I Remember...

As 2010 comes to an end, I remember stuff. Like, I remember that exactly one year ago, my great grandpa died. I remember that this year I published my book, Girlz of God. I remember that I've met new friends and grown closer to older ones, too. I've grown closer to my family and also to my heavenly Father, God. And I also remember that God has been faithful, even through trials, no matter how big or small. And I remember that His love for each one of us continues and is just as strong as it was the day that He died on the cross.

So today, as 2011 approaches, I want to thank God for another day to share His love, for His faithfulness, for His mercy and compassion, and for His love. So thank you, God. You're so good.

Talia

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The Perfect Blog (or so it seems...)

'K, girls - gotta make a confession. Sometimes I go a little overboard trying to make my blog look 'perfecto'. I gotta make a button... I gotta have a lot of followers... I gotta have a lot of pageviews... My blog has gotta be the cutest... I have to make it interesting... Do you think some of those thoughts (or similar ones) on a regular basis? What I'm realizing is that it's OK to have a nice-looking blog. It's OK to want people to visit your blog. It's OK to want to have a lot of followers. But if what you say in your blog posts has absolutely zero eternal meaning, then what's the point?

A quote my dad and I like says:

"Only one life, 'twill soon be past;

Only what's done for Christ will last."

(not sure who it's by)

But what if we lived (and blogged) like that? Things on this earth will not last, but what is done for Christ will, including what you say on your blog. So even if you have 'The Perfect Blog' (in the world's eyes), what does God think about it? I think it's okay to have some silly and random posts, but God can use you through your blog to impact the world for Him. So what are you waiting for? No one has 'the perfect blog'. No one but God is perfect. But if we let God use us as we are, He can do incredible, amazing things.

And I want that.

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It's Almost 2011!

Wow...can you believe how quickly 2011 is approaching? As we think about all the things that we know of coming next year, it's normal to get excited...and a bit nervous. With so much coming in a whole new year (or so little, seemingly), how can we possibly trust God through it all? In His Word, the Bible, He promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Holding onto that promise and trusting God throughout the new year will help us not only grow in wisdom, but grow in faith, too.

Talia

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Merry CHRISTmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone!!!

Last night was our church's Christmas Eve Service. At the end, we sang 'Silent Night' and lit candles. And while we were all holding our candles and singing, I got a warm feeling inside. And you know why stuff like that brings such great joy to us? Because this is what Christmas is all about - Jesus Christ.

Talia

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New Thing

I decided that I'm going to do a little column over on the right of my blog called 'Thought for Today'. Each day (or each couple of days...or weeks...or months...) I will add a new thought to ponder. You can check out today's below. Hope this helps you grow in your faith!

Talia

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Thought for Today

How differently would you live if you knew when you were going to die?

Talia

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Do You Hear What I Hear?

Our family just got back yesterday from a fun trip to the snow, where we stayed in a lodge with relatives and had a lot of fun. One NOT-fun thing that happened on the trip was getting sick. I woke up in the middle of Saturday night not feeling well at all. I went to the restroom and tried to go back to bed, but I woke up yet again, feeling awful. I went to my parents' room and decided to sleep there instead. And, well, let's just say that it was a long night of little sleep, my stomach aching, and throwing up (sooo not fun!). But then I thought, How come God is making me sick on vacation?! I kept reminding myself that He wasn't MAKING me sick, He was ALLOWING me to be sick. But me, being stubborn as I can be at times, was resistant to believing that. But then I remembered a blog post by Nancy Rue, in which she said, "When you're all bummed out about something, whether it's not being invited to the sleepover or having your BFF move away, look for something in it to thank God for (probably AFTER you've done some grieving; those feelings are important, too.)" So I looked for something to be thankful for, and you know what I discovered (more like what GOD showed me)? I could be thankful because while I was sick, God reminded me to pray for OTHERS. And I am thankful for that. And yesterday, when we had to travel 5 hours to get home (which would be SOOOO un-fun being sick), God healed me. HE did that. He didn't have to do it, but He did.

So where am I getting at with this blog post? And how come I'm talking about being thankful if it's SO past Thanksgiving (I'm sure most of us - including myself - are MAJOR excited for Christmas!)?

Well, I think we should use the values and morals that we learn to use on other holidays, and not JUST on those holidays. Who says we have to be thankful ONLY on Thanksgiving? Who says we have to give gifts - like our talents and time - ONLY on Christmas? Who says we have to be loving ONLY on Valentine's Day?

Some of you bloggers might think that's it lame to talk about Christmas when, like, EVERYONE already is. Or if you're a blog reader, you might be tired of reading the same-'ol blog posts. But the truth is, we need to hear this message. We need to apply it to our lives. And we need to reflect on the awesomeness of God's love, even if we don't think there IS any in our lives. But the truth is, everyone has at least one God-given gift that they can use for God's glory. Everyone has at least one thing to be thankful for, whether it's food or the color of their hair, which they really like, or their teacher, who helps them learn.

The other day I was watching a show about police in Texas, and it made me really sad. The people they arrest are out of control. They look to drugs, theft, and stuff like that to make them happy, but those things really won't make them happy. It only makes them out of control or miserable, not truly and eternally happy. It really hit me when my dad said that these people were once kids, too. Wow. Think about that. And pray for them.

I don't know what you think about this post. You may think it's inspiring, or nonsense, or just plain babbling on and on. But what I really want you to get from this is that it really is important to remember THE reason for the season - Jesus Christ - and to share His love with others. It is so, so important. Without God, we would be nothing. Without God, we would have no hope. Without God, we woudn't even be here. If He didn't come as a baby to grow up and tell the world of His salvation and then die on the cross for OUR sins (we all commit them), then where would we be? We'd be in the pits of hell (to be blunt). It's true. And God doesn't want that for us. That's why He came - to save us. All we have to do is confess we are sinful, ask God for forgiveness, and accept Him into our lives as our personal Lord and Savior. If we truly mean it, He won't neglect us.

And what about that whole 'sharing God's love' thing? Why is it so important? Well, there are many people in the world who haven't heard of the love of Christ, and there are many others who have turned from God, and it is SO important to help them get on the right track. The consequences of not trusting in God are unbearable.

Here is a Christmas song I really like, "Do You Hear What I Hear?" (Not sure who wrote it - sorry!!!)

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Said the night wind to the little lamb, Do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky, little lamb, do you see what I see?
A star, a star, dancing in the night, with a tail as big as a kite,
With a tail as big as a kite.

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy, Do you hear what I hear?
Ringing thru the sky, shepherd boy, do you hear what I hear?
A song, a song, high above the tree, with a voice as big as the sea,
With a voice as big as the sea.

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king, Do you know what I know?
In your palace warm, mighty king, do you know what I know?
A Child, a Child, shivers in the cold; Let us bring Him silver and gold,
Let us bring Him silver and gold.

Said the king to the people everywhere, Listen to what I say!
Pray for peace, people everywhere, Listen to what I say!
The Child, The Child, sleeping in the night; He will bring us goodness and light,
He will bring us goodness and light.

Now I'm not saying that wind or little lambs can talk. What I'm saying is to share the news of God's love, of His birth, of His salvation. GOD is the One whom Christmas is all about. And I know you've probably heard it alot (or maybe you haven't, and this is only your first or second time). No matter who you are, God came for YOU. He died for YOU. And He loves YOU. Accept that love...and share it. Be a shining light of God's love. Say, "Do you hear what I hear? God was born to save us! How amazing is that?" And it truly is amazing. Do you hear what I hear? God lives. God loves. God saves.

Luke 2:15 (NIV) (found on biblegateway.com)

...the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.



Talia

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Christmas Contest Winner

Congratulations to Sarah N. for winning the Christmas contest! Here is her amazing song, His Name Will Be Jesus.

HIS NAME WILL BE JESUS
By Sarah N.

