About This Book


Devout Christian teens care about their connection and elationship with God, but they are also experiencing all the ups and downs of teenage life. This book provides support to teens who care about their faith but are trying to navigate their teenage years. This book includes 101 heartfelt, true stories about love, compassion, loss, forgiveness, friends, school, and faith. It also covers tough issues such as self-destructive behavior, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and divorce.

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Five tips for Christian teens to include faith in their lives

Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christian Teen Talk by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Amy Newmark

For many teens, adolescence is a time to develop an intentional relationship with God. The contributors to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christian Teen Talk share 101 stories of lessons learned, blessings received and faith. Here are five tips for Christian teens who want to include faith in their lives.

1. Place your problems in God’s hands. Fourteen-year-old Irene Budzynski rushed out the house one morning without her usual goodbye kiss to her dad. Although he was sick in bed with chest pains, Irene wasn’t worried and knew she’d see him that afternoon after school. But when Irene arrived home, she learned her dad had died. Numb, Irene no longer cared about school or friends. She constantly thought about her missed moment with her dad. "The hours, the days, the years after my father’s death were blurry and turbulent as I foolishly tried to escape reality," Irene writes. "And time did not heal my wounds." Her grades dropped, friends stopped calling. Finally, she mourned her father’s death. Then she prayed, "and the healing began." Irene says, "The simple act of asking for help was the first step of a long and difficult journey."

2. Use the power of forgiveness. Jennifer Martin was the vice principal of a high school and responsible for dealing with students who got in trouble. When a new student, Dustin, stole his classmate Stephanie’s wallet, Jennifer gave Dustin a week to return the money instead of immediately suspending him. When the week was up, Dustin still hadn’t returned the money and was suspended. Jennifer spoke to Dustin’s father and arranged that he and Dustin would meet with Jennifer and Stephanie to return the money and apologize to Stephanie. Everyone was taken aback when Stephanie said to Dustin, "'I forgive you.’" Dustin had been misbehaving a lot, but he never got in trouble again after that. Jennifer credits Stephanie, saying, "Inside, where it really counts, she was invincible, using her wisdom, power and courage to help a classmate who needed to turn his life around."

3. Give thanks. Michael Manzi and his dad went to church Sunday mornings and baseball games Sunday afternoons. It was a compromise, because Michael went to church only to make his dad happy and his dad went to the baseball games only to be with Michael. Despite this difference, they had a very close relationship. When his dad was badly injured in an accident, Michael had never been so afraid in his life. At the hospital, his dad asked him to pray for him. That Sunday, Michael went to church alone and prayed. Hours later, his dad’s health improved. His dad survived and slowly recovered. "Now when Dad says that Sundays are our days to give thanks, I know what he means," Michael says. "I think of God and Jesus Christ, and I give thanks for all they have given us."

4. Don’t let jealousy get in your way. Elisha Webster did what most sisters would do when she found her younger sister’s diary: she read it. She was jealous that her sister seemed so perfect and successful, so she hoped to uncover a scandalous secret. Instead, Elisha read that she was her sister’s role model. Elisha was shocked and ashamed that she had shut herself off from her only sibling’s love. "Reading the earnest words my sister had written seemed to melt an icy barrier around my heart, and I longed to know her again," Elisha writes, her attitude toward her sister completely changed. "I was finally able to put aside the petty insecurity that kept me from her." She immediately went to her younger sister — "this time to experience instead of to judge, to embrace instead of to fight. After all, she was my sister."

5. Remember you are never alone. Kristina J. Adams felt isolated and unloved during her first year of college. She’d never had a place to call home because her parents were missionaries and moved every year. Her depression grew to the point that she had suicidal thoughts. While she was waiting for an appointment at the campus health clinic because of a cold, Mike, a guy Kristina had briefly met in her dorm, approached her. Mike looked uncomfortable but said he needed to talk to her. He explained that God wanted him to reach out to her about her suicidal thoughts and tell her that she was not alone and that God loved her. Mike’s message touched Kristina and it was the beginning of her healing. "I have been through hard times since," Kristina says, "but I’ve realized that through all of the inevitable ups and downs of life, God reaches out to individuals when they need him."

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