To Christian Teens: Don’t Worry About Tomorrow

SAN MARINODon’t worry about tomorrow.

Don’t worry about whether you have studied enough for a test. Or whether you are getting enough credits. Don’t worry about failing.

Don’t worry about whether you’re pretty enough. Or if you are doing the right sort of things, going to enough social events. Don’t worry about whether you have enough friends.

Don’t worry about getting a driver’s license. Or having a job.

I know it’s hard to stop worrying. I know sometimes I worry to much. Especially about the silly things like reading enough and fictional characters (I know, but it is true.).

I worry about whether I’m blogging enough. Whether I’m getting my point across or whether I’m making no sense. I worry about not fulfilling all my blogging deadlines for blog tours and such.

I worry about writing. Oh my novel. It’s needs a lot of work.

I worry about whether I’m doing enough schoolwork. Or getting high enough grades. I worry about not having a plan for college.

I’m worried about letting people down and disappointing them. About not living up to people’s expectations of me.

I worry about not doing something useful with my life. I’m scared of wasting my life.

Sometimes I feel like I’m just drowning in a never-ending list of things I need to do, places  I need to go, things I need to see,…and the list goes on.

I know, there is such a thing as having a good amount of pressure. Because it can help keep us motivated. Or we might just laze around all day and waste our lives away.

But there is also such a time when that pressure, anxiety, worry, or whatever you call it becomes too much. Then it becomes overbearing. We become so stressed that we can literally lose ourselves in it. I know.

But we can’t allow these worries to control us. While we don’t have the power to overcome our worries, God can take them away and give us relief.

Matthew 6: 25, 31-34

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

God will give you the peace you need. He cares for you. He loves you. He can give you reassurance that will cover all your worries. He can take away all your worries, you just have to trust Him.

We are afraid of trusting anyone but ourselves. But ourselves aren’t strong enough to get rid of our worries. Only God can do it. And trust is all it takes to make it happen.

-G. Paige

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To Christian Teens: The Importance of Friendship

Blogging ImageThis subject has been in my mind a lot the past week or so because my close friend Amanda and her family came to Puerto Rico for a visit. I hadn’t seen her in over half a year. That’s what happens when my dad’s job moves us around a lot. In May it will be two years since I met her. Let it suffice to say that we became very close friends very fast. Anyways, she came and it was one of the best weeks I’ve had since moving here. It felt as if Amanda had never left, or maybe more like I had never left her. But she and her family had to leave and go home just a couple of days ago. It was really hard seeing her leave, but I’m so glad she came.Read More »

To Christian Teens: Having a Positive Attitude 

To Christian Teens_Sometimes I get frustrated (well, maybe more than sometimes). I get mad (quite easily, by the way). I get moody. Sometimes it feels like nothing can ever go right, especially after one thing after another goes wrong. I break down and cry. I give up. Sometimes it is over the simplest of things that I just lose it. Things like schoolwork, baking something that turns out wrong, or maybe just life. Those are the times I just want to stomp around, slam doors or cabinets, and say nothing at all.

Then I’ll remember stories about missionaries who went through torture with joy. Men and women and even children who were fed to lions while praying. People who never gave up. People who were burned at the stake singing. I mean, can you even imagine? Many of these people would have only had to say, “I don’t believe in Jesus.” and they would have been given relief. They would have been free from the punishment of Man, but not the judgement of God.

Then there are the stories from the Bible.

Acts 7:59-60‬

As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died.

Stephen asked God to forgive the people who were killing him.

Acts 16:25

Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.

These men were singing while in jail. They didn’t know when they were going to die. It could’ve been the next day. They didn’t know if God was going to save them, but they trusted Him anyways.

All these people went through so much. And here I am freaking out over schoolwork or whatever.

Am I the only one who does this? I think not. I know at sometimes it does feel like I’m the only one or you’re the only one and everyone else has their life all tidy and put together.

But that is not true.

All of us have problems. We can never really have a perfect life. No one can. I know we like to think that we can, but it’s truly impossible in a sinful world.