She was just a girl
He was just a boy
They didn't think this
would come so soon

The angel said
Do not be afraid
I bring you good news
You will have a baby boy

Chorus:
His name will be Jesus
The Lily of the Valley
The Bright and Morning Star
His name will be Jesus
He came to earth to save
And to rescue you and me

No one understood
Her parents were ashamed
But Joseph knew
What he had to do

He stayed by Mary's side
They traveled together
And when they arrived
In Bethlehem their baby boy was born
 
Chorus:
His name will be Jesus
The Lily of the Valley
The Bright and Morning Star
His name will be Jesus
He came to earth to save
And to rescue you and me
 
Bridge:
He could have stayed right where he was
On his throne in Heaven
And chosen not to care at all
But he came as a little child
So humble, weak, and mild
Born to die to give us life
 
Chorus:
His name will be Jesus
The Lily of the Valley
The Bright and Morning Star
His name will be Jesus
He came to earth to save
And to rescue you and me

He came to earth to rescue you and me.

Great job, Sarah! You wrote a really amazing song!

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Come As You Are

Have you ever thought that it's too late for you to believe in God - that you're too bad, too sinful? Have you ever thought that since you have been pushing God aside for a while, you have to read your Bible or 'get good' before you come to God? I know I have. This Bible verse is really cool:

John 10:11

"I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep."

Here's lyrics to a song by Sixteen Cities that is so assuring...and so true.

You can come as you are

You can never fall too far

You can run to My arms

And I will heal your broken heart

So come as you are.

- Come As You Are, Sixteen Cities.

Is there anything else to say?

Talia

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Christmas Contest Ends Today!

Hurry! Christmas contest ends today at 12:0o pm (midwest time)! See Contests page for more details!

Talia

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Remembering

Christmas is just around the corner, and lately I've been remembering stuff my family and I have done this year. So much has gone on during 2010, and although there are trials that we go through every day, I believe that it is important to reflect on the good stuff that has happened. That helps us be thankful and realize that God is so good.

I think it's okay, as well, to reflect on the bad times, but not dwell on them. I don't think we should dwell on how we messed up if we are already forgiven, but we should dwell on how we have grown from that experience, or how we have learned something from that.

Here is a simple reflection of what I have learned this year or things I have gone through. I encourage you to make one, too (maybe in a journal or something). You could write down the names of each month, then under the name write stuff that went on in that month that you are proud of, that you were blessed with, or that you learned something from. You can decorate your list however you like.

This year, Girlz of God was published. The publishing of the book has helped me reach out to others and has also taught me about humility and humbleness.

At the beginning of the month, my family was blessed with the opportunity to go to Disneyland. Through that I grew closer to my family and made great memories.

In November, I was able to finish my NaNoWriMo novel. Through that, I learned about perseverance.

I go through times very often where I put God aside. I think, "Well, I'm a Christian, so I'm OK." But I'm not. Through these times I have learned to grow closer to God, to listen to Him, and to really live out my faith. This morning, I wrote a poem called 'Listen'. Here it is (sorry the spacing is somewhat strange. I don't know why it's doing that.)

Listen by Talia DeAndrea

God says, "Listen."

I say, "No."

I put Him aside,

Until I need Him,

But I've got to remember,

No matter what,

That I always need God!

Why have I been so stubborn?

Why have I turned away?

Why have I filled my heart with hatred,

Most likely every day?

I need to stop

I need to slow down

I need to really smile,

Not making my heart frown

I need to stop being fake

I need to stop using God for what I want

I need to pay attention to Him

I need to stop chasing worldly things

And going after foolishness that will not keep me truly joyful

I need to talk to God

I need to read His Word

I need to stop doing things my way

I need to love God above all else

I need to listen.

Although it is hard now, God will carry me

Although I go through trials, then will be rewarding

In the past few months, I have kept coming back to the same Bible verse, 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. It says:

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

As we reflect on the happenings of 2010, let us remember God's goodness for us, remember His love for us, remember that He wants to talk to us and is gently nudging us to come back to Him, remember that His arms are open wide for us, remember that He will carry us, no matter what.
Talia

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Larry's Christmas Countdown!

Hey! Talia here! I know I already posted today, but I thought I'd show you something fun-er-iffic--Larry's Christmas Countdown! Hope you like it! You can go to bigidea.com for the following days to see the countdown! Hope you like it!

God bless you!

Larry's Christmas Countdown

Talia

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Why we Need the Bible

As I sit here and type this, I'm thinking that the title post is pretty lame. It's not really interesting. But, what I realized is that it's not about the name. It's about the words in this post. So, I thought I'd take you on a three-part journey to finding out how we can know that the Bible is real and why we need it, if you'll come along. This journey might involve some looking into your heart and being really, really honest with yourself. So, if you want to, chat with God and ask Him to give you an appetite for His Word. Ready...set...now here we go!


On one of the previous posts, Got Me Thinking (click to check it out), I asked you why YOU think we need the Bible, and here's what you said...


Mary said, "I think we definitely DO need the Bible. First of all, the Ten Commandments. Those really help in the lives of Christians and non-Christians. Also, the Bible really tells us who God is and what he has done for us, and if there was no Bible, we wouldn't know who really did create the earth."


We'll come back to Mary's answer, but first we'll take a look at Lexi's...


Lexi said, "I, like Mary, think we certainly need the Bible. When we are feeling down or going through a hard time, we can turn to it for guidance. It also contains stories that we can apply to our own lives. There are A LOT of reasons why we need the Bible!"

Let's talk about Mary's answer. Firstly, she says about the Ten Commandments, "Those really help in the lives of Christians and non-Christians." That's very true. Mary goes on to say that if there was no Bible, we wouldn't know who really did create the earth. Let's back up a step. I know that some people think that it's rude for us to say that people who have never heard of Jesus will still not go to heaven when they die. I didn't understand that for a while either. But then someone explained it to me. They told me that God has given every person the knowledge to know that they were created by Someone. Just look around you! It's amazing that God has made everything so complex! How could all of this be a big mistake? Don't get me wrong, I am very saddened that not everyone trusts in Jesus. It is a life-changing decision, and trusting in God will not always be easy. But it will be rewarding, and it is full of so many blessings to know Christ. He's so good!

Before we go further, I'd like to show you this really cool poem that I love.

Here's a version of it.

"Footprints in the Sand"


One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
"You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?"

The Lord replied,
"The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints,
is when I carried you."
--Mary Stevenson

The first thing we're gonna be talking about is Spiritual Conviction. You may be thinking, What on earth is spiritual conviction?! It's sort of like it's the knowledge inside of you that really knows that the truth about God is just that - true. It's when you read the words of the Bible or hear someone preach about God or just talk about it with one of your friends, and your mind says, That isn't real, but inside you know that it really is. It's like God is whispering, saying, "It's Me, ____ (your name here)! I'm real. The Bible is true. You can trust in Me. I won't let you down and I won't let you go." Do you just ignore that conviction? Spiritual conviction is one of the ways we can know the Bible is real. Spiritual conviction is not just thinking that you believe. It's like a 'voice' telling you that this is true. And it is.

This week, I challenge you to go to your pastor or Christian friend or just someone who has a really strong relationship with God. Or you can do this on your own. Try reading some stories or passages from the Bible (study Bibles can help you find what you're looking for), and search your heart to see if it is convicting you - if you can see yourself in the stories, or if they relate to what you're going through. I know I may sound whack, but trust me. No, trust God. You could also read a devotional book (I can suggest some to you, if you want) or a really good, Christian book. Then wait and see.

If you'd like to post a comment today, please tell us either what you did, if a Scripture convicted you (and possibly even what Scripture it was, if you want), or what you think about spiritual conviction. You could also post your ideas for really believing in what is convicting you, since we'll be talking about that in a bit.

Stay tuned...there will be much more to come!

Talia

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Tania's Faith Excerpt

Hey, guys. I thought I'd share an excerpt of my new book with you! By the way, puh-leeeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzz don't copy it. That would really stink, you know? So thanks so much for not copying it!

Haha, this is just a random excerpt, so sorry you don't really know what's going on. If you want to learn more, just e-mail me or comment.

