Dollar For a Drink

As some of you may already be aware, Josh Guthrie of Dollar For A Drink is attempting to raise enough money to build three fresh-water wells in Sudan, Africa. He has currently raised $16,785, $16,785 that will build two wells for needy people. Seventy percent of DfaD's goal for this year (specifically by Christmas 2009) has been collected, and only $7,215 remains. If you would like to be a part of this awesome non-profit ministry, please consider praying about donating to this special cause.

For more information on Dollar For A Drink, or to donate, please visit their website at Josh Guthrie is 17 years old, 17 years old and fighting bravely for Jesus Christ. He is taking a stand and showing this world that teens can do amazing things, one hard thing at a time.

Thanks for reading!


Follow-up: "Merry Christmas"

As I thought a bit more concerning the recent post, I wanted to add a few personal side notes:

Even though Christmas is most often linked to Christian beliefs, Christmas has always been "Christmas"-regardless of any religious connotations. In fact, I don't think most people would even consider Christmas strictly a religious holiday. True, many more people do attend church on December the 25th, but the overall spirit of Christmas, to a much broader society, seems to be generosity, giving, and cheer. We have always went "Christmas shopping" and many look forward to singing "Christmas carols."

Whether religion plays a role in our Christmas celebrations (however) is, quite frankly, not the issue. The thing that upsets me the most (and maybe it's just one of my own pet-peeves) is the fact that everything has to be politically correct. Every little thing is now required to apply to EVERYONE, in order to appeal to a larger audience. However, no matter what we try to do, there will always be discrepancies; there will always be those people whom will not agree with the rest of the culture.


"Merry Christmas!"

Over the past few years, our local school systems and favorite fast food restaurants have decided for the rest of society that "Christmas" is a dirty word. They have deemed it appropriate, however, to impose a much more generic term to label one of the most-celebrated holidays in America. Those in authority claim that "Christmas" is too specific, that its name directs more focus on the Christian celebration which takes place on December 25th. Apparently, we as a country need to do away with "Christmas" and welcome "the holidays."

There are many, however, that still strive to keep the joys of Christmas alive. The festivities of Christmas day have been long-since celebrated including the following celebrations to bring in the new year, and it is insulting that our culture is trying to change the way many view Christmas. In fact, many workplaces do not even allow their employees to wish their customers "MERRY CHRISTMAS," but rather encourage them to shower customers with "Happy Holiday's."

The problem is obvious, and the solution is simple. Join with us as we hope to remind this world of the true meaning of Christmas: the day Jesus Christ was born as a baby, lying in a manger. He was born to die and born to save us so that, one day, we could live with Him is His heavenly realm for all of eternity. Let us be like the shepherds whom, after being told by the angels, "spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child" [Luke 2:17]. And let us be like Mary whom "treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart" [Luke 2:19].


ACTION STEP: Wish your friends, teachers, co-workers, and family members a very "Merry Christmas!" While "Christmas" is simply a name, it represents something very special to us as Christians. As a result it is very frustrating when others try to change it. Take a stand...:)

"No God? No Problem!:" The Controversial Advertising Campaign

The American Humanist Association is back again with an even more offensive line of advertisements.

Last year, their banners read: "
Why Believe in a God? Just Be Good for Goodness' Sake," and according to their website [] this year's ads "will be blazoned across transit systems in five cities-including Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, & San Francisco." However, this year's ads will read: "No God? No Problem! Be Good for Goodness' Sake. Humanism is the idea that you can be good without a belief in God." The exectuive director of the American Humanist Association, Roy Speckhardt, states that they are "hoping this campaign will build awarenss about the humanist movement and our [their] ethical life philosophy." The Association also "want nontheists to know there is a community of like-minded invividuals out there they can connect with." Another reason these ads are being published is to prove "millions of people are good without believing in God."

But what really is the issue? Why are they spending $40,000 to post these advertisments on over 250 Metro buses and rail cars? Speckhardt makes the argument that this "First-Ever National Godless Holiday Campaign" was not meant "to offend anyone." If this is true, why did they change last year's ad from "
a God" to this year's "God?" What would be the purpose in singling out the God if their only aim is to help spread awareness of their beliefs? In addition, the American Humanist Association makes the case that many people are good, even those whom do not worship God. However, this point seems rather irrelevant...there is no question of different peoples' overall level of goodness. In fact, it is widely accepted that one does not have to be religious to do good deeds; but the difference is that religion gives those deeds meaning. Living life serving others is a beautiful thing, but what overall purpose does it serve in the end? The awesome thing about the fruit we bear as Christians, as bondservants to Christ, is that we add daily to our reward in Heaven. Even more valuable, though, is that it brings glory and honor to Him...and at the same time sows seeds in other peoples' lives.

