Hey Girls! You’ve almost made it to the end of the school year! Stay focused and finish strong. Resist the urge to let your responsibilities slip. :) National Girls Ministries Director
Candy Tolbert Teen Girl Specialist Magazine Editor
Katie Mattiuzzo National Girls Ministries Editor
Lori Van Veen This Month’s Contributors:
Feature Article: Don’t Make Acts of Kindness Random
Summer Movie List
Feature Article: Interview with an Army Brat
Entertainment Center: Various Submissions
Justin Chandler Swamp or River
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 20011 by International Bible Society®. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. ©2012 by My Healthy Church. All Rights Reserved. Permission to copy for church use only.
Every year at the close of the spring semester I’d make all kinds of lofty goals for myself for the summer. I viewed summer vacation as the perfect time for some self-improvement. I saved out some of my assignments so I could continue to review vocabulary words and spellings, historical facts, math questions, and Spanish vocabulary and conjugation. I made sure I had a good book on hand so I could be growing spiritually over the summer, and I committed to waking up at a decent hour and taking a nice long morning prayer walk, followed up by a healthy breakfast. I viewed the summer as the perfect time to pull away from the busyness of the last few months and grow as a person. It’s often been said that our true character is revealed when we’re squeezed. If someone were to squeeze you, would goodness come out of you? Or would meanness come out? Would love or would hate? When someone slaps you in the face (hopefully just metaphorically) are the next words out of your mouth controlled, peaceful words, or are they curse words? As hard as it may be to admit it, if we were to be squeezed — faced with a frustration or a defeating situation — during the school year with all of the different stressors and commitments we juggle, goodness might not be what comes out of us! Here’s a great verse: “In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone” (2 Peter 1:5-7, NLT). As Christians we should be actively involved in our growth. We can’t just expect these qualities or the fruit of the spirit qualities to automatically grow in us. We must work it — cultivate those characteristics! Summer vacation is the perfect time to re-charge. Set aside time for you and God and ask Him to grow you and shape you. Ask Him to continue to develop the character of a godly woman in you and to give you opportunities to serve Him this summer!
The symbolism between the Peristeria Orchid and the Christian teen girl is pretty powerful stuff. Peristeria is Greek for “little dove.” The orchid gets its name from the dove-shaped center of the flower, and has also been called the Holy Ghost orchid (read Luke 3:21,22). Peristeria Orchids can grow in light or dark, much like a teen girl who has a desire to grow in her relationship with God despite the circumstances around her. The roots require moisture — pure water — at all times. As Christians, we also need nutrition and to be constantly fed through studying the Bible. As you read this magazine, think of yourself as a beautiful Peristeria Orchid — filled with the Holy Ghost, growing in whatever circumstances you’re living with, whether they be in light or dark, and being fed with the pure truth of the Word of God.
seasonal favorites | page 2
feature story: acts of kindness | page 12
summer deep clean | page 4
tough question | page 14
summer fashion | page 5
entertainment center | page 16
be healthy | page 8
feature story: interview with an Army brat | page 20
bits of beauty | page 10
what do we think about ... | page 22
summer wordfind | page 11
book nook | page 23 feature story: coping with loss | page 24 count on clarissa: “fire!” | page 26 mother’s day and father’s day gift ideas | page 28 like, love, & dating | page 30
seasonal favorites pillowcase purse you will need:
pillowcase of your choice scissors pins sewing machine
what to do:
1. Lay the pillowcase out flat —
sewn part down, open part up.
2. Cut off 1/4” from the bottom,
sewn part of the pillowcase. Then cut the pillowcase in half, diagonally.
3. Flip the four edges of the newly cut diagonal edges over 1/4”, pin it, and sew a hem.
summer photo album you will need: photo album camera prints
what to do:
1. Buy a cute photo album that has enough room for the number of days you will be out on summer vacation.
2. Take one photo each day of your
summer vacation. It should be a photo that best documents what you did that day.
3. Have your photos printed every
few weeks and add them to your album. At the end of summer you’ll have a memory book of what you did!
cloth strip flip flops you will need: fabric of your choice ruler scissors (zig zag scissors would be really cool!) flip flops
what to do:
4. Place one pillowcase half inside the
other. Pin and then sew the pieces together along the diagonal edge where the two pieces intersect. Flip it over and sew along the same diagonal line.
5. Turn the purse inside out and
sew a 1/4” hem along the bottom edges of the purse.
6. Turn the purse right side out and tie the top ends together into a knot, forming the strap of your purse. open end
1. Measure the fabric and cut it in strips that are 3” long by 1” wide.
2. Tie the fabric strips around the
straps of the flip flops, bunching them together to create a full look.
cut off 1/4” sewn shut end
fold all four of the diagonal cut edge s inward and sew to form a 1/4” hem
When finished, trim the fabric strips if you prefer a shorter look. Place one pillowcase piece into the other.
Turn inside out and sew 1/4” hem along the bottom of the purse
Summer is the perfect time to make milkshakes and a yummy snack. Check out these ideas! cookie crumble shake
2 c. vanilla ice cream 1 c. milk 1 tsp. vanilla extract 8 cream-filled cookies, crushed whipped cream
2 c. vanilla ice cream 1 c. milk 4 strawberries, cleaned and cored 2 Tbs. strawberry syrup whipped cream
2 c. vanilla ice cream 1 c. milk 1/4 c. chocolate syrup 2 Tbs. peanut butter whipped cream
1. Combine first four ingredients in the blender (reserve 1 Tbs. crushed cookies for topping).
1. Combine first four ingredients into the blender.
1. Combine first four ingredients in the blender.
2. Blend until well mixed adding more milk to make it smoother or more ice cream to make it thicker.
2. Blend until well mixed adding more milk to make it smoother or more ice cream to make it thicker.
2. Blend until well mixed adding more milk to make it smoother or more ice cream to make it thicker. 3. Top with whipped cream and reserved crushed cookie.
3. Top with whipped cream and drizzle with strawberry syrup.
ham and pickle pinwheels deli ham cream cheese baby dill pickles toothpicks
1. Spread a layer of cream cheese to one side of a piece of deli ham. 2. Place a baby dill pickle on one edge of the piece of ham and begin to roll the pickle in the cream cheese covered ham. 3. Cut into bite-sized pieces and stick a toothpick through each piece to secure the ham around the pickle.
peanut butter chocolate shake
3. Add more peanut butter or chocolate syrup to your liking. 4. Top with whipped cream and drizzle with chocolate syrup.
rich chocolate shake 2 c. vanilla ice cream 1 c. milk 6 Tbs. hot chocolate mix chocolate syrup whipped cream 1. Combine first four ingredients in the blender. 2. Blend until well mixed adding more milk to make it smoother or more ice cream to make it thicker. 3. Add more chocolate syrup to your liking. 4. Drizzle chocolate syrup in the glass before pouring the milkshake in. 5. Top with whipped cream and drizzle with chocolate syrup.
summer deep clean
tank tops and a stack of tees in one drawer, long sleeve shirts and comfy shirts in another drawer, etc.). Re-hang the clothes in your closet and organize them as well. Pants in a section, skirts in another, button-up dress shirts in another, etc.
Summer vacation is the per- fect time to do some deep cleaning in your bedroom! Set aside a few hours, pop a DVD into the laptop, and make 11. Take care of any other yourself a milkshake while you miscellaneous items. Put away whatever else is still laying around dive into a thorough deep your room! clean of your room. 12. Dust your furniture. Dust jackets, and purses.
1. Make your bed. If necessary,
Put dirty clothes in the laundry basket.
change your sheets and pillow 9. Sort your clothes. Name your case if it’s been a while. piles “to donate/sell”, “to store”, and
“to keep.” Wash and dry the clothes
Clean under the bed. Do it! you plan to donate/sell and bag Pull everything out from underthem up in a trash bag, making a list neath and sort it accordingly. of how many pairs of pants, shirts,
your dresser, nightstand, headboard, ceiling fans, baseboards, and the top of your walls where they meet the ceiling. Sometimes there are spiderwebs up there you can’t even see!
