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Designer Genes Devo – Page 280 – “No Other Gods” 

Tweens often get asked, “So, who’s your role model?” Whether we’re 10, 15, 35 or even 60 years old, most of us have people we admire and look up to. Sometimes the people we choose as role models deserve our recognition (for example, if they’re kind, hard-working, honest, unselfish, etc.), but sometimes we look up to people just because they act cool, look nice, and have a lot of money, or even just because other people around us admire them!

And sometimes we admire someone so much, it’s almost as if we worship him or her!

But God said: “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them…” (Exodus 20:3-5)

Okay, so maybe you don’t admire someone that much. Maybe you’re thinking, “I don’t have any idols!”

Well, I’m not talking about these…

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Everyday “stuff” can be idols, too! Are there any objects, activities, or hopes that you wouldn’t give up for anything? Here are examples of things that people sometimes pay more attention to than God…

j0412012.jpgmusic

j0351240.jpgTV (also computers and video games)

j0406214.jpgfashion and clothes

j0396710.jpgsports and other activities

j0424728.jpg pets

j0416066.jpgpopularity

j0413484.jpgmoney

Is there something in your life that keeps you from getting close to God? Why not pray about it today, asking God to help you look waaaaaaay up, way past your role models, way past your stuff, way past your activities, to look up to HIM and make Him #1 in your life?

Just remember… there’s only room for one person in the #1 spot!

Ann-Margret

P.S. I’m so excited! Next week we start going through Designer Genes right from the beginning! Tune in again on Tuesday, January 1 to start the new year with me! 😀

Wow, I just realized it’s another Monday morning, which means it’s time to update this blog! It’s also Christmas-Eve-Day (or whatever you call December 24!), which means I have lots of last-minute things to do. Eeps! 😀

So, I’m going to try to get back here in a couple of days to write a little something on this week’s chapter in Designer Genes. If you’re home from school and were hoping to find something here, I promise I haven’t forgotten you!

While you’re waiting, you can…

  • Help your mom! I’m sure she’s got lots to do today.
  • Make paper snowflakes
  • Make up a song or poem that explains the true meaning of Christmas
  • Write a cheery letter to someone who may be feeling lonely or sad
  • Send me an e-mail and let me know what you think of Designer Genes so far! 😀

Okay, see you later! And…

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Merry Christmas!

Ann-Margret

Designer Genes Devo – Page 275 – “Online… or Out of Line?” 

Hello, ladies! I hope you’ve been enjoying the DG blog! I’m still open to your comments and suggestions. Let me know what kinds of things you’d like to see here.

This week’s chapter is about using the Internet, which is kind of funny because you had to get on the Internet to come here and read this!

When I was writing Designer Genes, I had tried most of the various features of the Internet, including chat rooms, on-line games, virtual worlds, instant messenger programs, etc. I hadn’t yet tried Facebook, but I did sign up this summer to check it out. Know what? After a few months, I said, “Tata!” to all my Facebook friends and closed up my account. Is that because I think Facebook is bad, or not good for a Christian? Not really… but I realized that it was taking up too much of my time, and I was starting to feel discouraged by things I saw on the profiles of people that I knew were Christians, pictures or comments or jokes that I felt didn’t honour God.

I remember many other times when I might have checked out a chat room or gone to a site and then thought, “Hmm… I don’t think God wants me to be here!” It takes a lot of discipline to not give in to your curiosity or temptation and participate in on-line activities that may have a bad influence on you. That’s why we need friends, parents, mentors, teachers — and God! — to guide and advise us. If we’re careful about how much time we’re on-line, and what we do, the Internet can be used for good things.

Like writing a blog for the coolest tween girls!

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In the year 2000, a study showed that tweens spend about 4 hours a week surfing the Net. I’m curious to know how much that number went up in 2007! What do you think? Maybe 7 hours? More? Less? I wonder!

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Cute, eh? 😀 But there’s some truth in there that we all need to remember… you never really know who someone you meet on-line is. Please be very, very careful!

Now, I don’t know about you but that’s enough Internet time for me right now. I will go and do some work… and then I have a few more Christmas cards I still have to write and mail!

Ann-Margret

P.S. I want to tell you about something exciting I did this weekend: I cut my hair! See my picture in the top left corner of this page? Well, imagine all that long hair gone… it now reaches just under my ears!

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I know, I know! It seems crazy! (And I do kind of miss my hair.) But I did it because I wanted to donate my hair to…

 locksoflove.jpg! (Click on the pic to go the Locks of Love Web site.)

