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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Guard Your Heart (06/08/12)

TITLE: Don't Get Caught Up!
By Gail Burks


So many choices to make. So many opportunities to grab. So many thoughts to manage.

I don't know about you, but the limitless bombardment of our 'eye' and 'ear' gate, by the things of this world, are none other than overwhelming. Yes, overwhelming. Although, some people would call it exciting, stimulating, or part of everyday life as a human being on this earth, I say “be mindful.”

Careful and cautious. Of what you may ask? Well, of the various tricks that are played on the body of Christ by the enemy. Tricks on you and me. So, the question then becomes, “Why should we be concerned about the events, sights and sounds that enter our hearts and minds?”

Let's give an example of what happens when we try to do things on our own, and don't ask God for discernment or guidance.

Many teens and young adults today are getting 'caught up' in the secular hip-hop, rock, fast living, social networking movement of today. Now, there is nothing inherently evil in these activities, however, as Christians, we should have higher standards. Even those currently in the world must discern right from wrong.

Yes, I am personally aware of the influence the music industry has had on behavior and lifestyle choices of many. Some of our young men and women have used marijuana and cocaine. Some have abused alcohol and ended up in hangovers or hospitals. There have been out-of-wedlock children born and a couple of teens have been victims of sexual abuse by a person in authority. Also, some have committed theft and found themselves in prison.

This is not to solely blame the music industry. My son sings and writes music and has done so since childhood. We love music, though, I noticed over the years that his desire to sing or listen to praise and worship music was often short-lived. The pull of secular music was often difficult to overcome.

Nonetheless, that is why God encourages us to pray. As Christian parents, our responsibility is to pray for our children, family, friends and community.

Surprisingly, some adults get caught up, too. I enjoy dancing at times, even before “Dancing With The Stars” became popular. I don't dance too much anymore, but my husband and I still enjoy an occasional 'fast' dance. However, there is some music I refuse to listen or dance to. It is either too explicit or solicits certain feelings. Both my husband and I have learned to be mindful of activities we partake in, even as 'fifty-ish' adults.

Sometimes, it's so easy and fun to act the way the world acts. To respond the way the world responds. But, we must encourage each other, as well as help our young adults to understand there is a more advantageous way.

Apostle Paul says in I Corinthians 10:23, “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial...” What a wonderful scripture. Also, Proverbs 4:23 provides us with this Word: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

We pray, in the Name of Jesus, that our teens and young adults desire things of God. That they realize Jesus is the only way, and that when they stray, for a season, the Holy Spirit will strengthen, protect and guide them into all truth. Dear Heavenly Father, we decree and declare the blood of Jesus over our seed, and we believe that no weapon that is formed against them will prosper, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/18/12
This is a nice devotion. I liked how you gave some personal examples and how you overcame the desires. It is important to monitor our children's activities and even more important to make sure when they are watching us that we do the right thing too.

The only bit of red ink is you don't need to tell the reader what you are going to do next. Instead just give the example. If you want to help the transition you can say For example, but I don't know that you even need to do that.

I really liked your prayer. I so enjoy it when people include prayers in their pieces because there are people who don't know how to pray. You did a great job of tackling the topic in a thought-provoking way. Good job!
Connie K Cameron06/18/12
I really enjoyed reading this piece. You got the subject right on. Good job.

C D Swanson 06/20/12
Beautiful job with this lovely piece. I enjoyed your powerful prayer. Thank you. God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/21/12
Congratulations for ranking 13th in level one!