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The Youth

The Youth

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The Youth

Lunghezza:
169 pagine
3 ore
Pubblicato:
Mar 11, 2014
ISBN:
9781311667090
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

The problems most “teens” face these days are unending and difficult to spot at times. Many of these problems go unnoticed until it is too late. The difference between growing as a Christian and falling to these temptations is knowing what we face and how to face it. When we learn how to face it, the harder step is actually saying “no.”

The Youth will take you a step closer to living for Christ by identifying the major struggles you face on a daily basis. This book is written by someone who faced all the same things you are currently facing, but did not make the best choices. Now he is coming out, using his experiences and what he has learned to guide you on the hard paths that lay before you.

As a youth, you are often overlooked and disregarded because of your age, but you are the most vital part of God’s plan. Even in your youth, you can be a great service to Christ. The closer you are to God, the more of a servant you can be. You are the future. The healthcare, the service people, the military, and our country’s leaders. You can change the world. What you learn now will define who you become in the future.

A closer walk with Christ starts with changing our focus from the world to the Bible. As you go through life, you will face many hard decisions, but you can make the right decisions by looking at the life of someone who did not. If you apply this book to your life, in the end you will be able to say “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”

Pubblicato:
Mar 11, 2014
ISBN:
9781311667090
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Chris Sessions is a paramedic and volunteer firefighter in Southeast Iowa. He has two years of experience as a youth group leader as well four years of experience as a speaker to youth on leadership and Christian growth. Chris is pursuing a career in writing on Christian growth and the Bible. Chris is also the founder of Adventuring Iowa, an outdoor forum. When not writing, he is adventuring, hiking the trails, and rock climbing. He also has a passion for teaching other people how to do the same.

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The Youth - Chris Sessions

The Youth

By Chris Sessions

Copyright 2014 Chris Sessions

Smashwords Edition

2nd Edition

ISBN 9781311667090

Smashwords License Notes:

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgment

Introduction – Getting Started

Chapter 1 Self-Worth

Chapter 2 – God’s Plan For Us

Chapter 3 – Peer Pressure

Chapter 4 – Relationships

Chapter 5 – Dating

Chapter 6 – Additions

Chapter 7 – TV, Music, And Other Pop Culture

Chapter 8 – Living For Christ

Chapter 9 – Before You Begin

About The Author

Acknowledgment

Special thanks go out to Josh Smeltser, Rebekah Carter, Wayne Green, and Dean Graber. I would also like to thank those who helped in editing and proofreading. I furthermore thank you as a reader for your support of this author.

Introduction

Getting Started

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. Psalm 1:1

It’s an ordinary Monday. You wake up to your alarm clock at 6:30. It feels too early to get up, so you hit the snooze. Five minutes later, you finally get up and turn the radio to your favorite station. It happens to be playing your favorite song. You listen to it as you scurry around your bedroom trying to pick up all of your homework and finding everything you need for the day. As the song ends, you head for the bathroom for a shower. The water feels so good and you don’t want to get out, but know you are going to be late. You get out and get dressed in your new shirt and your favorite jeans and put on your new scent that your significant other picked out for you the last time you were out shopping. As you grab your backpack, you turn the radio off and run downstairs to see the TV is on and the weather is supposed to be sunny today. Your mother has pancakes and cereal made for you, so you scarf it down.

You throw on your trendiest pair of shoes as you ask your dad for the keys to the car. He is hesitant about giving them to you seeing as how last week you came home late. He makes you promise that you will come right home after school and you accept halfheartedly. You run out the door and jump in the car. You put the newest album of your favorite artist in the CD player as your pull away from the house.

As you arrive at school, you see your friends in a gaggle around the front door. Your best friend beat you to school and runs up to your car to catch you up on the newest gossip. As the two of you walk up to the door, you put your cell phone on silent so your teachers won’t hear it go off.

