"My name is Sarah Butler. I'm 17 years old, and currently a junior at Central Arkansas Christian. To say the least, I'm blessed beyond belief.
I've attended CAC my entire life, and by going there I've partaken in some truly humbling events. I've seen others with a tougher lifestyle while doing mission work at school, and after cheering on disabled kids at their track meet, it's hard to not realize this: As tough as life may be, someone is experiencing much worse.
We all have had tragic events in our lifestyle. My father passed away in a car wreck when I was almost two, and I lost all of my grandparents before I was even ten years old. Some days it's really tough to cope those losses. When I get done playing basketball some nights, I lay down exhausted but one thought continually goes through my head, “Why can't my dad be here? I want him to be able to cheer me on.” The truth is, I'm never going to know why. But what I've realized is that it's not about me, I'm a part of something so much bigger than myself. I'm a part of God's master plan. This life isn't supposed to be about me. This life is about Him. It's about spreading His love and realizing my blessings far outweigh my struggles. My needs are always taken care of and if I'm honest with myself I don't deserve even that. God has given me an incredible stepdad and he's the only dad I've ever really known. God always provides. I'm unworthy of a perfect God while I'm an imperfect sinner. Luckily God's grace is enough.
Peer pressure is going to come around constantly, and I have failed many times. I have had alcohol before and I have struggled with that. I don't party and get hammered but I have had sips, gulps and almost a drink here and there. I'm ashamed of it but my God forgives. I don't even try alcohol anymore and I don't plan on it ever again, because I know how damaging it can be to a person. God healing me in this area has been a huge blessing.
My motto has always been to stay positive and pray about everything. Prayer works, and prayer heals. Circumstances are not always in our favor, but God is always in our favor and God's strength has never been and never will be matched. I was baptized when I was seven, which is a very young age. I go through a couple of months when I spiritually deprive myself by not reading my Bible. No one ever said being a Christian was easy, but it's the peace deep down in my heart that shows me I could never make it without Him.
I used to not hang out with the best people. When I read and really understood 1 Corinthians 15:33, I knew I had to make a change. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’” I made the change to hang out with more positive friends, who lead me closer and closer to God daily. They have been such a blessing and I'm more than happy with the life I live.
My life is better than I could have ever thought to ask for and I live daily by my favorite verse, Philippians 3:14. “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” I'm trying my hardest to show God's love, work hard at school, and give God glory in basketball and in my words, thoughts and actions. Be thankful you can pray to your best friend, Father, and the Healer of all wounds every day of your life and be thankful that He sent his Son to save everyone who believes in Him and give us a perfect Man to model our lives after every single day of our lives. God bless."
Age: 17 years old
Attends: Central Arkansas Christian
Little Rock, Arkansas
"Hi, my name is Halley Hill. I'm going to be a junior at North Little Rock High School and I just want to share with you about my walk with Christ.
I've always grown up in a Christian household. My mom and dad love The Lord more than any people I know and I'm definitely blessed to have them. They support me in everything I do and I know that no matter what, they're going to push me to be the best I can be. Especially spiritually. Ever since I was young, they've read the bible to me and always shared Jesus with me. We pray together as a family all the time and there's nothing stronger than a family based on Christ.
When I was 6-7 years old, I went to my parents and asked if they would help me ask Jesus into my heart. They said of course and that's when I started believing in God. It wasn't until I was 11, that I was baptized. I wanted to make sure I knew what it meant, and how to live out a Godly life. That was still a young age and God wasn't quite my #1 focus.
In 2011, I had the opportunity to go to Africa on a mission trip with my church. Let me tell you something, if you ever feel like you don't have anything...take a look at the kids over there. They have no clothes, no families, and no access to schools. Our church is a part of an orphanage called Kenya relief and it has about 115 kids in it. Churches all around donate to this one orphanage providing these kids with food, school supplies, clothes, and also money. While I was there, being a Christian really hit another level for me. I realized how blessed I was and how I never thanked The Lord for having a bed to sleep in, a house to live in, or even parents that love me and do so much for me. That trip has changed my life forever. God definitely did work while I was there and I could not be more thankful I got to experience what I did.
If any of you know me, I'm an athlete. I play basketball at NLR and I also play AAU for an organization called Team AR Elite. I used to play every sport possible, but I realized basketball was the one for me. I don't just play basketball because I love it. I don't just play to stay in shape. I don't just play to have fun. I play to glorify Christ and spread His word. I use basketball as a platform to tell others about Jesus and what He did for us. I've made so many friendships and spread the gospel so much more once I started playing for Him. There's not a game that goes by that I don't pray before. It doesn't give me an edge over any other players or even make me better, it gives me peace knowing that He doesn't care how well I play as long as I give Him my best effort and glorify him through the goods and the bads. I always pray that God will be strong where I am weak. I'm not the quickest kid, but I pray that God will be strong in me through that. I also pray that God will steal my show. I don't want any glory to me. I want it all to go to Him because he's the one who gave me the talent. Once you start playing for God, and glorify Him through your sport, you have a complete different mentality than you did before. You just want to honor Him.
