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Win a Present

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’08 Top 8

Brio Girl

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Carried Away Canadian Trio $2.00


Wishes You a Merry Christmas

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The The 20088

Brio Girl Search

Information and photos of the top 20 semifinalists were featured on in June to give Brio sisses the opportunity to participate in the selection of the top eight semifinalists. Combining the voting results and the o∞cial judges’ votes, we’re pleased to announce the top eight semifinalists in alphabetical order. by Andrea Stephens

Kristin Ballard, 16, Elizabethtown, Ky.

Favorite Scripture:

Philippians 4:13

Psalm 91:4

Favorite Family Activity:

Favorite Family Activity:

Thoughts on staying faithful . . .

Staying faithful is difficult to do when the media tells girls a completely different story from the Bible’s, when the media are more accepted by society and peers than the Bible. When a girl lives in a sinful world, it’s easy to say, “At least I’m not doing what she’s doing.” The reason we must reject the media and our peers’ opinions on how we should act and be is because the Lord tells us to compare ourselves only with Him. To compare each other amongst our sinful selves is unwise (2 Corinthians 10:12). The way we need to overcome the difficulties in staying faithful is to surround ourselves with Christlike influences, reject negative media and read the Bible consistently. A teen who plants her faith in a godly environment is sure to watch it grow.

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17, Seymour, Texas

Favorite Scripture:

Nightly prayer


Courtney Browning,

A late night shopping spree Thoughts on living boldly . . .

In her book Sister Freaks, Rebecca St. James tells us that a popular pastime in her country [Australia] is afternoon tea. It’s a sedate and quiet affair, and she says that sometimes it seems as if everyone is satisfied with “teatime faith.” Although nothing is wrong with a mild lifestyle, she often wonders if we’re accomplishing anything for His kingdom. When I read this, I was heavily convicted. So many of us are afraid to make waves or boldly live for Christ. We have grown far too comfortable in our boxes and are satisfied with bland faith. That statement from the book stirred within me a thirst for more than just a cup-of-tea lifestyle. Bold faith makes people uncomfortable, and I’m ready to step out of the gray for an extreme passion for Christ.

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Mikayla Chien, 17, Meadville, Pa.

Rachel Dahl, 17, Polo, Ill.

Favorite Scripture:

Favorite Scripture:

Job 1:21-22


Favorite Family Activity:

Favorite Family Activity:

Eating dinner and having conversation

Performing in communitytheater productions

Thoughts on staying faithful . . .

What’s important for us to remember in making decisions is to talk to God. God’s got the whole picture from beginning to end and knows exactly what the right choice is for us to make. We see but a small portion of life at once and are swayed so easily by feelings and peer pressure to make wrong choices, choices that don’t glorify Him. So how do we make godly decisions day to day? By seeking God’s will through His Word, praying and listening to Him. Ask God what He wants you to do in your life, and He’ll never steer you wrong.

Emily Cummins, 16, Davie, Fla.

Thoughts on the mind of a guy . . .

A guy’s mind is like a digital camera. He can recall images at any time with startling accuracy. It doesn’t matter how long ago these pictures were captured. They’re still as clear and precise as the second they were first recorded. How do you want to be on the “memory card” of a guy’s mind? Do you want to be the image he calls up when he’s thinking lustful thoughts? Or would you rather he see you as the girl dressed in cool yet modest clothing and letting her inner beauty shine through? Modesty isn’t just how you dress. It’s in the way you walk, the way you talk, the way you act and the way you treat others.

Lacey Gaustad, 18, Dawson, Minn.

Favorite Scripture:

Romans 12:2

Favorite Scripture:

Favorite Family Activity:

Psalm 27:4

Sitting on the beach and pouring out my heart to my family

Favorite Family Activity:

Thoughts on waiting to date . . .

I want to save myself completely for my future husband. I’m choosing not to date in high school, because I don’t want to go through the pain of not waiting for God’s best. I’ve also decided to save my first kiss for my wedding day. I’m writing letters to my future husband, and I save them in a special box. I want him to realize the importance of what I’ve saved for him—all of my love. I’m also praying for his purity as well as for mine. I heard a great quote once: “What God is doing in you while you wait is just as important as what you’re waiting for.” Wait. You’ll be glad you did!

