How to make an impact – 4 simple steps

Have you ever asked yourself, ‘how do I make an impact?’ In this kind of world, it gets harder to truly be the person God made you and wants you to be.

1) Make an impact through the type of lifestyle you live
People are watching you… Us. Everyone is looking for that guidance, that ‘something’ and therefore we must be that ‘something’ in their lives, shown through our lives.Be a comforting voice or reason in peoples lives, a voice that reassures everyone. Let people know you as a positive person, a person know for uplifting words and actions, not words and actions that pull others down.

2) Make an impact through your giving.
This one is a little touchy because I know most of you lot were literally like, “Oh! Heck no! My money is my money!”, but giving don’t always mean money. It can mean giving your time, your emotions, your service, your resources or your knowledge. If someone is in need, and you are capable of helping them, help them. It’s not everyday sit and wait until they come to you begging on their needs; some days just help wholeheartedly. It is literally the little things that people will notice are different in your life. You’re in McDonald’s for lunch with a friend. You’ve already ordered and paid for your lunch. Your friend assumes he/she has more money than she actually does and can’t afford the medium diet coke with the meal. If you have that extra pound, give it to the friend. That is making an impact with your giving. Lastly, don’t be that person who keeps a record of your givings. “I gave you 33p on the 6th of June 2005, it was a Monday, and it was snowing. You was wearing a blue top, I was wearing a red.” That’s just ridiculous. Give wholeheartedly. Again, give wholeheartedly.

3) Make an impact through your speaking
Prayer is communicating with God; it is just talking. It may look like you’re speaking to yourself, but you’re not. God is listening.
You can make an impact by praying over your life and the lives of your friends, family and peers. Quick story; once, a good friend of mine was heading down the wrong path, and it was really worrying me. I didn’t feel like I could talk to her about it because she had the mindset that everyone was judging her, and that everyone, including me, was against her. In fact, it is the exact opposite. I wanted what was best for her. So I tweeted out, “What do you do when your friend is going down the wrong route?” and someone replied and said, “all you can do is pray for them.” Long story short; they are back to where they are supposed to be, thanks to the prayers of myself and her friends, family and church. If you care about someone, pray for them.
2 Chronicles 7:15
15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.

4) Make an impact through knowledge and passing on knowledge

The Bible is referred to as ‘The word of God’. Technically, people wrote it, but it was under the interpretation given to them by God. I don’t know how some people expect God to pick up a heavenly pen and heavenly paper and wrote down stuff. God is a spirit and not of this earthly world. Therefore, he must use physical people to physically write down his words. When you hear or read the things written down in the Bible, your faith grows. Faith is your belief, your belief in life, your belief in God and your belief in yourself. Think about it like this, if someone verbally abused a child from a young age over a long period of time, that person will grow into a young adult and believe all the abuse the have heard over time. The Bible works in a similar way, except it is positive, reassuring words that helps you build a confidence which pulls you through troubles and problems in life. The Bible’s definition of faith is found at Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Furthermore, Romans 10:17 (Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.) establishes that hearing the word of God is a priority. As well as hearing the word, you need to be able to share the word with other people. This encourages people who have low levels of faith and belief, in their selves or in life, due to what they have gone through in the past.

These four simple steps work when used all together in a persons life.
These steps are an adaptation from a message heard in church, so not all my own work.
Peace&Love.
Paula ox’

 

Lost Generation?

An author described our generation as ‘lost’.

Lost. Lost connotes the idea that it is gone, hopeless, disorientated. While many young people may show symptoms of this, we are not lost. We are not hopeless. There is always hope. It’s never gone too far that it can’t be brought back and amended.

This current generation has seen things that our parents and grandparents never ever saw in such frequency and magnitude – and done so publicly and openly. They say things like teenage pregnancies, homosexuality, drugs, idolatry and crime have been around for years, which is true. But just because sin has been happening for years and years doesn’t change its nature; it is still sin. Fact. Truth. Sorry. You can call it something pretty instead, but it is still sin. Ideology and opinions will not and cannot change this.

