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I am…

1 Timothy 4:12- “Let no man despise thy youth, but be an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in faith, in spirit, and in purity.

It’s the verse I have on my lock screen, the verse I have memorized and practically live by

So… that’s where I’m going to start…by saying that that verse has changed me for the better. It’s made me pull a complete 180 on how I was living. I wasn’t a bad girl, I just wasn’t who God wanted me to be and strayed from him.

Secondly, my name is Rivers. Yes, I am female. My name is unique and I’m certain God told my parents to name me that.

I’m an aunt to 5 kids that are growing way too fast. I love having adventures with them.

I’m both an older and younger sister to my three siblings.

I’m a city girl that loves the FFA (agricultural leadership organization). Does that make sense?

I’m looking to be a pastor for the ELCA and I write poetry because it’s another beautiful thing in this world.

I am a lover of the beauty in this world. There is beauty in everything, you just have to look for it and be positive.

I live where the air hurts my face some mornings for 6 months out of the year.

I love to travel and there is an adventure in everyday you live. Waking up is a blessing.

You may be wondering why I wanted to start this blog. I’m really young, I haven’t even finished high school yet and I have a lot to learn that’s for sure, but doesn’t everyone? As I grow in knowledge of Christ and the world I want to share the things I learn with you. So join me on my adventure. This is going to be so much fun!

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Bible Verses for When…

You’re angry… Ephesians 4:26 and Ephesians 4:31

You’re worried… Philippians 4:6-7 and Matthew 6:25

You’re joyful… Isaiah 55:12 and Job 8:19

You’re anxious… 1 Peter 5:7 and Matthew 6:34

You’re sad/upset… Job 41:22 and Proverbs 10:22

You’re in love… 1 John 4:7 and 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

You’re at peace… Philippians 4:7 and 2 Thessalonians 3:16

You’re scared…2 Timothy 1:7 and Psalms 56:3

You’re in need of Strength… Philippians 4:13

You’re hopeful… Hebrews 6:19 and Jeremiah 29:11

You need forgiveness… Colossians 3:13 and 1 John 1:9

You’re Surrounded by Children to teach… John 3:16 and pretty much any verse

You are in need of trust… Romans 8:28

You’re Graceful… Ephesians 2:8 and James 4:6

You’re seeking wisdom… James 1:5 and Colossians 3:16

You’re insecure… Deuteronomy 31:8 and 2 Corinthians 10:12

You’re broken hearted… Psalms 147:3 and Psalms 34:18

You’re feeling alone… Hebrews 13:5 and Psalms 24:4

You’re needing faith… 1 Timothy 4:12 and Galatians 2:20

You’re tired… Matthew 11:28 and Isaiah 40

You’re frustrated… Hebrews 12 and Psalms 90

You need courage… Joshua 1 and Psalms 27:14

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” -Matthew 7:7

No matter what you’re going through or what you’re feeling, you can find God’s words to help you. These verses aren’t the only verses, either, just a few so seek answers from him and ask. I promise, you’ll feel better.

Dear 2017 and hello 2018,

Every year before you, I have said that things are going to change, and 2017, the things that I wanted to change going into this year turned out to be things I never changed. A lot of things did change, don’t get me wrong, but it was more on terms of maturity and personality growth.

2017, you saw some of my worst moments. Those days where just getting out of bed or eating was a struggle. I moved once again and started my sophomore year of high school on a good note, but it caused me to lose touch with people who meant the world to me. I failed a lot, made promises I couldn’t keep, and went against heavy morals I held myself to. I set goals, but let those goals slip through my fingers once the world turned on me again.

2017, you also keep some of my favorite memories. I got to stay on the Oregon Coast for a week- I promise I have never seen a sunset like that before or been to the tide pools and seen a real lighthouse. I finished my first year of high school and got my drivers’ license. I got my wisdom teeth out, I’m still recovering from that but I think my puffy cheeks are hilarious. I worked as a lifeguard all summer long and got quite the weird tan. Prom was another experience that was fun, but stressful. Last but not least, 2017, I learned things about myself that will guide me in my future.

2018, you are just a year, a year with endless possibilities. I just hope that you bring me more happiness than pain, more success than failures, and endless love. I hope that I am able to make so much more of a difference in the lives around me, which in turn, will forever change my life. I want to see more beauty in the world, beauty I haven’t seen yet. I want to continue to improve on loving myself, but also loving Christ above anything and anyone else. I will find more ways to step out of my comfort zone and inspire others to do the same.

2018, you are just a year, 365 Days, only 8,760 hours. All that time will go by so fast. Please bring good luck to those in need, the grieving families, the homeless, those that feel unloved and unsafe. Bring the soldiers home safe and provide peace, smiles, and laughter. Let there be more good than bad and less tragedy. Continue to bring Christ into the homes of the non-believers and those who haven’t had the opportunities to hear the message. I will make the most out of the 8,760 hours you provide me with.

