4th of July Freedom and Free to be You!

Does anything feel better than being who you are? To be seen and known and loved? Isn’t it about freedom to be you . . . the you who you truly are?fireworks 2

The 4th of July is a day about freedom . . . the day our country declared independence from Great Britain and was no longer under its control. Since the king’s laws were unfair, they now had freedom to govern themselves. They were now free! Can you imagine how that felt?

What’s so awesome is we can be free, too . . . from worry, fear, what others think of us, just to name a few. . . But for all of that to happen we need to receive Christ into our hearts and trust Him as our Savior and Lord. Maybe you’ve already done that, and if so, that’s really great. If you haven’t just yet, know that He wants to set you free from sin or going your own way, as that separates you from Him, and you’ll be at the start of an amazing adventure. Just imagine . . . a relationship with the Creator of the universe and your loving Heavenly Father. And what’s amazing is when you turn your life over to Him and give Him control, you actually become free!  . . . free to be who you truly are . . . to be uniquely you . . . the you who you love to be. So how does that work? Well, only God who created you and the entire universe could work something out like that! The more I surrender, the more me I become! He knows me in and out. He knows what I need. I can be free from fear or worry, knowing He knows what’s best for me and what I desire. And the same is true for you!

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

How will you celebrate on the 4th with your family and friends? A picnic? Baseball? Bar-b-que? And of course, fireworks! When you take a moment to remember what this day’s all about, how about celebrating your freedom in Christ and freedom to be you!

HeartDream Chat – What are your plans for the 4th of July?  Tell how it feels to be free . . .

Colorful Confetti

Colorful Confetti

Those Hot Summer Days . . .

Been loving summer? Having tons of fun? Been a bit hot and need to cool off?

When I was little we’d run through the sprinkler. It was the really cool thing back then. And the coolest thing to keep cool.

Or we’d take trips to Dairy Queen. The choices were chocolate or vanilla. You’ve sure got it made these days!shutterstock_116126008

But my favorite memory was when my dad took all of us, late at night, to A & W for root beer. That’s when the AC had gone out at home, and we got to ride in the car in our PJ’s with the windows rolled down taking in the late night summer air. Wow . . . did we ever think that was the best!

So what do you do when those summer days are hot and the sweat is dripping down?

Do you sip on something cool? Chomp on ice cream? Dive in the pool or lake?

Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s refreshing.

And you know what? That’s the way it is with God . . . when we feel hot, in trouble, in ‘hot water’ . . . when we need a way out, a way to cool off. Whether it’s friends, parents, or just plain old life. And things are not right. Remember, you can go to Him, and He’ll refresh you. He wants you to come to Him. He’s got the answer for what you’re dealing with, and He will cool you and refresh you when you sit and listen to Him.

Jeremiah 31:25 says, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” I love that verse. How refreshing it is!

So when things are hot and you need to cool off, turn to Him, run to Him, and let Him cool and refresh you . . . just like you do on a hot summer day.


HeartDream Chat – How do you keep cool in the summer? How has God refreshed you?





Summer’s Coming!

Ready for summer? It’s coming . . . ! Are you envisioning all of those things you can’t wait to do?

  • Staying up lateshutterstock_126592436
  • Sleeping in
  • Bar-B-Ques
  • Summer sleepovers
  • Watching movies
  • Days at the pool
  • Picnics
  • Reading fun books
  • Writing in your journal
  • Hiking and biking
  • Boating at the lake
  • Summer camp
  • Vacationing with your family
  • Visiting relatives
  • Discovering new places

And how about getting into those summer clothes? Your swimsuit? Will you love it or dread it? Do you feel good about wearing less or would you rather not go there? You know, there are some who don’t feel so great about how they look. They compare themselves with others and feel they don’t measure up. They try to cover up or hide so others won’t notice. Some even try starving themselves or end up in the bathroom throwing it back up. You probably know this as being anorexic or bulemic. Maybe you know someone who is, or maybe that someone is you. If so, know that you are hurting yourself, and that hurts God, too. God loves you and doesn’t want that for you. So stop and get help. Don’t be embarrassed. Talk to a friend. Ask your parents for help. You don’t have to do this on your own. And God will help you, too. Just remember, He wants you to take care of the body He’s given you . . . to eat wisely and be active so you can enjoy the life He’s given you!

Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” And that means exactly that! That Christ can give you strength to do whatever you need to do, no matter how difficult. Just trust Him and see!

shutterstock_106049945HeartDream Chat – What’s on your list of summer fun? Do you need God’s help with your body image? If so, seek help from others, and seek His help, too. Then finish that list, jump right in, and have that awesome summer you’ve been dreaming about!






When You Don’t Know What To Do . . .

Have you ever gotten stuck, feeling there’s no way out? . . . when you’ve tried absolutely everything and nothing’s working? . . . when you’re tired and stressed and feel like giving up?shutterstock_1435012

Maybe your best friend is avoiding you. Something’s definitely wrong. But when you try to bring it up she acts like nothing is.

Or are your parents not getting along and arguing a lot, and you fear they’ll get a divorce. It’s like they’re even wanting you to take sides and you feel stuck right in the middle.

Or maybe you didn’t make the school cheer team when that’s all you’ve been doing is practicing. You’ve had your heart set on it for days and don’t know if you’ll ever recover.

Well, if you ever feel stuck, know you’re not alone. We all feel that way at times. But what’s most important is knowing that God is always with you, and He has the answer you need.

So how do you get that answer?

First, God wants you to pray. He wants you to give the problem to Him. Pour out your heart to Him, and give Him every detail. He already knows what you’re going through, but He wants you to tell Him anyway.

Next, listen to what He’s telling you. Just be still and listen. He may give you the answer right then, but if not, He will.

And finally, while you wait, trust Him. He loves you and wants the best for you and knows what you want and need.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

Now what does that really mean? To not try and figure it out yourself. He wants you to look to Him and lean on Him. Remember, He’s the Creator of the universe and knows everything about everything! He knows everything you’re going through. All He’s saying is, “Wait on me,” and “Trust me,” and He will answer your prayer.

So what do you do when you don’t know what to do? Pray to the God who loves you. Then listen to Him and trust Him. He’ll give you the answer you need!


HeartDream Chat – What’s something you’ve felt stuck about? Tell us how God answered your prayer.











Say ‘No’ to Doubt!

So how have things been going? And what’s been happening in your life? Are you doing those things you love? . . . those things God’s put on your heart? Or do you doubt sometimes that you really can or that your dreams will ever come to pass?

Do you know that when God says something He means it? His promises are true, and we can count on Him to do what He says. And isn’t that totally awesome?! He loves us so much and wants us to know that what He’s put on our hearts will come to pass. They really will. We just need to trust Him.shutterstock_86139091

So what is your dream? Is it acting? Dancing? Or maybe it’s being an olympic gymnast, riding and jumping horses, or becoming a famous Christian singer leading others to Christ. Just remember that whatever it is, He will make it happen.

But don’t forget . . . we have an enemy who doesn’t want those dreams coming true. And whenever you’re feeling doubt it’s coming from the devil. That’s not to scare you, but to remind you to stand guard against him. And the simple way to do that is to believe what God says, to say ‘no’ to the devil, and then trust Him for those awesome plans He has for you.

Jesus says in Mark 11:23, “For assuredly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says.”

Now isn’t that an awesome truth? So remember that whenever you’re going about your day and doubt creeps in, just speak to your mountain and say ‘no!’ And God will help you do just that!

HeartDream Chat – Do you ever feel doubt? What will you do the next time it creeps in?

Love, Love, Love . . .