Clean the glass. Use glass spray to clean, the inside of your etc., are included. Store in a 3. Collect and put away hair ac- shoes, windows, mirrors, and any other bin clothes you know you won’t wear cessories and jewelry. glass in your room. again until the fall or winter and put Collect and put away hair them in the attic, basement, or on a Vacuum. This is the last step! closet shelf to de-clutter your draw- Vacuum your room, in your closet, products and make-up. ers and make room for the clothes and under the bed. Use the atCollect and throw away trash. you’ll actually wear this summer. tachments to vacuum along the
baseboards, in tricky corners, and Collect any dishes you’ve ac- 10. Fold and hang up your along your window sill. cumulated and bring them back clothes. Go through and neatly re-fold the clothes in your dresser 15. Reward yourself for a job to the kitchen. drawers, organizing them in a way 7. Collect and put away shoes, that makes sense to you (ie: stack of well done!
fashion There are so many cute tank tops out there and so few days to wear them all during the summer! But what can you do about tank tops that are too low, too strappy, or revealing in the back? Layer them with another tank top or shirt! Check out these cute ideas.
fashion The Fourth of July is right around the corner. Are you one who likes to dress for the holiday? Here are a few great outfit ideas that will allow you to express your patriotic spirit!
This adorable plaid tank top reflects all of the colors of the American flag! Wear a white tank top underneath for additional coverage and a pair of white pants for a classy Fourth of July option! Add a navy blue jacket for added modesty and class.
These deep red capris are the perfect pop of color for the navy blue and white striped cardigan and the navy blue top. Wear a comfortable pair of canvas boat shoes and fun red dangly earrings!
outfit #3 Add a red cardigan to a simple white and navy blue striped top with denim skirt for a dressy-casual patriotic outfit. Add a blue pendant necklace for a great accent piece!
fashion Maxi dresses are an awesome summer option. Theyâ€™re lightweight, less stuffy and constricting than shorts and a tee, and they come in all kinds of colors and prints for the summer! And you can always add a wide-strapped tank top or tee underneath to make it a little more modest. Check out these cute maxi dresses for inspiration!
We all know the importance of eating a balanced diet so that we get the necessary vitamins and minerals our bodies need, but with vitamins & minerals, how much do you workout ideas, and superfoods! know about what the different vitamins and minerals do and what foods they can be found in?
Purpose: Necessary for maintaining
vision and the immune system Sources: sweet potatoes (with the peel), carrots, spinach, and fortified cereals
Purpose: Necessary for maintaining
a strong immune system Sources: fruits, especially citrus, and some vegetables
Purpose: Assists the body with ab-
Purpose: Necessary for protecting Purpose: Necessary for formation of cells; antioxidant red blood cells; transports oxygen to Sources: vegetable oil, cereals, meat, tissues Sources: found in meat, poultry, poultry, eggs, fruits, and vegetables and in smaller amounts in grains and vegetables Vitamin K Purpose: Assists with blood clotting Sources: green vegetables Potassium Purpose: Necessary for nerve signals, muscle contractions, mainta Fiber ining blood pressure, and vari Purpose: Assists with digestion ous Sources: bran cereal, peas, lentils, chemical reactions black beans, fruits, and vegetables Sources: found in fruits, cereals, milk, beans, and vegetables
sorbing phosphorus and calcium Zinc Purpose: Prevents cavities Sources: only found naturally in a Sources: unfiltered water, tooth- Purpose: Assists with immunity and few foods â€” primarily fatty fish, so itâ€™s pastes, and mouthwash nerve function , ucts been added to lots of dairy prod Sources: red meats, some seafood, juices, and cereals. Most vitamin D fort ified cereals for more information, visit we get is from exposure to the sun. livestrong.com or webmd.com
Great source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber and jampacked with antioxidants try it in juice or dried on top of salad!
High in magnesium (helps wit h 300 different chemical reactio ns in our bodies), fiber, vitamin B, and manganese (promote s healthy bones and acts as an antioxidant)
Great source of lean protein because one serving gives you half of your daily requirements It also contains a trace of mineral selenium, plus niacin and Vitamin B6
This is an obvious source for more calcium and protein in your diet, but did you know that it has probiotics in it that help with digestion by adding good bacteria to your stomach?
Whole grains also fill you up faster!
There are some foods that are so highly
Great source of vitamin C, po tassium, and fiber and jam-packed with antioxidants
All tea is full of antioxidants, but green tea has the most It can also boost your metabolism.
concentrated with nutritional goodness that they’ve been deemed “super foods!” Fruits and vegetables that fall in the superfood category are also full of antioxidants, which protect the body’s cells from being damaged. Damaged cells are to blame for cancer and a variety of other diseases. Antioxidants also control the free radicals that bounce around in our bodies. Free radicals are atoms with an odd number of electrons that become dangerous when they interact with our body’s cells. There are many superfoods that aren’t listed here, including broccoli, pumpkin, and beans, so if this is a subject you’re interested in, do your own research and see what foods you’d like to incorporate into your diet!
easy at-home exercises couch kicks Face the arm of your couch. Put both hands on the arm and support your weight on them. Keep your head down to prevent neck strain. Kick your leg out behind you, raising it to the ceiling, keeping your bottom of your foot parallel to the ceiling. Bring it back down and repeat. You should feel a burn in your rear and thighs.
canned food weights
With a larger can of food in each hand, twist your arms so the inside of your arms face out.
While your favorite show is on commercial break, take a few minutes to get your heart pumping and stair step! Run over to your staircase or to the front step to your house and step up to the step, one foot at a time, with both feet and then step down, one foot at a time. Repeat this as long as the commercial break is on!
Bend your arms and bring the cans of food up to your shoulders. Repeat 10 times and then rest. Then repeat another 10 times. Over time, increase repetitions.
beauty bits of
achieving a sun-kissed look
Cancer of the skin is the most prevelant form of cancer. types of There are two types of skin cancer — melanoma and skin cancer non-melanoma skin cancer like basal and squamous cells. Each year there are approximately 3.5 million basal and squamous cell diagnoses, and the American basal: slow growing and most likely Cancer Association predicts that there will be 76,250 to appear on areas of the skin exposed new cases of melanoma diagnosed in 2012. to sun; does not typically spread to other parts of the body
squamous: slightly more aggressive than basal, this cancer grows well in the fatty areas just below the skin; are more likely to spread to the lymph nodes or other places in the body than basal
this cancer is caused by changes in the pigment-making cells of the skin; it is the most dangerous form of skin cancer; can also be present in the colored part of eyes
With news like this it’s important as teen girls to protect your skin, especially during the summer months when the sun is at its peak. By using sunscreen with a high SPF, wearing hats and sunglasses, and avoiding the sun during it’s most intense hours of the day, you’re not only protecting yourself from developing skin cancer, but you’re also giving your skin a much better chance of staying youthful looking as you age! So how can you achieve that sun-kissed look you long for without spending too much time in the sun to get it? Let’s look at a few great ideas!
sunless tan lotions
Sunless tanning lotions not only hydrate your skin, but they gradually tint it as well, making you appear as though you have been tanning without the harmful affects of the sun’s rays!
Instead of using a liquid foundation this summer, switch to a mineral powder. This will offer coverage while leaving your face feeling light and fresh. It will also allow your cute summer freckles to show!
Bronzer is a great way to get a sun-kissed look when lightly applied to the cheeks as if it were blush. You can also brush some down your neck and the top of your chest or to help disguise bad tan lines.
If you’re looking for more of a sun-kissed look that involves a tint of color, try peach blush on your cheeks! This can be an awesome summer look when paired with neutral eye shadow and light mascara.
Peach lipgloss is a great addition to your sun-kissed look. Lipstick can be too heavy looking for summer, but a soft shade of peach lipgloss is the perfect summer tint for your lips.