NOW, it is time to take a stand. We should not remain subject to the insults of the ignorant--those whose eyese have yet to be opened. We must show the world that good things for Christ gives meaning and purpose and satisfaction. Ultimately, our end destination is not to prove a point or to fight back in an unChrist-like manner. Instead, we should strive to impact others for Him and fight for what is true.

It is time to take a stand.

PS. Comments welcome! Please feel free to suggest ways to lovingly combat this issue...


Who Are Your Friends?

The Harris brothers [] correctly stated that "you are who your friends are." While this simply displays the importance of choosing friends who will support you in doing the right thing, it can be easy to stop it there and just choose good friends.

However, it is also important to realize that entertainment such as movies, music, time spent on Facebook, or even reading a book can influence how we live our lives. Just like you would spend time with a friend, we often spend similar time with our own forms of relaxation and entertainment. Consequently, it is vital to take the time to read the lyrics of that song you want to buy on iTunes, research the rating of the newest movie that "everyeone's watching," and try to limit time spent on the internet and social networking sites such as Facebook or Myspace. While certain movies, songs, and chatting on Facebook are good things in and of themselves, we as teenagers need to begin doing the hard thing and re-evaluate what it is that we are feeding ourselves.

For example, when I personally want to buy a new song from an artist I am not generally familiar with, I tend to look up the lyrics and think about how those lyrics may influence my life. For instance, I have made the decision to not date until I am ready for a long-term commitment. If a song has frequent references to a certain theme [like dating] that makes me question my convictions, I know that song is not for me.

Don't get me wrong, doing these things can be very hard. At first glance, it may seem exciting and a great way to practice doing hard things. However, it gets more difficult as new songs come out with even more catchier tunes!

Please join me in taking the time to consider who exactly it is that we spend our time with. Who are your friends?

Thanks for reading!


This is the Future

Owl City, a new band created by Adam Young and recently growing in popularity, has put out some amazing tunes. One of my favorites is "This Is the Future." Though simple as they may be, the lyrics to this song are very profound and inspiring:

Wake up on your own
And look around you cuz you’re not alone
Release your high hopes and they’ll survive
Cuz this is the future and you are alive

Dive in and swim away
From your loneliness and miserable days

And when you wake up on your own
Look around you cuz you’re not alone
Let your hopes go and they’ll survive
Cuz this is the future and you are alive
…You’re headed home

The lyrics seem to portray the importance of making a
difference in life...and making that difference through the use of collaboration. "When you wake up on your own" hints a recognition for change, a waking up to the reality of life and the reality of eternity. He tells us to "look around you cuz you're not alone"...once we realize what we're living for, we need to step out and act accordingly with others who share our convictions. Though hard as it is sometimes, we need to start living with all that we have, all we will ever be. We need to "let [our] hopes go" and give them to the One who cares, the One who will help us accomplish those dreams.

But what if we've missed it...we're "
headed home" with our past behind us. How will you choose to live, if "this is the future and you are alive?"

November 13-14

The Fall Conference is quickly approaching...

If you are interested in...

  1. wrapping paper
  2. fir trees
  3. thanking your great-aunt for yet another pair of boxers adorned with images of martial-arts trained terrapins
  4. stockings over the fireplace
  5. a sweetened dairy-based beverage made with milk, cream, sugar, beaten eggs (which gives it a frothy texture), and flavoured with ground cinnamon and nutmeg

...You don't need to come to our Fall Conference. You need tomorrow to be December 25th.

If you are interested in:

  • What you can do for God
  • The differences between teens and adults
  • The purpose of your existence
  • The lies of the teen culture
  • How to overcome your spiritual drought
  • Ways you can stand for your faith
  • What it means to follow Christ
  • The plans God has for you

...Christmas can wait.

Grow up...Face your Rubicon. Registration ends soon.

What's the Purpose?


The teen years

From the harsh displeasure of a middle-aged mom "forced" to listen to the "junk" we teens know as
music, to the nursing home resident thinking wistfully of "Better Times", the time an individual spends within the age range of approximately 13-19 (Hence the title: "Teenager"...) holds a special meaning for each of us.

But what IS the purpose of these years?

Each second we have lasts just that long: for a second. Then it disappears, never to be regained. We use our time in many different ways. But how do we use the teen years? Why do we use them that way?

It seems many young
people have their hearts set on partying away this time of their life. They gather in cliques, concern themselves with pleasure and amusements, and worship the so-called "Teen Image". This leads me to believe that those individuals do not consider these years as a time to prepare for adulthood. Rather, they hold this time as a "holiday", a short vacation, a time to enjoy being young. And that's good. We should take joy in our youth.

But, is that the PURPOSE of these years?

I've seen others, those who treat each minute as though it will never come again (which it won't).
They study hard, work hard, live hard, and love hard. Yes, they make hard sacrifices. Yeah, it's probably so much easier to forget about your future, about the value of time.

...And yet, though these young adults give more of themselves than what seems possible, they seem to enjoy life MORE than the others!

You give time to what matters most to you. And in return, you receive the rewards of what you've given. Put time into something, you get something in return.

