Monday, January 30, 2012

Perfect People

   Stop for a second and think about that girl.  Yeah, you know who I'm talking about.  She's popular, fashionable, and quite possibly tall and blonde.  The girl everyone wants to be like.  She's got it all - the beauty, the friends, the guy.  The perfect life.  She's got it all together.  She's happy.
   Maybe not so much.  Have you ever thought about what her life is really like? who she really is?  Have you ever cared?  You might be surprised by what you would see.
   That girl's beauty is all a mess of expensive clothes, hair product, and make-up.  She doesn't think she's pretty without it.  She's spent hours in front of the mirror to make herself beautiful, never believing she truly was.  She has spent her life getting people to like her, but she still doesn't know which of her "friends" she can trust.  She feel she must have a boyfriend to be loved and important, always wondering when this one will ditch her.
   That girl wakes up every morning and paints a picture of perfect for everyone to see, hiding what's real underneath.  She pastes on a smile and coats herself with confidence.  On the inside she is crying and falling and failing.
   Will you show her what truth is?  Will you live what's real?  Will you demonstrate true friendship?  Will you you teach her happiness?  Will you tell her she's beautiful?  Will you tell her she's loved?

   Or will you let her live her perfect life?

Check out Perfect People by Natalie Grant.  It's an amazing song!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Here and Now

"For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”  
~Esther 4:14

   I doubt, I struggle.  After every move, every school switch , every friend made or lost, I wonder.  What is His plan?  Where is God taking me?  What will I do for Him?
   But I'm here.  He has something for me now.  I don't have to wait, I don't have to wonder.  Only He knows where I'll be next, but He put me here.  He wants me to make an impact now.
   So I'll trust Him.  I'll hold nothing back - "and if I perish, I perish!"  I will follow Him.  I'll use this place, this moment, to make a difference.  I will show the world Him.  I'll do whatever He asks, whatever it takes.  And, through Him, I will be victorious.
   Right here.  Right now.

"I'm gonna take a stand, gonna make an echo
I'm gonna make some history with His story, writing the pages of today
Cuz I know I was made for such a time as this." 
~Beckah Shae

Monday, January 16, 2012

Why Bother?

   Girls, you may wonder what the point of dressing modestly is.  You may think What's the big deal?  Why should I be modest?  Well, here are five reasons.
   Be modest for you.  You can be modest and still stylish.  Wear clothes that flatter you, and cover you.  This shows others that you know you are worth it, that you know you are valuable.  Dressing modestly sends a clear message that you respect yourself, and also demands respect from others.
   Be modest for the girls.  If you are modest, it shows other girls that it can be done, that you can be modest and still look great.  Dressing modest tells them that it's worth it - that they are worth it.
   Be modest for the guys.  When you wear revealing or provocative clothes, you are a stumbling block for all the males who see you.  Don't even try to tell me "they shouldn't be looking."  If there's something to look at, it is your very own fault.  Don't cause the guys to stumble.  They are those out there who want to stay pure, who aren't looking at girls all the time.  Let's help them out.
   Be modest for Prince Charming.  Be pure for your future husband.  He is waiting for the one and he will notice a girl who respects herself and the guys enough to dress modestly.  Be ready for your Prince Charming - he will love that you waited.  There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty.  -1 Peter 3:2 (the Message)
   Be modest for Him.  God loves you beyond what you could ever imagine, and he understands your full worth.  Your body is the temple of Holy Spirit.  Doesn't it deserve all the respect you can give it?  Your Heavenly Father specifically instructs you to be modest.

And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it. 
-1 Timothy 2:9-10 (the Message) 
In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing,  but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.  
-1 Timothy 2:9-10 (NKJ)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Just Talk

   Call me old-fashioned, but I believe in talking face-to-face with a person if you have a problem with them.  Instead of talking to everybody else about everything bout them, why not explain to them what's bothering you?  Instead of making the issue worse, why not work it out so there isn't one at all?  It may be easier to complain to your friends and spill your guts to Facebook, but it just feeds the fire.
   What would happen if you went to person who offended you and had a conversation.  And no, I don't mean yelling, accusing, or whatever else might be your first instinct.  I don't mean going on and on about what they've done wrong and simply expected them to accept that.  A conversation is "an exchange," which mean both of you talking.
   Go to person you are frustrated with.  Tell them you know there is a problem but you don't want it to come between you.  Let them tell their side of the story first, without interruptions.  Put yourself in their shoes.  Apologize for whatever you have done wrong, even if you don't think it was that bad.
   When it is your turn to speak, be calm.  Don't go into accusatory mode.  As soon as you start blaming them for everything, it will all go downhill.  Explain what they did that bothers you so much, and give them a chance to share their feelings and apologize.
   Gossip and blame don't fix the problem.  You have no idea what effect your words will have.  Talk to the person, not about them.  Loving conversation is what repairs relationships.

