Friday, December 11, 2009

The BBS - Best Big Sister that is!

Do you have a little brother or sister that drives you crazy? Maybe they’re going through that stage where even though they’re eleven they talk like they’re four? Are all of their questions pushing your buttons? “Can I borrow your straightener?” “ Can I hang out with you and your friends?” “Will you give me a ride to my friend’s house?”

Well, I have a confession to make: I was once the annoying little sister. In fact, I was the annoying little sister to six sisters and brothers! But you know what? They didn’t make me feel like I was. In fact, I felt just the opposite.

My closest sister in age is Janet, who is five years older than me. When I was little, I wanted to be just like her; I thought she was so cool! Janet was on the cross country and track team at school. She got along great with my parents. She was a leader in our youth group. She had a cute Christian boyfriend. She didn’t party or get into trouble and she was nice to me! What a great big sister!

I’m not sure if Janet was being intentional or not, but she had a huge influence in my life. She often gave me great advice, “Lynn, don’t party; it’s not worth it”. “Save yourself for the man that you will marry one day; it will be worth it.” Not only did Janet give great advice, she lived it out. She didn’t tell me one thing and live another. In fact, I believe it is because of her example of getting married as a virgin that I was able to do the same! Janet’s life made me want to copy her.

How about you? Are you aware that your little sisters and brothers are watching you, listening to you, copying you? Whether you know it or not, they are and like Janet, you have the opportunity to influence them either for good or bad.

So what are some ways that you can be intentional about influencing your siblings for good?

1) Do a Bible study together. Pick out a study that is a great fit for the two of you (if you need some help, ask an adult you respect) and set aside an hour or so once a week to study God’s word together. This one will produce great results for both of you!

2) If you have a little sister, take her shopping and help her to choose clothes that are modest. Just like you, your little sis is surrounded by those who have less than godly ideas of what looks terrific! Demonstrate to your sister that you can look great and glorify God too!

3) Recommend Christian music for her MP3 player. When I find a great band, I share it with my friends; they are always glad to hear about a great new group. Your sibling is the same. When you loading up your MP3, recommend it to your sibling too!

4) When your brother or sister is getting caught up in school drama, give a godly perspective. It probably wasn’t too long ago that you were in the same boat. Help them to work out their relationship struggles, using God’s word for advice.

5) Help your sibling become eternity minded. So many things in life really don’t matter in light of eternity. When your brother or sister is having trouble at school or on the ball field, help them out by reminding them this stuff is only temporary!

6) Demonstrate for them how to respect your parents. They may have friends who don’t honor their parents; be a positive example!

7) Recommend some great books you have read. Libraries and bookstores are loaded with all kinds of books; some good and some not! Point your sibling to books that is not only good, but good for them!

8) Encourage your brother or sister to get involved in a small group at church or Christian school club where they can grow in their faith. If you’re close to the same age, ask them to come with you!

9) Take some time to do something with your brother and sister that they like to do. If they are younger than you, get on the floor and play Legos! If they are older, ask them what they would like to do and then carve out time just for them. You’ll be demonstrating unselfishness!

10) Lastly, pray with your sibling. Nothing can be more powerful than to hear someone you look up to praying for you.

I hope this gives you some great ideas on how you can be a positive role model for your sibling. You never know, maybe one day your sibling will be writing an article about you!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Even More

“I’m just so tired of being good. Tired of sticking out; not fitting in! At school today the guys were talking about how “hot” the new girl is. Then one of them said, “Yeah, but she won’t do anything because she came from a Christian school. You know Christians won’t do anything!” It’s like we’re abnormal or something!” It was painfully clear that Hannah was frustrated. Stuck in a world where right is wrong and wrong is right, she seems to be getting worn out with going against the crowd.
Do you ever feel this way too? I do! It all can look SO great – a world revolving around music, clothes, photo opps for FaceBook, guys. Yet when we do “go there” it just feels wrong. Are there certain places or events that cause you to try to be a part of a crowd that isn’t best for you? What's a girl to do?