Tania's Faith

© Talia DeAndrea, 2010

That night, Fred immediately drifted off to sleep, but it wasn’t so easy for Tania. She was scared. She loved it that she had new friends, but she really didn’t want to be involved in returning the Riverren to King Luvlight. She wished she had never angrily run into the forest. Then none of this would have happened. But good had come out of it, she had to admit. Nonetheless, she knew she was wrong to be so harsh to her father. But, she knew she should return the Riverren. It was hers, and she was going to return it to King Luvlight. Her and Fred had plans to continue traveling in the morning. Tania hoped they would get to King Luvlight’s palace soon, and she also hoped that they would find Amira. She must be so scared, Tania thought. I know I am. As morning approached, she finally fell asleep.

Tania awoke with a start. It was bright and sunny, and she heard birds chirping. She also heard growling. Fred was up and alert, and his eyes were wide with what Tania recognized as fear. “Fred?” she said. “Shhh,” Fred cautioned. “There’s something in there.” He pointed to the bushes a couple yards away. “What is it?” Tania whispered. “Don’t know,” Fred said, “but I have an idea.” “What?” Tania hissed. Fred looked at her. “A tiger.” Tania felt sick. A tiger? Was it mean? Was it going to eat them? Just then, all was still. Fred looked at Tania, then looked back at the bush. He quietly stood up, but his foot accidentally hit a rock, making a quiet clunk. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quiet enough. Suddenly, a huge tiger with sharp teeth and blazing eyes emerged from the bushes, roaring fiercely and charging toward them. Tania screamed. Fred barked and crouched down, then leapt onto the tiger. “Tania, run!” he yelled. Tania backed up, still watching them.
“Fred!” she yelled. The tiger bared its claws and swiped at Fred, the two rolling over and over on the ground as if they were in a wrestling tournament. Fred is so much smaller than that tiger, Tania thought. He won’t stand a chance. “Fred, be careful!” she cried. She had no idea why this tiger wanted to fight them, but she did know one thing: he looked hungry. The tiger bared its claws a final time and took another swipe at Fred, this time making a deep, bloody scratch on Fred’s chest. The tiger released its clutch and opened its jaw to take a bite. “NO!” Tania screamed, grabbing the nearest thing she could find – a large stick – and hurling it at the monstrous animal. It hit the tiger in the face. He snarled and stared at Tania, then charged. She ran to get the stick, which was only a few feet away. She grabbed it and swung at the tiger. She missed the first time, and the second. The third time, she whacked the tiger in the face. He growled and got ready to pounce. Tania held the stick above her head, and with a final heave, she threw the stick at the tiger and hit him squarely in the chest. He whimpered and scurried into the forest.

Hope you liked it :)! Please tell me what you thought! I'm up for constructive criticism, but please...no immensely mean stuff ;)! Thanks!

God bless you!

Talia

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A Big Accomplishment


As some of you may know, towards the end of October I heard about NaNoWriMo from my friend Emii from Girlz 4 God. With my mom's permission, I checked out the site and thought it looked very fun and cool. So, I decided to enter NaNoWriMo (the younger version)! NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is where you set a word-count goal that you'll try to reach by the end of November, starting November 1st. If you are on the adult site (13 or above), the word-count goal has to be 50,000. But, if you are a kid, you can make a different goal. At the beginning of the month, I was determined to reach 50,000 words. So, I wrote. And wrote. And wrote. Three days ago, I had 20,000 words left, but God has a plan. With the help from my sister for ideas and my parents for encouragement, I managed to reach my goal last night. I am SO excited. No one but God could have done this! I love my book (although the last scene I wrote was really lame cause I was in a hurry to get it done!). Last night I had to go back and add scenes cause I still had, like, 2,000 words left, but it was OK. I really like the ending of my book, and it was a fabulous experience. Oh, and I had totally forgotten that I had read somewhere that you get a free paperback book of the book you wrote for NaNoWriMo, so when I saw that, I was SO ecstatic! NaNoWriMo has been a great experience, and I'm so glad I did it!
God bless ya! :) More posts to come soon, so stay tuned!!!
♥ Talia
p.s. scroll down for a new blog button!
1 cross + 3 nails = 4given!

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Got me Thinking...

The other day, as some of you know, I had a poll here on Girlz of God Blog that asked the question:

Why do you think we need the Bible?

One vote was 'We don't', and that really got me thinking. So, I thought I'd talk about that. For this post, tell me if YOU think we need the Bible and why (or why you DON'T and why). I'm really looking forward to reading your answers. God bless!

♥Talia♥

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That Light - Inside and Out



Picture from faithgirlz.com art gallery (submitted by Kendal).
Last night, as you know, was Thanksgiving. And it was great! I had dinner with family and a friend, then we went to see the movie Tangled (which was very good). But this post isn't about Thanksgiving, although I DO love Thanksgiving. This post is about Christmas. Today our family decorated for Christmas (something I love to do). We got our tree all figured out, hung up decorations, and strung lights on the long pole thing that holds the window curtains (what is it called?! Ack!). I just asked my sister. She said it's called a rod. So, anyway, my sister, brother, and I went to my grandparents' house and ended up decorating their house with my aunt, which was very fun :). Then, we came home. And do you know what? I came in the living room, and no lights were on but the Christmas lights. And they looked magnificent. Doesn't seeing the Christmas decorations and lights give you this joyful feeling inside, like you are lit up? And, if so, do you ever wonder why? You know, have you ever wondered why some people are all 'hunky dory' about Christmas (sorry, my youth pastor uses 'hunky dory' a lot). Or have you ever wondered about the Scrooge-like people? You might wonder WHY they aren't excited about Christmas. Or you may wonder why the hunky dory people are all, well, hunky dory about it. You may be wondering what on earth everybody's talking about when they're all like, "I have this warm feeling inside." Ever wonder? Or maybe you don't wonder and you just think they're silly. I, for one, DO feel all joyful and lit-up inside when Christmas comes around. And here are possible reasons WHY I could be...

Because of all the food (man, it's great!)

Because of the people I am around all the time

Because of the gifts (c'mon, honestly, aren't the gifts something you're, like, MAJORLY looking forward to?)

Because of the decorations (ya gotta love 'em. I mean, aren't little snowmen the CUTEST?!)

Because of all the sharing that goes on

Although those reasons are all PART of why I'm happy, there is one main reason why I feel lit-up inside on Christmas day (and even before). It is because of the joy God has given me through my salvation, the joy God has given me through a personal relationship with Him - a personal relationship that you can have, too. God offered the best and unbeatable gift of all when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to the earth as a baby to die for our sins. He's offering you the gift of salvation and eternal life. Will you accept it?

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That Whole THANKFUL Thing!

So, what do you think about Thanksgiving?

Do you think of it as...
* A fun day to get together with relatives
* My time to eat turkey and other yum-a-licious foods
* No school!
* Chill-time with my friends
...or something else?

I know you've probably read lots of blog posts or heard lots of people talking about what they're thankful for. You may think: That's awesome! Now let me make a list of my 'thankfuls', too... Or maybe you're thinking: What's up with that? I can't think of a single thing to be thankful for. Thanksgiving is no big deal. Or maybe you're somewhere in between. Whatever the case, I think it is GOOD to know not only WHAT we are thankful for, but WHY we are thankful. Let's go out into the bloggity 'world' and see what other blog posts have to say...

On Nancy Rue's blog, Tween You and Me, Nancy writes: There's just a whole feeling of gratefulness that reaches beyond just going around the table saying what you're thankful for (while the gravy gets cold!)

Jordan of PureNRG writes: During our last show when we performed the song "BFF", I started thinking about the lyrics. It says "let the days unravel, let the years unfold, I can hardly wait to see what the miles ahead will hold". That was really amazing to me to rethink over these words again after singing that song for so long. As pureNRG comes to an end, it is really exciting to think about "what the miles ahead will hold" for all of us, but I can't help but think about the miles behind as well.

Carolyne of PureNRG writes: The main thing that I have to be thankful for is the relationships I have with others! I am so thankful for all of my friends and my family. But, while I am thankful for all of the relationships in the world, I am most thankful for my relationship with God! He is always there for me and provides me with a life for which I am thankful!

Caroline of PureNRG writes: I'm thankful for God's love, and His mysterious ways of showing His compassionate heart for us...I want to share with you one of my favorite Thanksgiving Day verses:

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 107:1


I think those are all awesome. So, let me share with you what I think about being thankful...


Why I Think We Should Be Thankful...