Traveling to faraway places by car Thoughts on modesty and God . . .

Modesty. Many girls get caught up in the way the world dresses and confuse it with the way God wants them to dress. OK, I admit, a lot of cute outfits out there God would not be happy with, nor would the wives of all the men looking at you. I think we need to be obedient in this situation. God. We can get distracted by the latest romantic comedy and seek something temporary and not eternal. We begin to turn to things that don’t satisfy. God is a jealous God, and He wants our love. He wants to be our bridegroom! He doesn’t want us to try to get satisfied by things of this world when He has infinitely more to bless us with. All we have to do is ask!

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Other top 20 semi-finalists

Becky Marras, 17, Medina, Ohio

Alicia Ames, Ti≠any Elder, Morgan Fite, Molly Gerdes, Molly Green, Endya Hamilton, Kate Johnston, Rachel Lynn, Lacey Gaustad, Heidi Pinno, Libby Strachan, Jessica Tivis

Favorite Scripture:

Galatians 1:10 Favorite Family Activity:

Sit and talk at the dinner table Thoughts on reflecting Christ . . .

Being on the junior varsity soccer team has given me the opportunity to stand up for my faith several times. Once before a game, some girls asked me why I don’t swear. My choice of words became an open door to share the Gospel. I said how I want to honor God with my words and that I’m trying to live by glorifying Him. Also, they thought that going to church was pleasing enough for God. They thought their lives outside of church didn’t matter. I explained to them that I choose to be the person I am because I want to be a constant reflection of Christ and that the lives we live outside of church really do matter; God is watching all the time and wants to see that we’re living for Him.

Esther Wu, 16, Cincinnati, Ohio Favorite Scripture:

1 Corinthians 10:13 Favorite Family Activity:

Dance Dance Revolution Thoughts on lyrics . . .

Studies have shown that teens who said they weren’t listening could still write the lyrics of all top 10 secular songs. So why pollute your mind? Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy. How can we think about things that are pure when we are taking in impure lyrics? There are clean secular music CDs. Music that doesn’t have cuss words, doesn’t have improper ideas about sex, violence and drugs. But how can you decipher whether that music is clean? Try imagining Jesus listening with you. If you wouldn’t want Him listening, you shouldn’t be either. And pray about it. The Holy Spirit lives within us (1 Corinthians 6:19). We’re commanded to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:25) and to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). Choose artists whose behavior and thus lyrics don’t contradict yours! m


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Top 20 Prizes Rush of Fools, Rush of Fools • Waking Up, Bethany Dillon • 33 Miles, 33 Miles • aLIVE in Florida, Rebecca St. James • Article One, Article One • Say It, Britt Nicole • C2W (Choose 2 Wait) T-shirt • Softlips lip gloss • Glamour Girls by Andrea Stephens • One Year Devos for Teens • by Susie Shellenberger

Top 8 Prizes • Passion ‘06 • The Reckoning, Pillar • All the Lovely Losers, Jason Gray • How Can We Be Silent, BarlowGirl • Even Heroes Need a Parachute, This Beautiful Republic • The Altar and the Door, Casting Crowns • Comatose, Skillet • Beauty from Pain 1.1, Superchic[k] • Don’t Get Comfortable, Brandon Heath • Chronology Volume One, Third Day • Girl Talk with God by Susie Shellenberger • Facing Your Giants by Max Lucado

So what happens next? All eight semifinalists complete an additional questionnaire and produce a DVD that allows the judges to get to know them even better. From this information (and lots of prayer) the top four are selected. You get to meet them next month!

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My precious daughter, this Christmas I want you to bask in the multitude of gifts I’m lavishing on you. Open them now, but enjoy them throughout the entire year. I’m giving you My very self wrapped up in these trimmings! —Your heavenly Father

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Thankfully the Canadian trio Carried Away came up with a better band name! Read on to learn their thoughts on purity and what they would give YOU for Christmas.