“So are you suggesting tha I should give up?” You might be asking. Well, I’m not. I’m just saying that we shouldn’t strive for the impossible when we already have all that could fulfill us.

Jesus is all we’ll ever need.

How do we get this fulfillment, this peace, this joy from Christ? I think one of the ways we get this fulfillment is by putting a positive spin on things. If we have a positive attitude, don’t you we can have a more enjoyable life?

Well this is exactly what the book Philippians discusses and it all can be encompassed in this one verse:

Philippians 1:21

For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.

Isn’t that a positive way at looking at things? To live is Christ. To die is better. With an attitude like that, it wouldn’t really matter what happens to you. We could have joy whether we’re suffering or living in luxury.

Philippians 1:29-30

For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.

It would be a honor to suffer for Him.

So let’s try to mimic that kind of attitude. Let’s look for the good in life (because there is good in life) even when it seems like all we are surrounded by is failures, frustrations, and shortcomings. There is hope.

There is a purpose for everything we go through. Even when we can’t see it.

I hope that I made it clear that I’m not trying to belittle your struggles and burdens. God allows each of us a fair share of hardships, but He will never give you more than you can bear with Christ in you. He knows your limits (it’s not like we’re all going to get the chance to be stoned or burned at the stake).

Jesus gave his life for us. Let’s live for him.

-G. Paige
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To Christian Teens: It Doesn’t Matter What People Think

To Christian Teens_So it’s another day for a blog post. What should I talk about today? Well…I recently read The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller. It was a really short and easy read, but it made some great points that I’d like to maybe expand upon.

This is a shout out to all the teenagers out there: don’t let your fear control who you are or even more important, who you become. Now by saying this I’m not saying that I don’t have any fear, that I’m not afraid. That would be an absolute lie. I’m afraid, a lot.

I’m afraid of failing in my schoolwork. I’m afraid of not getting everything I need to get done to graduate from high school. I’m afraid of meeting new people (it’s not as bad as it was a few years ago). I’m afraid for my siblings and all those people I know who aren’t saved. What if they don’t accept Christ into their hearts and lives?

Everyone is afraid of something and these are just a few of mine. And you know many of these fears boil down to? Not being good enough. A fear of being average. And you know what?

We will never be good enough.

We try day after day to live up to media’s standards or social standards or our standards or whoever’s standards. We try to do this because we care about what people think of us. We want to be popular, to be liked. But we won’t ever live up to these standards or people. We can’t. Our sinful nature will always get in the way.

1 Corinthians‬ ‭4:3-4

As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.

It doesn’t matter what people think. Their opinions do not matter. In the end, we will only be headed to Heaven or Hell. These standards are useless. All we do is full short of them (unless they’re so low as to make us feel bad about having such low standards).

The only standard and opinion that matters is God’s. And because of Christ, we are seen as blameless before Him.

Romans 8:1

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

It doesn’t matter what we’ve done or what we will do. We’re saved forever.

So don’t let your fears control you. Don’t worry about what other people think. Don’t even worry about what you think. God’s opinion is the only opinion that matters and He has already proclaimed you His own child!

Romans 8:34

Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

There is no need for fear. This is a time to rejoice!

-G. Paige

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To Christian Teens: To Be A Friend

aheartredeemedimageI move around a lot. I mean way more than “normal” people do (if there is such a thing as “normal”). Every time I move, I come closer to realization of just how much my friends mean to me. So a few months ago I moved to Puerto Rico (this was a big change for someone who has only lived in the United States). Anyways, I decided the move and other circumstances have led me to believe that friendship would be a fitting topic for today.

I’m pretty sure just about everyone has a friend. We were created to have a certain friendship with  God so it’s no wonder that we want to be friends with each other. It is a natural desire for us. Since having friends is important to us, I think some advice on friendship would be worth the time.

