So, I'm a bit late getting this post up (ah, this week just flew by!), but I have some super exciting news to share with you anyway! :D
I've had the honor of joining the writing team for Christ Centered Girls magazine as some of you may know (www.christcenteredgirls.wordpress.com) and I absolutely love this ministry! The founder of CCG, Kylie Jacobs, is an absolute gem! To find out more about CCG, feel free to check out their website! :)
But the exciting news I have to share with you is that CCG just released a brand NEW issue, the February/March issue!! It's such a fun, uplifting issue and you should totally check it out! :) You can view the issue at this link (don't forget to submit your email address to receive future issues straight to your inbox!):
This issue features interviews with The George Twins, Carmen Justice (formerly from 1GN!), and Christi Given! All of these interviews were super fun to read through. :)
This issue also features lots of fashion/beauty advice and some delicious smoothie recipes! The DIY Valentine's Day gift ideas were also a blast (I know Valentine's Day is over now, but you can still use them to surprise someone special!)! Kylie also has a special article featured on staying pure which is super encouraging! There's also an article on faith/fear which is encouraging as well! And much more!
So, as you can probably tell, I'm excited and think you should check this out! :)
Yay, for the new CCG issue!! ♥
Okay, so here's the truth.
Most single people, especially single girls, dislike Valentine's Day.
Can I even go as far as to say that some singles even hate Valentine's Day?
They dread the cut-out hearts, the roses, the cards, the heart balloons at every store. Their heart aches to see the couples walking hand in hand through the park or sitting laughing at the mall as they share a milkshake. I mean, let's face it, even Snapchat has caught the "love bug," and has filters all about hearts and pink.
So what's the single girl to do on Valentine's Day?
Hide out in her room until all the roses and chocolates disappear off the grocery store shelves? Avoid going to the mall or parks to avoid seeing the cute couples? Even turn away from love altogether?
Well, girl, let's get one thing straight.
You don't have to hate Valentine's Day.
That's right. You heard me.
As a single lady, you do not have to hate Valentine's Day. It does not have to be your most dreaded day of the year.
In fact, I'm going to even go into the unknown territory of assuring you that you can party and celebrate this day just as much (if not more so) than any couple can!
Now before you stop scrolling through this post and claim me as a weirdo, let me explain.
You see, you're a princess.
If you've been following this blog or my magazine ministry at all, you know I strongly believe in the royal identity of each and every one of God's children.
As children--daughters--adopted into the family of the Most High God, our identity has changed too.
We are no longer the sinner orphans with a future of death and shame. We are His redeemed princess with a future of life and hope, because of Him.
Girl, get excited!!
Do you have any idea what this means?!
We are His PRINCESS! His chosen one! His loved one! And He is our Prince Charming! He is our one true Love, the only Lover who could ever satisfy our soul.
You know that desire inside of you to be loved? That desire you've sought to quench in every way you can think of? Boys, money, popularity, internet. And you know how you walk away every time feeling more empty than before?
It's because those things were never meant to fill you, dear one.
The only One who can ever fill your heart is the One who knows your heart better than you do. Jesus, your Prince Charming, is the only Love that can ever make you complete.
His love is all that can satisfy.
So, dear beautiful girl, won't you let me take your hand and look deep into those gorgeous eyes of yours as I tell you something very special?
You are amazing. Having a boyfriend does not define this. Whether you have a boyfriend on Valentine's Day or not doesn't define your worth. You are worth so much more than that. You are beautiful. And if any guy has ever made you feel less than that, do me the honor of turning your back on him and letting him know that Jesus thinks you're heart-stopping gorgeous, because that's just how He made you. And, darling girl, you're loved. Loved, loved, loved. So much more than you could ever imagine. So much more than you can comprehend. And so much more than you even know that you need.
He's crazy about you.
And honestly? His love is all that matters on Valentine's Day, because earthly love could never come close to His love for you.
So won't you join me in changing the world's mindset on Valentine's Day?
Why don't we make this Valentine's Day the best of them all?
Here are just a few ideas...
1) Spend your day with Jesus. Read His love letter to you, the Bible. Write your own love letter to Him. Sing worship songs at the top of your lungs. Declare His goodness from the rooftops (not literally, I don't want you to fall or anything)!
2) Give love away. Because Valentine's Day isn't supposed to be an exclusive couples holiday (sorry, couples, but it's actually not just about you). Give flowers to your mom. Send chocolate to the girl who feels forgotten. Hug a friend who feels lonely. Smile at the person down the street.
3) Tell someone about Love that will never leave. It's inevitable you probably know someone with a broken heart on Valentine's Day. Maybe their heart wasn't broken by a boyfriend or girlfriend exactly, but maybe it was broken by a hard situation. Won't you tell them about Jesus' love? His love isn't meant to be kept to yourself. It's meant to be given away.
4) Party! Oh, girl, live it up today. Buy that chocolate (you know me, get it fair trade!), splurge on that dress you've been wanting, get those flowers! Oh, and who doesn't love celebrating with some pizza?! Get those friends over and celebrate! You're a princess! Your Prince Charming adores you! Celebrate His love. ♥
Girls, let's make this the best Valentine's Day ever.
Let's show the world that Valentine's Day is, yes, all about love, but we know the greatest Love that could ever be. Let's introduce the world to His love tomorrow.
Oh, and don't forget that chocolate. (I've already eaten a whole bar of it).
