Who are you becoming?
Facing Your Circumstances Hand in Hand with Jesus
Exclusive interview with Steve Carroll
10 Ways to Step Up your Quiet Time
In this issue... A Letter From The Editor
Peace in His Arms
Kendel Garcia…..Page 1
Molly Metzger….Page 22
Facing Your Circumstances Melanie Knapp…..Page 3
Exclusive Interview with Steve Carroll Kendel Garcia…..Page 25
Cycling Through Your Spiritual Life
Kendel Garcia…..Page 7
Kylie Ramos….Page 29
Are You Dateable
Ministry Spotlight: International Justice
Elizabeth Shafer…..Page 9
Melanie Knapp...Page 32
Margaret Finley….Page 12
10 Ways to Step Up Your Quiet Time
Kendel Garcia…..Page 38 Becoming Who?
Melanie Knapp….Page 14 Spirit Spotlight: Patience Tiffani Hockings….Page 15 Reassurance in a Clover Melanie Knapp….Page 18 3 Ways to be Organized This School Year Kylie Ramos…..Page 21
Khloe Williams...Page 43
Melanie Knapp Hiscreationsphotography-15.blogspot.com
Nela Holmes Desiringhisdesires.blogspot.com
Khloe Williams Khloewilliamsphotography.wordpress.com
A Letter From the Editor Hello, I honestly cannot believe this day is finally here! The Lord first put this magazine on my heart nearly nine months ago, and I can‘t believe how long ago that seems. Back in January when I was reading Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris, God spoke to me. He said, ―Kendel, I want you to start a magazine for teenage girls.‖ I said, ―O no Lord! That is not my calling! I don‘t even read magazines. And teenagers…I don‘t connect well with people my own age. No, Lord, I can‘t be the person You want to do this.‖ ―No, I am quite sure I want you.‖ ―No you don‘t. Really God…I want to work with children, not teenagers.‖ ―I want you to minister to young women. You can do this.‖ ―No I can‘t.‖ ―Yes you can.‖ ―No I cannot.‖ I argued with God for quite a while. But He won, as He always does. Now, I cannot imagine having gotten my own way. What joy and growth I would have missed out on. I cannot imagine not having met the people I know now. I cannot imagine not thinking and praying for each and every one of you every day. This magazine has taken months to prepare and organize. And I would like to thank a few people for helping me get this started: First, I would like to thank my parents, you guys have encouraged me and inspired me in so many ways, thank you for supporting me in this venture. Kylie Ramos and Coral Johnson, you two were the first friends I told about this and you two have contributed heavily into forming and shaping the magazine in the early stages and beyond. My Uncle, Jake Garcia, thank you very much for building our website; we would have never gotten where we are without your skills. Melanie Knapp, my friend, you have helped me so much over the past couple months, your sweet spirit and eagerness to help have been such a blessing and I am truly proud to call you a friend. And I thank all the other people who have encouraged, inspired, and prayed for Debu- you know who you are and you have changed my life. And lastly I want to thank my staff, you all have stepped out in faith, you are such amazing young women of God, and I am so glad to have you along on this journey. So my friends, this is Debu. It was made for you…enjoy! Your sister in Christ, Kendel Garcia Founder and Editor in Chief of Debu Magazine If you do not stand firm in your faith you do not stand at all. –Isaiah 7:9b
The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. â€“Proverbs 12:26 Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.-Proverbs 17:9 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.-Proverbs 18:24 One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.-Proverbs 22:11 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. â€“Poverbs 27:6 Page 2
By Melanie Knapp
Over and over He beckons me to come away with Him. As I stroll slowly down this lane, fall leaves are sprinkled all over the ground, creating a carpet on the red, Tennessee dirt. I hear the whisper; do you hear it friend? The quiet calming voice that reminds me to ―be still,‖ ―trust in the Lord,‖ and ―let not [my heart] be troubled.‖ It‘s easy to believe those things are possible here in the middle of His creations. But the chaos of life is awaiting me…I cannot avoid it; I cannot run, though often times I echo with the psalmist ―Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness‖ (Psalm 55:6-7).
Sometimes, I want to be stubborn–not fully yield to my Savior‘s call to surrender. Yet, He is daily urging me—beckoning me—to come and be His servant, a warrior for His kingdom, His use. ―But Lord,‖ I whisper as I look at the trees, the brown and orange hues encompassing the pathway. ―It‘s so hard to let go.‖ Then I hear His voice upon the soft breeze… ―Cast your burden on Me, My love. I will sustain you. I will never permit one of my children to be moved‖ (Psalm 55:22). ―Never, Lord?‖ I whisper achingly, questioningly, as I stare at the ground, tears welling up in my eyes.
―Never, my child. You will not be shaken. As you abide in me, and as My words abide in you, you will produce a life that brings Me glory. I never said surrender was easy, but I did say that if you truly want to follow me, it is necessary. ―Look around you, My daughter. Look at My handiwork…My creations—the trees, the flowers, the clouds, the grass. They are fully surrendered to My will….if they were not so, how could I change the seasons, cause the flowers to bloom and give forth fragrance, or teach the birds their songs? Just as they are fully surrendered to My will and plan, so ought you to be. They do not question, but yield to my design. My love, let it be the same with you. Can you not fully trust Me? ―Also, do they complain when I send storms that bring them turmoil? When an ant‘s hill is destroyed, they do not pout, complain, or cry in anger. They simply begin to rebuild. They just begin anew, accepting the repercussions of the storm. When a bird‘s nest is brought to pieces, do the birds give up on the task all together? No…they simply begin again.