For more information on skin cancer and on protecting yourself, visit the American Cancer Society’s website: cancer.org.
is h t o d o t n u f g in h Need somet g in x la e r e r ’ u o y summer while ! is h t y r T ? ir a h c n w la in your
just for fun!
S S U M M E R V A C A T I O N A T U L B A T U L B S H G T Y S H G T Y S H G T Y S H G T Y S H G T Y BIKE RIDES D U F H U L U F H U D U F H U D U F H U D U F H U CAMP I K D U T I A D U T I K D R T I K D U T I K D S T FAMILY TIME W A D K G W A T K G W A D K I W A D K G W A D U G FRIENDS T Q Q A Y T Q Q E Y T Q Q A Y E Q Q A Y T Q Q M Y W A L K S N W Z Q D N W Z Q U N N Z Q U N W Z M U FUN U M B W R U M B W R I M B W R U M D W R U M B E R GRILLING X P Y M F N O S C H O O L M F X P Y S F X P Y R F HOT TEMPERATURES P L U P C P L U P C P L H R E L A X I N G L U J C T U T L B T U T L B T U T T B T U T L B T U T O B ICE CREAM L R A U N L G A U N L G A U S L G A U N L G A B N ICE CREAM B F A G M T F N O H O M E W O R K K G M T F Q G M MAN I D W V A H D W F A H D W F S L E E P I N G I N A JULY K D P D E U D P D S U D P D S U D P D S U D P D S JUNE E Q O D L L Q O D L K Q O D L K Q O D L K F O D L LAKE R Z L Q T A Z L Q T J U L Y T A Z L Q T A A L Q T I B G Z H Q B G R H U B G Z H Q B G Z H Q M G Z H LATE NIGHTS D Y R C U W Y R E U N Y R B U W Y R B U W I R F U MOVIES E U S Y A M U S A K E U S Y K M U S Y K M L S Y K NO S T D U A M T D D A P T D U A P T L U A P Y D U A HOMEWORK L A J T Q L P J I Q L A J T Q L A A T Q L T J T Q NO SCHOOL U Q H G W U Q I N W U U H G W U Q K G W U I H G W READING G W G Y M G W G G M S G G Y M G W E Y M G M M Y M RELAXING F P T U P F P T U P F L T U P F P T U P F E O U P D O E A U G U S T L D S E I L D O E R L D O V R L SLEEPING IN D L Q S U M M E F U D T Q E C D L Q F U D L I F U SLEEPOVERS Q G D C G Q G D C G Q G D C P E G D C G Q G E C G SUMMER JOB L A T E N I G H T S Z R G B F O C G B F Z R S B F SUMMER B S J N L B S J N D B S J N D B V R N D B S J N D VACATION Y D L M A Y D L M D Y D L M D Y D E E D Y D L M D TRAVEL U J P A K U J P A Q U J P A Q U J P R A U J P A Q T H O T T E M P E R A T U R E S H O S S M H O S Z WALKS AUGUST
A S D I C E C R E A M M A N U K A Q N M P G R I L L I N G A M U T
random acts of kindness
Most of us are familiar with the
concept of “random acts of kindness” - it’s a selfless act performed by a person or people wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual person or people. A new take on this? is a way of Don’t make kindshowing ness random. Kindness is a way of showing others they matter and even in the midst of hostility or selfishness, you’re choosing to be kind. With random acts, we’re suggesting kindness is scarce and should only be given if the circumstance calls for it. No longer.
Society has given teens, and other groups alike, a bad reputation as being self-absorbed and self-serving. When in fact, it’s probably just a few that ruin it for all teens. Lead-
ing causes of this reputation could be bad attitudes, lack of positive involvement, and more. However, we have the ability and important responsibility (especially as Christians) to share the love and kindness of Christ. John 13:35 says, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” It’s simple to say we love others but it’s a whole different thing to show we love others. For instance, I tell my parents and brother “I love you” every day. There are times I find it difficult to show my love for their presence, inspiration, and support in my life. It wasn’t until high school that I realized a gift of mine is encouragement and it was also then I noticed how words of encouragement are always needed. In light of this, I began to leave notes filled with kind words, send text messages of encouragement (like my mom does), pay for some-
one’s meal (like my dad does), and am present at my friends’ important life events (like my brother is). Their actions served as an example to me that each person has a different way of giving and receiving kindness or love; but all are necessary to share Christ’s love. With this in mind, we can change society’s view of us by creating a culture of love and kindness for each other and those around us. To help you make kindness part of your life instead of random, below are some suggestions of kind acts. 1. Send someone a handwritten note of thanks. 2. Let someone go in line before you. 3. Buy someone their coffee or ice cream. 4. Tell your co-workers their skills are an asset to the team.
5. Put change in the parking meter for someone. 6. Help someone carry their groceries to the car. 7. Offer a few hours of free babysitting to a couple. 8. Donate used books to a library. 9. Donate gently-used clothing to a shelter. 10. Help a neighbor with yard work. 11. Hold the door open for someone. 12. Offer to run errands for your mom or dad.
13. Send an email or text giving your friend encouragement on test or game day. 14. Give up your seat to someone, not just the elderly. 15. Cook or clean-up dinner for your family. Now is the time to make the world a better place -— with kindness. When we make kind acts (like the ones above) part of our daily lives, we’ll create a culture of love and kindness. By default, the recipients or witnesses to our kind lifestyle will know we follow Christ. We at Peris-
feature story teria encourage you to speak words of kindness and make kind actions part of your daily life.
Ashlee graduated the Girls Ministries clubs program as a Silver Medalist in June 2008. Ashlee has attended Azusa Pacific University, coordinated international events with Invisible Children, and was a contributing author for Foundation Restoration. Currently, she is the Social Media Manager for SoCal Girls Ministries, a writer for The Be.Loved Blog and a Marketing and Event Coordinator in Los Angeles.
QUIZ how kind are you? 1. When paying at a restaurant, I tip: a.) according to how my service was — bad servers don’t deserve a good tip b.) so that I can even out my bill to a whole dollar amount and then an extra dollar on top of that, regardless of the amount of my bill c.) at least the standard 20% regardless of how terrible my service was — I represent Christ and my server might have a lot going on that I just don’t know about 2. You hold the door open for other people: a.) rarely b.) when you have an opportunity to c.) everytime providing that someone else isn’t holding the door for you!
3. When you unintentionally hurt someone, you: a.) brush it off and hope things get better on their own — I mean, it wasn’t on purpose so there’s no sense in making a big deal b.) feel really bad c.) approach the other person, explain what happened, and apologize for the incident 4. You notice that a girl who is viewed by your classmates as unpopular is wearing a new outfit. You: a.) observe but don’t say anything b.) smile at her and keep walking c.) stop and make a point to compliment her
Results Mostly As: You might not even realize it, but you’re not coming across as a very kind person! Make more of an effort as you go throughout your day to put others first. If you’re not sure how to do that , think about the things that other people do for you during the day, and try implementing those actions with others (ex: holding the door for people, smiling and acknowledging others in the hallways, saying “please” and “thank you”, etc.). Mostly Bs: You’re on the right track! Your heart is in the right place and you want to be kind to people, but you still need to put forward a little more effort to show that kindness you feel. Don’t be afraid to show the love of Jesus to those around you! Mostly Cs: You’re doing a great job showing the kindness you feel in your heart! When people think of you they think of someone who is kind. They feel safe around you because you have developed a reputation of someone who wouldn’t be mean to someone. People can see the love of Jesus radiating out of you.
Q.Will there be pets in Heaven?
by katie mattiuzzo
heaven when we pass away here on earth we must make a verbal commitment to God and repent of our sins. Our pets aren’t capable of doing that. They aren’t eternal beings — they weren’t created with a soul. And heaven is a place for eternal beings who have chosen to follow Christ on earth.
