Thursday, September 30, 2010

Marching Band Preview

Here's some pictures from the preview. I'll have better ones as the season goes, promise! (:

Your Foard High School Marching Tigers (:



It's seriously my favorite thing to do, a huge part of who I am.

Zipper-ing up my favorite formation(:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Orange Family Experience

Main Idea (if you don't want to read the entire thing): Tonight was awesome. God does really amazing things when we let Him.

Tonight was our first ever Orange Ministry Family Experience night. Basically, its a night where the parents get to see what all we are doing in children's ministry and we introduce the next month's theme. I have a lot to say, so I'm just going to list them, not in any particular order. (:

1. I love the kids at our church. They are absolutely fabulous! We had planned to go down the isles during a few of the songs to pull kids out and get them involved and dancing and things, and they did it all by themselves! Every song we were doing, they were out in the isles doing it with us, having a blast worshipping Jesus. Seeing the joy on their faces as they are praising Him is such an amazing thing. I don't even know how to describe it. And Orange gives me the opportunity to invest in them, show them that it's worthwhile to follow after Jesus with all they've got. I just pray that God is using me for His glory. Tonight, there was a little girl whom I absolutely love that ran up and gave me a huge hug with the biggest smile on her face. Kids have a joy inside that we lose as we grow up. I want them to realize that you don't have to lose it, that God can provide that joy. Always. It made my night to see and be with those kids. They are fantastic.

2. We sang 'Cannons' tonight. I lovelovelove that song. Cannons is one of those songs where I honestly have no idea what I look like when I'm singing it or what anyone else looks like, I'm just there to worship. If you've never heard it, I really encourage you to go look it up. The chorus is "You are holy, great and mighty. The moon and the stars declare who you are. I'm so unworthy, but still you love me. Forever my heart will sing of how great you are." The part in that really stuck to me tonight, and I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I am so unworthy. I mess up so much. And I've messed up so badly, and I've felt so unforgivable. There are a lot of things I've done wrong. For so long I felt like I couldn't be forgiven. I had messed up too badly to be fixed. But still you love me. That piece kept going through my head over and over and over, and here's the thing: He still cares. He forgives me, no matter what it is I've done. If I truly repent, it's GONE. I don't ever have to look at it's ugly head again. And in spite of my stupidity and sin, God loves me anyway. He LOVES me. Me. The one who messes everything up and makes things more complicated then they ever should have been... that girl is his princess. What an astounding, amazing, beautiful, humbling love that is. And the fact that I get to be a part of it... wow. I really can't ever get over it.

3. I just plain out had fun tonight. I put everything I had into it. I stopped caring what people thought about me, and let some inhibitions go, and just went for it. I danced like a crazy, and really just let go. It was so fun to be worshipping like that. It's not something you get to do everyday. And we did this little play off of a game show thing and I got to model the prize, kind of a Vanna White kind of thing. I went all out for it too, I wore my prom dress and everything! (& got called a princess! Highlight of my night!) I hadn't really planned on doing anything special, just go across the stage I guess, but when I got up there, I danced around and look like a total goob. But it was SO much fun. And everyone laughed. I got so many compliments on that, including little Jenna in cubbies who came up to me and said 'I saw your dancing. It was really good!' Makes my night. I was just Sarah, worshipping an amazing God, who does amazing and astounding things when we let Him.

I'm blessed beyond my wildest dreams. God, I pray that you will continue to move in and through me. Nothing gives me joy like following after you. I'm completely and totally yours, use me as you please. I love you.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

To Do List:

