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Posts Tagged ‘teen’

A Part-Time Confession

As of late, I’ve been wanting to find a devotional that I can connect with and apply truly to my life and the stages I’ve lived and am living in. I have to admit that I’m not at all good with starting and actually finishing a devotional with 100% dedication and effort. Either I’ll finish it, but not have gotten anything out of it, started it with a full intent of learning more about our wonderful Creator and then lose that drive and slowly “wean” (if you will) off, or I’ll start it and lose interest quickly.

Was I successful in my search of actually finding a devotional? Nope, not really. But I decided to start with rereading a book I had once read, but I had walls up and was making excuses for my actions at that point in my life. I’m really glad that I decided to reread this book (and I’m definitely going to reread it with a highlighter in hand!) – now, at this exact point in my life, I can’t say I’m completely over everything I’ve gone through, but my heart has softened and my eyes have been opened and I realized so many things I missed when I read it for the first time and how much of the book I had forgotten – parts that shouldn’t of been forgotten.

What is this book? It’s called Confessions of a Good Christian Girl by Tammy Maltby with Anne Christian Buchanan.

I can’t begin to explain the content of this book and the talent Maltby has in writing books for Good Christian Girls who are really broken on the inside and struggling to hold onto life. She covers every aspect that troubles women – writing with wisdom and advice, but also adding a personal touch, like the likes of a journal. A couple of my favorite chapters are chapters two, six, seven and nine. Each chapter is title with a title that often one’s heart will call out. Chapter Two: “I Can’t Take It Anymore” – The Desperate Pain of Suicide, “I Never Meant to Go There” – The Treacherous Trap of Addiction,  “Can God Hear A Crazy Woman?” – The Torment and Stigma of Mental Illness, and “How Much Longer, Lord? – Practical Grace for the Chronically Discouraged. I can’t stress how much I just wanted to reread the lines of those chapters over and over and over – highlighting and copying. The content in those chapters – I don’t want to forget them. I remember reading through them this second time and just going: “Amen,” “Yes,” “Exactly” (and so on so forth).

    Having listed those chapters as my top favorites, I’m sure many of you can guess what I’ve struggled with. Being only a teen, I’ve honestly been through a lot – but so have a lot of other teens, and frankly people in general – especially Good Christian Girls. At one point in her book, Maltby points out that it is often the women who are those Good Christian Girls that struggle the most, yet they – we – hide it, wanting to help others and follow Christ’s example. We push everything down, becoming accustomed and acquainted to the ways we live our lives. I can totally attest to that – I may not be that young woman who is constantly involved with cooking dishes for new moms, potlucks, and Bible studies… but I am that young woman who is constantly striving to grow deeper in my relationship and ministering to those around me. But I’m also that young woman struggling to keep hope, to strive to get one more day under my belt, and constantly battling my own mind in a battle of strength and weakness; to keep from reverting back to ways I’ve always known, the depression that caused me to hit dangerously low points, and memories that bog me down so that I am unable to move on.

    One of the passages in Maltby’s book was a slap in the face – a good slap (if that’s possible), as in it brought me back to reality and realization. And in saying this, I obviously want to share it:

        “This kind of pain can feel like living in slavery. Eternally trapped in our circumstances.
Yearning for release but unable to break free. Sometimes we can’t even imagine what freedom
would be like. Or sometimes the real trouble kicks in after we’ve been released… And we know that God is at work in our lives – we’ve seen the evidence. But still we find ourselves lost and wandering, somehow unable to find our way into the next chapter of our lives.”

– Tammy Maltby, The Confessions of a Good Christian Girl, pp. 203

There were points in my life that I also was testing and questioning my faith – I even strayed for a bit (I won’t go into detail – but I can say it was the worst feeling emotionally, physically, psychologically, etc. I have ever experienced). Even while I read the portion of the book where this passage I found, which I’m about to show you, I was struggling and in reading this and praying, I felt at peace – I knew God didn’t give more than we could handle – but in reading this on a off-white piece of paper brought the thoughts in my head into reality. The portion goes:

        “How do we believe in God and serve Him and love Him with heart and soul and mind and
strength when these very parts of us are compromised? … The answer, once again, is grace [from
God] … He knows our frames, remember. He remembers we are but dust (Ps. 103:14). He knows the limitations of our physical bodies, our sin-wrack souls. And his grace is sufficient enough to cover the ground between the best we can manage and the kind of fulfilling, purposeful life He wants for us.”

