Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Un-blessed"

I found myself this week with a horrible cold. Aches, extreme sinus pressure, sneezes to the point of nausea, coughing to hoarseness, etc. Okay, I've grossed you out. Sorry. We've all had colds though. You know the yucky feeling of a really bad one. While I was sitting in my room miserable I was thinking about how "un-blessed" I was. "I don't feel good, Lord. Is there a problem? I have things to do. Hurry up and make me well."

Meanwhile, I'm completing my study of World War 2. I think I literally know everything about that war. Whew. But anyway, I finally got to where the Allied forces broke through the boarder of Germany in April of 1945, after 5 long years of war. Behind the evil Hitler's walls were Nazi concentration camps. I've known about the persecution of the Jews and many other peoples because of Hitler's power and desire for a "pure" race, but I didn't realize how very bad the people were treated. Brutally murdered because of who they were. Million were killed, just.... because.

Then I looked at my friend, Dr. Black's blog http://daveblackonline.com/blog.htm. I see the faces of my friends, people I know and have met in Ethiopia. Below their faces are the words, "They are following me to attack. Keep praying." The persecution is mostly where my Dad and I went in 2009. My friends are in danger for their lives. I know we've all heard about foreign missionaries or persecuted Christians in third-world countries and all too often we feel sorry for them and thank the Lord we are blessed and for being an American. A sheltered American. Lord help us, if anything really bad were to happen to this nation, I'm afraid many would cease to claim the name of a Christian. But see, I've been with those people in the pictures, who are now under persecution. I'm their family, and I feel different now about their safety. They are in danger of their lives but continue to stay strong through the strength of Jesus' power.

So back to my cold. It doesn't look like a big deal anymore does it?  It is a cold. No one is chasing me to have me killed because I'm a Christian or because of the way I look. I'm sitting in a comfortable chair, in a warm house at a computer with Internet access, I'm not starving, I have cold medicine, and I even get to go worship, learn and fellowship with other believers tonight. Isn't that wonderful?! But the best part is that the God of the Universe sent Himself in the form of a baby to the earth. He lived, got sick, stumped his toes, was hungry, tired, and died upon a cross. A dirty, grimy cross, because He loves me and you. And I'm sad because I have a stuffy head? Really?

We have NO RIGHT to say we aren't blessed. We are adopted by God. And if you are reading this post and you don't know if the Savior has saved you, let Him! Call upon His name. This nation may be in a state of confusion, but God's people are in God's hands, not in the hands of America. I am BLESSED and always will be, no matter if I'm sick, persecuted, lonely or whatever our minds can come up with. I'm a child of God.  

Friday, January 21, 2011

Life Matters More

For the past few days I have been wrapped up in school. World War 2 dates swirl in my mind. I'm trying to write an essay, a story, a "blurb" for Daddy's book, and a song all at the same time. My hands are tired. There is just so much to do. I know I'm not the only one who has that problem though. You're probably busy too. Things going on, the world spinning by and time mercilessly disappearing. As I've progressed through high school and have taken Algebra 1 and 2, Biology, Chemistry, English, etc, etc, etc. I have found that as important all of those subjects are, they shouldn't overtake my life. As much as I love piano, it shouldn't overtake my life either. I am thankful for parents who require me to work but are willing for me to put things that will come in handy for God's kingdom first. It breaks my heart when I hear that kids can't come to church because they have to study. Even though school is important... get ready, God and church are more so! I hear so often kids that say they can't study the Word of Almighty God or fellowship with His people, because they must study for an Algebra exam. Algebra can only go so far in the kingdom of God. Sure, it stretches our minds... and that is great, but it isn't more important than the Bible. Dance, Music, and Sports are great too! I've done them all. But they are not God. You can use them for the kingdom, but they can't take Jesus' place.

