hole gaped at me.
Heart hammering, I sat down and pushed myself in. I lay back and zipped down an unexpected drop-off. I started going faster and faster, whizzing through the darkness so fast I couldn’t scream. The only thought running through my head was, I’m going to crash and die at the bottom.
Light glinted up the sides of the slide. I plugged my nose and in a rush of water, I splashed into the pool. I jumped up, wiped the water out of my eyes, and stumbled around, trying to get my bearings. My head spun with dizziness. But I was alive. I was elated at the realization.
Sin can seem like we’re whizzing down a long, dark slide and there’s no way to slow down or stop. We just have to wait for the bottom where we’re going to crash and die.
In truth, sin’s much different. Sin is more like a playground slide where we can grab the edges of it and stop whenever we choose. Sin feels like it’s uncontrollable but it’s quite the contrary. Jesus died and rose again so He could give the gift of forgiveness to us. Because of forgiveness, we don’t have to continue in sin until we crash. We can come back whenever we choose.
If you feel yourself sliding into sin, stop where you are and pray for God to give you the strength to resist the devil. And if you are already on a downward spiral of sin, you can still pray and ask God’s forgiveness. He is always ready and willing to forgive. He will never turn you away.
Jesus didn’t die and rise from the grave for His people to cower back in fear, unable to fight sin. He gave us the power to fight the devil and resist temptation and sin. With Jesus on your side, you are stronger than you know. Go fight the good fight.
Danielle Dodge “Waterslide” Devo
Danielle Dodge is a fourteen-year-old girl who lives in Missoula, Montana. She’s in love with writing and reading. She also enjoys playing the violin, dancing, and horseback riding.
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!
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
“Let the little children come to me…for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Mark 10:14 NIV)
We only knew each other for about five minutes, but we were already best friends. The only communication we had was my asking her what her name was and she responded with a twenty-five syllable name in Spanish that I could not repeat back to you if I tried. All I did was blow some bubbles for her and read her a book, but those simple gifts of kindness meant the world.
After we played, she crawled up in my lap and just sat there. I held her and loved her as she snuggled in my lap.
I am so thankful for my little friend, even though I do not know her name or speak her language. She taught me about faith. As I held her quietly in my arms, I thought about Jesus when He said, “Let the little children come to me…for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Mark 10:14 NIV)
I want to have faith like that little girl, a faith that is simple, joyful, and trusting. I desire to love God unconditionally and come to Him without reservation. I want to crawl up in the lap of my Lord, trusting Him even when I do not understand Him. I know that He loves me, so I love Him in return. After all, that is all that faith really is – the willingness to lean into the arms of the Lord and rest awhile, knowing that He is holding you and loving you securely.
Thought for the day: God is always available for you to run to Him and rest in His arms.
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…)
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!
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him.” (Psalm 28:7 NASB)
I stood beside the blocks waiting to get started. If I’d had boots on, I’m sure I would’ve been shaking in them. My friend stood beside me ready to start the timer for my first 500 yard freestyle.
Was I ready for this?
Sprinting had never been my thing. But was that what God wanted me to do? At least this was long-distance and I didn’t need to go fast.
I’d done long-distance before. I liked the 200 Breaststroke the best, mainly because I didn’t have to sprint all out.
But a 500? What if I got a DQ? What if my time was horrible?
The whistle blew and I climbed onto the block. My friends cheered for me and gave me “good lucks”.
God, help me do this. It was a short, but definitely sincere prayer.
“Swimmers take your mark…”
Beep! The buzzer rang.
I was off. I went slow; a nice easy pace. And after the first 50 yards I was totally into it. God gave me incredible strength and power I didn’t know I had. As I thanked Him I realized how many times I’d doubted. How many times I thought I couldn’t do something. And yet there I was, swimming the 500.
Thanks to God, the amazing Grace-Giver, I was able to get through the 500 free with no problems. And no DQs.
Although I was scared, I know He was there, smiling down on me. And if I can make Him smile, that’s good enough. No matter how good or bad I do.
It can be the same for you. Give Him your best.
Thirteen-year-old Kayla Woodhouse’s zest for writing comes not only from her natural ability, but also from her love of the written word as witnessed by her voracious reading appetite. One of only a few dozen cases in the world, Kayla was born with HSAN, Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathy, an extremely rare nerve disorder. Unable to sweat, or feel pain, she’s also been through brain surgery. But even through a life of extreme hardships, her ever-present smile encourages others to pursue their dreams, no matter the obstacles. In addition to being homeschooled and writing with her mom, she’s an amazing swimmer, and spends up to thirty hours a week in training. She has appeared on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Montel Williams Show, Mystery ER, and numerous other national programs. No Safe Haven, her first release from B&H Publishers in 2011, written with mother, Kimberley, makes her the youngest author to have a full-length novel published by a royalty paying publisher. You can find Kayla at http://kimberleyandkaylawoodhouse.com and http://kaylawoodhouse.com (read more…)
Can You Believe a Teenager Did This?
Ray ‘ Bubba Sorensen
There is a huge rock near a gravel pit on Hwy. 25 in rural Iowa. For generations, kids have painted slogans, names, and obscenities on this rock, changing its character many times. A few months back, the rock received its latest paint job, and since then it has been left completely undisturbed.
It ‘ s quite an impressive sight. Check out the multiple photos (all angles) of the rock.
The flag is not draped over the rock….it’s painted. What an awesome job.
Making a difference is easy. You simply have to step out on faith and follow the path set before you. Use your talents, your passions and trust them to the Father who blessed you.
Ray was 19 years old when he was inspired by the movie Saving Private Ryan and in an effort to make a change and honor our soldiers, he took on “The Rock.” Pictures change from year to year on the rock but twelve years later the effort still prevails.
Visit Ray’s site at http://www.thefreedomrock.com/