―Don‘t question My purposes, child. They are far beyond anything you will ever know. Rather, just rest in My promises. I promise to never leave you. I promise that you will not be burned when the fires come. I promise to fill your cup to overflowing. I promise to walk with you through the valley. ―I promise that if you lay down your life in My service, I will use it for something beautiful for My glory. Though others might not notice your services to Me, I will. Most importantly, I promise that I love you. Is that not enough?‖ I slowly look up at the blue sky peeping through the tree‘s…the warm breeze causing my hair to float around my face. ―Yes, Lord,‖ I whisper in reply. ―With You I can face anything. Not in my own strength… but through Yours. How I love you, my King. Give me the strength anew to stand firm upon the Rock. You, my Lord. My Rock.‖ I spin around and head back towards the house, again renewed in the knowledge that my God loves me…and His purposes are beyond what I can see. I just must remember to daily surrender to Him. Daily, yes. Daily. So I yield to His call…and relish His hand in mine and His guidance. I can face any circumstance He places in front of me with Him at my side, when I surrender to His leading.*
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Am I beautiful? Your beauty should not come from outLet the King be enthralled by your beauty; ward adornment, such as elaborate honor Him for He is your Lord. –Psalm 45:11 hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner CHARM IS self, the unfading DECEPTIVE AND beauty of a gentle BEAUTY IS FLEETand quiet spirit, ING, BUT A WOMwhich is of great AN WHO FEARS worth in God‘s sight. THE LORD IS TO BE -1 Peter 3:3-4 PRAISED. –PROVERBS 31:30 Page 6
A couple weeks ago my family took our RV to our favorite campground. Before we left my dad got our bikes ready – he dusted them off (because they had been sitting there long enough to gather dust) and aired up the tires. While he was doing that I had the brilliant idea to mention that there were some awesome trails by the campground and that it would be fun to do some trail riding. Well we went about our weekend and I kind of forgot about my desire to go mountain biking. Now my dad asked me to get dressed so we could go on a bike ride (mountain biking was still the farthest thought from my mind—I was thinking a lovely little pedal around the lake under the ginormous shade trees) so I got on my cute new top, nice jeans and brand new shoes, fixed up my hair and even applied a little makeup which is unusual for me. I was ready for an easy ride through the breeze. Now my dad, bless his heart, didn’t say a thing as I bounded out of the trailer with my hair perfectly coiffed. We rode off into the glistening sunshine.
my rescue; he By Kendel Garcia showed me the proper technique and I tried again. Now I began to make slow progress up the hill,. I pedaled maybe one or two times and then would fall over into the dirt (yes the shirt and the shoes “Do you know where those trails are?” he asked me. were broken I showed him where I thought they were and we pedaled off in after this in that direction as horror welled up inside me. As we cycled adventure). Up the hill I went, like a little inchworm. But neartowards the trail I was simply a wreck. To me trail riding meant ly every time I fell over was when my wheel would get caught my tires were touching dirt not asphalt. Incline was not a fac- in the rut. Of course my dad showed me how to stay up on the tor because in my rosy picture, trail riding was flat as a panside so that I would steer clear of the rut, but somehow I mancake. Well, as we rode toward the foothills off the mountain aged to always find my way back to it. range I knew my definition of trail riding was about to With tears in my eyes and prayers on my lips I rode up the hill change…drastically. Before we got to the trail there was a and when I reached the top I realized that our spiritual life is slight grassy slope that was the beginning of my advenoften very similar to my trail biking adventure. For one I realture...let’s just say I was panting and pushing my bike up the ized the ruts in our “trail” are very much like sin. We don’t hill before we even got half way. (Note: I am not a wimp, I am want to sin, we don’t like it when we do, and it makes all other just athletic in the water, and land stuff isn’t my thing). So aspects of our life difficult. Sin is an impediment, just like the with gusto, my dad set off at the trail and totally took to it like ruts were when I was biking. Often when we are going about a duck to water. My dad is one of those people that can do in our lives we let our guard down. We don’t watch out beeverything, so this was not a surprise to me. Rather, what surcause everything is going fine right now and we don’t realize prised me was how horrible I was at this particular activity. how we so quickly slip into sin. There were really four main The hill was pretty steep (I was certain that this was NOT a things this bike ride taught me: beginner’s hill) and to add to the difficulty was a huge rut that ran through the middle of the trail. Well, as my dad sped 1. The ruts in our “trail” are the sins that keep us ahead of me I attempted to make my way up the hill. I pedfrom focusing on God. If our minds and hearts aled so hard, and when I had moved a whopping two inches I are concentrating on what is necessary, we will decided to adjust my seat because that must be the reason for find ourselves diverting from the ruts. my epic failure. After my seat was properly adjusted I took off, pedaling (and screaming) DOWN the trail. My bike began to 2. It’s easier to fall down when you’re in a rut. travel backwards and I was stuck in the rut that ran through When we are in a rut we have allowed sin to enthe trail. With a plunk I fell onto the ground giving God a ter our lives and no matter how hard we try it’s peace of my mind for the dirt stains on my new shirt. In utter impossible to keep going in the same direction exasperation I pulled my bike out of the rut and began to push and get out of it. So if you want to get out of the it up the hill. My dad noticed the trouble I was having and pedrut you have two choices. The first is you can aled down to
stop, reevaluate your life and lift your bike out of Page 7
the rut. You can’t move forward until you forcibly remove yourself from that rut. The second is to wait until you fall; this method almost always requires having your heart broken, so I highly recommend the first. You know that feeling?
watching inappropriate things on TV, and your room is completely organized around your TV, you might need to change the arrangement of your room). You’re going to want to put some safeguards in place so as to set yourself up for
After something you’ve done has caught up to you. The sin you were living in was “working” for you for a while, but when it catches up to you, you feel as though nothing else in life will ever be the same because of how badly this sin has messed up your life. Your life has fallen apart and all that is left is for you to pick up the pieces. (Hint: If people were glass, everyone is a mosaic. No one has made it through life unscathed, everyone has pieces of their life where they had to pick up and start over)
success, not failure. 4. The view is much better from the top. Keep in mind that the struggles you have now are temporary. Your life will go on and when you will look back you will see that the struggles you faced farther down the hill helped you become the person you are at the top. My mom says “when God has nothing left to teach me, He’ll take me home. Since I’m still here, I must still have something left to learn.” I think that is SO amazing! Take everything in your life as a learning experience, because you still have a lot to learn.