Twoand Sisters a Cousin by Ashley Boyer


t’s true that Canadian trio Carried Away is made up of sisters Colleen and Pam Walker and their cousin Christine Prankard, but Two Sisters and a Cousin isn’t a very creative band name. Neither is PC Squared. So a SONICFLOOd song inspired their current name, Carried Away. Even though that name stuck, the girls also brainstormed names like Burgundy and Vent. “We came up with the wackiest names,” Colleen says. “We were looking at things in the room. But we think [Carried Away] is such a cool meaning, because one day we’ll be carried away to eternity.” I caught up with the girls at a music festival in Michigan, where we chatted about their new album, what it means to be pure and getting along as bandmates. So keep reading to learn about the music and ministry of these young 20-somethings. Getting Personal When it came time for Carried Away to record their second album, I Want You (a mixture of pop, acoustic rock and worship), the girls wrote or co-wrote all but one song. “We didn’t know we’d be writing all these songs,” Colleen says. “We actually tried to start recording last year, and nothing was turning out right. We didn’t have a peace about it, so we kept writing and doing gigs. It’s cool, because on a lot of the songs Christine would write a really strong lyric and then I’d have a strong chorus. We complement each other’s writing styles. And Pam is always the one to say yea or nay.” “When we’re all coming together with our different personalities, the song is really

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Reflecting Purity This idea of choosing God over anything else is also reflected on I Want You through the theme of purity. The girls of Carried Away are intentional about living lives that reflect Christ. “It’s so easy to compromise on the little things you think won’t affect you,” Colleen explains. “To keep yourself pure, you can try as hard or as little as you want. I find for myself, it’s when I have nothing to do that I’m tempted, and the devil offers distractions to me.” “Purity is such a broad thing, it can be [found] in every

aspect of your life,” Pam adds. “We’re really careful about the way we dress. It’s not even how much skin you show but how you want people to perceive you. Purity is a reflection of your relationship with God. Purity will just come out because you want to be pure, you want to be holy.” Colleen says that as Christians, we shouldn’t focus on how close we can get to sin while still trying to live a holy life. “We shouldn’t be seeing how close to the edge we can get before it’s qualified as a sin. We should be striving for how can we be better people and how can we resist temptation. It’s a daily thing: You have to wake up in the morning and say you want to live your life for God.” Christine says that as a band, they’re learning how to be holy by being kinder and gentler with each other. “That’s what Jesus calls us to do: Love one another. Offering ourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to Him is our spiritual act of worship.” The new album also deals with being loved and accepted by Christ alone. Christine explains that her parents are separated, and it was sometimes hard for her dad to know how to love her. “A lot of times I ran to guys because I craved wanting to be loved so badly,” she says. “But without a doubt, God loves us no matter what. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done or where we’ve been or our family problems. I know that I don’t have to be perfect or be loved by what I do; it’s because of who I am. I’m just Christine; I’m just a child of God. That’s the most amazing love ever!” m


traction. “Looking back, I feel like I wasted a lot of my years on petty relationships. [As a teenager] I was in an awkward place, and I didn’t know where I belonged. I wanted to rebel, and so I wanted to be in a relationship all the time. Because God knows us better then we know ourselves, He already has the right guy picked out. God is the only one who won’t break your heart. Take time to find out who you are in Christ and be friends with guys.” A song that’s personal to Colleen is “I Want You.” “When I wrote that song I was sitting in my room with my guitar, feeling overwhelmed with my life and how I was living it,” she says. “It wasn’t that I was completely away from God, but I was choosing so many other things besides Him. I was so frustrated with myself, so it was me saying to God, ‘Forget it, I just want You. That’s it. I don’t want to live for other people; I don’t want to live by the world’s standards and what the world says to do. I just want to choose You above everything and let You take over.’ ”


neat,” Christine adds. This close relationship is something the girls value. Colleen jokes that living and traveling with Christine and Pam is good training for marriage! They admit there can be times of tension, but Christine says that they make an effort to be kind. It’s being thoughtful and doing little things to show kindness, such as buying Colleen or Pam their favorite candy bars. “Sometimes we can get tired of being with each other, and we take each other for granted,” she says. In fact, in eight years the girls haven’t been apart longer than one week! “But we get over things pretty quickly. Stuff happens, and you just move on.” Colleen is quick to point out that their bond is strong because it goes beyond mere friendship. “We’re not just friends; we’re blood relatives. At the end of the day, we’re still family, so that’s the glue that makes us want to stay together as a group. If we were just friends, we could leave at any time.” The girls also try to do devotions together as a group and pray the Scripture together. Carried Away knows that worshiping God helps to unify them as a group. “There are so many things the world has to offer, so many things we can choose every day,” Colleen says. “But we try to put God at the top of the list.” “Everything just falls into place when we do that,” Christine adds. “It’s amazing!” Being able to write all their own songs means the album is a personal reflection of what the girls are learning. Christine wrote the song “Wasting My Words (Been Where You Are)” for her younger sister. “It talks about how I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my past with dating; dating too fast, getting into a relationship too fast. My sister had a boyfriend, but I said, ‘You don’t need to be dating this guy for now. You need to grow and see who you are in Jesus.’ ” Colleen agrees that dating can be a dis-