I have found in the years throughout my schooling that a major god in this country has become, education. Why? I believe the reason it is god to many is because they feel it can get them into a good college, get a good paying job, make a lot of money, have good vacations and then retire. The American Dream, right? I'm not saying all people are like this, but if we dig down, many are. Is it really worth it? My parents are willing for me to make a B instead of an A on my upcoming college exam so I can still live life. I get to come to church, spend time with my family, sing in the Praise Team at my church, help Daddy with his book and so much more, because I'm not in my room studying constantly for a test that I'll take and forget quite a bit of the information soon after. God blesses those who do His will. I may make an A, but it doesn't matter, because I am living in these precious years. I know that sounds strange in this culture, but it is so refreshing for me to know, my parents want me to serve God's Kingdom first (which is what Christian hearts should long for anyway) and then work with all my heart (as if unto the Lord) in all other aspects of my life.

The point of this post is this: School and extracurricular activities are great, but they aren't God and they won't last forever. Let's live in the now. So I'm going to go back to studying, but then I'm going downstairs to play with Andrew and Clara. Life matters more.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pictures from Concert at MPBC

I was telling you about the concert at MPBC in my last post. Well, here are some pictures taken from the night.
I just love this picture with the stained glass windows on the wall.

This was taken during God of Wonders. So neat! You have to love our tech guys!

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Belong

Some have asked if I would post a video of myself singing at church. So at the bottom of this post is a video of me singing in Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church's Praise Team concert this past Saturday night. It was such a Spirit filled time of Worship. What a pleasure and really, a true honor from God it is to sing for His children every week. I pray that He uses me to help draw them to Him.
"I Belong" is one of my favorite songs because of the beauty of the complex and yet simple truth that as children of Almighty God, we belong to Him. It doesn't matter the worries, failures, joy, or pain, we are still His... and He loves us. What peace that brings me.
I love singing it because I feel so very close to my Savior. But even though singing or playing before people is wonderful; worshipping the Lord in the quietness of my home while looking at the beauty of His creation is, for me, the most beautiful of all. Those moments when no human is watching and all is quiet when the Lord pours His love my heart is when I feel like I have been embraced by the Creator of the Universe. The Maker of the billions of stars, the newborn baby, the air we breath, and yet, my Father, who called me by name and gently whispers to my heart... you belong. Sweet Jesus, how precious that moment is. I encourage you, if you haven't heard that in a while, draw near to God and He will draw near to you. He loves you.

I hope this song brings you joy and peace.



Go to youtube.com and type mpbcworship for more songs.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Journey to Virginia

I haven't had the chance to blog lately because my family and I have been visiting with some very dear friends in Virginia. We travelled to Dr. and Mrs. Black's home on Rosewood farm on Thursday. We fellowshiped and enjoyed the company of one another intermidst the beautiful woods there. We stayed in their plantation style home. It was amazing the stories the that Mrs. Black shared about the house.
That night some other dear friends from the Ethiopia trips came to have a meeting over warm soup and sandwiches. The Lord really worked in the meeting and many decisions were made with the guidance of the Lord. It was so wonderful to see some familiar faces and speak about Ethiopia, knowing they knew how it felt and feels to have a bond with the people there.
Yesterday we wandered the lovely forest with Mrs. Black. It was such a joy to spend time with her. Even though she is going through so much with her cancer, the Lord is using her in so many ways. She is such an unbelievable example and tool God continues to use. I find He often uses us most when we realize that He is the only thing holding us up. We really see how much faith we have when it is all we have to stand on. Mrs. Black has so much faith and love for fellow believers. I was honored to so spend time with her and hear her wisdom and advice. I love her and Dr. Black so very much... my whole family does. It is so peaceful being with those who love Christ and other followers of Him.
That has been the past few days for me.  They were wonderful and full of the unusual warmth of January sunlight.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow

A white blanket of frozen water has a way of pulling on the reigns of everyday busy life. I am so very happy God invented snow. My family used every moment of Monday and Tuesday to enjoy it. My cousins and I realized that the sledding on our hill was fine, but sledding down the driveway would be better! We tried it out and were overjoyed with the thrilling speed. And it was speedy. We flew on the icy driveway that made our parents fell the need to gasp and close their eyes.