3. Getting out of the rut doesn’t keep you out of the rut. Once you’re out of the rut you have to set up guards to keep you out of the rut. You So, today I challenge you to take a look at your life. Identify can’t keep away from a bad habit if your whole the ruts, and see what you can do to make it easier for you not life is organized around what makes you stumble to fall into their trap.* (For example:If you are trying to stay away from Page 8
Are You Datable? By Elizabeth Shafer I once heard something that forever changed my view of the way that I approached finding the kind of guy I wanted to be with. ―You need to be the type of person that you want to be with‖. If you could fully capture this and live by it, I promise your dating life will be revolutionized! It all starts with your self-esteem! Who are you? How much time do you spend making you a better person, a more giving and selfless person? It is so attractive to a guy when he sees a girl that is vibrant, kind, loving, considerate, and confidant. Are you that kind of girl? Don‘t you want a guy that is considerate, kind, protective, respectful, and in love with Jesus? Don‘t you want a solid guy? How solid are you? How loving are you? How giving are you? How considerate are you? Only you and God know your heart. I bet if you spent some significant time focusing on how wonderfully created you are, you would get lost in time and before you know it, your knight in shining armor is in front of your face! It would be a quality man because you are quality. I see girls all the time complaining about how they always and the ―losers‖ or
the ―jerks‖ and how they want a man that will treat them right and love the Lord. I ask where they met them and the answer is usually at a party or through a not so great friend. They usually didn‘t know them very well before they started dating and then jumped into a relationship. How can you find a good and solid relationship this way? I am not saying that it never works, but for the most part I believe that the failure rate is higher this way. Who are you as a person? How often do you spend time in prayer and the Bible? How often do you spend more time focusing on your relationship with your loving creator and less time on the relationship you don‘t have or long to have with a guy? I was just thinking the other day about how the girls that aren‘t searching for a guy their entire life are usually the ones that get married first. One of my best friends in high school never talked about marriage or finding ―the one‖ and she was the first of us to get married. Same with my little sister Jamie, she never wanted a boyfriend. Every time she would get a crush on someone in high school she would ―pray her crush away.‖ She would always say that there was no point because she wasn‘t going to marry them anyway. She got engaged at 20! She wasn‘t looking and it smacked her right in the face. I think its because both of these girls were just focused on life and living it to its fullest so they weren‘t distracted by the opposite sex. I on the other hand never talked about anything else but getting married since I could talk. I bet my first word was husband! My older sister, Julie, used to always tease me and say when I got married I would have nothing else to talk about. I really missed out on a lot in high school and college because I was so consumed with finding ―the one‖. I always said that I would be 25 years old with three kids. I am 31 and I do not have even a baby in my tummy. I am so thankful that the Lords will is stronger than mine. I would have missed out on so much life and opportunity if I got married when I wanted and had kids when I wanted. I also would have married a very wrong person for me. Jason, my husband, was worth the wait!!
I believe that some of you readers are really pressing in to finding who you are in Christ. You are lonely and you are wondering where that special guy is. He is there! Remember that the timing is all about the Lord knowing exactly what we need and when we need it. Do you really want something/someone that is wrong or off just to have that person??? I promise you, you don‘t! I‘m embarrassed to admit it, but there were several guys that I prayed would be my husband-THANK YOU JESUS for your protection!! Jason is incredible. It is so important not to settle!!! Jesus knows what you desire and He knows what you need and He will bring it to you, all in good time. Trust me, I know it‘s hard. I did not get married until I was 26 years old. That felt like 99 since I wanted it since I was
out of the womb! It was so challenging to just rest in Jesus and know that He had my mate out there, the timing was just wrong. I have now been married for 5 years and it has flown by! I still have the majority of my life to share with Jason. I just wish I had enjoyed my time without Jason more. Marriage is amazing, but my memories of my single life are that I was always looking and longing for a man. That is no way to live! Live in the present and live it to its fullest! You will never get today back!! I will leave you with this thought on the subject: God created you, knows you, and loves you. He will take care of you, please don‘t get impatient and settle. There is no greater disservice to yourself, your future spouse, or your future kids. Hold out! *
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By Margaret Finely
Public high school will test the faith of any Christian young woman. The Bible states ―Don‘t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God‘s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect,‖ Romans 12:2 NLT. Obeying this passage in any circumstance can become extremely difficult. In public high school it can be stated that the fashion is immodesty, whether the shorts and skirts are raised to the upper thigh or the shirts are low cut, it is all immodest. People may say, ―We don‘t live in the 1800s, get with the times.‖ However, God wants us to remain modest and only show our bodies to our husbands. Other than dress we are also tested in our faith through idols. God says, ―Don‘t go back to worshipping worthless idols that cannot help or rescue you—they are totally worthless,‖ 1 Samuel 12:21. The idols of our time are things like iPods, YouTube, and cell phones. We spend most of our time hoping that we get the best iPod so that we can play apps or watching YouTube so that we can share the funniest video. We use cell phones to text all of our friends, and to check Facebook every ten minutes to see who posted what. We wonder what we would do without TV, not being able to watch the new ―Good Luck Charlie‖ instead of wondering what we could ever do without spending time with our Father. These things tend to make us forget about our God. TV, Facebook, YouTube, cell phones, etc. can not save us from the wrath that awaits in Hell, only God can. Therefore, it should be asked,
what is of more importance to you, your worldly possessions or your Father, who placed you here on Earth, formed you in your mother‘s womb, and will love you until the end of time? Also, sometimes we need to be reminded not to judge those who do not believe in Christ or those that are Christians and do questionable things. Jesus says in Matthew 7:2 NLT, ―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 also says, ―So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other,‖ John 13:34 NLT. We should love and respect everyone despite the decisions they make because God has a plan for everyone and loves all of His children. In conclusion, we should be a light unto the world. Let us choose to use Facebook, YouTube, cell phones, etc. to enlighten others and do God‘s will. Let us make a commitment to ourselves that this school year we will choose to spend less time watching television and more time reading the Bible and talking to God. No matter how tough this upcoming school year will be, or the mistakes that you make, always remember that God loves you no matter what and he is with you even when you are taking a math final. Above all, remember, ―Don‘t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God‘s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect,‖ Romans 12:2 NLT.*
By Melanie Knapp
"Oh Divine Maker. So whether it‘s heartache, sickness, or pain… Forgive my doubt in this moment I know You have a purpose. Help me see Your greater purpose –no, do not help So I sit here at Your feet me see. Rather help me trust. Gazing at Your throne And when I feel like I can‘t do it a moment longer Adoring You. No matter what. Grant me the strength it takes…just enough to How can I not be captivated, make it another day. By the God who died for me? But not so much as to where I will become selfHe had no reason to spill His blood at Calvary. reliant. But He did. Rather, just apportion me a drink…a drink long I hammered those nails –oh! How I hate myself… enough to bring me to my knees again I spit in His face—if only it could be undone! Though I may feel bound, it is but a lie. I mocked Him. For with You there is a sense of liberation—no, not I struck Him. a sense. I crucified Him. With You, there is freedom. It‘s not just a far Yet He loves me. away delight And that‘s all that matters It‘s here…here in this moment. That‘s all that life really comes down to. Oh Lord, my Master. I love You. That message of love I love it here at Your feet. Here I learn to know So, even if I‘m walking through trials today, Your love I lift my face to heaven and say In ultimate surrender—laying everything down. ‗Not my will but Thine.‘ I may not understand, but You do not promise For He knows best. that I will. He must-You only say that You are with me He‘s sovereign. What more do I need? And I‘m content resting in that knowledge. You fill me to overflowing… Forever. Surely You will never leave me You promise. And if Your word says so, that is all I should need. For Your word is true. Oh, my Jesus –and so are You…Your love…Your mercy…Your compassion You have a greater purpose than what I can see. And that‘s all I need know. Who am I to complain now? Who am I to say I can‘t go on another step? Whether, here in this moment, You ask all of me… Or part…I yield it. I‘m not going to say, ‗It‘s too much Lord.‘ For if it was really ‗too much‘...You would not allow it to happen Because You promise me You won‘t ever give me something that is beyond my ability to handle. And You promise that no harm can come to Your Page 14 children.
