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Michelle Trujillo, best known to teens as Mrs. "T", has compiled a collection of passages from teenagers across the nation that readers will find relevant to their own life as they are lead upon a captivating spiritual journey. Throughout this powerful and unique book, teens share their life experiences from trial and tragedy to triumph and joy. Teen contributors provide personal stories written from the heart about how God has given them the strength and courage to deal with tough situations, along with love and...
Michelle Trujillo, best known to teens as Mrs. "T", has compiled a collection of passages from teenagers across the nation that readers will find relevant to their own life as they are lead upon a captivating spiritual journey. Throughout this powerful and unique book, teens share their life experiences from trial and tragedy to triumph and joy. Teen contributors provide personal stories written from the heart about how God has given them the strength and courage to deal with tough situations, along with love and comfort in times of loneliness. Teens also share what it means to accept God's grace and rely on His guidance. At the end of each chapter, Mrs. T shares heart-wrenching stories and spiritual inspiration, while inviting readers to continue or begin a promising relationship with God.
Regardless of religious differences, teens will find this book to be a guiding light along their path. Teens Talkin' Faith is a gift from Mrs. T
and its teen contributors-a gift of faith, love and hope. Teens will accept it and hold it close to their hearts-it will make a difference in their lives.
. . . Throughout this book you will find God's presence. Within these pages, as teens share their confusion and doubts, struggles and fears, triumphs and hopes, they will also share their faith. Regardless of where you reside spiritually at this point in your life, I pray that when you read this book, you allow God to touch your heart. I know that being a teenager is not an easy task. I listen to teens every day who share their troubles and heartaches with me. They often come to me because they don't feel they have anywhere else to turn. They are afraid their parents won't understand. They would talk to their friends, but in many cases their friends are part of the problem. Some of them take drugs, drink or let themselves be pressured into sexual activity. Frequently, they engage in these behaviors because they want to escape some pain in their lives or they want to belong. Furthermore, they often just want someone to care. Can you identify with this? Have you ever felt alone or rejected? Have you sought acceptance through drugs, drinking or sex? Have you ever asked yourself, "Why can't someone love me unconditionally? Why can't I feel at peace in my heart?"
Teens Talkin' Faith will show you that you can be loved unconditionally and that you can find peace in your life. It is a journey of faith toward God that will lead you to this understanding. If you are already strong in your religious convictions, then you may know what I am talking about. Perhaps you have experienced the feeling of peace that enters your life when you turn to God for guidance or solace. Likely, you have felt the joy that fills your heart when you focus on the Lord. You don't need drugs, alcohol or sex to find happiness as a teenager. You can find it in God. However, I'm sure that you know there is always room for spiritual growth.
On the other hand, if faith has never been a part of your life, then I am very excited to share the glory of God with you. My message in this book is enthusiastically simple: God cares! You can flee to Him for comfort. You can rely on Him for unconditional love. I want you to know that God is available and waiting for you to call on Him. He is there to guide, support, and provide courage and strength. His patience is plentiful and His forgiveness is given freely. As a teen you may experience small traumas or painful tragedies in your life. You may feel, sometimes, that you are all alone. But you are not. God is always there. Often, it is just a matter of opening your heart to His presence. . . .
. . . God loves me even when everyone else seems not to care . . .
God is love. When teenagers look at this phrase, we usually say, "Yeah, right." We don't believe in it because we have always been told that if we pray, God will always answer us and give us whatever we pray for. However, we don't realize that God grants us our petitions in many different ways. I don't consider myself an incredibly religious person. I believe in God, but I have lots of doubts about my faith. When something goes wrong, I blame the whole world for it—God, too. But then there are times when everything seems to go wrong. I get in a fight with my parents and it seems like no one can help me. At these times I turn to God and just talk to Him. Sometimes I even go to church and it just helps me get over my problems. When I sit at church, I feel safe and comfortable, and I know that God is with me. No one is yelling at me; I am just sitting quietly thinking things over and over again. I realize that God loves me even when everyone else seems not to care, and with His help I can get over my problems much faster. Knowing that God always loves me helps me appreciate things and the people around me. It gives me confidence that He is always there for me, no matter what happens.
