Genesis: 19-24

ITS MOCK EXAM WEEK!!! So don’t have time to post thoughts and reflections, I am keeping up with my reading and do have ideas to put up at a later date, but here is something I found online which i thought was interesting -

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So you accepted Christ at a young age and now you feel kind of like Christianity was something for children. You think you’ve outgrown it and now it’s time to find something new. You know, it’s just lots of sheep and an old guy in a nightgown, right? Wrong! Christianity is a relationship with Jesus, the son of God. Sometimes teens feel really dedicated to Christ and doing things in church and at home, but once they hit school, its back to being their old selves. Keep reading for how to stay devoted to Christ no matter where you are, and how to grow in Christ.

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Read! Let’s say you get an e-mail from one of your close friends you haven’t heard from in a while. What do you do? You read it, of course! 

  • God wrote several letters to you, have you read them? Don’t take out yourdusty Bible and read it from cover-to-cover tonight – you’ll never be able to grasp the right concept.
     
  • Read other books, like devotionals, that repeatedly talk about and quote the Bible; then you should read chapters of the Bible dealing with the issue in your devotional.
     
  • For an amazing reading plan and daily devotionals, try going to 1way2god.net
     
  • Girls: check out Point of Grace’s book “Girls of Grace”, which talks about God in every aspect of life, from family and friends, to boys. You can also try the “Faithgirlz” series, which tells you how to stay close to God as you’re growing up. For older teens, there is also the True Colors series by Melody Carlson. They’re books that deal with common scenarios in today’s society with a great Christian message. Look into them!

Experience! You can experience the power of God in your life and know the rea lhappiness which is more than just a religous concept, but comes from having the Holy Spirit in your life. Then you can build up your faith by praying in the Holy Spirit.

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Fellowship! That word means a lot more than casseroles and fried chicken at church get-togethers.

  • It means conversation. It means praying together. It means talking about what God is doing in your life. It means building up others who feel down.
     
  • It means NO GOSSIPING! If you’re a Christian (especially if you go to a public school), you need other Christians to help you out. You need other Christians to give you encouragement and to listen to you. You need advice, too. And you need to give it when you can.
     
  • A lot of public schools have very few devoted Christians, so the best place to start looking for some Christian friends, is, of course, church. Choose them wisely though, only the ones that look and act like they really are dedicated, not the ones that look like they only come because the youth group goes to Dairy Queen once a month.

Learn! Once you become more devoted to Christ, things should become different. Like Steven Curtis Chapman says, “What about the difference? What about the change? What about forgiveness? What about a life that’s showing I’m undergoing a change?”

  • It’s time to show a change in your life relating to the opposite gender and keeping your integrity.
    • Guys, read “Every Young Man’s Battle: Strategies for Victory in the Real World of Sexual Temptation” and
       
    • Girls, read “Every Young Woman’s Battle: Guarding Your Mind, Heart, and Body in a Sex-Saturated World”.
       
    • These books are not my favorite because they pretend that you haven’t done anything at all sinful concerning the other gender, yet they’re written for older teens who probably have had bad thoughts or whatever. They don’t offer help if you’ve done these things before.

Of course, the last step is to LIVE!! Be different in the way that you live life. Be mature and conduct yourself maturely.
This doesn’t mean that you have to look totally different, but it does mean that you shouldn’t wear revealing clothes, including the ones that have logos across your chest so it looks like your boobs are about to pop out of your chest. Listen to good music, and avoid any inappropriate videos.
The only way to truly live in a Christ-honoring fashion is to know Christ. You will never know him completely, but throughout life, by praying and reading your Bible, you can know him more.
Act the way Jesus did, and that’s a life worth living, once you know Christ more than you did at first then you can understand how to live.

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Found at – http://www.wikihow.com/Be-a-Devoted-Christian-Teenager

 

Genesis 16-18

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In Genesis 17 God calls down to Earth A LOT, and it got me thinking, how often does God calls to us? It turns out he’s calling all the time! My mum calls me all the time as well, ‘working hard today?’ Yes Mum’ and ‘Eating your fruit and veg?’ Yes Mum’ and ‘Done your homework?’ YES MUM! Everyday the same conversation at dinner about my life, honestly every topic of conversation has been exhausted. Mum is obsessed with her children, me and my brother; she works her fingers raw managing such a rowdy household.

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But I have found the Bible to be a story of someone even more relentless in pursuit of a relationship with us. God is crazy longing to know us and it seems at a great cost to himself with little return. He just hasn’t stopped calling, he is like that one annoying aunt that rings you everyday to tell you all about her little child, normally something quite ridiculous such as her child pooping out a Lego piece swallowed years ago. She just wants us to know everything!  Even though we mostly let her go to answer machine and don’t ring back to often, she keeps on trying to connect with us.