My cousins and Aunt and Uncle, grandparents, and my family ate together Monday and last night. We built a bonfire and enjoyed the company of one another by the glowing light. Stories, soup, sleds, snow and smiles lifted our hearts. I felt like a little kid again as my goal of the day wasn't to prepare for some college test, but to eat January snow and build an adequate sledding trail. My heart and mind wasn't burdened by the heavy load of life, but of joying God's beautiful snow and the pleasure of simplicity.


Check out my cousin Leah sledding on our brilliant trail... Sledding with cousins! - Purlear, NC, WXII 12's u local Video - u local, Your North Carolina Photos & Videos

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Blessed Church

There is nothing like a beautiful church service when the presence of God is so thick and real. That is what we had today at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. We learned, worshiped and basked in the truth and love of God. I could have stayed there all day. What a joy it is to fellowship and learn with other believers. We are blessed to have a wonderful building at the foot of beautiful mountains in a safe land. But what if we didn't have all of that? We had many come to the warm building on this cold January morning. But what if there was no heat? What if we lived in a country where such luxuries were not available? I wonder if we would have still pulled our tired selves out of those warm beds. And if we weren't sure that the place we were meeting would be safe, would we have been so willing to come? I hope so, but it wouldn't have been easy. God has given us more than so many others around the world as far as monetary things, but He still will give His love to anyone who calls upon his name and is will to serve Him. That blessing is available to anyone. That is worth more than heat on a cold day. But "to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48)." So we should be thankful for what we have and still be willing to share it with others. I'm thankful for a church whose heart longs to do just that. Such a wonderful service this morning with such wonderful people reminded me of how blessed we are. So, it has been a lovely day in the Father's house, but now I'm tired and in need of a Sunday nap. That is something else to be thankful for on cold Sundays in January... naps.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The World of Music

Music.... I was just thinking about that very vast word. Music. It's something that can make us dance for joy or bring us to tears. For someone like me that word brings me joy. I love what it brings to mind. I think of my piano, my viola, my guitar, singing, good songs.... I love music. I sing all day long. All day long, everyday. Sometimes I even try to dance while I sing (which is a scary sight). I don't see how I don't lose my voice and if I occasionally do I must whistle or lose my sanity. I play my guitar and piano every spare moment. I listen to music as I study. When the car door opens and the "ding ding" sound comes on, I sing harmony to it. I know... I'm a little bit ridiculous. I go to a music camp every year. I love it. It gives me joy and peace and draws me closer to God. Music is something I think all the world has in common. It is something that pulls the hands of all nations together. There are many that prefer sports or whatever else, but generally music turns something on in most of us. Do you turn your head when a commercial with good music comes on or hear a beautiful voice over the speaker in a store? Most do.

Music was created by God. He loves it too. He enjoys hearing songs lifted up to Him. He gave only humans the ability to sing and play. Think about that. We have a special and unique ability. Music taught to children at a young age helps their minds develop in every aspect of their lives. He loves beautiful music. But I believe He loves it only when it is uplifting to Him. He doesn't enjoy music that puts Him or His creation down. He doesn't like crude language or lewd innuendos. That, in fact, hurts Him deeply. He created music to be played for Him. Our music needs to worship Him only. I heard at a music conference I went to in November the quote, "All music is 'worship music', all songs lift up something." I want the music I play or sing to please God. Now I'm not saying that Yankee Doodle or Somewhere Over the Rainbow are bad... I'm saying I don't want to play things that I wouldn't play with Jesus listening... because He really is listening anyway. Satan uses music as a great tool, I believe. He uses the sound waves to travel the music he likes, music that uplifts him. So many fill their ipods with it and even though we think "its not that bad" it still fills minds with things that are not pure and true. We can't let our minds become numb to the music that is not beautiful to God's ears.