I love my little white maltipoo dog, Luna, but the reality is, while she’s a sweet, well-behaved, and adorable dog, there’s no evidence in Scripture that would support the notion that our pets will be in heaven with us. In Eccelsiastes 3:11 we see that God In the creation story in Genesis 1 we has “has planted eternity in the husee that God made all of the animals man heart” (NLT). It’s a part of who of the world on fourth day. And on the we are. But no where does it include fifth day, He made the first human — reference to our pets. Adam — in the very likeness of God. This doesn’t mean that God doesn’t So from the very beginning of the love animals though. Bible and of creation, we see that aniAs mentioned earlier, in Genesis 1 mals are separate from humans. we see that God made animals. And Romans 10:9,10 says “If you confess with what creativity, too! Just think of with your mouth that Jesus is Lord all of the unique varieties of animals and believe in your heart that God there are out there! If God didn’t raised him from the dead, you will be love animals He wouldn’t have taksaved. For it is by believing in your en such care and thought into what heart that you are made right with kinds of animals He created. But He God, and it is by confessing with your knew that animals would help us get mouth that you are saved” (NLT). work done (plowing and transporting This means that in order to go to things before modern times), provide
nutrition, and also companionship. God knew that we needed animals in our lives.
We also see in the story of Noah in Genesis 7, that it was important that he include on the ark two of every animal. God wanted animals to be able to create new life again when the flood was over. If God didn’t love animals or see a need for them, He could have let them drown. Proverbs 12:10 says, “The godly care for their animals, but the wicked are always cruel” (NLT). This is just another example of how important animals are to God. God wants us to respect His creation. While it’s clear in Scripture that God loves animals, there’s no indication that our pets are our equal when it comes to having an after-life. Scripture does say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9, NLT). So does this mean there might be other animals already up there in heaven? Well, just like the verse says, no one knows what God has planned for us in heaven! But I can assure you that everything you need to be happy for eternity will be in Heaven — and you’ll be blissfully unaware of your life here on earth when you’re basking in the glory and power and love of your Heavenly Father — with or without your pet!
center 43 Annual GMA rd
The Gospel Music Association’s 43rd Annual Dove Awards were held at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA, on Thursday, April 19, and televised nationally on Tuesday, April 24. Didn’t get to watch it? Don’t worry — the winners are listed here!
t s i l s r e n win Song of the Year
“Blessings;” Laura Story
Male Vocalist of the Year Jason Crabb
Female Vocalist of the Year Natalie Grant
Group of the Year NEEDTOBREATHE
Artist of the Year Jason Crabb
New Artist of the Year Jamie-Grace
Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year
Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year
“Slumber;” The Reckoning; NEEDTOBREATHE
Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year
Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year
The Reckoning; NEEDTOBREATHE
Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year Blessings; Laura Story
“Blessings;” Blessings; Laura Story
Inspirational Album of the Year Inspirational Recorded Song of Hope Of The Broken World; Selah the Year “Hope Of The Broken World;” Hope Urban Album of the Year Of The Broken World; Selah
Church on the Moon; Deitrick Haddon
Urban Recorded Song
Praise and Worship Album of
“Sweeter;” The Love Album; Kim Burrell the Year And If Our God is For Us...; Chris Worship Song of the Year Tomlin “Your Great Name;” Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff Christmas Album of the Year Oh For Joy; David Crowder*Band
“Hallelujah;” Rehab Deluxe Edition; Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year Lecrae Rehab: The Overdose; Lecrae
To read more about the awards, visit doveawards.com/winners.php
Rock Recorded Song of the Year Rock Album of the Year “Dark Horses;” Vice Verses; Switchfoot Vice Verses; Switchfoot
Moriah Peters is touring with
MercyMe & Chris August! Check out their
tour dates: May 10
Nineteen-year-old Moriah Peters has nothing to prove when it comes to her career or her faith.
San Antonio, TX
After auditioning for Fox’s hit reality show “American Idol” and being told she lacked “life experience,” Moriah continued moving forward in her career – holding onto the morals and values she was taught in her youth and refusing to feel socially ostracized for her beliefs.
heck c ut! Before long, her convictions paid o t i off. Moriah is the latest artist to be Want a free signed with Reunion Records and just released her debut album in April. “I download of Choose Jesus” talks about a period in her life where she was forced to defend Moriah Peters’ new her faith regularly rather than going along with the crowd. song “I Choose Moriah is now performing in front of cumulative audiences of more than 250,000 on her MercyMe spring tour and is regularly featured on hit radio staJesus?” tions like KLOVE.
top 10 Christian songs #1.
Where I Belong Building 429
God’s Not Dead Newsboys
(for the week of May 12, 2012, billboard.com)
#2.JeOremveyrcCamp Learning To Be The Light newworldson
This Time #3. AllBritt Nicole
e e To Th s Cros Kutless
#4.WheBun ThrneDStowars n Ph illips, Craig & D ean
What A Savior Laura Story
The Hurt & The Healer MercyMe
#5. #10. White Flag Passion Featuring Chris Tomlin
Need some pointers on how to choose what movies and television shows you watch and music you listen to? Download the free Music, Movies, and TV Hot Topic at tgm.ag.org.
center summer 16. Courageous
list e i v o m
by taylor colton
25 great movies to watch on
17. Facing the Giants (rated PG)
18. Pride and Prejudice (rated PG)
19. Toy Story 1, 2, & 3 (rated G)
20. To Save a Life (rated PG-13)
8. Dolphin Tale 1. The Star Wars Saga (rated PG & PG-13)
2. Lord of the Rings Trilogy (rated PG-13)
9. War Horse (rated PG-13)
10. Ever After (rated PG)
3. The Chronicles of Narnia Saga
11. The Princess Diaries
4. Beware of Christians
12. The Blind Side
5. Anne of Green Gables Series
13. Soul Surfer
6. A Walk to Remember 7. A Cinderella Story
15. Little Women
22. The Parent Trap (rated PG)
23. One Night With The King (rated PG)
25. Glory Road (rated PG)
14. Beauty and the Beast
y r a r o p m e t n co
n a i t s i r chartists
It’s already proving to be a big year for rising star Aaron Shust. The singer/ songwriter was voted by fans as the Best Inspirational Artist for the About. com 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards. Fans nominated 20 artists this spring, and the top five were named finalists – with Shust taking the top honor. Shust also enjoyed 14 weeks at the number one spot on five Christian music charts for his single “My Hope Is In You” off his current album, “This Is What We Believe.” For more about Shust’s upcoming tour schedule and the Called to Love Tour, visit aaronshust.com.
Paul Baloche Releases Twelfth Album
World-renowned singer/songwriter Paul Baloche’s “The Same Love” released this spring, marking his 12th album with Integrity Music. Baloche, who is most known for modern classics like “Open the Eyes of My Heart,” “Above All,” “Hosanna,” and “Your Name”, collaborated with worship leaders like Hillsong’s Ben Fielding, One Sonic Society’s Jason Ingram, Kari Jobe, Lincoln Brewster, Ed Kerr, All Sons & Daughters, and other well-known musicians to produce the 13-track album — many of which sing on the album as well. Baloche will have a busy few months hosting Leadworship Workshops around the nation, coupled with a Canadian tour with Phil Wickham and conferences in the Netherlands, Singapore, and United Kingdom. For more information about Baloche, visit leadworship.com.
perfer c fo
4th o!f July
Celebrate our country with these great songs!
God Bless America LeAnn Rimes
America the Beautiful Some Gave All Billy Ray Cyrus
Our Country John Mellencamp
Where Were You? Alan Jackson
Freedom Paul McCartney
If You’re Reading This Tim McGraw
Ragged Old Flag Johnny Cash
Proud to Be an American Lee Greenwood
Fanfare for the Common Man Aaron Copeland
July is a month for celebrating the
birthday of our country. The fireworks, barbeques, and parades are a display of gratitude for the fight that won our country independence 236 years ago in the Revolutionary War. We continue to honor the service men and women from the branches of our military who sacrifice so much to preserve our way of life. It’s not just the soldiers who sacrifice — it’s the families of the soldiers too. There are approximately 2,315,472 soldiers serving in all branches of the military — active duty, reserve, and guard. That’s a lot of families that are affected! Kristina is a 26-year-old Army brat turned Army wife. We asked her a few questions about what it was like to go through her years as a teen girl and as the daughter of an active duty Army Chaplain.
