30.5.08

Showered with God's Love

OK, let's say that you haven't had a bath in two weeks. You'd be all gross, wouldn't you? You'd be sweaty, dirty, and let's face it: you'd be one ripe- smelling kid. Even if you decided to be "good" -- you didn't do a few rounds on the basketball court, and you only went outside to get the mail for your mom -- you'd still be all "yuck".

Before we ask God to be the boss of our lives, we're just like that -- but on the inside. When we become a Christian, it's just like we took a shower! We're clean now, and we feel great!

29.5.08

Uniquely You

Why are people so different? Why do some people look different? Why do some people act differently than you?

Because God is a creative artist. If you were a famous artist -- the best on earth -- would you just paint the same picture over and over again? Of course not.

If we lived in a world where everyone looked and acted the same, what would happen? Wouldn't that be boring? So you would act like your siblings, your best friend, your parents, the President -- even your grandparents -- and you'd act like them, too. Wouldn't that be weird? Crazy? Scary, even? And incredibly annoying and boring.

God thought about how you wouls look and act even before you were born. He made you unique. No one in the universe is exactly like you -- not even if you're a twin. Today, thank God for making you YOU, and no one else.

Prince Caspian (go see it!)

Prince Caspian is one of my favorite movies now. Of all time. Besides Some Like it Hot and the Little Mermaid, lol (I know, I'm crazy).

Go see it! I cried. And I never cry at movies. Ever. It was so sad, and, like Trumpkin says, "Narnia may be a darker place than you remember." Or he says something like that. I was close enough, wasn't I?

So, anyway, tell me how it was. You just have to see it. It is dark, sad, slightly more violent than the first, and they strayed a bit from the book, but no bad language or adult stuff or anything. Except Susan and Prince Caspian kiss. But that's all.

Share One Voice

Want to share One Voice with your friends?

First, you can chat about it.

Then, email them one of your favorite posts. You can email the post to them by going under the post you want and clicking the envelope thing.

Next, give them the link. www.one-voice-teens.blogspot.com

Finally, if you have a friend that's a girl, you can tell her about the Girls for God blog (like this one, only for teen girls). www.girls-4-god.blogspot.com

Also, don't forget to comment!

I am His

I was flipping through my bible the other day in the car and my eyes fell upon this passage:

“Since you died with Christ and were made free from the ruling spirits of the world, why do you act as if you still belong to this world…” – Colossians 2:20

Wow. Maybe it didn’t have the same affect on you, but with me – well, I came to the realization that even though I belong to Christ, most of the time I act like I don’t. I act like I belong to the world – the people who define today’s world – the same people who lay out “rules” for society, like the totally untrue belief that Christians are uncool, modesty is a thing of the past, and if you’re five pounds heavier than Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, you’re fat.

Another verse tells us not to conform to this world. Basically, that means don’t believe the examples I gave above. Don’t do what the media tells us to do. If they say, “If your legs don’t look like pencils, then you should go on a diet”, don’t believe them. They are not God – they didn’t create you or save you, and they sure aren’t perfect.

So go ahead. Grab your bible and open it up to Colossians 3:1. (BTW, I’m quoting from the New Century version, which has the vocabulary of a third grader, but oh well.)

“Since you were raised from the dead with Christ, aim at what is in heaven, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Think only about the things in heaven, not the things on earth.” – Colossians 3:1-2

That doesn’t mean you’re not supposed to think about your upcoming math test or your friends. This verse is saying that we shouldn’t base our thinking on what people tell us – we should listen to God, because he’s always right. I know, I know – that’s hard. The world affects my lifestyle and how I think of myself. “Oh, so I can’t wear this anymore? Maybe I am just a bit heavy…dude, look at those teeth! I wish I had teeth like hers.” Instead, I need to think about what God knows. “Well…I guess I can still wear this outfit – it’s nice, anyway. I think I could be described as ‘healthy’ instead of ‘fat’. My teeth are ok, I guess. God gave them to me, right? Besides, they’re not yellow or anything.” See how much better that was?

