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Think on These Things: Challenging Thoughts for Teen Girls Review by Donna Campos and Dawn OaksBy Jan Van Hee
Sable Creek Press
PO Box 12217
Glendale, Arizona 85318
Think on These Things: Challenging Thoughts for Teen Girls is a devotional book with glossy soft cover. It is a spiral-bound book of 5" x 8" inches with 72 pages. It includes 31 devotions intended to help teen girls understand principles from God's Word. All included Scripture comes from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible. A one-page Introduction provides a breakdown of the devotional components (Praise, Prayer, and Project), with examples of each. The spiral allows the book to fold flat against itself, making it easy to make journal notes and read in any location comfortably. The book is also thin enough to fit within a Bible cover alongside a Bible.
Each devotion is a single page, with one page of journaling space following. Devotions begin with a verse, and additional Scriptures are referenced within the devotions. The various entries approach issues of honesty, fairness, appropriate dress, attitude, the cost of complaining, fear, trust, and the need for church. The last three devotions are entitled "Hidden Treasures," "God Hears!" and "God Cares!" Projects include asking a godly leader for ideas on how to study the Bible, Scripture memorization, selecting a woman you consider to be a beautiful Christian woman and listing why, comparing your wardrobe to God's guidelines, Scripture reading, and more. Users will also examine friendships, determine how to share their faith with others, and create a Prayer Journal. Simple truths abound in the study, and Jan Van Hee uses understandable examples to demonstrate the truths. Femininity is addressed well, including mannerisms that can detract from the beauty God intends for women to project.
I loved the format, as did my teen daughter. The single-page study was short enough for a quiet moment, while the activities provided additional thought and time for the topic to sink in. Text is on the right page, with journaling space behind. The pages are thick enough for writing on, but as my daughter is heavy-handed, her "ink dents" (as we like to call them) definitely showed through with indentations on the page. It was a good thing the journal pages were on the back of each devotion page. By the time she was journaling, she had already read the text, and if a bit of ink showed through it wasn't bothersome.
Overall, Think on These Things: Challenging Thoughts for Teen Girls is a good book of devotions for young girls. The format is convenient for their busy lifestyles, and the content deals with many of the issues they face daily. The studies are basic enough for all levels of Christian, and you could easily make it a deeper study by focusing more intently on the projects and some additional Scripture. The author covers femininity on all levels--not just the physical or just the spiritual, but the entire package. She presents good reasons to carry yourself well with good posture, as we do want a certain amount of acceptance among others in order to spread the gospel. I was particularly amused at her honesty when discussing a "girl who swings her hips and thrusts out her chest wants the wrong kind of attention." It is that type of direct discussion young girls need to hear when dealing with these topics. As with many other Bible studies, I encourage mothers to complete the series with their daughters, or at least to preview the study before passing it to their teens so that they are prepared for frank discussion and assistance as needed. Think on These Things: Challenging Thoughts for Teen Girls is a good devotional book dealing with necessary topics as we desire to lead our teens closer to Christ.
Think on These Things: Challenging Thoughts for Teen Girls addresses the greatest challenge in raising teen girls. My husband and I have spent hours contemplating how to raise our girls to be women of virtue and Godly character.
We came to the conclusion, like many who have gone before us, that external constraints such as curfews, limits on the types of television programs and movies that they are allowed to watch, guidelines for friends that they are permitted to develop close relationships with, and guidelines for modest dress are necessary; but they do not bring about personal convictions or heart transformations that are necessary to develop God-like hearts.
What resources can we make available to our girls to assist them as they travel this bridge between childhood and adulthood? Of course, our first and foremost resource is the Word of God. It has the power to transform the heart--the place where personal convictions begin. In the author's biographical sketch, it says that Jan Van Hee was saved as a teen and has always had a special burden and love for teenagers. This is very apparent in her writings and tone in addressing the teen girls that may use Think on These Things.
Think on These Things is a devotional guide that has 31 separate devotions. Each devotion presents a key Bible verse related to the topic for that day and then a discussion of the topic. The back of each devotion is a lined page for your daughter's self-reflection and meditation. Van Hee encourages the user to write her own praise, prayer, and project of the day. Examples are provided throughout for those who are just beginning on their Christian walk or are becoming more independent in their own personal study away from family devotional times. Here is an example of the content:
Day 6 - Impure
"Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8
"If you were thirsty and someone offered you a bottle of purified water, you would gladly take it. But what if they first stirred in a teaspoon of dirt? Would you still want to drink it? Of course not! It would no longer be pure. But what is only a teaspoon of dirt to twelve ounces of purified water? It seems like such a little amount of pollution. But even a few grains of dirt could contain germs that might make you sick. . . ."
Today's Praise - How wonderful to know God has purified my heart by saving me from sin!
Today's Prayer - Lord, help me to avoid anything that would make me impure.
Today's Project - Do a spiritual housecleaning. Get rid of books, magazines, music, games, DVDs, and anything else you possess that is morally or spiritually unclean.
I was so encouraged as my daughter shared with me that this particular devotion on Day 6 not only prompted her to be more grateful for her purity, but also burdened her heart to share the importance of this with her friends. She had just recently received a purity ring from my husband for her birthday. She became convicted by this particular devotion to share with each of her friends the true significance of her new ring and to ask them to make a similar commitment with her for their own purity.
Although we had already discussed some of these ideas with our daughter, her new resolve came from making the Scriptures her own through her use of Think on These Things. This is only one instance in which I witnessed her spiritual growth as a result of using this devotional guide.
This devotional guide is very appealing to the eye, with very eloquent artwork and a feminine font style and size. Each Scripture reference is presented in the King James Version. The devotional is spiral-bound, which makes it easy to use and write one's reflections. Retail pricing for this guide is $7.95, making it also a very viable option for any homeschool group to use in a Christian character class for young ladies.
The very first key verse presented by Van Hee in Think on These Things is Philippians 4:8--"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Van Hee does a remarkable job of exemplifying this scripture in the devotions in this book. She provides young ladies with encouragement and confidence in becoming ladies of great beauty from the inside out.