Narnia Movie Review
All In His Hands
Not A Pot Of Luck
Lesson From Oyster Shellspg 25
All of us over here at Bloom! Magazine want to present a challenge to you, our readers, for this St. Patrick’s Day. I’m sure that most of you place the holding St. Patrick’s Day and wearing green together in your mind as a two-for-one deal, right? St. Patrick’s Day comes around and you wear green. Atleast for me, I think of St. Patrick’s Day as the day that everyone wears green. But, this year, we want to challenge you to do something radically different this St. Patrick’s Day. If you accept this challenge, it could potentially mean that you come home from school tomorrow with dozens of pinch marks all over your arms. But, it will also mean that you have a huge opportunity to share your beliefs with those around you. We challenge you to wear white, not green, this St. Patrick’s Day to symbolize purity instead of luck. Take a stand for Jesus Christ and wear white tomorrow! Send in your stories of your experience wearing white to me at bloom. email@example.com and you could be featured in the next issue! KyAnn Bloom! Editor/Manager
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Meet The Guest Writers and Photographers Amanda, Guest Photographer My dad is the pastor of a Baptist church; Mom has been homeschooling us for twenty-three years. I am the fifth home-schooled graduate in our family of twelve and am waiting on the Lordâ€™s timing for marriage. Until He shows me a different path, I enjoy teaching piano, playing for our church congregation, arranging hymns, learning more about music, blogging, and helping out around the house. My family and I have sung and played instruments (guitar, banjo, violin, mandolin, and others) together for the past eleven years. God has opened the doors for us to share His love through song in the local nursing home and Council on Aging as well as various churches around our area and in a few other states. You can visit our family blog at www.terofamilyministries.com.
Anna, Guest Writer I am 10 years old and in the 4th grade. I enjoy babysitting, and hanging with my friends. I have three siblings, 1 older sister whoâ€™s 11 and two younger brothers who are 8 and 4. My family is in the process of adopting more..:) I usually donâ€™t like writing. Though one day, I was just playing around while doing my handwriting and wrote this poem. I am homeschooled along with my siblings. My favorite thing to do is to go camping as a family.
Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader A Movie Review by Mary Catherine
Many true Narnian fans (like myself) were a bit disappointed with the fact that the second Narnia movie, Prince Caspian, wasn’t the best representation of the book. In fact, it strayed from the plot line so much that some fans were disappointed. But the producers definitely snagged all of those fans and many more people back with the creation of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is my personal favorite book in the series. Not only do we get to spend more time with the Pevensies, but they also travel to so many exotic locations in Narnia that we’ve briefly heard about previously but never gotten to see. Only this time, the kings and queens have an extra passenger - their grumpy cousin Eustace is brought to the magical land with them. He is less than thrilled, but we get to see his demeanor transform as the essence of Narnia settles in. The Narnians meet back up with Caspian, who has embarked on a sea-faring journey to find the seven lords that his uncle banished from Telmar. The quest is dangerous - no one knows what lies in the ocean on the way to what is supposed to be Aslan’s Country. As the crew encounters many different islands and rescue the lords - or find out their causes of death - they each have to overcome fear and temptation. Even Eustace, who is full of words but not half as full of bravery, brings up the courage to stand up for his cousins and becomes valiant and strong. One scene that I particularly loved was a scene that surprisingly, wasn’t in the book (the surprising aspect is that I love a scene that didn’t follow the plot line). The whole crew is getting ready to enter the darkest island of all - one inhabited by their greatest nightmares. Caspian gives a speech to all of them about overcoming fear. My favorite thing about the scene is that no members of the crew were swayed by fear, but stayed strong. I would definitely recommend this movie to any Narnia lover, or anyone who likes a good adventure with a solid moral. The 3D additives to the film are an added bonus, and very realistic in some scenes. Take it from me - this third movie in the series will not disappoint. 3
All In His Hands By Amy H.