So, music is a beautiful thing... if used for God. It has the ability to tap into the depths of our hearts. He made it that way for a purpose. Lets use it to praise Him and let what we allow enter our ears make Him smile.  

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Money Isn't Everything

Last night my family watched the number one ranking movie of all time, "Citizen Kane." It was filmed in 1941 and was, of course, black and white. It was a deep movie with an eerily true message. The movie was based on the life of one of the wealthiest men in all of history, William Randolph Hearst. The movie pictured him as a man named Charles Foster Kane. The story went through the man's life from the time he was a poor child to when he inherited an unbelievable sum of money. His parents forced him to leave so he could "better himself." The man grew up to be a multi-multi-multi millionaire as he became a newspaper publisher. The movie began at his funeral and went back through his life as group of young men who were trying to learn more about the rich tycoon, were searching vigorously for the reason of Kane's last word, one that made no sense. Kane had had whatever he wanted. He was more wealthy that Rockefeller for his time. He had so much, pride overtook him. He refused to give to anyone but himself and lost his first wife and son because of his infatuation with his own desires. Kane at some point in the movie said, "If I wasn't so very rich I might have been a very good man." How sad, but probably true. He built a $150 million castle for himself (which would now be about like a $2 billion estate) and spent his life buying things for himself... hundreds of $100,000 statues that he bought and never opened just because he could. Someone once asked him, "Mr. Kane, why won't you invest in anything?" His reply was, "I don't invest, I only buy." He bought alright, yet he lost his family. The friends he had were friends only because of the money he owned. He wasn't an evil man, but a miserable one with nothing but stuff all around him. Stuff that wore down and sat in unopened crates.
That movie reminded me of a few verses. Mathew 6:19-21 says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." We can try to accumulate all we want but in the end, no matter who you are or how much or little you have, you won't take anything with you when you die. Nothing. No ipads, cars, clothes, favorite jewelry... nothing. If you are a Christian, you won't need any of it! Heaven has everything we need! But you and I can store up treasures in heaven. Instead of buying for ourselves, we can give to those starving and lonely in third-world countries in the name of Jesus. Jesus said in Luke 12:48 "If God has been generous with you, he will expect you to serve him well. But if he has been more than generous, he will expect you to serve him even better."
Mr. Kane or in real life, Mr. Hearst had more than he could have ever known what to do with. He wasted it and when he died, much of his stuff was burned. He thought money would make him happy. It didn't. Only God is the giver of true joy. If you are saved by the blood of Jesus, you can be in danger of your life like friends of mine are in Ethiopia, Africa and still rejoice in Christ. Or you can be in the lap of luxury and still come short of knowing true peace and joy. I encourage you to watch "Citizen Kane." It is a deep movie, but is well worth the effort to keep up. It will remind you that money doesn't last forever and that people are more important that things.

Monday, January 3, 2011

No Surgery!

Since I posted "Faith Like a Child" Daddy has informed me that Andrew will NOT be having a surgery this year. The doctors said that his leg bones are so very small for his age that they want to wait until he is well into 6 years old or even 7. I'm thankful we don't have to deal with that now. The Lord is so very good! He is so faithful. Andrew is just going along for the ride. Sweet boy.