When we think what God is thinking, our whole self-image changes. And you might not be able to tell, but other people notice that change. People say, “Oh, she’s got self-confidence.” There’s no such thing. It’s really God-confidence. He’s the one who gives it to us. When you have God-confidence, you walk differently, talk differently, see the world differently, act differently, and look different – and God-confidence is way better than insecurity and the media!

So, I’m going to start trying to not just be “acting”. I’m not going to put on a show. I’m going to let people see the truth: God made me awesome. And I am his.

27.5.08

Spend Time with your Sibs

This week. Spend some extra time with your siblings (even if they are annoying).

26.5.08

Prayer Point: Steven Curtis Chapman

Please pray for the singer Steven Curtis Chapman. I'm sure you've heard of him -- he's written songs such as Broken and Dive.

Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife had 3 kids of their own -- boys. Then they adopted 3 little girls from China.

Why pray for him and his family? One of his sons was in the car and drove into the driveway, accidently running into his little sister, the youngest Chinese girl in the family. She died.

So please, please pray for Steven and his family for the whole month or longer. He needs it.

Did ya Know? Elbows

Most people find it physically impossible to lick their elbow.
- Olympus America Inc.

Lol. I know this doesn't belong here, but I could not contain myself.

Try it! (and post in the comments how it goes)

25.5.08

Prince Caspian

This is just a quickie note. I'm here at a drive-in movie theater, waiting for Prince Caspian to come on. Squee! And, the crazy part? I'm typing this on the tiny keys of my dad's Blackberry.

Think when you first saw the commercial for the Prince Caspian. Almost everyone was like, "Oh my gosh! Squee!" Everyone thought of him as a celebrity -- everyone wanted to see him. If we get so excited when an imaginary prince says his name, think how awesome it will be when JESUS, the real and most powerful prince says, "I am the Lord." Like, oh my gosh! MAJOR SQUEEEEE!!!

Oh, hush! The movie is starting!!

Every day matters...

I'm homeschooled, and I don't have school on Wednesday. So, on Saturday and Wednesday, when I don't have any school to do, I wake up feeling happy. I can DO something today! I always think. Something can get done! I have the WHOLE DAY ahead of me!

But then I watch cartoons with my lil' sibs. And then I type stuff for this blog. And then Dad makes lunch, and before I know it, half the day has gone by, and my lil' sibs are having quiet time.

Where'd the day go? How'd it go by so fast? Did time speed up?

Then I feel discouraged. I didn't really get anything done that day. I just "hung out". Yet there were people out there that day -- many, many, many people -- who wish they could have MORE time -- they wish they could have that day like I did.

Why didn't I get anything done? I scold myself. Why did I waste another day?

Every day matters. You won't get Sunday, May 25th, 2008 back ever again. So go out and DO SOMETHING.

24.5.08

Fixed the Font!

Finally got the font size fixed -- had a complaint. (Thanks, Andrew.)

Ok, that looks better. Now you don't have to worry about getting glasses.

Pressing the "make font size larger" button was right up there with rocket science. Took me a while to figure it out, lol.

21.5.08

Invite TobyMAC into YOUR House

Love tobyMAC? You'll love this!

After years of requests, Toby's first-ever live DVD and CD gives fans
a chance to experience the portable sights and sounds in their own
home. Captured in brilliant HD, Alive and Transported puts fans on stage
with Toby as he performs the biggest hits of his career on the Portable
Sounds Tour. Check it out in stores May 27.

20.5.08

Praising God with your iPod

Do you have an iPod (or an mp3 player)? If so, iTunes and other places have lots of legal downloadable music. But don’t listen to just anything. Why not actually enjoy worshipping God for once, and listen to some cool, upbeat praise songs? I mean, it’s not like you’ll hear Relient K or Britt Nicole at your church in praise time.

Jeremy Camp and Bethany Dillon also make worshipping God cool. I love Bethany Dillon’s song, “Top of the World”. Her songs can be upbeat or slow, but the music is excellent, the meaning clear, and her voice is very sweet sounding.

Jeremy Camp’s music is great for teen boys and girls – and even adults! His voice is also clear, his music great and it has a good beat. He brings life to praise songs that you normally wouldn’t really want to listen to.

Miley Cyrus & Worshipping God

It was all over the news: the papers, the internet, the TV. The “Miley Cyrus Photo Scandal” as it has been dubbed. Some say it was bound to happen. I however, was shocked. How could someone so good, so perfect, fall like that?