I think Paul got it. I’m glad he did because what he said sure helps me feel like I’m not alone. In 1 Thessalonians 4 he encourages his friends to keep living in a way that pleases God; in fact, do it even more!

Maybe that is the answer. Instead of trying to be the kid in the middle – a little bit Christian and a little bit like everyone else, we should try going all out! Maybe we should go God’s way and just see what happens. Maybe, just maybe, there is another girl who feels this way too and wants to go all out for God, but doesn't want to do it alone? Where can you find a girl like that? Christian club at school? Youth group at church?

In another book, Paul gives us a little heads up about what can happen if we do. In Galatians 6:9 he tell us to keep on doing what pleases God, not because you have to follow some list of rules, but doing it out of love! The results will be a life filled with God’s goodness. Now, sometimes that those good things don’t show up right away. But I have seen it happen! I have seen time after time when God completely blows my mind away by bringing things into my life I just never thought of! Try it; try Him! You just might find He’s the answer you’ve been looking for!

How do you start? Try replacing the things that are pulling you away from God with some time with Him. Get a new devotional book that will really challenge you to move forward in your relationship with Him.

Galatians 6:9 “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (NLT)

1 Thessalonians 4:1, "One final word, friends. We ask you—urge is more like it—that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance. You know the guidelines we laid out for you from the Master Jesus. God wants you to live a pure life." (The Message)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New Year - New Friends

A new school year! Exciting, yet scary. Can't wait one minute; nervous stomach next.

One of the great things I always looked forward to in a new school year was the chance to change things up a bit and meet some new friends. Different classes brought new opportunities to meet kids I had never hung out with before. Some times, though, those first few days can be weird. Trying to get a conversation started can be awkward. What if they think I'm weird? What if they already "have enough" friends and aren't looking for any new ones?

I know when I walk in a new place, I can feel uptight at first. But just think, if I feel that way, they probably do too! So how can we break the ice and find out if that new girl sitting next to me might just be my new best friend?

First prepare some great "ice breaker" questions. Everyone loves to talk about themselves, so asking questions is a great place to start. How long have you lived here? What activities are you thinking about participating in? What school did you go to last year? What do you think might be the best thing about this year? Once they answer that question, based on their answer you can ask another. (Be sure to comment back with your own answers to the questions, that way you are starting a conversation and not just asking questions!)

Next, really listen when she talks. So many people want to do all of the talking. If you are a real listener, you'll stand out as a great friend right from the start!

Lastly don't be afraid to do some inviting. Ask her to hang out at lunch, study for a test coming up or go to the first football game. Everyone wants to be wanted and asking her to hang out says just that!

As a final note: be sure to keep your eyes open for the kid who is new to your school. I recently read a startling statistic: kids who move more than three times have twice a likely chance to try to commit suicide. Moving is tough! Look for the girl who is twice as nervous as you and try to help her fit.

I'd love to hear how your first day of school goes! Stop back by and let me know.

Always His,

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Means Girls

“The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.” Nahum 1:7 NLT

“The words on FaceBook glared back at her. “You are so ugly! You are fat, annoying and I hate you!” Lindsay just sat there, starring at the screen. “What did I say? What did I do?”

Maybe this has happened to you or maybe you have never faced the type of flat out rejection that Lindsay did. I recently spotted a t-shirt at the mall that read “You’re no one until someone talks about you.” Growing up today in a world where “Mean Girls” and “Gossip Girl” are our movie and tv titles, it comes as no surprise that many of us have been there. These feelings of being unaccepted are definitely not new. In Song of Solomon 1:5, we are first introduced to a young girl who feels the same way “Don’t look down on me because I am dark…” The Message. She felt rejected. Those feelings are so opposite of what we want to feel. What we want to be accepted!