By Tiffani Hockings
I love the Fruit of the Spirit. I love studying about them individually so that I can understand them more as a group. So when I was asked to write an article…it was no surprise that the Lord placed a Fruit of the Spirit on my heart. Patience is one of those words that I hear used a lot... ‗Lord give me patience‘, ‗"so & so" is trying my patience‘, or probably the one I hear the most: ‗please pray for me to have patience with my siblings‘... I'm sure you've heard the same (maybe even said the same). Well, about three weeks ago I started thinking about the meaning of patience – when we need it most, and most important of all, how we receive patience. For starters I read Galatians 5:22-23. (Whenever I study or read about one of the Fruit, I like to say them all, because really if we are living like Jesus…they can‘t be separated.) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (NKJV) If you were paying attention, you noticed that something was ―missing‖. When I memorized the Fruit of the Spirit I must have memorized it in the NASB version, because even the NIV reads forbearance instead of patience. So that alone, definitely gave me a new meaning for patience. Other meanings for patience are: Waiting. Waiting hopefully. Waiting expectantly. Perseverance. (Found in The New Strong‘s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible) James 5:10 reads: ―My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience.” So the prophets who were persecuted for Christ were told to have patience… They are our example of patience… That definition is a little different than the one we use when we‘re talking about little brothers or sisters—at least I hope so! ;) The following verse I find very interesting! “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ…” ~ Revelation 1:9 I had to think this one out. John is saying
that he was a brother & companion in the tribulation & kingdom of Jesus Christ. Those are both things that you can go through or enter. So after learning the other definitions of patience I now see that our fellow sisters in Christ can go through patience with us. They can be with us as we suffer or are persecuted for Christ. They can wait hopefully & expectantly with us. They can persevere with us. I now realize how often I misuse the word patience. Now, I‘ve never needed patience the way the prophets did. So I started wondering about a relevant time we as Christian teen girls need that kind of patience. Then I remembered that the theme of this month‘s issue is purity. Purity of body, spirit & mind. One of the definitions of patience is to be cheerful or hopeful while waiting; enduring. We girls are either coming to or at the age where the world is telling us that it isn‘t necessary to wait. That there‘s no reason to stay pure. One of my favorite Bible verses is, Romans 12:2. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” It is during these times that we must endure, wait cheerfully & hopefully. Cling to Jesus, our first true love & pray to our Abba (Daddy) Father for strength & of course, patience. Ladies, let us be an example to our friends, who may not feel this need as strongly. Being patient and waiting isn‘t & won‘t always be easy, but I have faith that when we do have patience, we will be joyful knowing that we followed ―God‘s good, perfect & pleasing will‖. Think back to when you were a little girl… sometimes you would want something…and you‘d want it right now. Maybe it was ice cream before your dinner. (I know that was a true one for me =) ) Remember how your mom or dad always told you to wait or be patient….you could eat your ice cream
later, after dinner. Do you remember how frustrated you were, because you wanted it right now… But do you also remember, that when you did get the ice cream, you realized it was definitely worth the wait…not that it was ―fun‖ or easy to wait…but it was worth it… Let‘s not forget the wisdom in that experience. Our Abba Father is telling us the very same thing. He‘s telling us to wait…to be patient. Because He knows what we really need, & what‘s really best for us. During my discovering I came to the realization, that there is no way, that we can‘t receive patience if we are living the way Jesus lived, when he was on earth. We need to pray & ask for patience, because we can do nothing apart from Him. (John 15:5) We are supposed to have patience for Jesus Christ…not for ourselves. Romans 5:3 & James 1:2-3 both tell us that tribulations & the testing of our faith produces patience. Patience is about waiting…it sounds simple as you talk it out. But it isn‘t always going to be simple. I don‘t know what the future will be like for any of us. So I pray that the Lord will cover you with His protection. That He will fill you with His strength & patience. The ability to wait expectantly & cheerfully. Don‘t forget that patience can actually be exciting. I‘m resolved to cling to Jesus while waiting for my future husband. I also cling to the fact that I want to be able to tell my future husband (when I meet him) that I kept myself pure, just for him. I waited cheerfully, just for him. I was patient just for him. That it wasn‘t always easy, but that he was worth it. How special will that be? I personally, can‘t wait! But I know the Lord will give me patience.*
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By Melanie Knapp
“My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26 She slowly walked through the yard, glancing at the clover sprinkled all throughout the grass. *sigh* A heavy heart. Tear-filled eyes. Strolling aimlessly. The blue skies overhead were slowly being covered by clouds…gloomy clouds full of rain.
Her aching heart slowly filled with peace. The sadness did not go away…but she was reminded again of the God she served. He would be ever faithful. In this moment, and always. He would not fail her. He could be trusted. Yes, Lord. She responded. Please, just help me trust. I choose to trust. Yes, by Your grace, I will.
“I AM the Maker of the heavens I AM the bright and morning Star Lord, I’m tired. She whispered, staring at the ground I AM the Breath of all creation as she walked. Help me trust You. I’m struggling. Who always was She looked down, and bent over, her eyes searching And is to come I AM the One who walked on water for a four-leaf clover. Just for the sake of it….just I AM the One who calmed the seas really wanting to find one because of their uniqueI AM the Miracles and Wonders ness…. So come and see She strolled some more. She studied the clover in the And follow Me grass as she continued on. She glanced up at the You will know….. mountains trying not to cry. Then she heard a voice. “My child,” the voice whispered, gently. ―Look down at My creation and appreciate it for what it is. Do not keep looking for something different—something more. See the beauty in what I created, the way I created it.” She glanced down at the three-leaf clovers that seemed to be everywhere. That constant threeleaf pattern…no matter how big or small. Everywhere they looked the same.
I AM the Fount of Living Water The risen Son of man The Healer of the broken And when you cry I AM your Savior and Redeemer Who bore the sins of man
And then she heard it. “So I am. I do not change, my love. I remain the same yesterday, today, and forever. The same God who was faithful to you before you were born, when you were brought into the world, last year, and yesterday, is the same God who is still faithful now. I do not change as time goes by. I remain the same. I am the One you can trust, dear child. I do not change.” Page 18
I AM your Savior and Redeemer Who bore the sins of man The Author and Perfecter Beginning and the End I AM I AM the Spirit deep inside you I AM the Word upon your heart I AM the One who even knew you Before your birth Before you were Before the earth (I AM) The universe (I AM) In every heart (I AM) Oh, where you are (I AM) The Lord of love (I AM)
The King of kings (I AM) The holy Lamb (I AM) Above all things Yes, I AM Almighty God, your Father The risen Son of man The Healer of the broken And when you cry I AM your Savior and Redeemer Who bore the sins of man The Author and Perfecter Beginning and the End I AM” (I Am by Mark Schultz) “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8*
3 Tips to an organized School Year By Kylie Ramos
Mark your spot Instead of folding the corners of your textbooks or placing a piece of paper in your spot, try using a tab or post-it. This makes your textbooks look nicer. Plus, they come in lots of fun colors!
