Anna's Alcove

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Tag: world

There is no one who is youer than you!

“What kind of people are we? 
What kind of culture have we created?
What do we want our children to be?”
I Weep for Miley by Trevin Wax

These are the questions we should be asking ourselves on a daily basis. We may not realize how much of an impact we can have on those around us, but if you stop to think about it; every little Facebook post, every person you meet or text.. every little thing we do leaves a mark on someone’s life, no matter how big or small it may be.

I’m assuming everyone saw (or at least heard about) Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance. She pretty much came out of a robotic monkey’s belly, tongue hanging out and dressed in a sleazy teddy bear leotard, which she tore off half-way through her performance to reveal a nude bikini. Miley then proceeded to make inappropriate gestures and twerked against Robin Thicke during his song “Blurred Lines.”

It breaks my hear to think of all the young girls who had looked up to her during her career as Hannah Montana. What must they be thinking now? Is that performance considered to be cool or shocking to them? Is it the “latest fad” or something not to aspire to?

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says:

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.”

Yes, I understand that we are all human and none of us will ever attain God’s standard of perfection, but that doesn’t give us an excuse to flaunt our sexuality and come across as crass and indecent.

A woman shouldn’t feel like she needs to reveal as much skin as possible in order to feel accepted or noticed. Women have been blinded by this false idea that we can appear “sexy” if we wear low-cut shirts, really short skirts or skin-tight jeans.

A bunch of my friends went to Musikfest in Bethlehem this past month and one of the major things they noticed was not the number of great bands that performed or the delicious food that was being served… the one thing that really stood out to them was the number of young girls (preteens and teenagers alike) who were wearing practically nothing!

Reality check… all these girls are doing is buying into the lie that they’ll be more attractive and socially accepted if they show off their bodies or act a certain way.

What girls need to hear more and more of these days is that they are beautiful just by being themselves. The Bible couldn’t make it clearer in 1 Peter 3:3-4:

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

Our Creator made each of us beautifully unique and special in our own way.. and guess what? No one in this whole wide world of ours is exactly the same! Yeah, there may be billions of people out there, but I’m not kidding you.. you’re the only one who looks like you, acts like you, dresses like you, thinks like you and lives like you.

“Today you are YOU,
that is TRUER than true.
There is NO ONE alive
who is YOUER than YOU!”
-Dr. Seuss

Please don’t fall for the lie that you’re not beautiful unless you slather on the makeup or show off more skin with the clothes that you wear. Remember that our heavenly Father made you the way that you are for a purpose and loves you unconditionally. You are not a mistake!

You are BEAUTIFUL! 🙂

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Let my girls be Hermiones…

“It’s about what girls want to be, what they’re told they should be and how they feel about who they are. I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin.’ And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons.”

This is a quote that was taken from J.K. Rowling’s blog where she’s venting her frustration about how this world is so look-obsessed and how it tries to convince girls that the thinner they are, the prettier they’ll be.
Now, as girls and young women, it is very flattering to get compliments from others (especially guys that we’re interested in). It can be very easy to slip into thinking that if we lost that extra 5 pounds or worked on toning our “thunder thighs” we would be even more attractive than we already are.

That’s exactly where Satan and the world step in and twists our thinking to a point where our outward appearance is all we worry about and focus on. We can get so caught up in criticizing ourselves that we assume others are looking at us and judging us in the same way..

… and then world takes it a step further.

Take a look around. There are numerous examples of the world’s handiwork: billboards with the latest fashions on display, magazine ads with the sexiest perfumes, photos of models with the perfect bodies and movies with actresses who are made to look like the perfect woman with the perfect man and the perfect happy ending… and the sad thing is that girls these days are buying it.Over the past couple years of leading small group Bible studies and helping out in youth group, I’ve seen and heard young Christian girls talk about needing to go on a diet, how much weight they need to lose or how they don’t consider themselves to be pretty… and it’s heartbreaking. So many of them seem to forget or just haven’t realized yet that they are beautiful just the way God made them.

This reminds me of the song “More Beautiful You” by Jonny Diaz (check it out!). During the chorus, he says,

“There could never be a more beautiful you. Don’t buy the lies, disguises and hoops they make you jump through. You were made to fill a purpose, that only you could do, so there could never be a more beautiful you.”

The world around us is filled with girls who are falling for the lie that they’ll be beautiful if they hardly eat anything, wear as little clothes as possible, slather on the makeup and more… all striving for that unattainable perfection.

All these girls need is love. Seriously. They want to be noticed. That’s why they’re buying into these lies that the world and media is feeding them.. and the God of love is calling out, trying to remind them that they are unique…

… an original

… a masterpiece


I have to keep telling myself this daily. It’s natural for us to compare ourselves to others. The danger is when we start looking down on ourselves and criticizing God’s masterpiece (us).