I feel like some of today’s youth and young people are in need of being found, but I wouldn’t conclude that our generation as a whole is lost. When someone loses something, they desire to find it, and that is exactly what is happening here. Young people’s hearts are crying for something deep within them that makes them feel like they’ve lost something, but they just aren’t sure what it is. They turn to immoral things in the hope that they will find this thing. However, it can be found and they can be reunited. It’s just a matter of someone giving them guidance back to that first love.

That love that is stronger than their parents, stronger than a boyfriend or girlfriend or best friend. A love that is impartial and fair. A love that doesn’t care if you’re black or white or any ethnicity, for that matter. A love that doesn’t care if you’re tall or short, slim or fat. A love that doesn’t care what you did in the past, or what your personality was like before.

That love comes from Jesus. And it’s Jesus that gives you the strength to be a part of the ‘found generation’. The world loves to make fun of us for standing up and setting ourselves apart. The world likes to display Christians as Ned Flanders from The Simpsons – as boring, ‘do-gooders’, as a joke. But I don’t care. We are ‘do-gooders’ but we aren’t boring, we are people with purpose, people with joy, people with direction, people with enthusiasm, people with fun and people with success. And we are most definitely NOT lost. We may get shunned or overlooked, but that’s a small price to pay for eternity.

Adults seem to be the people who have diagnosed us as a ‘lost generation’, as a group of people to give up on, which I find rather ironic considering they were the ones who raised us and they were the ones who were here before us. Instead of condemning us, people need to stand up and think, “Hm… What can I do to inspire these people?” You say we lack motivation, I say we don’t. We know what we want, and we are out there getting it – with or without your help. It’s been left to us as youth to inspire and empower ourselves and that’s what we’ll do.

A lost generation? Nope, not on our watch.

 

Peace&Love.

Paula ox’

The Grace of God

As a Christian, I aim to live my life in accordance to God’s word; the Bible. In this present age, this is increasingly harder than in previous generations, because there a million-and-one new things to tempt us.

I was reading my Bible App by YouVersion and I came across a couple of verses that act as encouragement to Believers. Titus 2: 11-12 (New International Version) says;

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 

I found this verse particularly interesting because it shows that God understands the added pressure that many of us feel every day.  Therefore, the passage offers a solution, something that helps relieve the pressure. And that is the grace of God. Grace is favour that is given to us by God. Breaking it down even further; it is the strength to live life, to overcome temptation and test and to have peace and joy. This Bible verse specifically mentions that the grace of God is the common denominator that people of faith need in order to distinguish their selves from the world. When I refer to ‘the world’, I refer to people that don’t know God or things that are not of God. These are things that Christians say ‘no thanks!’ to because it doesn’t agree with God’s word – the Bible.

The amplified version of this scripture dives even deeper into this passage, adding elaborations for us to understand even better. Titus 2: 11-12 (Amplified Version)

11 For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind.

12 It has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness (irreligion) and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world,

When we have the Holy Spirit within us, we are able to see what is of God and what isn’t. Verse 12 (AMP) says, “… worldly (passionate) desires…”: a person who doesn’t have Jesus in their heart is more likely to be driven by emotions in life. But as Christians, we know that all things happen for our good, as illustrated in Romans 8:28. We are not swayed by emotions and feelings; we have our eyes and mind and perspective set on the things of God and His overall purpose for our lives.

 

Just something that was in my heart:)

 

Peace&Love.

Paula ox’

EXAMS – How to deal with the stress

It’s that time of year when young people around the world are going through the stress that comes with exams. I have a few simple techniques that will teach you how to deal with the whole process, from revision and studying to the actual exams. I hope you enjoy the video, and I hope it helps.

Click here for more exam advice.

Good luck x
and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel, I’ll be posting videos regularly.