Loose the paper
Try using one binder for day to day essays and notes. Then use a folder for homework that needs to be turned in to your teacher that morning. This will save all the frustration and time flipping through tons of papers to find the homework you did last night.
If you can, highlight important facts in your text book for easy studying. And use a color that gets your attention so you donâ€˜t take a chance of missing an important term.
By Molly Metzger
It was just one of those semesters where everything was going wrong and I was stressed out with all of the commitments that I had to juggle. I was a junior in high school, and I felt like I was making so many decisions for my future that I wanted to just stop time. Even though I was homeschooled, I was taking dual credit classes at a community college, and I was also trying to balance my work schedule, family time, and four hours of dance classes. Needless to say, I was extremely tired and emotional. I walked out of my Biology class at the college, and got into my car and absolutely cried my heart out. I had hit the breaking point, and I had no idea what to do to lower my stress-level. I was so overwhelmed with school, work, and dance that I decided (on my own) that God must not want me to go to college after I finished high school. Surely if I was so unhappy and stressed with a community college class, then college was not where I was supposed to go. God wouldn‘t do something like that to me, right? For about a month, I was a sullen, emotional wreck. I have never felt depressed or overwhelmed like that before. I had decided that I wouldn‘t go to college after I graduated and that, even though I have felt called to nursing school all of my life, God would never want me in a place so full of evil and apathy. My Biology class at the community college was not difficult academically, but the students in the class were so focused on worldly things that I couldn‘t handle the stress of being so drastically different. I must say that I am NOT proud of the way I acted for that month. I didn‘t pray, I didn‘t trust God, I didn‘t even ask Him for help. I cut myself off from everyone, including my family, and basically cried the days away. Have you ever felt like there was no hope in the world? That you were an absolute failure and weren‘t fit to do anything at all? That‘s how I felt. Sad. Angry. Depressed. Then one day, I was driving home from school and the song ―Have Your Way‖ by Britt Nicole played on the radio. I pulled over, lifted my hands up to Jesus, and sobbed my heart out. I realized how selfish and ridiculous I had been toward God and my family. I gave myself over to God and let Him take hold of my hand and lead me to the cross. I cried a lot, and it was a difficult adjustment, but I knew that God had put me at the community college
for a reason. Even though I had struggled and whined, God brought me around and showed me that I just have to trust Him. Through this difficult time, I clung to Psalm 46:10-11: ―Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.‖ I knew that God wanted me just to sit still and listen to His will for me. When I was walking on my own path, there was nothing but pain, yet somehow when I let go and let God take over for me, I felt a sense of peace. Isaiah 41:10,13-14: ―So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‗Do not fear; I will help you. Do you be afraid, O little Israel, for I myself will help you, declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.‖ When you feel absolutely hopeless and weak, let God take over. I promise you that you will feel relieved; like a burden has been lifted from your shoulders. It is so important to trust God and give him your will and your all. Always remember Proverbs 3:5-6 ―Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.‖ So where am I headed? Now that I‘m a senior in high school I have an absolute definite plan for my future, right? Actually, I have no idea. Crazy, huh? Through these experiences, I have come to a place where I can trust God with my future, no matter what it may be. At this point it could still be nursing school, teaching worship dance to young children and my peers, or an extended mission trip to another country. I truly do not know where God is going to take me next. This seems like a scary thing, but actually, I have come to find a peace in the everlasting arms of Jesus. I‘m confident that He is directing my steps, so I do not need to fear. God has taken hold of my hand and promised to lead me through whatever He has planned. I am so grateful that I do not have to do this on my own. God‘s peace truly does transcend all understanding, and I am able to wait on Him for now. Of course there are days where I take things back into my own hands, but somehow, God always knows how to turn me back to Him. In Nehemiah 1:5-6, he says, ―O Lord God of heaven the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel…‖ Just like Nehemiah, I am attentively waiting for God‘s guidance, wherever it may lead. Trust God, and you‘ll have nothing to fear. Believe in Him, and you will have no doubt. Surrender your will, and find peace in the everlasting arms of Jesus Christ, our Lord. * Page 23
Want to hear more from Molly? Check out her blog www.molly-nyat.blogspot.com
Debu Magazine Exclusive Interview with Steve Carroll By Kendel Garcia
Kendel: How did you get into music?
people ask me I usually just say... guitar, piano and
Steve: I think I've always been into music, ever since harmonica, cause those seem to be my staples. I was a little kid. I remember building my own drum sets out of pots and pans, and filling up water glass- Kendel: If there is one thing you want es to make my own xylophones. But I think the main people to get out of your music what is reason why I got into songwriting was because my
older cousin Tommie, of the band Kelleen, started
Steve: I don't know if I'm really looking for people
writing and preforming about a year before I did,
to â€œgetâ€? anything in particular from my music, per
and he inspired me to pick up songwriting for my-
say. But rather, I'd like to get them to think about
things: about God, about their own earthly re-
lationships, or about their need for both. I Kendel: How many instruments do you play? Steve: A lot, maybe too many, cause I'll often try to find a place for all these weird sounding instruments in my recordings. Sometimes that works out for the best, and sometimes it doesn't. But when
think maybe in this case introspection is it's own reward. So that, in the end, I'm not really giving them anything with my music, except what they already had to begin with. Kendel: What are your plans for your
music? What can we expect in the
pastors, who need to make their living as farmers.
I'll be playing a benefit concert soon in Redlands,
Steve: Well, I've recently been getting a few of my CA. Check my Facebook for updates. songs placed in independent films. It's been cool to go to premiers and see how they combine what I do Kendel: What inspires you to write with something new, and how it kind of breathes
new life into my songs.
My life, things I read, conversations with friends,
As far as new music is concerned, I've written 7 or
really it could be anything. For example, I wrote â€œA
8 new songs since my last album, Roots, and I'm considering maybe putting a new EP out before
little bit of bloodâ€? after reading through the book of Leviticus. So there's really no cap on inspira-
the end of the year. But really I find that I've been tion, and sometimes it'll come from the most unexmaking music for so long that most people haven't pected places. been around for all 6 of my current albums. So considering that, I'll share a secret for Debu read- Kendel: Is there any advice you can give to inspiring artists? ers, on my website stevecarrollmusic.com, if you search hard enough, you'll find a secret link to a
Your first 20 or songs will be awful, and that's ok,
page where you can download all my albums for
that's how it is for everyone. So write those songs,
get them out of the way, and then go on to record
But really the most recent thing I've done isn't really music related at all. This month, I've just finished writing my first young adult fiction novel, called In the Window Room. It took half a year to
your first album. And be a songwriter because you love songs, and don't do it to become famous, because chances are that won't happen either, and that's ok too.
finish it, and a lot of dedication to keep moving forward. This is a great book (I'm a little biased for you should all go buy it. Promise you'll like it.
