Last year, we committed to building a well in India. Twelve months and thousands of dollars later, we are in the final stretch. This well will bless an orphanage and its surrounding community with accessible, clean water. Some of them may even call this gift a miracle. Would you like to be part of this miracle?
We only have until the end of this month (two weeks!) to raise the final few dollars needed to build this well and give every child in the orphanage a pair of shoes. We have less than $500 to go. I believe that we can meet this goal in even less than two weeks, but we cannot do it alone.
BREAKING NEWS: Girlz 4 Christ is building a freshwater well in India! Read to the end of this post for more information and how you can get involved.
Taylor Bennett is the author of the Tradewinds series, which she started with publishing the book Porch Swing Girl when she was just 17. Now, Taylor is gearing up to publish her newest book, Journey of a Lifetime. This travel-themed devotional releases on May 3rd. We caught up with Taylor Bennett to find out how she wrote this book and what she’s up to now.
Interview with Taylor Bennett
Although you’ve written individual devotions before (such as in the Girlz 4 Christ book, ONE True God, 80 Devotions), this was your first nonfiction book! How did your writing process change?
My writing process, surprisingly, got a lot easier. Knowing that I needed to write a set number of devotions (90!) and that they were going to be grouped together according to specific themes, I was able to streamline my brainstorming and take the writing process one step (er…chapter) at a time. Getting to dig deeper into different Biblical themes was really satisfying, and I found that I enjoyed the journey of writing an entire series of devotional thoughts, rather than just one or two at a time.
Is there a section or devotion that particularly sticks out to you?
What sticks out to me the most in Journey of a Lifetime is actually the bonus content! Growing up, I struggled to find devotionals that made me feel like my faith truly was the great adventure I knew it was. That’s why I chose to end each thematic chapter in my book with a bonus adventure–a chance for girls to dig deeper into the Word and spend quality time with the Lord while enjoying an exciting activity or scrumptious snack. It’s so important for us, as believers, to not grow weary of reading the Bible or spending time with the Lord. Instead, we should treat it as the remarkable privilege it is…which is exactly what these kinds of faith-based mini-adventures help us do!
Many of the stories you share in this book are inspired by your Mediterranean cruise. What other trips have taught you about God?
Whenever I spend time at the Oregon Coast, I feel incredibly close to the Lord. I like to say that He speaks to me in sand dollars. It might sound silly, but whenever I’m facing something tough and take a visit to the coast, I find a whole one lying in the sand as I walk the shoreline and pray. They’re like little smiles right from God–a beautiful reminder of His goodness and how He’s always looking out for me.
How does your own personal devotional habit work?
My devotional habit varies depending on what season of life I’m in, but one thing remains constant–dedicated and intentional morning prayer. My mom and I walk together every morning, and we spend that time talking and praying together before the busyness of the coming day. Besides that, I typically work through a devotional or Bible study on my own time. Currently, I’m striving to read the entire Bible in a year–something I’ve never done before. It feels like a pretty massive undertaking, but it’s also an exciting challenge!
What adventures do you have coming up–writing or travel?
As I type this, I’m mentally packing my suitcase in preparation to jet off to Las Vegas for a mother-daughter weekend of shopping, eating, and getting pampered. Aaah…I can’t wait!
Writing-wise, I’m currently up to my eyeballs in capstone papers–not the most exciting type of prose, but I’m only a few chapters away from finishing my master’s thesis! After that, I think I might take myself on a journey through time and dive deep into the world of historical fiction…just for fun.
Build a well with us! Girlz 4 Christ, a ministry reaching girls around the world in the name of Christ, now wants to reach girls (and boys!) in India through the life-saving and life-changing gift of a freshwater well. This well, which will be placed near home for orphaned children, will provide many benefits for the children and community. It can improve health, allow children more time for school and play, and provide a safe and social gathering place. Please prayerfully consider partnering with us on this project.
This is your opportunity to be published in a book. We’re accepting submissions from guys and girls, old and young, professional and amateur. As always, our writers get fun perks once they’re published, too!
G4C Publications introduces its newest work: a coloring book for Christian teens! In addition to art ready for coloring, the pages include devotions, Bible passages, and other advice to help coloring enthusiasts draw closer to the Lord.
G4C Publications is excited to collect submissions for our next book. In this book of daily prayers, teens and young adults will have the opportunity to pray about subjects that are important and relatable to them. Would you prayerfully consider writing for this book?
We accept authors of all ages from all over the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional writer or if this is the first time you’ve ever submitted anything for publication; we want YOU. Since there will be many writers contributing to this book, it’s important that we have some consistency between each prayer, so please read these guidelines to know what to submit:
Step One: Pick a topic. Prayer topics need to be both broad and specific at the same time. Is that possible? Sure it is! In other words, imagine a teen reading it. (Think of several teens you know- you can even ask them to read your prayer before submitting it.) Can they totally relate to what you wrote? Do you think that will be true of every teen who reads it? Below are a few topics that today’s teens relate to, but you can choose another topic if you truly believe it will have a personal connection to teen readers.
