from the ministry of Exemplify
2:21 mag AUGUST 2010 | THE KICK-OFF ISSUE
the welcome issue
“If you love learning, you love the discipline that goes with it— how shortsighted to refuse correction!” Proverbs 12:1, The Message
If You Love Learning... I love shoes. I love to look at them, buy them, wear them, try them on at every store.
from kristen’s desk
I love shoes! I even have shoes that by the end of the day are not the most comfortable in the world. But they complete my outfit, so I grin and bear it. On top of that, I have shoes that look a little boring but are so worth it because they are so comfortable. Sometimes when we love something we are willing to put up with a little discipline (like when my shoes are too tight on my feet!) and a little bit of boring (like when my shoes are oh-so comfy!). What do you love to do? Play the piano? You know what I am talking about then. You have to practice hard with the piano before you can play it perfectly. And sometimes working on your scales can be quite boring and tiring for your little fingers, but you do it anyway. Because you love it. Play lacrosse? You have to hit the field and run around every day after school before you get to play in the game. And, let’s be honest, sometimes all of that “practice makes perfect” talk leaves you a little bored and very sore! But you still do it anyway, because you love LAX. One thing Proverbs talks about over and over again is learning. King Solomon clearly thought that being someone who is easily taught is very important. And not just in school. 3 magazine September 2008
God wants us to be teachable people in all areas. We need to be girls who are willing to practice and learn and deal with a little bit of boring and uncomfortable so that we can become girls who play in the big game and know the plays! The truth is, girls who take the time to learn – who deal with correction and discipline with grace…become better. Teachable people glorify God. I pray as you read this magazine, you would posture your heart before the Lord as one who is willing to be taught. Of course, we’ve made sure that the articles you find here are NOT boring. At the same time, we’re not about shallow. There is depth in these pages that points to an eternal God. I pray this month you and I will not only be teachable before the Lord but also before those in leadership within our lives - for you, your parents, your teachers, your coaches. As you read this month, I’d love to have you ask: • In what ways am I teachable? • In what ways do I struggle with stopping to listen to correction? • How can my willingness to learn be used by God? May this month’s offering both delight & inspire you to be a girl who lives a life that glorifies Christ Jesus. That’s what 2:21 is all about.
Get to know our team at 221Mag.com
VOLUME 1 ISSUE 1 / August 2010
articles W W Y B ? P.6
Staff writer Maddie explores John 6:5-13.
Editorâ€™s Welcome P.2 Sit down with Kristen and be welcomed to 2:21 Mag.
Walk It Out P. 12 Read the monthly devo by Angela.
Letter to my Daughter P.14 Julie pens a the first of many featured letters to her daughter --- and to you.
Ever Made A Bad Choice? P. 8 Join CJ as she writes about how sometimes getting it wrong is how we get it right.
Enough P. 16 Erin shares on the topic of being enough in Christ.
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Quiz: Get to Know Yourself P.10 Take this fabulous and fun quiz by Delaney to get a picture of what you are about. Follow Us to Facebook P.18 Connect with the ministry of 2:21 on Facebook.
John 6:5-13 “When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, ”Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
who would you be:
loaves and fishes image © tnimalan | sxc.hu
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Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.”
Perhaps you would be one of the disciples. Pessimistically, or rather realistically looking at the situation, the disciples saw something that was a seemingly impossible feat. A crowd that could fill the Broadway Theater 10 times over would not be satisfied with “five small barley loaves and two small fish.” They were not intentionally unfaithful men (they left their livelihoods to follow Jesus), they were simply human. A problem was too large for humans to fix or control, and, responding to their natural instincts, the men panicked, feared, and worried about the starved crowd that sat before them. When there is a problem do you respond like the disciples, with realistic and human worry, panic, or fear?
Maybe you see yourself more as the boy who offered his lunch. Realizing he had the opportunity to show the glory of God, he offered all he had, and expected nothing in return. The boy is not remembered for his name, but for the grandeur of God portrayed through him. It was everything he had, believing the teachings that man does not live on bread alone and that Jesus could do more with his packed lunch than he could. He humbly believed, submitted, and did not let pride guide his decisions. When you realize that an opportunity to glorify God has been placed before you, when God asks you to give all you have, or when the praise is not yours, do you respond like the boy?
Or possibly you see yourself in Jesus. Obviously, no one will ever, ever, live up to the standards or character of the Savior of the world; however, perhaps you respond to impossible problems with relentless and silent faith. Obediently listening and obeying the will of God.
So Who Do You See Yourself As?