Faith Like a Child

Today my little, 5 year old brother Andrew is at the doctor in Greenville, S.C. for an examination of his legs. For those of you who don't know, my adopted brother Andrew had clubbed feet when we got him in China 2 1/2 years ago. He actually walked on the tops of his feet in an extremely difficult way. We brought him home and he had an entire muscle reconstruction of his feet at the Shriner's hospital in Dec. of 2009. His feet were so bad off that even though his muscles are well enough now... his tibia and fibula bones are still turned inward. He now walks on the bottom of his feet like anyone else, but walks extremely pigeon-toed and trips over his feet. So he and my parents are at the doctor today for his appointment and I'm home doing school.
But as I was sitting here I was thinking about Andrew. He understands that he will have to have yet another surgery and that he'll have to once again wear casts on both legs to his thighs. He knows that he won't be able to walk for 6 weeks and that it will hurt. He knows all of that. But he trusts Mama and Daddy. They have told him of what may happen within the next few weeks, but he nods his head solemnly and then goes back to playing. I am more worried about it then he is! He has faith that Mama and Daddy will take care of him. He knows that they have never let him down before. He remembers the last surgery and that Mom sat beside him when he was afraid and that Daddy hugged him when the pain medicine wore off. He trusts them, because they have proven themselves faithful. Why is it that we don't have the peace Andrew does with our Heavenly Father? I find myself worrying, fearing what the next day holds and wondering. But, why? Has my Father ever proven Himself unfaithful? No. Has He ever abandoned me in times of trouble? Of course not. Then why do we fear? Satan wants us to doubt God and His will and power. Andrew knows that once again after over a year since he had to wear casts on his legs that he will be there again. He understands, but he chooses not to worry. He is 5, he just keeps learning to read and playing with his Christmas toys, knowing that Mama and Daddy will take care of him. I want to trust my Father in Heaven with the same certainty and trust that no matter what, He is there. And He will be, always.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Being Little: The Story of My Childhood

I wrote this story back in October, but I thought I'd share it here. It is the Tom Sawyerish rendition of my childhood. It may take a few minutes to read. Enjoy!