Happy Valentine's Day, fellow single princesses. ♥
Girls!! I have some super exciting news! :D
As most of you lovely readers probably know, since last August I've been interning with an AMAZING magazine ministry called Crown of Beauty. I had the privilege of helping with our latest issue, the GLOW issue that came out last month! If you haven't had the chance to check that out yet, I highly encourage you to do so, it had some incredible articles in it!
Crown of Beauty founder, Livy, asked me if I would be interested in heading up the next issue of the magazine and I am so thrilled to be on this adventure! Me and my team are excitedly working on this issue, the BRAVE issue! (Super, super excited that the issue theme is bravery!)
But we want YOU to be excited too because we have a fun, special way for you to get involved in this issue! We are having a Cover Girl contest and all the details you will need can be found right here:
If you are a young lady who wants to share your story of a time when you had to be brave and show courage despite your fear, we'd absolutely love to hear your story! But hurry and check it out because the contest won't be up for very long!
Below I have the video I made for Crown of Beauty, sharing about how I got connected with them and a little bit more about our contest! Check it out :)
Okay, so to be honest, writing the dedication for my books is one of my favorite parts. No, not because it's the least difficult part. You see, writing the dedication isn't that easy for me.
Since I was eight I've been writing stories and "books." I was twelve when I finished my first actual book (yes, it was a real book! 100 pages, haha!). At this point, I began writing dedications for each of my books to come. All 13 of them. But the three books I've published have been the most special to dedicate.
I dedicated my first book, I Dare You, to my twin sister. And rightfully so, because she inspires me and encourages me to always pursue my dreams. She was the writer I always wanted to be like. My second book, The King's Princess, was dedicated to the faithful subscribers of my magazine, because that book would've never happened without their support of the magazine! My third book, Worth it All, was dedicated to my Rachel, and I wouldn't have dreamed of dedicating it any other way. No explanation needed there.
You see, the dedications in my books are so special to me because these books are my heart and soul. My books contain pieces of my life and all of my stress, tears, and joy poured into writing them. The person I'm dedicating the book to has to have played a vital role in my journey of not only writing, but also in my life. (So if one day I dedicate a book to you, know how special that is ;))
Yet if you have any of my books, you also know that in each one of them the dedication is also to my King, my Jesus. :) I have chosen to dedicate every one of my published books, and all the ones to come, to Jesus first. Because without Him I am literally nothing. Without Him there is no point in the book or even in living.
The other day as I was looking at my dedications and thinking of how much they mean to me, this thought crossed my mind...
What if we lived our lives like a dedication?
When you're dedicating something to someone you're telling them that you're giving it to them, you're honoring them with it.
So what if we lived our lives like a dedication to Jesus?
What if we chose to give Him every part of our lives and honor Him with it?
Living a life of dedication to Jesus isn't always easy. It'll cost you. You won't always understand His plan. You won't always have mountain top experiences. You will walk through the valley and the fire.
But just like writing a book that causes lots of stress and tears throughout the process?
It'll be worth it in the end.
So I dare you this week to focus on how you can live this dedicated life to Jesus. If your life was like a book to the world, would it be obvious to the readers that the dedication was to Jesus?
Make Him your all-consuming passion and your all-consuming desire. Make everything you do something that brings Him honor.
Dedicate it all to Him, because He gave it all up for you. ♥
Calling all my writers out there!
Once upon a time...
The way every great story or tale usually begins. The way all of the fairytale princess movies have started out, until they famously end with "happily ever after."
It can be so easy to read these great tales and sigh as we close the book, wishing that we could have our own "once upon a time" tale of heroism, adventure, and romance.
But the truth?
Your once upon a time has already begun. Your great tale of heroism and adventure is awaiting you. Every day with Jesus is an adventure and the greatest romance of all time as you fall deeper in love with the great Prince who died for you. Your story is being written by the greatest Author of all time and your "once upon a time" began on the day your first cry entered this world.
Yet the story that fills your pages is up to you every day. Will you choose His path? Or your own? What will your great "once upon a time" tell?
Dear, writers, I have a special announcement for you! Today I am announcing my first "Once Upon a Time Story Contest"! The contest ends February 28th, 2017, so check out all the details today! :) If you're a writer who enjoys writing fiction, this is just for you! Ready for the details? Here we go...
Begins: February 1, 2017
Deadline for entries: February 28, 2017
Winner announced: March 18, 2017
Maximum of 2,000 words. Fiction story can be anywhere between that word count, but cannot exceed that amount.
Type your story in a Microsoft Word document in Times New Roman font and font size, 12.
Only include story title and story content in your first document.
In a separate document include story title, your first and last name, and your age. You may also include a short bio and picture for the blog to be used if you are chosen as a winner.
Our judge will not know the authors of the stories when she is judging, which is why we need two separate documents. Do not include your name in the document with your story, but do not forget to include the story title!
The story theme is what I wrote above! Use this to launch your story ideas and plot. Whether you want to write about princesses, or your very own once upon a time adventure, use the above paragraph to create inspiration!
Please submit all entries to: email@example.com
If you have any questions, contact me using my email address or the contact form here on my blog!
Grand prize: Winner's choice of 1 copy of either of my three books, "I Dare You," "The King's Princess," or "Worth it All." Winner's story featured right here on my blog and also featured in my monthly e-magazine, The King's Princess!