Peace&Love.
Paula ox’

Why smoking is a gross habit

Smoking is such a disgusting, repulsive habit that I literally cannot stand. This post is not to say that Smokers themselves are bad people, because I genuinely don’t believe that they are. This post is to highlight how bad the habit is.

In the UK, over 10 MILLION people smoke, and sadly, 200,000 children between the ages on 11 and 15 smoke too. Two thirds of smokers start smoking before 18 and are totally hooked by the time they become fully grown adults. (ASH.org.uk, 2014)

A lot of young people smoke nowadays, which is something I say full of regret. There is this brand-new phenomenon called ‘social smoking’, which is where (and I quote) you don’t really smoke but if you’re with your friends and they’re smoking, then you’ll smoke. Is it only me who finds that stupidly immature and amazingly ridiculous? If you’re going to smoke, smoke because you want to, not because your friend asked you too (not that you should smoke, anyway).

This phenomenon has swept the nation, causing smoking areas to be added to colleges (which I am also against, by the way). It feels like these students are practically back at primary school where the popular girl or boy says everyone should wear a red scarf or says everyone shouldn’t play with someone and everyone listens, because they were all mindless sheep (Sorry but that’s how my primary and high school experiences were, I don’t know about you guys). It is ridiculous.

In all seriousness, peer pressure can really be a huge battle to fight against. You can feel different and isolated when you don’t smoke, especially if all your friends do. This can feel terrible, there is no denying that, but seriously, peer pressure is no excuse. Every year, 100,000 smokers die due to their addiction (ASH.org.uk, 2014). Sorry to be blunt, but you will NOT take your friend who introduced you to smoking with you to the grave. You’ll just take yourself.

Cigarettes don’t taste nice (I’m totally guessing because I have NEVER tried one and I don’t plan on trying one), so the reason for trying one and starting the habit is because someone first offered you one and you thought, “ooh better accept it because I don’t want to look like a loser. It’s only one ciggie and Mum isn’t here so she’ll never know.” My smoking friends have never been brave enough to try and offer me a cigarette because they know I’d probably stuff it up their nose. But, I do understand how tempting this may seem to someone who is totally reliant on what people think about them. Fair enough. I just want you to believe me entirely when I say, your real friends would respect you even if you choose to not smoke with them. If they make you feel downgraded because you don’t join them, they are not real friends. Period.

How do you guys even afford it? I’ve always wondered that. I used to know this girl who was so addicted to smoking that she would steal money from her mum’s purse. Then she got to the age where she could work, and began looking for a job so she could fuel her addition. Crazy. Just obsessive.

My tip to not falling for the craze of smoking is to be sure of yourself. If you say to yourself, “I won’t smoke.” then no one can make you smoke (unless they stuffed it in your mouth, then I would call the police because I’m pretty sure that is called assault). But to help yourself, trying and stay away from areas where everyone around you is smoking. You become a second-hand smoker (don’t even get me started on second hand smoking! I hate when everyone is blowing smoke in your face, like ‘mate, if I wanted to smoke and kill myself with you, I would have asked!’). Just don’t put yourself in the situation where you feel pushed to do something you don’t want to do, and don’t put yourself in the scene where you look abnormal because you aren’t doing what everyone else is doing. Just don’t do that to yourself.

(Source: http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_93.pdf)

Random question: is it true that smoking can turn your lips black? *gags*

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. I wrote this because someone asked me how I managed to not give in to peer pressure and join the large smokers community based at my college. I tried to make it funny (well, I wouldn’t say tried. I just am, lol) because it’s such a serious topic that talking about it makes it seem like I’m ranting and deliberately attacking people who smoke, because I really am not. I am so passionate about young people and it hurts to see young people literally cutting their lives in half because of a 10cm stick. It really hurts. So take this as advice and inspiration and not as rebuke.

 

Peace&Love.

Paula ox’

Who do you think influences you more – your family or your friends?