Please write to me at designergenes@annhovsepian.com and tell me about something cool you’ve done lately!

Half an hour later…

Yes! I got the answer I was looking for! According to this article (it’s quite long, so your parents may want to read it more than you do), the average kid spends 1.25 hours a day surfing the Net (compared to two hours watching TV). That comes out to nearly 9 hours a week. That’s a big jump from the year 2000, but I’m pleased to see that the article also says most kids prefer outdoor activities to technology. Smart!! 😀

Designer Genes Devo – Page 270 – “Food for Your Brain” 

How fast can you find these 15 types of books in the puzzle below?

album, atlas, Bible, cookbook, diary, dictionary, directory, encyclopedia, hymnal, journal, manual, notebook, novel, textbook, thesaurus

S C U L C Y E U D K J K
U T A O M R S O I A O O
R A N Y M A N U A L U O
U N T E R N C I R K R B
A I D E P O L C Y C N E
S T A O X I T A E N A T
E L L K L T B C N P L O
H S B A A C B I E M E N
T B U N S I C O B R Y A
R T M A N D S V O L I H
S I C O O K B O O K E D
Y O N O V E L L E N A L

(The words can be found forward, backward, up and down, and even diagonally.)

I don’t know about you but I love, love, love to read! So, how happy do you think I am that I already received four books as Christmas gifts through the mail? 😀

I’m even happier that some of you are reading Designer Genes! Of course, one of my main goals in writing my book was to encourage you to read the very best book of all: the Bible, God’s Word. As much as I love to read, just reading, reading, reading books all the time isn’t necessarily a good thing. Of course, it’s better than playing all day or wasting time, but look at what the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 12:12-13…

“The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails — given by one Shepherd.  Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.
      Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.  Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”

Do you know what goads are? According to the dictionary, a goad is a long, pointed stick used to prod (or nudge) animals. Think of a shepherd helping his sheep move along in the right direction by tapping them on the side or rump with a stick. The wise words found in the Bible — the words given to us by our Shepherd Jesus — can keep us going in the right direction in life. Anything else we read, we should be careful about. Just because you’re reading a book, it doesn’t mean it’s good for you! Ask God to help you choose your books wisely so that your brain and heart aren’t getting junk food.

Here are some of my favourites from when I was your age:

  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  • Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • All the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary
  • Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene

I’d love to hear about what you enjoy reading! You can write to me at designergenes@annhovsepian.com.

Ann-Margret

Designer Genes Devo – Page 265 – “Watcha Watchin’?” 

Know what I read this morning? I think you’ll be just as surprised as I was. In one year, the average child spends 900 hours in school… and nearly 1,023 hours in front of a TV!

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This week’s chapter in Designer Genes points out some of the dangers of spending too much time in front of a television. If the weather where you are is anything like it is in Montreal right now (we’re getting about 15 cm of snow and everything is under a big white blanket) and you’re home from school, you might be tempted to flop onto the sofa and see what’s on TV.

Or play video games all day. Or sit in front of the computer. Don’t get me wrong… I’m really excited that you’re on-line reading this right now, but I hope you won’t spend too much time staring at a screen today!

Is it bad to watch TV? Not necessarily, but it can be. There are many things in our lives that can have negative or positive influences on us, depending on the choices we make.

Why not take a few minutes to figure out how many hours of TV you watch, think about the shows you watch and what you might be learning from them, and then think about other things you’d really like to do but maybe don’t have time for because you find it easier to watch TV instead. Most of all, pray and ask God to show you (or to speak to your heart) about your TV viewing. I think you’ll know deep inside if you need to make changes. And it may not be how much you watch… it could be what you watch!

Lots of kids never watch TV (or very little of it), and some families don’t even have a TV because they want to spend more time doing things together! Whatever you and your family end up deciding is up to you, but here are some suggestions for other fun things to do in case you feel the need to cut back:

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Read a book!

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Paint a picture!

pray.jpg 

Pray! (Hee hee, I should have posted this photo when we did the chapter on animals!) 😀

phone-bear.jpg 

Phone your grandparents and tell them how much you love them!

snowman.jpg 

Build a snowman! (My nieces and nephew made this one a couple of years ago. Those are grapes!) 😀

bears_45.jpg

Write a letter!

What are some of your ideas?

Don’t forget: you can always write to me at designergenes@annhovsepian.com.

Ann-Margret