Being Little


I was always told to enjoy those years and now that I’m in these years, I understand why.  In those days I longed to be an intelligent young adult with responsibility. I never understood when the adults would bend down, pinch my pale freckled cheeks and whisper with a sad smile, “You enjoy being little now, sweetie.” No, not then. But now that the freckles have faded, a little at least, and adults no longer have to bend down, I understand the meaning behind those words.
There was simply nothing like a spring day when the end of school was so nearby and in my young heart, so far away. I was convinced that learning my multiplication tables would be the hardest thing I’d ever do and if those weren’t hard enough, my new piano piece would be. I would hurry up to finish school on such a day and stuff a corn dog down my throat so I could sit by the phone and wait to get a call from my cousins. It wouldn’t be long before the two of them would be huffing up the hill between our houses and I would pull my curly-headed sister out of the house into the warm, honeysuckle air. There were no formalities between the four of us and we would soon come to a conclusion on what my youngest cousin, Leah, and I wanted to do for the afternoon. For some time we almost always decided on a trip to the creek.
We must have been quite a sight, trotting down the hill. Taylor was the second oldest of our motley crew and to my dismay was a little less than a year younger than me, as she rubbed it in those six days we were the same age. She always wore her hair in a straight, smooth pony-tail and never had a worry in that pretty sun-tanned heart-shaped face of hers. She was more than happy to be the peacemaker, which I loathed I wasn’t better at it. My sister, Kandace, was the one who would be skipping with her curly brown mane blowing in the breeze. She always had herself into something and required constant attention during those days. Leah, the wee little girl was too much like me in many ways. The little blond- headed baby of the group always helped me make the decisions and unlike her older sister, preferred to play the cowboy in our games. And then there was me, the only one with the white, freckled skin and feet browner than my face. I would be beside of Taylor skipping along; trying not to worry about something… whatever it was that particular day.
The creek always seemed to smell fresh and the water cool, cold really. The rich green moss lined the creek’s embankment like a velvety carpet for our bare feet. I always had to remind one of the younger girls to watch out for the “three shiny leaves” because that was poison ivy. We were told by our wise fathers to wade no further than our knees, but Taylor was usually the only one who remembered the unwanted advice. We were always thrilled when we found a new place that the water flowed slowly and a fallen tree provided a good seat. It wouldn’t be long; however before we grew tired of our new playing place and would go in search of a better one.
On such a day at the creek, I persuaded Leah that a sled would make an excellent boat in the deeper water. As I remember, both of our mothers had told us that “today we were not to get wet”, but I explained that the sled wouldn’t let a drop of water on her. She was skeptical, but being the 7-year-old that she was, she gave in much to Taylor’s dismay. I dug through our winter sleds on that summer day and found the large black one; Old Ruth as we would later name it. I hurried everyone down the steep path to the still waters before my poor cousin could change her mind. I lowered the plastic sled to float on the dark surface of the cold water. Leah whined, but I sternly told her that it was too late to change her mind. Taylor stood at a distance. I suppose so that when my plan failed she wouldn’t be in trouble. I helped lower Leah onto the sled and she sat there for a moment, but to my horror the hateful Old Ruth begin to bow up and water rushed in over Leah as she screamed bloody murder. She stood up which just made her slip off the sled and catapult under the coldness. All I could hear was a trio of three little girl’s screams as I pulled my soaked cousin out of the water. Needless to say, I was left at the creek alone as everyone ran up the path to tattle-tell on me. As I recall, I never put Leah in a “boat” ever again.
Despite each of our strangeness, we always asked our parents for one more hour to play. And we played everywhere.  The woods were our favorite place of all. Intermingled with the evergreen trees and tall oaks, we would drape old sheets from branches and create houses. We would act out stories of the old west. We had many a series and it would take us days and even months to get through as story. We traipsed around in old dresses that we had rummaged through in the musty basements of our houses. But we took it seriously. Each story was played out in the deep forest as though it were a movie being taped. Leah was usually frustrated that she had to play such girly games and would only be satisfied if she could be the cowboy or Indian and kill one of us. And then one day she invented a game called “Mistress” where I had to be an evil old woman who treated her as a slave. She got to go behind my back and play tricks on her mean master, which was me of course. Even Taylor and Kandace enjoyed that series and said that I was good at being a bossy, mean mistress. I was mad at them for about a day, for saying that.
I think we all got addicted to popsicles those hot summers. Some days we would even sneak inside and take turns sticking our sweaty, beat red faces in the freezer.
Before long school started back up and we each had to spend the majority of our days in our homes. The air would lose its warmth and as the briskness of fall set in, we would be hard-pressed to give up our outside escapades despite the chill. The creek was no longer refreshing, but simply cold, so we stayed near our playhouses and were satisfied mixing dirt and flour together to create our pretend meals. We crushed acorns and ground leaves for herbs. The outside faucet was our best friend as we toted water to and from our activities at the edge of the yard. Usually we would argue on whose turn it was to get the water, but often it ended with sweet Taylor picking up the bucket and getting it herself.
Later in the fall, the whole family headed to the beach. It became a tradition somewhere along the way for the four of us girls to put on a show in the den of the house for the six adults. Each year I packed half of my suitcase full of costumes, rather than swimsuits. I spent the beginning of the week planning our show. I was the director, being the show lady I was and spent the whole week begging Leah to be apart of my masterpiece. This particular year, out of the kindness of her heart, she agreed to be in my show. I had chosen to base my masterpiece from The Sound of Music. We each acted out one of the children in the movie and sang several of the songs. I had never been so thrilled in my life when the six adults gave a thunderous applause, which I believed was heartfelt. Later, Kandace whispered in my ear, “We will never do that again.” But for me, it didn’t matter. I had performed my show.
The first snow was a cause for celebration… even if it was only half an inch. We pulled our sleds out, not to drown Leah in the creek this time, but to use them to sled. After wrapping up in warm clothes we braced ourselves for the chill of the white world outside. We would head back inside after climbing the sledding hill more times than we could count and with our thighs burning, our socks in a wad at the toe of our boots and with chapped cheeks. As soon as we entered the enveloping warmth, we began to figure out how we could get everyone on the hill, including our two grandparents, to eat supper together. After much difficult planning, Kandace usually came to our daddy with the question, since he couldn’t seem resist his cute youngest daughter. Before long he was calling my Aunt and grandparents and meanwhile we were in the pantry persuading my mother that we did indeed have the ingredients to make chili. As the night fell, we trudged up the snow laden hill to the home of my MaMaw and PaPaw. We sat around the dinning room table eating crackers and chili as happy as larks. With full stomachs we marched down the hall to MaMaw and Papaw’s king size bed and watched a movie or played a board game.  We would relax in the comfort and warmth of our family’s presence. How sweet it was.
I do miss those days. Things have changed. Even though each of us are still young… we’re not little children anymore. Conversations between our crew are no longer about who will bring the sheets for our tents. It’s been years since we mixed flour and water or searched for a new place to play at the creek. We no longer play Mistress or dress in play clothes. I would not trade anything for those days, because I now realize those were the ones that brought me to where I am, to where we are. I never would have imagined those days would have disappeared so quickly. At the time it seemed that they would always be there. The creek hasn’t changed, the playhouse still sits where it always has, but life moves on and we move with it. To bigger things, greater plans that the Lord has for us. There was a time for freckles, popsicles, and sleds for boats. There is also a time to remember those memories as we walk on in our lives. We still climb on PaPaw and MaMaw’s bed sometimes, although we hardly fit anymore, and some winter days we’ll even beg to eat together on a snowy night. For that, I am so thankful. In the whirlwind of this new chapter of my life, sometimes I’ll stop and walk outside to the playhouse and I can almost see four little girls playing Mistress and simply enjoying being little.


