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Watch What You Say

I've never been good at taming my tongue. It's the classic problem: I say what I shouldn't say, and I don't say what I should.

I'd heard it was important to tame our tongues, but I'd never really tried to change my unhealthy patterns.

Then the other day, I began to read James. When I got to the third chapter—the one about taming the tongue—I sat up and read carefully. It was like God was saying to me, "Listen, Emily. This is important." In verse 10, it says, "Praises and curses come from the same mouth! My brothers and sisters, this should not happen." I've read that verse before, but this time it took on new meaning. I realized that everything I have is not mine; I'm a steward of the gifts God gives me, and that includes the gift of language. Now I try to keep my tongue in check, knowing that its use is a privilege I've tended to abuse.

Of course, I'm still not perfect. Even today, my speech probably wasn't completely glorifying to God. But I did think more about what I was saying, and I held back several comments that I knew would show a lack of control. So think about your tongue. How are you using this gift God has given you?

Emily Adams
Grace Christian School
Anchorage, Alaska

God or the Mall?

A lot of people want to be rich. They want to have 25 cars, 3 mansions, and a new outfit for every day of the year.

But what happens when they leave this world behind? What will all their possessions mean then?

It's easy to point fingers at rich folks. But let's say you have $50. What is the first thing you would do with it? Go to the mall? Go out to eat? Buy a new pair of shoes or a new CD? Sometimes we get caught up in what's in and what's out and forget that God is our provider, not the mall.

Sure, it's OK to want and have nice things. Just remember: The more things you want, the harder it is to keep your mind set on God. He's the one we should worship—not our new Nikes. And we should always be dependent on God, not on worldly possessions.

Bettina Kilpatrick
Westover High School
Fayetteville, North Carolina

good stuff online

StephnTenn's Home Page
Chances are, you see pretty much the same people every week. But what if you could interact with people around the country—even around the world—every day? That's what 17-year-old Stephanie Carter gets to do through the Web site she created.

Stephanie, who loves softball and Christian music, lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee (get it—Steph-n-Tenn?). But thanks to the Web, she has a witness that reaches way beyond her own community.

"Every once in a while I'll get e-mail from someone wanting to talk about God and what he has done in my life," Stephanie says. "When I get these kinds of letters, it makes the Web site worthwhile. It shows me God can use me from my own house to help people across the country."

Stephanie's page features her testimony, her favorite Bible verses, and links to lots of Christian artists' Web pages. Stop by and sign the guestbook—she'd love to hear from you!

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