Ever made a bad choice? Me neither! “Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it. “1 Peter 3:8-9 (NLT)
How you react in situations says a lot about who you are and what makes you different from the rest of the crowd. How do you react when your BFF decides that you’re not so cool anymore? How do you react when that rumor going around about you is the furthest thing from the truth? How do you react when asked what you are doing Friday night and you reply, “Going to youth” and you get the “you’re one of those people” looks? I have experienced and lived through each of those scenarios, and I didn’t always react in a way that portrayed who I was trying to be: a follower of Jesus Christ. In some cases I made the situation worse and in others I made myself look like a fool. But hey, that is a part of developing character and figuring out who God created us to be. Right? I can admit that I didn’t always make the best choices and honestly, I don’t expect you to either. Sometimes wrong is how we get to right. There is always a learning curve. Don’t get me wrong, I am not giving you permission to go out and make stupid choices. (1 Cor. 10:23) But if by some small chance, at some point in your life you make a bad choice, please know that it is okay. You need to understand that you must learn from your mistakes and continue to blossom into the awesome woman of God that you have been created to be!
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1 Peter is a letter written by Peter, a disciple of Jesus Christ to Christians who were being persecuted and suffering because they decided to be followers of Jesus Christ. Through this letter Peter encouraged believers to live lives of integrity–to be examples of Jesus Christ. In our North American society we do not see the persecution that Peter saw and experienced in his life. But at times we do suffer. We can suffer by being mistreated by friends or acquaintances at school. By being different and choosing not to do what everyone else is doing. Or by being judged because of our “Christian” label. How should we choose to react when these types of suffering enter our lives? Peter tells us not to retaliate with actions or words. Then look at what Peter instructs us to do when someone says something unkind to you. Pay them back with—- a blessing! WHAT?!! Are you serious? If you have been on the receiving end of having unkind words thrown in your direction this could seem like an impossible task. A blessing is what they need and this is what scripture is instructing us to do and what God wants us to do. When I was 16 I spent my summer working as kitchen staff at a camp. One evening while everyone at the camp was sleeping, we were robbed. They broke in the kitchen and stole whatever they could take out the window… tons of food and my stereo I had left there that night. They threw the knives in the walls and just made a mess. It felt like such an invasion and a personal attack. We scrubbed the kitchen with bleach from top to bottom and it still felt dirty. It wasn’t until I gave up my anger and prayed for the people responsible for the break in that I could feel at peace and comfortable once again.
It wasn’t until I gave up my anger and prayed for the people responsible for the break in that I could feel at peace and comfortable once again. 1 Peter 3:14-15 says, “But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.” Worship Christ with your life and if Have these verses written on your heart. Peter wrote these words about 2,000 years ago so that when you and I struggle with feelings of suffering these words were there to encourage, strengthen, and give us hope. Suffering produces character; there is no one in the past, present, or future like you. You are unique! Your character is unique! You have been created for a unique purpose! someone compliments you by asking, “What’s different about you?” be prepared to share with them where your hope comes from. To see how to do that let’s read what Peter has to say in verses 16 and 17, “But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!” Thank you Peter! What an encouragement to live a good life! Take time to apply it to your life: (grab your journal and spend a few minutes thinking about these questions) What do your reactions say about your character? Take some time and evaluate what you can learn from good or bad choices that you have made. Do you know how unique you are?
What Makes You Unique?
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As our magazine debuts and we get to know each other, how about a quiz to help you “get to know yourself?”
getting to kn image © tnimalan | sxc.hu 10 © 2:21 Magazine | August 2010
If you scored mostly 1’s: You’re one grounded gal! You’re on a there. Look for way s to break out If you scored mostly 2’s: Confident and Classic. You tend to find yourself judging others. If you scored mostly 3’s: You’re the life of the party! You’re a zone! Just be careful, while it’s grea relationships in the process. If you scored a mix of 1’s, 2’s, and 3’s: This is where we all want to be. Bal
Respect the past,
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MAKEUP STYLE? 1. I’m just the bare essentials. 2. My look is a mix of eyes, lips, and nail colors. 3. A flair for the dramatic is how I describe my makeup.
WHEN DO YOU GET YOUR HOMEWORK DONE? 1. School is one of my top priorities and nothing comes between me and my books. 2. I need some time to chill after school, but my homework is always done before the lights go out for the night. 3. My priorities are texting, tunes, T.V and eventually homework. MY VIEWS ON FOOD ARE: 1. I love being in the kitchen and preparing homemade meals. 2. I like a mix of both home-cooked meals and going out to eat. 3. The more I can eat out, the better. I’m never cooking in the kitchen.