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Also I think my connection with God is like my grandma using a mobile phone, she always has it switched off unless she wants to text someone and more often than not she turns it off before they have the chance to reply. That is what I’m like with God, don’t think about him much when I don’t think I need him, but as soon as I want something I get out the Christian music and have a bit of a prayer. But faith in god includes faith in his timings.  I might have tuned out by the time he sends me and answer or shows me a sign. God, despite busy signals, dropped calls and angry disconnections, he keeps trying. I’m pretty sure even way back with Abraham he had his thoughts on you and me, it’s great to have people in your life who love you and Gods love is the best of all.

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Now shall we try and reconnect our telephones and get the lines up and running again.

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Genesis 12-15

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I’m a bit of an adrenalin junkie. I go on scout camps to climb up wibbly wobbly pillars or too jump off very tall bridges in Switzerland, I have even been winched down into a rock crevasse all by myself with an awful wind up torch! But I only had the courage to do those things because I have always had the power to tell myself that I’m strapped on to a harness and have a very unattractive orange safety helmet on.

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But when I get into a sticky situation in life and I’m not in a harness, I sometimes felt like I had nothing to fall back on, I used to think I had no hard hat or crash mat. But I was wrong because we all have God; he’s the best protection you have got. Sometimes I just feel like it’s all too much and I just need to give up and then I do, I give it all up to God. I have to say I’ve fallen back on to God many times in my life recently; I have needed him more than ever this past year.

 

-‘Do not be afraid, for I will protect you’-

So God should be protecting me from me enemies, right? But who are my enemies? When I think about enemies, I think of Mufasa’s enemy Scar and that teacher at school who always asks me the really difficult questions. I think of the small group of so called ‘popular’ girls at school with their glaring eyes and tiny tiny skirts, and yes these people might tease me for my bright red hair that enters any room before I do, but they aren’t really my enemies.

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My hair is very much like this.

The truth is I am much more concerned about having God on my side to protect my own interests and reputation, than I am about being on God’s side. God has not promised to protect me from everyone I might define as my enemy, but he has promised to protect me from my real enemy, sin. Which, thanks to God, no longer has the power over me. A real enemy of mine is anything that seeks to alienate and push me from God. My problem is not so much a lack of protection from God but a more significant problem with the little devil on my shoulder, that annoying dude we all know called Sin. Even when I’m justifying and enjoying a bit of fun with sin, God still offers me protection from its power. Its pretty cool knowing Gods always got my back.

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Genesis : 7-11

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I’m usually doodling during sermons at church. I am listening. I’m just drawing tiny shoes whilst I listen. I get about a dozen done before my mind goes blank and I run out of new shoe ideas. I keep repeating them and they begin to look alike and how ever hard I try they end up looking the same.

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But no two snowflakes are the same, finger prints are never repeated, Gods imagination and love never runs out. The story of Noah and his ark just made me realise that God wanted us to be perfect and pure, but after the flood he realised that we couldn’t ever be that, even if we tried. Our eyes had been opened to sin and we have been exposed to evil from birth and in childhood, and that shaped our awareness of the world. But Gods kept making each and every one of us so uniquely and with such an effort, that we are all made in his image. God also gave us something awesome; to share this all with, friends and family. He gave us hearts that could be compassionate and loving. Sometimes it’s not such a great thing, God went a bit heavy with the compassion spray when he was making me, me heart aches about the bad in our world, this being from Water Aid adverts to Sambuca dying on Waterloo Road. God is totally passionate; he’s not lukewarm and tepid. Not so-so, not ho-hum. He’s not tame or safe or controllable. Yet his love for us is unwavering, eternal and intimate. But sadly for me its mock exam week and I haven’t slept well in days and my eyes feel like dried cheese trying to squint at the words on my paper, I have given revising and school much more attention and dedication than God. I’m going to work on finding myself a balance and actually bringing God into those times when a social life seems like a fairy story I wrote in year 4!

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Lessons we have learned today then class, be grateful for the gifts God has given you and don’t forget he took extra special care when putting you together, so don’t forget about him when you on the sofa waiting for the next episode of Big Bang Theory whilst munching into a Galaxy fruit and nut.

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Who doesn’t want to finish a blog post with a picture of chocolate!?

Genesis: 3-6

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So it’s my second day at this and I’m raring to go! Genesis 3-6 is something we have all been taught before at Sunday school, the evil snake tells Eve to eat from the tree that she isn’t allowed to eat from. She eats it. Adam eats it. Gods not happy.  Adam and eve get thrown from the Garden.  All pretty standard preschool stuff. But it shocked me to learn that God said when punishing Eve:

‘I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy and in birth’

And

‘Your husband will rule over you’

I mean really God, wasn’t banishment enough!

Women fought and died for our rights but I never realised God wanted the men to have the power, I think it’s a bit unfair, maybe he was having a bad day. I’m joking, I know God wanted Eve to learn about the effects of sin, and the power he has. Sin is definitely the big message in this; I think God puts it best:

‘Sin is crouching at the door eager to control you. But you must be its master’

I like knowing that ultimately we have the upper-hand on sin; we just have to learn not to fall for it. Modern day life brings a bucket fall of opportunities to sin; I’m going to keep reminding myself of Eve’s banishment and think ‘Is it really worth it?’ before I do something. I think I’m going to see most of the time that it isn’t and hopefully I’m not going to make as many mistakes and commit as much sin, obviously I can’t live totally sin free I’m only human. But I’m going to think more before I act and I’m hopefully going to be a better person because of it. I would wear my ‘WWJD’ band to remind me about making the right decisions but the fabric gives my wrists eczema and I’m sure the thoughts of a painful pregnancy will keep me on the straight and narrow.