So, I’d like to discuss the idea that nowadays friends and peers influence teenagers more than their families do. Is that true? And if so, why is that? I mean, surely the people who birthed you, looked after you and everything in that nature should be the people you look up to the most. I asked lots of different the same question and here are a few of their answers and interpretation as to who influences them.

Who influences you the most, your friends or family, and why?

  •  I’d say friends because I tend to avoid my family. That’s because they annoy a lot and it’s a lot easier to leave my friends when they get on my nerves.  – Male, 16
  • I would like to say both but honestly, it’s my family. I think it’s the fact that you’re always around your family as you grow up so you learn things from siblings and learn to obey your parents. – Female, 16
  • Friends influence me more in the sense that we are in the same age group and so we can relate to each other. We keep each other updated with the latest hot topics, gossip and trends. – Female, 25
  • Well, I’d say friends, probably because your friends understand how you feel on a mutual level, whereas family may only see things from their point of view, a majority of the time. In this way, you could also relate to a friend’s choices which would make me feel like I am more influenced by friends as to making choices, than family. – Female, 16
  • I say friends because you choose to spend more time with your friends than family. – Male, 16
  • Personally, it would be family but not necessarily my parents because they’re boring and don’t fully understand my generation. I would say, however, that I am influenced by my older siblings especially my older brother is who I really look up to and I would say is the  biggest influence in my life. – Male, 16
  • I think both the groups of people are equally influential in a young person’s life because regardless of how much time someone spends at home with their family, their peers and friends outside of the home are people they can relate to the most. So friends are likely to influence them a lot, as well. – Female, 16
  • I am going to say family influence me the most because family members are always around to push you to do what they want you to do, or what they think is best for you.- Male, 17
  • I would say that friends influence me more, although it may not seem like it, we really do spend a lot of time with our friends. A large majority of our colloquial terms have been adopted from our friends & peers and sometimes even personality traits. By this I mean, the way we act, our use of register, and how we address people, whether this may be formal and informally. Moreover, we care considerably more about the opinions of our friends than we care our parents. If our mum or dad suggested we saw a movie we wouldn’t necessarily be persuaded into going to watch that movie, until perhaps a friend mentions it. In a way, we are sort of driven by the social desirability presented to us by our friends. – Female, 17
  • Friends influence young people more at this stage of their lives than their family. They tend to value the opinion of other young people (not only just friends) above that of their family members. – Female, over 25
  • I would say both family and friends influence me in different ways. Family because they initially set up whom I am as a person. There are certain immoral things that I could never do because my mum and dad have brought me up that way. Your culture also plays a part; certain decisions I make will be influenced by where I am from and my culture and heritage. On the other hand, friends influence me on the day-to-day things, as I tend to see them regularly. Sometimes the influence I get from my friends clashes with that of my family. – Female, 16
  • I would say both groups influence young people. There is a wide diversity of types of young people, some who are more influenced by friends and some influenced by family, depending on the individual. Some listen to their family more as they are close to them and can gain guidance from them. Others prefer to speak to their friends about personal issues they may not feel comfortable discussing with parents, e.g. relationships or social lives. They may however confide in their siblings, depending on how close they are to them. – Male, over 25

After receiving all these different views I was confused as to what I thought the answer of this question is. I think young people are like sponges, especially at adolescence; they absorb information, behaviour and ideology from the things and people they see and hear around them. If you are always at home with your family, you’ll be more influenced by your family, of course. But also, you’ll be influenced largely by the media and internet. If you’re at home all of the time, as well as spending time with your family, you’re also watching TV, browsing the internet or reading books, thereby becoming aware of lots of new things. The new things you learn may influence the way you think, reason and perceive things and people in life. Likewise, if you’re never at home, love hanging out with your friends, and are the life of the party, you’ll obviously be influenced by your friends more. Therefore, my verdict is that it depends on the individual. You may initially have been mainly influenced by your family, as a child, but as you grew up and grew in independence, so did the places you searched for influence.

This is my interpretation. Comment bellow with yours.