– Tammy Maltby, Confessions of a Good Christian Girl, pp. 167-168

It is also important to remember that we are not alone – yes, we have God’s grace, but we also have Christ, who not only is our Savior, but also our Friend… And on an ending note, I want to remind those who maybe be struggling personally, or know someone who is and you want to give advice or don’t know how to work through with them but not abandon them, that “[t]hrough it all, never forget that you have a constant Friend in the person of the Holy Spirit. He is always present with you, a dependable Helper and Comforter. The more time you spend in quietness, waiting on the Lord, the more you will experience His closeness and know His practical grace. He is the Companion you need most for your journey… and He is always there for you” (Tammy Maltby, The Confessions of a Good Christian Girl, pp. 220). I hope that this all makes sense to you all and that y’all can remember to depend on Him and to find that hope in the dark room. It takes time, believe me, as well as dedication and support. But all things are possible with Christ, I know that for a fact – He gives me the strength to carry on day in and day out – even when I sleep and dream (Matt. 19:26).

    – T.L.

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Those Nights

 Before you scroll down, please listen to: Those Nights by Skillet

I remember when we used to laugh
About nothing at all, it was better than going mad
From trying to solve all the problems
We’re going through, forget ’em all
‘Cause on those nights we would stand and never fall
Together we faced it all, remember when we’d

Stay up late and we’d talk all night
In a dark room lit by the TV light
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

We’d listen to the radio play all night
Didn’t wanna go home to another fight
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

I remember when we used to drive
Anywhere but here, as long as we’d forget our lives
We were so young and confused
That we didn’t know to laugh or cry
Those nights were ours, they will live and never die
Together we’d stand forever, remember when we’d

Stay up late and we’d talk all night
In a dark room lit by the TV light
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

We’d listen to the radio play all night
Didn’t wanna go home to another fight
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

Those nights belong to us
There’s nothing wrong with us
Those nights belong to us

I remember when we used to laugh
And now I wish those nights would last

Stay up late and we’d talk all night
In a dark room lit by the TV light
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

We’d listen to the radio play all night
Didn’t wanna go home to another fight
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

Stay up late and we’d talk all night
In a dark room lit by the TV light
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

We’d listen to the radio play all night
Didn’t wanna go home to another fight
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

Those nights belong to us
There’s nothing wrong

From: Metrolyrics.com

Sometimes a song’s lyrics can describe my feelings more than my own words can. Especially songs that have that melody and instrumental component.

There are nights where I just want to cry. Sometimes I do, sometimes it feels like a dam is blocking the tears’ flow.

This isn’t the sort of post I normally do. It’s personal. I really am not one who expresses my feelings to people, though there are a select few in my circle of friends.

As of late, my life, well, let’s just say hasn’t been easy. I’ve done, experienced, and seen things that no one should have to go through. But that is the result of a fallen world. I know many people around me are struggling, suffering, trying, coping, and/or hurting. I know I am one of them.

This is going to be one of my longer posts, just to fore-warn.

An excerpt from my journal.

2/14/14

These past few months I’ve grown sick and tired. I can’t stand it anymore. The yelling, the drama, the list could go on and on.

This really should be spoken aloud, but for now, writing it down will have to do.

My brother, [Younger Brother 1] is almost out of control. He yells and blows up at the smallest of things. ‘Things’ is a broad term. I used it properly. He bad talks and back talks to everyone. He bullies [Younger Brother 2], but then again, somethings [Younger Brother 2] just asks for – baiting him and watching him take the bait. I’m not justifying my brother’s actions, if that’s what you’re thinking.

I am so. fed. up. I’m so done, irritated. Et cetera. I can’t handle it anymore. I can’t remember the last day where there wasn’t any yelling, arguments, people laughing and smiling.

I am torn. I cry almost as much or more than I genuinely laugh. I’m sick of drama. 