WHICH BEST DESCRIBES YOUR AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES? 1. I’m all about the classics – ballet and classical instruments. 2. I’m into a bunch of different activities- my interests vary like the wind. 3. I’m always trying new activities, but I’m starting to learn what I’m good at. WHEN IT COMES TO FRIENDS: 1. My best friends are my family, but I have one or two really close friends outside my family. 2. I know quite a few people, but I have a group of best friends. 3. I’m best friends with everyone! MY STYLE IS BEST DESCRIBED AS: 1. Simply Stated. I wear comfortable, calm colored clothes and I don’t keep up with the latest trends. 2. Teriffically Trendy! I love to shop, and I get my inspiration from fashion magazines. 3. Ultimately Unique! I’m my own stylist and I love to mix and match different items. I’m a total trend-setter!
MOVIES AND MUSIC? 1. I love the classics, and I stick to what I know I like. 2. I know what I like and if I’m going to spend my money on it, I make sure it’s something I love. 3. Music and movies are my life. I’m always checking out the latest vibe! WHAT IS YOUR WORSHIP STYLE? 1. I prefer traditional services. 2. I like a mix between traditional and contemporary. 3. I’m all about contemporary services! BOYS? 1. I’m not into dating. Mr. Right will come along at the right time. 2. I’ve got “guy” friends and dating isn’t my top priority, but I will go on the occasional date. 3. I will date around until I find Mr. Right. I always have a boyfriend. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS? 1. Married and embracing being a mom. 2. I’ve got a plan- college, career, marriage, kids. 3. Seeking out adventure – anywhere!
a solid path. You enjoy traditions and respect the path. You know your comfort zone and you tend to stay of the box! Try mixing and matching your outfits or exploring a new genre of music. exude confidence. Having a sure sense of style, sometimes you can get a bit too comfortable and may
always ready to try new things and you seek adventure! You’re not afraid to step out of your comfort at to be adventurous, don’t get caught “living of this world.” It’s okay to be trendy, but don’t sacrifice
lance is the key.
live in the world- not of it, and be confident but walk humbly and serve.
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Walk It Out Sitting in church on Sunday morning you are all fired up about how you want to make change in the world. You have been stirred in the deepest places of your heart by a wonderful word-packed message. It has been greatly refreshing. You are ready to just tell the whole world about it. Then Sunday passes. Monday morning comes and you are getting ready to face the world. It is now time for you to come together with your peers. Too easily the passion that flourished on Sunday morning has fizzled. Suddenly this week’s fashion trends become the new exciting topic which quickly changes to the newest movie out that features the cute new actor that every girl seems to have a crush on. For a moment that great message comes to your mind but you dismiss it. It was nice for you but your peers had more interesting things to talk about. Tuesday again comes… then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. So many things accomplished this week. So many activities. You got to see that new movie with your friends. It has been a good week yet you cannot help but think that something is missing. It is a nagging feeling you started to feel Monday but dismissed it. Now it won’t leave you alone because it came along with you all week. You think, “Why do I feel this way? It has been a great week.” Well that is what this column is all about. It is about living your life daily with the Lord in the forefront of your minds. It is about bringing Him glory in any situation or environment you are in. It is about Him being the center of your life no matter your circumstances. It is about simply walking this faith thing out.
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Letters to my Daughter
Starting with Confidence
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His hair was silver, and his face reminded me of Fred Flintstone. When we wrote the date, he insisted we use slashes, not dashes, and he threw away papers of anyone who forgot. I learned that first hand. Every morning he wrote a quote to start the day, before we talked about governments and continents. On the first day of school he wrote, “The hardest part of anything is the start.” He made us copy it, repeat it, and listen while he tried to convince us it was true. In the months that followed in that year of high school, I came to believe it. The hardest part of anything often really IS the start, and how we choose to begin determines much of what follows.
Being overwhelmed at the start of a new season or journey is pretty normal, and we feel small and unsure compared to the size or seriousness of a great task. Beginning a school year can feel that way when you consider new academics, new teachers, new schedules, new friends, and new lessons to be encountered. Facing the unknown
with confidence is not automatic, but it can make all the difference in having a solid start.
When the Israelites set out for a new land, they could not have anticipated the tests ahead of them. Seeing Pharaoh and his army of chariots and horses in their rear view mirrors, however, probably gave them a clue they were not heading out on an easy path. God knew their tendency to fear and doubt, to feel every bit as small as they were in relation to their problems, but He wanted them to see His power as they started. In fact, God so wanted His followers to put their confidence in Him and stay focused on His
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leadership that He went before them as a pillar of cloud in the day and a pillar of fire at night. While we might not have a cloud of fire to follow, God wants us to put our confidence in Him and to stay focused on His provision in our journey, too. “By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.” (Exodus 13:21-22, NIV) He’ll be there in every class, every relationship, and every problem that’s ahead of us. God knows that once we’re off to a great start, we have a tendency to take on our troubles without Him, but He promises He’ll fight for us in our trials, just like He told His people in the desert. “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14, NIV) Verse 31 of that same chapter in Exodus proves that, as God shows His power against our problems, we should honor and trust Him and His plans. Starting out believing God is a sign of awesome things to come! It’s time to start something new, so it’s time to decide to put your confidence in God and trust Him to stay with you. If you look at the obstacles ahead, you may be tempted to feel overwhelmed or scared, but remember this is just the beginning of a new journey, and you won’t ever be alone.