Check out Steveâ€™s website for more
Kendel: Is there any charity or or-
information about concerts and
sure), but it'll be available on Amazon soon, and
ganization you are involved in? Yes, this summer I'm teaming up with a charity called Grow Liberia, which is an organization
that's providing agricultural supplies for Liberian Page 26
Listen, O daughter, give attention and incline your ear: Forget your people and your fatherâ€˜s house the King will desire your beauty. Because He is your Lord bow down to Him. â€“Psalm 45:10-11
And even the very hairs on your head are numbered. -Matthew 10:30 Page 28
Beautifully Made By Kylie Ramos
You are beautiful. Do those words bother you? Many wonderful God loving teenagers in our society feel this way. God created you and me; he had an exact design for you in mind. He knew how many hairs were going to be on your head, what color your eyes would be, and how glorious your smile is, what an amazing God! You are part of God’s creation, he made you. Now, I can’t see every woman in the world but I know that you are special and God’s. Isn’t that comforting to know that the creator of the universe thinks that you are beautiful? I want to show you how to do simple things that make you feel and look beautiful. God gave you a beautiful face and asks us to take care of it. Here are some fun homemade face mask recipes.
This may be different for you but I love to hangout with my friends and throw parties. I suggest that you throw a “Girls Night In” and try some of the recipes, paint your nails, and have a blast.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. -Psalm 139:14
Quick Tip: Print out the recipe cards on the next two pages. You can make the masks for a friend and give them away as gifts or you can make a few when you have your “Girl’s Night In” and leave the recipes by each mask-that way your friends can take them home an make a mask for them-
Quick and Easy
This face mask is suitable for all skin types and is super
This face mask is suitable for all skin types and is super
simple to prepare. It will cleanse and rejuvenate your skin.
simple to prepare. It will cleanse and rejuvenate
Ingredients: 2 egg whites, separated from the yolk and placed in a bowl 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt (I like Greek yogurt) Preparation: Separate the egg whites from a couple eggs and place them in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of yogurt (do not use flavored yogurt!). Mix them up and apply to face. Leave on face for a few minutes then rinse face in warm water, followed by a warm cloth.
Ingredients: 1 tbsp oatmeal, finely ground 1 tbsp live, organic yogurt (skip the flavored stuff) A few drops of honey Preparation: Add the yogurt to the oatmeal in a small bowl and mix together. Warm a few drops of honey. To do this, warm a spoon under hot water for a minute, then add a few drops of honey to the spoon. Stir the honey into the yogurt and oatmeal mixture. Apply the mask to the face. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse off with several splashes of warm water. Follow with a warm washcloth.
Zits Be Gone Why buy acne products when you use strawberries? Strawberries are a natural source of salicylic acid which is found in most over-the-counter acne medicines, according to Janice Cox, the author of "Natural Beauty at Home." This is Cox's recipe. The yogurt is great for soothing skin. Ingredients: 1/4 cup strawberries (fresh, not frozen please) 1/4 cup sour cream or non-flavored yogurt Preparation: Mash together the strawberries and yogurt or sour cream. Spread on face and wash after 10-15 minutes.
This mask is for combination skin. This mask, based on roses, is perfect for balancing out the oily and dry areas of your skin.
Avocados and honey are particularly moisturizing. This mask is particularly great for mature, wrinkled and dry skin. It's best to use a ripe, fresh, organic avocado. Make sure to mash it up into a creamy pulp.
Optional: 6 fresh rose petals 2 tbsps rosewater 1 tbsp natural yogurt, room temperature (not lowfat or non-fat) 1 tbsp runny honey (to get honey runny, you can warm it in a microwave for a few seconds).
Ingredients: Half an avocado 1/4 cup honey Preparation:
Soak rose petals, then crush them in a bowl. Add the rosewater, yogurt and honey. Mix well and apply to the skin. Leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse.
A classic recipe for dry skin. Mash the avocado in a bowl, then stir in honey. Apply to skin and leave for 10 minutes. Rinse face with a cool washcloth.
Pretty in Pink Sensitive skin This mask is great for soothing chapped, sunburned or otherwise irritated skin. Extra tip: This mask works well for other skin types as well. For oily skin, add a couple drops of lemon or lime juice. For dry skin, mix in a couple tablespoons of honey. Ingredients: 1 cup natural yogurt (we like it just-out-of-the-fridge cold) Â˝ cup oatmeal (any type of basic oatmeal works here) Preparation: Mix the ingredients together. Apply to the skin for 10-15 minutes. Wash off mask with a washcloth steamed in the microwave (careful that it's not too hot). Two other fun options for oatmeal face masks: Egg whites. Mix the oatmeal and an egg white. Let the mixture dry on face, then gently wash off with a few splashes of warm water. Follow with a steaming washcloth to the face.
Peptol-Bismol. A friend of mine uses Pepto-Bismol with oatmeal for her masks. She got this tip years ago from a magazine. She suggests the active ingredient (bismuth subsalicylate) in Pepto-Bismol soothes your stomach as well as your face.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
compelled me deeply, and I sensed suddenly that the Lord had allowed me to discover these things for a reason. This feeling continued to take root as I did Edmund Burke more research and learned about modern-day slavery all over the world, particularly in India. I had never before felt such compassion for the suffering of peoMelanie: Hello Noelle! So, why don’t you share a bit about yourself with ple I would never meet. our friends…
Noelle: Hello! I'm a girl full of dreams who loves life, people, and most of all, our Savior. My desire is to declare the beauty of the Lord in all areas of life and inspire others to do the same. As far as interests, I love writing and photography, among a variety of creative pursuits. In personality, I'm outgoing, passionate, artistic, and an eager listener.
Melanie: Mmm. It is really neat hearing how the Lord has been working in your heart. As the Lord has begun to ignite this passion within you, how do you see yourself carrying out this call? Noelle: As soon as I began to learn about the things I described, they filled my prayers. Right now, that is the call -- to intercede before the throne of God. In addition to that, I feel a responsibility to continue researching the issues, educate myself, make other people aware, and set an example in prayer. This is just the beginning, though. Ultimately, my desire is to take on some kind of project or ministry in which I can use my skills to bring a voice to the voiceless. I don't know yet whether this will be through journalism, advocacy, or a more physical type of ministry to those in need. This is where I'm seeking the Lord!