Runner up: The runner up will have their story featured on my blog and will also receive a PDF version of my first book "I Dare You."
Are you ready, dear writers? Get set...go!
Our Special Guest Judge for the Contest!
Our special guest judge who will be judging the stories for the Once Upon a Time Story Contest will be...MacKenzie Morganthal!
I'm so grateful, Kenzie agreed to judge for this contest! Kenzie has been a writer for over ten years and has authored her first debut novel, Not Abandoned which released on May 30, 2015. She has lots of wisdom to share regarding writing and I know she will do a great job as a judge for this contest!
Thank you, Kenzie!
I think one fear that dictates so much of our actions and responses is this feeling of being left out.
Just think about it.
We dress a certain way to fit in with the popular kids. We act a certain way to get attention. We speak a certain way to gain more friends. We wear ourselves out constantly performing for others so that they will like us and invite us to be a part of who they are.
Because inside all of us there is this fear of being left out. Because the fear of being left out boils down to the fear of being alone.
And no one wants to be alone.
Maybe that's why rejection hurts so badly. Maybe that's why a friend's betrayal cuts too deep or a parent's absence wounds a little too much. Maybe that's why your heart burns a little when your friends all go to an event together and leave you out entirely. Maybe that's why your feelings are bruised when your friends ignore you in conversations.
Because being alone and left out hurts like crazy. And being alone makes you feel forgotten.
Maybe, just maybe, that's the hidden fear behind it all.
The hidden fear behind your eyes when you are afraid that if you do not measure up, everyone will leave you alone. The hidden fear that when your friends start having conversations without you, you will be left out.
Because we're afraid of being forgotten.
When the people in our lives can seemingly go on, leaving us and our hurts, out of the equation, we feel hopelessly forgotten and alone. That feeling you got in the youth group when all the girls whispered behind your backs and left you out of the group, is now a hidden wound in your heart that yells "danger!" anytime someone else begins to ignore you.
But are you ready for some truth to rain into your Saturday evening tonight?
Because there is a truth so great that it can absolutely shatter to pieces this fear of being alone, this lie of being forgotten.
"Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely, they may forget, yet I will not forget you." (Isaiah 49:15, emphasis mine)
Do you see the truth here, sweet reader?
As seemingly impossible as it may be for a mother to forget their child whom they gave birth to, this verse says that surely they may forget.
But Jesus is leaning in close and whispering to the wounded places of your heart and soul...
I will not forget you.
He promises to never forget you and here is His promise that He gives right after in verse 16, so you can be sure...
"See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me."
He says that He has inscribed us, inscribed your very name, on the palm of His hand! How can you not trust and believe in His promise that He will never forget you? He has given you a sign.
So this, my friend, is my encouragement to you next time those hurtful feelings of being left out resurface in your memory.
Though your friends may leave you out. Though your family may forget you.
He never will.
Not for a moment. Not ever.
You are wholly known and wholly loved by Him. His presence is always with you, so you are never alone. His thoughts are always about you, so you are never forgotten. And He always extends His hand to you to be with Him, so you are never left out.
Lift your head up, dear one.
You are remembered. ♥
Sitting down here today I honestly had no idea what to write about. So today I decided to write you a short letter...from my heart to yours, telling you the five things I want you to always remember. The five things I hope you never forget.
Let's be real for just a minute. Life is hard. There are some days that just take every part of us and leave us exhausted. Those moments cloud our vision about life, ourselves, and others. So these are the words I want you to remember in those hard moments. The moments when you don't feel these words, I want you to remember that they're always true.
Hold onto this truth and it'll help you through those hard times.
1) You are loved (Jeremiah 31:3). I know these words seem to be tossed around all the time, so much that we can sometimes forget what they really mean. But here's the thing...even on those hard days? The days when you don't feel lovable? The days when you don't feel fully loved by anyone? The Creator of the whole world, the One who made you, is so madly in love with you that you could never even comprehend it. He's crazy about you!! His love is more magnificent than the greatest romance book of all time and His heart for you is larger than life. He loves even your broken pieces and your messy pieces. He loves you completely and fully. His love is the only thing that can complete you. So on those hard days when the lies whisper that no one loves you? Please, hold onto this. You are loved. Completely. Fully. Unimaginably loved. And His love is never going away.
2) You are not alone (Hebrews 13:5). Not for one single second have you ever been alone. Everyone you've ever loved may have walked out on you. You may not have one person in this world you can fully trust or rely on. But you are never alone. Because the One who hung the stars in place holds your heart in His hands and stands by your side. His arms wrap you in His strong embrace when the world walks out and He whispers assurances of His love in your ear, if you just listen long enough to hear them. No matter what you do, or what happens to you, there will never be a moment when He walks out or leaves you. He will always be right there.
3) The morning always comes (Psalm 30:5). Sometimes those dark nights of pain and hurt seem to last forever. We wonder how to go on. We long for the light to shine through the darkness because the darkness hurts too much. Well, you know what? The morning always comes. The sun always rises again. Those bright beams of light always come up over the horizon after a long night. Never give up hope and stop believing. Because your morning will come too. You might be feeling like you're going through a long night that won't end, but someday it will. Someday morning will come again for you too. I promise.
