Warning: Discretion Advised

When I was growing up, my parents always used to warn me about the movies I wanted to see. When I’d get invites to go to the movies with friends, honestly, sometimes I didn’t even think to ask what the movie was. The only thing on my mind was hanging with my friends – the movie was secondary. But of course, as I went to ask my parent’s permission, they would always expect to know exactly what movie we were planning on seeing, what I knew about it… and where they could read a thorough review. Though this often drove me crazy and sometimes meant that I wouldn’t get to go… they made sure that I learned a few lessons. 

1. Don’t be mindless and not know what you’re about to be doing/watching.
2. Don’t assume your friends are making a wise suggestion…
3. Be discerning.

When my parents eventually turned over the “key” to my movie watching decisions, I found “being discerning” could sometimes be difficult. Whose standards should I base my decision on? My friends said it was ok… so it should be, right? My parents probably wouldn’t like it… but they are really strict. I’m sure I can handle it, I reasoned.

We can “reason” our way out of anything. As long as we turn our conscience off first.

Right now, you and I are in a battle that requires incredible discernment. This battle is with way more than just movies… rather, what we believe, what we support, what we give our lives to. Each one of those areas in our lives have been attacked, and without even realizing it, we may have had the truth stolen right out from underneath us. What are you standing on? Why do you believe what you believe? How have you determined truth?

There are many things that appear one way, and are another. We all love the saying, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”… but how many people actually like to dig deeper when the cover looks great and is extremely popular?

I feel a deep burden to remind us all to be discerning in these times in which we live. We are bombarded daily by so many voices and messages – we can’t be lazy and neglect to sort and discern each one. If something blows up and becomes crazy popular – don’t take it at face value. Research it. Pray about it. Seek to really understand and determine God’s position on it. Don’t blindly follow something without knowing exactly where it’s leading you (and others).

I want to leave you with some verses to dig into and meditate on. I encourage you to ask God to reveal if there is anything that you have mistaken for truth or have not dug deep enough into. Pray that He would give you wisdom and discernment, and that you would clearly see everything with His eyes and heart. I am doing the same. 🙂

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:8

“Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.” 2 Thessalonians 5:21-22  

*Do you have a story of God revealing an area in your life where you hadn’t been discerning? How did He reveal that to you? And what did He call you to do differently? I’d love for you to share your story below.

What is my book “Wake Up, Generation” about?

 So,

Image

I wrote a book.

My very first book.

And it releases THIS August.

I couldn’t be more excited!! The truth is, God has been writing this book on my heart since I was 11 years old. I never grew up thinking I would be an author, but as my story has unfolded, there was no way I could keep the things God has been teaching me to myself. They’re too big. Too essential. Too life-changing. I had to write a book.

This book is about finding your purpose. It’s called “Wake Up, Generation” because I believe my generation has been sleepwalking in apathy, blind to our life’s value, and worst of all, numb to our true purpose. The world tells us that we’re young and have all the time in the world to “get things together”. But as I found out as a cancer-stricken 11-year-old, we don’t even know what’s going to happen tomorrow (James 4:14). Our life is a precious mist that can be taken from us at any second. We don’t have time to be apathetic. We don’t have time to mess around. We don’t have time… to waste.

If you feel drowned in the sea of indifference and mediocrity… this book will inspire you. If you feel lost in the maze of countless expectations and routes… this book will free you. If you feel hopeless beyond all reason… this book will begin to restore you.

Some of the specific things God has led me to cover in this book are: reclaiming your value, discovering your gifts, igniting your God-given passion, writing a mission statement for your life, learning how to live the mission God’s given you, and opening your eyes to global needs so you can use your life to change the world around you.

This is a book about waking up to your purpose. This is a book about refusing to waste your life.

If you’re still breathing, there’s a reason why you’re here.

That’s what my book is about.

The Start of A Movement

If you know me, you most likely know that I’m passionate about busting things like apathy and encouraging people to not waste their lives. Some would say I’m the Anti-Apathy/ Don’t-Waste-Your-Life-Girl. And, yeah… they’d be right!

But the heart of the message is a lot deeper than those cute catch phrases. If we’re going to not waste our lives, what are we going to do with our lives? If we’re going to be against apathy, then what are we going to be for?

I believe teens and young adults have been stripped of their value by society and left floundering for their purpose. There’s an aimlessness that’s rising out of the “lost cause” mindset that we’ve been fed. It walks among us, it wrestles within us. It keeps us sitting down when we should be standing up.

It’s time for things to change.

God has called me to start a movement called, “Wake Up, Generation”, whose goal is to awaken young people to break the chains of apathy, reclaim their value and live out the incredible, God-given mission for their lives. I am currently working on a book that lays out the heart of this movement and what it truly looks like to use our lives. I would love prayers as publishing opportunities are in the works.

In the mean time, if this is a rising movement… there needs to be action. I am going to be throwing out some “action challenges” in these next few months – some big, some small. As we take these challenges I expect a greater adventure to unfold than we ever dared to foresee.

“Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made… Lead out those who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf. (10) You are my witnesses, declares the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen.” Isaiah 43:7-8,10

It’s an honor to be on this journey with you as we serve a God who has mind-blowing plans for you and me.