Friendship Backstabbing Family Death Illness Environmental Issues and Being Green Work School Money The Opposite Sex Church Who God Is Learning New Things Celebrations Sin Siblings Parents The Future Fear Worry Global Issues (Orphans, Trafficking, Hunger, etc.) Local Issues Volunteering Classmates Peer Pressure How Others View Christians Goals Politics Purity Personal Time with God Evangelism Loneliness Media Health Disabilities Belonging Cliques and Clubs Role Models Chores Rules Temptations Mental Health
Step Two: Write a verse. We don’t want to publish anything that is not biblically sound. That means the prayer you write should be based on scripture. At the top of your submission, write the verse that you’ll base your prayer off of. Yes, we will be publishing these verses along with the prayers, so prayers cannot be accepted if they don’t have a theme verse!
Step Three: Write 150-250 words of prayer. Here are three of those words: always start with “Dear God” and end with “Amen”. The middle part is up to you. This might go without saying since you’re writing a prayer, but please prayerfully write. Think over the words you put down, and ask someone to read it over or even actually pray it if you’re not sure. We’ll only be publishing the top quality submissions, so consider writing more than one draft.
Step Four: Draw readers to Christ. These are just a few details to consider in your writing, but the heart of every prayer is to draw closer to God. That means don’t write things that will be divisive, offensive, boring, inappropriate (for YA readers), over-spiritualized, unachievable, or otherwise unrealistic.
Step Five: At the bottom, add your name and a 25-50 word bio. The bio should start with your name and be written in third person. If you do not include this, we will assume that you are wishing to submit anonymously.
It’s kind of a miracle in itself that I’m trying to communicate with you right now. I can talk with my friends easily enough. I can even talk with my family. (Although I’ll admit that talking with them sometimes means fighting.) Why is it so hard to talk with you? Is it because I can’t see you? Is it because talking with you requires this formal procedure called prayer? Is it because I’m intimidated to approach the God of all creation, or because I’ve heard others praying who are so much better at talking to you than I am?
Help me to break down any walls and overcome any barriers that keep me from talking to you. I should be willing to pray to you since you’re so willing to listen to me. In fact, from what I’ve read in the Bible and heard at church, it seems like you enjoy our conversations! You care about me as an individual and want to have a personal relationship with me, and communication is key to any good relationship, so it only makes sense that I keep in touch with you as much as possible.
Jessica Lippe is a writer and editor who has authored six books, including Uncommon Adventures and The Ultimate Survival Guide for Working at Camp. Visit her website at JessicaLippe.com
Introducing a new 80-Day devotional by G4C readers!
Picture for a moment what your life would be like if everything was different. And by different, I mean that nothing at all was the same as your current life. We’re talking a complete one-eighty. Is that what you’re looking for right now? This 80-Day devotional by G4C readers takes you through topics like faith, friendship, and leaning on the Lord through all circumstances. A great resource to start a daily devotion habit, or use as a companion for your personal Bible study time. One True God, 80 Devotions was written by 27 different guys and girls of all ages spanning several countries and continents.
We’ve made it to the sixth month of what may have been the most unusual year of our lives! Normally, time of year, I would be telling you how to get ready for camp, but a lot of summer camps have either delayed their start day or closed entirely for the year. I know many of you live in areas where there are safety concerns, and please know that you are being prayed for. So, what can we do for the month of June?
That’s right. Many libraries and bookstores are opening back up, and Amazon’s book shipping isn’t so delayed anymore. You may have a library, bookstore, restaurant, or school near you that offers a summer reading program, where you’ll get a prize for reading a certain amount of books this summer. (Don’t gloss over this if you’re an adult now- while a lot of programs are for kids and teens, some summer reading includes adults, too!)
So instead of a summer vacation, we invite you to take a “bookation” and explore new lands through the written word.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3
Our Top 5 Reading Suggestions
After entering the book giveaway above, and then scrolling down to see G4C’s upcoming book, you may be wondering how else to fill your summer reading list. Here are a few suggestions:
First of all, we’d highly recommend looking for Christian books. They come in all types of genres, but unlike other books, they will better remind you of God, the Ultimate Author. Bookstores and libraries have sections set up just for Christian books. And if you order books online, it’s easy to search for Christian genres. The number one Christian book that we’d recommend above all others happens to also be the world’s number one bestseller: The Bible! We challenge you to read a little bit of that book every day this summer.
Need more book ideas? We have a whole Teen Reading List here. We’d love to update this page with your favorite books, so let us know what we should add!
Remember that not all reading has to be done in the form of books. Most of our books are available on Kindle as ebooks, and there are a ton of great blogs out there too. Naturally, we’d recommend reading our blog posts, but we know there are a lot of great blogs out there. Look through Pinterest for blog suggestions on topics you like.
And of course, don’t forget magazines! Here are a few of our past issues of Girlz 4 Christ Magazine that you can order. These ones feature an interview with an author, so you can get even more reading suggestions while getting behind-the-scenes info about the creation of each book!
Reading is great. But it’s a good idea to balance it with a well-rounded lifestyle. Here are a few FREE programs I’ve been using lately, including my invite links so you can join me!
