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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Personalize Your Devotions!

by Stephanie Oliver

If you’re into personalizing your stuff, like most teens are, you’ll definitey get into this!

 If you’re a typical teenager, you probably enjoy personalizing your stuff: your computer, your car, your clothing style, your room, and whatever else you call yours. While it seems that in our society everybody wants to be unique, one thing in your life that you may not have personalized is how you spend time with God. A lot of us tend to follow tradition when it comes to worship. But can you imagine if you  personalized your time with God like you do your material things?

Not long ago a friend of mine came up with a brilliant way to spend personal time with God. Instead of following the traditional methods of  reading her Bible through in a year, studying her Sabbath school lesson, or sticking to devotional books, she designed her own study plan. Each day of the week she read or did something different.
For example, on one day she would study Bible prophecy. The next day she would read a devotional thought. The following day she would study Old Testament sanctuary services, and so on. Know what? I think she’s stumbled on the most important part of spending time with God: it’s not about what she reads, it’s about meeting  with God each day.
After a year of spending time with God in various ways, my friend says that she loves designing her own devotional plans, and she feels that she connects with God on a more intimate level.
If you want to spend time with God and enjoy doing it by mixing up how you do it, try these ideas.
Mix up your Bible reading
For gaining a knowledge of God, the Bible is the best source. Here are some ways you can  make reading your Bible more interesting:
• Read portions from either the New Testament or Old Testament—or both. Try comparing verses in different versions to get a better understanding of what you read and its real meaning.
• Read a psalm. Ever short on time? Pick up your Bible and read one.
• Find personal meaning for your life. Open your Bible to Proverbs, read a proverb and write a little paragraph on what it means to you.
• Compare God’s Word. Comparatively read the stories in the Gospels and see what each writer added or left out.
• Study prophecy. There’s a ton of prophecies to study, too. You can study Daniel, Revelation, prophecies about the Messiah, prophecies about the Israelites, and prophecies about how this world is going to end.
• Do a topical study. Look for and find everything the Bible says about a topic that you’re interested in, such as the sanctuary service, end-time events, Christian lifestyle, the Sabbath, the state of the dead, music, God—anything you want to know more about.
Other devotional tools
If you want to explore God through other sources than just the Bible, here are a few that you might want to consider:
• Devotional books. Every year at your local Adventist Book Center store or at the online Adventist Book Center store, you can find a jackpot of devotional books. Look for one that fits your age group and try reading a little bit from it each week. Devotional books are great to read in a car, on a bus, or while you’re eating breakfast.
• Hymns. How many times have you sung a hymn in church but really didn’t focus on its words? Hymn lyrics offer a lot of deep meaning and beautiful language. Read some and up your appreciation for them.
• Your Sabbath school quarterly. If you haven’t noticed lately, your good ole Sabbath school quarterly offers you a little reading or a project to do each day. Try doing one of the readings or projects and ask yourself some reflective questions about it. Hey, who knows, it may give you something to contribute to your class’s Sabbath school lesson discussion.
• Bible study guides. There are many great Bible study guides available, and they’re really helpful for learning more about a specific topic. You might not want to try to complete one every day, but you may want to try using one and then supplementing your study with other readings from the Bible, Christian books, magazines, and devotional books for a thorough look at a topic.
• Ellen White’s books. As the Seventh-day Adventist Church was organizing in the 1800s, God guided a writer named Ellen White to write many books, articles, and manuscripts on almost every subject to help people better understand His Word, the Bible. So as you’re studying the Bible, you may find it helpful to see what she wrote about a particular passage or issue. Often her writings offer a new way to look at God’s Word that provokes good consideration.
• Christian books. Find, borrow, or buy good Christian books. Read a chapter or two each week of one that interests you.
These ideas are just to get you thinking about all the different things you can do to worship God and have a good time doing it. Like my friend, hopefully you, too, will deepen your connection with God.
Stephanie Oliver, who loves personalizing her stuff, is studying journalism and communications at a university in Michigan. 

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