[Younger Brother 2] disses me and calls me awful names. I act like they just bounce of. But they hurt.

I set my alarm this morning for 8:00, but turned it off and slept in. Around nine I’m awakened by yelling slamming, and screaming. My door is closed. From the moment I woke up my day has been rotten, even considering it’s a snow day. There is no peace. I just feel tension. I just don’t known anymore.

I jump at the slightest of sounds, I cringe and almost crumple at the raising of voices. I’m afraid. Though, I hide it all away. I put on a facade and keep calm and try to carry on.

I act happy, like I’ve bounced back from a down mood. But I don’t.

I often sit in my room alone, door shut, music either plugged in or not. But I sit there deep in though. I try to think about all the ways I can help my brothers; help [Younger Brother 1]. What’s the psychological factor? His heart? Emotions/real thoughts?

Truth is: I’m desperate.

Yeah, I’ve been going to God more and more, which is a good thing. He’s drawing me nearer to him. I need that.

Through trials, there is happiness at the end. They can be long and tedious or short and over. We can be at the end of the rope and that’s when God seems to pull us out.

I’ve been at the end for awhile.

I’ve been done.

I’ve promised not to ever cut again – I slipped just before New Year’s, but after I said I said I wouldn’t cut myself anymore. My wrists are so far, as clean as they’ll be.

Relapse is real. Addiction is real.

If I said I wan’t angry at God, I’d be lying. I know I shouldn’t be, I feel guilty and like a bad Christian for saying and thinking it.

But he knows all my thoughts and actions even before I think them. He knows exactly what I’m going through. He has a plan for my life. A road that is hard, slim, and narrow, but in the end and grand picture of life, there is an un-explainable or indescribable reward and treasure waiting for me.

I often find myself trying to help others first and pushing my feelings off or not wanting to trouble people.

Sometimes you don’t realize you’re actually drowning when you’re trying to be everyone else’s anchor.

— Unknown

Despite his bad times, [Younger Brother 1] has the occasional happy moment (as of late he’s been better than just have the occasional happy moment). There’ll be moments when we both are laughing so hard we cry.

Those moments can change quickly. They are also forgotten fast.

I love my brothers, I really do. I try to cope, I try to help. I try to act strong and fine. But every argument, every tear, every yelling/screaming word tears me apart slowly. There’s a wound try to heal, but each time it’s just ripped back open, even bigger. 

Why do I tell you all of this? To have you pity me? Never. Worry over me?  Don’t even. Post this so all family and friends could see my true thoughts and land me with a counselor? Nope. Cause drama? Didn’t I say I hate drama?

I tell you this because I want to give encouragement out to people who are going through the same, similar, or just tough situations. I want to tell them that there is hope. I’m living, breathing proof.

Those nights? Well, it’s these sorts of nights that causes me to pray even harder.

Pray hardest, when it is hard to pray.

— Unknown

These sorts of nights are what deepens my faith and causes me to hold on, trust, and believe in Christ. These nights belong to us. These nights keep me alive. They keep me alive in God’s word and the Spirit. They help me get stronger, even though it may cause disruption in me for a time.

God is My Lighthouse in the darkest night. He never fails. He never leaves.

One night I dreamed I was walking
along the beach with the Lord.

Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.

Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord, that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?”

The Lord replied,
“The times when you have seen only
one set of footprints in the sand, is when
I carried you.”

— Mary Stevenson

I can make it through anything. Anything is possible with God (Matt. 19:26). I know that with him I can be strong and courageous, facing each day knowing he is by my side and he will never leave it; I’m not alone (Josh. 1:9).

For an ending:

7eventh Time Down’s song “Just Say Jesus

If you have any questions, feel free to drop an email, you can see the email on the Contact Us page.
If you want a list of encouraging or just plain good Christian songs, email or comment, I’d be happy to provide a list for you of my favorite artists and songs.