I’m not going to go into a big news special about this. No, I’m not going to fill you in on all the details. But I am going to show you something.

Well, Miley Cyrus wasn’t perfect (and she says that in one of her songs). But she was a “good girl”. She was funny, pretty, and didn’t get into much trouble, so many girls looked up to her. There were Hannah Montana lotions, hairbrushes, folders, clothes, beds, and more. The most alarming thing of all: Miley was a Christian. So, the big question is, why would she do that?

A Barlow Girl song, Pedestal, talks about glorifying a celebrity – only to see them fall. In the end, the song concludes that God is the only perfect being, and he’s the one that everyone wants – they just don’t know it yet. (We gotta tell them!)

This goes to prove that nobody’s perfect. The bible says, “No man is perfect, not even one.” That’s so true. Sure, there are “good people” and “bad people”, but everyone has a bit of good and a bit of bad in them. Get this: the only person who’s perfect is Jesus. Jesus never sinned. Not even once. Jesus is perfect. I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect, the nicest celebrity in the world is not perfect.

So, because they aren’t perfect, we shouldn’t worship celebrities, stars, or the big pop-culture sensation of the week. We shouldn’t glorify them, because they are no better than us. You see, God made humans to long for someone who’s perfect, someone to worship – but often we forget that God is perfect, not that picture-perfect singer who’s jammin’ on Disney Channel.

17.5.08

Megan (Casting Crowns) Speaks

When you write music, usually the songs are something that you've experienced.
So Megan Garrett (piano/vocalist from Casting Crowns) tells us how a song on their new album "The Altar and the Door" relates to her.

"A lot of the songs feel like they were written for me. But on the new album, 'Slow Fade' really touches me. I see people who have made a lot of mistakes, and they’re at a place where I think, I’d never be in that place. I’d never allow myself to get there. After hearing Mark’s [lead singer and songwriter] explanation on it, it’s not just one long mistake that causes you to be there. It’s a series of little compromises, where you take something that flatters you and you acknowledge it. And the next time something flatters you, it goes a little bit further. It makes me realize that I need to take every little thing that happens captive and say, 'God, what is the right decision I need to make on this?' - Megan Garrett, Casting Crowns

16.5.08

Disobedience = Disaster

The friend I told you about? Well, she had to leave early because her brother and my brothers were doing something they had been told not to, and her brother got hurt and had to go to the hospital. It isn't a major injury, but please pray that he'll be able to handle the pain and the possible stitches that come with it.

I know you've heard this before, moms and dads aren't trying to make your life miserable when they say, "You're not allowed to do that." They're just lookin' out for ya. Your parents don't want you to get hurt. And I'm not saying that I've never thought, "Gosh, you're WAY to over-protective!" We've all struggled with this (even your parents have wondered why THEIR parents could make such "awful" rules).

Think about it. Your parents say,"You can't ride with those kids, ok?" But that night you sneak out and hop in the car with the people your parents just told you not to drive with. The car swerves on the road, and the brakes jam. Tell me how this story ends.

So, next time your parents tell you something (and you know you'd rather just ignore them), stop and think. And then obey. Do what they say, even if you don't like it. It'll be hard, but they'll respect your maturity, and you'll be kept from doing something that could hurt you in the long run.

15.5.08

Waiting

So, today, my friend is coming over to just "hang". She's two minutes late, and I haven't seen her in a while, so I keep glancing out the window, hoping she'll come.

The suspense is killing me.

C'mon, Avery!

This reminds me of waiting for Jesus to come for us. He's the best friend anyone can have, and while we talk to him through prayer (like talking to my friend over the phone), think how great it will be when you finally get to see Jesus, face to face! That's WAY better than running down your cell minutes and not even getting to see him. As much as I want to see Avery's mom's car pull up the driveway, Jesus's cloud pulling down to earth will be even more exciting.

And just like when company comes over, and you have to clean your room and change into clean clothes, there are things we need to do to get ready for when Jesus comes. God tells us to wait patiently, dress ourselves in good deeds, and tell people about him so that EVERYONE can be ready for when Jesus comes.