Jump in puddles. swing as high as you can get. eat ice cream to your hearts content. laugh until you cry. sing into your hairbrush & dance around your bedroom. watch your favorite movie. wear sweatpants. sit by a bonfire. drink hot chocolate & roast marshmallows. devote yourself to quiet times. take risks. try new things. pick yourself up and dust yourself off after you fall. laugh at yourself. stay up late and sleep in. go out to eat with your friends. spend time and invest in your family. hug someone. give away as many smiles as you can. see how long you can hold your breath. count the stars in the sky. be still. read a book. dream big dreams. cry if you need to. constantly be on your knees. be silly. use your good dishes. know you are fearfully and wonderfully made. do what makes you happy. hope against all odds, you never know what you'll accomplish. Forgive others; grudges are unattractive. don't keep things bottled up. wish on stars. fight for what you believe in. have faith, not everyone you love is going to leave you. be spontaneous. speak only encouragement. be generous. let go when you need to; goodbyes can be good, even if they hurt at first. be who you are, and don't worry about what people think. be beautiful. sing in the shower. go on an adventure. wear your good clothes. make a difference. send a card. enjoy your life, and make every second count♥

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Your Best Day

I get a few devotionals over email, and this is one of the ones that I have gotten. It really got me thinking about some of my best days, and I'm curious to hear, what are some of your best days? What made them so great? This devotion really blessed me, and I thought it might do the same for you! I hope it touches you as well!

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Psalm 68:19 KJV

Today is your best day because you can grow a little more in your faith, a little more in your maturity, and a little more in your intimacy with Jesus. Today you can take another step higher as He takes you from glory to glory.

Corrie Ten Boom once said, "God doesn't have problems; He only has plans." God doesn't make bad days for you and good days for you. God makes each day fit perfectly into His plans for you.

There are two ways that we can walk through a day. One is to walk by sight, and the other it walk by faith. To walk by faith means to walk in the truth of God's word and the presence of the Holy Spirit who lives in you.

A day of blessings filled to the brim,
a day of good things that come from Him.
A day of beauty, a day of grace...
a day of sunshine touching your face.
A day that keeps you in peace and rest,
a day that bring you all of God's best.

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 KJV



Sunday, September 19, 2010


I just liked some of these, and wanted to put them together somewhere. Here seemed like a good place, and plus, you guys could enjoy them too! (:

"A woman's heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her."

"Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. It is the belief that God will do what is right."

"Forgive and give as if it were your last opportunity. Love like there's no tomorrow, and if tomorrow comes, love again."

"God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus. "

"To lead the orchestra, you have to turn your back on the crowd."

"You weren't an accident. You weren't mass produced. You aren't an assembly-line product. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on the earth by the Master Craftsman."

"What you and I might rate as an absolute disaster, God may rate as a pimple-level problem that will pass. He views your life the way you view a movie after you've read the book. When something bad happens, you feel the air sucked out of the theater. Everyone else gasps at the crisis on the screen. Not you. Why? You've read the book. You know how the good guy gets out of the tight spot. God views your life with the same confidence. He's not only read your story...he wrote it. "

"If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning... Face it, friend. He is crazy about you! "

Next time a sunrise steals your breath or a meadow of flowers leaves you speechless, remain that way. Say nothing, and listen as heaven whispers, "Do you like it? I did it just for you."

"What is family? They were the people who claimed you. In good, in bad, in parts or in whole, they were the ones who showed up, who stayed in there, regardless. It wasn't just about blood relations or shared chromosomes, but something wider, bigger. We had many families over time. Our family of origin, the family we created, and the groups you moved through while all of this was happening: friends, lovers, sometimes even strangers. None of them perfect, and we couldn't expect them to be. You can't make any one person your world. The trick was to take what each could give you and build your world from it."

"When you lose somebody you think 
you've lost the whole world but 
that's not the way things turn out in the end. 
Eventually, you pick yourself up & 
look out the window and once you do, 
you see everything that was 
there before the world ended is still there."

"Some things don't last forever, but some things do. Like a good song, or a good book, or a good memory you can take out and unfold in your darkest times, pressing down on the corners and peering in close, hoping you still recognize the person you see there."

"It's just that...I just think that some things are meant to be broken. Imperfect. Chaotic. It's the universe's way of providing contrast, you know? There have to be a few holes in the road. It's how life is."

"It's a lot easier to be lost than found. It's the reason we're always searching and rarely discovered--so many locks not enough keys."