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“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” – Matthew 10:39 (NIV)

Isn’t it odd to think we’d lose our life if we found it? But that’s not so.
No, instead we are called to lose our life. This doesn’t mean dying for Christ – though in some cases people do lose their life for believing and following Christ – think of the Church in Asia and elsewhere. I think it means we need to lose our life in the way that we die to the ways of the world we live in; die to the society that so often tells us how to dress, act, look and even love. Die to the world’s twisted definition of love. Die to the comfort of our life as a rich American. Die to the broken world that calls us and says, “This is home. This is how it should be.” This world may be our home, but only for a short period of time; we are a people who move around, never staying in one place, as Katie Davis, author of Kisses from Katie, puts it, “I am somewhat of a nomad on this earth. Human beings long for a place to call home, a nest, a sanctuary of their own. I have many and none… But God whispers to me that I really have only one home, and that is with Him,” (128).

When we lose our life; our life in this lost world, then we find our life in our Savior, for how can we strive to follow our Father’s footsteps when we don’t even have an understanding of how he instructs us to truly live? We wouldn’t of ever been able to find life in Christ had it not been for Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Jesus was dead to the world, he turned his back on society’s rules and blazed his own trail. He was a rebel, he was an essential outcast, he was radical.

Refering back to the persecuted church, I recently read a book called Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand, and in the book he tells of his life as a Christian living in the Soviet Union, giving his own story along with others. He tells of how they were tortured by being burnt, starved, placed in freezing conditions that they when they were on the brink of death, that’s when the officers would pull them out and warm them up a little. They would beat them, whip them; it is unimaginable to us. The Soviet officers were trying to get them to renounce their faith. They had zero success. The tortured knew what it was like to die in the worldly way, they knew how what it was really like to know Christ. It’s in the situations of persecution, trials, hardship, and materialistic poverty that people have the strongest faith. They have died to their life and found life in Christ. They have picked up their crosses and followed Christ.

We have to ask ourselves, a people who have not really known what it is like to live in poverty, be tortured, or lose everything, the question, “Are we truly able to die to our life of comfort, pick up our cross and truly follow Him?”

Think about it.

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WHY AM I A CHRISTIAN?

I wrote this title a while back, but since then I have come upon some new insights.

What I wrote on this last year is still very applicable, however, I want to appeal to a new side.

I wrote my last blog on faking Christianity, but now I want to let everyone know why I chose Christianity.

My parent’s both got saved a year before I was born. They both jumped head first into their new faith and brought me along on the ride. I have grown up hearing about Jesus and living in a very close Christian home. So everyone assumes, ‘she is a Christian because she was raised that way.’

Wrong.

Did you know that 70% of teenagers leave the church once they reach 18? a

Almost 80% of those teens who leave have already checked out of their faith while in still attending church.

So to say a person is a Christian because her family is, is unstable.

I do not think that a person should ever be something just because her parents have said so. I think that a person needs to find thing out for herself or himself. Listening to wise counsel of people you trust is always good, but at the end of the day it needs to be you.

Last summer I began looking around at other religions besides Christianity. I was searching for answers that did not come from the background I had been raised in. How was I to be certain I wasn’t being lied to? What if there is another religion out there that has truer answers? Was Christ the final answer?

I am a very spiritually in tuned person, which means the idea of there never being a God is impossible for me to imagine. I can feel my life at war, somewhere there is an invisible struggle being fought over me. Over what I should do, want to do, need to do, am supposed to do. This means there is a right and a wrong; if there was not a right and wrong, why would I struggle so choices?

It has been argued that there is no absolute right, nor an absolute wrong, because there is no such thing as an absolute truth… However, for that to be considered true, wouldn’t that be an absolute truth?

So if there is a right and a wrong, a high standard which every human almost instinctively knows, where does it come from?

‘Religion’ is the most obviously answer. We have passed down multiple religions throughout the generations. Some last, some die, but what we do know is we are never without it. So the truth must lay away in one of these many beliefs, otherwise religion would have died out long ago.

