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Exclusive Interview with I’m Not Ashamed Movie Star

Today, the motion picture I’m Not Ashamed is premiering in theaters. To celebrate, enjoy this interview of the movie’s star, Masey McLain. In this film, Masey portrays Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim at Columbine High School. Check out more about this movie, including more Q&A, fashion tips from the wardrobe team, and an exclusive interview with Rachel Scott’s real-life mom in the Fall 2016 issue of Girlz 4 Christ.

*2020 Update: You can read even more about Masey McLain and dozens of other amazing Christian girls in our book, Girls Who Change the World!*

Sadie and Bella Robertson acting with Masey McLain

 

 
Give us a brief testimony. How do you say, “I’m Not Ashamed” in your life?
In my own personal life, I’ve realized that in anything I do, I want to do under the umbrella of living for the glory of God. I want to intimately know Him, hear His voice above all others, and follow it. He is the only one that has satisfied my soul and has given me hope and true life, and because of that I know He’s worth following. When you decide to live for Jesus, there will be so many lures, distractions, and temptations that will try to throw off your focus and dull your purpose. I’ve definitely experienced that—we all will. There will be persecution, too. Most of us may never experience it physically, but we definitely will in other ways. So in all of that, for me to say “I’m Not Ashamed,” means for me to remember that in whatever circumstance I’m in, that I am a child of God. Because of the cross I have hope, freedom, and true life that the things of this world can’t compare to or take away. Ephesians 2:6 says, “and God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” As a child of God, I am already SEATED in heaven next to Jesus. I’m already victorious, so what do I have to fear in this life? Because of that, I want to live for Him, and I want others to see the light that He has put in me and be drawn to Him because of it.
What was the most challenging movie scene for you?
The most challenging, but most rewarding scene for me was the shooting scene I had no idea what to expect going in that day to film. My heart was heavy and everyone on the set knew it was going to be a tough day. I remember it being SO hot outside and we had to film this scene almost all day to get all the shots and every angle and point of view needed. It was emotionally draining and exhausting in every way possible, but it was also one of the most special moments of my entire life. I remember the Lord flooding my mind with worship songs, and the story of Stephen (the first martyr in the Bible) was constantly going through my head. I felt like the Lord truly gave me a glimpse of how proud He was of Rachel in that moment and all I felt was Him singing over me and even smiling. It’s hard to explain everything the Lord allowed me to experience that day, but I hope I never forget it. I remember after it was over, I just completely collapsed and had a meltdown. I had no idea that day was going to be so hard yet so absolutely beautiful and powerful.

Masey McLain and Sadie Robertson in the church worship scene

 

Was it different to play someone who actually lived as opposed to a fictional character?
Yes! There is so much power in telling a true story. I got to rely on her journals, her mom, and what people that knew Rachel said about her. The more I read her thoughts and feelings that she wrote down, the more I realized how much I could relate to her and even how similar we were in a lot of ways.

How are you and Rachel similar? How are you different?
Rachel’s real life best friend, Mark Bodiford (who is portrayed as Nathan in the movie) got to screen the movie to give a review of what he thought about it before it was released. I was in awe when I read that he wrote how similar Rachel and I were—that our laughs were the same, our quirks, and our voice. He said that there were times that he didn’t feel like he was watching a movie, but rather reliving a memory.  I never met Rachel, got to hear her voice, or see how she laughed or figure out her quirks. Only God could have orchestrated that. That still leaves me in awe! I also think we are similar in the way of having that desire to want to live with a purpose and make an impact on the world. That’s definitely something I found that lives in my heart and I could relate to. There are probably a lot of ways we are different, but one that sticks out to me is that Rachel always wanted a boyfriend throughout high school and that’s something I never really cared about in high school.
Rachel Joy Scott started journaling to bring her closer to God, which in turn was a vital reference for the making of this movie. If you’d like to keep a creative journal, check out Diary of a Girl 4 Christ.
What was your real life high school experience like?
My high school experience was really great at times, but also really hard. I played basketball and did plays throughout most of high school, and I remember that time with my team and cast being so much fun and the highlight of high school for me. However, there was a time when I felt extremely lonely, especially towards the end of high school. I homeschooled my senior year, and it was one of the hardest, loneliest, but most needed years of my life. I remember thinking that I had a choice- I could either sit in my own self-pity and waste the whole year doing things my way and trying to cope with feeling lonely, or I could seek God with everything I had and trust that there was a purpose to that year. I finally chose to trust Him. That year was so crucial for me. It was a year of renovation and preparation in my heart. Looking back, I see how He knew exactly what He was doing and that I desperatelyneededthat time of it being just me and him. He became my best friend that year.
How did you grow in your faith while acting for I’m Not Ashamed?
I’ve never experienced the level of dependency and intimacy that I had with the Lord like I did while filming. It was a really special time in my own walk with Him. This story is so special and powerful, and to be honest, I was so scared the months leading up to filming, because I didn’t want to mess it up! But I knew that God had called me to it, and I had to trust that. It was amazing to experience that dependency on Him. He knew Rachel’s heart more than anyone, so He’s the one I looked to the most to give me insight, even creatively. I walked away confident that whatever the Lord calls you to do, He will give you everything you need to do it.