"Holding people away from you, and denying yourself love, that doesn't make you strong. if anything, it makes you weaker. Because you're doing it out of fear."

"There has to be a middle. Without it, nothing can ever truly be whole. Because it is not just the space between, but also what holds everything together."

"I don't believe in failure, because simply by saying you've failed, you've admitted you attempted. And anyone who attempts is not a failure. Those who truly fail in my eyes are the ones who never try at all. The ones who sit on the couch and whine and moan and wait for the world to change for them."

"The past did affect the present and the future, in ways you could see and a million ones you couldn't. Time wasn't a thing you could divide easily; there was no defined middle or beginning or end. I could pretend to leave the past behind, but it would not leave me."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday Nights♥

It's times like Friday night when I absolutely one thousand percent love being in high school. It reminds me of what it means to be a teenager, and to experience all of what teenagers experience. I only get to do this once, so I'm trying to drink in every last second that I can! Friday night football games are the best... especially because I get to spend them with the Tiger Band. Those kids are my family, and I love all of them to death (even some of the ones that have already graduated, I still consider you band kids!). It means everything to me to have their support, and I know I can count on just about anyone in our band if I ever need anything. This past Friday, we played at Newton and our football team scored two touchdowns! That's more than none! GO TIGERS! I love being a Tiger, and calling Foard my school. Say what you want about our little country school, but it's home. It's a fabulous place, and I'm super lucky to go there. Sometimes it drives me crazy, but I wouldn't wish to be anywhere else. The people, for the most part, are genuine and not terrible. The faculty, for the most part, are super nice and caring and fabulous at teaching. Being a teenager really can be wonderful sometimes. And for now, it's all about stringing the little things (:


My BeccaBoo!


Sarahbug and Maggieloo!

My boys (:

Monday, September 13, 2010


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Grandparents Day♥

Hey! So, for Grandparents Day (which I didn't even really know existed until I actually looked at my nifty agenda that I am going to keep religiously this year, unlike every single year before now... I just can't remember anything anymore!) I am going to tell you a little bit about four of the most influential people in my life, my grandparents! I currently have two living grandparents, both of my grandmothers. They are my example and exactly what I want to be when I grow up!

My Grandaddy Kerr (My Mom's Dad) passed away before I was born. But I still consider him very influential in my life. I've heard so many stories about my Grandaddy. He was a kind, quiet person. He never raised his voice, but you knew that when he said something, he meant business. He loved all of his kids with his whole heart, and no one ever doubted that about Him. He was never afraid to shoot for the stars, but he always made sure that the family was taken care of first. He opened his own concrete company, Kerr's HRM Concrete. He was a person of integrity, strength, and a heart for God. He instilled all of those virtues into his entire family. I wish I could have met him!

My Mom's Mom, my Nana, is such a special person, and my very best friend. I can remember having sleepovers at her house even from when I was little, and we'd sit and watch movies and eat popcorn and talk for hours about anything and everything. She'd sit and brush my hair back with her fingers until I fell asleep every night. And every morning she'd get up early just to make me cinnamon toast, my favorite. She's always be so interested in anything I have to say, no matter what it was. She makes me laugh like no one else can. If I ever have a bad day, she automatically knows how to make everything better again. Her advice is always the very best, and everyone loves her. All of my friends even call her Nana! She's the kind of person who demands respect when she walks into the room, and she carries herself with such dignity and grace, I only hope to inherit that quality someday. She invests in every single person she meets, (even the waitresses at restaurants!) and is always more than willing to offer them a helping hand. She just turned 87 last Saturday, and she still works every single day. She is the President of a concrete company, Kerrs HRM Concrete, that my Grandaddy started over 60 years ago. Up until recently, she used to eat breakfast at the Snackbar every single day, and sometimes dinner. I love going with her. Everyone that knows 'Miz Helen' loves her to death. On Saturday mornings, we go eat at Cracker barrel. It's one of my favorite times of the week. I love to sit and listen to her talk about anything, but especially when she tells me stories of what it was like growing up on the farm for her and her 12 brothers and sisters. And if you ever need to know anything about anyone, I'm pretty positive she'll know the answer. No one can make blackberry dumplings quite like she can, and when she cooks, she doesn't even measure anything. She organizes our HUGE family reunion the Saturday before Mother's Day every single year. We take up an entire church fellowship hall down in 'the country' where she grew up! She's the one that keeps our family together as we grow. She's an amazing person, and I've learned so many life lessons just by being blessed enough to experience my life with her there. I love her so much!