Dr. Norman Geisler suggested to pool the worldviews into seven simple possibilities: theism, atheism, pantheism, pantheism, deism, polytheism, and finite godism. Theism is the belief in a supernatural ‘First Cause’ who is incaused, one, personal, moral, and infinite in all His attributes including power and intelligence. He manifests himself in the universe, yet is also beyond it. Atheism says that there is no God. This universe just randomly showed up out of nowhere and the only authority that is real is the power of man. Pantheism holds that creation and the Creator are one and the same. God is nature and nature is God. Deism, which is closely related to Theism, suggests that God is beyond our world and not in it miracously, the trials and evil we face here are started by free choice and ignorance and can be won by both God alone and/or man alone. Polytheism, like the Roman and Greeks, states there are multiply gods, two for certain, however, there could be more. The evil and harshness of this world are merely the gods fighting amongst themselves. Finite godism is the idea that there is one God whom is both in our world and beyond it, the trials and evil that tortures us here is God’s internal struggle with himself and it can be defeated by God or man. Within each of these categories there are hundreds of different religions, but by breaking them down to the nitty gritty definitions, you can easily see which ones appear to hold truth and which ones seem more of a made up feel good fairytale to escape something deeper.

I cut out atheism fairly quickly with simple reasoning. Everything around us is so complex and unique that the possibility of it happening by chance is a bit too extreme. Humans alone are an organism we ourselves, actually being human, have yet to even master. So how could nothing making something so intricate? A big bang? We make big bangs all the time when blowing up stuff, yet for some random reason, that explosion never magically makes us a another living organism or house after the debris has settled. It just leaves a pile of dust.

Pantheism is a bit more real to me. It makes since in some form. Didn’t the Indian’s believe this? However, if God is nature… Is he good or bad? Nature is both. It can be good and healthy, but it can also be cruel and dire. I have a hard time grasping the reality that a God who cared to make us so special and with so much emotion would harm us so much.

Polytheism is fun to research, nonetheless it died out long ago as a major religious thought. If the truth can die then it was never true to begin with.

Deism… hmmmm…. This idea is as close to Theism as you can get, without actually giving ‘God’ any major power. If man can win any trial brought on him by both him and God or just him, or just God alone- why does man fail so often? If man can overcome evil without a god, then why are there so many broken and hurting people? Why do they cry out in the mist of tears ‘I can’t do this anymore!’? Evidently, they cannot do it alone. Deism doesn’t work.

Lastly is Theism.  This covers the most influential modern religions: Christianity, and Islam.

Islam has never been able to grab my attention as an actual steady religion, due to the fact that it is in consistent in the teaching (from the Quran) and their history does not match up with the rest of the time line of world history. Example?

”And they (the people of Noah’s day) said to each other, ‘Abandon not your gods: abandon neither Wa’dd nor Suwa, neither Yaquth nor Yauq, nor Nasr..’” S. 71:23

The problem primarily arises with the names given to the idols of Noah’s time. These are the names of the idols worshiped at the time of Muhammad in Mecca, nearly three thousand years later! How is it possible for Noah’s people to worship Arabic deities with Arabic titles several thousand years before these idols ever came into existence? The Muslims’ attempts to reconcile this obvious anachronism have failed so far. b

Christianity seems pretty fairytale like (miracles, turning water into wine, food sent from Heaven), except the whole Jesus thing. This guy does not only show up in the pages of religious books, but also in other historical documents that have nothing to do with religion. To disprove Christianity, you would need to be able to disprove the resurrection of Jesus. Seem simple right? Wrong. Many people have spent their whole lives researching the resurrection of Jesus as a hoax, yet it never adds up.

The whole New Testament is based on the life and preaching of one man, Jesus. This is where the whole story begins, so why not start disproving this man’s whole life? Because here is the deal:

If Jesus did rise from the grave, then everything he said must be true.

If He did not rise from the grave, then everything he said is a lie.

If we can just prove this area, we can conquer it all in one shot.

Since the NT is an old historical document, then let’s check its reliability first.

In the 19th century archaeologist took to disproving the accountability of the Bible, mainly the New Testament, by their accuracy and finding gaps in the writing that would misplace the whole timeline set up by the New Testament. However, during their search, instead of finding evidence against it, they found over 15,000 manuscripts to support it. Most of these papyri’s bridged the gap between Christ and the already existing manuscripts. Depleting the ‘missing gaps’ case. Sir William Ramsay spent 15 years of his life trying to undermine Luke. His wish was to undermine Luke credentials as a historian and in doing that refute the reliability of the New Testament. However, at the end of 15 years, he concluded, “Luke is a historian of first rank…. This author should be placed along with the very greatest historians.”