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by Shannon Caster


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e each have our own style of giving, our own unique way of showing how much we care. Every day there are opportunities for giving, whether it be a holiday, birthday, special event or just because. So what kind of a giver are you?

Read each question and mark your first and second choice in the spaces next to the question.


You’re visiting your grandma on her birthday. For her birthday present you: First __________ Second __________ a. tell her you’ll help put together gift baskets for her favorite charity. b. offer to take her out to lunch so the two of you can chat. c. buy her a new book from her favorite author. d. write her a letter telling her all the things you love about her.


Your mom comes home and announces she got a promotion at work. You: First __________ Second __________ a. offer to make dinner two nights a week to help out. b. sit down over milk and cookies to hear about her promotion. c. pick up something for her new desk when you go shopping. d. give your mom a hug and say, “You deserve it more than anyone. I’ve noticed how much you’ve worked for this.”


Your dad wants something unique and different for Father’s Day. You: First __________ Second __________ a. give him favor coupons like, “One free night of baby-sitting.” b. g ive him a certificate for one Father/Daughter Night where the two of you get together to hang out. c. head to the mall to pick up that gift you’ve heard him telling your mom he wished he had. d. make your dad a “10 Ten Reasons Why I Love You” award.









You open your report card and discover you received top marks. In honor of your achievements you would love your parents to: First __________ Second __________ a. congratulate you by doing your weekend chores. b. m  ake your favorite dinner together so you can tell them about finals. c. up your allowance with a bonus for good grades. d. give you a hug, congratulate you and call everyone in your family to share the good news.


Your little sister asks what she can get you for Christmas. You say, First __________ Second __________ a. “ Let’s go through our closets and donate clothes that are too small instead of giving each other gifts.” b. “ Let’s plan one night a month where we do something together as sisters such as painting each other’s nails or a movie night.” c. “I would love that new lip gloss I saw at the store.” d. “Can you make me a name poem bookmark that uses the letters of my name to tell me something nice?”

Answers Now total how many As, Bs, Cs and Ds you had in all. Don’t worry about the columns yet. * The letter you chose most is your primary giving style. This reveals the way you usually show others you’re thinking of them. The letter you chose second most is your secondary giving style. Your secondary style shows ways you can mix up your gift giving to show how much you care. *If you had a tie between two letters, look back to your answers. The letter you used most often as your first choice becomes your primary giving style.

A: Action-Giver Your giving style is one of action. You get the most and give the most of yourself when you volunteer, help out and do things for others. For you, actions speak louder than words. If someone lends a helping hand, you find it a true gesture of giving. Others count on you to do what you say.

B: Time-Giver Your giving style is one of spending quality time with those you care about. You greatly enjoy bonding and creating memories that will last beyond the moment. Others value the time you take out of your busy day to reconnect. Friends and family know you’ll always have time for them.

C: Gift-Giver Your giving style is one of picking out the perfect memento for the occasion. You’re always looking for that special trinket to say how much you care. You often keep little treasures given to you by those you care about. You have a unique ability to tune in to other’s styles and want to pick out the perfect gift.

D: Compliment-Giver Your giving style is one of personal recognition. You thrive on compliments and verbal recognition. For you, a kind word and thought goes a long way to show you care. You’re one to praise others for their good deeds and appreciate when others notice your accomplishments as well. Others seek you out to share good news, especially when they need a kind word. f Shannon Caster loves giving to her two children, Nathan and Nicole, and husband, Terry, in Portland, Ore. december 2007

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Wishes You a Merry Christmas Sweet-Treat from Brio Canadian Trio brio dec 07e.indd 1 10/25/07 9:16:24 AM DECEMBER 2007 focus on the family’s...