Because God is so good and so full of provisions. His love is what holds me together. He gives us so much, even if we can't always see that. He is full of blessings, and He deserves thanks. One of the reasons we were created was to worship God ~ so let's do it today by thanking Him!


Fifteen Things I'm Thankful For....


1. Jesus Christ ~ because without Him, I'm nothing. Because He has a great plan. Because He saved me (you can have His salvation, too). Because He is so loving and just and understanding and listening and good and mighty to save! (and LOTS more)


2. My family, relatives and friends ~ because I really love all of them and because they love me, too. Because I know God blessed me with them. Because a lot of them influence me to follow Christ more and grow in my relationship with Him, or vice versa. Because my parents are raising me in Christ. God sure has a great plan!


3. Food, a house, clothes, and all that ~ because I know lots of people don't have even those bare necessities, so I thank God that I am blessed.


4. That I live in a free country where I can share God's love and help others come to know Him!


5. My youth group ~ because it is very strong and we have a lot of fun, but can also be serious and learn about God. Because we are making a difference in the world. Because it gives me a chance to do big stuff for God and have fun at the same time. Because we can bring nonchristians there and show them Christ's love.


6. The Bible ~ because, without it, we wouldn't know nearly as much about God as we do now, and I don't think we'd be nearly as encouraged by Bible stories and passages.


7. My homeschool co-op ~ because I can learn about God there. Because it's fun. Because it gives me a chance to learn how I can make a different. Because it's Christ-centered. Because I see people there that I can be a good influence to (like @ youth group as well).


8. Being able to publish my book ~ because I know it was all God and that it has impacted at least 1 life. God has awesome plans!


9. Swimming, volleyball, and other sports ~ because they're fun ways to get fit, and because God likes us to have fun!


10. Sweets ~ because, well, they're yummy, and I think God loves to see us smiling over His creation!


11. The computer ~ because not only can I keep in touch with friends, but I can blog and share God's love where a lot of people will read it and (prayerfully) take it to heart.


12. Great Christian influences in my life (my youth pastor, parents, and other Christian adults).


13. Birthdays, Christmas, and Thanksgiving ~ because there is so much to be thankful for! Because we can celebrate Jesus' birth and give and receive with others. Because of the warm, cozy feeling from the holidays. Because we can spend time with friends and family while having a ton of fun and having fellowship in Christ.


14. Pets ~ because they are fun and furry and so thoughtful of God to make!


15. Photography ~ because it is really cool to be able to save moments, even though only what's done for Christ will last. Because I absolutely love taking pictures!


I could go on. God has given us SO much to be thankful for. So, I challenge you to think of at least one thing. There must be something, from your cute freckles to a good friend to the fact that your roommate doesn't snore very loudly. Try to think of something. You could even try one of the following...


* Draw or paint a picture of something you're thankful for, something you think is wonderful or lovely or fun or cool, or something that really stands out to you


* Take pictures of things (or people!) you are thankful for and put them in a photo album or scrapbook (or just keep them on your camera)


* Think of at least one thing you're thankful for every night (you can do more, too) and write them on slips of paper. Put the slips in a box, and when you're feeling especially unthankful or need some inspiration or cheering up, take a look at one or more of the slips


* Make a craft that resembles something you're thankful for, or make a craft you can give to someone else to bring out their natural beauty


* Try to find the good in everyone (really, there is some!). That may be really hard to do, but there is SOMETHING to be thankful for about everyone, even that person that REALLY annoys you or something. Thank God for them and ask Him to lead them closer to Him


* Remember that it's best not to take what you have for granted


There are other great ideas at Tween You and Me. I hope you'll check it out, and I hope you have an absolutely fabulous time being thankful!


God bless you! Happy Thanksgiving!

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Christmas Contest!

Guess what? Starting on Friday, November 26th, there will be a new Christmas contest!
Click here for info!

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Snow Days

I'm so excited...it's snowing! Today we went outside and played in the snow, then recently came in and had hot cocoa and lunch, and now we're watching Elf. That may not seem like a biggie to a lot of you people who live in snow-COVERED areas, but I am ecstatic (we don't get this much snow very often)!!! Last night I asked God for snow...wow, did He answer that prayer!!!

Mommy and me















Haley and Sika (sorry, not sure how to rotate it!)















Elias and Sika

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Happy Birthday!

Today is my great friend Kara's birthday, so right now I'd like to wish her a happy one!

Happy birthday, Kara! I love you!!!

You are such a kind and giving friend, putting others before yourself. I think that's awesome!! You're a super great friend, and God has really used you to impact my life. Thank youuuu! God bless you!

Talia

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A Big Blessing

Last weekend our band, CryOut, got the privilege of leading worship @ Hauser church. It was amazing! God is SO good!

Today was co-op, and we watched a video in Creation Science class by Louie Giglio called 'Indescribable'. It is AMAZING! Go to wikipedia and look up the 'Pale blue dot'. The pic is amazing!

SOOO, anyway, I was thinking about posting soon on THANKFULNESS (since it's, like, almost Thanksgiving! LOL!). So, before I do, if you'd like, you can post something you're thankful for. Can't wait!

God bless you!

Talia

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What Can WE Do?

Check out this verse:

Proverbs 24:12
12 Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.”
For God understands all hearts, and he sees you.
He who guards your soul knows you knew.
He will repay all people as their actions deserve.

I read this verse in a Holt International magazine, and it really convicted me. Almost a year has passed since the huge earthquake in Haiti (and there was one in Chili too, wasn't there?), and the news reports on it and all that are dwindling, aren't they? Sometimes we forget our brothers and sisters in Haiti, and also those who don't know Jesus who are yearning for help, who desperately need it. You may be thinking: But what can I do? I'm here, and they're there. There isn't a thing I can do for them!
But there IS! Here is a list of practical ideas for helping those in Haiti and around the globe:

~Pray for them(God loves talking to you - you'd be surprised how amazing prayer is!)
~ Write a letter to a Christian inprisoned for their faith! See this web site: www.prisoneralert.com, then scroll down to the prisoners, click on one, and follow the onscreen directions for writing a letter. Be sure to ask your parents first.
~ Visit the web site for Voice of the Martyrs, www.persecution.com. You can order a free magazine with stories of those around the globe being persecuted for their faith, and you can also buy apparel and other stuff that gives some of the money to those in need.
~ Donate money to Show Hope, www.showhope.org, or to another organization.
~ Talk to your parents about sponsoring a child through Compassion or World Vision. Me and my parents split the price for a child. Maybe you could do that, too.
~ Do Operation Christmas Child. We just went shopping for ours. It's really awesome! Last year I even got a letter back from the girl who had received my shoebox filled with gifts! It was pretty cool!
~ Make a scrapbook with stories and pictures (you can find these in magazines like Holt International , Compassion and Show Hope).
~ Visit the Do Something web site for ideas on charitable, practical things you can do to help others.
~ Buy jewelry and other stuff from Apparent Project. These awesome items are made my people in Africa out of PAPER (the jewelry), and the profits go directly to that family!

If you use one of these ideas, or you have any more, please comment and share it with us!

God bless you!

Talia

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And The Winner Is...

Okay, so you know the contest ended last night, and this morning I wrote the two names of the entrants on separate slips of paper, put them in a hat, and had my brother draw a name.

Aaannddd the winner issss..... (drumroll, please)

Mary!

Congratulations, Mary! Here's Mary's story. Thank you, everyone who entered! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your entries! God bless!

What Friends Are For
By Mary McLane

I have a lot of friends. All of them are close to me. The closest, Grace, I have known since birth! Here is a story about her and I.

Grace jumped up and down when she saw our car coming down the road. We hadn’t seen each other in 2 years! I was so exited to see her and play with her but when I got out of our car she nearly knocked me down as she ran past me! I looked behind me she was hugging my brother. She obviously liked him. I was so disappointed.


What happened to her? Its like, she changed. We were staying at her house for a week and the whole first day all she could do is talk to my brother. I couldn’t stand it anymore! I ended up asking her what she liked to do and she said shop at the mall so I decided to take her to the mall and shop for some cute clothes.