4) You are forgiven (Isaiah 43:25). You know those times when you know that you've completely messed up? You've totally ruined whatever situation it is and you know you've messed up big time. And you know those times when the sin in your life destroyed so many things you loved and at the end of it you just wish you could do it all again? Those times when you messed up so bad you don't think anyone could forgive you and you for sure couldn't forgive yourself? The truth is...you're already forgiven. God says that He has blotted out your sins and forgiven all your offenses! But that's not where He stops! He also says that He will remember your sins no more. So those nights when you lie awake thinking back on the wrong choices you made and wishing you could redo them? He doesn't even remember them. So breathe, my friend. Take a deep breath and breathe in this amazing, radical forgiveness. No matter what you've done, it is covered by the blood of Jesus.
5) Your life matters (Jeremiah 1:5). Oh, yes. Yes it does. More than you could imagine. More than you could comprehend. Your life has purpose. You are here for a reason. And your life is priceless. Your life matters beyond what you can even see right now. There are people and things in this life that God created you to impact, and you alone. If you aren't here or if you don't pursue the purpose God has given you, then others will miss out too. So never, not for one moment, forget your worth and how much you matter. To the people in your life and to the people your life is meant to touch, and to the God of all creation, you matter. Believe it. ♥
Never forget, my friends.
This post is for all my ladies out there! Hey, girls! Hope you're having a great Thursday night, and I hope this post makes it even better! I know this news made MY day even better! :) Today, Crown of Beauty Magazine released their first issue of 2017, the GLOW issue! Yay! *excited cheers*
I am SO excited about this issue and just so excited about Crown of Beauty in general! :) I've had the honor of interning with Crown of Beauty since last fall and it has been such an amazing adventure! I am so thankful God gave me this opportunity and it would mean so much to me if y'all checked out the new issue at:
You're gonna love it, trust me!! I have an article featured in this issue too, by the way! If y'all stop by and check out the magazine, we'd love to know what you think! :) There is a guest book to sign at the end of the magazine if you wish to do so, where you can tell us where you're reading from and what your favorite part of the issue was! :)
(*whispers* Jamie Grace, Spencer Kane, and LoveCollide fans! There are super cool interviews with each of those awesome artists in this issue, that you won't want to miss!!!)
So go check it out! And spread the word! I hope you'll be just as excited as I am <3
Hey y'all! I'm really excited about today's post because today I have a super fun interview for all of you! This interview is with Kylie Jacobs from Christ Centered Girls magazine! I had the joy of joining the writing team for Christ Centered Girls recently, and I thought you all might enjoy finding out more about this awesome ministry from Kylie! So without further ado, here we go. :)
Bella: Thank you so much for doing this interview with us Kylie! Do you want to start by telling us a little bit more about yourself so we can get to know you better?
Kylie: My name is Kylie Jacobs and I am the founder of Christ Centered Girls Magazine. I am also an actress, and model. My family calls me "Wild Child" because I love going on adventures and am kind of a risk taker. I want to share my story and the gospel with girls all over the world, and I am a huge dreamer. I think everyone has a story to share, and I want to hear what that story is.
Bella: When did you begin your magazine, Christ Centered Girls? And why did you decide to start it?
Kylie: I began Christ Centered Girls Magazine about 8 months ago. I have always had a passion for Jesus and a calling to inspire others to follow him. In any way that I can. Once I hit my teen years at about thirteen years old, I began to get into pop culture and the entertainment industry. As I read the latest news about my favorite artist's, articles on how to kiss, and many other things I began to realize that what I was reading wasn't uplifting in anyway. The advice that these magazine's were giving girls was shocking to me! I remember a specific article that was titled "The NEW Sex, Better than the Old Sex!" In a magazine that my friend had picked up. I came to the realization that Hollywood has greatly impacted our world. I told my mom how I had been feeling about what I was reading and she said "Well then lets find some Christian magazines!" I hadn't even thought of that, or the fact that a Christian magazine might even exist! So we searched the web and eventually stumbled upon this one site that had fun quizzes, great advice and an e-magazine! As I continued to browse the site I could feel God urging me to do this. He wanted me to start my own magazine just like this one. At first I thought it was crazy! A 13 year old creating a magazine!? But I knew it was what God wanted for me at that time, so I decided to set that goal for myself. Three years later at the age of sixteen, I created Christ Centered Girls.
Bella: So I know you're also an actress and a model! Do you mind telling us a little bit more about your acting and modeling?
Kylie: Haha Yes! Ever since I was young I have put on skits for my family, I would dress up in big princess costumes and pretend I was walking down the red carpet! As I got older I auditioned for school plays and such, but it wasn't till this year that I got a role in my first film! Its called Playing the Game and its about Human trafficking based in the Bay area. Modeling has come just recently. I had never had an interest in being a model because I didn't want to turn into one of those conceded girls. Staying humble has always been something I strive for everyday since I struggle with pride. But as I had gotten more into acting I realized that I needed to model to help launch my career and get my name out there. I have always loved photography, so I started taking pictures of myself and posting them on Instagram. I just recently have started doing actual photo shoots and I have found that I actually love it! Who knew.
Bella: Who inspires you as a writer and actress?
Kylie: Well Audrey Hepburn has always inspired me as an actress and just person in general. She is somebody that I strive to be like everyday. Giving more than receiving. As a writer though...probably Jane Austin. She has written many classics even though she was a woman. I can only imagine the criticism she must have gotten back then. She sure showed them!
