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Online with GodA 90-Day Devotional
By Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2009 Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton
All right reserved.
Chapter OneDAY 1
Online with God
God Says: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
Life is wild. Sometimes it can all be awfully confusing, and other times it's one big party. With all this stuff going on, it's good to have a quiet place to blog about my thoughts, feelings, successes, losses, school, family events, and just plain living. Online with God is my personal blog with my BFF God. This blog isn't going to be candy coated because I know God wouldn't want anything less than the truth.
I'm going to try to post daily. I'm going to keep it small and private, just God and me. It will help me to work through the day's events. Like the Bible says, this is my season to grow and learn how to be a better person. The older I get, the more things change. Like-it's not just going to be my group of friends from elementary anymore. There're kids from all over the city that will be going to this middle school. The kids from my elementary school will be joining with groups from four other schools. I'll met new people and, I hope, make new friends.
Along with friends, school, and living life, I have the usual family stuff. My older sister Melody thinks she's the boss of me. And my parents arestill treating me like I'm five. I'd really like to work some of this stuff out so life can be easier for all of us.
The big thing is I'm trying to figure out where I fit. On top of all of that, I know I'm changing, inside and out. I know this is all part of God's plan. So, I guess I'm along for the ride. This blog, Online with God, is going to help me work through all these challenges and changes.
Expressing feelings, concerns, and hopes with God is healthy. He's always going to be the best friend you could ever find. He's a loving, accepting, and forgiving friend. You can trust God during all the craziness life has to serve. The great thing is knowing you never have to face life's changes alone. God is the ultimate BFF.
Dear God, thanks for giving me a place to gather my thoughts and get them down. You are an awesome BFF. I'm totally cool with the changes if you're there to see me through, and I'm blown away that you love me so much. Thanks for being here by my side as I face all the weird stuff out there. There isn't anything I can't face with you by my side. Amen.
I'm Not Listening
God Says: "They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, 'Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.' But I prayed, 'Now strengthen my hands.'" Nehemiah 6:9
So, I came up with this great idea for writing a blog, and even though it's private I told my friends that I was doing it.
My sister Melody said, "Sweet!" And Olivia said the idea totally rocked. But some of my "friends" asked stuff like "Why bother to blog God if he's always with you?" and "Are you some kind of Jesus freak?
I'm not going to let them bring me down. They can challenge me all they want, but I'm all about this blog. I'm thinking it must be a good idea if I'm getting reactions from people. Maybe just the fact that I'm blogging will make people take another look at their own relationship with God.
So, to answer the Jesus freak question-maybe I am a Jesus freak, if it means I want to chat with God daily. I'm never alone because God is with me every second of every day. And as far as "Why bother?" No one is looking over my shoulder, or making me blog. I write because writing is my thing. A journal is a way to organize my thoughts in this disorganized world, and it's way easier for me to journal online.
So discourage me all you want. I take on the challenge. I'm here to stay, and so is God.
There are two kinds of people in this world. There are people who are filled with discouraging words and a negative outlook, and there are people who are filled with positive words and uplifting energy. Every day you get to make a choice. You can look at the day's challenges and give up, or you can stand up and say, "I can do that!"
Dear God, thank you for the strength to ignore people who challenge our time together. Help me to organize my thoughts and make good choices, and help me to keep from doubting all the time I spend with you. Amen.
To Go or Not to Go
God Says: Ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16
So, Emma just had a birthday party. I was invited, but Olivia wasn't. This has happened before, and I usually find a way to get an invite for her too, since she's my BFF and everything. People just don't understand her like I do. See, she's gorgeous, but she's also shy. People think she's a snob, but she's so not into herself like that.
In reality she's very much like me, except the beautiful part. I just don't fall under the gorgeous umbrella. I'd describe myself as average other than being short. I have long brown hair and brown eyes. My friends on the cheerleader squad say I'm cute and bubbly, but I know they would never describe me as GORGEOUS.
Anyway, just because she's not outgoing doesn't make her a snob. She's totally kind and funny. She loves horses, just like me. She loves to cook-mostly gooey desserts. And I've gone to her family's cottage every summer. Olivia has been my BFF for years.