When we got there I took her to Hollister and we looked at T-shirts and Shoes and Jeans and basically everything! We shopped for about 4 hours and we got really close but she still couldn’t stop thinking about him. I had to get to the bottom of this. Fast.


While she was sleeping I looked through her magazine drawer and saw ALL horse magazines! That was it! She had a love for horses! All I had to do was take her to my house! It would be hard though because we live 3 hours away. So I asked my mom if we could take her to our house and she said yes!


When we got home I took Grace to the barn and we rode my horses around my farm. We had good conversations mostly about our favorite horses. We rode for about 2 hours and then went inside and looked at my horse magazines. We found out how to make horse jumps out of wood and man do I have a lot of wood on my property!


We made a whole jump course in my field. We went and got our horses and warmed them up and then teaching our horses how to run correctly when approaching a jump. First I taught Grace then she taught me! When I was standing in my field Grace started running her horse. Man, She nearly knocked me down as she ran past me. I then got on my horse and did the same thing! We were ready, I could tell.


I went first. I was afraid of falling off but Grace comforted me until I was ready. She is such a good friend! I ran my horse to the jump and we soared over! We even had room to spare! I was so happy that I kept going around the course over and over until Grace got mad at me and told me it was her turn.


I finally stopped and Grace started off. She ran her horse but her horse was afraid of the jump and reared Grace off. I ran to her and called 911. When the ambulance got to my house I had already gotten grace to her feet and onto my horse and I gave her a ride back to the house. Grace was in a lot of pain. The paramedics checked her and said she had a broken arm.


I was devastated. So was she. I could tell she was sad but I was crying saying im so sorry I did this to you! She comforted me and we went to the hospital and got her a cast and pain medicine. She felt a lot better but I was still blaming myself. She said if it wasn’t for me she would still be at her house being really board and wishing she had spent more time with me. I felt better but still sad. She said that a trail ride would make me feel better but how could she ride with one hand? With help from a best friend, because that’s what friends are for.

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Giving Thanks...or Thanksgiving!

Hello, girls! I hope you are enjoying this lovely, God-blessed day. Today, I thought I'd post about...THANKSGIVING! Oh, yeah! I don't know about you, but I LOVE Thanksgiving! One of my very favorite things about Thanksgiving is getting together with family and relatives to celebrate it! Awesome! So, what is YOUR favorite thing about Thanksgiving? Do you think it's important to give thanks? When is a time when you have felt especially thankful? Have you ever thought about giving thanks for people in your life, or about praying for them so they can have what they need (including faith in Christ)? Go ahead and post your answers, if you want. You can also post your favorite thing to eat on Thanksgiving :)! As for me, I totally love my uncle's mashed potatoes, my grandma's deviled (or 'angeled') eggs, and 'Jadie' rolls, as we call them, since my cousin, Jaden, used to LOVE them ☺! Have fun!

Here's a free BUTTON for you!


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Easy? No!

Lately, I have been doing this writing thing called NaNoWriMo (I learned of it on my friend Emii's blog, Girlz 4 God). The goal is to write 50,000 words (or your choice of words) by the end of November (it starts November 1st). And is it easy? No! It takes a lot of committment to write that much (I only have around 10,500 words so far). It reminds me of life. God doesn't promise it will be easy. The NaNoWriMo people didn't promise NaNo would be easy. But, God DOES promise that He will be with us through all the trials. Check out this awesome passage:

But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, "Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. when you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." - Isaiah 43:1-3a

I know I posted a little about this topic in the last post, but it's just been sticking with me. It's pretty cool. GOD'S pretty cool. Scratch that, He's REALLY cool, He's AWESOME, He's JUST, He's POWERFUL, He's LOVING, He's UNDERSTANDING, He is GOOD, and He is MIGHTY TO SAVE.

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Wow...I Didn't Know That Said That!

Have you ever thought that about a song? I've known some songs since I was younger, but just recently I really THOUGHT about the meaning (a helpful thing to do)! And it was, like, WOW! I really feel like that! Or something. Shows how empty some 'worshippers' can be (I'm like that a lot). Really saying the words you actually believe - really saying them to God, is awesome! Here, check out these songs. Really read the words. They're AWESOME! Have you ever felt like this?

YOUR GRACE IS ENOUGH (not sure who wrote it)

Great is your faithfulness, oh, God
You wrestle with the sinner's heart (think conviction)
You lead us by still waters and to mercy
And nothing can keep us apart

WHOAH!

COOL!

Here's more...

HERE I AM TO WORSHIP (again, great song, but I don't know who wrote it. I don't remember)

Light of the world, you stepped down into darkness (humbled Himself and died on the cross for US)
Opened my eyes, let me see
Beauty that made this heart adore You
Hope of a life spent with You

King of all days, oh so highly exalted
Glorious in heaven above
Humbly You came to the earth You created
All for love's sake became poor

WHOAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH! And there's lots of other songs! We just have to really put our hearts into it when we worship God. He is full of blessings, and full of amazing, unending LOVE!

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Something Gross...But it Makes a Good Science Experiment!

What do you get when you combine an almost-three-week-old banana, mold, and the inside of your lunchbox? EEWWWWWWWW! Yesterday I was going through my homeschool co-op bag, ready to get my homework out and finish it. And what did I find? My lunchbox. Oh, no! We hadn't had co-op for a couple weeks. I cautiously opened the lunchbox and turned over a banana covered in green, icky mold. Gross! At least now I have an idea of a cool project for the next science fair!















On another note, do any of you know what NaNoWriMo is? It's this really cool writing program, where you set a word-count goal and try to reach it by November 30th (starting on November 1st). It's pretty cool, and has kept me motivated to keep writing!


Hope you have a great God-blessed day! He LOVES you!


Remember, God doesn't promise life will be easy. In fact, it will be very hard (definitely). But God DOES promise that He will go through the trials with us, and He will never let us go.


MLNC (much love in Christ!),


Talia
p.s. Happy birthday, Nathan!

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Beautiful Blogger Award

This blog award was lovingly given to me a while ago by Christina Courtright of 'A Family Filled With Love and Fun' and 'Sassy Scrapper'. She's such a beautiful blogger herself! Thanks, Mrs. Courtright!!! (This was when I had a different Girlz of God blog) I thought I'd give it to some of you bloggers, too! Love y'all! You're beautiful!!

On Christina's blog, she had the rules...

1) Add a link and a note of thanks to the person giving the award

2) Pass the award on to 15 bloggers whose blogs you have recently discovered that you love (you can do however many you want, though)

3) Share 7 things about yourself

For the 15 blogs I love in no particular order (these aren't all just recent finds, but I still love 'em!):

1) Sassy Scapper and A Family Filled With Love and Fun :) (Christina)

2) A Writerz Corner (Michal)

3) Kara Siert (Kara)

4) Girlz 4 God (Emii)

5) Through Kara's Eyes (Kara Lane)

6) God's Girl (this is invite-only, but I still think this blogger is beautiful - inside and out!) (Mary)

7) Life...One Word at a Time (Christa Sterken)

8) 'Tween You and Me (Nancy Rue)

I know some other good blogs, like my Dad's, for example, but that would be, like, a blog award for GODLY blogger :).

Now, 7 things about myself...

1) I'd love to go to Israel and Ethiopia (in Africa) someday.
2) I love volleyball and swimming.
3) I go to youth group and really enjoy it.
4) I like chocolate chip cookies :) with milk!
5) I LOVE this time of year.
6) Christmas is my favorite season.
7) I like it when it snows on a sunny or mildly sunny day (this happened last year or a couple years ago)!

Love you guys. You're beautiful inside and out!!

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Halloween

Last night was, as you know, Halloween. And although my family doesn't celebrate the wicked devils, evil beasts, and stuff like that, we DO dress up and attend a couple select harvest parties. Last night was really fun! I dressed up as an iPod, my sister as a 'Sleep-Walker', my brother as Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars, and my little sis as a fairy princess :). It was very fun. People kept pointing, chuckling, and saying, "Look, she's an iPod!" or something of the sort. One boy even ran into a trash can while looking at my costume, I think (I didn't see this happen, but heard of it from my friend). One really fun thing about being an iPod was that my really good friend, Kiera, was one, too, although we live in different states! It's cool! So anyway, I had a lot of fun last night. I hope you did, too! And although this may sound strange and unusual, did you know you can actually WITNESS during HALLOWEEN? A couple years ago, we handed out Bible verses to trick-or-treaters. Your ATTITUDE can show others that there's something different about you. Your ACTIONS can make a difference in their life. Your WORDS can really impact someone. And not just on Halloween.