Just talk... and listen.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Choice About Abortion

Remember this post?  Well, here is the actual essay that came out of that story.  I hope it challenges you to really think about abortion.  Happy reading!

   Abortion. It’s such a big issue in our country, but how much do we really know about it?
Do we just go with what our family thinks, or what our heart tells us? Pro-life, or pro-choice?
That is the question. Do we even think about what our answer should be? I’m here to give you
the facts. I know that I am pro-life, but you must decide for yourself what you believe.
   The first question you must answer is whether a fetus is a human being, and does
abortion kill a baby. Evidence shows that life begins at fertilization. At the moment of
conception, a new human being with a unique set of DNA is created. Our science and biology
teachers have taught us that from the beginning, and the experts agree. Professor Matthews-
Roth, Harvard Medical School, said, “It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be
decisive…It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception.”
The official Senate Report states this: “physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that
conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being – a being that is alive and is a
member of the human species.” Even Bernard Nathanson, a strong abortion advocate, said
that “there is simply no doubt that even the early embryo is a human being.” There really is no
question that abortion kills a living, human baby.
   Even though we know that life begins at conception, one of the main pro-choice
arguments is that the fetus is part of the mother’s body; therefore she has the right to do what she
wants with it. While this sounds very noble and good, there are many proofs that the fetus is its
own person, not simply a part of its mother. First, the embryo has to disable the woman’s
immune system before it can attach to the wall of the uterus. Why would the body want to reject
it if it was just another part? Also, it is illegal to execute a woman who is pregnant, and if
someone kills a pregnant woman they will be convicted on two counts of murder. Why?
Because the baby living inside is a unique human being. The fetus can die while the mother
lives, and vice versa, which wouldn’t be possible if they were the same person. The fetus has
completely different DNA from its mother’s, and in many cases the baby is a boy, meaning even
the gender of the unborn child is different from that of the mother’s. Finally, women don’t have
extra arms and legs and two hearts when they’re pregnant. As Sir Albert Lilley put it, “At no
stage can we subscribe to the view that the fetus is a mere appendage of the mother.”
   To further prove that an unborn baby is its own person, let’s look at fetal development. It
begins at day one, when the baby already has a unique genetic code, and by week three the heart
begins to beat. After four weeks the backbone and muscle begin to form and hair sprouts. At
five weeks the fetus is only the size of a raspberry, but brains waves can be detected, and five
separate fingers are discernable. When the fetus is only six weeks old, it can move on its own,
and the major organs start working. A week later it can smell. At eight weeks the unborn baby
is only about an inch and a half, but all its body systems are in place, and it has nearly everything
that a full-grown adult has. Finally, at week 22, the fetus is viable, meaning it can live outside
   Now that you know about the fetus, you need to understand what actually happens during
an abortion. The most common type of abortion is vacuum aspiration. After counseling,
paperwork, etc. the woman is offered pain killers or sedation. A tube is inserted into the cervix,
and a suction machine “gently empties your uterus.” (Planned Parenthood) Basically, the baby is
   To make your decision about abortion you must also consider the effects of abortion on
the women, including post-abortion syndrome (PAS). PAS is a post-traumatic stress disorder
related to abortion. Symptoms include guilt, remorse, and regret. Many women also have
shame, lowered self-esteem, depression, or even attempt suicide. Insomnia, dreams and
nightmares, flashbacks, hatred toward men, and anniversary reactions are also symptoms of PAS.
   Planned Parenthood and other abortion supporters say that most women feel relief after
an abortion, and PAS is a myth created by “anti-choice extremists.” To support their views they
point out that neither the American Psychological Association or the American Psychiatric
Association acknowledges PAS.
   On the other hand, those on the pro-life side say that PAS is a real problem for women.
Abby Johnson worked her way up at Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the
nation, and became a director. After watching an abortion on the sonogram screen, she quit her
job and joined the Coalition for Life. She says in her book, unPlanned, “I’ve seen many women
suffer emotional pain and guilt, often for years, over their decision to abort. In cases of rape, I
found it particularly sad because often abortion seemed to add a new wound on top of the first.”
(unPlanned, Abby Johnson) While it’s true that many women initially feel relief after an
abortion, it doesn’t tend to last. Those against abortion are also quick to reveal the fact that both
APAs are boldly pro-choice, and their views may be tainted.
   The pro-life side also says that many surveys of women about PAS are invalid, for two
reasons. One, they ask women soon after the abortion procedure, but symptoms often take five,
or even ten years to kick in. Also, most women will deny symptoms of PAS in a survey. They push down their feelings and deny that they are having problems. In light of all this, I think it is
definitely safe to say that post-abortion syndrome is an authentic effect of abortion and a real
   Maybe the most compelling assertion pro-lifers can make is that “fetuses” have actually
lived through abortion. There are many stories of people who have survived abortion. Stories of
babies who were “missed” because the mother didn’t know she was carrying twins, of mothers
going into labor during the procedure, and stories of incomplete abortions resulting in a child
born without limbs. One of these stories is that of Gianna Jessen.
   Gianna’s mother was given a saline injection, which was supposed to get rid of the
unwanted “tissue.” She gave birth to a live baby instead. Gianna developed cerebral palsy
because of lack of oxygen when she was being aborted and born. The doctors said she would
never even sit up, but today she can walk, dance, and sing. Gianna’s mother gave her up for
adoption, and she finally discovered the truth about her birth –and abortion- when she was
twelve. It was very hard to swallow. Amazingly, she has forgiven her mother. Gianna is a
strong pro-life advocate and is against abortion even in the case of rape.
   At first, abortion supporters seem to have a strong defense and righteous causes. But if
you take a closer look you will discover that all their slogans and arguments fall apart when
weighed up against the truth. In the end, you must decide for yourself where you stand on
abortion. I find the facts and evidence overwhelmingly in favor of the pro-life side. I know that
abortion kills babies. I have made my choice. I am, and will remain, firmly and passionately
against abortion. Like Mother Teresa said, “How can there be too many children? That is like
saying there are too many flowers.”