 

Why do you think it’s important to tell the story of an event that occurred 17 years ago?
A story like Rachel’s needs to be told—no matter how long ago it happened. Rachel’s life is such a powerful reminder to us of how to truly love others the way Jesus did, and what it means to pick up our cross and follow Him, no matter what the cost. We don’t know if we will have tomorrow, but we do have whatever time we have been given to live with purpose, and Rachel’s story reminds us of that.
 
What do you like to do off the set?

I love to go for runs and listen to music, read, have movie nights, play my guitar, play games, sing in the car, and hang out with the people I love!

 
What’s the biggest reason that teen girls should see this movie?

It will remind you of your true purpose. It’s so easy to get caught up in with the things of the world—the drama, gossip, popularity, boys, “competition,” and the temptations that we all experience. Satan uses those things to lure us away from living out our true purpose, and we don’t even realize he’s doing it most of the time. I hope that after seeing this movie, you are encouraged by Rachel’s life and that you set in your heart to live boldly for an audience of one—the only one who is worth following and living unashamedly living for. 

Girlz 4 Christ
Read more about Masey McLain and other girls who’ve made a difference in Girls Who Change the World, available now!
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This One’s for the Parents

Here at Girlz 4 Christ, our main focus is to reach girls around the world in the name of Christ through positive and appropriate media material. But we know that this couldn’t be accomplished without the help of loving, caring, adult role models. I’m talking about the parents. (This includes the adults who have stepped in and taken a parental style of role for youth who need it!)

Girlz 4 Christ relies on these parents to spread the word about our free magazine subscriptions, and to keep this ministry funded. We interact on our Parentz 4 Christ Pinterest board and provide resources on our Parentz 4 Christ webpage. But now, we have a new resource to help you help your daughter navigate uncharted, terrifying territory: dating!

As the editor of Girlz 4 Christ Magazine, I had the opportunity to get involved in the blog tour for Daniel Anderson’s new book, The 10 Myths of Teen Dating. Regardless of your personal beliefs or family rules regarding dating, this is a must-read that can apply to all young adult relationships.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect these 10 myths to be. Would they just be the author’s personal opinions that ends up feeling like a list of dos and don’ts? I was pleased to find out that while each myth may be controversial, they are verifiable by both statistical data and Biblical truth. Each myth also builds upon the previous ones, which really ties the book together. From “If I Had a Boyfriend I Would Be Happy” to “Serial Dating and Living Together Will Help Me Stay Married”, these myths are counterbalanced by truth in a loving way.

Because I’m guessing that at least a few teenage girls will end up reading this review, I’d like to recommend that they read this book as well. While it is geared towards parents of teen girls, everyone could glean something from this book. I actually noticed at my local bookstore that they accidentally displayed this book in the teen section instead of on the parenting shelf, so I guess I’m not alone in this! The 10 Myths of Teen Dating was written primarily by high school teacher Daniel Anderson, but also includes pieces by his daughter, Jacquelyn Anderson. Getting the “younger” take from her perspective made each chapter well-rounded. Even if girls end up not reading this book, it could still make a good gift for a parent. I promise that this parenting book isn’t filled with strict suggestions that will make your life miserable; honestly!

Daniel Anderson’s experience as a parent, teacher, and mentor of teens shines through in each personal example he gives. This includes mistakes he’s made that we can learn from! Whether your daughter has never been on a date or has made a series of poor choices when it comes to boys, The 10 Myths of Teen Dating can pick up wherever your family is!

Note: Girlz 4 Christ was provided with a complimentary copy of this book in order for us to be able to give this honest review. 

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Interview with Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Star of Dolphin Tale Movies

In honor of National Dolphin Day (US), enjoy an interview with Dolphin Tale star Cozi Zuehlsdorff!