So what can we do when we feel out ? For me, it helps to find out where I am in. The Lord is very specific about how He feels about me. “My beloved is mine, and I am His…”Song of Solomon 2:16a (NKJV). “You're beautiful from head to toe, my dear love,
beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless.” Song of Solomon 4:7b The Message. “The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.” Psalm 45:11 (NIV). These are the types of verses I take and put them everywhere so that I can read them over and over and over again. When I feel rejected, these words remind me that I am accepted by Him!

Next time you feel left out, rejected, not "in"; remind yourself of the truth of how He sees you. Let these words go deep into your heart and watch how the Lord will turn what was made for evil into good!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Not Alone

I couldn't believe it. It felt just like I was back in high school. The name was "Jesus Freck". Now, the teasing looked a little bit different, but the intent to hurt was still the same. "Her biggest problem is that she probably gets up each morning and prays to be a perfect mom." Ouch! Nothing like getting punched in the stomach for wanting to run after the Lord will all your might.

This I was praying a passage that was first prayed thousands of years ago by David. "Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun." (Psalm 37:5-6 NLT)

"He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn..." Some days, when you are pursuing Jesus and your life reflects that, it is just flat out hard. Our lives, hopefully,are a sharp contrast to those around us.

Look at that sunrise. Isn't it magnificent? Your innocence, your heart to go after Him no matter what the cost, is that type of beauty. Unfortunately, we live around those who are still in the dark; the Son has not risen in their lives, so they don't even know what that kind of beauty looks like.

So what can help us to appreciate this innocent beauty? Being around others who value the Son rising in their own lives. Others who have purposed to get up, each and every day, out of the darkness to not only see the Son rise, but to be a part of that process taking place in their own lives.

Find another. Find another who not only pays the price to run hard after Him each and every day, but applauds it in your life as well.

Friend, I applaud the rising in you. We are not alone. Our King. Our Love - Jesus, is waiting each and every day before the dawn to see if you will come and anticipate the Son rising in your life; in your heart. Wake up and see! It is SO worth it!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Tuning Our Lives

If you are joining me here today because of my devo on RadRevolution, hi! Sometimes, our life gets out of tune and often it is because of decisions we make.

Have you had an experience in life where everything seemed to be going right, yet in the end it really wasn't? I have had too many to count: bad dating decisions, poor money decisions, spur-of-the-moment not-time-to pray decisions. They seemed right at the time...

This past weekend, I went shopping with my husband. My office is often a complete mess and it was time to get serious about organizing it. Now, this is not my best skill in life, to be sure, but I figured if I had the right furniture, cabinets, and gadgets I could definately make it better. So it was off to the stores...

Store #1: Had a desk that would definately work. It was more than I wanted to spend, but I had done a little (emphasis on little) investigating and knew that it was pretty in line with what I had already seen. I was ready to buy and be done. My husband on the other hand said, "Lynn, I think you can do better." Buzz kill. Not what I wanted to hear. But I did listen.

Store #2: Had everything I wanted! The desk, the cabinets, the chair...even the cool waste can! AND I could get all the pieces I wanted for about the same amount of money as the ONE desk at the other store. I was so excited (I know you would be for me if you saw is rather cool, I must say. Maybe I'll post a pic when I finally get it all assembled!).

Lesson learned: waiting and taking wise advice from others can be a VERY good thing for me. Sometimes what sounds or seems best is not, in fact. The only way to find that out is by slowly down long enough to hear.

What decisions are you contemplating? Is there a certain someone you would like to date, but don't know enough about his character? Is there a school you are thinking about attending, but haven't really sensed the green light from the Lord? What plans are you making for the summer...and have you asked the Lord what His plans are for you this summer? Slow down, pray, seek and then make those decisions wise decisions! !

Jeremiah 29:12 - 13 "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile." NIV

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pray, Pray, Pray

For those joining me today from the Proverbs 31 devo, welcome! I just remembered that this devotion was coming out today while I was swimming laps... and praying! The Word says to pray without ceasing, so I like to take it literary.