. . . I don't have the courage or the strength in me to stand up and say no . . .
I will be the first one to admit that I don't have a strong personality. Peer pressure is a hard thing for me to deal with because of that. I don't have the courage or the strength in me to stand up and say no. Sometimes I end up doing stupid things and people get upset with me, but no matter if I give in to their peer pressure or not, God is always there. In some situations, I find it easy to just step back and reflect, weigh the consequences and let God guide me to the right decision. I know that He can provide me with the strength to say no if I honestly don't want to regret a potential poor choice because of peer pressure. So when I don't have the strength to say "no," I look to God and use His strength.
. . . I got so involved in drugs that nothing else mattered to me . . .
Growing up has been difficult. I haven't always had faith in God or in any religion . . . that is what is special about my story. It started when I was younger. I always hung out with older people, following them and sharing their beliefs. This made a huge impact on me as a young teen when my friends started using drugs. I shared their beliefs, and their beliefs were that there was nothing wrong with using drugs and staying out late. This affected me in a huge way, because I did everything that my peers did. If they wanted to get brain-dead by using mind-altering drugs, there was absolutely no stopping me from doing it, too. I can admit that back then I had no faith at all in God. I didn't believe in the greatest man who could help me and eventually did help me—the Lord. During that time, I got so involved in drugs that nothing else mattered to me. I didn't care about anything, including myself. I even thought about suicide. Then, when I was at my lowest, the greatest thing happened in my life. God sent me an angel, someone who made me realize that I needed to get help. I didn't realize it at first, but God also sent me the best gift I could have—Love. This love gave me a mind of my own and helped me to make decisions on my own. I started to realize and understand that through this gift from God, He had saved me. Since then I have accepted God as my personal Savior. I have had things happen to me that God has helped me with. I know that as long as I keep Him in my life, I can get through anything. The Lord is always by my side and He will be for you, too, if you choose to believe.
. . . That's why I love praying . . .
Friendships come and friendships go. I often don't know who is on my side. Some days I feel like everything is going my way—I will be laughing with my friends and just having fun. But then other days, I hear the rumors and gossip that are part of every high-school life and I don't know what to believe. The person I thought was my best friend the day before all of a sudden seems foreign to me. I feel alone and confused. I turn to God. I try to pray to God at night after a rough day. I tell Him what's bothering me and get everything off my chest. I often feel better just from
letting out all the pent-up anger and knowing somebody is listening. Having faith gives me the courage to deal with everyday struggles, and knowing someone is always listening makes me feel a little better. That's why I love praying to God.
. . . I am saved . . .
Has anyone ever told you how great God is? Well, God is GREAT!! He is a strong and loving Father. He is the best. I believe in God because through this belief, I know that I am saved because of Jesus Christ, God's only Son. Faith is like a bridge between me and God. If I didn't have faith, it would be like not having air. My faith is a part of who I am. I am shaped around it. I am who I am because of what I believe. I believe in God, my only and everlasting Father; Jesus, my Savior and everlasting Friend; the Holy Spirit, my leader and everlasting Guide. I am a Christian. I hope that you can believe in God, too!
©2001. Reprinted by permission of the authors. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Teens Talkin' Faith by Michelle L. Trujillo. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.
Posted December 16, 2001
'I teach Special Education at the Middle School level and had a student bring this book to class one day. I was suprised for several reasons, the first one being that this student is a non-reader. My student told me that he had talked to the other students in the class and wondered if I would read the book out loud for them. None of my students can read and as far as I know none of them go to church or have a religious influence at home. I was excited but had to tread lightly at this point (dealing with the whole religion at school thing). I made some calls home to parents and discussed with them the possibilty of reading this book in class. All the parents gave their okay and signed a permission slip. We read this book every Thursday in class for 45 minutes. My students are the ones who have yet to make it to school for a full week at a time, but since we have started this book, not a single one has missed a Thursday. I know that if am irate parent called, it is possible I could loose my job, or at least suffer from severe consequences, but seeing the look on my students face and hearing some of the questions they ask, I am willing to risk it.
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