How did your teen years differ from those of most teen girls? Between the ages of 13 and 18, I moved three times. I spent four of those years in two different countries in Europe and then moved back to the States for my senior year of high school. But to be quite honest, aside from these moves my life during my teenage years was not so different from most teenage girls. I think my life was pretty normal. I finished up middle school at an international school in Brussels and then opted to home school when we moved to Italy. I played volleyball and basketball and discovered that I really was not very good at either. I went to chapel and youth group weekly. In my junior year I got involved in a great girls Bible study and I even had the opportunity to go on several missions trips. I nearly forgot about American TV for four years — I had
only the faintest idea of who Brad Pitt was married to at the time and who Justin Timberlake was. As a teenage girl I did frequently think about what to wear and what not to wear. I thought about dating and I wondered if I’d ever meet Mr. Right (funny how at 15 you sometimes think if you haven’t met him by your senior year it’s never going to happen). When I started my senior year of high school, I knew that I wanted to go to college and I knew that I probably wanted to go into psychology.
What was it like being without your dad while he was deployed? My dad deployed to Iraq in 2003 when I was 17 years old and was gone for the better part of my senior year. Growing up in a military family, separation was not some-
thing that I was a stranger too. That’s not to say that it’s the life I preferred, but I understood why it had to be the way it was. I would have loved it if my dad could have given me driving lessons before I got my driver’s license. I really missed spending that Christmas with him and I wished he had been there for my 18th birthday. I was always so proud of him though. My mom always told my sister and me that if deploying to Iraq was God’s will for my dad’s life during that year, that it was better for him to be in Iraq and in God’s will than to be home with us … no matter how much we missed each other. I will never forget when he came home though. I got the first hug. :)
Talk about your relationship with God during your teen years and during the times your dad was deployed. My home was without question a Christian home. My father is a chaplain (a pastor to soldiers and their families) and my mother was always involved in some kind of women’s ministry. I always loved God and knew that He had a unique plan for my life, but it would be dishonest for me to say that my relationship with God was always what it should have been. I so wish that I had spent more time in prayer and in Bible study. My parents always encouraged those positive habits, but they wanted it to be something
Looking back, what was the biggest lesson you learned during that time of life? I learned the value of family. In all of those moves during middle school and high school, and all of the moves before those … when everything else was guaranteed to change, my family was always there. My sister is and always will be my best friend. She and I knew that we were it … at the end of the day, it was just her and me, and as good as we could argue, we learned to love each other even better.
What does the Fourth of July mean to you? The Fourth of July means so many things to me. It reminds me that there are some things in life worth fighting for. Our Independence Day reminds me of those who sacrifice so much to preserve our freedom, and I don’t mean just the men and women who put on the uniform, but their families who love and support them while they serve and are away. I’m reminded of the legacy my father and grandfather have left for me and for the one my husband will leave for our children. The Fourth of July reminds me not to take my family for granted and always to be thankful for those men and women who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom.
Kristina majored in psychology at Evangel University. During her freshman year she met Jeris, who she later married in February 2009. Kristina is working on her MA in Counseling and they are currently stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC, where Jeris serves with the 82nd Airborne Division. They have a 8-month-old son named Liam.
how much do you know about the fourth of july?
1. __________________ wrote the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner. a.) Thomas Jefferson c.) Francis Scott Key b.) John Hancock d.) Benjamin Franklin
2. What year was the United States of America born? a.) 1492 c.) 1862 b.) 1776 d.) 1900
3. “Life, liberty, and _________________________” a.) freedom c.) equality for all b.) unity of country d.) the pursuit of happiness 4. The original flag had _____ stars. a.) 13 c.) 24 b.) 6 d.) 50 Answers: 1.) c 2.) b 3.) d 4.) a
I chose to do on my own. During my senior year of high school and while my dad was deployed, I saw my faith and love for God grow in awesome ways. When my dad first deployed, my mom, sister, and I believed that the best thing for us to do was to dive right in and get involved in the chapel community. By doing that, we surrounded ourselves with other believers who encouraged us spiritually and who were great friends to us during that time of separation. I learned so much about God and the value of being in relationship with Him from watching my parents and seeing their faith grow. To me, they are both spiritual mentors and role models. I do not feel that I ever abandoned my faith; I did struggle at times … but I always knew that in spite of myself, God loved me, and that He would never stop calling me back into His grace.
Summer jobs can be great! Not only do they give you something produc tive to do with your spare time, but they provide extra income, teach respon sibility, and give you an opportunity to meet new people. It’s important to check the labor laws in your state, since all states have different age limits and hours teens are allowed to work. Your parents will also be an important part of your decision. Some parents think it’s great that their teen wants to spend her free time in the summer working, but other parents think it’s important to be a kid and wait to get a job until it’s really necessary. Perhaps your parents would prefer that you spend some volunteering this summer instead. So sit down and have a chat with them! a diet soda diet n is moderation. What makes tee a as on ly ear rn lea to A good lesson s down the calories of the etner instead of sugar. It cut is the use of an articifial swe sweetened with aspartame, that sweet taste. Diet soda is g win allo l stil ile wh age ver be ular table sugar. The ut 200 times sweeter than reg abo is ich wh er etn swe ial an artific ty have debunked as the American Cancer Socie ll we as n atio istr min Ad g n fear of Federal Dru cer, which has been a commo can ses cau e am art asp ch rumors that too mu ded that there is no evidence years of studies have conclu t Bu rs. yea for le op pe ny ma lupus, and multiple eases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, dis in role a ys pla e am art that asp t like a majority of ing done on the subject. Bu be sly iou tinu con are s die ural, so sclerosis. Stu ame and diet soda aren’t nat art asp s, die bo r ou into t pu everything else we water and milk — so resist wing teen girl needs lots of gro A ! key the is ion rat de mo and lots of sugary juices! the urge to binge on sodas
Talk to your parents. They may have strong feelings one way or another on this issue, and as their child who is still living in their house, it’s up to you to obey them! If you’ve ever seen photos of swimsuits from other decades you’ll realize how far we’ve come in the modesty arena! Nonetheless, swimsuits are an important part of our lives — especially during the summer. The key is to pick a suit that best compliments your body and will allow you to not only look cute, but be able to comfortably and confidently move around. And that’s why we don’t like skimpy two-piece swimsuits. Suit bottoms that barely cover your tushy and tiny triangle tops are not a modest choice of suits. Even if you might feel 100% comfortable, you need to reconsider for the sake of the guys you come in contact with. Guys are visual creatures, and our goal as Christian young women is to help them draw close to the Lord — not cause them to struggle by parading around in something that’s just as revealing as our bra and panties! Tankinis typically have boy short or brief bottoms with some sort of top that extends to about the belly button. This is a great two-piece piece option because they’re stylish but still modest. The one-piece swimsuit is making a big comeback — don’t knock it ‘til you try it! There are a lot of cute styles out there! If you’re determined to get a two-piece, bring someone else with you to help you get a great suit that flatters your body but also honors the Lord and those you come in contact with (your mom would be a great choice!). As you shop, think 1 Corinthians 8:9 — “But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble” (NLT).