Melanie: That’s wonderful! So to dive right into the topic for this article…I understand you have a heart for those who are in the sex-trafficking industry. When did the Lord first begin to instill within your heart the desire to be an advocate for victims of sex slavery? Noelle: This is a call on my life that I realized recently. About two years ago, the Lord gave me Isaiah 58 as a "life Scripture," but at the time, I didn't know exactly why. It began to fall into place a short time ago when a friend shared an article exposing the horrors of sex slavery in the United States. It
Melanie: Ah! Yes-He will lead you as you surrender to Him. Page 33
Statistics say that there are approximately 27 million slaves across the world. This number is astonishingâ€Śespecially as many of these victims are in America. Can you share with us some ministries that combat this? How can we, as young women, be involved?
families, friends, and communities. If you sense a call to minister to the oppressed, begin by looking around you, perceiving the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the people you know, and meeting them as God presents the opportunities. This is how you prepare yourself for effective ministry: by embracing servant hood within your current calling. Set the example! In the words of Amy Carmichael, "Give me the love that leads the way."
Noelle: One of the most wellknown groups is International Justice Mission (IJM). IJM is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual Melanie: exploitation, Mmm! Thank and other you for sharforms of ing, Noelle. oppression. May Christ IJM lawyers instill within and caseeach of us the workers meet heart of a the needs of servantâ€Śfor communities by His glory. working with local Again, thank you for officials to rescue being willing to share victims, prosecute perpewith us. God bless! trators, and promote functioning public justice systems. To read about a project Noelle reIJM.org is full of resources and education cently started, click here: about this issue. One way for students to get inhttp://100forjustice.wordpress.com/ volved in the fight against modern-day slavery is through Loose Change to Loosen Chains (LC2LC), a campaign to collect America's loose change to fund ~ the rescue of victims of slavery and other forms of oppression. You can read more about how to join Hello ladies, its Melanie. I just wanted to talk with this campaign at http://www.ijm.org/getinvolved/ you all for a moment. youth.
Melanie: Thank you, Noelle! Do you have any parting thoughts? Noelle: Sometimes, especially with deeply compelling humanitarian causes, it's easy to shift into a mode of "loving people" in the abstract and forget that love begins with those nearest to us. Servant hood is a lifestyle, and it starts right here: among our
Noelle and I became friends at a recent camp we attended together. While there, the Lord worked in both of our hearts concerning this topic, and after the lecture that specifically dived into the issues of modern-day slavery, we both went and sought the Lord together as to what He would have us do. The topic of rescuing sex-trafficked victims had been on NoPage 34
elle‘s heart previous to camp. Now, she is seriously considering serving in this area as she believes it might be the Lord‘s vocation for her life. I, on the other hand, was unsure what I could do. I didn‘t feel like the Lord was calling me to serve Him in this specific area with my life.
world who are suffering—who do not have someone to speak up for them—who are victims of injustice. I ask you to prayerfully consider joining us. Seek the Lord on this issue and pray that He will show you what He desires for you to do concerning this topic.
So often it‘s easy to push things like this aside and say ―Others are doing things But I wanted to to stop it, and do something. I‘m too As His young to do daughter, anything so and a fellow it doesn‘t sister to thematter that se victims, I much.‖ I knew I had a would enduty, as a courage each child of God, of you young to ―seek justice, ladies to actualcorrect oppresly check into sion; bring justice to Loose Change to the fatherless, plead Loosen Chains, and the widow‘s IJM. This is an important cause." (Isaiah 1:17) issue –let‘s fight for our brothers and sisters in the Lord who are vicNoelle mentioned Isaiah 58. That passage has often spoken to my heart also. That‘s the kind of tims to such injustice! We are not too young. That is woman I want to be…who serves others completely, simply a lie the enemy would like us to believe. Paul encouraged Timothy “Let no one despise your with no thought for herself. youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in As I began praying about what I could do, the Lord conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 placed an idea on my heart. Timothy 4:12) Let us step up and do something! Though I didn‘t have $10,000 to suddenly donate, I We serve a God of love, and justice. May we, as His did have one of the most useful, and deadly of weapchildren, reflect both of these attributes in the way ons. we live! Prayer. And thus OnOurKnees was formed. Rather than trouble you with details, if you are interested you can read more about it here: http:// foreverhisservant.blogspot.com/p/onourknees.html
“Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; his name is the LORD; exult before him! Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. God settles the solitary in a home;
Basically, it is a prayer group; we currently have thirty-nine people involved. Each week we are tak- he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.” ing one hour in the middle of the night to seek the Lord on behalf of our brothers and sisters around the (Psalm 68:4-6)*
Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. -Song of Solomon 2:7
Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path â€“Psalm 119:105 Page 37
Page 38 By Kendel Garcia
Pray first Praying first helps you get your focus on God. Take five minutes before you start your quiet time and ask God to bless your time with Him. Pray that He would lead you to the right passage, and that you would keep your wandering thoughts at bay. Ask Him to be with you throughout your entire day. Take five, and chat with your Creator.
Read your Bible You most likely know that the Bible is God’s Word. But I want you to think about the fact that God speaks through His Word. He may answer your prayers through His Word. So, don’t skip over reading your Bible.
Worship with music Listening and/or singing some worship songs is a great way to praise the Lord. It’s a good idea to add this to your quiet time to add praise and variety to your daily routine. If your not sure where to find some good Christian music you can check out the staff picks on the media page of www.debumag.com
Keep all your stuff in one place Now, I am not one for organization (at all). But having a Quiet Time Bin or basket is an amazing time saver. Take a few minutes and gather up all the things you use during your quiet time, find a cute storage container (craft organizers from your local hobby store work great), and keep it in a prominent spot in your room. This is a great way to keep your focus on Jesus– not on finding the nearest highlighter.
Journal about your time with God Journaling is an amazing skill that I learned from my mom! It’s amazing to be able to look back at my prayers and thoughts months later and see how God has worked in my life. I really encourage you to do this, as the results are amazing.
Spice it up with a devotional book Devotions are a great way to learn from others’ time with God. Often, those who write devotionals have spent months or even years studying the topic they write about. That’s pretty much getting a glimpse into months and months of some ones’ Quiet Time Journals! There is a ton of wisdom to be gleaned from devotions. I recommend My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers and A Young Woman’s Walk with God by Elizabeth George
Pick a Time Picking a time is the hardest part for me, but I try to have at least a small quiet time before I get out of bed in the morning. Even if that’s just a short time in prayer, its good to have a set time during your day to merely focus on being in tune with the Spirit. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, having a specific time during the day to focus on God is very important.