Wow, can you believe it's November? Whenever Christmas time rolls around, I always think, Wow, it came so fast - again! Doesn't it seem like the holidays are coming up - and fast? I am, honestly, MAJOR excited for the upcoming holidays (Christmas and Thanksgiving). I just LOVE this time of year. The family, the friends, the decorating, the gift-giving (physical and spiritual), the hot apple cider and hot cocoa :), the cold weather, and remembering and cherishing the great gift and blessing that God gave to us - His Son, Jesus Christ.

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Happy Birthday to a Great Friend!

Today is the birthday of our family's dear friend, Christa Sterken. I hope you have a fabulous day. You are such a great, godly example and mentor to me. Thank you so much. I am blessed to know you!

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Cool Pic Tips

Here's some cool pics tips for you! Just for fun :).

Off to the Side: Sometimes pictures on the side look good, not directly in the middle. Black and white is cool, too! Or sepia!


MAGNIFY-cent:
Magnifying glasses can make for some pretty funny pics!!

Flower Power. Tip: To make the flowers look like they have dew drops on them, spray them with water from a spray bottle. But not too much!


















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Ever Doubted Prayer?

Have you ever doubted that prayer works? Does it ever seem to you like God is, like, totally unresponsive, NOT ready to help us and NOT there for us? It can feel like that a lot, can't it? Well, last week at youth group we started our small groups, where we broke up into groups and prayed and shared stuff with each other. It was really great. And before that youth group, I hadn't been reading my devotions very much. After that and after we prayed together I have been noticing that I have felt a lot closer to God, and I have been reading my devotions almost EVERY day. It has been great and it feels so good not being - well, not FEELING like God is distant. Cause He's not! He's good and loving and always ready with open arms for you to run back to Him and say, "God, thank you. I'm so sorry. Please forgive me."

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An Overview of Today

Just thought I'd post quickly about what's been going on today. I've been working on my Patriot's Pen essay, which is nearly finished, instead of school (that was nice). I watched part of Camp Rock 2, and the songs are stuck in my head!! Ahhh! That isn't such a good thing ☺. Yesterday we watched that movie with our friend, and when they did something that particularly disgusted me (it starts with a k and ends with iss!), I threw a pillow at the screen and knocked the portable DVD player over! Heehee! A highlight of today was that I went to a gospel mission and served dinner with our co-op junior high. It was awesome and it was fun! One thing I thought I'd mention on here is that (so it's sanitary) if you touch your face or something, you're supposed to go wash your hands. Well, I made five or more trips to the sink...should've pinned my hair back...But anyway, it was a great experience that I hope I can do again. I think that it's cool we can show those people Jesus through our actions. And lastly, tonight was our volleyball dessert. We got medals and certificates and volleyball pictures. It was AWESOME! I had so much fun this year. Plus the dessert was good ;0D.

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I Think It's Time For a...Writing Contest!

Hey, girls. I think it's about time I did a writing contest on Girlz of God. The winner's entry will be posted on the site on the Contests page! See Contests page for more info.

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Wish I Had My Camera!

Have you ever been out in your car or on a walk or something, and you see something GORGEOUS that makes you wish that you'd brought your camera? That has happened to me a lot! In fact, yesterday we were driving home from our homeschool co-op, and the sky looked sooooooooo cool the way the clouds were and everything. I wish I could have captured it! My point of today's post is this: Cherish each moment. It is a blessing from God! And I'm not saying you have to capture it all on a camera (although I'd love to do that!). I'm saying to enjoy each moment we are blessed with. A couple weeks ago at youth group, our assistant youth leader Corey was speaking, and he was quoting his dad when he said if he worked for the newspaper or the radio station, each day he would announce or put as the newspaper headline, "Jesus withholds judgement for another day." Wouldn't that be cool? Jesus gives us yet ANOTHER chance for salvation. Isn't that amazing?

I hope YOU have a great day cherishing the details!

Talia

p.s.
In the last post, Lexi said she asks God what to do when something is really confusing in school and she is still confused, even after she asks the teacher. Thanks for sharing, Lexi! I'm sure a lot of us can relate. In our next post, we'll talk about what to do in times when God seems unresponsive! For this post, you can comment on a time when you wished you had your camera with you, or a moment you know you'll keep with you forever, or a time you laughed so hard you cried, or something like that. If you want, you can also tell us if God has seemed unresponsive or distant at one time or another. And you can keep posting times when you've cried out to God and asked, "What can I do?" This is a lot of stuff, so I'll give you some time to answer. Hope you have a great day!! God loves you!

p.s. Check out the new page, Girlz Qz!

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What Do I Do, God?

What do I do, God? Have you ever asked that question? I know I have. Isn't it frustrating when you think you know what God wants, but what He really wants is different than you could have ever imagined - until you find out He actually has something better in store for you? I've been wondering, "God, what do I do?" Recently I've been gardening like crazy, trying to earn money so I can sponsor a child. The thing is, the child I was planning on sponsoring isn't showing up on the site anymore. It's like a little voice inside me (Jesus) is telling me, "Wait." But I don't want to wait. Sound familiar? I want to sponsor a child now, but I know I need to wait for God's will and spend time with Him and in His Word, the Bible, so I can learn more about Him and grow closer to Him - and find out what He wants for me. He's really great, and He's never gonna let me down, no matter what I go through. And He's never gonna let you down or let you go either. Please don't ever forget that.

If you'd like to post a comment today, tell us about a time when you've asked God, "What do I do, God? I'm so confused!" OR, if you don't feel comfortable posting that, you can just post whether you've asked God what to do before. I'd love to hear from you!

God bless,
Talia

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Grounded!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. As you might have guessed, I've been (well, duh) grounded! It was because I was rude to my sister. Sound familiar? A lot of us can relate!

Your parents probably tell you (if you have siblings) to be kind to your siblings. They probably tell you to apologize if you do or say something hurtful (even if you're sooo not sorry sometimes). Or they probably ground or spank you (or use some other discipline method) so that you'll get the point: get along with your siblings! But maybe you're thinking, Why should I? (or 'they're bossy' or 'they're annoying' or 'they aren't even trying to get along with me, so why bother?')
The question you're probably asking is..."Why should I respect my siblings?"
(Pick the following that you think is the answer...)
a. Because they're human and God-created, and God loves them and wants you to respect them.
b. Because your parents say you should.
c. Because otherwise my friends will think I'm dumb for fighting with my sibs.

The answer is 'A'. True, you should listen to your parents when they say you should respect your siblings, but you should also have a heart of respect. God loves you and your siblings sooo much (if He didn't, why would He create you in the first place? He wouldn't, so it's pretty obvious He loves you!). He doesn't want you and your siblings to disrespect each other. Although you don't have to have the same opinion as your siblings, you can still respect theirs and respect them. It will make you, your siblings, and God a lot happier!

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A Difference - YOU Can Make It!

So, I was doing something on my blog when I noticed the new page - 'Stats'. It tells how many pageviews total, referral sites, and even the different countries where people have viewed this site. It shocked me how many different countries were on the list! So it got me thinking. You and me can make a difference right now where we are. God can use us in amazing ways! Isn't that cool? Maybe there's someone who's reading this right now who doesn't know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Maybe they know about Him and have heard of Him, but don't have a personal relationship with Him. Or maybe they've grown up in a different faith their whole life. Maybe the person is you. Whatever the case is, I feel like I should share this: God loves you. Period. No 'buts'. He doesn't love you IF. Nuh-uh. He just loves you, even if you never love Him back (although He does NOT want that to happen). He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross and take the punishment for all the bad things we do (that would be a really heavy burden, huh?). He knows just how you feel. And guess what? He didn't stay dead! He rose again on the third day, just like He said. No, I'm not crazy. No, I'm not a perfect. Yes, I am sinful. Yes, I need Jesus. Yes, He has given me eternal life and joy. Although I'm not always happy, and I do still sin, God has given me this amazing gift of His salvation and love. He's so awesome! I hope you won't put off accepting Him. He's really changed my life - and other people's lives. All you have to do to ask Him in your heart is to tell Him you know you're a sinner and that you've sinned (done bad things; we all have!), but that you know God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, so that we can be with Jesus in heaven someday (check out John 3:16-17, Romans 8:38-39, and Isaiah 54:10), and that you are totally surrendering your life to Jesus. You can email me at girlzofgod@gmail.com for more info. I will totally be praying for you!