And the Bride Wore White
by Dannah Gresh (ages 16+)
Brio Girls Series
by Lissa Halls Johnson (ages 12-16)
The Delicate Power of Modesty by Dannah Gresh
A Girl’s Guide to Growing Up by Susie Shellenberger
True An Imperfect Girl’s Journey to Perfection by Jennifer Strickland
Katie Weldon Series by Robin Jones Gunn (high school/college)
TrueColors Series by Melody Carlson (ages 13-18)
Scenarios Series by Nicole O’Dell (ages 10-15)
Lineage of Grace
How Hot is Too Hot by Hayley DiMarco
(junior high/high school)
Mean Girls Gone
Confessions of a Non-Barbie
Christy Miller Series
A Real Girl’s Guide to Finding Beauty and Pursuing Happily Ever-After by Kinda Wilson
A Spiritual Guide to Getting Rid of Mean by Hayley DiMarco
Why They Just Don’t Understand & How You Can Help by Hayley DiMarco
by Francine Rivers
by Robin Jones Gunn
Sierra Jensen Series by Robin Jones Gunn (ages 12-16)
by Catherine Marshall
by Hayley DiMarco
Home to Blessing Series
by Lauraine Snelling
As a teenager it seems like inno-
cence is robbed a lot more easily. The bliss we tend to live in as children is a thing of the past as we’re faced with all kinds of new challenges in our adolescent years. One challenge teens seem to face more readily is loss. Loss can affect us in many different ways. It can be a best friend who moves, a loved one who passes away, a break-up in a relationship, or a big life change that takes some getting used to. When defining loss like that it’s easy to make the statement that says that most teenagers will experience some sort of loss during their adolescent years — maybe they’ll even experience it multiple times and in multiple forms. When I was a sophomore in high school my first boyfriend broke up with me. While we had only dated about four months and I was by
no means in love with him, it still felt to me as if someone had died. My whole body hurt and I cried for hours. It was the loss of someone in my life who had been special to me. Our high school was rocked my senior year with the announcement that three of our classmates had died while exploring some caves at a local park. Carbon monoxide had settled deep in the cave where the teenagers were exploring and they gradually slipped into unconsciousness. The students in our school experienced every emotion on the spectrum, from sadness and anger to shock and guilt. The sense of loss I experienced when I graduated from high school and moved two states away from home for college was unmatched from any sense of loss I had experienced until then. I was leaving my familiar life, my family and friends, and
my church behind, and starting over from scratch. The end of the school year presents a lot of students with a sense of loss. The friendships and security you’ve come to know over the past semester are threatened by summer vacation and a new set of schedules in the fall. Some friends change schools, move away, or graduate and head off to college. While the end of the school year means a summer vacation free from homework, tests, and early mornings, it also means a sense of loss for a lot of people. People respond differently to loss. Some people have stronger, more outward reactions while others become withdrawn and quiet. Loss makes some people become more focused and work harder while it makes other people more disorganized or uncooperative. You may find that your initial response shocks
you — you might be mad instead of sad. Calloused instead of broken. In denial instead of open to grieve. Pain is a part of life. The only way to avoid feeling sadness and loss is to avoid loving anyone at all. And as human beings — and particularly as Christians — this is unrealistic. Jesus said, “I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:34,35, NLT). This is definitely not a call to become a hermit, but a call to love open-heartedly. Instead of building a wall to prevent ourselves from experiencing loss or retreating in the midst of loss, we need to recognize the responsibility we as Christians have to carry each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2) and mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15). None of us should ever be alone when we’re going through loss if we’re all living by the command in John 13 — to love each other as God loved us.
What Do I Do if I’m Stuggling with Loss?
Take some time for yourself to process — you will probably experience an array of emotions, which can be physically exhausting. But once you’ve had some alone time, recognize when it’s time to reach out to those around you. Your family members, friends, youth leaders, teachers — you have a lot of people in your life who have also gone through loss before and who can be there for you during this time. Take time to sleep and eat so you can keep your immune system up. Share memories when you want to but ask your friends to respect your privacy if you need that as well. Go for walks and talk to God about what’s going on in your heart. And if necessary, ask to meet with a pastor or a counselor if you are having a particularly hard time coping or
are finding yourself looking to substances or other harmful actions to find relief. Coping with loss isn’t an overnight process, so be patient with yourself.
How Can I Help My Friend?
The most important thing you can do for someone who is coping with a loss is to be there for them. There’s nothing more devastating to someone who has just lost a loved one or is struggling with loss from a major life change than to have everyone disappear. While it’s appropriate to give the person space when he or she needs it, find a good balance between giving them alone time and being there for them. The fear of awkward conversations or of long periods of silence is no excuse for distancing yourself from a friend who is going through a loss. Let them know you are there to listen if they need to talk, but don’t force them. Help them with some of the everyday things they need to accomplish so they don’t get behind. Bring them a treat or write them a note so they know that you care. And be patient with them as they work through the pain of what just happened. Take a minute to learn about the stages of grief according to psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross:
Whether consciously or unconsciously, this is a refusal to accept what has just happened. It is a coping mechanism that is common when initially hearing bad news, as if our denial will cause the loss to go away.
This can take all different shapes — it can be anger at the person for leaving you, anger at someone else you blame for your loss, anger at yourself for not doing more, anger at God, and more. Anger is a normal part of working through the stages of grief, and knowing this will help you be more patient with your-
feature story self and the others in your life who are struggling with a loss.
Oftentimes a person who is going through a loss will bargain with God for a different result. “God if you’ll just bring my dad back I promise I’ll do whatever you want.” It can also take the shape of pleading with a boyfriend to still be friends after you’ve broken up.
A realization of what has happened settles in. The person is now experiencing deep emotions as the numbness has worn off. It is not uncommon for teens to feel like everyone else has moved on and that they are the only ones left behind still feeling loss.
There is no set timeframe for when a person who experiences a loss will reach acceptance. It’s so important to be patient and allow the person to get to this point. While they still experience sadness and have a hole in their life, they have finally reached the point where they can function without what they lost. A new normal develops. Above all else, when you find yourself coping with a loss — whether seemingly small or big, know that you serve a big God. A God who knows our pain and wants to be close to you in your loss. “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” (Hebrews 4:16, NLT).
from her locker.
“Planner, check! Notebook and folder, check! Sheet music, textbook, Mother’s Day idea, and registration form, check, check, check, and check!” Clarissa proclaimed as she excitedly crossed the remaining items off her list.
“You’re a major dork, you know that?” Clarissa’s best friend Andrea teased as she shook her head. “Who are you talking to anyway?” “It’s all part of my process,” retorted Clarissa. “I have so much going on these next few weeks I think I might actually lose my mind.”
“Well on top of studying for finals, I have to finish that genealogy project for history, the paper on chromium for chemistry, the paper mâché project for el clase de español, and then my voice recital is in two weekends and that’s also when I start my CPR and babysitting classes, and on top of all of that it’s Mother’s Day this weekend!” Clarissa sighed. “A: What in the world is chromium, and B: I think it’s la clase de español” Andrea piped in. “Ugh … do you see why I’m stressed?! Hey, what are you doing for your mom for Mother’s Day?”
“Yeah, join the club. I can’t stand the end of the year. It’s too stressful!”
“I was just planning on getting her a card and some flowers. Why? What are you doing?” Andrea asked.
Clarissa knelt down and started to load her backpack with everything
“Well I don’t know what Marcus and Elena are doing, but I’m going
to make a Mother’s Day brunch! Mom and Dad are going to be out all Saturday night, so I’m going to make everything while they’re gone so I can just heat it all up and serve it to them in the morning before church,” Clarissa proudly responded. “Ha, a brunch? You? Little Miss I-burn-microwave-popcorn and can’t-boil-water-withoutstriking-a-disaster?” Andrea scoffed. ----The weekend arrived, but instead of being full of movies, pedicures, and pizza with her girlfriends, Clarissa barricaded herself in her room and tapped into her studious side, surfacing only long enough to whip up a batch of her mom’s favorite muffins — French Breakfast Puffs. She took extra care in following the recipe, since cooking was not one of her innate skill sets. And everything in her wanted to prove to her family (and to Andrea) that she was capable of making a nice brunch for Mother’s Day without food poisoning or a major disaster. Determined to make some more progress on all of her studying and final projects before her parents returned from their night out, Clarissa set the timer for the muffins and retreated to her bedroom, dragging her heavy backpack. Somewhere between Googling uses for chromium and a weird dream about waterskiing with Brad Pitt in Canada, Clarissa, in a sleep-induced stupor, realized something smelled like it was burning. Yes, something was indeed burning. Clarissa jolted out of bed, knocking
count onClarissa over a stack of books and papers, and took in a big wiff of smoke. Not good. She ran down the hallway and into the kitchen … and was greeted by a plume of smoke coming from the oven. Just then the smoke detectors went off as if a fanfare intended to celebrate her humiliation. She squealed and with one hand shielding her eyes she turned her face away while she opened the oven door with her other hand. The smoke poured out and engulfed the kitchen and the little flame that had devoured one of the muffins fanned into an impressively strong flame, which spread to the other muffins.