Bella: What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
Kylie: Well it changes every month. It really depends on my mood. But I LOVE 1 Tim. 4:12 Because I feel like it really applies to my life. 1 Tim 4:12 "Dont let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity."
Bella: What advice do you have for other girls about following Jesus no matter what He asks of you?
Kylie: My advice to you would be to be brave, and trust Him! I know it sounds easier said than done! But sometimes God calls us to do things that might seem impossible or scary, but you can do anything through Christ who gives you strength. You might not be able to do it by yourself, but with God anything is possible. He knows what is best for us, so dont be afraid to take that leap of faith. God is with you through all your ups and downs, even if you dont see Him right now. Then enemy will try to sneak in between you and God to pull you apart because he knows that if you have God by your side, you could do anything. Remember that next time the enemy tries to pull you two apart.
Bella: What is your favorite part about writing your magazine?
Kylie: My favorite part is... well two things really.
1. I love reading other girls stories. The ones who enter in the real girls section of the magazine.
2. But the other part would be writing the "letter from the editor" I feel like its my way of connecting with the readers!
Thank you so much for doing this interview with us, Kylie! You can find more on Kylie at www.christcenteredgirls.wordpress.com
Facebook: Kylie Jacobs
It was December 2010.
It was a day that would change my life forever.
We all have those moments that shape us. Those moments that define us. The moments when we discover why we are here and the special mission God has for us.
Maybe it doesn't come all at once, or maybe it does. Maybe the realization comes to you slowly over several years, or maybe you understand it in a few seconds.
For me, it was sort of both.
But that day in December 2010 was the moment that defined for me the mission God had for me. And I knew this was what God had in mind for me when He created me. Although it took years to get to the point where I fully understand His full calling, even now I sometimes don't understand it, I still consider that a defining moment in my life.
Some of the details are all blurry in my mind now, six years later, but I can still remember what I felt.
You see, that day I was sitting in a store with my mom while she worked, reading a book.
What I read shook me to the core. I didn't fully comprehend or understand it. I didn't even know if I really wanted to understand it.
Ever since I was little I was fascinated with the Underground Railroad and the way abolitionists of the past would sacrifice everything to fight for freedom. Some would even sacrifice their very lives until all people were free. Their bravery and heroic deeds captivated me. As a young girl I wrote stories of abolitionists in the Civil War era, fighting to bring freedom to their fellow men and women. And I always believed that if I lived back then, I would've been a brave abolitionist too.
Then I read that book that snowy winter day.
And it was telling me that I could still be a brave abolitionist.
The reason? Because slavery never ended.
Slavery still exists.
I still remember the pounding of my heart when I read those words and the anger that boiled through my body. How could this be? How could I not have known sooner?
And that was the moment I knew I would never be the same. That was the moment that defined the years of my life to come.
Because in that moment I realized that this is what God had in mind for me. This was His mission for me. To fight for justice and speek for freedom...until all are free.
It's been a crazy journey these last six years as I have dedicated my life to learning more about human trafficking and modern-day slavery, and doing whatever I can to end it.
At this point, you're probably wondering why I have even written this post, because if you've been following my blog, you know I've done posts about this before. :) Ending slavery and bringing forth freedom is the passion in the core of my soul.
Well, I've written this post again today because today is January 11, 2017. National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
And that's why I've written this post.
Because on this day I want you to remember.
I want you to remember that not everyone is free. Not everyone is living in freedom. Tonight not everyone will go to sleep when they decide to. Tonight millions of men, women, and children will go to sleep not having any hope for tomorrow and not knowing they are loved, not knowing if they will even make it through tomorrow. They're stuck in the brick kilns, the clothing factories, the commerical sex slave trade. They're all around us. Halfway across the world and right here in America. Right here in your backyard. Do you see them?
So today I want you to not only remember them, but I also want you to remember when you first heard about slavery and human trafficking. Maybe it was just now when reading this post. Maybe it was years ago. I want you to remember the anger you felt when hearing that even in America, the land of the free, not all are truly free. And when remembering, I need you to know something.
You're responsible now.
The torch of abolition and freedom that the great abolitionists of old held in their hands is being passed onto you today. You know the truth now. And you only have two choices.
To turn and walk away and pretend you never knew.
Or to take the torch in your hand and light the way to freedom again.
Which will you choose? From now on, you know the truth. What you do with it is entirely up to you.
Here are 5 steps you can take today, National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, to become a modern-day freedom seeker and abolitionist:
1) Put the National Human Trafficking Hotline number into your cell phone. Yes, I'm sure 99% of you have cell phones, and so how easy is this?! All you have to do is enter this number into your cell phone so it's with you all the time. Whenever you see suspicious activity or something that just doesn't look right, something that looks like human trafficking, you call that number and report it. By doing so, you could save a life. Here's the number: 888-3737-888
2) Check out the websites of these great organizations and consider donating to support them or get involved in one of their other campaigns (If you're under your parents authority, please speak with them first): International Justice Mission--www.ijm.org. Hope for Justice--www.hopeforjustice.org. Free the Slaves--www.freetheslaves.net. A21 Campaign--www.a21.org.
3) Pray. Pray with all of your heart for freedom to be restored and for the captives to be set free. God's heart is for the oppressed and we are to be for them too. So pray, pray, pray.