I’m walking my way to some fantastic prizes! Sweatcoin is an app that counts your steps, which you get paid for. Use your sweatcoins to buy some cool rewards. Start using Sweatcoin today!
Do you like shopping? I bet you’d like it even better if it cost less money! Use Ibotta and you can get rebates on your purchases in most popular stores. Some items you can even get for free! Sign up for Ibotta.
In case you haven’t heard, we’ve got a giveaway for Beyond the Break, a brand-new book from Penguin Teen.
Beyond the Break is a funny and gorgeous debut about a girl experiencing her first love. Well, second, if you count her faith… and that’s where things may get complicated.
Manhattan Beach native Lovette has two rules in life. One: no surfing. Not after her brother’s accident. Two: absolutely, no dating. And going into her junior year of high school, she’s pretty happy with that arrangement. She has friends, her church youth group, and God to fall back on when things get dicey. But after Jake Evans walks into her life, following these two simple rules gets a lot more complicated.
Jake is the boy from Lovette’s childhood who grew up. Handsome and sweet, he unlocks the part of Lovette that wants nothing more than to surf the waves again. And as their relationship grows, she begins to question what it means to be faithful: to her family, to God, but mostly, to herself.
Told with humor and heart, Heather Buchta delivers a sparkling debut that asks the question: Can you fall in love, be a teenager, and also be a good Christian?
You can read the first chapter of Beyond the Break by Heather Buchta here. If you want to read the whole thing, you have two options. Starting today, you can find it at any online or brick-and-mortar bookstore. Or, you can enter our contest.
EDIT JUNE 1ST 2020: Thank you to everyone who contributed! One True God, 80 Devotions will be a great book featuring all your work, available for preorder soon! If you missed your chance to write this time around, know that we are planning for another book that you can be a part of. Join our newsletter so you can get the next announcement.
Have you been enjoying our newest book, 77 Days of Devos? We’re making another devotional. Except this time, we want YOU to get involved!
Write a short devotional about any topic you’d like. Make sure to follow our devotional format (see examples here) and include:
A Bible verse or two, including the reference and translation
100-200-word life story or application related to the scripture
A short “Action,” something the reader can pray for or do to help apply the lesson of this devotion to their life
Of course, include your name at the bottom of the devotion unless you’d prefer to remain anonymous (If your work is accepted we may ask for a bio line. If you’re not sure what that is, don’t worry- we’ll explain when the time comes.)
If you look carefully, you’ll notice that we published 77 Days of Devos under “G4C Publications” instead of our full name, “Girlz 4 Christ Publications.” That’s because we want girlz AND guyz to have a daily devotional resource that will draw them closer to Christ! We would like this next devotional to be accessible in the same way.
Anyone is welcome to contribute to this book. That means if you know someone else who likes writing, feel free to forward this to them. However, if you’re under 13, please have a parent review and send your submission to us.
All submissions can be sent as a Word document to Girlz4Christ@yahoo.com with the subject line “Devotion Submission”. You’re welcome to submit more than one devotion. If your work is accepted for publication, you will get a free advance digital copy of the book before publication. After publication, you can also get a free paperback copy of the book as well as some free resources to help you as an author get featured in your local news.
Ephesians 5:16 encourages us to redeem our time, because the days are evil. In days like these, I’m often reminded of this verse. But how can we redeem our time for good when we are homebound? We’ve collected some ideas from Girlz 4 Christ and other Christian organizations to help you make the most of your day:
-This is a great time to catch up on previous issues of Girlz 4 Christ Magazine. You can even order print copies here. Right now, we only have a handful of our 40 issues available in print. However, if there’s a certain issue that you’d like to see in print, let us know and we’ll make it available!
-You may remember us reviewing the animated film, “The Pilgrim’s Progress”, in the Fall 2019 issue of Girlz 4 Christ Magazine. The makers of this movie just announced that they are allowing FREE streaming! This is great if you’re at home with siblings, but even if you’re alone, I think the messages behind this allegory are powerful for anyone.
-If you’re at least 18 and aren’t able to work right now due to closures, you cansupplement your income online with Swagbucks. Make money doing simple tasks like taking surveys, watching videos, and even online shopping.
-Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and other streaming services have been getting more subscribers recently. Did you know that there are Christian movies and shows on many of these streaming services? Look for them! You can sign up for a free trial of PureFlix, a streaming service that is filled with wholesome, Christian films. You can also find tons of quality Christian YouTubers. No matter what you end up watching, look for God in the storyline!
-Since so many churches are including streaming their weekly services or currently are only streaming online due to social distancing rules, now is a great time to watch a bunch of great (and often free) sermons from churches all over the world. If there’s an audio-only download option, you can listen while working out, doing chores, or going to bed.
-Catch up on your reading, and make a new TBR (to be read) list. If you normally read fiction, now is a great time to expand your horizons with nonfiction: read about a topic, then try it out in your real life. We have a free book download this week only to get you started.
More than anything, we need peace during this storm. We don’t know how long this will last, but we do know that the next 77 days can be the beginning of peace, hope, and restoration. Our latest book, 77 Days of Devos, is available on Amazon now (in eBook or paperback), and can help guide you towards peace and living life God’s way.