? ??????????????We Belong Together? ????? ?????? ???Rating: 5.0 (5 Ratings)??2 Grabs Today. 3225 Total Gra
bs. ??????Get the Code?? ?? ?????It Must Be? ????? ?????? ???Rating: 4.7 (30 Ratings)??2 Grabs Today. 2762 Total Grabs. ??????Get the Code?? ?? ???????????? ????Easy Install Instructions:???1. Co CLICK HERE FOR BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND MYSPACE LAYOUTS ?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

12 Things Worship is NOT About

1. The look of the room
2. The lighting, either fancy or not so fancy
3. The cool music
4. The "old" music
5. The accoustics of the room
6. Who is singing or playing an instrument on stage
7. Whether the drums are electric or accoustic
8. Whether the worship leader is ugly, skinny, fat, man, or woman
9. The talent of the worship team
10. The actual room itself (a church, a school, your bedroom, a pavillion in the middle of the woods...)
11. The other people in the room
12. What you get out of it
13. The quantity of instruments
14. What instruments are used
15. The quality of the sound equipment

I've had great worship experiences in arenas filled with thousands of teenagers. I've had great worship experiences in the middle of the woods with one dude on his accoustic guitar. I've had great worship experiences when the amps decided to not work that day. I've had great worship experiences where the lights have been on, where the lights have been off, where the people singing had no clue what they were doing, where the words weren't up on the screen, where the words were up on the screen, with my best friends in the room, with people I've hated in the room.

None of it matters. If you think something as trivial as the look of the room or the talent of the worship team matters to God, WHO THE WORSHIP IS ABOUT ANYWAY, you don't really know him. Jesus walked up to guys with leprosy who were probably really smelly and he didn't care! Why would he care if the worship leader's guitar is electric orange or if the only instrument used is a piano?

(I could go on with this list, but these are the ones that come up most often. Want to add more to the list? Leave a comment!)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

What are you fighting for?

I won a $500 scholarship from my school. It was a pretty big deal. There was a ceremony at the middle school, teachers who we wrote essays on came to the ceremony, cookies were served, flowers were handed out. All for a $500 check.

I had to listen to 56 other teenagers go up to the podium, get their envelope, and then make an acceptance speech. It was agonizing. The speeches got really repetitive. Still, even when the last few people took their turns, they thanked the PTA, their family and teachers, just as everyone else had before them.

It looked so easy to stand in front of classmates and their families and thank whoever you wanted to. Even though everyone else had thanked the same people many times, the next person still felt the need to express their own gratitude.

Why was it so easy for 57 high school seniors to be so thankful? What makes it so hard for us to be thankful in another setting: church?

We just stand there during worship. We may sing, but our minds are somewhere else. God did more for us than the PTA did on scholarship night. Unless I’m very misinformed, the PTA didn’t sacrifice their lives. Yet, the teachers and the PTA were so easy to thank. Why is it too hard for us to thank the one who makes our lives worth living?


Last week, we sent the latest issue of the school newspaper to the print shop. We also have to send a copy to the principal to be approved. We haven’t had any huge problems in the past, but we have a new principal. She didn’t want one of my articles to be published.

I feel really strongly about the issue I was writing about. I knew censorship was allowed on some level in schools, but I did a little legal research. What our new principal was doing was illegal. I was ready to fight. This was wrong! I wanted justice!

I was pretty mad. I told all my friends about what our principal was doing. I spent a lot of energy getting ready to fight for a half page article in my school newspaper about security issues.

Meanwhile, there are people dying of really curable things in foreign countries. Girls are being sold into slavery. Homeless people live in Monroeville. Kids in my school are being kicked out of their parents’ houses…

And I’m not fighting for those things.

The two stories I just told show a common fault in all of us. We are willing to give thanks and fight for causes as long as it doesn’t involve God. The “God issues” are stickier messes nobody wants to get into. It is easier to stand up to your principal than raise a whole bunch of money for a cause overseas. It is easier to thank someone who is standing in front of you than it is to thank some invisible God in heaven.

We can make all the excuses we want, but someday, we’ll have to decide what is really worth our time and energy. The problems here on earth, or God?

What is the most important thing in your mind right now?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Best of four worlds?

I’ve strongly disliked Hannah Montana/Destiny Hope/Miley Stewart/Miley Cyrus for quite a while now, mostly for how the girl has four different personalities.

My little sister, of course, has to like her. I decide I’m going to be the coolest big sister ever and go to watch the new movie about the girl with multiple personality disorder.

I hope you don’t care what happens in the movie, because I’m about to tell you.

At the end of the move, whatsherface decides she can’t do the whole double life thing any more. She takes off her wig, explains who she really is and I sigh with relief.

Then, the crowd in the movie convinces her that Hannah Montana is a part of who she really is and she puts the wig back on.

Is this really a good thing to be portraying to young girls? That you can be a different person around different people just as long as you know who you really are?

Hannah Montana gave in to what everyone was telling her to do and puts back on her wig…

Let’s substitute the word “wig” for “mask” and put yourself in the story instead.

How often do we wear a mask saying we are okay, that we are exactly who everyone thinks we are?

