In the Hills of Georgia

This post by Emily Wilson is reprinted from LifeTeen.com

2014-06_LT-CovecrestHills

 

I spent the last week in the most beautiful of places.

I spent the last week in a place where young people are able to come and meet the risen Christ. It’s a place run by people who know how to love, serve, and to sacrifice far better than I. A place where the girl brushing her teeth next to me knows so well how to just love souls and where college students spend weeks upon weeks showing Christ to hungry teens – college kids willing to give up summers of paid jobs, nights out with friends, sleeping in, and so much more, so that even one teen could come to know the Jesus they know and love the Jesus they love.

I spent the week around families who live in this place – families who have dedicated their lives so that young people would come to know Truth – families who truly do live simply so that the thousands of teens who come through their home may simply live. In just six days, these people showed me a beautiful kind of selflessness that can’t be found many places in this world.

I spent my last week in a place where camp activities aren’t just camp activities, but an opportunity to grow – to grow in trust, to conquer fears, to build bridges, to build friendships, and to experience God. It’s a place where teens are able, in the sight of their peers, to admit their wrongs and without shame receive the mercy of God. A place where people affirm one another, show compassion to one another, love one another, and lift each other up. It’s a place where teens are free – free to be young people – free from expectations and pressures and free to just. be.

Read the rest of this entry

The Pill: It’s Just a Cover Up

This post by Erika Parks is reprinted from LifeTeen.com 2013-01_LT-CoverUp1

The first time I was “recommended” (judgmentally urged) to begin using the birth control pill by a doctor, I was 16 years old. My doctor’s reasoning was firstly, “because you never know, and you’ll want to be protected” and secondly, because I had an irregular cycle that she claimed would be made “regular” by the pill.

At the time, to be honest, I mostly declined the pill because I was highly offended that this doctor didn’t believe me when I said I wasn’t going to be sexually active until marriage; but in the years since, I’ve continued to decline because I know using the pill for my “medical reason” is not the best, nor the only, option for me. And it shouldn’t be for any woman.

NOTHING MORE THAN A MASK

I know many women who are in a similar boat as me (read Karina’s personal testimony here); whether it’s insane cramps, headaches, acne, PMS, cysts, irregular cycles, or any other number of things, the only way out of the misery seems to be the magic little pill. At least that’s what society and nearly every doctor make us think.

However, the truth is this: the most commonly used birth control pill is nothing more than a mask.

Just like makeup only covers up a pimple, the birth control pill only covers up the symptoms of a woman’s menstrual issue. Sure the pill might make a woman’s cycle seem regular, but in reality, it is only fooling her body and her mind.

What the pill basically does is trick the body into thinking it’s pregnant, and therefore doesn’t produce an egg, which also means no period. However, one week of the month, the hormone filled pills are replaced with placebo pills. Suddenly the woman’s body no longer thinks it is pregnant, and the woman has a period. What may seem like a regular cycle is actually a faked pregnancy. As soon as the pill stops being consumed, all the irregularity and other symptoms come back; no different than taking your make up off and still seeing that dreaded pimple.

THE DANGERS OF THE MASK

Now everyone knows that covering a pimple with oily makeup can often make it larger or worse and give you more acne! The same is true with the birth control pill, but on a much more dangerous level. The pill can give a woman what seems to be a regular cycle, but it could also give her to various life-threatening illnesses.

Woman who rely on the most commonly used type of birth control pill, estrogen plus progestin, have a 41% increase of having a stroke, 50% higher chance of getting blood clots, 29% increase in heart attacks, 22% increase of cardiovascular disease, and a 26% increase in having breast cancer.

Sure the pill might take away cramps and decrease a woman’s chances of getting ovarian cancer, but is it worth the risks?