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better [worth more] than they? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Where withal shall we be clothed? ...for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” -Matthew 6:26, 31, 32b (KJV) God knows everything about you: Everything you have ever thought; everything you have ever needed; everything you have ever done. The Bible says He even knows how many hairs are on your head (Matthew 10:30). He knows your idea of the perfect guy, He knows the man you will marry, and if you will marry. He knows how many children you will have, and if you will have any children. He knew you before you were born, and He knows the day you will die. He knows everything you will do in your life (1 Corinthians 1-11). He knows everything you hope to do, and if you will do these things. He knows all of your secrets. Again, God knows everything anyone could ever know about you, even the things you do not know about yourself. Psalm 139 is an excellent example of all this, particularly in the first four verses: “O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD,” and verses fifteen and sixteen: “My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (NIV). 4
Even more, He knows all about your mother, your sister, your best friend, your grandfather, and everyone you meet. He knows how long each day of Creation was, and when the dinosaurs really came into the picture. He knew that Abraham Lincoln was going to be shot before it happened. He knew who would win World War Two before anyone in the world did. He knows who shot John F. Kennedy. He knows when the world will end. He knows.... everything. Besides knowing everything, God is always there. Look again at Psalms 139, this time verses seven through ten: â€œWhere can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.â€? (NASB) Do you see? God is everywhere, at every time. Whenever you need Him, He is right there with you. When you are lonely, or frightened, or angry, or sad, or happy, or excited, or contented, He is there. When you miss your best friend living halfway across the world, you can be content in the knowledge that He is there with her. Or when you are worried because your grandmother is sick, you can rest, because He is with the doctors, and He is with your grandmother, and He is with you. If you have ever happened to read a book, you may notice that there 5
is a point in the story where the main character is faced with his/ her greatest challenge or obstacle; this is called the climax. Perhaps you feel you have already reached, are reaching, or will soon be reaching the climax of your life; or, at least, one of them. The differences are that you may not be able to see a happy ending in the near future; and, more likely than not, your climax is not you hanging by a rope, slipping, about to plunge into a bubbling, burning volcano, right? But the best part of your real-life climax is that God is with you: “When you pass through the rivers, I will be with you; and when you pass through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;” (Isaiah 43: 1-3a [NIV]). So-while God knows everything that has ever come to pass, is happening now, and will occur for the rest of time and He is everywhere all at the same time, at every given time -you’re worrying about what to wear to that party, or what you got on that pop quiz in math class. Sometimes at night you lie in bed and wonder where you will be in ten years. You wonder what you will do in your life. You worry about the way you act at school and at home and out with your friends. But why worry? As I said above, God knows everything. He is always everywhere. It’s all in His hands. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. -Matthew 6:34 (NASB)
FAQ: Friendship By Maria, with help from friend Amy Hello! Before we get started, I would like to introduce you to my friend Amy. After seeing the “friendship” topic chosen for this month’s edition of Bloom!, I thought that this would be a fun one to do with a friend. So Amy is joining me in writing this article, and I think that you’ll enjoy the added flavor. 1. What really is friendship? According to Webster’s 1828 dictionary, friendship is, “An attachment to a person, proceeding from intimate acquaintance, and a reciprocation of kind offices, or from a favorable opinion of the amiable and respectable qualities of his mind.” Unfortunately, because of our fallen nature in sin, there is no such this as a “perfect friendship.” And yet, by God’s grace, as new creations in Christ ¹, we can enjoy friendships that bring much joy to our lives as well as being a means of encouraging and strengthening us, even as iron sharpens iron ². Maria 2. How is God’s providence highlighted in when/how you meet? God is a good God. He knows what we need and what we will be encouraged by. His providence is perfect as He mercifully supplies us with faithful friendships just at the right times in our lives. He sometimes brings us into what might seem like “chance” encounters with people who He will turn into some of our closest and dearest friends. But everything, even the first meetings of friends, is carefully planned and ordained by God. This can be a great encouragement to us throughout all the days of our friendships. God always brings two people together as friends for a reason and a purpose. What a blessing to keep in mind as we grow in our friendships! Amy 3. How do you find TRUE and LOYAL friends? To tell you the truth, YOU can’t find for yourself great friends who will encourage you in your walk with the Lord. Only the One who knows your heart, and the hearts of every other human being can bring together friends who will be blessed by each other, while at the same time being a blessing to the other. So bring your petition for a friend to your Father, ask Him to seek out for you friends who will encourage you in your Christian life. But at the same time, pray that He would make you that kind of friend. For, will someone who wants Christ as the center of her life seek a friend who does not long for the same? 7 Maria
4. What are some main keys to maintaining a friendship? One of the main keys of forming and maintaining friendship is realizing that a great friendship, just like any good relationship, doesn’t just happen, it takes time and effort. Neglecting a friendship, or not realizing the effort it takes to keep it, is often what will kill it. You have to be willing to invest yourself in the relationship, to make the time to stay connected with the person, to talk to them and spend time with them, even when your life is busy. God calls us to consider all others as more significant than ourselves. How much more should this apply to our friendships? When we make this our goal, and put a friend before ourselves, going out of the way to serve and love them, then we have a strong foundation for a great and God-glorifying friendship. Amy Humility is also a vital key to friendships, and any relationship for that matter. Humility is willing to say “I’m wrong” when your wrong and what’s willing to be quiet when your right. To be humble is something that we as Christians are called to practice in our lives each and everyday. And in case you haven’t learned this yet, don’t expect it to be easy! But God’s word says that before honor is humility³, and you will soon find that without humility, honor is much harder to come by! Maria 5. What are the responsibilities that come along with having friends? As a friend, you have the responsibility of making sure your actions, words, and company in no way encourage or tempt your friends to sinful behavior. As a Christian, you also have the responsibility to set an example to them in righteousness and place their interests before your own. It is important that you are willing to gently rebuke and correct a friend if they stray into some attitude or behavior that is not God-glorifying. This can be a hard thing to do, but a true friend will seek what is best for the other person, even if it means risking falling out of that person’s good graces. The important thing to remember in this is to rebuke and correct with a humble and gentle spirit, knowing that you yourself are a sinner prone to weakness. Although it is rarely easy or comfortable, God has called us to hold one another accountable in our friendships. Amy 6.What are some benefits reaped from faithful friends? The benefits we receive from faithful friends are many. We, as humans, were created by God with a social nature. We were created to experience, enjoy, and glorify God together throughout our lives. Therefore, it should not be a surprise that friendship is a powerful means of God to bless us with joy, encouragement, comfort, and also grow us in our sanctification. These are eternal benefits reaped from faithful friends, blessings that will in turn bring us closer to our Lord. Amy 7. What about friendships with non-believers? What things we want to look for in a “potential” friend depends on what sort of friendship we are seeking to form. As we are in this world, we are sometimes called to befriend those who aren’t “best” friend material. This includes friendships with unbelievers and those who are maybe struggling spiritually. Friendships in these situations, with exceptions, are not to be avoided but instead embraced as a means of witnessing to others and encouraging and strengthening our weaker brothers in the faith. Such friendships as these how8
Inevitably, we as Christians , at one point in our life or another (if we haven’t already!), will come into regular, perhaps even everyday contact, with those who do not confess, as well as profess Jesus as the Lord of their life. First of all, we need to be aware that many in the past have been led astray in such friendships, because, instead of being the “influencer”, became the influenced. So be careful! But we also need to remember that by nature we are no better than they, and God has commanded us to be salt and light in this world. So yes, get to know them! Invest in their lives! And use it as an opportunity to bring light where before only darkness reigned. 8. What about when friendships fail?