Start well, sweet girl, Mom
Have you ever dreamt up a project from start to finish, taking time and care while planning and constructing to ensure your finished product would turn out just as you imagined? This past Christmas season I came across a small wooden sleigh at a thrift store. Normally I would have walked right past it, but my creative antenna were working and right there at the store I cooked up a great plan for restoring this little sleigh into a Christmas decoration. I was so excited to get started. I had all my plans lined up and got started as soon as I could.
I was looking forward to displaying my creation in our living room during the Christmas season. I had secret hopes it would become my kids’ favorite Christmas decoration. After the paint dried and it was time to slide the deck of the sleigh into the wooden slots I discovered a problem. It wasn’t going to fit in the slots. I shouldn’t have painted on some of the edges; it made the deck too thick. I decided to sand the edges down. When that didn’t work I took a sharp knife and tried peeling down the layers.
I sanded and repainted the wood into It still didn’t work. the perfect color and found a Victorian Christmas picture to decoupage onto the sleigh. The final coat of paint was applied and I was thrilled with the results.
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I was getting impatient and decided I was going to use all my force and make it fit. After several minutes of pushing and pulling I got the deck about 1/3 through the slots. I had a new problem; it was stuck. My husband couldn’t even pull it through, and he’s a pretty strong guy. I decided I’d try a rubber mallet hammer to push it out. After a few whacks I heard a loud “crack” and “snap”. There went that project. I was so disappointed. My idea and planning didn’t turn out.
ers to share a memory of comparing themselves with others. Here are some of the comments:
The sleigh remained on our garage work bench for a few months. Each time I glanced at it I was reminded of my failure. About a month ago I was cleaning the garage and I came across my beloved, albeit, broken sleigh. As much as it pained me, it was time to let go. I threw the sleigh in the trash. It’s long gone. I was forced to realize that I made some mistakes when planning, due to inexperience and definitely impatience. I also had to accept that I will probably never be quite as talented as Martha Stewart and her craft peeps.
“I remember comparing the way we lived to others … my dad did not hold jobs as a child so we were always in the poor house.”
Recently I was in God’s Word reading Psalm 139:13-16, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 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.”
“I remember comparing clothes and shoes when growing up. I think now I tend to compare my child’s behavior to other children.” “I think we all compare ourselves to others. We’re not supposed to, but we’re rather conditioned to do it, aren’t we?”
“I lived on water, apples and crackers for the summer after 8th grade so I would be as skinny as the high school girls who worked at my mom’s sandwich shop. I wished I wasn’t all freckled and fair so I could be tan like all the pretty popular girls. I wished I could say the right thing more often than sticking my foot in my mouth. I wished being a Christian came as easy to me as it does to my friends X, Y and Z. I wished I was creative like my sister (who wishes she was organized like me).” “I always compared my body to others. I wasn’t big by any means but I always compared myself to those who were smaller than me and wished I had their body.”
While reading these comments I revisited my own memories and feelings and experienced all the insecurities and rejections all over again. Then the Holy Spirit gently reminded me that I’m always enamored by the reality and depth of God created my inmost being. He knit me tothese verses. My thoughts drifted back to the sleigh. gether in my mother’s womb. I wasn’t just hapJust like the sleigh was for me, I was an idea, a hazardly thrown together… no I was planned, deplan, carefully crafted by God, the creator of the signed and, most importantly, wanted and loved. Universe. The results of the sleigh weren’t guaranteed… but God’s plans always come together. His The Maker of Heaven and Earth created me, works are wonderful. I wonder how God feels when and He created you. I am so ready to start living we look at ourselves, displeased with what we see. in that light, that truth, and that love. I will be Or how He feels when we compare ourselves to oth- a slave no more to the lies that tell me I am not ers, questioning our worth. I remember starting to good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, talented compare myself to other girls in the 6th grade. It enough, don’t dress right, talk right and whatever started with what brand of clothes the other girls else the enemy throws my way as a roadblock to dewere wearing and then it turned into who they ter me from fulfilling the purpose God has for ME. were friends with, how they spent their weekends, I am enough, and so on. Now here I am comparing my abilities and so are you! to Martha Stewart! I recently asked my blog read 17 © 2:21 Magazine | August 2010
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