My Gramma, my Dad's Mom, is also an amazing person. I love nothing more than to sit and listen to her tell me stories of her life when she was younger. Gramma was originally born in Estonia, and they came over during WWII. She's quiet, and reserved, but she loves people more than anyone else. She really cares about what's going on in our lives. She has many hobbies, and somehow she's good at every single one of them. She makes beautiful jewelry, takes gorgeous photos, and even makes candles! She raised four boys, and she's strong. Her parents, my great-grandparents, used to live right down the street from them. The way she cared for her Mother and Father was amazing to me. They both passed away when I was younger, but I'll never forget the way she looked at her Mother, who couldn't talk for the entire time I knew her because she had had a stroke. I've only seen that look in her eyes one other time, when she was caring for my Papa. Her respect has to be earned, but once she respects you, she always will. She makes up her mind about things, and there's no stopping her. She loves pictures, both taking them and receiving them from other people. She grew up fast because she had to, but it doesn't keep her from having joy now. She loves her Jesus and has a heart for God that I really admire. She loves giving, and nothing thrills her more than to be able to send her grandkids away with some new trinket whenever we get together. She does everything she can to make sure we all are taken care of before she even considers her own needs. She's been through more than most, but she doesn't let anything stop her. She's tough, but sweet at the same time. I hope I can be like her one day in so many ways.

This will be my second Grandparents Day without my Papa. We lost Papa two years ago this Thanksgiving, and we all miss him terribly. Papa worked hard at what he did, and stood up for everything he believed. He taught me how to pick myself up after I fall, but also that it was okay to have someone help dust you off after that fall. He taught me how to play in the mud and hunt for four leaf clovers. He was the only Grandpa I'd ever have, and He made sure he did that job well. Every time we'd go visit Papa and Grandma, he'd sneak away with us to the woods behind their old house and we'd take nature walks. He always pointed out the coolest things that I would have missed, like how the sun was shining through the leaves at a certain angle, or the little bug on the leaf, or the rings in the fallen trees. I learned my fascination for the small things from him. When we would go up to the Cabin on Luckadoo Mountain, Papa would hitch up the trailer to the back of his jeep and all of the grandkids would pile in it. He'd drive us down the curvy, gravel roads of the mountain and back up again, just so that he could see us laugh. I'll never forget the way he smelled, or how he always felt so strong when I hugged him. He called all of us grandkids 'messes'. I was 'Mess #6' Since none of us were the same age, He'd always say "You're my favorite ___ year old granddaughter, you know." And we'd always laugh and tell him that we were his only granddaughter that age. Some of my favorite memories with my Papa were when we would go up to the cabin, we had a tree swing. All of us always wanted Papa to push us because we knew he could get us the highest. But we were never scared of going higher, because we knew that Papa would keep us safe, and would never let us get hurt. He'd take us on walks down to the 'crooked tree' and make up some wild story about why the trunk grew so twisted. He would call every Sunday night and always wanted to talk to each and every one of us. He always called me Sayruh, and I loved the way he said my name. He was my constant when I went through some of the toughest times in my life, and my strength when I didn't think I had anymore. He loved God with all He had, and he made sure to instill that in all of us. I miss him terribly every single day, and I often think about everything that he would have loved to have seen. He would have loved to see my two cousins graduate from college, me being the drum major of the band, my oldest cousin getting married in March. He would have been so proud of all of us, and where we're going. I love him very much, and I cannot wait to see him again one day.