There was a white film of CO2 covering every surface of the kitchen and parts of the dining room when the breeze from the open doors and windows had carried the carbonated mist. The fire extinguisher lay lifeless in the middle of the tile floor, exhausted from being overworked.
Clarissa burst into tears and sat down in the middle of the froth-covered tile floor, next to the empty fire extinguisher.
Just then the sisters heard the garage door open. They exchanged panic-stricken looks as they waited to see who it was.
Elena, Clarissa’s 12-year-old sister came running into the kitchen with her hands over her ears.
The door opened authoritatively and in walked Marcus, their older brother. While Clarissa and Elena breathed a sigh of relief, Marcus nearly choked on his gasp of shock. He slowly walked into the kitchen and assessed the situation.
Marcus and Elena helped Clarissa clean the kitchen and dining room and remove all evidence of the horrible event from sight. Then they all jumped in Marcus’ truck and picked up muffins, a card, and a beautiful bouquet of flowers for a wonderful Mother’s Day surprise in the morning. By the time they got home and got their surprise hidden from view, they heard the garage door open and waited for their mom and dad to walk in.
“Grab the fire extinguisher!” Clarissa yelled to Elena over the commotion of the smoke detectors. Elena turned around and ran back out of the kitchen and returned a few seconds later with fire extinguisher in hand. She passed it off to Clarissa and put her hands back over her ears.
“Please let it not be Mom and Dad, oh please!” Clarissa pleaded. “They’re going to freak out if they come home to this!”
“Mom’s Mother’s Day muffins didn’t turn out” Clarissa started to explain. “And by didn’t turn out, you mean they caught on fire” Marcus mocked.
Marcus took one look at the petrified muffins cemented in their pan and exploded with laughter.
Never before had Clarissa been so thankful for her amazing siblings who stuck with her and helped her get out of the fiasco she had inadvertently created. And never before had she been so grateful to have a mom who loved to cook and bake so she didn’t have to make that a priority for right now!
Taking aim at the fiasco in the oven, Clarissa unleashed the power of the extinguisher on the smoke and flames. “Open the doors and windows — we need to air it out so the smoke detectors stop ringing” Clarissa ordered to her sister, who was on the verge of tears. A few minutes passed. The smoke detectors finally stopped blaring, the smoke diminished, and Clarissa and Elena surveyed the damage. The Mother’s Day muffins were ruined. In fact, the whole pan was ruined. The crispy little muffins seemed to be permanently fused to the muffin pan. A sense of déjà vu washed over Clarissa as she thought back to her last attempt at muffins over a year ago. This was supposed to turn out differently this time, she thought, defeated and choking back a lump in her throat.
mother’s day & father’s day gift ideas!
father’s day movie theater gift card
grill kit — seasoning, grilling utensils, apron watch
car care kit — bucket, sponge, soap, air freshner
tie & belt
gift card to hardware store
tickets to a sporting event or concert of interest to him
something on one list might actually spark an idea for your other parent! tea pot & tea bags
engraved bracelet herb window sill garden
spring patterned serving platter
scarf and cute umbrella
candle, bubble bath, book
coffee mug, bag of coffee, tin of cookies
decorative hand towels & goodsmelling hand soap
necklace, earrings, bracelet
old photo of you & her blown up and nicely matted and framed
gift card for a massage/pedicure/manicure/facial
a date out with you
flowers & chocolate
pretty shirt and matching necklace
book on CD
decorative throw pillow
restaurant gift card
manicure kit — file, buffer, nail polish, top coat, hand lotion
DVD, snacks, slipper socks, & blanket fun table cloth or placemats
manly travel mug Bible devotionals on CD for his morning commute steak dinner out on you pajamas handmade card iTunes gift card camera devotional book for fathers grilling cook book tools cologne photo album filled with photos of you together with your siblings razor, shaving cream, & aftershave work-out outfit hobby-related gift (Ex: gear for fishing, camping, hunting, sports, cars, music, etc.) DVD, box of popcorn, favorite soda, & box of candy tool box filled with his favorite snacks
journal, pen, gift card to her coffee shop
mothers day & father’s day yogurt parfaits 1 tub of vanilla yogurt your favorite granola cereal fresh fruit 1. In parfait glasses or elegant bowls, portion out an appropriate amount of yogurt. 2. Top with granola and then fresh fruit.
cinnamon swirl french toast packaged cinnamon swirl bread 2 eggs 1/4 cup milk butter syrup 1. Combine the two eggs and milk. Wisk together until wellblended. 2. Soak both sides of each piece of cinnamon swirl bread in mixture. 3. Cook over medium heat until egg mixture is cooked, flipping bread occasionally. 4. Serve with butter and syrup. *Yields: 4-6 pieces of french toast
easy egg bake 1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese 1 3/4 c. cubed fully cooked ham 1/4 c. flour 8 eggs 1 3/4 c. milk salt and pepper to taste
sausage rolls 1 tube of refrigerated crescent rolls 1/2 lb. spicy ground pork sausage 4 oz. cream cheese 1. In a large pan, brown ground sausage over medium-low heat until there is no more pink. 2. Carefully drain the grease into a glass jar or disposable paper cup. 3. Add cream cheese to the pan of sausage and stir until well blended. 4. Unroll crescent roll dough and separate into triangles. 5. Put one scoop of sausage filling into the widest part of the triangle. Roll the dough starting from the widest side of the triangle to the smallest. 6. Repeat until filling and crescent rolls are gone. 7. Bake according to the instructions on the crescent roll package.
1. Combine cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle in the bottom of a greased 9”x13” pan. 2. Top with diced ham. 3. Combine flour, eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Stir until well blended. Pour over ham and cheese. 4. Cover and refrgerate over night. 5. Pre-heat oven to 350º and let the egg bake sit on the counter for 30 minutes before putting into the oven. 6. Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes or until a knfe inserted towards the center of the egg bake comes out clean.
perfect surprise for mother’s day & father’s 29 day! a
like,love,&dating swamp river or or
making & breaking boundaries
by justin chandler ing how to set appropriate boundaries within a dating relationship. • Are dating or have been in a dating relationship without having exceeded your personal boundaries.
“A river without boundaries is a
swamp. A river with boundaries can carve a canyon out of rock.” The first time I heard about boundaries within relationships was in church. Prior to knowing Christ, the discussions I had about relationships had little to do with how far you would go in a relationship. Instead, it was more about discretion and wisdom in making those choices. Every conversation or sermon about boundaries was very similar. My life was analogous to a rose or a glass of water. Each time I ignored or chose not to honor those boundaries, it was akin to me being a broken rose or a “dirty” glass of water. No one wants a broken rose. No one wants to drink from a dirty glass of water. If that is true of a rose and a glass, then how much more truth is there for me and my future spouse?! If you’re reading this article, you fit within one of the following categories: • Have yet to date and are wonder-
• Are dating or have been in a dating relationship that went beyond what your personal boundaries are/were. Whether it was saying you would only hold hands/hug/kiss your future husband or entered into a physical intimate relationship. • You are in a place of leadership with a young person and are wondering how to have a conversation about boundaries in a relationship. In the Winter 2011 issue, I wrote an article entitled “Like, Love, & Dating,” which addressed some common Q&A. If you are looking to get into a dating relationship, I would recommend going there first because that will give some context for where I’m about to go. Assuming you’re ready to begin a dating relationship, the common questions for Christians are: How far is too far? How close can I get to too far before it is “sin”? What if the person I’m dating doesn’t feel the same way? How can I date well with boundaries? Let’s define where boundaries can and should apply in relationships and then we’ll address each question.