The bell rings and you go inside to your locker. As you put your books in the locker, your new significant other that you started dating last week walks up to you. Your stomach instantly has knots and you get that good feeling. She asks what you’re doing after school and you reply with a nothing, forgetting that your dad wants you home right after school. She gives you a quick kiss and you head off to class. It was your first kiss and you think about it for the rest of the day.

It’s ten minutes into your first class and you are already bored. The teacher won’t let you text and is talking about something having to do with biology… you think. Your friend sitting next to you sends a funny picture to you on your phone and as you see it, you can’t help but to laugh. Your teacher doesn’t think it’s so funny and you get sent to the principal. It’s the third time this month. Your principal tells you that you need to bring your grades up and stop goofing off. He spills a bunch of lines to you about how much potential you have and that you won’t get a good job without an education. You endure all this until he releases you to go back to your class.

The day goes on as bells ring, teachers teach, and you wish school would let out. After a long morning, the bell rings to go to lunch. You throw your books in your locker and meet up with your group of friends. At the lunch table, your significant other joins you and you spend the period gazing at each other’s eyes, flirting, and making small talk. You touch feet under the table, hoping no one sees you. The dreaded bell rings and you go back to class, enduring the rest of the school day.

You’re in your last class watching the clock that seems to be slowing down every minute. After waiting forever, the bell rings and you run to your locker to get the rest of your books and load your backpack. There’s a ruckus down the hall and as you look, you see the school bully harassing one of the nerds. You want no part of it, so you leave the building as quickly as you can. On your way out the door, one of your friends catches you and invites you over for dinner. You tell him that you will ask your parents. As you get to your car, your significant other finds you and invites you over. You can’t resist those eyes, so you say yes.

You walk in the door and to her room as her mom says to leave the bedroom door open. Parents, they won’t let you do anything. You hang out in her room for about an hour until your dad calls. She turns down the radio as you answer. He is livid, asking where you’re at and yelling at you that you need to get home. You give your significant other a long kiss and you head out the door with a big smile on your face, even though you know what you’re in for at home.

You get home and you don’t even get through the front door before your dad is on you. Your mom is sitting in the living room with a disappointed look on her face. It seems to be almost an hour of your dad in your face. He asks for the keys to the car, yanks them from your hand, and sends you to your room. You don’t dare ask if you can go to your friend’s house for dinner. You’re in your room for a while before you decide it’s safe to ask if you can go to your friend’s for dinner. He tells you absolutely not and you are livid. You wish you could move out, but you’re only sixteen. It seems like your parents don’t give you any freedom and try to control your life. You text your friend and tell him that your parents are jerks and won’t let you come over. He thinks of a great idea.

It’s about 10:00 and your parents are in bed because they get up early in the morning for work. You never thought that they would go to bed, hearing them argue and even mention the word divorce. You throw on your sweatshirt, open your window, and slide out onto the ground. Your friend only lives two blocks away, so you walk to his bedroom window. You tap on the window and he opens it, saying his parents are asleep. He slips out too and you walk to a small alley nearby that you know of. He brought some Jack Daniels and a small bottle of wine that he found in his parents’ bedroom. You are hesitant to try it because deep inside, you know that you shouldn’t, but yet feel like you have to. You take a swig and it tastes awful, but you force it down because it’s your first drink and you want to know what it feels like and want to impress your friend. After three more shots, you decide it’s not bad. Then you look to your friend who pulls a cigarette out of his pocket. He tells you that he knows someone at school who sells pot. You have never smoked before and you’re nervous about trying it. You start to get a rush as he digs in his pocket for the lighter. You feel goose bumps and start to become jittery, hoping no one will find you. You have always heard that pot has a good effect on you, but never tried it because you were scared of getting caught. He lights the joint and takes a puff, then hands it to you. You also take a puff, then have the feeling you can’t breathe. You begin to cough and he tells you that you will get used to it. You now have that feeling of wow, I just had my first joint!, but yet also have the feeling of regret.

It starts to get late and you run home, hoping that your parents are not awake or noticed that you’re gone. You quietly slip back in your bedroom window and find the body spray, hoping it will mask the smoke smell. You quickly jump in bed and have a hard time falling asleep with that adrenaline rush. You look over and see your clock. It’s 3:30 in the morning. You turn the alarm on and fall asleep to start it all over again.