To 2017, thank you, and may 2018 be a good follow up. Goodbye.

To 2018, I welcome you with full arms. I know you’re going to shape me so much.

Sincerely,

Rivers

Christian Teen Date Ideas

1.Church/ Youth Group

2. Bible Study/prayer circle

3. Ice Skating

4. Movie with family

5. See the Christmas lights (with or without other family)

6. Bowling (with and without family)

7. Go to the library

8. Escape room with friends/family

9. Go to the zoo

10. Go to the park

11. Take your younger family to the park

12. Have a picnic

13. Go to high school sports games

14. Art museum w/ casual lunch

15. Go fishing

16. Go snowboarding/skiing

17. Go sledding/snow tubing

18. Go to an outdoor concert

19. Watch the fireworks

20. Go to the fair/carnival

21. Craft shows

22. Farmer’s market/ thrift store

23. Go hiking/biking

24. Take a photo walk

You just wander around taking pictures of anything that catches your eyes! Make sure you use a different perspective.

25. Have a photo shoot

26. Go roller blading

27. Go to a play

28. Go mini golfing

29. Go rock climbing

30. Go to the gym

31. Play basketball/ baseball/ frisbee golf

32. Have a study date

As a bonus, get coffee too

33. Just go for coffee

34. Laser tag

35. Bake sweets together

36. Go stargazing

37. Go to the pumpkin patch/ go apple picking

38. Learn new musical talents/ teach each other your musical talents

39. Go paddle boating

40. Go canoeing

41. Go to the arcade

42. Do community service/ volunteer work together

43. Go to the mall

44. Go to an aquarium

45. Go to a ballet/musical/ opera

46. Try a new restaurant/ just get food

47. Explore a state park

48. Go to any type of museum

49. Sunsets. Sunsets. Sunsets. Sunrises.

50. Take a walk

51. Take the dogs for a walk

52. Restaurant Hop

Go to one restaurant and only get appetizers, then pay of course! Then go to another restaurant and get more appetizers!

53. Go go-karting

54. Build a Snowman/ snow angels

…. and then have hot cocoa!

55. Indoor picnic (make it long distance w/ FaceTime

56. Bonfire

Make sure there’s s’mores!

57. Walk around downtown

As a bonus, get ice cream or candy

58. Play cards/ board games ( with and without family)

59. Go to the trampoline park

60. Make gingerbread houses

61. Make Christmas ornaments

62. Have a movie marathon

63. Make tie dye camp shirts

64. Conquer a fear with them

65. Build a blanket fort and make shadow puppets

66. Youtube Karaoke

All you need is a goofy person, an electronic device, and a hairbrush/spoon

67. Go to a rodeo

68. Climb a tree and enjoy the view

69. Split a milkshake

70. Have a paint fight

71. Have a candle light dinner

72. Go window shopping

73. Binge watch Netflix shows

74. Make Easter eggs

75. Make root beer floats

76. Leave random notes for other readers in your favorite books at Barnes n Nobles

77. Have a Scavenger Hunt

78. Two words: Helium and Laughter

79. Inspire each other’s writing/ poetry

80. Enjoy the rain

Make sure you aren’t wearing anything that will show through!

81. Make pottery/ other arts and crafts

82. Go horse back riding

83. Do mud runs/ fun runs

84. Go mudding

85. Go to the lake/ beach

Remember to be modest!!!

86. Have a water fight

During this, make sure you’re wearing clothes that won’t show through.

All in all, make sure you’re doing things that won’t allow you to stray from Christ because, after all,

Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God- James 4:4

My Christmas Traditions

When the holidays come, the traditions do as well. Everyone has traditions when it comes to the holidays. So… what are mine?

1. Put up the tree the Sunday after Thanksgiving

My family goes to church and then we set up our Christmas tree together. The tree only goes up on that Sunday. It must. It puts more of the reminder that this holiday is about Jesus.

2. Dad puts star on top of the tree

This one is mainly just something that ended up happening with him being slightly taller than everyone else. Plus, with the star we have, we have to stick a few of the tree’s lights in it so it shines as brightly as the star on that first Christmas.

3. We open ONE gift on Christmas Eve

Christmas isn’t all about the gifts and normally it’s the gift with the pajamas in them, but we do open one gift each the night before right before bed. And then wear the PJ’s to bed.

4. The Oldest goes first, youngest goes last when opening gifts

I don’t know why my family does this exactly, but if I had to guess, I’d say it’s so that everyone can see what the others got. Plus, the oldest usually doesn’t get as much and is more superior.