You have three parts of your person that you are going to “invest” in a person regardless of relationship. These prove to be especially true to your dating relationships. You invest emotionally, physically, spiritually and with your time. When you invest, you give a portion of yourself. When that investment doesn’t pan out (breakup, no longer friends, etc.), the cost of the investment causes pain when it is no longer available. This explains why break-ups and friendships that fall apart hurt so much.
So How Far Is “Too Far”?
When asking “Flee from sexual this, you’re immorality. Every asking the other sin a person wrong quescommits is outside tion. You’re the body, but the beginning sexually immoral with the conperson sins against text that you his own body. Or want to press do you not know a line as far as that your body is a possible so temple of the Holy that you reSpirit within you, main “safe.” whom you have In my expefrom God? You are rience with not your own, for lines and “too you were bought far,” I’ve yet with a price. So to find a perglorify God in your son who set body” (1 Corinthiup a line and ans 6:18–20, ESV). didn’t cross it. Whether by a small or large margin. I think you need to look at the purpose of your dating relationship. I’ve always viewed dating to be the pursuit of a spouse (see Winter 2011 for more). As I was pursuing a potential spouse, I wanted to be able to say on my wedding day that
like, love & dating I “saved” the majority of myself for the day of our wedding. This is true emotionally, physically, spiritually, and with my time. In saving myself, I was keeping myself from pain and hurt if it didn’t work, but I was also allowing the girl I would marry to receive the best from me after we were married and not before.
What If the Person I’m Dating Doesn’t Feel the Same Way?
I think this was the intent of passages like Hebrews 13:4.
This verse is often used when talking about dating those who don’t believe in Jesus. However, I think it also applies in this context.
“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (Hebrews 13:4, ESV). Marriage is one of the primary metaphors that God gives to us to reveal our relationship with Him. In what I know about the marriage between God and the Church, what we experience here on earth is just the prelude. We’re only getting started! This will become infinitely better when we enter into eternity! The same is true of dating and marriage. The more you save, the better it is to give it away to the one and only person who will ever hold it again.
How Close Can I Get to “Too Far” Before It is Sin? Let’s go back to Hebrews. “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (Hebrews 13:4, ESV). Ask yourself the question: “Do married people do this? Is it appropriate in marriage? Is it appropriate out of marriage?” This will help you immensely. When I began pursuing my spouse, there was a lot that for us was “too far” that may have seemed trivial to others, but for us it was important because we wanted to honor what would be in marriage and let our marriage bed be kept, saved and sacred for when we arrived there.
By now in your Christian life you have probably heard the term “unequally yoked.” Second Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness?” (ESV).
A yoke was something you would put around an animal, or set of animals, so they were able to leverage their strength to pull items that weighed more than they did. Second Corinthians is trying to tell us to not get into a relationship where someone is pulling or trying harder — in our case, has stricter boundaries — than another. It makes the entire goal more difficult to achieve. In every relationship, you need to start out from the beginning setting expectations and standards. If you find that the person you are interested in doesn’t feel the same, it’s going to be really difficult for that relationship to continue. Each person is going to be trying to convince the other to believe as they do. In the case of boundaries, that’s not a discussion you want to entertain.
How Can I Date Well with Boundaries? This is where we have fun. Ultimately, it has to start there. You want to be friends. Hang out in groups. Don’t make it awkward. When it gets weird to be around your friends because of how you interact in your relationship, it’s a sign you’re already going too far.
Everything that is in the open is free to be examined without any worry or concern.
Know yourself. Know what would
cause you too much temptation. See it coming before it arrives. My wife and I had a “curfew” when we were dating. We made sure we weren’t in either of our houses alone. We communicated with the people we were living with where we were going, what we were doing, and when we would be home. Our thought was that you can’t overcommunicate enough in order to help keep accountable. We found that there is power in boundaries. Just like a river is able to carve through rock when it has boundaries, so too our relationship had great power when we set up boundaries. Instead of being lead by our passions, emotions, and feelings, we let our wisdom and discretion guide the relationship. We talked more, we knew each other better, had a lot more fun, and didn’t feel guilty.
Pursue a spouse. Set-up boundar-
ies. Have fun. Enjoy the relationship. Be free of sin, shame, and guilt. Keep the marriage bed pure. Enter into marriage with great joy and more to share with your spouse than you’ve already given away. It’s more fun that way.
Justin is the Youth Pastor at Hope Church in Springfield, MO. He and his wife, Rachel, have one son, Jude, and two dogs.
Date in the open. Let everything you
do be known. When your relationship starts having “private” portions of it, you’re setting yourself up to do things in private. Most things done in private don’t come out into the open well.
Teen Girl Daybook m o n d ay
t u e sda y
wed nes d a y
1 Make a point to sing to worship music whenever you get a chance this week — getting ready for the day, driving, cleaning your room, etc. See if you notice a change in your mood! Romans 12:1
It can be easy not to feel 2 “in the mood” to worship at church. But look at the circumstances Paul & Silas were worshipping in! Keep that perspective next time you’re in a worship service.
thurs d a y 3 Singing to the Lord is meant for all cultures! Spend some quiet time listening to worship songs in different languages. Listen to previews of songs in the iTunes store. 1 Chronicles 16:2
f riday Write out the lyrics to 4 your favorite worship song. Re-read them a few times to really let the meaning of the song sink in.
s in g i n g p r a i s e 7
Some of the hardest things to learn aren’t academic — they’re life lessons. Write about a lesson you’re learning right now.
8 Learning new things should cause us to correct our incorrect actions. What are some examples of things you’ve learned from God that you need to put into practice? 2 Timothy 3:16
What does it mean to learn? How do our experiences help with that?
According to this verse, 10 what kind of teacher is Jesus? What are some qualities your favorite teachers have had? What about your least favorite teachers? How did that impact your learning?
A lot of learning can 11 come from a good mentoring relationship. Find an older woman you can learn from and who you can teach something to as well!
learning What did God ask Jonah to do? Write about a time God asked you to do something similar. What was the outcome?
What did God ask 15 Moses to do? What excuses did he have not to do it? Write about a time you made excuses for why you couldn’t do something. What was the outcome?
What did God ask 16 Abraham to do? How did his obedience pay off? Write about a time God asked you to do something you didn’t understand. What was the outcome?
What did God ask Noah to do? Write about a time God asked you to do something but also provided a plan to accomplish it. What was the outcome?
What has God asked us to do concerning our parents? Write about a time you obeyed your parents even though it was difficult. Write about a time you disobeyed.
ob e d i e n c e Patience Challenge #1: Do not drive above the speed limit.
Patience Challenge #3: Patience Challenge #4: Patience Challenge #2: Write about a time you had to Pick the longest line to wait in. Take a deep breath when you feel like you’re losing be patient and wait to hear your temper. Smile. And from God. then respond to that person with grace.
2 Peter 1:5-7
Patience Challenge #5: Interview three mature people in your life about techniques they have used to exercise patience.
This can be hard! What does it mean to bless someone? What are some ways you can bless those who curse you?
On a blank sheet of paper, write this passage. Clip newspaper articles, headlines, and photos to illustrate each of the lines.
Memorize this blessing and repeat it to yourself every morning as you get out of bed.
Pray that, like Joseph, the Lord will make you a blessing to the people you come in contact throughout the day!
2012 Gospel Publishing House. Springfield, MO 65802. All rights reserved.