So Luke is reliable huh?

Time and time again history has done more to prove the Bible’s reliability than it has to diminish it. In fact, secular history have never been able to weaken the Bible, only verify it. I will post some links down below for anyone interested in researching this subject (both Christian historians and secular)

If we are to count the reliability of an ancient document (which the Bible is) then it out shines every other accent manuscript we count as reliable times ten.

Work

 When Written

 Earliest Copy

 Time Span

 No. of copies

New Testament 

  A.D. 40-100

   A.D. 125

  25 yrs

   24,000

Homer (Iliad)

  900 B.C.

   400 B.C

  500 yrs

   643

Sophocles

  496-406 B.C

   A.D. 1000

  1,400 yrs  

   193

Aristotle

  384-322 B.C.

   A.D. 1100

  1,400 yrs

   49

Caesar (Gallic Wars)

 58-50 B.C.

   A.D. 900

  1000 yrs

   10

Do we question Homer? or Aristotle? no…

So the Bible has been proven reliable and Jesus did in fact rise from the grave. Not just in religious manuscripts, but in secular records as well.

This evidence was enough for me to dig deeper into Christianity. Its claims have been proven, so now it was a matter of what did God want with me?

~A.

 

a- LifeWay Research

b-http://www.faithdefenders.com/articles/worldreligions/Contardictions_and_Inconsistencies_Quran.html

c- studies from Josh Mcdowell, Mere Christianity, Jimmy Willaims, The Bible

http://www.bibleevidences.com/transmission.htm

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I am back!…. and terribly sorry for not writing anything for months, but I am back and ready to go full throttle again!

Wondering where I went? My new series will spread some light on that (: be sure to read it!

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CONFESSION OF A CHRISTIAN GIRL: Intro

A lot of people write out their stories about their walk with God. Starting from where they were broken, to seeking, to finding, to being healed, and ending with how wonderful God has made their lives. After reading hundreds of these stories something inside of you starts to say, this lifestyle is worth it.

Yet, another part of you says, what if my story doesn’t end that way? What if I’m that one story that fails?

Even though I firmly believe that God has a perfect plan for me; I still am faced with uncertainties that come with being so young. Is God really there when people are bullying me? Why does He let them do that? Will I ever have close friends whom I can trust? Or will I always be the loner? Is there actually a guy out there that will want me for me? Not for what he can get out of me, but because he actually loves me? Where is God when death is looming over the lives of the people I love, snatching them up before they should be taken? The questions never end. They just keep coming and I am in the middle of the chaos.

So I am going to ask you to take a journey with me. I do not want to wait and write a book after this is all over, when I am feeling freedom and resting in peace. Because, right now, a lot of girls my age are going through similar storms and wondering, is anyone else holding on? Or can I just sink and drowned already?

Therefore, I am going to write to you in the bedlam of the storm. To let you know that you are not alone. I am here. I am holding on to God. And if I can get through this, so can you.

~Confession of a Christian Girl

Preview:
To tackle every confession I have as a sinful human would take millions, if not billions, of words. Words which, even after being brought together, you would not want to read. So I am going to start from last year. With the exact week I stopped posting blogs on here, just so you can get caught up and read what God has been teaching me.

July 27th? Eesh, we are going far back! At least, with everything that has happened to me it feels far.

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“His laws are before me;

I have not turned away from his decrees.

I have been blameless before Him and have kept myself from sin.

The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,

According to my cleanness in His sight.”

-2 Samuel 22:23-25

All of 2 Samuel 22 is praise King David wrote about his relationship with God. It goes on and on about how much God loves and helps him and all his children. And it shocked me that David felt free to say some of the things he said. Aka the part I just posted. Why? Because, just a few chapters earlier he committed adultery and murder. So how could he say that he was blameless? And he was going to get rewarded! (Read the whole story if you haven’t because God rewarded him significantly) ‘His laws are before me, and I have not turned away from his decree,’? Nonsense! At least, that was my first reaction…

At a second look I realized something. David was blameless. He was a man after God’s own heart. But how? Simple. First off, David repented of everything he did (2 Samuel 12:13). In Hebrew ‘repent’ means to turn away from. So every time he fell short, he would repent and turn back around to God. He never let his mistakes overtake is relationship with God.