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Also I think in this passage God shows us how many opportunities and choices he give us each day, I think I’m not making all the good choices and this has got to change. Tomorrow I’m going to look out for them and think about Adam and Eve before I make a wrong decision. 

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Genesis :1 and 2

1 and 2

 

So Hi, I have just read Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 and well it was weird, it felt very ordered and commanding. I had trouble connecting with the story and it really hasn’t cleared much up for me. How did we get here? I’m sure everyone’s wondered it, and I think this section of Genesis is meant to be an answer. When there was nothing, God decided there should be something, it all sounds just a bit simple to me. Doing science GCSE you’re taught evolution as a theory of how we come to be who we are and it did seem to make more sense than God clicking his fingers and then there we were. I think God created the world the seas and the land, and he sparked evolution and he made the first man, but that doesn’t mean in the way we see man today, I think it was us in our very primitive state.  I’m still a bit hazy on the creation story and how much of it is straight truth or an interpretation of the long journey to what we are now, maybe everything’s going to clear up when I read the rest of Genesis.

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But I would read Genesis 1:27-28, it just sums up for me how we aren’t creatures of coincidence or of random consequence but we were crafted by God to be like God, I’m not going to pretend I’m someone I’m not because most of the time I don’t feel all that God-like. I mess up allot, and I always have to remind myself that I was made by God I was created for a purpose and that’s not something to be cheapened, we are all special and we shouldn’t let this gift of life be tossed aside by us or others. We were created by someone who can’t be ignored; he loves us with a passion that inspires us to respond. How are you going to react to God’s love? Embrace it? Reject it? Because whatever you do it’s a response, people need to learn to open their hearts up to God because responding to his love is what we were made for.

I’m going to try to not forget that I’m loved, and it’s difficult, when I’m stressed at school or fighting with my parents, to remember that he’s still loving me even now. He loves me right this second. And to be fair that’s pretty cool, even when I screw up he’s got it covered because I was made in his love and will always be in his love.

 

Come back tomorrow when I post more confusing teenage thoughts on the next section of the Bible. I can see now what a long journey this is going to be!

My Mission

Reading the whole Bible in 2013…………..Hopefully

So here we go guys! Put on your scuba suits, because we are diving right in.

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I’m an averagely nerdy, 15 year old girl, living in the South of England. Not surprisingly I love Doctor Who, the Green Brothers on YouTube, Taylor Swift’s albums and a good strong tea. Being in year 11 its starting to hot up, choices and decisions are behind every classroom door, academic and personal. I have friends who have known their life ambitions from the moment their heads popped out the womb, but unfortunately I have always lacked expertise in the ‘making big decisions’ area. I’m a sort of career junkie, hopping from one idea to the other, in my 15 years of life i have wanted to be, a zoo keeper, a marine biologist, a spy, an author, an actress, a sheep farmer and my most recent ambition a photographer. My careers teacher loathes me for making her find lots of information about one job, only to have me come back the next lesson with a new idea. It took me 5 years of secondary school to have me finally decide on my A Level choices the day before the deadline! I’m going to be taking; Art, Geography, Photography and Religious Education.

It’s the one thing that has always puzzled me, religion. Church for me growing up was all mums with push chairs and kids sneaking a bite of crayon, and no one seeming to be taking religion that seriously. So I decided if I’m going to do the whole Christianity thing properly, I’m going to have to do it myself. I started getting more involved in church and found a whole side of it I had never even glimpsed previously, because before then I was hiding in the back pew, scratching my name into the wood. After three years I have: been confirmed Church of England, joined a really lovely all girl youth group (just a goss fess over hot chocolate and cake), completed a week of work experience with my youth leader, bought a ridiculous amount of Christian music, been to soul survivor once and overenthusiastically persuading all my friends to come with me next year. Most importantly in these last three years I have found someone who will never leave me, loves me unconditionally and listens to me babble on and on. I found God. I am so grateful for the help I have had along the way, youth leaders, friends and my Matt Redman CD.

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2013 is rapidly approaching now and as I write this, sitting on my bed in my doctor who pyjamas, my bible is creating more and more of a dusty cover. I have read the bible at church and with other friends, but I have never taken the journey in myself. I am afraid that my usual life will get in the way: school, friends and my tumblr addiction may just swerve my path away from God, but let’s hope not!

January 1st will be the start of our year long journey, just pray we can make it till next Christmas without getting completely lost in the forests of books and versus that we are going to encounter in the Bible. I’m finding my way through the Bible in the hope of also finding myself and I would only be too happy to share this bumpy ride with you.