Friday, January 9, 2009

Today's Word: Stop Blabbing & 8 Other Ways To Connect With Yahvah

1. Pray with somebody.

Read Mark 14:38—even Yeshua realized prayer took some effort. And while we need private prayer times, we also need the prayerful support of others. So, ask a friend to pray with you once a week during lunch or after school. Share issues in your life and pray for one another. It might feel a little awkward at first, but it will get better with time—and you'll get closer to Yahvah and to each other.
2. Take a day off.
Even though Yeshua didn't want "honoring the Sabbath" (Exodus 20:8) to become a mindless ritual (Mark 2:27), he believed getting away and focusing on Yahvah is really important (Luke 5:16). So, what should honoring the Sabbath look like? Well, it should be one day every week—usually on Sunday—when you take time out of your regular schedule to connect with Yahvah and with church. No homework, no work, nada. When you get away from schoolwork and other things that distract you, there's a lot of space to meditate and think and pray about what really matters. Some of us feel like CHURCH IS WORK, but it is not. It is time that we stop and honor him. Make Sunday all about HIM.
3. Unplug.
Every once in a while, unplug all your tech toys. Video games, TVs, cell phones, iPods, internet—everything. (The world won't end, I promise.) Use this unplugged time to talk with a friend, face-to-face. Go on a walk or play guitar. Read a good novel. Hey, read the Bible. Or just sit quietly, allowing Yahvah to speak to your heart without all the normal distractions.
4. Eat temple food.
Sound weird? Well, the Bible says your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. What does this mean practically? Let's say you're standing in front of the vending machines at school. Pretzels or cheesy puffs? Soda or water? Now, this isn't to say we can't enjoy a sweet soft drink or a nice chunk of chocolate cake once in a while. But the important thing is to not always fill Yahvah's temple with junk—or junk food. And when you do eat, whether it's a Snickers or a carrot stick, thank Yahvah for tasty snacks and good food that nourishes your body—his holy temple.
5. Go green.
Taking care of the earth is "in" right now. But Yahvah was into the planet long before hybrid cars and recycling. Yahvah created the heavens and the earth, and he said his creation was good. When he made humans, he told them to care for his creation (Genesis 2:15). We still have that responsibility. With a new school year starting, now is the time to make some green changes. When there's enough natural light, leave the lights off. Recycle. Carpool. Ride a bike instead of driving. Thank Yahvah for the earth he created and treat it as the beautiful masterpiece it is.
6. Memorize Bible verses.
Why? Because Yahvah's Word "exposes our innermost thoughts and desires" (Hebrews 4:12). And Psalm 119:9 says we can keep ourselves pure by obeying Yahvah's Word. When we memorize Scripture, we have it ready when we need it. It's in our heads, helping us make good decisions and helping us reflect on Yahvah's promises. Pick a favorite verse and write it on your mirror with a dry-erase marker. Whenever you look in the mirror, repeat the verse in your head. When you've memorized it, put up a new verse. Where to start: Why not Hebrews 4:12 and Psalm 119:9?
7. Stop blabbing.
Read James 3:2-12 and Proverbs 16:24, and remember that speaking too much usually gets us in trouble—with parents, friends, teachers, coaches, bosses. So practice the discipline of "taming the tongue" and focus on speaking words of encouragement. Cut out swearing, putdowns and gossip. If you're struggling to say something encouraging, don't speak until you can.
8. Be kind … in secret.
When we watch TV and read fan magazines, we get one message over and over: Fame is just about better than anything. But read Matthew 6:1-6 and you'll discover Yahvah thinks differently. When we do nice things for others without them knowing, we keep ourselves from becoming arrogant or from needing the approval of others. So, why not write an anonymous note of encouragement to someone and put it in his or her locker? Or maybe leave a small gift for a teacher or friend? You can also pray for someone without them knowing it. Whatever you do, do it for Yahvah. He's watching and he's pleased with your selfless and secret acts of kindness.
9. Live it up!
Life inYeshua is the best thing around, so celebrate it! And there are many ways to celebrate—dance in the sunshine, sing a song to him, take photos of his beautiful creation, write a poem, paint a picture, share a delicious meal with friends, play basketball, laugh! Whatever you do, do it as a way to praise Yahvah and thank Yahvah for the great gift of life.

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