Read the rest of this entry

I Fell in Love in a Hospital Room

This post by Molly McManus is reprinted from LifeTeen.com

2014-07_LT-InspiredHospitalRoom

 

I was really excited to begin high school. However… that quickly changed. The first semester of my freshman year, I had barely any friends. I was severely bullied and the administration didn’t believe it when my parents called to report it. As a result of the bullying, I started to look down on myself in every way. I took the anger and hurt that I felt because of others and turned it on myself. I started to fall deeper and deeper into pain and sorrow, and I was struggling to climb out of it.

At the very beginning of my second semester, in a freak medical accident, I suddenly lost my ability to walk. I had to be hospitalized and stay at a rehab center for a long period of time, beginning to rebuild my life and relearn how to do so many things that I had taken for granted. I didn’t understand how things could get any worse. I didn’t understand why God would put me through so much.

But soon, everything changed. He entered my life in the most real way I have ever experienced, at the least expected time. When I thought nobody loved me, my hospitalization made me realize how wrong I was. When I arrived at my room at the rehab hospital, which had a beautiful view of the Basilica in D.C., I went into the bathroom and found a scapular sitting in the otherwise empty trashcan. I quickly took these things as signs that I was exactly where I was meant to be.

Read the rest of this entry

Finding Freedom from Fear

This post by Brian Kissinger is reprinted from LifeTeen.com

2014-06_LT-FreedomFear

Q: It has been nearly two years since my last relationship ended, but I have not been able to get over the hurt. My prayers have become pleas to God to help me trust again. How can I allow myself to trust someone again?

A: I know it’s not easy to get over heartache, and I know how frustrating it is to keep trying to get over something that you can’t seem to get past. But I still believe that God can make all things new, and that He can, and will, heal your heart.

I think the most important thing you can do is to be honest in prayer; share what you’re feeling with God and know that His heart breaks for yours. It’s a scary thing to open our heart to others, but we’re made for community and relationships with others. The alternative is to protect yourself by shutting yourself off from other people, but that’s a miserable way to live.

I love this quote from CS Lewis:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” (from The Four Loves)

In my life, I struggled with the same fear. I couldn’t seem to stay in a relationship because I would freak out and back away from the girl in fear that I would eventually get hurt. When I finally met my wife, it wasn’t that my fears had disappeared, but my desire to pursue a relationship with Courtney was greater than my fears of being hurt.

I am convinced that God allowed me to go through those years of fear so that when I met Courtney, the difference in my heart would be so obvious. I know God didn’t make my ex-girlfriends break my heart, but He found a way to work through my hurt and my fears to prepare me in time to meet Courtney.

Read the rest of this entry

It’s Not All About Skin

This post by Maddy Bernero is reprinted from LifeTeen.com

2014-06_LT-ModestySeen

 

YOU WANT TO BE NOTICED…

“That backless dress is gonna look really good at a summer pool party.”

“This string, fringe top bikini is sexy. Beach week here I come!”

“These high waisted, jean cutoffs look perfect. I knew all those squats were worth it.”

“I need a black lace bandeau to go under my sheer cream tank top. Everything’s covered right?”

“As long as most of my stomach is covered, we are good.”

These are the thoughts of young women everywhere as we battle a culture that tells us skin is sexy and you can never show too much of it. Mottos like “flaunt it if you’ve got it,” allow our perceptions of our bodies to define our dignity and worth. Sex appeal reigns supreme and dictates our fashion choices. “Dress to impress,” has taken on an entirely different meaning.

I think every one of us has experienced walking into the mall, searching through the racks of shorts and finding that they have been cut two inches shorter than last year. We look through the summer dresses and see the cut-outs in the back have grown larger. The crop tops are shorter, the shirts are more sheer, and the bikinis are stringier.

Is this your normal? Are these the thoughts and experiences you deal with on a daily basis, at school? With your friends? Do you wonder why the clothes described above are not modest? And why modesty is such a big deal? What is modesty really? And what is the point?

Read the rest of this entry

 Page 1 of 30  1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last »