Have you seen Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2? How about Disney Channel shows like Mighty Med or Liv and Maddie? If so, Cozi Zuehlsdorff needs no introduction! Get to know how this seventeen-year-old actress and musician shines the light of Christ in the spotlight!


Interviewed by Jessica Lippe
What is your favorite song to perform?
My favorite song to perform is probably Handpainted. I pray before I sing it, and the Holy Spirit always lets me get carried away in the music!

Tell us about Handpainted. 

My dear friend Brennley inspired this song. As teenagers, we both can struggle with being overly-critical of our appearance, and I got to thinking about Psalm 139 and the truth that God has carefully and lovingly designed us, and I thought that idea could be translated into a song. Sometimes a song is worth a thousand conversations. 
Why did you decide to get involved in performing at such a young age? Do you think acting and singing is your lifetime career, or are there other jobs that you’re also interested in?
 My mom encouraged me to audition for the musical Annie when I was eight years old; that’s how I got started. I immediately fell in love with performing. I love acting and singing, and definitely would love to continue doing both for the rest of my life. I also love to write, whether its songs or poems or short stories. It’s fun to have interests that can overlap. 
In Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2, you got to do lots of things that many girls only dream about, such as swimming with dolphins and starring in a movie. Was it a dream come true for you, or were there challenges associated with movie making?
Both! The Dolphin Tale movies were some of the most beautiful, magical times of my entire life, and the friends I made in the cast and crew will last a lifetime. It was also very challenging—I learned to actively trust the Lord as I worked 9 1/2 hours a day as a twelve-year-old, and swam for long periods of time in some pretty chilly water. Anyone will tell you, though, that if you love doing something, you’re willing to deal with the challenges. 
Who was your favorite animal in the movies? Does your passion for animals transfer to your real life?
I can’t pick a favorite! What if they read this article? Ha-ha!  I love them ALL for different reasons. Winter is sweet and gentle, and Hope is crazy and fun-loving. I have a dog named Bandit, and he is the joy of my life.
What keeps you going and motivates you to stay involved in movies, music, and television?
Acting, singing, and writing are all things I’m very passionate about, so it’s not hard to stay motivated. I’d say songwriting is what’s hardest to constantly keep up on, because it takes a lot of creative energy. Often, I’ve found that songs come to you when you’re not looking for them, so I put in long hours of bouncing around ideas at the piano, and it pays off when I finally find the words later that day at the supermarket or something.
How do you represent Christ in your work?
I am very open about my faith over social media, which is how I stay connected with the people who like my songs and tv or film characters. I have also found that simply praying for someone can make a huge imprint on them; often, if I pray for a crew or cast member on a set, it’s the first time they’ve ever been prayed for. It’s amazing that Jesus lets me share His love with them in such a gentle, simple, profound way. 
How did you come to understand Christ and put your faith in Him?
I asked Jesus to come into my heart when I was six years old. As I’ve grown older, He is knitting me closer and closer to Him through a deeper understanding of His grace. Sometimes, I put pressure on myself to be “perfect” for Jesus—but if I could be perfect, He wouldn’t have had to die on the cross! I’m learning that peace is found in this truth: I am not perfect, and Jesus doesn’t ask me to be. He simply asks me to surrender and let Him hold me, and He will take it from there. I love that.
What do you do outside of the spotlight? Any “typical teen” activities you enjoy?
I love to play piano—I practice daily! I’m homeschooled, and my favorite subjects are writing, history, and psychology. When I’m hanging out with my friends, I love to go see a movie, or just hang around and talk (and if Indian food is involved, I am in heaven). My best friend and I watch our favorite tv show together every week, which I love.
Do you have any upcoming projects that we can look forward to, or goals youd like to reach?
I just finished shooting as a guest star on Disney Channel’s KC Undercover, and am so excited for it to air. I got to do stunts, which was so fun! I’m also working on a lot of new music, writing both for my own voice and starting to write for others, so that’s been a dream come true. We’ll see where the Lord leads!
Girlz 4 Christ
Read more about Cozi Zuehlsdorff and other Christian actresses, authors, and world-changers in our book, Girls Who Change the World!
This interview originally appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Girlz 4 Christ Magazine. Get your free subscription here!
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Throwback Thursday: Our First Issue!

In the midst of celebrating five years of Girlz 4 Christ Magazine, we decided to take a look back to our very first issue. Wow, things sure have changed!

//e.issuu.com/embed.jsIf you liked this, you’ll LOVE our current and upcoming issues! They’re bigger, better, and jam-packed with even more for Christian girls around the world! Click here to get a free subscription!