This can be really hard... Sometimes someone who seems to share your sentiments on your friendship suddenly doesn’t seem to be that interested in the friendship anymore. These times can be tough, but often, it is these times that God uses to draw us closer to HIM. After a time, you may also see clearly to acknowledge that the friendships that fail are almost always the ones that really didn’t have substance to them. But no matter what, we can be sure that God’s providence is perfect and as Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” So use “desert” times to draw all the closer to the One who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24) Maria Some things that we’ve learned over the years.... It’s often not easy and it takes work! There are always hard times in friendships, times of misunderstanding, trouble, and pain, but in a healthy God-centered friendship these times will be followed by repentance, forgiveness, and a closer union with each other and with God. It is important to always be ready and willing to ask forgiveness if you have wronged your friend in any way. Always keep the lines of communication open between you and your friend! It is deadly to a friendship to store up grievances, hurt, or anger. If there is a problem, talk about it with the purpose of resolving it. Pray together, laugh together, praise and serve God together. Always remember, friendship is about what you can give, not about what you can get. Amy You can’t tell by the “first meeting” what it will develop into. And don’t try to become “best friends” with every girl you meet! When I was younger, I think that was actually my intent at times! Something I’ve found very often, is that most others are interested much more in the “getting” part of the relationship instead of the “giving” part. They want the benefits without the commitment. But do be open to new friendships, pray about it, look for ways that you can encourage others in the Lord, and ask God to bring into your path those who will be an encouragement to you! Maria References: 1. - 2 Cor. 5:17 9 2. - Prov. 27:17
True Beauties By Rachel K.
“In the end close is all there is. Oh, in the end it’s me you’re going to miss; ‘Cause you won’t find this.” The lyrics to Ms. Underwood’s song give me the basis to tell you this: complete happiness is not something that can be found on this earth. We can try to come close; we can find some love and happiness in human relationships and let the things of the world fulfill us, but if we don’t fall in love with the true Prince Charming, everything we do here on earth will be for not. As I sit here writing close to Valentine’s Day, it leads me to wonder what love really is. Is it a kiss in the hallway when a couple part ways for an hour or so? Is it holding hands with the one you “love” while in grade school? The world would like to pressure us girls into thinking so. In the old Disney movies we all used to watch, our favorite parts were when Sleeping Beauty was awoken by her true love and when the Beast was transformed back into his once-handsome self when Belle fell in love with him. Ariel even left her wondrous, watery kingdom to spend her life on dry land with a man she hardly knew. Is that love or lust? The word beautiful is defined as “having qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind.” Today’s perverse world twists this into meaning that for a woman to be beautiful she must wear tight, revealing clothes, walk with a swing in her step, and give the guys what they want. But that’s not what love is meant to be. That’s not how God intended beauty as He shaped the world. A woman is a prize waiting to be won by her soul mate. 10
No young girl should spend her care-free days worrying about how she looks every time she steps out of the house. Ladies shouldn’t chase after men so one may someday glance in her direction. Our job is to sit back and let the men come to us because they want to. It seems anywhere one looks anymore it’s not long before we see a woman with a bit (or a lot) more showing than there should be, but just because the world has lowered its standards doesn’t mean we should. The true beauties of life are not the ones flaunting the shape of their body that they work so hard to keep or the ones who act so superior to the world that we can’t help but obsess over how much better they are. The truly beautiful women are the ones who do not glory themselves how the world tells them they should, but they are the ones with the beautiful personalities. The ones who are content to wait in the background until they are led to where they need to go. Another issue that we as young ladies are faced with is the constant cussing droning on around us. The Bible speaks of the punishment wrought from this in Leviticus 24:16 “And he that blasphemeth in the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well as the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.” I think the message here is pretty clear: no matter what the situation is or how angry one may be, cursing is never a good alternative. The true beauties of today, whether you are one or are working hard to become one, cannot let everyone else’s foul language sway their dedication to the Father. Having someone to look up to isn’t always a bad thing, but we cannot look up to their faults (although neither should we look down on them). The only perfect idol we can have is God; he will never lead us wrong, nor let us fall. His hand will always be there to catch us unless we refuse to acknowledge its presence and let ourselves slip through His fingers. So grab His 11 hand today and let’s become a new generation of true beauties!