So there you have it. Each of my grandparents represents a piece of me and is a huge reason that I am who I am today. I love them all and I couldn't be more blessed than to have the family that I do have. Happy Grandparents Day!



My Grandmothers♥

My sweet Papa and Gramma.
I love & miss you Papa♥

Friday, September 10, 2010

Childhood Cancer.

I write with a heavy heart today. I learned that one of the little girls I had been following on Caringbridge has passed away. Her name was Kate, she was four. She had leukemia. Although we never met in person, from what I read on her caringbridge, she was the sweetest, most full of life child you'll ever have met. She was just beautiful. Please, if you can, leave her family some prayers at

It just doesn't seem fair. Cancer takes so much from so many people. But especially childhood cancer. Childhood cancer takes away daughters and sons, brothers and sisters, classmates and friends. All before they even really had a chance at life.

September is childhood cancer awareness month. Please, please, please help spread awareness about these awful diseases. Cancer isn't choosey... it doesn't pick between ages, social status, rich or poor, or anything else. It just hits, and you don't really fully understand until it hits close to home. Childhood cancer gets put on the back burner so many times. The government has just cut the funding again. These kids are not just cases. They aren't just studies. They are people. With names, and parents, and siblings, and pets. They are people with dreams, and hopes, and aspirations. Research is vital to saving these kids lives. 46 kids every school day shouldn't have to hear 'you have cancer.' And during that same time period, 8 sets of parents shouldn't have to watch their baby earn their wings. Has there been progress made? Yes. We've come a long way from only a 10% survival rate, now up to a rate of 78%. But what about the rest of them? What about kids like Kate? This is why we have to fight back. Come join me, and together, lets kick this thing.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Have you guys seen the 'coexist' bumper stickers? They look something like this:
Well today I was walking with someone and they asked me what I thought about them. It took me a minute to think about it, and until they pointed it out, I hadn't really thought much about it. When people put these on their cars, are they saying that we should all be able to live in the same world together without any issues? Or are they trying to say that all of these things are equal? If that's the case, the one that throws them off is the one on the far right. You just can't believe in all of the other ones, and in that cross at the same time. Either Jesus was who he said he was, or he was a lunatic and a liar. There's no middle ground there... no compromise. No, "he was a good teacher", or just a "prophet". If someone went around today saying that they were the son of God and that you should drop everything and follow after them, and you knew that they were lying, would you say that they were a good teacher? No, you'd say they were looney. A nut case. It was the same back then. If He was a liar, then he most definitely was not a good example, or a good prophet, or a good teacher. He was crazy. But what if he was telling the truth? Then yes, He was the best of teachers, an example we should all live by, and the most amazing human to ever live. This is what I believe. Why else would people go around risking their lives every single day... some of them even dying for the cause? Many of the disciples were beheaded, beaten, and even crucified upside down. Would they have done that if they were lying? No. People don't die for a lie. Anyone that has ever accepted Christ and felt His presence knows exactly what I'm talking about when I say that I know for a fact that He's real. I've felt Him, experienced His love and grace and mercy. I don't know how else to say it. If you don't know him, I really encourage you to make that decision today. You don't need pastors or a church to talk to God, He's right there beside you, waiting. You don't need special words, just talk to Him from your heart. He'll listen.

So what do I think about the bumper stickers? I think that only one can be right, and I really believe that it's the one on the right. There is more fact, more evidence, and more truth to back up that cross than any other symbol up there. I'll stand for my Jesus.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Just a forewarning, this post is really jumble-y and scattered, just some things that are on my mind right now(:

Call me crazy, but I absolutely love babysitting. I babysat tonight with my sister for the Junior Women's Club's kids. There were 7 kids there, all under the age of 10, running back and forth and jumping everywhere and screaming and so much more... talk about crazy. But it's then that I think I can really see a small glimpse of what it would be like in the future. To be a Mom... for it to be my house, my kids, my family... I just love it, and I can completely see myself being there one day. I want to have like 6 kids (call me crazy, say that I'm too young to understand yet... I don't really care, it's what I want), and I want to raise them to be disciples for Christ. I want to teach my daughter how to dance and cook and I want to watch my son play baseball. I want to show them how to use their imaginations and to play with playdough and not be afraid to get messy sometimes. I want to hear them laugh and sing and pray. I want to show them how to give butterfly kisses. I want to be there for them when they fall and get hurt, and I want to cheer them on as they achieve their goals. I think that's part of the reason I seem so impatient sometimes. I can almost see myself there more than anywhere else... but there are so many variables that have to fall into place first. Sometimes I really wish I could just know, you know? But I'm trusting, God's plan is always the very best!