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Happy Holy Week!

“He is not here; he has risen!”  Luke 24:6a 

Holy week began last Sunday with Palm Sunday, the day that Jesus rode into town on a donkey and the people waved palm leaves while shouting “Hosanna!” The days between then and Easter Sunday is known as Holy Week, a devoted time to spend in remembrance of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Because of this, our sin debt has been paid and we are free to choose where to spend eternity!
Looking for some ideas on what to do this week? Egg hunts and bunny visits may be on your to-do list, but choose one or more of the following as a reminder that Jesus is the reason for the season. (Yes, he’s the reason for this season too, not just Christmas! In fact, he’s the reason for ALL seasons!)
  • Read about Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection in one of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). Better yet, read several for a better perspective!
  • Attend a Maundy Thursday or Good Friday service.
  • Put together an Easter gift for someone who could use a little extra encouragement.
  • Make a dessert that can also serve as a reminder of the miracle of what Jesus did for us. A fun recipe is Resurrection Rolls
  • Explore different elements of what happened near the time of Jesus’ death. The Resurrection Eggs Easter Story is a unique object lesson using plastic eggs. 
  • Watch an Easter show together as a family. Some favorites include Son of God, Veggietales’ An Easter Carol, and The Miracle Maker.
  • Did you know that “Joy to the World” was actually written to be sung around Easter time? Go ahead an sing this song outside of December!
What will you do for Holy Week? Regardless of what you choose, have a Happy Easter!
Love, the Girlz 4 Christ Team

PS: Don’t forget to enter our 5th Birthday Giveaway! And if you don’t receive our magazine yet, subscribe for free!

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Top Ten Tips for Babysitters

When we babysit, we are not only caring for kids, but we are being an example for Christ! That being said, here are our top ten tips.

1. Watch what you say around children.

You are a role model for them and they will likely repeat the things you say. Even if you don’t say “bad words”, remember that saying anything that’s mean, suggestive, derogatory, or otherwise inappropriate will make you a poor example.

2. You’re there for the family, not to take care of your own personal desires.

While it’s okay to answer a phone call from Mom, don’t spend the evening Snapchatting your friends. If you watch TV, let the kids pick the show instead of you catching up on your favorite series. But most of all, play with the kids. This alone will make you stand out as a star sitter.

3. Opt for the healthiest options in the pantry when it comes to meals and snacks.

But a small sweet won’t hurt.

4. Keep track of interests and hobbies of each child you babysit.
Take special care to know their allergies, medical conditions, birthdays, and special parent instructions.
5. Each time you babysit, bring a special game, toy, or book that you think the child will like.
This shows that you put thought into your work, and the kids will likely ask their parents to have you come back. (Even if it is just for the toy!)
6. Know what to do in an emergency situation.
Make plans in case of fire, natural disaster, choking, or power outage. Be extra prepared by taking a course on emergency response or first aid.
7. Wear appropriate clothing.
This means more than just being modestly dressed, although that’s also important. Wear clothes that you can move around and play in, or possibly get dirty or spit up on! Don’t wear dangly jewelry around babies. Think about what you wear.
8. Know the parents’ rules for you and follow them.
Are you allowed to take the kids outside? Can you eat anything in the fridge? Are certain rooms off-limits? Questions like these don’t make you sound like an incompetent babysitter, but rather a thorough and respectful one!
9. Don’t let the kids fall into the habit of staring at an iPad the entire time you’re there.

Come prepared with a few active games, quiet games, songs, and stories that you can all participate in. It’s healthier for the kids, and more impressive to the parents.

10. Pray on the way to your babysitting gigs.


Written by G4C Editor Jessica Lippe

These tips were taken from the Winter 2015/16 issue of Girlz 4 Christ Magazine. Subscribe today to get extra advice on babysitting, plus so much more, all for free!
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An Interview with Tricia Goyer