Dedicated to Taylor, Kandace and Leah: Our motley crew.

I love you guys.

Katy 

After I wrote the story we all decided that we needed to take a trip to the creek like we used to. It was such fun pretending to be little again. Here are a couple of pictures from that day.

    

Letting God Use Us as Teenagers

I've finally started a blog after many months of contemplating it. I greatly enjoy writing and this is such a good way to do so. I also want to share with others my heart and passion for more young Christians to rise up and be true followers of Christ, ones that are willing to walk the narrow, unpopular path. And since it is the first day of 2011, I thought it would be a perfect day to start!


So, as I look around these days, I see so much lacking in the actions of Christian teenagers. Especially as American young people, we have had it quite easy. If you really think about it, very few of us as Christians have ever been really persecuted. We have the ability to slide through our teen years and many think that we shouldn't try to do anything radical as Christians because, after all, we are just teenagers. Is that really true? I don't think so. I believe that if we are true believers in Christ that God has a purpose for our lives and that doesn't just begin magically when we turn 18 or 21 or 30. We can be examples. And that is what has really led me to blog... to encourage other young Christians to be strong in the Faith. I truly believe we can do more than spend countless hours texting and acting silly in these years. 1 Timothy 4:12 says, Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. That thought process so very unpopular in this petty, immature culture and I know that. I mean, how can we set an example in such lofty subjects? It isn't easy, but it isn't impossible. It is hard, but sometimes hard is good. My point is that there is no point in wasting valuable years of our lives in the years from 12-whenever because that is supposedly supposed to be our time to rebel. There is so many opportunities waiting for those of us who will let God use us. So how do you set and example? How do we do anything great? Well, sometimes small things are a good start. For me (even though I have a long way to go), I just try not to let the fact that I'm 16 stop me from doing things that I can do as a follower of Jesus Christ. I play the piano, so I started playing some in the Praise Team at my church. Was/am I as good as someone older? No, but they have let me try so that I can be used. I am thankful. Now I get to help those younger than me and I get to try to be an example! That is such an honor. I am thankful for a family and church that allows Christians my age to be used. We may not be doing something that we would consider radically amazing but let me tell you that living as a child of God and letting His light shine through your life is a good place to start. It's the act of setting our hearts on things above and living in the world but not being of it.


So this wasn't a long post, but I'll get better. :) Hopefully.