I would love to hear from you on what you do to remind yourself to pray through the day! Many of the ways I pray today I learned from others. Praying for the person whose laundry I am folding as I fold it. Pray for the hurting person as the fire truck or ambulance drives by. Pray for my children as I drive them to school. I also enjoy surrounding myself with sounds that remind me of Him: worship music, sermons that I downloaded or Christian talk radio shows. Sometimes, when all is quiet, I am reminded of Him; His incredible presence always with me.

One thing I have learned: praying has to be intentional. Our mind, through out the day, will naturally gravitate toward our busyness: kids to be taken care of, laundry to do, the next meal to prepare, or work that needs our attention. Martin Luther once said, "I have so much to do today, I need to spend the first three hours in prayer". What a perspective!
As you look at your to-do list today, purpose to steal away moments with Him. Moments of purposeful quiet and moments in the crazy chaos. "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. " James 5:16 (NIV)
Have a prayer-filled day...He can't wait to hear from you!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Stay On The Trail!

Last night my family just returned from our spring break vacation to Washington. We had asked around to get some advice on what to do on our trip and were told snowmobiling was a must. I had never been, but I am always up for a new outdoor adventure! It ended up being the highlight of our trip! On the internet, I had found an outfitter that supplied everything we needed: machines, helmets, gloves, snowsuits, books - even a backpack filled with drinks!

As we made our hour and a half drive from the city to the mountains, it was hard to imagine that there was really going to be enough snow to snowmobile. I began to wonder just what I had gotton my family into!

When we arrived, the owner promised that where he was leading us ther would be more snow than we could possibly want. What an understatement! They took us to a spot in the Wentachee National Forest that was still closed due to snow. All I can say is it had to be some of God's best work! The beauty couldn't be captured, even with a camera!

Originally, we were to be on our own, but we ended up having four guides: the owner, his four-year old son who drove his own full sized snowmobile (!!),
and two seventeen-year old guys. My son loved having these guys along! They continually left the path, encouraging Zach and Greg to join them. The guys had a lot of fun, but leaving the path also had its consequences! The first time, Greg over estimated the ability of the snowmachine to turn and hit a tree! Fortunately, he had on a helmet, but his back and hands took a beating. After this, our family stuck to the trail, but tour guides didn't. Time and time again, they would get stuck. Greg and Zach would then have to get off of their machines and help dig these guys out. The guides didn't care how often they were derailed or whose time and energy they took up.

In II Timothy, Paul writes to Timothy, encouraging him to do just the opposite. "No one serving as a solider gets involved in civilian affairs - he wants to please his commanding officers." II Timothy 2:4. He uses his own life as an example to Timothy, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge will award to me on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing." II Timothy 4:7 - 8

Like our guides, getting off the trail can be fun - for a time. But there is a price to pay when we do and it doesn't just affect us, it affects those around us. The reason the owner and the guys went out with us that day was because they were trying to rescue a snowmobile. A guy had gotten off of the path and dropped his machine nine feet down into a creek bed. It probably was not going to be able to be retrieved.

Follow Paul's advice; stay on the path! It is good and will result in many blessings. Keep your eyes on Jesus; He'll show you the way!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Jalapeno Poppers

Mommajet on Friday requested the jalapeno poppers recipe, so here it is:

Jalapeno Poppers

12 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved - lengthwise, stems, seeds and membranes removed
(be sure to wear gloves when you do this or you will have hot hands all day!)
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or less, to taste
1 pound of bacon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, cream together the cream cheese, cheese, cumin and cayenne.

Take this mixture and put inside the halves of the jalapenos. Wrap in bacon. You can use a toothpick to secure.

Cook for 30 minutes or until bacon is cooked.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

If you are joining me here today from the Proverbs 31 devo, welcome! This blog is actually my blog for teens, but whether you are a teen or not, I'm glad you are here! I write regularly for adults on my blog at Lynn I'd love to have you stop by there as well!