Sunday, January 8, 2012

To the Students of America

   Have you heard the talk about how our country has taken God out of our schools?  Kids don't say the pledge of allegiance anymore, much less pray as a class.  Teachers aren't allowed to share their Christian beliefs with students.  We learn about the big bang theory, and that evolution is the only way things could've happened.  You've probably heard your parents or other adults complain about all this.  They say their kids deserve better, that school is a bad environment.  They claim America is speeding downhill.
   And maybe all this is true -  it probably is.  Maybe we have a real problem in the US.  Maybe God is absent from public schools, maybe He's been kicked out.  But what's being done about it?  Is it being changed, is the problem being fixed? 
   Maybe the grown-ups can't fix it.  Maybe legislation, government, and politics won't change this.  Maybe this isn't about the adults. Who's problem is it, anyway?
   What about us?  We the young people of the United States are the ones really affected by this - and in turn, so is the world.  We are the ones who can, should, and will change this.
   We can take a stand.  We can be different.  We can share the truth.  We can bring the Lord, the Creator, back into our schools, back into our lives, back into our nation.  We - you - can make the change.
   We are not just kids, we are the future.  What is America without us?  The world is headed nowhere without the youth.  The adults may recognize the problem, they may see that it needs fixed, but they can't do it without us. 
   The revolution must start with us.  We make a change in our own lives, and our friends see it.  Our friends change, and our class notices.  Our grade is changed, and our school wonders what happened.  Before we know it, all the kids in our school know God.  We share Him with our teachers, principals, and coaches.  Our school has been transformed, and it wasn't because of rules, regulations, it wasn't forced upon us.
   The shift has to start inside our schools, with the students, with us, with you. The change will spread, but it has to start somewhere - with the kids of America.  Together, we will change the world.

   What will you do?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

How Do You See Me?

   You may think I'll like it if you call me "hot." You might think I 'll blush and smile.  You may think "sexy" is a compliment.
   You thought wrong.
   If you greet me with "sexy" I'll turn and walk away. Call me "hot" and I'll want nothing to do with you.  Those words don't flatter me, they disgust me.  They don't attract me, they shove me away.
   "Sexy" and "hot" tell me you see me as an object, not someone to be loved and cherished.  They show me that you only care about what I look like on the outside, not my feelings on the inside.  Those words reveal that you're just looking at my body, not who I really am.
   Is that all you really care about?  Is that really how you think?  Can't you see that there's so much more?
   I don't wanna be sexy or hot.  I want you to love me for me.  I want you to know that I'm gorgeous inside and out.  I want to be the one you would give your life for.  I want you to see who I really am, and still love it.  I wanna be "beautiful."

   How do you see me?