How often do we decide that wearing the mask isn’t worth it any more but them turn around five minutes later and put it back on because someone didn’t accept who you really are or you convinced yourself that the mask really was you?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

...more than you love your life

Luke 14: 25-27
Large crowds were walking along with Jesus, when he turned and said: You cannot be my disciple, unless you love me more than you love your father and mother, your wife and children, and your brothers and sisters. You cannot come with me unless you love me more than you love your own life. You cannot be my disciple unless you carry your own cross and come with me.
This is probably a passage you've heard many many times if you've been in church a while. Despite this, the passage jumped out at me again.
This version (Contemporary English Version) phrases something in it in a way no other version doesn't: "You cannot come with me unless you love me more than you love your own life."

Friday, March 27, 2009


"Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live." - Dorothy Thompson

"You must do the things you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt

One of my friends posted as their status message something like "If you are scared to do something, it means you need to do it."

When thinking about bungee jumping or swimming with sharks or playing with poisonous insects, the quote is extraordinarily stupid.

But in another sense, if you think about your fear to speak your mind, stand up for what you believe in, and fight for it. Definitely. You should do anything you're scared to do.

Lots of fear doesn't come from the act itself, but of he effects of it. What is people make fun of me? What if they don't agree with me? What if they stop being my friend?

Exactly how important something is to you is how you fight for it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rocco's Keys to Happiness

Mr. Rocco was by Forensic Science teacher last year. He's a man who truly loves his job! On the last week of school, he passed out cards with these tips. Aside from the humor in some of them, there is a common theme. To be happy, find joy in the little things, give back to others. here is what the little yellow card in my wallet says...

Take a nap on a Sunday afternoon.
Drink 8 glasses of water a day.
Never deprive someone of hope, it may be all they have.
Be thankful for every meal.
Don't be afraid to say I'm sorry.
Take time to smell the roses.
Don't interrupt.
Don't tailgate.
Improve your performance by improving your attitude.
Wave at children on the school bus.
Listen to your children.
Make a difference.
Leave everything a little better than you found it.
Leave the toilet in the down position.
Keep good company.
Keep your promises.
Be kinder than necessary.
Take good care of those you love.
Make it a habit to do nice things for people who will never find out.
Enjoy real maple syrup.
Judge your success by the degree that you are enjoying peace, health, and love.
Be a good loser.
Be a good winner.
Be romantic.
Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity they think of you.
Never refuse homeade brownies.
Never give anyone a fruitcake.
Remember other people's birthdays.
Sing in the shower.
Don't nag.
Don't gossip.
Don't expect money to bring you happiness.
Be forgiving of others and yourself.
Never give up on anyone, miracles happen every day.
Say thank you a lot.
Say please a lot.
Take your dog to obedience school, you'll both learn a lot.
Slow dance.
Don't rain on other people's parades.
Don't postpone joy.
Stop blaming others; take responsibility for your actions.
Take care of your reputation, it's your most important asset.
Count your blessings.
Marry only for love.
Call your mother.
Do more than is expected.
Be there when people need you.
Be someone's hero.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I posted this on my book blog a while ago, but it definitely deserves a post here too!

You know why a lot of people think teenagers are hopeless? Why they are always getting into trouble and just being apathetic about everything? You may say it is because of how their parents raised them, or blame it on hormones. In Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris, a new perspective is offered. Teenagers are the way they are because of what people expect them to be. Our society says that the teenage years are the time to go crazy, and everyone expects that. If you are a teenager and you aren't out doing things that I wouldn't mention in a blog like this, you must be a freak of nature.

Some adults don't expect me to be what I really am. They expect me to be apathetic, lazy, and have an attitude problem. Sometimes, I can be those things, but isn't everyone, regardless of their age?

I had a teacher last year in a very diffcult class that I thought I was ready for. I was determined to get a good grade in this class, just as I had in my other classes. The teacher's expectations were WAY higher than any other teacher I had ever had. Instead of working at the same level as my easier classes, I rose to those expectations rather than risk a failing grade. I worked by butt off for that year. This class was so hard! I got a C. It was the first C I ever received on my report card. I put in what I thought was A or B work, but earned a C. In my other classes, I didn't do anything and got an A.

The easy classes for me that year are what our society is now. We set incredibly low standards for teenagers (for everyone) so they can squeak by without doing much. Since many don't face big consquences, it is not considered failure.

It now seems to me that the best teachers I have ever had expected a lot of their students. My journalism teacher last year was hard to please, but when she told you an article was good, you knew it was. My history teacher in 8th grade gave really hard tests that you actually had to study for, but the A meant more to you after all of that.

The youth leaders at my church who expect more of us than just coming into a room and filling up a chair...

What if there were higher expectations? What if we expected all teenagers to graduate high school, go to college, not do drugs, not party or drink? Sure, some teenagers still would, but some would rise to the occasion and meet those expectations.In the meantime, all the teenagers who already do those things without being expected to are labelled as the "good kids."

One point that stuck out to me in Do Hard Things was what you DON'T do doesn't matter as much as you actually do. For example, wearing a purity ring is a good thing, but making a stand for a cause you believe in is even better.

You want proof that teenagers who want higher expectations exist? Go to therebelution.com. There is a blog dedicated to this, run by teenagers.