5. Christmas Eve Candlelight Service and Christmas morning service

My family always goes to church on Christmas, besides when we’re seeing family in another state. Usually when that happens, we still worship together. I wish we could get everyone to go to church, but that doesn’t happen so we make do.

6. Christmas lights as a family

My family absolutely loves driving around to look at the lights on people’s houses. We also drive through the main park here in town and look at the city’s light display.

7. Alternate Houses

What I mean by this is that none of my relatives live in the state so we travel alternate between who we visit. Sometimes, we go to Grandma’s. Other years we go home to where I’m from and see my sister and Aunt and nephews and nieces. Some years, we stay home. It’s a tradition I guess. This year we’re staying home.

What are your traditions? These are only the ones I can think of. Remember, God likes our traditions as long as they don’t go against him.

2 Thessalonians 2:14-15

To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.

The Lifeguard’s Chair

I am blessed to have one of the best teen jobs that is out there. I am a lifeguard and all summer long I get the opportunity to work with people of all ages. Sometimes it isn’t easy seeing as I’m only 15 and a lot of older people would rather not listen to me.

Being a lifeguard, I get asked why I choose to wear a one piece day after day and, quite honestly, I had no idea what my answer to that question was…until now. The reason I do it is because I’m more comfortable sitting in the chair and watching people rather than feel like they’re watching me. It’s not that I’m uncomfortable with my body. I’m not. I know I’m perfect in God’s eyes. I just want to set a good example for anyone that is watching.

I get walked upon quite a lot from my fellow lifeguards. Maybe they think they’re trying to help me but sometimes it seems a little harsh. It’s okay though, I forgive them. We’re all just trying to earn a little bit of money.

I’ve learned a lot from the long days up on that chair. I even STILL have the tan lines. Swimming lessons was so fun because I connected with the kids and they had a lot of fun too. A lot of them grew too. Some lessons were squatting down to talk to them was better, and they’re just trying to have the most fun they can.

One of my least favorite things about the job was the confrontation part of it. I could confront a little kid but when it came to a parent or a teen that was older than me, I really struggled. God helped me get through that.

1 Thessalonians 5:14

And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them

Talking to those parents was very… nerve-wracking. Sometimes they didn’t understand or thought they could get me to change my mind on something. God gave me the strength and I casted all my anxieties onto him all summer.

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you

Before I became a lifeguard, I didn’t think that you could see so much from those chairs. Now, I know why they call Jesus a lifeguard. Not only because he saves us from our sins and drownings, but also because he watches us just like I watch those kids and make sure they’re safe. I know God has given me the skills to help save someone that is in trouble and impact the lives of kids’ there.

I love my job. I’ll never walk on water, but I’m so glad that Jesus can and gives me enough strength to save someone when they’re drowning. It doesn’t matter if they’re swimming or need an ear, I know Jesus will help me help them and that’s a great gift.

Some Things I’ve learned as a Christian Girl Going to High School

Alright, so high school is a pretty rough time for everyone, but for a Christian, going to a worldly public school can be even harder.

If you are anything like me, you’ve grown up going to church and learning about Jesus and how much he loves us. You’ve accepted Jesus into your heart and there’s not a doubt in your mind about him. A lot of us have kind of been sheltered and the world hasn’t unleashed what it has to say about Christianity… yet.

Some of you decided to follow Christ in later years, maybe you were brought into Christianity by a friend or relative. You guys have seen the world and your decision to follow Christ was under a different understanding.

However you became Christian or are Christian, the world and society we live in doesn’t like to hear about Jesus and we aren’t accepted with an ear wanting to hear all about our faith. It is extremely difficult to build relationships with those who do not share our views, because we are often put aside.

We are seen as goody-two-shoes and people aren’t wrong

When it comes to sneaking out and partying you probably would rather be at home or at church. Worldly teens see Christians as people who will judge every act of wrong they do, not knowing that Christianity is a religion of judgeless people. As Christians, any friends that we have will either agree with our right decisions or leave because we don’t want to follow their wrong ones.

I, personally, am only a sophomore and I’ve already lost a ton of friendships because I refused to do things that could be harmful to myself. People leaving is hard to get over and definitely doesn’t make you “popular” at all.

We are not alone, however. As a teen girl, I always keep that on my mind as a reminder for when I do feel lonely. God will be there every step of the way and put the people that you’re supposed to reach, in reach- the people that we can impact. He will give us godly friends that encourage us in our faith walk. With them by our side, high school really won’t be that rough.

Proverbs 27:9- “a sweet friendship refreshes the soul”

Sometimes you’ll question God because of the things happening, and that’s okay

In high school, we try to discover ourselves and plan for our future, while keeping everything under control. It’s disappointing realizing having everything under control and perfect… won’t happen. I realized that even though I wasn’t satisfied with how things were going, it’ll all work out. God has a plan for me (us) and it’s more than I can even imagine at this point.