First off, we all need friends. Don’t even think about denying it. We need friends or, at least, a friend. Ultimately, God is our first and only friend we will ever need. But it is so encouraging and uplifting to have friends in the physical sense. Friends that will be there for us, no matter what.

John‬ ‭15:12-14

This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. 

Christians (those who obeys Christ’s commandments) are Jesus’s friends. He considers us his friends. Now tell me that isn’t neat.
What does it mean to be a friend? A friend is someone who you place your trust in and you know quite a bit about them. You probably talk about hard, intimate stuff that you wouldn’t talk about to a stranger. You know him/her and he/she knows you.

Proverbs‬ ‭27:10‬

Never abandon a friend— either yours or your father’s. When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance. It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away.‭‭

To be a friend means being there for them in any way possible, encouraging them, loving them, giving advice that you are able to give, and maybe if you are really close and you both are willing, being accountable to each other. What I mean is criticizing each other on your strengths and faults even if it hurts. I do not want you to be all harsh and cruel, but give advice in a kind and Christian way and your friend taking it as well as he/she can. Of course, also switching the roles. We need to hold each other accountable. That is true Christian friendship.

Matthew‬ ‭7:1

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.

People will use this verse as incentive to not hold each other accountable, judge, or criticize. But if we are Christians we should. Look at the next verse after the one above.

Matthew‬ ‭7:2

‭‭For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

God was not saying “Don’t judge.”, He was just saying to be prepared to be judged yourself if you are going to judge others.

Proverbs‬ ‭27:17

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.‭‭‬

This is so true. Our friends can help us grow in our walk with Christ. To grow we need to be held accountable.

So I challenge you today to call, text, email, etc. to a friend. Give them an encouraging word. Or just chat. You don’t know how much it means to them (or, maybe you do). Don’t you enjoy getting a call, text, email, etc. from a friend?

-G. Paige
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To Christian Teens: Why We Need To Obey Our Parents

aheartredeemedimageWe, as teens with parents, have been told time and time again to obey our parents. But do we really know why? Why should we obey our parents? This is what I want to go into a bit today.

Colossians 3:20

Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord.

Since we were created to glorify God, we should want to please Him, the creator of the universe. If we live in Jesus, he gives us the ability to please and obey Him. If pleasing Him includes obeying our parents then I think we should do just that. That’s good enough of a reason, right? We should want to obey God with every fiber of our being. So why don’t we?

1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:34‬

Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all.

I believe it is the consequence of living in a fallen world. Sin is such a big temptation for us. It’s part of our nature to sin. So we disobey our parents either with disrespect, back talk, lies, and the list goes on. There are many reasons why: maybe we want control and we’re tired parents telling us what to do (we are teenagers, we can make our own decisions, right) or maybe we just are in a really bad mood and don’t want to listen to anyone (I do that quite a bit) or maybe we want to disobey, just to cross the line. Either way, we are teenagers so that means we should be able to see that obeying our parents is the right thing to do.

Ephesians‬ ‭6:1-3‬

Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”

It’s still very hard though, isn’t it? But if we lean and trust in Jesus Christ. We can do anything.

Luke 18:27

He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”

When it feels impossible, just remember that: God is with you all the way, so what can be impossible? Anyways, your parents are probably trying to follow God too and do right by you. They are trying to teach you to do what is right so you won’t make any mistakes that you later regret. They have so much more experience than you. They have your best interests at heart. But most importantly, they love you. God gave you to them. So whatever punishment you think is unfair or whatever thing they told you to do that you don’t think you should, know that it is for your own benefit. And most likely, in later years (or now) you’ll be so grateful to have had such amazing God-loving parents. What could we have done without them? They’re a small reflection of what our Father in Heaven is like.

Proverbs 13:24

Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.

Our parents are just doing what they’re called to do. We don’t have to love it, but we can respect and honor their decisions. We’ll really appreciate it later.

So I’m just going to shout out to my parents. Thanks Mom and Dad for being such spectacular parents to me! I love you guys and I want you to know that it really really really means a lot how much that you’ve done and your doing for me.

-G. Paige
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