Have you ever wondered what it’s like for teens to be a mom? As Christians we are supposed to be pro-life, right? But what happens when one of your friends or someone you know/have heard of becomes pregnant? Of course you want her to keep the baby! However, being pro-life isn’t enough, but it’s confusing to know how to handle the situation as a friend. We interviewed Tricia Goyer, author of Teen Mom, for her perspective. 
Tricia, we want to know becoming a teen parent affected your life (both in youth and now as an adult).
I was a cheerleader and an honor roll student so on the outside I looked like a good kid. I first became pregnant at 15 and had an abortion because I didn’t want anyone to find out, but at during my senior year of high school (at 17) I found I was pregnant again by the same boyfriend that got me pregnant at 15 and this time I knew I didn’t want an abortion. When I told him I was pregnant and keeping the baby, he broke up with me and started dating someone else. I was so embarrassed and ashamed by everything that I dropped out of public high school and finished at home since I only had a couple of credits left anyways. From staying at home all the time and not having a boyfriend, my life truly changed overnight and it was really depressing.
During that time that my mom and grandma’s Bible study group invited me in to their Bible study where they showed me that they loved me and were going to be there to support me. They even threw me a baby shower! God showed me that those women love me and I started thinking that maybe He does too. I grew up in church, but because of the love shown to me through these ladies, I dedicated my life to God again. I was 6 months pregnant and that was a huge turning point for me. My life again completely turned around from being depressed to now having hope, feeling like I could do college, and praying for my future husband. I decided to walk on stage for my high school graduation and three weeks later I had my first son, Corey. I started realizing that I needed to use my story to help other people so I started a teen mom support group. God showed me that – the thing I tried to hide is the thing I can use to help other people.
Your new book contains lots of great information not only for teen moms, but anyone who wants to help teen parents, adult parents, and teens who would like to become parents. What would you say is your overall best piece of advice?
My book is divided to the needs of teen moms, but overall the final chapter is what I want people to walk away with and that is hope in Christ. It doesn’t matter what you face – teen mom, cancer, etc. – Christ can be your strength.
If you could only spend thirty seconds with a girl who was unsure if she could carry her baby to term, what would you tell her?
Right now in this moment you may feel a lot of fear, but 5 or 10 years from now you are going be able to look at that child and see how God has shown up to help you and support you. No matter what happens or who leaves, God will never leave you.
Interview by Lily Garay. Questions by Jessica Lippe.
This is an excerpt of an article that originally appeared in the Summer 2015 issue of Girlz 4 Christ Magazine. Subscribe today for more free encouragement!
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Nicole Weider: From Model to Christian Leader

Hello Girlz! This year, we want to offer you more than just great content in our magazine. Check back here often, as we’ll be blogging at least once a week! You may find a video, extra interview answers from our featured ladies, or some of your favorite articles. This week, enjoy a life experience from Nicole Weider!


As a little girl, you don’t see all the dark parts of modeling. It all seems glamorous at first. Beautiful pictures, invitations to exclusive parties, and a paycheck. There were so many events that led to my depression. While many circumstances led to becoming depressed, the largest contributing factor was that I was working as a model. I was always placed in such scrutiny by my agents and they would always pick me apart by telling me I was not thin enough and my skin wasn’t clear enough. I would work hard to be what they wanted. I lost weight and I got hair extensions, but when you go to the auditions there are twenty other women that look exactly like you and it’s so much pressure. I didn’t like making money based on my looks and would more likely than not end up feeling so embarrassed doing lingerie, bras, and bikinis. I started feeling so bad about myself and being uncomfortable. My whole identity was based in being a successful model so when I didn’t want that anymore I was left with, “Well what do I do now?” I wasn’t a Christian and I had no sense of safety or security.

I had this one friend, Christie, who always stood by my side. She would always talk to me about Jesus and she seemed so happy. She really helped me through the process of learning what Christianity was about and why it was so amazing. I saw how much my life needed changing. While I was giving my life to God, He showed Himself in huge ways to me. He basically showed me, “Nicole, I’m listening to you and I’m here.” Every once in awhile I get distracted in my walk, but I always remind myself of the radical change I had. God is always watching out for me. It’s  pretty much my second nature now. I always think in the back of my mind, “Will this make God proud?” Most importantly becoming a Christian changed my heart and perspective!

I do modeling now to be creative along with my friends who are photographers and on my own terms. It’s wonderful only having to do it if and when I want to. My life isn’t dependent on getting “this next job”. Once you become a Christian a lot of your desires don’t go away, they just change. Dressing up and getting glam is still something that I find fun, but I can use it to glorify God versus my agent now.

Girls, don’t fall into the trap of “I’m not pretty enough”. The sexualization of teen girls is everywhere. No matter where you turn it’s in magazine ads or beauty products. It’s basically the entertainment world that teen girls only appeal is in how sexy they are or what they look like. Your worth comes from character and heart not looks. Remember how much Jesus loves you!

By Nicole Weider as told to Lily Garay

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2015/16 issue of Girlz 4 Christ Magazine. Subscribe now for encouragement wrapped up in a fun, friendly, free magazine!