Turn off your phone This time is for you and God. Resist the urge to txt and talk during your time with God. If you’re like me, the best idea is to turn it off. If anything if going to be a distraction for you, turn it off, get away, hide it, throw it off a bridge...you catch my drift.
Get outside Spice it up a bit, bask in Godâ€™s creation! Take sometime and thank God for His beautiful creation that surrounds you. Take a walk. Draw a picture. Write a poem. Celebrate the creation that God has made for you to enjoy.
Get accountable If you have trouble doing your quiet time every day get accountable. Grab a buddy and come up with a plan. Txt each other after you do your quiet time, come up with a reward system (chocolate if you do your quiet time for a week straight). Be creative and have a partner.
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. -Matthew 6:33
By Khloe Williams
The culture that we live in today is constantly bombarding us with the opinion that as we teens mature into adults we should become a person like someone else. “Who do you want to be like?” “Who inspires you?” These are questions that young people hear often. If we answered “I want to live a life that serves others, glorifies God and strives to become more like Jesus Christ” we would get some pretty odd responses. That, my friends, is a tragedy! If we took the time to really think about what we wanted to be like “when we grow up”, it would probably look like something very different from what we are obviously investing in now. Do you want to be the next pop star walking down the red carpet? Or do you want to be a wife and mom that stays at home and cares for her family? What we think and do today is who we are becoming tomorrow. So, what are you allowing yourself to be influenced by? Are you spending your time wisely developing skills and a character that will benefit you for many years to come? Or are you living for only today and the joys that it can bring you right now? Quietly think for a moment about Mary, the mother of Jesus. From what historians can calculate, Mary was between 12 and 15 years old when the angel of God came to her to tell her she would be the mother of Christ. Now, that should tell us two things right off the bat. First off, Mary was engaged to marry Joseph even before the angel appeared to her, which means that she would have been able to run a house of her own. Secondly, the angel said to her “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:28). The angel said that Mary was favored in the eyes of the Lord. Think about that for a moment.... favored in the eyes of the LORD!!!! I heard a sermon once that was a case study on Mary. The pastor preaching said something to this effect: “Mary, must have known God. If she was favored in His eyes, she would have had to spend time getting to know him. She obviously spent her time wisely, investing in things that really mattered. She
was a young girl turning woman when the angel came to visit her, yet it says she was favored. The example that Mary gives to young women is one that should be esteemed. But don’t focus on Mary and what Mary did. Focus on Christ and what He did on the cross to save us.” Our next candidate is Ruth. Following the death of her husband and two sons, Naomi told her daughters-in-law to go back to their families and forget about her and any connection they had with her family. Orpah did as Naomi said and returned to her father’s house without hesitation. Determinedly, Ruth insisted that she would stay with Naomi (Ruth 1:16-18). When Naomi and Ruth returned to Israel, Ruth was forced to lower herself publicly to the station of a beggar and glean behind the reapers in a barley field that belonged to Boaz, a relation of Naomi’s. There should be no need to say that this took humility and courage! Trustingly, Ruth did all Naomi requested of her. Boaz took notice of the young Moabite woman, and aided her in caring for Naomi. Through Boaz, God blessed Ruth’s efforts, and her heart. Boaz and Ruth were married, and when the time came, Ruth bore Boaz a son, Obed. Through her descendants, Ruth would be named a great woman, forbearer of King David, King Solomon, and Jesus Christ. So girls, what do you see in the short biographies we have of Mary and Ruth?? I think it is obvious that God works through some improbable people in miraculous ways. The wifeto-be of a Nazarene carpenter and the Moabite widow of an Israelite. Is God working in and through you? Are you submitting yourself to His plan? The way that God chooses to work is truly amazing! He picks sinners, rebels, and hypocrites to be his spokesman to the nations. Only by His grace can we accomplish anything good. Now that we have background, lets look at some practical lessons we can learn from Mary and Ruth. Page 44
Mary was betrothed to be married when she was told she would bear the son of God. How amazing would that be?!?! To be chosen to be the mother of Christ must have been a great honor as well as a shock for Mary spiritually. What do you think it was like for her emotionally? Jewish culture shunned women who were pregnant before marriage, even to the point of stoning the woman to death. Opposition would be rising from every side, even from Mary’s own fiancé and family. There is no doubt that Mary might have been shaken by the idea of bearing a son outside of wedlock. Yet, we see her submit to the Lord’s plan, no matter what trouble or heartache it held for her. “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38) We should see the trust that Mary placed in her heavenly Father, and endeavor to do the same. Not for the sake of “Mary did it, so I should too”, but for the sake of obeying and glorifying our heavenly Father just as she did.
and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you” (Ruth 1:16-17).
Ruth and Mary didn’t become godly women overnight, God worked through them slowly, and in his timing. Mary developed her character from the time when she was a small child listening to the stories her mother would tell. Ruth developed her godly character a little later in her life, but was desirous to hear and feast on every word she could comprehend. Character is not something that happens overnight, it is something that takes time, energy, commitment and desire. What you think and do today is who you will become tomorrow. What Mary thought and believed about God the day the angel told her she would be the mother of the Christ is what gave her the faith to do God’s will. Because Ruth trusted in God, she was able to forsake all others. God her Heavenly Ruth is an example of great perseverFather was her all. Do you think that just hapance. Committing herself to be companion and pened?? caretaker of an aging mother-in-law, Ruth left Moab, the only home she had ever known. What are you doing to work on your With determination and a new found trust in character? What do you think about? What are God, Ruth endeavored to do her utmost to care you investing energy, time, and money in? Do for Naomi and herself. Again, we see trust in you think it is worth it? I entreat you, girls, the face of difficult circumstances. Are you will- spend your time doing things that will be giving ing to leave things that you hold dear behind to you blessings and rewards from now far into serve someone else? Ruth did. She left her eternity. Invest in your family. Help your mothhome, family, friends, country, pagan religion, er prepare dinner. Love your siblings in a way and culture behind for something that she saw that is personal to them. Spend time studying was better.... eternal life with God! How did the Word of God. Dig deep into what you beRuth respond to Naomi throughout all of their lieve, and stand up proclaiming it. By spending interactions?? With respect, trust and love. time investing in God and endeavoring to learn God worked through Ruth for His glory and her his will, you will be spending time much more good. Undaunted trust in God led Ruth through usefully than playing the latest edition of Angry one of the hardest seasons of her life. And for Birds. the glory of God, she followed the plan He had laid out for her, with unimaginable joy as the reThink about it. Who are you becoming?* sult. “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, Page 45
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Debu Magazine September/ October 2011 Volume 1 Issue 1 All for Godâ€™s Glory