The month of love . . . ahhh . . . there’s nothing like love. We were born to be loved . . . we live to love. To love and be loved. Isn’t that what life’s all about?shutterstock_127262711

And what’s so amazing is that love is how we all got here in the first place . . . God’s love. That because of His love, He created you and me.

I love thinking about the ways He loves me . . . they’re like wrapped-up little gifts . . .

  • He’s always with me . . . day and night, night and day
  • He will never leave me . . . ever
  • He knows me in and out and knows me better than I know myself!
  • He absolutely knows what’s best for me
  • He knows everything I’m going through
  • He’s there for me on my worst day
  • He’s always for me and is on my side
  • He cares about everything that concerns me, no matter how big or little
  • He comforts me when I’m sad and lonely
  • He protects me and keeps me safe
  • He shows me the way to go
  • He doesn’t expect me to be perfect
  • He forgives me when I mess up and is there with open arms
  • I can bring Him every problem, and He’ll tell me what to do
  • I can give Him all of my worries and fears
  • He’s always there to listen, and I can trust Him to work things out
  • He wants me to ask and dream big and expect Him to answer my prayers
  • He has awesome plans for my life, the desires of my heart, when I turn my life over to Him

I John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us.”

Love, Love, Love . . . that’s what it’s all about. He’s crazy about you! He’s crazy about me! Now what is more awesome than that?!

shutterstock_127517594HeartDream Chat – What do you love about God? What are the ways He loves you? 

A ‘God’s Girl’ Chat with Natalie

It’s been awesome getting to know God’s Girl* Natalie M., age 14 . . . (*God’s Girls are those who are happy because God is in their lives!)

Come take a look . . .                                                     

What does it mean to become a Christian, and when did that happen in your life?

Becoming a Christian means that I accept/acknowledge Him as God AND give Him control, living in His ways.  I was pretty young when I accepted Him into my heart, at about 5 years old.  But the second part, giving Him my WHOLE life, didn’t come until just a few years ago.  I had always gone to church and said I was a Christian without really giving Him my all. Everything changed at a youth conference at my church, when I really felt God’s presence for myself.  My whole life was transformed because I felt how great and worthy God really is.

When do you spend time with God, and what is your favorite Bible verse?Bible

I spend time with God in the mornings, and I have LOTS of favorite Bible verses.  These three are themes that come up over and over in my life, and always encourage me:

Proverbs 3:5-6  “Trust in The Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

Jeremiah 29:11-14 “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 on 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.  I will be found by you.”

1 Timothy 4:12 “Don’t 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.”

 What difference does God make in your life?

God brings me joy!  I feel peace leaving everything in His hands.  Just knowing that I’m NEVER alone makes a huge difference.  And it impacts the way that I can love others.

What desires has God put on your heart? What do you love to do?

Music has always been a huge part of my life.  Ever since I was 3 years old, I’ve been playing the piano.  I am a competitive classical pianist, and I play jazz and contemporary and Christian music.  I’m just now learning to play guitar (and ukelele!) and I love dancing and singing.  I thank God for the incredible gift of music!

What dreams do you have for your life?

Really, I want whatever God has for me.  I’ve always known that I would have a career in pianomusic, and I’m so excited to see where He leads.  I’d love to become a worship leader and/or some kind of music teacher.

What encouragement could you give a tween girl about the challenges they will face in life?

Give it all to God.  If you get in His presence to really grasp who He is, you’ll understand. Every opportunity I’ve had in worship (playing in a great band, getting to be on albums, leading worship, etc) has been because GOD has opened doors, not because I’d been looking for it.  If you trust Him with your life, He will move!

 Natalie’s ‘Favorites’ . . .

Favorite Color – aqua blue

Favorite Food – brownies!

Favorite Animal – puppies

Favorite Place to Visit – anywhere warm!

Favorite Way to Spend the Day – shopping or playing music with my family and friends

HeartDream Chat – Thanks so much for sharing with us, Natalie!  It was awesome hearing about your life! Have a comment or question for Natalie?  She’d love to hear!