Please know that this is too important to put off. Like one of our youth leaders said, we don't know how long we have. Sorry to be blunt, but we could die any moment. We don't know. But God is good, and He wants to give you a second chance. Will you take it?

When I was at a cafe for an event called 'PURECHOICE' about being pure, a guy named Ben Courson talked about being saved or recommitting your life to Christ. He said if they wanted to, to stand up - to make that stand for Christ. It was so amazing for me to see so many people stand up and totally devote themselves to Jesus. It was an amazing event I will never forget. Ben Courson said something like, "Maybe your heart is beating really fast right now." It does that sometimes when I KNOW I'm supposed to do something, but I don't want to. Maybe you're wishing I would shut up right now. Maybe you want to stop reading. Maybe you have. But I sure hope that isn't the case. Is your heart beating right now? Is God trying to get your attention? Do you just KNOW that this is true and that you need to surrender for Christ right now? Please, please, do. I will pray for you. God bless you!

Talia

p.s. For more info or to talk about this, contact me at girlzofgod@gmail.com

Hebrews 11:1 (New International Version)
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

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Lazy Days...What Can I Do With Them?

Today was a really lazy day for me. I've been home sick. I was supposed to help at a car wash fundraiser for our volleyball team, but it was rainy outside and I was already sick and didn't want to get sicker. I was supposed to spend the night at a friend's house, but I got sick (and so did her and her dad). You know, sometimes I fall in the trap of thinking that some things aren't fair. But you know what? We live in a very sinful world. Things are not always going to be fair. And what good would pouting do (I need to remember this one myself!)? You know what I thought today? I thought something like, Today is a lazy day...what can I do with it that's useful? I don't think I did much useful stuff today, but it gets you thinking. Am I just going to waste another day? What can I be doing with this day? Will this free time give me more God-time? How can I benefit and help others benefit from this lazy day?

Good ideas for lazy days:
Spend time with God and family.
Bake cookies for an old folk's home or just for one of your neighbors.
Pray about things that are on your heart.
Make a friendship scrapbook, recipe book, or a notebook filled with Bible verses and notes to give to a friend or family member going through a hard time.
Make jewelry to sell for a good cause or give to one of your friends.
Take pictures around the house of things or people you love and put them in a notebook or scrapbook, or email them to a friend.

Ask God what to do on your lazy day...He surely knows!

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Tournament!

Guess what? Today my team went to a volleyball tournament! In the first bracket we placed third out of fourth, and then in the next we didn't place at all, but it was still tons of fun! I love it that our team shouts encouraging words and 'FROG' - 'Fully Rely on God', and we also pray before practices (and also before a game). It was sooo awesome! And God blessed me with an amazing moment. The crowd was cheering so loud for our team, and I was just so happy. And even though we didn't place, I am still happy! God is so great and full of blessing! Never forget (He loves you)! p.s. click here to check out the new 'Devos' page, where you can find new devotionals and old ones!

















Picture taken by Dave DeAndrea

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Praise God!

Praise God! Baby Kahlia is done with her surgery. Michelle says on her recent blog post, "We felt everyone's prayers today - it was a long and stressful day, but we are amazed at the out pouring of love and encouragement we have received by those we know and even those we don't."

God really works miracles. Thank you so much for your prayers for this precious baby's life!!

Love,
Talia

p.s. Check out the previous post for more info on Kahlia, Michelle, and what's going on.
See the recent blog post on Kahlia's surgery here.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Ephesians 3:18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.

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When the Going Gets Tough...

Have you ever felt like God was absent? Have you ever doubted that He's omnipresent (always there)? It's easy to trust Him during good times, but what about when the going gets tough? Do you still trust Him?

Today, many prayers are being said for this baby, Kahlia. Today she is having an open-heart surgery that could be fatal. But you know what I love? On a recent blog post, Kahlia's mother, Michelle, says, "Though scared, I feel peace." Later she goes on to say, "Again - thank you to all who have been praying for our family - we really feel God's covering during this stressful time. God is in control - we know that." How awesome is that? Even in such a tough situation, Michelle feels at peace because she knows God is in control.

So what do you do when the going gets tough? Think about it. Some people blame God (or their family or their friends...). Others give up on trusting in Him completely. Some doubt whether God answers prayer - whether He's the good God He says He is or not.

As you ponder those things, I'd like to share 3 awesome truths and Bible verses with you...

TRUTH 1
God has good plans for your life
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NKJV) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

TRUTH 2
God answers prayers - even in ways we don't expect
Jeremiah 33:2-3 (NKJV) 'Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.'

TRUTH 3
God's love is amazing
Romans 8:38-39 (NLT) And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below - indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Isaiah 54:10 (NIV) "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor My covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

So no matter the circumstance, remember that God is omnipresent, He is GOOD, He is loving, and He is faithful and trustworthy.

"It is in these times that we can do nothing but rest in the arms of Jesus, and for that I am SO VERY GRATEFUL." - Michelle Roberts, RobertsFamilyBlog.

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An Amazing Time

Guess what, guys?! I went to this thing called PURECHOICE yesterday! It was about being pure and stuff (like, not having premarital sex, to be blunt, and to be modest and stuff, and why it's important). There were amazing testimonies, some great music, and fabulous teaching by Christian author Jon Courson's son Ben Courson. It was great! And the best part was when Ben opened it up for people to come to Christ or recommit their lives to him (they could show this by standing up). After one person stood up, a whole lot did. I was so touched and blessed to have been there and seen that. Some people I knew stood up too, and I was very happy so many people came to Christ or recommitted their lives to Him. It was AMAZING!

We also had our Co-op 10 Year Reunion yesterday. It was absolutely GREAT! Maybe I can post pics later.

God is sooo good!

Wow, He's so amazing!

Love,
Talia

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Fun Festival Performance!

Hey guys! Well, today was the Bay Area Fun Festival! It was great! I was so honored by our friends and family coming out to see CryOut perform. We did a total of 10 songs, and it was really awesome and amazing! God is really good! I may be able to post pics from the event later on, but for now, here's one from our practice a couple days ago... (from left to right, top row: Fasika, Talia, Haley, Kylie. Bottom row: Elias, Brent)





God

bless

you!

Talia

p.s. how do you like the new background?

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Done With the Series




Hey y'all! Today has been a very lazy Saturday. I've pretty much read all day and watched movies. Hmm. Tomorrow is the fun festival! Please pray it goes well!!! Thanks so much :). Anyway, good news!!! I have been reading the Left Behind: The Kids Series by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye with Chris Fabry (absolutely LOVE this series), and I finished it today! I think it's quite an accomplishment, and I'm so glad these books were made. God is so good!!! The book I just recently finished, Triumphant Return, was absolutely wonderful! And part of it shocked me (my jaw literally dropped)! It was amazing. God is so great!

Please pray for...

The weather tomorrow, that God would bring people to the fun festival to hear the message of His love, that we will trust in GOD through every circumstance!!!

Ephesians 3:18 (NLT)
And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.

Please know that God loves you so much - enough to die for you. Don't put off asking for forgiveness. It is not yet too late. Please, please, come to Christ.

May God bless you,

Talia

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CryOut!

Hey, guys (girls)! We had band practice today. It went great! I thought you'd enjoy a pic Kylie's mom took...


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Catching Up!

