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October 11, 2003
Column #1,154

"Revolve:" A Bible for Teenage Girls

     "Revolve" looks like a magazine for teenage girls, with three smiling females on the cover and zippy headlines: "Are You Dating a Godly Guy?  Beauty Secrets You've Never Heard Before. Radical Faith: What Scripture Really Means."

     "Guys Speak Out on Tons of Important Issues."

     "Revolve: The Complete New Testament," is the perfect gift for a teenage girl.

     Its Introduction, beneath photos, one of a guy and a gal, is engaging: "This Bible is about radical devotion and revolutionary people. It is a book that God breathed into the hearts and minds of people who were grappling with life and rising to the challenge of faith in the extreme.

     "The stories were written by and about dreamers and risk-takers - people who bet their lives on what they could only see through faith. They were people who took a chance on God..."

     Next to Matthew 3 are "TOP ten Random Ways To have Fun With Your Friends: Go to a Christian concert.... Volunteer at an animal shelter together."

     The next page is a Blab with this Q: "I'm nearly fourteen and I have never even had a boyfriend. Am I the only one? All the people in my class must think I am pathetic."

     A. "Don't let what the world think is important become important to you. You live by a different set of rules than other people. You live by God's Word. God wants you to seek him first and he'll give you all the rest in good time."

     Matthew 3:1-2 is a fresh translation in this New Century Version of a familiar verse: "About that time John the Baptist began preaching in the desert area of Judea. John said, "Change your hearts and lives because the kingdom of heaven is near." (Not "Repent.")

     In a Box on the verse is punchy advice:

     "Learn it: Your heart is sinful and needs to be changed.

     "Live it: Figure out one thing about the way you're thinking that's wrong. Ask God to help you really focus on changing it for two weeks."

     Another box called "Radical Faith" has a more extended commentary on Matthew 7:12: "Do to others what you want them to do to you."

     "This verse has been called the ‘Golden Rule.' It's as valuable as gold and it'll work every time you use it...Look at what Jesus says leading up to this. Love people who are against you; pray for the person who's mean to you; if someone wants to borrow something, give him more than what he asks for and don't ask him to give it back. You wouldn't dare ask anyone to treat you that well - you'd feel like you were using her - but you'd like it if she did, right?"

     "Jesus isn't telling you to be a doormat. He's showing you how to follow his example. His whole life was about two things: pleasing God and helping other people. He wants you to be more concerned about others than you are about yourself."

     Next to a shot of a teenage boy in a "Guys Speak Out" box is a Q. Do you prefer to hang out with girls or guys?

     A. Guys. Girls can be so needy - constantly asking how they look. Guys just like to hang out and have fun."

     In the middle of Matthew 13, is a blue headline: DIDYA KNOW?  In a Given Week, 75% of Young Adults Report Praying.

     Ten questions beneath three smiling girls are devoted to: Do You Have a Healthy Body Image?  

     I feel comfortable in a swimsuit. A. Never B. Sometimes C. Often D. Always

     When I look at myself in the mirror I cringe. A. Always B. Often C. Sometimes D. Never

     Below are commentaries. Those picking mostly A's and B's with a Poor Body Image: "Come on girl! Do you know that God created you and he calls your body a ‘temple of the Holy Spirit?' 1) Start a balanced fitness routine and make sure you are eating well.  2) Make it a goal to run in a charity race in a few months – it will give you something to work towards."

     That has nothing to do with Matthew 21. But it will be read. The next page is a "Radical Faith" analysis of Matthew 23:8-9, about how Jesus enjoyed hanging around notorious sinners and hated religious snobs, who "actually thought they were better" than others. By contrast, Jesus treated all followers equally: "God never sees you as inferior to anyone."

     Great messages for teenage girls.

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