Don’t buy into the lies.


“The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor Him, for His is your Lord.” – Psalm 45:11

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“Counterfeit Gods”

“You might say, “I don’t believe in God,” but the Bible says, “Not possible,”
Everyone has a God, whether or not it’s the God of the gospel…
Even the dictionary defines God as “whatever we make supreme.”
It’s a theme, a thread, it’s inside of all human beings,
The fact we all worship, and no it’s not just about singing.
I know some of you already like “Jeff I don’t worship, I put that on the shelf,”
But I say technically we all do, we just worship ourselves.”

This is the beginning of “Counterfeit Gods,” a spoken word piece by one of my favorite artists, Jefferson Bethke. He has made a number of videos that touch on a lot of hard issues that we, as Christians, face in our every day lives… tattoos, sex, identity, relationships and idols.

Many of us don’t like to admit it, but we tend to place our own personal interests higher in our priorities than God at times (and I’m speaking from experience here):

The anticipation of logging onto the social networks to see who commented on a post or who has the most “likes” on a photo.

The adrenaline rush movies and books provide; giving you the opportunity to escape from the real world and go on crazy adventures all without leaving the couch.

Having a knight in shining armour (or in a really sweet sports car) come whisk you away to live happily ever after!

It may not seem like we’re outright worshiping idols, but think about it… what are we really doing when something of the world takes priority over the God of the universe? Aren’t we just gently pushing Him to the side and asking Him to wait for when we have time to spend with Him.. special time that we set aside for devotions, prayer or journaling… when, in reality, He should be infiltrating our entire existence?!

“Yet, we mock and we laugh at the Israelites Golden Calf,
But we do the same right back; it just looks different than that.
So question, what’s on your throne?
What do you chase so you don’t feel alone?
So what defines you, what do you give ultimate worth?
And what if taken from you would bring ultimate hurt?
Now see, that is your God”

I know I’m getting deep on this one, but God did state in the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20:4-6
“You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God”

Did you catch that the second time? Our God is a “jealous God”! He can’t stand the thought of anything taking higher priority in our lives. Yet, we do it over and over again, sometimes without realizing it.

“And you ladies, no guy can love you more than Jesus already has,
So stop getting your worth from Magic Mike. Jesus is so much better than that.
I know you’re thinking,  “So Jeff, are you saying we should hate money, hate drinking, and never have sex.
No, I’m not saying that. The Bible says enjoy it all; in its proper context.”

While God is over here trying to tell us that we’re the most beautiful thing He has ever seen, we end up comparing ourselves to the friends in cyber world who have the most “likes” or settling for the fact that we’ll never live up to the Hollywood version of “perfection.”

Without even realizing it, we get so caught up in dreaming about what lies ahead for us (boyfriend/girlfriend, marriage, a career, fame), that we tend to forget that God is already taking care of our past, present and future.

So I ask you… does God have the priority spot in every little part of your life, including your things, friends, social networks and countless other way that you connect to this world? Have you given it all to Him? What would happen if it was all taken away in the blink of an eye? Would your world shatter to pieces around you, or would it stand firm on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ?

“He exchanged himself for us, absorbing all our sin.
God put on flesh and do you see how we treated Him?
The ultimate war veteran, because He was killed for our freedom.
Nonetheless, He was thinking of you and me, with every whip that beat em,
And to think he did that knowing full well we’d say, “Nah, we don’t really need Him.”
But like a Father, He couldn’t bare His children to not be free
So He thought up that tree, paid our fee, for specs of dirt like you and me.
So my plea is let Him restore His proper place,
I promise you He loves you right now. Just trust in His grace.
Because before I leave, I’ll leave you with this:
What of those other things you worship took nails in their wrists?
Or how about when was the last time money or sex forgave you?
When’s the last time your boyfriend set you free from all you’re enslaved to?
What else is there that died so you could be made new?
Or when’s the last time the world promised satisfaction, and actually came through?”

I’m still learning, just like you… so I ask that, as brothers and sisters in Christ, please pray for each other to not become to attached to the world around us. While it may be enjoyable for a while, it’s never gonna last.

But there’s one thing that can never be taken away… our awesome God who is overflowing with unconditional love and never-ending patience.

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Sentinels standing at attention on the shelves,
Dryads, nymphs, centaurs, and elves
Pages barely held together by glue,
Coverings faded, some cloudy blue.
Adventure, romance, classic, and mystery
All just waiting for the right person, you see,
To come and open the cover
Just to discover
A whole new world of possibility.
-Anna Tielmann
(Written for Creative Writing)
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