Hey, friends! I hope you are all having a great day! I just wanted to get y'all caught up on what's been going on and what is coming soon! First of all, how is your school year going? Mine is going pretty fabulous, actually! And this year I actually like MATH! Wow! Hee hee. It's not that I think math is BAD, but I just didn't like it much before. Another thing that's been up with us is that I went to visit my cousins, Samantha and Carter, while my dad was at a conference. It was pretty awesome :D! Something that's yet to come is really super exciting...guess what?! The band my sister, my friend Kylie, her brother Brent, and I are in, CryOut, is performing at the Bay Area Fun Festival! I'm very excited! We'll be playing ten Christian songs, and I hope it will help a lot of people hear about God and maybe get to know Him! That would be sooo radical! My dad made a CryOut Facebook page if you wanna check that out too. Now, I need YOUR opinion!!! There's this really cute blog background that I was using for something else, but I was wondering if any of YOU thought I should change this blog's background to that? Here it is...






How cute is that? Anyway, tell me what you think (please)! If you like the blog the way it is, please lemme know too :D. What do you think I should change? Thanks for commenting! God bless you!

♥Talia

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:11-13

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Happy, Happy Birthday!

Sorry this is kind of late, but I wanted to say happy birthday to my great, great, GREAT friend, Sarah!!! Her birthday was September 5th. I hope you had a great day, Sarah. I'm so glad we're friends! God is awesome!
Love,
Talia

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WOW!

Wow! Today is September 1st! Wow! Wow! Wow! :D Hee hee. Thought I'd share some good news. Today at volleyball my friend was voted team captain for our team, and I was voted co-captain! I'm so excited! GOD is great <3. And He shows His love in lots of different and unique ways...including volleyball :)! Wow, the LORD's good!

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Volleyball!

Hey, guys (er - girls)! Guess what? I'm playing volleyball! I'm playing on a really great, Christian team. We're doing a volleyball camp this week, which my mom volunteered to help coach (along with our VB coach, Mrs. B.). Next week we start practices! EEE!!! Ha ha ha. Volleyball is not only fun (and a workout), but it's also a great reminder. Although I know our team probably isn't the best in the area, I think it's awesome to try hard and play for God. Before serves, our team usually says 'F.R.O.G.', which means 'Fully Rely On God'. Isn't that awesome? It also reminds the girls on our team to get in the ready position. I wanna play for God. Although I mess up and flunk at stuff, He won't do me wrong!

p.s. My sister is also playing (for another team)! How cool is that? See a cool blog post here.

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Books N' Braces

Hey guys! Guess what I got today? BRACES! First of all, before I show you a pic, I'd like to talk about something... what you see when you look in the mirror.

When you gaze at your reflection, do you absolutely love yourself, just like yourself, or can't stand another second in front of the mirror? What I want to say today for a really short devo is that God made you gorgeous, girlio! He wants you to love how He made you - beautiful. And by that I don't mean that God wants you to be self-centered and think you're all that. But He wants you to like what you see when you look in the mirror. He made you for a purpose. Glorify Him!

Now a pic of me with braces!



















They don't hurt TOO badly but
are a little sore.

What else that's been up with me... I went to a lake and hung out with relatives, went to a youth group BBQ, went to a lake with friends, and went to a lake with my youth group! LOTS of lake fun!

I also just got this book in the mail. It's a devotional by Nancy Rue called 'That is SO Me!'. I won it on a contest on Nancy's tween blog, 'Tween You and Me (click to check it out).



















I have enjoyed it so far. Thanks, Mrs. Rue!

Also, last (but not least), Happy birthday to my very fun friend, Chelsea!!! Love ya, girlie! Hope you're having a great day!

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What a Fun Time!

Hey, girlios! Yesterday was such an amazing day, and I'd love to tell you about it! Our cousins are visiting, so we got to hang out with them. We celebrated my cousin Ethan's 8th birthday and ate cookie dough ice cream and a 'Patrick' (from Spongebob) cake! Elias gave Ethan a Mighty Warriors Devotional book, and Ethan also got some legos and stuff. Then we went to youth group a little early to help out. Our two older cousins, Jaden and Alec, came with us. we had a BBQ and game night, since it's our last youth group for a little while. We played water games, which were so fun! Then, at the end, we kept filling stuff up with water and dousing people! Some of us were ganging up on my cousins, too, who were TOO dry :)... however, that was fixed :), including when my dad hid a pitcher of water behind his back and got Alec wet! Yeah! Heeheehee! So it was really fun, and we had a great time! I was soaked when we got home. LOL! ☺

Pretty soon I'm getting braces, so that should be exciting! A new 'adventure' :)! Heehee!! Hahaha!

Thanks for reading :). Talk later!!! What are you up to today? Do you like water games?

God bless.

♥In Christ,
Talia

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Your Ideas

Hey, girls! I was wondering...after we finish the current topic (worship), what topic would YOU like to talk about? Please comment below with your input!

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Happy Birthday!

I just want to say happy (belated) birthday to my great friend, Beth!!! I hope you had a great day! Love ya so much, girlio! ♥ ♥ ♥

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Back From Camp!

Hey, girls! My sister Haley and I just went to a summer camp, and - wow - it was super fun!!!

My favorite part of all of camp was when we were singing worship songs around the fire. My sister brought her guitar and did worship music, and then after that our youth pastor, Mike, opened it up for any of us to share something we had learned over the week. Like 7 of us shared, and I was super surprised by 2 people who did. I think God is definitely working!


That was sooo amazing. After that we did a midnight swim (which was super fun) and made a 'whirlpool'. We also played a game before campfire called The Romans and the Christians'. It was amazing! The kids were the 'Christians' and the counselors the 'Romans'. You were trying to hide from them and find the 'Apostles' to have Bible studies with them (the 2 I went to were awesome), but if you got caught you had to do something for the Romans. I had to crawl to jail, and I even got whacked on the back and head with a plastic bat and swatted on the leg, and when I got to 'jail' I had to do push-ups, sit-ups, wall sits, and I had to lay on my back and put my feet 6 inches in the air, which hurt like crazy (although I put them down when the 'Romans' weren't looking!). Over and over I was asked to deny my faith, but I (along with a few others) wouldn't. Christ is my Savior. I'm not about to deny him! So, a counselor - aka Roman - asked me if I wanted to die for Christ. I said, "If that's what it comes to." So he 'killed' me by marking an index card I had with a red cross. Then I went to 'heaven'. It was amazing and a real eye-opener! If you were challenged for your faith, would you deny Christ? Even in the little things of every day or in your actions? Would you deny him? Would you say you didn't know him by what you are saying and doing? If it ever came to it, would you die for your faith in Christ? Would you die for him?



While we ponder that, here's a camp pic of all the (tired) junior highers:



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Fellowship






Hey all. Our family recently went to Eugene on a family trip. We got some shopping in and went to a Holt International (an adoption company) picnic. Let's talk about what that has to do with worship...

First of all, it was really cool seeing all the children playing together - no matter the color of their skin. It was almost like everyone at the picnic was in harmony, getting along, playing together, praising a wonderful God and being living examples of His great love for everyone. In the Bible God says it's important to have fellowship with other believers. What does that mean, anyway? I believe that even if you just have faith in your heart, you are a Christian, but don't you think it makes God SOOO much more happy when we have faith in our heart and also in our actions? We can pray with other believers, lift each other up, and worship God with each other. It's amazing what God can do with one person - and it's amazing what He can do with a lot, yah know? God IS amazing. He DESERVES worship. And it makes Him that much more happy when we have fellowship with one another.

Although I don't COMPLETELY understand this topic of worship, I think it makes God happy when we work together and worship Christ with each other. I think it makes Him smile - smile down on you :). ♥

A couple definitions of fellowship: companionship, a mutual sharing

Please also remember that you don't have to be LIKE a person to be in fellowship with them. Even if your interests are different, God loves it when you worship and talk to Him together.

If you would like to comment today, please tell us what you think about fellowship or a time when you have had fellowship with someone else that was super awesome.


Talk later!


♥God loves you!♥
p.s. the pic is at our youth group's 30 Hour Famine.

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etiquette and such

Girlz of God Copyright Talia DeAndrea 2010, 2011, 2012. "Genuine," "Girlz of God," and "Tania's Faith" book excerpts Copyright Talia DeAndrea 2010, 2011, 2012. All pictures Copyright Talia DeAndrea, unless otherwise noted. Please do not steal or copy anything on this blog without my permission. Thank you :-).

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