p Life The Crazy, Mixed U rald e g z it F ie r a M is x le of A Dear Diary, Friday Last week at the store, a girl about my age came in with her mom. She was pretty miserable and she kept saying that she was mad because her mom brought her to a Christian bookstore. Of course that made me mad - it’s the kind of thing that irritates me like crazy. I wanted to take her by the arm and shake her. I know, I know that’s a terrible way to give a witness. But I wanted to. I’ve got to figure out why I’m afraid to witness. For a long time, I told myself that I wasn’t afraid - that I could witness at any time. But then I realized that in situations like that, I might not be as strong as I thought. --Alexis Dear Diary,
This morning, before I left for the store to work - er, intern - I was looking kind of longingly at pictures of spring daffodils that I took last year. Spring is coming - I figure that as long as I keep telling myself that, it will, eventually - I’m tired of forty degree temperatures. Anyways, back to the daffodils. They were so gorgeous and yellow - broadcasting the arrival of spring. I also noticed something else - the pictures of the tiny green buds weren’t half as beautiful. I put that into my perspective - I’m a little daffodil bud who’s afraid to open up and share the beauty of her faith. Aah - that sounded poetic, didn’t it? But back to the real situation. When someone like that comes into the store again, I’m not going to be afraid to come out and share my faith. --Alexis
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Colossians 4:6 12
Recipe Corner Submit your recipes for the April issue to firstname.lastname@example.org today!
Silky Chocolate Pudding Adapted from John Scharffenberger, via Wednesday Chef Serves 6 What You Need: 1/4 cup cornstarch 1/2 cup sugar 1/8 teaspoon salt 3 cups whole milk 6 ounces 62% semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used good quality semisweet chocolate chips; use 70% bittersweet if you want more of a dark chocolate kick) 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract How To: 1. Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler. Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides with a heatproof spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients. Place over gently simmering water and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. Use a whisk as necessary should lumps begin to form. After 15 to 20 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, add the chocolate. Continue stirring for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pudding is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. 2. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer (or skip this step if youâ€™re a slacker like me who is absolutely certain that there is nary a lump in her puddinâ€™) into a serving bowl or into a large measuring cup with a spout and pour into individual serving dishes. 3. If you like pudding skin, pull plastic wrap over the top of the serving dish(es) before refrigerating. If you dislike pudding skin, place plastic wrap on top of the pudding and smooth it gently against the surface before refrigerating. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days (ahem, good luck with that). 13
What You Need:
1 1/2 cups oats 1/2 cup flour (either whole wheat or white) 1 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup applesauce 1 egg 1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350*. Grease a 9x9â€? baking pan. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add applesauce, egg, and raisins. Mix well. Spread into the baking pan and cook for about 30 minutes or until the edges are a light brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Pineapple Oat Bars
What You Need:
1 cup applesauce 2 cups brown sugar 4 eggs 2 cups pineapple, chopped 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup flour 1 _tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt 1 cup oats
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x13â€? baking pan. 2. Cream together applesauce and brown sugar. 3. Add eggs, pineapple, and vanilla; mix. 4. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; mix well, scraping excess dough from sides of bowl. 5. Add oats. Batter will be slightly runny. Spread into greased pan. 6. Bake 25-30 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or let cool and cut into bars. 14
Not A Pot of Luck! By Kyla
With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner we keep hearing… “Wear green for luck!” “Good luck!” “Lucky you!” Etcetera… etcetera… etcetera… However, many of us buy into it. Buy into the concept of luck! If you have ever told someone not to stand under a ladder, not to break a mirror (because of the supposed seven years of bad luck), not to step on cracks in the pavement, and once again, etcetera- etcetera- etcetera… Then YOU too have bought into it! But it is NOT NOT NOT luck! It is Jesus! Jesus is the answer! He is the One, who showered us with His love and His blood… He gave up His life for you and me, and He knows everything about us! There is no luck to that- it was planned- and prophesized! As a Christian… “…We have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts…” 2 Peter 1:19 15
So this St. Patricks Day I challenge all of you to wear white- for purity- purity of the world. A temple of Jesus Christ- One whose existence was anything but luck. Every event in our lives, as well, is planned and is most certainly NOT luck! Be pure this St. Patricks Day. Go against the grain of the world- stand up! Jesus, not Luck!
Will you take a stand for Jesus Christ this St. Patrickâ€™s Day and wear white instead of green? Will you indure the pinching and teasing and wear white to symbolize the purity of Jesus, instead of luck? Join with us and wear white on March 17th! Email your stories to email@example.com. We would love to hear what impact you made on your schools and those around you by wearing white instead of green!
A Monthly Beauty Column
By Emily P.
“How do we get rid of pimples?! Or at least-how do we “mild them down” a little?” Pimples- also known as zits, acne, a girl’s arch nemesis. Anyone, at any age, can get them. What exactly causes these annoying things on our face? Well, I shall tell you. Touching your face constantly. When you touch your face with oily hands, you irritate it, causing pimples. Fast food and junk food can cause pimples. Try to avoid high in sugar foods, saturated fats and vegetable oil such as chips, cookies, chocolates, cakes, fast food burgers and fries. This makes your insulin spike and cause hormonal imbalance, which causes pimples. How To Get Rid Of Them? -Don’t use oil based makeup such as foundation for a while. This can clog your pores. Get oil-free lotion to put on your face before bed. -Before bed, apply little dabs of white toothpaste on your pimples. You can also use baking soda and warm water this way. -Don’t rub your face with a washcloth-that is hard on your skin. -Rinse your face (make sure your hands are clean) with lukewarm water. Hot water dries out your skin and cold water shocks your pores. -Dry your face by patting-not rubbing- with a clean towel. -Don’t pop your pimples! That will make them worse. -Try not to scratch your pimples; they can spread. -Drink LOTS of water! Fruits and vegetables help too. -Clean your pillowcases, towels and makeup brushes often. Products You Can Use: Dove lotion Aveeno lotion Neutrogena lotion Acne treatment gel/ointment “Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” ~Devon Dashelle Wesley 17
Always There By Anna B. When I call you, I will not get an answering machine. No busy signals, No leave a message after the tone. I will get you, God! You will always be there when I call on you, God!!
