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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!
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!
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Spring 2015: Persecuted Christians and More in This Season’s Issue!

Have you read the Spring 2015 issue of Girlz 4 Christ yet? If not, click here to get your free subscription! As this issue commemorates our fourth birthday as a magazine, we wanted to make sure we had a super-special cover feature. And we certainly found it! 

In the pages of this issue you’ll meet Somchi and delve into her story of how she was persecuted in her country, simply due to the fact that she is a Christian. 

Now It’s Your Turn:
After hearing Somchi’s story, it might be easy to think, “I’m thankful I don’t live in Laos or in a persecuted country like Somchi does.” It’s good to be grateful that we live in the United States, but more than that, stories like Somchi’s should cause us to look at our own lives and ask the hard questions: “What am I doing to reach out in a nation that is free? Have I counted the cost of following Christ no matter what happens, even if it causes offense, rejection or worse?  How am I standing strong in my own faith?” If we hear a story and are encouraged, that’s good; if we are changed, that’s even better.
You may not have to worry about someone burning your Bible, but you are still faced with the same choice every day: Will you remain unshaken in your faith and follow Jesus regardless of the consequences? In Matthew 16:24, Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” This doesn’t apply only to those who live in Laos or North Korea or the Middle East. As believers, each one of us is called to take up our cross every day to follow Jesus. You can ask God what areas of your life He wants you to grow in by taking a stand for your faith.
What can I do to help persecuted Christians?
There are many stories like Somchi’s happening every day. You may have seen recent stories in the news about Iraqi Christians having to flee for their lives. The Voice of the Martyrs works in more than 60 hostile and restricted nations, serving persecuted Christians. Hebrews 13:3 tells us to remember those in prison and those who are suffering. Persecuted Christians are more than just a cause, they are your family — the global body of Christ. Here’s what you can do to get involved:
1. PRAY: Prayer might not seem like a big deal, but it might surprise you to find out that the first thing our persecuted family asks for is prayer. Often, there is only so much we can do in a physical sense, but prayer can change everything. It might also surprise you to know that persecuted believers don’t primarily ask for prayer for their safety; they ask for prayer to help them stand strong in their faith and for the lost to come to know Christ. You can visit www.icommitopray.com to see urgent prayer needs that are updated weekly and post your own prayers for persecuted believers.
2. TAKE A STAND: Another great way that you can get involved is to “Be A Voice.”  Our persecuted family asks that we don’t forget about them. You can take a stand with your persecuted family by sharing their stories of what persecuted Christians go through in other countries. You can go to www.be-a-voice.netto sign up. You can also write letters to Christians who are imprisoned for their faith at www.prisoneralert.com. You can encourage them in their faith as well as write to government officials and request their release.

3. SERVE: Finally, our persecuted family have very practical needs that you can help with, such as medical expenses or the need for a safe house to hide in. You can also fill an Action Pack, which gives persecuted Christians basic things they need such as coats, shoes, blankets and hygiene products. You can go to www.persecution.com/actionpacksto find out how to send an Action Pack. The Voice of the Martyrs also strives to make sure any believer who is persecuted has a Bible. You can serve by giving a Bible to a Christian in a persecuted country at www.biblesunbound.com.
Thank you to Brooke Parks, the Youth and Young Adult Coordinator at Voice of the Martyrs, for sharing these tips on how we can help persecuted Christians. The Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit interdenominational Christian organization dedicated to assisting persecuted Christians worldwide, both practically and spiritually.