E-magazine...for real this time...

Alright, no matter how many people are interested, I'd really like to do Above Rubies' e-magazine sometime soon. I already have a beautiful song written by one of our readers and I'm stilling looking for reader contributions (ideas, stories, poems, songs, pictures...whatever!) I would also like to highlight a "Ruby of the Month" in the e-magazine. If you are interested in being the "Ruby of the Month", please answer one of the following questions in a comment. If I choose you, I will follow up with more questions- you don't have to be anyone amazing to be chosen. I just want to be encouraged by other teen girls seeking Christ! So don't be shy- I want:

  • Can you share your testimony?
  • Have you had an experience (mission trip, traumatic event, etc.) that has completely changed your life?
  • What is the most important thing for you as a teen girl pursuing Christ?
  • Who is your role model?
  • Is there something unique about your life that you'd like to share?
If you dont' want to answer one of these prompts, but would still like to be "Ruby of the Month" feel free to just give some information about yourself!


Wow. All I can say is wow.

If you need a little proof that God is moving in His people today, read this- it is an amazing witness of a little girl adopted from Serbia who is undergoing heart surgery. It is an amazing story!


Summer Reads

Take this summer as an opportunity to grow in your relationship with God. Use your free time in the Scriptures and reading the writings of Christian men and women who live (or did live) as examples of a deep relationship with Jesus Christ.

Great Christian Books (Click titles to learn more):

 A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot- This biography about Amy Carmichael is full of inspiring quotes and thoughts. I am reading the book right now for my devotional time and I'm taking notes on nearly every page of questions and comments I have about the content. A truly thought provoking read- not just an educational account of the life of a missionary!

 If I Perish by Esther Kim- Recommended by author Leslie Ludy, If I Perish is a story written by Esther Ahn Kim of her experiences as a Christian being persecuted in Korea. I'm looking forward to reading it next! (By the way, I received both the books If I Perish and A Chance to Die for my birthday...hm... =D)

 Set Apart Femininity by Leslie Ludy- The first book I read out of the many written by Leslie Ludy on a different lifestyle for young women. It started me out on my journey toward, well, set-apart femininity! Inspiring and encouraging!

 Authentic Beauty by Leslie Ludy- I found this book very similar to Set-Apart Femininity, but directed towards a more mature audience. Ludy shares many accounts of her experiences as a teen girl wavering between set-apartness and worldliness.
The Lost Art of True Beauty by Leslie Ludy- This is the newest book by Leslie Ludy- I have not read it yet (actually, I just discovered it today!), but I am excited to read it. What does the world say about beauty? What does God say about it? Apparently, this is where you can find out!

Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss- I absolutely loved this book when I read it a few years ago and I really want to read it again. It is written as if it were a journal of a young woman in the 19th century. She goes through spiritual growth and times of "drought". Hardships and joys. Struggles and accomplishments.

Lies Young Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Danae Gresh- This book is most effective when accompanied by the thought-provoking study guide. Lies Young Women Believe focuses on many struggles that young girls in our society face. There are some mature themes, so if you're not sure, check with a parent first. 

A Young Woman's Call to Prayer by Elizabeth George- When I was in a rut in my faith walk, especially struggling with deep, sincere prayer, this prayer manual inspired me and encouraged me. George talks about her "sweet hour of prayer" that started as a "sweet five minutes of prayer!" The author encourages young women to take one step at a time toward a rich prayer life.



He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it. - Martin Luther King Jr. 

The Civil War and the Holocaust have always intrigued me. I think it's because there's a common theme of fighting for justice. I am awed at how cruelly people were treated in both circumstances. However, something I have trouble grasping is that there is still injustice all over the world today. In Asia, families are paid for their children because they can't afford the cost of taking care of them. Many of them are never seen again. In Africa, orphaned girls are forced to sell their bodies in order to provide food for their siblings. Believe it or not, there is child slavery right here in the United States! I have always thought, "Surely, if I was alive in the time of the Civil War, I would have been an advocate for slaves," or, "I can't believe there were Christians around during the Holocaust who did nothing to help!" But really, I'm not different.  A lot of times, we Christians either choose to be ignorant about the subject of slavery and injustice, or we think that there is nothing we can do to help, so we just try to blot it out of our minds. I hope that this is a reminder that we need to be doing something about injustice in the world- hey I'm even reminding myself! I pray that you heart is stirred to take action for those in bondage across the ocean or in your back yard. Here are some links to sites that help in the fight against injustice:

International Justice Mission- Learn about the youth-lead program "Loose Change to Loosen Chains"

Invisible Children- Help children who are/were forced to be soldiers

Compassion International- Watch a video about how you can save a little one from child labor

Children's Hope Chest- Helping impoverished children around the world



Just a journal entry

This afternoon, my family and I piled in the car and headed out for a little adventure. Our destination? A nice park about a half an hour from our house, then a stop for dinner afterward. I love adventures. Especially outdoor ones. I love the wind in my hair, the big, bright, beautiful sky, and God's creations all around me. The rule in the car was "no complaining whatsoever!!". It wasn't too hard to manage on a day like today when the weather is just starting to warm up and the sky is clear blue. Finding my fellow backseat passenger (aka brother) to be a...let's just say...interesting riding companion, I turned my face toward the open terrain out my window and breathed in the fresh spring air. Then I saw it- my "house of dreams" (Anne of Green Gables fans, you'll understand). It was a sweet little bungalow out in the middle of the country surrounded by a white picket fence with a little archway and trees...so many trees. Even a weeping willow- a weeping willow!! (I don't know why that is so exciting to me...a quirk of mine, I suppose.) I want to live in a place just like it when I have a family of my own. I could just see a bunch of little children running through the yard...sitting on a porch swing...planting vegetables in a garden- a perfect little picture. The future is a big, sometimes scary thing. But at the same time it is exciting. I'm looking forward to seeing what God has in store for me!

Good Friday Prayer

Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. Luke 23:34
Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Matthew 28:46

Dear Lord Jesus, it’s the day in Holy Week we call “Good Friday”. I’ve always felt conflicted about calling the day of your crucifixion “good.” It seems a bit self-serving. That there had to be a day when you, the God who made us for yourself, would be made sin for us, is not good at all.

BUT… on the other hand, that you would so freely and fully give yourself for us on the cross is quintessential, archetypical, never-to-be surpassed goodness. There never has been, and there never will be, anything that is more deserving of the appellation, “good”, than your death for us. For out of the same heart… out of the same mouth came these two cries from the cross: “Father forgive them…”, and “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The first required the second. The second secured the first. Together, both of them buckle my knees… still my heart… and loose my tongue…

Yet, how can I even begin to adequately express the wonder, love and praise I feel in response to what you’ve done for me on the cross? It’s like wanting to paint the most magnificent spring landscape I’ve ever seen, but with a palate of three colors and both of my arms in a cast. It’s like having a passion to write a great symphony in honor of you, but knowing I’m just a kazoo player who doesn’t read music. It’s like desiring to cook you a great banquet… with my microwave oven, a loaf of white bread and a can of cheese whiz. There’s simply no way I can possibly offer a response congruent to the magnificence of your mercy and the measure of your grace for me at Calvary…

So like everything else I have to offer you, Jesus, take my humble praise and purify it, magnify it and cause it to be an sweet aroma in your heart. No one could ever take your life from you and I could never find life on my own. Because you were fully forsaken, I am forever forgiven. Because you exhausted God’s judgment against my foul sin, I now live by the gift of your perfect righteousness. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! So very Amen, I pray, in your all glorious, all gracious name.

By Scottie Smith