Interview with Inspired Magazine Editor, Maggie
Let’s start with you telling us a little about yourself and your family. I live in an amazing, loving Christian home with my mom, dad, younger brother, and our yellow lab, Gunney. Aside from being a high school student, writing a magazine, and keeping a blog, I spend about 11 hours a week at the dance studio studying tap, jazz, and ballet. When I’m not at the studio or catching up on e-mail, you will find me in my room, most likely with lots of piles of stuff surrounding me, reorganizing just about anything I can get my hands on. I also enjoy reading, photography, knitting, and of course, drawing closer to my Lord and Savior. How long have you been a Christian? When I was 5, I was sitting in my VBS soaking in every word that came out of Miss Smith’s mouth, as she was and still is one of the ladies I look up to the most, and then she got into the lesson. She began explaining how to accept Christ as your Savior and then said she would love to pray with any of us after class if we felt we wanted to become a Christian. So after class, I shyly walked up to her and she assisted me in asking Christ to be my Lord and Savior. So, I’ve been a child of God for almost ten years now. If you had to choose one quality in Christ that you strive the most to display in your own life, what would you choose? The one quality of Christ that I stive the most to display in my own life is having a heart of forgiveness. It overwelms me to think that when we take our sins to Christ and ask for forgiveness, He will forgive us no matter what we did. And then, He doesn’t hold it against us. And that’s what gets me. It’s a struggle I face every day because I’m not fast to forget sins. In fact, sometimes I feel as though there is a list of others’ sins in my mind just waiting for me to hold against others. So I strive to forgive and forget just as our loving Savior does. 19
Do you have a favorite verse and if so, what is it? “So that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.” -Philippians 2:15 Can you tell our readers one piece of advice that you have found to be true regarding your relationship with Christ? He is longing to become the Prince of your life, in every area. When I first heard that message, I was scared. I’ve always been Type A and overly organized, so I have list after list lined up with what I want to do with my life. So a couple months ago, I went into my bedroom and bent down onto my knees and told my Savior that I wanted Him to take full control of my life. I confessed that I was scared, that I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do, but in my heart I knew that I was being called to do it. And so far God has given me opportunities that weren’t even included on my lists. I’ve faced struggles along the way and I have slowly learned that you have to give each and every day, second by second, over to your loving Prince. And now, I am working on handing over all of the other areas of my life to my Savior. What are some of your hobbies and interests? My hobbies include dancing, knitting, writing, blogging, organizing, and decorating notebooks. And as for my interests, I love photography! On days where the weather is not too cold, I spend hours in our backyard capturing God’s incredible creation! How and why did you begin blogging? Why do you enjoy it? I actually started blogging back in September of 2009. I had just closed my Christian girl’s message board after becoming overly stressed because the site was growing faster than I could handle at the time, so I turned to blogging because I had heard my mom talking to my dad about some of the blogs she had been reading. I enjoy blogging for three main reasons: photography, writing, and connecting with others. Photography and writing are two of my biggest passions and I love getting to know other girls from all over the world. Go to Maggie’s blog here. How and when did you begin pursuing photography? My passion for photography began when I was very young. I was about three years old and got ahold of my parents’ camera and ran outside holding as many dolls and stuffed animals as my little arms possibly could hold and sat them on the ground and took a bunch of pictures. Soon, my parents got tired of looking for the camera when a cute event popped up only to find that I was taking pictures of flowers or books and smudging finger prints, well, anywhere finger prints could get. Over the next several years I continued to take pictures and didn’t start taking photography at a serious level until I was in 6th grade. Now, I am pursuing my dream of becoming a professional photographer and opening my own studio by practicing as much as I can. What is your favorite thing about photography? What type of photography do you enjoy most (nature, people, etc.)? My favorite thing about photography is that I get to be creative. I’ve never been the kind of person who is good at painting or drawing, so for my artistic outlet, I turn to photography. As for what type of photography 20
I enjoy the most is still photography. I love posing different objects, setting backgrounds, and making sure that I have proper lighting. Can you tell us a little about your online magazine, Inspired Magazine? Inspired is a magazine for Christian girls by Christian girls. The main age that we hope to reach through our magazine ministry is girls ages 8-18, but of course, we are thrilled when ladies of any age subscribe! Our magazine will be released monthly (begining April 1st, 2011) and will be filled with devotionals, interviews with inspiring Christian women, recipes, book reviews, and so much more. Through our magazine we hope that you will come to know your loving Prince even more and that you will develope a relationship with Him like never before. What inspired you to start Inspired? Starting Inspired began with frustration. While grocery shopping with my mom, I asked to go to the magazine section to see if there was anything I was interested in purchasing. I was beyond disgusted as my eyes scanned the teen magazine racks that held magazines with front covers flashing pictures of girls in immodest swim wear, celebrities, and more. As I began reading the print on the magazine, the only things that I read were, “Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Days” or “How to Know if He Likes You”. Personally, I knew that those articles were not the things that I wanted to fill my mind with because I believe that as Christians, we have one choice: Be of the the world or follow Christ’s way. I am nowhere near perfect, but I always strive to fill my mind with godly things. And with that, Inspired was born. Can you tell us a little about how you went about starting Inspired Magazine and the process you went through? As soon as I knew I wanted to start Inspired, I opened a separate e-mail and from there started a website. After having what I saw as the “basic needs” I began e-mailing friends about the magazine and even posting about Inspired on my blog a couple of times. Being fairly new to running a magazine, I was unaware of other things that I might need. Before I knew it, I had an Inspired Magazine Binder (and yes--it does have labeled tabs) with all of the information I needed in it from article ideas and schedules to who to interview and what goals I hoped to reach before the magazine began. What part of Inspired do you enjoy most? The part of Inspired that I enjoy the most is connecting with other girls. I love being able to reach out to others, meet new people, and make new friends. How does Inspired work behind-the-scenes? Behind the scenes, I prefer to keep it as organized as possible. Two days before work begins on a new issue, a schedule is e-mailed to the staff members so that they know when their work begins and when they need to have it turned in. And every week when I have updates to give to the staff, I send out an e-mail on Friday to keep everyone updated on who has replied to do an interview, any changes to the schedule, announcing a new staff member, or asking for their advice on certain things such as what we should make our theme verse or who to interview for upcoming issues. 21