4) Tell someone! Spread the word today! It's National Human Trafficking Awareness Day after all! Use your social media! Tweet, post, pin, whatever it is that you do. Do it to bring freedom. Raise that awareness and make people aware of what is really going on in the world around us. Human trafficking and slavery can only thrive when we remain in ignorance and refuse to do anything about what we know.
5) Change the way you live, starting today. Most of the products we consume on a daily basis have some form of slavery in them. It's inevitable that something you own has slave labor in it. From the smartphones you carry, to the food in your kitchen, to the clothes that you wear. I'm not telling you to give up or stop consuming everything that has slave labor in it, because that would be impossible. But what I am daring you to do is to choose just one thing that you can do. I don't eat chocolate unless it's 100% fairly traded. What if you gave up chocolate for the remaining days in January to declare to others that you are for freedom and that you want to do something about it. I'm not telling you that you have to give it up forever, but what about just for a few days? It's conversation starters, people will ask you why! Let them know the truth.
Will you stand for freedom?
It starts today and it starts with you. YOU could be the next great abolitionist God is raising up to set a generation free.
How will you respond to His calling?
Let us fight for freedom again...until all are free.
Wasn't it just yesterday that my mom helped me sign up for my first ever Bible Bee in 2011? Wasn't it just yesterday that I walked out of the JW Marriott hotel in San Antonio, TX and hugged my friends for the last time?
The memories in between each of these moments are beautiful ones. Every memory from my Bible Bee journey was stunningly beautiful. Yes, there were the painful moments and the stressful moments. The moments of tears and the moments of heart break. But every moment was beautiful because God showed up in every moment on that journey. Sometimes He showed up in ways I knew He would and sometimes it was ways I never would've expected. He was so good and faithful every step of the journey. ♥
Yet when I became Alumni of the National Bible Bee, my journey was not to end there.
I was fourteen, at my first ever Nationals in 2011, when I first decided that one day I was going to host a Local Bee. Every year at Nationals after that, I always reminded myself that someday I wanted to host.
Hosting was an honor that I one day hoped to have. Hosting had the high responsiblity of encouraging, inspiring, and building up the next generation of young people who would be dedicated to the Word of God.
My Local Bible Bee Hosts over the years were amazing, but my host in 2013 and 2014 inspired me the most. And one day I wanted to give back to the next generation of Bible Bee-er's, what my host had given to me. Motivation, inspiration, dedication.
And then, all too soon, my Bible Bee journey ended as a contestant.
When 2016 came around I always thought I would host, but I was actually hesitant to register.
I had many different concerns. What if no one signed up at my bee? What if I wasn't a good host? What if I didn't know how to lead the kids? What if...?
In the midst of my uncertainty, I felt God urging me to register to host. I felt it so strongly, I knew it was His will for me. So I took the leap of faith and signed up as a 2016 Local Bible Bee Host.
Looking back, I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. It was one of the greatest adventures. All the hard work and sacrifice, and yes even tears, that I put into hosting was all worth it the day I stood at my first fellowship gathering, and one of my Primary's recited a Scripture verse to me. They recited so excitedly and it brought back a flood of emotions as I remembered being in their place, reciting. As I listened to them, I knew this was what the Bible Bee was all about. Not the competition, not the prizes, not Nationals. It was about these verses they were reciting and one generation turning and discipling the next to be a student of the Word of God.
It was an honor to host a Local Bee and encourage each of the 11 contestants registered under me. I loved each of them and our group had so much fun. I have never been so proud of a group of kids as I was of each of them as they studied and recited.
When I found out in November that I had been awarded the Host of the Year 2016 award from the National Bible Bee, I was stunned. I had dreamed of winning this award, but never thought it could happen. When God gave me that award, I was humbled and honored. To God be the glory, great things He has done. ♥
So as I look back on winning this award and my time as a Local host in 2016, I decided to write a post to encourage YOU to host a Local Bible Bee this summer in 2017! Yes, you!
And here are the reasons why I think you should:
1) It will impact your life. Having this role of inspiring and encouraging these kids, really should be taken seriously. As hosts we have the honor of pointing these kids to the Word of God and encouraging them to dedicate their entire summer to studying more about Jesus. What better way to use their summer than this!! As you help these kids study and as you listen to them recite, it will impact your life. I know for me, those contestants at my bee inspired me to keep memorizing, even as alumni. Hosting will impact your life in some way, I promise.
2) It will impact the contestants' lives. The Bible Bee changed my life every step of the way. From learning more about how to study God's Word, to hiding thousands of Bible verses in my heart, and to trusting God with every aspect of the competition, I was not the same person after Bible Bee as I was before. I was stronger in my faith and more dedicated to the Word of God because of this journey. As a Local Host, you're giving this opportunity to another child. By bringing the Bible Bee to your town and community, you're giving a contestant the chance to have their lives changed by the Word of God.
3) If you're Bible Bee Alumni, you should host. It's just as simple as that :) I honestly think that as a Bible Bee Alumni, it's our responsibility to turn back and disciple the next generation coming after us. Whether that means hosting, helping another local host, or volunteering at Nationals, I feel it is our responsibility to give back what was given to us. As previous Bible Bee contestants we were given the gift of having the opportunity to study God's Word all summer (and fall!) long! I urge you to give that back to others. As Alumni you also know what it's like to be a contestant and you know how much fun it can be! Hosting was a blast for me because I wanted to create a celebration day and ceremony for my contestants that I know would've made me thrilled as a contestant. You have the special gift of having walked this road before these young ones. Now you can inspire them the way alumni and local hosts inspired you.