C'mon, Jesus!

My Purpose: Switchfoot Speaks

Switchfoot gives us some advice on making career decisions to find out what your purpose is.

What advice do you have for teens making career decisions?

Jon: There’s a quote from A.W. Tozer that says essentially it’s not necessarily what you’re doing or where you’re doing it that determines whether it’s sacred or secular but why you’re doing it. I found that to be true in my life with all sorts of people. Certain people have a ton of money, but they couldn’t care less about money. They’re all about people. Then certain people in charge of some charitable organization couldn’t care less about people.
I remember something Charlie [Peacock] said that inspired some kind of motto for me: “People over projects.” He said at the end you won’t look back and say, “Oh, I wish I would have won more Grammy Awards. I wish I would have produced more records.” The one thing you’ll have is the people, those relationships. Where you put your treasure, that’s where your heart will be. So be careful what you invest in, where you invest your time.

Lead them to Love

Some Christians forget that if you want to lead someone to Christ, you have to actually care about them first. Some Christians just "go through the motions", not really caring about the person they're trying to save. If you don't have love, you have nothing. If you don't care about the person you're reaching out for, that person won't listen to you. Ask God to give you the gift of love.

A long time ago in England, a criminal named Charles Peace was arrested. He was a burglar, a forger, and a double murderer. His sentence was death.
As Charles made his way to the gallows on the day of his execution, a chaplian walked by his side. The minister was simply "going through the motions", speaking coldly of the importance of faith and belief. In the course of his oft-repeated speech, the minister mentioned the power of Jesus Christ to save him from sin.
Suddenly, Charles spun around, staring the chaplian right in the eye, and exclaimed, "Do you believe that? Do you REALLY believe that? If I believed that, I would willingly crawl across England on broken glass to tell men it was true."
It's true. We know it is. So, today, ask God to give your an unconditional love for others. It's the first Fruit of the Spirit, and a whole chapter of the bible has been dedicated to love. Think about it. And live it.

13.5.08

God's Joy: Get it Now!

I’m sitting here, typing while a TV advertisement drones on and on about some “Pancake Puff” thing. Another commercial pops up, encouraging people to brush their teeth: “Happiness is a healthy mouth.”

What? Did someone actually say that? Happiness – the thing everyone on earth is searching for – can be found if you have nice teeth?

I’m sure these dentists meant well. I’m sure they were just trying to get people to buy their product or something. But really, they’re lying. Sure, it’s nice to be able to flash a smile when a friend walks by, but is that what makes us happy? What about Pancake Puffs, or room d├ęcor from Target? What about a credit card, Neutrogena shampoo, or a widescreen TV? Sure, you might be glad you have those things, but they don’t make you happy.

Ok, wait a minute. I define “happiness” as a simple, good feeling. Like when you get that TV for your birthday. It makes you happy – but only for a short moment. Happiness from stuff is fleeting – it doesn’t last.

God gives us joy that really lasts. He is the only thing we need to have happiness that stays with us forever. It doesn’t go away like an outdated TV. It grows, even. The joy that God gives us is perfect, and it grows bigger and bigger until people start noticing: “Dude, that person’s always happy! Why?” Well, the answer? Because we have God. And, get this: you don’t have to pay for God’s joy. Nope. It’s free. No tax, no shipping or handling costs. Nothing. It’s perfect. Go get God's joy today!

My Purpose: God Picks

We all have a purpose in God's plan. We're all here for a reason. We don't get to pick our gifts. God knows what's best for us, so HE's the gift-giver. If we didn't have his guidance, who knows what would happen? Who would we be?
“If I had to do another job, I imagine that I would be a theology professor. That’s what I was studying before Crouton [a fellow band member] called and asked me to audition for the band. Or perhaps a draygon (spelling intended) slayer. Or maybe a fisherman. I think I’d be a pee-wee football coach.”
—Chap Stique, Family Force 5

11.5.08

Songwriting (Rebecca St. James)

Rebecca St. James, an Australian songwriter, gave her gift to God at 13. (See, you're not too young to serve a purpose for God!) She takes the common church songs and turns them into works of art with her clear, beautiful voice. Where does she get her inspiration?