When does your first issue release? Also, how can our readers subscribe? The first issue of Inspired will release April 1, 2011. If you are interested in subscribing to Inspired you can go to our website at www.inspiredmagazine.webs.com and on the main page there is a “Subscribe to Inspired” box that you can fill in with your name and e-mail. Once you click the submit button, you are now a subscriber. It’s as easy as that! You have an impressive staff, how did you go about finding your staff members-or did they find you? Thank you! The Inspired team actually either had a comment from me on their blog, heard about it from a friend, or read a blog post about it and then contacted me. Inspired has been very blessed with such an amazing staff and I love getting to know each and every one of them even more as we continue our work on the magazine. What are you most looking forward to about running Inspired Magazine? I am looking forward to the interviews. I’ve always loved sitting down with a pen and a piece of paper to brainstorm interview question ideas. What is your hope that Inspired Magazine will accomplish in reaching out to tweens and teens worldwide? I hope that Inspired will inspire other girls to develop a relationship with their Savior like never before. Through reading Inspired, I hope that girls know that their Prince will always be there for them and is patiently waiting to become their true Lord and Savior! Do you have any goals for Inspired Magazine’s first year? My goal for Inspired would be to follow God’s plan that He has set just for us because God’s way is always the right way.
Acceptable By Maria “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 Personally, I have to say that I find this verse very convicting in my own life. To think, that even my words and thoughts need to be acceptable in the sight of the Creator of the universe! If there is anything that magnifies the weightiness of this, it is a character study of our God. “...all His ways are justice...” (Deuteronomy 32:4) – God is just. “He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel...” (Psalm 98:3) – God is merciful and faithful. “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10) – God is Love “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.” (Psalm 45:6) – God is Righteous “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8b) - God is Holy “Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.” (Psalm 112:1) – God is gracious So in light of Who our God is, who is truly acceptable to Him? Only the one who is covered by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Only the one who has had their sins completely blotted out at Calvary. And if we have been so blessed, how then ought we to live? Our life, our words, and even the meditation of our heart are to be focused on Him. On the One who is our 23 Strength and our Redeemer.
So think over the past 24 hours of your life... How has it been for you? Examine the things you’ve spoken. How have your words brought glory to your Creator and Redeemer? How have you allowed Him to shine through your speech? When people hear you speak, they learn what is (and what’s not!) important to you. If those closest to you would write a short paragraph on how you speak, what would they write? Would there be anything about Christ in it? Let me tell you, it doesn’t come by nature to speak with wisdom! James chapter 4:6 even says that the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. And I would encourage you to read the rest of that chapter as well! What about the “meditation of your heart”, even just so far today, what kind of things do you find yourself dwelling upon? What if a “thought box” constantly floated over your head... what would others read? Most likely, they would not be edified! Don’t expect this to be easy either, thinking is work, and keeping your thoughts in check can be a real challenge. But I’d like to share a little something with you. A couple years ago already, I was convicted of the fact that my mind wandered way too much to boys. So I prayed about it, and then one day, as I was reading a book by Eric and Leslie Ludy, they wrote about how prayer is not only to be used as a defensive weapon, but also (if not even more!) as an offensive weapon. So, for a while, whenever I would catch myself thinking about “boys”, I would pray for our nation (the Ludy’s had suggested choosing a certain thing, person etc. to pray for). Before long, a thought suddenly struck me - “I haven’t thought of “boys” for days!” If you would try this, and stick to it, you will be amazed! But when you think about it, it’s the natural thing that would happen! God loves to hear His children pray for deliverance from temptation and is a ready help in time of need. Satan hates to see us go to our Father, so would he be willing to even stop tempting a certain area in your life if it was only drawing you closer to God? But I think the most important thing we need to understand is that we cannot even begin to speak and think in such a way if we are not “in tune” with the Master Musician. So begin the day, go through the day, and end the day with Him. Commune with Him, and beg for His Spirit to enable you to live in such a way that even the words of your mouth and the meditation of your heart will be acceptable in His sight. “Do not have your concert first, and then tune your instrument afterwards. Begin the day with the Word of God and prayer, and get first of all into harmony with Him.” Hudson Taylor 24
Lesson From Oyster Shells By Mary Catherine
Back in November, I traveled to my family’s lake house with my family and my aunt’s family over Thanksgiving. It was a generally fun trip - the water to the shore was unusually low, leading to discoveries of creatures and objects that would normally be found deeper in the water. As my younger cousins and my uncles and aunts all walked along the shore, avoiding wet patches of sand and making exclamations of, “Look! It’s a crayfish skeleton.” and “Deer footprints!”, one of the main attractions were the beautiful, purple oyster shells. There were thousands of them there, dotting the shores in all of their mother-of-pearl glory. As I examined them and polished the smooth surface under the water with my finger, I noticed that they contain a very understated life illustration. On the outer side of these particular shells, the surface is very rough and brown. It isn’t the most attractive thing in the world. Sometimes, I would see one sticking out of the rocks and think that it wasn’t worth picking up. But then I would pick it up anyway, and see that the other side held a rainbow of colors. 25
When I took these shells up to the house, I washed them even more with clear water from the sink and laid them out to dry. They reflected beautifully off of the indoor lighting. It reminded me of something - being cleaned up by Christ. When we are born, we are unclean sinners, worthless to anyone. Our surface is rough and ugly, like that of the freshwater oyster shell. But when Christ opens our hearts, he begins to cleanse us with his healing water of life, making us shine. The inside of our heart becomes a rainbow of color and reflects Christ, just as the shells reflected the light. The shells remind me that I was a sinful creature before Christ chose to â€œpick me upâ€? despite my ugliness. Next time you see something unattractive, look deeper. Perhaps there is a pleasant surprise on the other side.