4) You will laugh a lot. Yep, it's true. :) You will have just as much fun as your contestants if you let yourself! From making up games to play with the contestants, to singing songs totally off-key, you will have the time of your life and it will be incredible. :)
5) You will learn more than you thought possible. Oh, yes, you will! I learned so much from my hosting experience. I learned how to organize an event, lead a group, and encourage others to get involved! From calling several different places about spreading the word, to emailing my contestants on a weekly basis, everything I did taught me something as well. And the greatest gift of all, was learning more about Jesus as I studied along with these precious kids. :)
So there you have it. And now the choice is up to you.
Will you take the leap of faith and register to host a Local Bible Bee in 2017? You won't regret it, I promise. Take a leap of faith and trust God. It will be amazing. :)
Go here: www.biblebee.org to learn more about hosting in 2017! I dare you. ;)
And if you're between the ages of 7-18, stay tuned for another post coming soon about why I think you should compete in the Bible Bee in 2017! ;)
Praise Jesus ♥
When was the last time you wanted to do something one minute and the next minute you didn't feel like doing it anymore?
I don't know about you, but I get this way sometimes when it comes to washing dishes. I get up to do them because I want to get them done and I want to finish them. Then when I actually stand over the sink full of dishes, my feelings change and I no longer want to be doing them or getting them done.
And sometimes this goes beyond daily chores too.
Like you know those times when your feelings convince you that something is true when it's not?
Maybe in the midst of a trial you felt like God had abandoned you and left you alone. Your feelings lied that He wasn't with you.
Maybe after getting yourself into a deep cycle of sin or betrayal, you felt like God was angry with you and ashamed of what you'd done. Your feelings lied that He wouldn't forgive you.
Maybe after an exciting accomplishment, you felt proud of what you'd done and ready to take on the next project coming your way. Yet your feelings lied that you could do it all in your own strength.
Maybe after someone broke your trust, you felt like you couldn't trust anyone again so you pushed everyone away. Your feelings lied that you couldn't trust God either.
Do you see the damage that these lies can do?
Because when we believe something long enough it becomes truth to us, even if it's not really truth at all.
At this point you might argue with me saying, "But I can't control the way I feel sometimes! I try not to feel that way, but I still do." And I understand.
But let me tell you a little secret.
Your feelings don't have to control you. How?
Because when you stop believing the lie those feelings are feeding to you, sooner or later the feelings are gonna leave too.
When you feel like God has abandoned you, remind yourself this, "God loves me more than I could ever imagine. And nothing in this world can separate me from His love. He will never leave me or forsake me." Before long you'll stop feeling that way and you'll start living in the truth of what is real. Because feelings aren't reality. They lie to us to cause us to believe what isn't true so that we can no longer see the truth around us.
So what's my dare for you? Because you know I have one. ;)
My dare is this...
Next time you feel unloved, lonely, abandoned, ashamed, guilty, prideful, broken, whatever it is, I want you to stand in front of the mirror and look at yourself. Then I want you to firmly say aloud, "I am a child of God. The truth is that even when I feel alone, I'm not. He will never leave me. The truth is that even when I feel like I cannot be forgiven, He has already forgiven me. The truth is that even when I feel like I can do something in my own strength, I know that I can only do all things through Christ who gives me strength. The truth is that when I feel like there is no one I can trust, God will never give me a reason to stop trusting Him, because He is trustworthy and faithful."
Next time your feelings come to lie to you and decieve you from what is true, won't you please remind yourself of what will never change? Your feelings come and go, but the truth will always be the truth.
Live in that freedom.
Happy New Year, dear friends!
As many of my ladies out there know, the New Year also brings the birthday of my free, monthly, e-magazine for girls, "The King's Princess"! :D Happy fourth birthday "The King's Princess"! It doesn't seem real that four years ago when I was fifteen years old, God placed it in my heart to send out this magazine and I did. He has done incredible things on this journey and I wouldn't trade it for anything. ♥
And what better way to celebrate a birthday than to launch a brand NEW website?! (I mean, besides eating cake and ice cream, of course)
So that's just what I did! :)
My magazine now has a brand new website that you can visit at:
I'd love it if you'd visit and let me know what you think! The website has our story, our contact info, and bios for all of our special columnists! We also have a special page called "Weekly Princess Inspiration" where I post something new every Monday to inspire you on your walk to live like the princess that you truly are! My first post just went up, so don't forget to check that out too! :)
We also have a brand new Instagram: @thekingsprincessmagazine and a brand new Facebook page: @thekingsprincessmagazine, so be sure to check those out too if you get the chance :)
Thank you all so much for your support, it means the world to me! To God be the glory for what He has done and I can't wait to see what He does in 2017! ♥
Also, I'm sure you will be happy to know that one of my New Year goals was to write weekly here on my blog, so you should be seeing more frequent posts from me! Assuming I follow the goal, that is, haha! ;) I will do my best!
Happy New Year 2017, friends!
Make every moment amazing! ♥
I've heard it said many times before that, "Everyone dies, but not everyone lives."
Which begs the question of, "Are you living?"
Obviously I'm not talking about physically, but are you truly living your life? Or are you just doing enough to get by and hopefully get through the next big event, the next holiday, the next day?