David was human and as a human his flesh would be at constant battle with his heart. He probably struggled more than we know with sin; everyone has their own private battles with it every day. And one day, David gave in. he slept with a married woman. He murdered someone. He sinned. Then he actually waited till God finally sent a prophet down to the palace before owning up to his mistake and repenting. So now we are at the point where we are like, ‘okay, ya. God forgives. Big deal.’

But look at it this way, we have all sinned and fallen into so many ditches it’s sometimes hard to see the light.

We say we are going to change and then, a week later, we do the exact thing we promised not to. We hear the words ‘God forgives’ but honesty, after a while, they are meaningless. Why? Because we have heard them SO many times! Its like ‘okay, I agree, he does. But not for me. Not anymore.’

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Hebrews 13:7-9

The beauty of this verse is that it means, no matter what we do, how long we wait, what goes on in the middle, once we seek our God again. He is the same. He isn’t going to change His mind or take back what He once said.

So even though we fall. we can get back up. and even though we’ve turned away. We can come back and still have a Heart after God’s own Heart. Just like David.

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Music of our generation. Some say it’s got “class” others “meaning.” And it sure as heck has both! But what about the influence? The actual meaning behind those words we call lyrics? The pop, country, rap, and even rock singers nowadays are almost always writing music according to love, relationships, and what happens in them… and example would be Jennifer Lopez’s song Dance Again featuring Pitbull. When you hear the lyrics first time around, you think, Hey, this isn’t so bad. But after listening over and over, as well as reading the lyrics, you start to get these feelings. And you know what the song really translates to? It transmits the message of: “Come and dance (have sex, kiss me) again with me. I really liked it the first time ’round.” Um, whoa. What did you just say? You may be thinking. Yeah, that’s right, you read it correctly. That’s really what the message depicts too.

Now, the influence, it teaches young people (people our age – highschool) that in order to be happy, you have to find love; relationships. Kissing. Sex (gross, right?). Music can be a role model for people on how to act, according to feelings, because that what it conjures. The tune puts you in a mood, the words “speak to your heart.” Music artists know how to get inside people’s heads. Especially those looking for love.

Even music by Disney has that movement. I mean, look at Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and Tangled. From Beauty and the Beast there’s the song “Something There,” where both Belle and the Beast talk about something (the hint of love) that they see in each other. There’s something attracting them to one another. In The Little Mermaid, the song Kiss the Girl”, a song of where the lyrics are very direct, are in sung in the scene of were Ariel and Prince Eric are in the boat and they are about to kiss. The Lion King, the song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight, takes place when Simba meets Nala after a while, and they go off with the baboon, Rafiki for a “love adventure.” And finally, in Tangled, the song, “I See the Light is played in the scene where Rapunzel and Flynn are watching the lanterns, and in the movie they realize their true love for one another.

See what I mean? Its everywhere, and you know what, everytime I see Tangled (what? I may be a high schooler, but I still enjoy Disney!) I go off imagining; day dreaming, about my crush, or the perfect guy out there. Each time I hear the song “Kiss the Girl,” it, again, lures me off in the wrong direction. I am a person of purity, and I want to keep it that way until I’m married. Don’t you? I sure hope so.

Why does this happen? Because,we are human beings; flesh. Flesh’s nature is to sin; go against God’s will. But it’s by his grace and constant reminders that we are saved from sin. Society wants us to go against our godly nature. For people that want to be accepted, well they try to fit into society doing things society says “are cool.” For some people who’ve pledged purity, or who want to keep their purity, they push the rules. “Okay, I’ll just kiss this once, it’s OK. Right?” Well, that one kiss turns into a very physical relationship, and people can end up in trouble and destroying their purity.

The influence of today’s music is alarming, that’s why as Christians we need to be aware and careful of the things we listen too, as well as watch. Here’s a small section from Proverbs 2 (2:1-15 NIV):

“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding — indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.”

Remember the words of Solomon, through God, his writings are amazing and very inspirational, as well as healthy to someone who is in need of insight.

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