DIY: Room Decorating By Emily P.
Need some new ways to decorate your bedroom? Well thatâ€™s good, because I just happen to have some ideas for you! Hair Clip HolderCut a piece of wide ribbon, then a piece of thin ribbon. Take double sided tape to attach them together at the end. Use a clip to hold them together on the top and hang it on your wall!
Colorful Curtain HoldersCut two long pieces of fabric that are different colors. Then cut a few pieces of colorful yarn. Take the fabric and yarn and wrap them around your curtain and tie. Your Name On the WallTrace the letters of your name on scrapbook paper, or heavy paper. Then cut them out and punch holes at the top of the letters. Hang them on a string and put a little tack on the back of each letter to hold it.
Drawer Handles- Take some yarn or fabric and tie it around your drawer handles. Very easy and looks cute! Wall StickersHere is a fun way to decorate your wall. Buy some wall stickers, (you can get all different kinds of them at a dollar store) and put them on your wall. A Different Way to Use a FrameTake a medium to small sized frame to make a vintage trinket holder. Necklace HolderUse an embroidery loom to hang necklaces on. Really simple! You can also hang necklaces on a hat rack. Framed NewspaperThat newspaper in the frame is from 1932! And since I love history so much, I thought it would be perfect to decorate my shelf. I framed a piece of pretty scrap booking paper and I really liked how it turned out! Pencil HolderI took a glass vase (or you can use a glass bottle) and wrapped it with pipe cleaners. Listen to your favorite music and clean out your bedroom! That will make it look nicer. Happy decorating!
Spring Fashion By Kyla
1. [Dinosaur Sweatshirt and Shorts Description]
For the sporty and quirky girlies- why not throw the “not so classic” sweatshirt with a modest pair of cuffed shorts, loose and comfy for everyday- paired with your favorite everyday shoes- Chuck Taylors (red of course!) This outfit will not only catch some giggles and glances, but it will keep you comfortable- and warm in the bipolar weather of spring.
2. [Pink Top and Sparkly Flats Description]
This feminine and flirty style is perfect for a Friday night out with your friends, or Wednesday’s youth group! It is sparkly and sure to steal some stares! It is a perfect style for any girl- the billowy top and- soft sweater makes the combination absolutely splendid for any cool spring day.
3. [Plaid Top and Cowgirl Boots Description]
For all you girls who either are blessed enough to live in the West or those of us who wish we did- itâ€™s time to get your cowgirl on! This outfit, from its sterling silver blends and leather- and blue plaid- to the classic leather boots is just way too cute! The feminine side comes out in this combination with the braided bracelets, ruffles on the plaid top, and turquoise ring! You just canâ€™t go wrong!
4. [Floral Dress and Denim Jacket Description]
Want to feel like the pretty princess, that you are?! Well, wear this adorable tea party style dress, fit and floral, with a fluffy skirt! The denim jacket helps dress it down, and keeps you warm in the spring breeze! And the white wedges are especially pretty with the braided straw accent on the heel! This outfit is sure to turn heads and stop traffic, as well as earn you a few compliments on the inexpressible cuteness this outfit possesses!