It seems kind of surreal to me that here we are at the end of 2016. The last few hours before a brand new year dawns upon us.
2016 has been a crazy, amazing, totally-different-than-I-had-planned, kind of year. Looking back on this year I realize that just because things or plans don't turn out how you had dreamed them to, doesn't mean they are any less beautiful. Every moment we are given is a miracle, and every moment has the possibility of being amazing.
However, the choice of making those moments amazing is totally up to you.
And as we stand on the verge of the new year, 2017, I want to leave you with this one thought...
You are human and someday you will die. One day your life will end. Life is short, it goes too quickly. We don't know when our final moment will be. You could die tomorrow, you don't know. The length of your days is not in your hands.
So thinking about that, how are you going to live today?
Are you going to decide to actually truly, fully live? Are you going to make every moment of 2017 amazing?
I'm not talking about making the big, happy, moments of 2017 amazing, although you should certainly do that too. I'm not talking about the amazing moments like a graduation, a new job, a special holiday, an event you've been anticipating.
No, when I dare you to make your 2017 moments amazing, I'm mostly talking about those days in between all the big events. The day after New Year's. The day after that event you've been anticipating. Day seven of your new job. The day when nothing is going on and you're lost inside the mundane.
I dare you to make those moments special too.
While those big moments we anticipate or look forward to are a part of our lives, the moments that make up the majority of our lives are every day in between. Every minute, every second in between.
And if tomorrow was your last day to live, I think you would consider these moments today to be pretty amazing.
Today I dare you to start living fully alive.
Embrace today. Embrace the uncertainty. Embrace even the painful moments, because someday looking back you will see the beauty God had in mind, even in those moments. Embrace every day that God gives you because it is truly a miracle.
And standing on the edge of this new year, I ask you to give God 2017. Let 2017 be the year you fall more in love with God than you've ever been before. Let 2017 be the year that you allow God's plans to direct your path and you trust Him every step of the way.
Let 2017 be the year you stop walking through every day just to "get by," and move onto the next day.
Let 2017 be the year you realize the shortness of life...and you live it well.
I dare you.
Happy New Year!
Have you ever dreaded something so much you can just feel the dread in the pit of your stomach and the anxiety in your chest?
Have you ever gone through something that was so difficult it felt like a flaming fire all around you threatening to consume you? Something that was so strong and you felt so weak, and it felt like a tidal wave going to take you down?
Have you ever lost something you loved or stared at the ashes of a broken dream, wondering how you could trust God with what comes next when you don't understand why He took away what He did?
Well, I have.
I know what each of those things feels like because I have lived each of them in one way or another. And although I don't know you or what you're going through right now, I do know this.
You've felt this way too.
How do I know?
Because you're human and life is hard. Things don't go our way. Things fall apart. And sometimes it's hard to trust God when He does things differently than you thought He would. Sometimes it's hard to trust Him when you cry out for Him to save you from the fire of a trial you don't think you can bear, only for Him to ask you to walk through it anyway.
I felt this way when God took away a dream I had this year and I wondered how I could trust Him when I did not understand His plan.
And God placed this passage in my life over and over until the truth of it hit me one day.
"But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you."
That's when I understood. These verses became real to me and I finally got them. And I want you to get them too, which I why I've written this post.
Although this verse was written for the nation of Israel, I know it was meant for me and you too. Just replace "Jacob" and "Israel" with your name and it becomes that much more personal.
Thus says the Lord who created you, Bella...fear not for I have redeemed you...you are Mine.
Just as it was true for them, it's true for me. Just as it's true for me, it's true for you too.
The last verse of this passage encourages me the most.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned.
And honestly, walking through a fire or walking through deep waters is exactly what our lives can feel like at times. When God took away my dream it felt like the heat of this trial was too strong for me to bear.
Maybe you're feeling the same right now.
Like the situation you are facing this very moment is too strong for you to bear. It feels like the flames of this trial are too hot for you to stand against and they may just engulf you. Like the waters are too deep for you to keep your head above them any longer.
But the promise was never that we would not go through the deep waters.
It wasn't that we would never walk through the fire.
No, the promise was that when we did go through the deep waters, they would not drown us. They would not flow over our heads. The promise was that when we did go through the fire, it would not destroy us.
Thinking about that brings to mind this passage from Job 23:10--
"But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold."
As gold must be refined by heat, the trials and tests that feel like giant fires around us, will refine us if we let them. If we let the heat of these trials cause us to turn to Him, instead of away from Him, we will become closer to Him and who He has created us to be. Then when the testing is done, we shall come forth as gold.
The first part of that verse is also a special reminder.
He knows the way that I take. He knows the way that you take.
He knows where you are right now, He knows what your heart is feeling, He knows your pain. And He knows because He is with you through it, right by your side.
I'm not saying it's going to be easy.
I'm not saying the pain won't be deep.
But I am saying that when you go through the fire, hold onto His promises. Believe in who He says He is, even if you don't feel Him all the time. Just because you don't feel Him doesn't mean He isn't there. Feelings lie. But the truth is always the truth.
And the truth is that when you go through the fire, He walks with you, keeping you safe every step of the journey. ♥
Isabella Morganthal (20) is a homeschool high school graduate who loves Jesus with all of her heart. She is a drummer, writer, creative arts director, and modern-day abolitionist.