I'm reading this book at the moment and loving the lessons that Bianca draws from the story of Ruth about how to live life well. It is an open, honest look at life lessons she has learned and wants to pass on to other young women. She covers dating and relationships, faith and spirituality and adulting and growing up. I highly recommend it for older teens.
Today is "R U OK Day" in Australia. I think that a lot of people assume that Christians are happy all of the time and that's just not true. Just because you're a Christian doesn't mean that life is all sunshine and rainbows. We live in a fallen world and are subject to the same mental health challenges, physical illnesses, hormonal mood swings, disappointments, hardships and tough times as the rest of the world. Many mental health disorders are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain so it's not a matter of snapping out of it.
Mark 14:33 tells us that Jesus was "deeply distressed and troubled." Do you know what he did when that happened? He got on his knees and prayed. Here are three things to do if you are not okay:
I have a confession to make, I have been feeling down recently, lacking motivation and feeling overwhelmed. I talked to some friends and saw a psychologist who was able to offer some tools to get through this phase. There is no shame in asking for help - you would be surprised how many people who look like they have it together are actually falling to pieces or are getting help.
So, are you okay?
I like Billy Graham's definition of a disciple, someone who believes in Jesus and seeks to follow him in his or her daily life.* The word disciple also means student. There are plenty of fans and followers in the world but a student goes deeper and explores and investigates. Jesus isn't physically present on the earth any more but we have his Word, the Bible, which includes some of the actual words he said plus accounts from his first disciples. His Spirit lives in us and can help us as we read the Bible and pray. Being a follower of Jesus isn't like following someone on Instagram, it is studying his word and devoting yourself to living like him and for him. Jesus' final instructions to his disciples was, go and make disciples in all the nations (Matthew 28:19) so it must be pretty important.
* Read more here: https://www.kansascity.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/billy-graham/article77272832.html#storylink=cpy
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1 Corinthians 11:23-26
The Lord Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks to God for it, he broke it and gave it to his disciples and said, “Take this and eat it. This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new agreement between God and you that has been established and set in motion by my blood. Do this in remembrance of me whenever you drink it.” For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup you are retelling the message of the Lord’s death, that he has died for you. Do this until he comes again.
The bread (or wafer) and wine (or grape juice) represent the body and blood of Christ. They remind us that he died on the cross and rose again to forgive our sins and restore us to right relationship with God. There is nothing magical about the bread and wine, they are just a reminder - just like a wedding ring is a reminder of the two people's endless love for each other.
Communion is also known as the Lord's Supper, the Lord's Table, and the Eucharist. When Jesus shared the bread and wine with his disciples, they were celebrating the Passover (more about that in the future). It was actually the last meal Jesus ate with his disciples because Judas betrayed him and he was arrested later that night.
Some churches share communion each time they meet, some do it once a month. The Bible instructs us to keep doing it until Jesus comes again.
1 Corinthians 11:28-29
You should each examine yourself first, and then eat the bread and drink from the cup. For if you do not recognise the meaning of the Lord's body when you eat the bread and drink from the cup, you bring judgment on yourself as you eat and drink.
You should make sure you participate in communion with the right attitude, otherwise you are sinning. Communion is a time of reflection and repentance, a time to confess your sins to God and ask for forgiveness.
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.