As I re-read today's devotion, I thought of the jalapenos that are in my frig right now. I am planning on cooking up some of those tasty treats this weekend for my mother and father-in-law who are coming in today. On days like today, when busy is the key word, I am tempted to skip or drastically reduce my time with Jesus. Maybe get a quick devo read in; talk to Him in between tasks and errands. I know that there are days when that is ok - there is no other option. In my life, though, one of those days can quickly turn into two or three, and I find myself dry once more.

It reminds me of the story of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1 - 13. Ten virgins, ten lamps. They each started out with the same amount. The foolish ones, we are told, were the ones who grabbed their lamps and got a head start on the day. The wise ones slowed down long enough to get the extra oil for whatever lay ahead.

Similarly, we each get the same - 24 hours. Some days we try to get a "jump start" on the day. Skipping our time with Jesus can give us that extra time we think we need in order to get it all done. Yet in this story Jesus is telling us that to really prepare is to slow down enough to get the "extra oil" for whatever comes our way that day.

I encourage you today, to get that extra oil. I am not sure how that looks for you; He created each one of us so differently. I just know for me, before I start cleaning this house and getting my groceries, I need to "get the oil". I need Him to fill me completely so that I will have more than enough for whatever this day will hold. I hope you will do the same!

Have an incredible weekend!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Hebrews 4:15, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.”

Have you ever been speaking – sharing with another about how you feel (maybe rather strongly – even loudly!) when suddenly you are cut off? Interrupted mid-sentence? I have. You know how that makes me feel? It is as if the person had actually said, “What you have to say is of no consequence. It is unimportant. Your feelings are not valid. What you say and feel do not count.” Of course, that is not what they actually said; but it seems as if they could have.

The last time that happened to me, with tears trickling down my face, I told the Lord that is how I felt. You see, I am a person who struggles deeply with being completely real. You know, that gut level honesty of actually admitting how I truly feel about something.

A couple of years ago, I was digging in my garden, hitting the dirt rather strongly with my spade out of frustration. I was mad because my friend had just confronted me about being dishonest. I was asked what I was mad about, but rather than telling the truth I had given my standard reply, “I’m not mad.” There, up to my elbows in bulbs and brown mulch, the Lord told me that I was lying. Lying? Isn’t that a bit harsh? I mean all I was trying to do was not hurt their feelings and avoid an argument! Now the Lord was calling me out for this. Has this ever happened to you before?

Next thing I knew, I was dragging myself to my friend, in order to humbly admit that I am, at times, a liar. That day was a turning point for me. It was then that I promised the Lord that I would in fact become honest about the way I felt, the things I was mad about, and the truth about what I really wanted.

As I was contemplating this, I remembered that the Bible says the Lord struggled with the same things I do. Maybe He also struggled with these feelings I had –feelings of being unheard and of being interrupted. I knew He would understand. He was tempted and struggled in many ways, yet He remained sinless. I’m thankful that Jesus sympathizes with me and understands what I’m going through. He’s a model for us to follow when we face temptations and struggles. When you feel unheard, look to Jesus who always hears you, and follow His example.

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, Thank you that You understand me even when I don’t understand myself. Please help me to be honest when it comes to communicating with others. I need You in order to do this, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Teen Devotional Bible

The One Year Devos for Teens, by Susie Shellenberger

Think About It:

Do I struggle with being honest with others when it comes to my true feelings? If so, why do I think that is?

Why does the Lord want me to be honest with others – even when it seems scary?

What do I think being honest will cost me?

Live It:

Ask a friend to be on the look out for when you are covering up or not telling how you truly feel about something. Ask her to call you out on it.

Practice being honest with the Lord first; it is a safe place.

Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you when you are not being truthful. When He does, confess it right away!

Power Verses:

Psalm 15:1-2, “LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart.” (NIV)

Psalm 25:5, “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” (NIV)

Proverbs 23:23, “Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.” (NIV)