...What IS the purpose of the teen years?

I believe you need to decide for yourself.

However, heed the Bible's instructions for young adults:

  • "Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth..."

  • "Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe."


Kiersten and I just returned from our trip to Lima, Peru.

In it's entirety, the Mission Trip was very tiring.

Our team held up pretty well under the pressure of:

5 hours of
sleep per night, living and working in a dangerous city (Let's just say our first taxi ride involved stalling next to a dozen men who were deeply bent on killing one another with strips of rubber, metal chains, and short clubs.), eating food that can be deeply poisonous to our largely unexposed American bodies, working with noisy children, and, hardest of all, putting up with each other.

One thing I learned, was that Brothers and Sisters in Christ exist around the world.
It seems so, so simple, but when you're working together with men and women who have given their lives to Christ, you begin to realize how much you have in common.

"Here I Go"

Relient K has always been one of my favorite bands, combining catchy tunes with clean, fun, and inspirational lyrical devices. On one of their more recent albums, the song "Here I Go (Demo)" makes its appearance and I believe Rebelutionaries and those excited about "Doing Hard Things" for the glory of God can learn from the corresponding lyrics:

Believe me I have tried
To work this out from the inside
Then I finally realized
I just need to move on with my life

Gotta make something happen
Not just sit around and wait for it
This place is like a prison
I think I'm going to make a break for it

Here I go
It's like we're living for the first time
Here I go
And I think that it's the first time I felt alive

In the first verse, he begins by telling of his struggles within-the challenges life presents, the feats we sadly try to fix ourselves ["believe me I have tried"]. For me, one thing that I find myself constantly trying to fix is the never-ending thoughts of worry...focusing on the littlest things and allowing consequential thoughts to control how I live. However, I found myself living selfishly, seeking only to make my life as peaceful and worry-free as possible. After much hardship and many failed attempts, though, I realized that the best way to escape my worry was to simply acknowledge its presence and move on with my life ["Then I finally realized
I just need to move on with my life"].

THIS is where doing hard things comes into play. It's important to "make something happen, not just sit around and wait for it." By this, it is my belief that lead singer
Matt Thiessen hopes to convey the importance of making the most of one's life and living in the moment, instead of wasting time waiting for that perfect accomplishment. The "prison" referenced may be comfort zones for some or even the specific areas of struggle such as worry or fear of failure. We're trapped, locked inside with no key, and it can be easy to just give up and hope it goes away by itself...

But I've got news for most likely won't, it won't go away by itself. We need help, we need a Savior-someone who can "save [us] from danger or destruction" [Merriam Webster Online Dictionary]. Jesus is the answer and we need to learn to go to Him with even the smallest troubles life throws our way. "It's like we're living for the first time"-before we weren't really living, we were just getting by. But now that God sent His Son to provide a means of escape, we can truly live the life we were meant to live: A life full of peace in the midst of strife and confidence in knowing our eternal destiny in Heaven. A life for God, however, can sometimes seem in direct contrast to the saving grace we came to know when we first surrendered our lives, but ultimately it's your best life. Your troubles and personal issues may or may not always be there...however, no matter what, Jesus will always be there. For me, I still feel as if I need peace to move on (when in reality, peace often becomes a replacement for God). But with God as my father, I can go to Him and renew my light and shine brighter than ever before!


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The Definition of Rubicon

This November, BreaktheChains is holding a Fall Conference at the Eden Resort in Lancaster, PA.

Multiple speakers will be present, including teenage speakers. The purpose of the Conference is to start a Fire in the hearts of those attending. Over the weekend, the speakers will attack apathy and encourage leadership among teens and their generation. Both teens and adults will be challenged to return their life-focus to God, and put their Faith in action.

One of the points to be discussed, "Facing Your Rubicon", deals with taking the first step (which is often the hardest) to returning your attention to God. For teens, this action involves choosing to remain immature in your faith or else determining to "Grow up" and face discouraging fears head-on.

While the historical and modern uses of "Rubicon" will not be discussed in this post (Google "Rubicon River" or "Rubicon Trail"),
our definition of Rubicon is presented below:

"The Rubicon represents the "point-of-no-return" that we all must face. The place where you must choose whether to conquer your fears or turn back forever. The Rubicon is a time to choose between staying "just a teenager" or developing into a Godly Young Adult. A point to rely on others
to feed you moral relativism, or choose to own your Faith, taking action on your decision. Is there such a thing as Absolute Truth? Are there existing standards of Right and Wrong? Is there even a point to living?
Why are you alive? What will you do with the time given you?
Who will you live for?
Yourself, or something, Someone else?

As this post serves as just a "teaser" for what's to come, keep in mind that the idea of the
Rubicon will be delivered in much more detail at the Fall Conference. For more information on the Fall Conference, or for answers to questions of any kind, email BreaktheChains at

In Him,

~Andrew Dawes