Drawing the Line

This post isn’t offering answers; only questions. It has come to my attention, at the ripe ole age of seventeen, that there are certain divides in our culture. And to be honest, I don’t really understand how to Biblically resolve all of them.

Take teenage dating. Within the Christian faith, there are many opinions on this issue. Some say it’s fine, and to date around to figure out what you want. Some say not to date at all, only to court. Some read a book which called for us to kiss dating goodbye, and others say God will tell us who to marry, so don’t worry about it. Where should I stand? Where does God stand?

Say I pick a side on the teenage dating debate. Now I have to decide what I think about physical contact. I know Christians who won’t even touch each other. Some save their first kiss, while others make out with each other. Some hold hands, others hug, and still others set different boundaries. The only thing Christians agree on is don’t sleep together. So where should I stand? Where does God stand?

How about this detour: Harry Potter. For some of you reading, you just squealed with delight. Others gasped in horror. I was brought up to believe it was bad, demonic, witchcraft. Those things are bad, so stay away. Yet, I know so many Christians who love Harry Potter. Where am I supposed to stand? My friends are not evil for enjoying it, as far as I’ve noticed. They are good, sweet, loving Christian girls. But if Harry Potter is so bad, how can they watch it? I watched a Harry Potter movie just a few days ago, for the first time. I enjoyed the characters, the plot, the political themes I saw. Yet my parents were disappointed in me. How can these two opinions exist, between God-loving people? Where am I supposed to stand?

There is no general consensus on any of these things. We could bring together all of my Christian girl friends, and we would disagree on almost all of these. We all think and believe different things! How do I stand with God, and where He wants me, when I can’t even find agreement between friends who love Him, too?

Where do we draw the line, as Christians? As those who fear the Lord? Those who believe differently, are influenced by different denominations? How can we come together and agree with one another, because the Lord says so?

I’m just a seventeen year old girl who wants to serve God in what she does. I would never wish to inadvertently do something He disproves of, because I love Him. I have a feeling that He will be teaching me a great deal about line drawing in the future.

What about you? What is your opinion on Harry Potter? Tell me what you think, and why, in the comments below. You have no idea how much I’d love to hear your answers.

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Visitor

Last week, I visited a friend’s youth group. It was a strange experience for me. Historically, I hate visiting youth groups. I will attend with a friend, and that friend will spy their own friends and say, “See ya!” Then I will contemplate which corner I will claim as my own for the evening.

During the car ride to their church, I became suddenly aware that I hadn’t brought a Bible. When they had visited my youth group, they had all brought their own Bibles. Terror washed over me, and this was all I could think of.

B-I-B-L-E

Thanks, Blimey Cow.

Even without that playing through my mind, I was still nervous. The building we pulled up to was huge. I had very insufficient directions to get where I was supposed to be, and all I needed was to end up wandering around in a hallway at the wrong end and have someone find me two weeks later.

Luckily, there was a familiar face when my dad and I approached the door. I started to feel a little better, like maybe I wasn’t going to collapse somewhere, and I followed my friend through the hallways.

I was still a little numb. A few people said hello to me, and I didn’t return the proper response. To one girl I knew from camp, I started nervously blurting things. I think I startled her.

Once I got into the actual place I was supposed to get to, I warmed up even more. The group was larger than my youth group, but it wasn’t massive. The youth pastor was warm and friendly, and there were Oreos.

Being a visitor is tough for me. I don’t like new experiences, especially when I have no one to share them with. Most of where I go, I’ve been there so long, that it’s become my territory. I have no problem laughing too loud and talking too much.

This place was welcoming enough that I feel like I could go back. And that’s miles better than any other youth group I’ve ever visited. Why did I feel so welcome? Oddly enough, I think it was because everyone was being themselves. They were too loud and too giggly, just like I often am. And even though I didn’t walk away with any new friends, and no one introduced themselves to me, it was strangely friendly there.

And remember, kids. Don’t forget your B-I-B-L-E.

 

The Great American Novel

Normally, when I write a blog post, I try and give some kind of deep wisdom. However, I got myself completely out of schedule last week with my birthday, and I forgot I even needed to post anything.

So, why not give you guys a sneak peek at what I’ve been working on, book-wise?

The next book in the “Spirit Preserves” trilogy will be out soon. My primary editor has already been through it, and as soon as my secondary editor finishes and my cover is done, I’ll be ready! This book was difficult for me to write, because it deals heavily with growth. It’s hard to convince yourself that your changing characters is a good thing, because you miss who they were. Hopefully, though, I’ll love where they’re headed next just as much. I honestly have no idea what the third plot will be, but I’ve left myself plenty of loopholes and God will give me something.

I’ve also been spending a great deal of time on a top-secret project. And no, that’s not just a bluff to make it sound like I’ve been writing! The biggest development with that was recently, when one novel became six novels. It’s a gigantic undertaking, but I’m really passionate about the story, the message, and the characters. Even better, God’s been teaching me through it!

When The Top Secret Project gets along further, I’ll be sure to update you guys on the happenings.

Have a great day!

Phone Calls

Ring ring.

Who is it? Better not be a teenage boy, because talking on the phone is all kinds of weird, flirtatious, unacceptable wrongness.

So, yesterday was my birthday. And, for whatever reason, I was on the phone with one of my friends. He also happens to be a male, and we realized we couldn’t call each other just to talk because people will assume things.

Rather than have a discussion about not caring what other people think, and why we shouldn’t assume things in the first place, I’d like to tackle something else: phone calls.

What is it about a phone call that is such a big deal?

I can text, Facebook message, and email my guy friends without any fear of repercussion. Yet, when I add the element of a tone of voice for the sake of communication, I’m suddenly interested in them?

I can’t seem to wrap my mind around it.

Supposedly, you would think that wanting to hear someone’s voice is some kind of flirtatious desire. Actually, hearing the tone of voice that someone uses is a very useful tool in communicating, when body language is unavailable.

Why is there a stigma on phone calls? In past generations, before we had our instant messaging programs and systems, phone calls were a bold choice for communication. If you wanted to talk to someone of the opposite gender outside of school, you would call them, and it was a big deal.

So…why is it a big deal now?

I guess I’m just frustrated that I’d like the option to call my guy friends.

Let me know when society becomes a little less ridiculous.

Worship

Every Sunday that I’m at church, I run the overhead. My time for worship is spent making sure the slides run smoothly so people can see the words to the songs. The only Sundays I’m not at church, I’m at camp doing the exact same thing, except I’m also responsible for sound.

I like to worship. I like to sing, I like to raise my hands, I like to praise Him. However, the natural opportunities I get, in places of worship, are usually taken from me because of what I do.

The last time I remember really getting to worship was an entire summer ago! I went to camp as a camper, and I got to freely worship. I wasn’t running anything.

I’m anxious to go back again. I’m ready to worship again.

And I want to find a way around what usually keeps me from it.