The Thousand Roads

Right now, many of us are at a crossroad. We could stay straight, turn left or right, go to the side or up or down. Some of you may be about to graduate from High School. Others might have lost their job. Perhaps some are leading an unhealthy lifestyle… and know it needs to change. 

Wherever you are at your crossroad, there’s a lot of paths that you could take from here. So how do you begin to choose which way you go?

The other day, I sat down with a pen and paper and literally began to write down every direction that I could imagine myself going in right now. When I had scribbled out all the options I could think of, I have to admit, I was pretty overwhelmed.

When I sat there with a thousand different roads seemingly before me, my thoughts initially felt as jumbled as my crowded piece of paper. I can see why some people just choose to escape and “check out” when it comes to major life decisions rather than really digging in to think things through. Could that be what some of us have done?

I see it all the time. Instead of really buckling down and facing some of the choices that are set before us, we choose escape. We welcome the fact that the world doesn’t encourage making hard decisions and really getting serious about things. We think, “If I can coast my way through, that’s good enough for me…”

But is it? At some point, we all choose a direction. Whether consciously or not.

On the piece of paper with my many scribbled out “path options”, were two in particular that stuck out to me the most – all the other choices seemed to pale in comparison. If anything, they seemed to point to those two main things that I apparently really care about doing. (might I just add that those 2 things were the biggest, craziest things on my list??)

Suddenly, what had seemed like a mass confusion of overwhelming choices became narrowed down to a handful. When I really stopped for a second to think about these big, hard, life things… I realized that maybe there weren’t a thousand paths after all. Maybe I was actually made for one.

Maybe the purpose that was inside me was reaching for the things on that list that had the most to do with my passion… perhaps a passion that I hadn’t even fully discovered yet. But regardless, I seemed to know which 2 things on the list to pick… though they were the craziest, most improbable ones.

>> ACTION CHALLENGE << If you feel you are at a crossroad in your life with many paths set before you, take a minute to write down all the paths you’d consider taking right now. ie: Career, School, Relationships, Living locations. Include the “crazy dream” paths, as well as the seemingly logical/practical paths. After you have it written down, read it over and see what sticks out to you. What could you take or leave? What do you keep coming back to? Circle the things that seem to jump out to your heart the most. Those are the things that are most likely not options to ignore. This means you are meant to do them… they are part of your path.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

*If you do this action challenge, I’d love to hear what you found if you care to share!

Blame The Screen

Imagine this. It’s 1:53 PM and you’re late for a meeting. The computer you’ve been counting on to finish an important document is officially frozen and refuses to let you even move the mouse to click “Restart”. 

This is the moment when all tact goes out the window. As you shout at, and pound on your computer, you imagine throwing it across the room and making it regret treating you this way! What nerve!

Wait… really?

You slowly gather your composure and glance around the room to make sure no one just witnessed your private war with your computer. You know it’s just an electronic device, but you still choose to blame it for maliciously trying to ruin your day and make you late.

Read the rest here: http://www.facebook.com/notes/my-broken-palace/blame-the-screen/169322476418509

I wrote this blog for MyBrokenPalace.com, a website whose desire is for no one to deal with the crushing weight of loneliness, depression, anxiety, stress, abuse, addictions, or thoughts of suicide alone.

This Should Make Your Jaw Drop

My friend and I were hanging out the other night at her apartment, just talking and catching up on some of what we had been up to this summer. Somehow we began looking up some youtube videos of different artists and bands. Eventually, we landed on one video that I hadn’t seen before from one of the most popular artists right now. Can I just tell you that we were appalled? As our jaws dropped, we couldn’t believe that what we were watching had actually been released as a public, new music video! It was beyond disgusting. More like, disturbing. Is this supposed to be the new “norm”?

As young people, we don’t have the benefit of ever really getting to see the world in a purer form than it is in now. Frankly, culture has been pretty twisted ever since we’ve known it. Morals and values haven’t been popular or  held in high esteem as long as we’ve known them. In that case, it could be easy to say about our culture, “that’s just the way it is” or “that’s how it’s always been”. Actually… it’s not.

Believe it or not, there was a time when modesty was the applauded standard. When purity was across the board encouraged. When people were expected to hold themselves with dignity and decency. Were there people who strayed from this? Of course! But it wasn’t broadcasted like it is today – and certainly not glorified!

Just because you and I have grown up in a world where indecency, provocativeness, unfaithfulness and filth is “normal”, doesn’t mean that we should become at all used to it. If we let ourselves become numb to these things, all the lines of right and wrong will be blurred.

The Bible says,

“Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22

“… Do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.” 1 Timothy 5:22

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23

“The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure conscience and a sincere faith.” 1 Timothy 1:5

** “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17

I found it interesting, particularly in the last two verses, that love and wisdom were first of all defined by being pure. And I’m not just talking about the “True Love Waits” kind of pure. I’m talking about our mind… our heart… our motives being pure.

Scripture puts it best here as it says, “Finally, brothers,whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

This is what is to be in our heart!

When we are polluted by the world, we are diluted in our role for the Kingdom of God. As the ways and mindset of the world sets in, it pushes out the power and wisdom that comes from wholly walking with our Lord.

Take the time to examine your heart. Ask God to show you any areas that you have perhaps become numb and haven’t even realized. I’ve been amazed as I’ve done this as well.

Let the things that drop our jaw be the things that are actually beautiful…

a pure heart.