Most of Rebecca's song ideas come straight from the outdoors, God's beautiful creation. “I’ll go for a walk and notice a little flower. I might think, Wow, God crafted that flower!” During her devotional time, an idea expands into the lyrics for the song “God,” for example. “Then I’ll start to sing to the words, and I’ll think, Yeah, that works!” says Rebecca.

Amazingly, Rebecca spends some time away from her career by talking to God and praising him. According to Rebecca, “Just like a prayer, worship isn’t reserved for one or two days a week. It’s a constant part of our lives."

Go check out one of her songs today!

My Purpose [part 1]

I was thinking about some of my friends yesterday. Maddy has a great sense of style and organization. Morgan will probably wind up taking care of the elderly, or the very young, because she’s kind and gentle. Tiffany, my cousin, can probably beat the snot out of any boy in football, and Corey…well, he would definitely make a great actor. As I thought about this, I wondered what I was here for. What was I doing on earth, if I wasn’t serving a purpose? What was my purpose?

You might be in the same situation. We all have God-given talents and gifts. But sometimes its hard to know what those gifts are. Maybe you’re good at singing, while some of us can’t carry a tune in a bucket, and you’ll land a job as a Christian rock star, jammin’ on stage, while I’m stuck here singing in the shower.

And what about your brother, who could play in the NFL? And your sister, who’s practicing for her ballet recital? But what about you?

What do you love to do? What are you good at? Really think about this. If you were given an award for something, what would it be?

In the Comments section, jot down everything that you’re good at – everything that is a gift from God.

Songwriting (Thousand Foot Krutch)

Have you tried writing poetry, or composing a song? It's a great way to organize your thoughts and get a message out to people. (And it's also a great thing to work on while singing in the shower.) When writing a poem or song, look around you. What do you see? What do you feel? What do you want people to know? What do you believe?

"I'm inspired by a lot of things I see, hear and feel that move me everywhere I go. We're traveling a lot, so I'm usually writing on airplanes or buses, or in hotel rooms. I used to go to the top of this hill in the city I grew up in that overlooked downtown. It was a great place to sit on the hood of the car and write."
Trevor McNevan, Thousand Foot Krutch

10.5.08

Switchfoot Speaks [part1]

Jon and Tim from the band *drumroll* Switchfoot, give us some info.

One Voice: When you were growing up, did you listen to Christian radio?

Tim: We didn’t have Christian radio, but we were definitely exposed to Christian artists. People like Keith Green were part of my musical childhood.
We’re pastors’ kids, and it was a nurturing environment where there wasn’t this hard-cut line of sacred versus secular. I feel that if the God we serve were truly great and wonderful, why wouldn’t [Christian bands] want His beauty and truth fingerprints all over culture, not just making music for the church?

Jon: It’s healthy to remember as a church that the industry that is Christendom isn’t equated one to one with the body of Christ. These are the same issues that have plagued the church from the beginning. That type of conversation of what is a Christian band could go in so many different ways, but at the same time, as believers we’ve always been honored to be affiliated with the name of Christ. That’s a true honor and isn’t something to be taken lightly. In fact, our hesitancy to jump into the Christian label has more to do with the amount of respect I have for the name of Christ, and I’m not sure I’m willing to sanctify every single thing I’ve ever done in a band and say, “That’s a Christlike action.”

Jason Dunn (Hawk Nelson) Speaks

"I fell off a stage once when I was like 15 years old. That was pretty embarrassing!"

"If I had all the money and time I needed, I'd love to build a center for homeless people to get them back on track. My heart goes out to the homeless or those who are 'less fortunate.' "

Jason Dunn, Hawk Nelson

6.5.08

What's YOUR Purpose?

Have you ever wondered why God made you? What’s your purpose?

Well, you have many purposes, which we are going to go over for the next week or two, but in the end, all of your purposes lead to God. Yeah, everything you do – every good thing, at least – is totally for God. Because he made you, and he gave you this life. Why not live it for him?

So, for the next 2-7 weeks you’re going to discover what your purpose is – why you are here on earth. That’s a big thing, and it will make you think a lot differently than you ever have before. So, I encourage you to read this blog every day so you won’t miss a thing. This is going to be fun.