Sometimes relationships end because it wasn’t good for you at the time, or you just aren’t soulmates

Being a sophomore, I’ve only had a few relationships and as much as I didn’t want them to end at the time, I’m starting to realize that some of them were for the best. I realized that I wasn’t truly happy and some were even quite abusive.

In high school, I get so busy with life it sometimes starts to get in the way of reading the Bible and worshipping God. Now, I’m definitely not saying don’t date. Please do, but be careful who you date and don’t get sucked into what you see on Instagram and around school. Invite them to church or have a bible study. Trust me, it’s fun.

It’s hard to be modest and fit in, but fitting in doesn’t work when you’re a Christian

As a girl, you notice what all the other girls are wearing. You see it all over media and around school and you’re pressured to wear things that don’t cover other things.

To be honest, those clothes won’t bring you genuine, godly friends. A girl can look pretty covered up. God thinks you’re perfect and the ones that are supposed to be in your life will realize that.

You will fit in with your crowd.

3 kids, a Broken Truck, and The Time We Met Jesus

It was our summer vacation, the family had decided to take a trip to see Grandma up in Oregon. So we drove to Omaha to pick up my older sister and her 3 kids and planned to drive to meet my sister-in-law and niece there.

The vehicle we had taken was one we had just purchased used. We didn’t know how it would hold up on a long trip like this. Dad was positive nothing would happen. (I know I wanted to take the minivan instead just to be safe)

We got to Idaho and just outside of Twin Falls the truck decided to fail us. All the transmission fluid went everywhere. We thanked the lord that he had told my dad to put our luggage in plastic bins. We called Triple A. They said they’d be out as soon as they could to tow us. Soon ended up being a few hours.

Our meeting with God occurred within 30 minutes after we called Triple A. That’s a long time of waiting along the side of the highway with three kids under the age of ten. A long, really dangerous situation because nowadays people are always in a rush and there’s rattlesnakes and a ton of dangerous wildlife in the desert where we were.

God came to us in the form of a lady and her young son. They had just left Twin Falls and were going home, until they saw us. They stopped and asked if we needed help. There was a barbed wire fence between us and her because she was on the dirt road going along the highway. She said she could give us a lift back into town and called her husband to tell him she was going to help us so he wouldn’t worry. She also handed us a crate to help us over the barbed wire.

Normally, that’d be a scary thing, having a stranger offer to give you a ride with how the world is, but we didn’t get any bad feelings and we all had a feeling we should take the offer. So my mom, Summers (my younger sister), and I went with Casey, Jaxon, and Mary (my nephews and niece) to our hotel in Twin Falls while my dad and older sister, Chelsea, to wait for Triple A.

Her act of selflessness constantly reminds me of the verse Proverbs 19:17:

“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”

My family is definitely not poor nor were we at the time, but this verse is solely based on helping those in need. My family was in need and her act of kindness really helped us. She didn’t even want to take the money we offered her when we got to the hotel as a thank you.

God occurs in many forms.

Matthew 25:44-45:

Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’

Every person in need is God, and you’re God to the person in need. So many people are afraid to stop because we constantly hear about the bad things that could happen and fear them. Love casts out fear, and God is with us to strengthen us.

1 Isaiah 41:10

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love

God bless.

Let’s Talk About The Holiday Season

Rudolph

Santa Clause

Christmas Trees

Presents

These are only a few of the things people think about when it comes to the holiday season.

For Christians, we think about the birth of Jesus Christ. I have some family that are Jewish and they celebrate Chanukah. Whatever you believe in, there’s probably a holiday this winter that you will be celebrating.

Within the holiday season, there is a lot of chaos.

Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”

Take a deep breath and don’t stress too much. Your season is about the birth of Jesus Christ. You hear the story every year and if you have kids, they’ve probably performed the story at church. This season is solely on celebrating the fact that he was born and has walked this earth, but be sure to have some fun with having Santa Clause and other holiday fun with your loved ones as well.

Sometimes people can be a little bit like the Grinch or Scrooge because somewhere in their lives, pain occurred around this time of year. Open your hearts and mind to them and pray that they still have a wonderful season with the people they love. If that’s you or someone you love, I hope you don’t stray from his word.

1 Peter 5:9-10 “Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

Christmas is a time for love and joyfulness, but remember to show love in everything you do every other time of the year as well. Being a Christian doesn’t always mean going to church every weekend, it just means studying and believing in him and acting in his word as much as you can. Pray when you don’t. If you aren’t Christian just be an all around good person.

Whichever winter holiday you celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.