Ask Kat *An Advice Column*
So, I always read all these Christian magazines and books for girls and they always talk about physical and emotional purity and how it’s okay to be single. I’m not single. And I’m in high school. I might be 16, but my boyfriend IS a Christian, and God is such a huge part of our relationship, where if He wasn’t, our relationship wouldn’t exist. He’s my best friend and I tell him everything. And I do kiss him. Is that wrong? Because all these articles and things tell me it is, but I’ve never felt that way. And I have made the mistake of being with the wrong guy before but this is totally different. I’m just confused. Dear Pure Relationship, I appreciate the way that you worded your question. I can tell you are mature and understand the important parts of what a relationship is about. And that is God. In relationships it’s very easy to let our emotional side get involved while leaving our spiritual side far behind. We live in a society where the idea of ‘do whatever feels good’ is the norm. Although this may be popular, it’s not godly. A pure relationship should be focused on God. You should encourage one another to draw near to Him. I can’t answer the question of whether or not kissing a boy is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. The question to ask yourself is whether or not you are being drawn to God, or away from Him. BE WISE AND HONEST with yourself about being physical with your boyfriend. The truth is, kissing can lead to other things and although you might both love God, you are still human, have real desires and the potential to make mistakes. Satan hates you and will do anything to trip you up. So you must be intentional about your relationship and actions. For example, is it wise for you to be alone with your boyfriend? When I was engaged in my 20’s (yes, this doesn’t ever change) Drew and I would try to not be alone because we understood that kissing could lead to other things. Romans 12:1-2, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.” Phil. 4:8 31
I want to start wearing make-up, but my Mom isn’t into make-up, and doesn’t really bring up the subject. What do I do? Dear all natural, First, let me say that I don’t think there is anything wrong with NOT wearing makeup. I (and most boys your age) love the natural look. If you haven’t had the makeup conversation with your mom, you might be surprised by her response. If she isn’t into make up that doesn’t mean she will be against it. I would just ask her what her thoughts are about it. She might want to compromise with you asking that you wear just a little lipgloss, mascara and blush. Or maybe you could agree to only wear makeup one or two days a week. There are many ways to handle it, but the most important thing to remember is to respect your mother’s wishes. If she isn’t comfortable with you wearing makeup yet, it’s ok. We must respect our parents and honor their wishes. I would pray about it, wait 6 months and then ask again.
Do you really think gay people are okay? Do you think it’s wrong? You seemed to hint that in the last issue. Please clarify. Dear Are They Okay?,
I’m sorry if the last issue’s answer wasn’t clear. Let’s start with 2 Corinthians 5:16. It says, “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.” Paul goes on to say we are new creations and then says in verse 18, “All this is from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. (19) That God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ not counting man’s sins against him.” Galatians 6:1 tells us to “carry each others burdens”. 1 Peter 4:7 states, “Above all, love each other deeply”. God hates all sin. God loves all people. God does NOT hate people who struggle with same sex attraction. Nor does He hate people who are alcoholics or drug addicts. He doesn’t hate people when they gossip. He doesn’t hate judgmental people. But that doesn’t mean He loves the actions of these people. He wants us to be free. That is the entire reason for sending Jesus. Let’s not forget our sinful actions before we were reconciled with God. Do I believe homosexuality is wrong? Yes. But I also believe gossip, talking back to your parents, not loving yourself, and addictions are wrong too. Sin is sin. I don’t approve of the actions of sin. But I do believe we are called to have the ministry of reconciliation. We need to pray for those that aren’t living according to God’s Word. And, we are to love them deeply. 2 Cor. 5:16 teaches that we aren’t to look at people the way the world looks at them. We are to have the eyes of Jesus, full of love and grace. And through that we will see past their sin to the people that God created. It’s not our job to stop someone from sinning. It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict the world (Jn 16:9) but it’s our job to love deeply. We don’t have to agree with the way people live in order to love them. So as we continue to grow towards God, let’s love people deeply until the day of their reconciliation comes.
Is it okay to tell someone that they are in sin? Like, is it right to publically say I’m against abortion, lesbians/gays, drugs, etc.? Dear Say It In Public, Some of your answer can be read above, but to address your question directly, I believe we SHOULD stand up for what we believe. The trouble comes in when we try to force our belief on other people. I have learned we can change more lives by loving people than by shouting at them. If we look at the example of Jesus, when He encountered sinful people, He would love them, heal them and then tell them not to sin anymore. We should live a life according to the example of Jesus by sharing the truth with them in love. But again, there isn’t anything wrong with sharing what we believe. We shouldn’t be ashamed of the gospel of Christ, let’s just make sure we are sharing it in love.
I have recently been studying Deuteronomy 22:5, and I had a question: Do you think that verse directs us as women to wear only skirts? I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this topic. Thank you! Deuteronomy 22:5, “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear woman’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.” This was one of many laws that God gave the Israelites to live by under the old law in the Old Testament. Paul writes in Romans that we are no longer under the old law. Chapter 6:14 “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace”. If you read through Romans, Paul explains that the old law was faulty because it was based on works. We could never be good enough or do enough good to be righteous before God. But because of Jesus, we no longer live according to the old law, but according to the spirit. Galatians chapter 3 discusses that anyone who tries to observe the law is under a curse (v10) because it was impossible to do everything the law demanded. But Christ redeemed us from the curse (v13). I say all of that to show that this law from Deuteronomy was established under the old law for the Israelites and was redeemed by Christ for us today. Great question by the way! It’s good to know why we believe what we believe. I want to encourage all of you readers to study and read to know why we believe what we believe. It builds our faith and reminds us how great God really is.
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Bloom! Magazine is looking for talented young ladies to lend their time and talents to Bloom!. If you are interested in applying for the 2011-2012 school year staff, please email KyAnn at firstname.lastname@example.org and request a staff application and policy or go here. We will begin accepting staff applications March 1, 2011 and will continue to accept applications through April 15, 2011. The new staff list will be sent out May 15, 2011. I canâ€™t wait to start working with all of the lovely young ladies that will make up the staff of Bloom! for the 2011-2012 school year. :) 34
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