I had a fabulous time with those kids tonight. I love being with kids more than anything else. I don't get joy like that in many other places. It's times like these when I feel really called to work with kids one day. I don't know what yet... maybe a teacher, or counselor, or childlife specialist, or pediatric radiologist, or even just a Mom. It's what I can see myself doing and loving it even just 10 years from now. I know God has a plan for me, and I really can't wait to see what it is. Maybe I will be a Mom one day, and have my own house with kids running everywhere. Maybe I'll run an orphanage somewhere in the middle of Africa. Maybe there's something different I'll be called to do or be. Who knows. All I know right now is, I'm loving where I am and what God is doing in and through me. He knows everything about me, and He has a perfect plan for my life. It's because of that that I can trust in Him for all things, and have faith that my life will turn out right! I am in such awe of His grace and mercy tonight. What a fantastic God!


Monday, September 6, 2010

Proud Daddy

Have you ever had one of those moments where you feel like God did something just for you? It's in those moments -those little things that you know only God would know would make you happy- that some of my sweetest moments have been. In Sunday School, we call many of these moments Godstops. (Let's get a working definition here... a Godstop is any moment when you can trace God's invisible hand in a situation.) I've had quite a few Godstops lately dealing with several different things. But I really only want to talk about one right now.

It's become more and more evident to me lately that God is intimately involved in my life. And when I say "my life", I mean my real life. The life I live every single day. Not my spiritual, religious, church-going life, which is what I think a lot of people see God as. They think He's involved only when we are doing spiritual things. But I really, really believe that is untrue. God is involved in every single thing we do, from making breakfast to working on our next business deal... He's there. The other day before a football game, I was talking to a girl who was upset with one of her parents and told me how she though was never good enough for her mom. I reminded her that she always has a parent there, and she will always be good enough for Him. The rest of the world's opinions don't matter. This really got me thinking about how thankful I am for that fact. That no matter what I'm doing, if it's honoring God, then He's proud of me. I think of Him being like the ultimate parent. He's proud when His child nails the solo, or gets the part in the play, or hits a homerun, or scores a goal, or even marches the entire show without stumbling. He's there, cheering us on on the sidelines, proud. He gave us each our own individual set of talents and gifts, and I know we make Him proud when we use them. Using those talents is a big way to honor Him, whether we think about it or not. So today, think about what you're good at, be it cooking, studying, listening, being a parent, or anything else. You aren't good at it by accident. God made you that way for a very specific reason. He is so involved in our lives, in every single decision we ever make. He knew everything about us before even time began. He created us just the way He wanted us; God doesn't make mistakes. So today, let Him love you. Let him use you exactly as he designed you to be!

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hyundai Hope On Wheels TV Ad Commercial 9/10

I saw this video on a little boy, Vinny DiGerolamo's, caringbridge and I had to share it. Please watch it (Vinny's name is at 41 seconds!) and do what you can. All kids deserve a chance at life... including a chance to be kids. Let's please RID the world of childhood cancer. It's childhood cancer awareness month. Let's spread the news!

Friday, September 3, 2010


I'd honestly been meaning to do this for a while, but I just hadn't gotten around to it. So I did it last night! I made a button for my blog! It's over there.---> You should go pick one up, and put it on your blog! I was able to do this quickly and painlessly thanks to Kendra's wonderful tutorial. So, thanks Kendra! And thanks so much for getting one of my buttons! I hope you have a fabulous day!

"You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 118: 28-29


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Will you?