When I emailed Emma back accepting her invitation, I asked if I could bring Olivia. Emma totally freaked and said I was trying to ruin her party-it was just for cheerleaders. I responded that I had no intention of ruining her party, and that she would like Olivia if she would just give her a chance.
Again, Emma told me the invite was for cheerleaders and cheerleaders ONLY.
I decided that I didn't want to attend a party where I would have to worry about freaking out Emma. I told her thanks for the invite, but I wouldn't be able to make it after all. But I hated to have to miss the party. God, was that the right thing to do?
Being a good friend means all the time, not just when it's easy or convenient. Loyalty is one of the greatest responsibilities and most valuable gifts God has given us. How can you show loyalty to your best friend?
Father, it's hard when friends you care about don't care for each other. Why can't everyone get along? Help me to be an example of your love, understanding, and acceptance. Teach me to be a good friend. Amen.
Who Is That Green-Eyed Monster?
God Says: Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12
School starts in a week. I've been saving my babysitting money all summer for an awesome new outfit to wear on the first day of school. So today was the big day to go shopping My whole cheerleading squad-Emma, Brittany, Samantha, Trudy, and Chloe-met at the mall. We went from store to store, trying on a gazillion outfits. Samantha snapped pictures the whole time for her blog, like we were having a major fashion show.
The thing is that when most of the girls try on an outfit, they look like real models. But I'm short and the clothes are always way too long. I have to shorten everything, except for mini skirts, and those hit me like a regular skirt should.
The more we tried on clothes the more I could feel this jealousy monster raging inside. I was jealous that the other girls had their parents' credit cards and could buy, buy, buy.
I was jealous that everything they put on looked fantastic on them, but totally hideous on me. I was jealous when Samantha's pictures for her blog made everyone look like cover models, especially Trudy, and I looked like someone in hand-me-downs.
I thought I kept my feelings to myself. I tried. But looking at Samantha's blog tonight, the pictures practically shout what a jealous brat I am. I don't like that person in the pictures.
I'm off to Samantha's to tell her I'm sorry for feeling jealous and ask her to take down the pictures. I hope she'll understand.
Never post pictures of someone that are not uplifting. Pictures on the Internet can take on a life of their own and can end up anywhere. If someone has posted a picture of you that you would prefer to keep private, talk to the person who uploaded it and ask if it can be removed.
Lord, help me to stay clothed in kindness and humility so that I can be a better friend and a better me. Thanks, God. Amen.
God Says: A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. Proverbs 29:11
Brittany and I were supposed to work at the library for the summer reading club finale. We're finishing up our volunteer hours for church.
I called her, like, a million times and she never returned my call. I thought maybe she forgot to charge her cell and I decided I'd stop by her house so we could walk over together. No one was home when I got to her house. I started to worry that maybe something happened. So I text messaged her and left a message on her house phone.
I headed over to the library because I didn't want to be late. Brittany wasn't there either. The library was a madhouse. I think every kid in the elementary school was jammed in the children's department for story hour. I definitely had trouble working crowd control, and we really could have used Brittany's help. The librarian kept thanking me for being there and asking where Brittany was. Like I should know.
Later, Brittany and a bunch of other girls were in the school chat room talking about the boys they met at the movies. Brittany totally bailed on me! I can't believe she blew off her volunteer job. She's the one who signed me up to volunteer with her. The first time she gets something better to do, she takes off. Not a word to me or the library. And tonight she had the nerve to text message me like nothing happened! I could really let her have it!
It's always better to cool off before you respond to someone who has upset you-especially if you're responding online or in a text message. Once you've chilled out, ask your friend if you can talk. A real friend is someone who understands the true meaning of commitments-both to her responsibilities and to you.
Lord, when I'm angry help me to think about what you would do. Remind me to think before opening my mouth, and help me to be a forgiving friend. Amen.
Excerpted from Online with God by Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton Copyright © 2009 by Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton. Excerpted by permission.
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