Being a youth today is very difficult. You have many struggles that your parents probably did not have growing up. There are many things going on today in the world that make life difficult and even stressful. You have many things that you are exposed to everyday such as peer pressure, sinful temptations, interpersonal drama at school or work, and situations where you so badly want to be part of something.

As I grew up and went through high school, I had many things I had to face, many struggles of an everyday high school student. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you that I made right decisions as I was growing up. Life was hard and I have to believe that many hardships that I endured were a result of my own doings. Now that I look back, I am ashamed of many things I did. Most people in my situation would tell you that they have many regrets and that if they could go back, they would redo everything. Unfortunately, we cannot go back in time and change some of the things we did, but we can move forward and put the past behind us, learning from it.

You probably have even more struggles and circumstances that make life hard, than I did growing up. As I am writing this, I am not much older than you. In fact, I finished college almost a year ago. But I see things progressing very quickly and things are changing faster and faster. I cannot honestly tell you that I know what struggles you are going through, what hardships you are enduring, or what obstacles are blocking you. Everyone has a different life and experiences life differently. Maybe your life is much like the story I just told. Maybe not quite as bad, maybe much worse. But regardless of the situation you are in, you can overcome it and become a great person. You may have grown up in a good Christian home, going to church every Sunday, doing family devotions, and praying before meals. You may have grown up in a dysfunctional home with maybe divorced parents, one parent, parents who are drug addicts or alcoholics, or even on the street. It does not matter what circumstances you come from. God can still use you in miraculous ways.

I believe one struggle of growing up and entering the youth phase is the transition from a child to an adult. Everyone is familiar with the term teenager. I can almost guarantee that you have even used the word. I personally do not like this word. In the Bible, there was no such a thing as a teenager. 1 Corinthians 13:11 says, when I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But when I became a man, I put away childish things. There was no in-between stage back then. People grew up as a child, then took on the responsibilities of an adult. It’s only been within the past 100 years that we started to coin the term teenager.

The negative of this term is it that it is an excuse. An excuse for what? It’s an excuse to squander a small part of your life, living halfway on the child side and halfway on the adult side. In summary, labeling someone as a teenager says, you can behave as a child and we don’t care. You can have the perks of being an adult. Live how you want to live. Do you see what is wrong with this? Don’t be a teenager. Be an adult. Don’t squander your life. Have a fulfilled life.

As you transition from child to adult, sometimes you don’t know what to do. There may be certain responsibilities that are new to you. You may be confused as to what is expected of you. You begin to have new problems, and the consequences for your actions become more severe. During this transition, you may ask yourself, How do I deal with these problems? How do I face this world in the new stage I am in? Let me tell you a little story.

I was born and raised in southeast Iowa to a good, loving, Christian home. I also grew up with two brothers and a sister. Ever since I was born, I have been going to church. I learned the Bible stories, knew Biblical principles, and for the most part lived them out. My dad was and still is very wise when it comes to the Bible and taught us very well. At one point, I even wanted to be a missionary to Africa to win people for Christ. At another time, I wanted to be a chaplain in the military. I was very passionate about it. Until sixth grade, my siblings and I were home schooled. The summer of 2004, my parents came to us with the news that they were getting a divorce. At the time, I understood what a divorce was, but did not understand the ramifications of it or how it would affect me.

I started sixth grade at a Christian school and was quite shy. I managed to open up and gain some friends throughout the year. My whole life, I have been an introvert, so being social has always been hard for me. Throughout sixth grade, the divorce did not really affect me too much. My mom and dad lived in two different houses and we alternated staying with them. They still talked frequently and they still appeared to be friends and for a while I had the thought that they may get remarried.

As I went into seventh grade, I really closed up. I was not social to say the least and it took every effort for people to get me to talk. Seventh grade seemed intimidating and was a big change from sixth. And my parents grew a little more distant to the point of

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