So I am breaking my 'one post a day' thing... even though I never really was good at that. This makes up for one of the lazy days I suppose! I've been thinking on this for a while. But before I start, I want to make something really clear first. I am so imperfect. I mess up, and am human, and I am talking to myself here just as much as everyone else. And this is not easy for me either. But I think that together, we can do this.

Sometimes when I'm walking down the hallways at school, I have such a heavy heart. The kinds of conversations I hear, the things people choose to wear that portrays them in this awful way... it's all heartbreaking. But the thing that bothers me most? Not just the people that do all of this... but the people that do all of this, and then say that they are a Christian. Now, there's a difference between saying that you are a Christian, occasionally messing up, and then repenting, and saying you are a Christian and blatantly living in sin. This is the reason so many are turned off. They say that Christians are hypocrites. And you know what? For a lot of us, they aren't too far from the truth. I hadn't really thought too much about this until I was having a conversation with a lady whom I really respect, one of the 'Paul's' in my life. We were talking about how one day, we will not only be responsible for our actions, but also how our actions influence others. Does what we do point others to Christ or pull them away? That's a pretty scary statement to think about. It's almost like as a society we've accepted this extremely casual form of Christianity. This 'well, as long as I go to church, I'm okay' mentality. And NO! That's not what it's about! Church (and youth group) is a fabulous place to meet with other believers and grow with each other and encourage each other as you walk through life. But church should NOT be the defining thing in your Christian walk. Youth group should not define your Christianity. God should. His grace, and His power, and His forgiveness should be what drives you. The amazing love He had for us... enough love to send His only Son to bear the weight of all of our sins... that love should change us completely. That love and power... when we actually grab hold of it... should make us want to live a life of complete gratitude that absolutely points straight back to Him. It's a radical, life-altering, never-be-the-same-again kind of love. But instead, we fall into a habitual, hypocritical "religious" state, where we've decided to put our halo's on at church, and then live like the devil Monday through Saturday. It can't be like that. I'm so convinced that we make God so angry when we do this. He didn't send Jesus- His only Son, a part of Himself- to come and suffer in agony on a Cross so that we could be comfortable and live in our sin. If that's what you think salvation offers, you've missed it! It's SO much more than that! Jesus came and died so that we could have eternal life with Him. He knew how much we needed him, and how completely messed up we are. He knew that the only way we would ever truly be free was to be with Him. Doesn't that mean something? Shouldn't we do everything we can for Him? Without Jesus, I am nothing. My time on Earth is a blink in comparison with eternity. And we will all spend the rest of that time in one of two places. Which one will you decide?

I said in my post Stereotype (have you read it?) that I wanted to step away from the generalities that people place on teenagers. And that still holds true, especially when it comes to being complacent. I don't want to be average. I want to stand out... for the world to know I was here, that I made a difference. I want to make an impact... and I don't have to wait to do it. I don't have to be an adult to make things happen... I can make things happen right now, in my teenage years. We all can. Just think, what would happen if we all decided to stand up for what we believe in? To stand up for the weird kid, sit with the lonely kid, smile at the hurt one, and just love? Can you even imagine that impact?! We can change the world. So lets do it. Let's stop being like the world, settling for less than everything, and start living in the love that we're offered. Let's show the world that this thing is for real, and we aren't backing down. Let's stand for truth. Let's stand out, be different, and be trend setters. Let's show what it is to really have joy, and not just temporary happiness. Let's help the people that are so, so lost to fill that hole. Let's show the world the acceptance, love, generosity, and grace that we have received. Let's do it. Will you join me?

"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."-Abraham Lincoln.

This is so true. I mean, how much happier would we be if we stopped worrying over the small stuff, forgave each other, and just smiled! Joy is a never-ending gift. You can give as much of it away as you like, and still have tons left over for yourself. Actually, I'm convinced that the more you give it, the more you get it. So smile. Laugh. Dance. Sing off key. Spend time with other people, even when you don't have it. These are the days you'll look back on, so why not make them count.