I have this saying that I say a lot. G3. It means Give God Glory. I'm not sure who made it up, but I do know my friend Jack Thomas from CAC introduced me to it. I have it everywhere. It's on my license plate, it's on my basketball shoes, it's on my folders at school. I also use this saying as a platform to tell others about Jesus. People ask me all the time what it means, and that just a gateway for me to start talking to them about what Jesus did for us. To glorify God means to bring Him honor through what we say, how we act, and how we think. To glorify God means to acknowledge His glory and to value it above all things. To glorify God means we make it known to others. To glorify God means we have a heart felt gratitude. We glorify God through our Faith. We glorify God through our love. We glorify God through our desire to obey Him. We glorify God with our desire to know Him. Whether I'm on the court, the classroom, with friends, or by myself, I just want to glorify God in everything I do.
I'm not a kid who's grown up with a hard life. I'm not a kid who's parents are divorced. To say the least, I'm so blessed. My parents give all they have for me to succeed in sports and in the classroom. They take me from workouts to practices all the time, and are always there to help me with school work or study for tests. Here recently, two weeks ago, my dad had a surgery called gastric sleeve. It's where they take out a significant amount of your stomach for weight loss. My dads surgery went well. He came home the next day and started feeling terrible pain. A staple had ripped in his stomach and so it caused a hole. This meant acid, fluids, medicine, everything was flowing all through my dads body because there was a hole. He had to go in for emergency surgery. The likelihood of me loosing my dad last Saturday, was very high. My mom, my dad, and I sat in his room before surgery and he started trying to say his goodbyes to me. If that's not hard, knowing you could possibly lose your dad within the next hour, then I don't know what is. We all grabbed each other and started praying. God protected my dad in surgery that day, but more was left to come. The next day, my dad ripped another hole in his stomach....but luckily, after many tests, he did not have to go into surgery again. The body is healing itself. As of August 13, he's still in the hospital and most likely gets out today. So God showed a miracle through that these past 12 days and I really learned that I had to rely on Him and not others.
For my future. I want to play college basketball. I do not care where. I don't care if it's D1, D2, D3 or even NAIA. I just want to go where I can make the biggest impact on the court, and the biggest impact spiritually.
There's things about being a Christian that makes life so much harder, but it is so worth it. God is someone who never leaves you; He's there when no one else is. He loves us so much that He sent His one and only son to come and die the worst death possible for us. For me and you. Just so we could have the opportunity to have an intimate relationship with Jesus. I promise, once you choose to follow Jesus and really start living it out, your life will be changed forever. G3"
Age: 16 years old
Attends: North Little Rock, Arkansas
North Little Rock, Arkansas
"My name is Blake Holmes and I will be a freshman at the University of Central Arkansas in the fall of 2013. I’ve always looked at myself as being blessed throughout my life. God really has blessed me way more than I have realized. He put me in a great church growing up and gave me a wonderful and great family. I may not have a normal family but they are my family and I love them and thank God that He put me here. He gave me one of the best gifts in the world and that is the ability to play sports. Sports are my life. I’ve played baseball since I was four and basketball since I was seven. I don’t know where I would be without them. That’s where I met my good friend Mike Hairston and we played on the Phillies together. I thank God that He gave me the ability to play because they taught me a lot. Not just the sport itself but I always had great coaches that knew exactly what they are doing. They taught me a whole lot about life. God really uses people throughout your life to point you where you need to go. Some people listen some don’t but I am glad I listened."
Age: 18 years old
Attends: University of Central Arkansas
"God has helped me get through a lot. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't be the basketball player I am today! He continues to bless me everyday! He's always there when I need him! Each day I wake up I thank him for making the person I am today and giving me strength to go make myself better at what I love to do!! Every pair of my shoes have G3 on them because every game and practice I have to Give God Glory for all he has done! Each day I also thank God for my family and blessing me to have food on the table and clothes on my back everyday!!"
Age: 17 years old
Attends: North Little Rock High School
North Little Rock, Arkansas
"Ever since my concussion, things haven't been the same. Its truly a blessing that I've gained my memory back though. Days after my concussion I could barely write, didnt know any ones name or the months of the year, couldn't tie my shoes, & I couldnt play sports for a while. Life was pretty much black & white. I didn't know anyone so really I couldn't open up to anyone. The things I wanted to talk about were held in because I didnt trust anyone just yet. Instagram & Twitter & other social networks were pointless to me at the time. People day after day constantly told me to pray & pray all the time. I prayed every morning, before I woke up & before I went to bed. After a while my memory became more clear. I know more people in public, began to remember myself & the things I was known for, my appetite was back to normal & by the day things became the same . God has helped me so much & I cant thank him enough for guiding me through those scary moments of my concussion. I was like a young naive boy lost in the universe with no one to talk to but myself. Now I am back to normal, playing sports, back in school, & enjoying life on the daily basis." Some of you may know but for others that do not know, Kelvin Robinson suffered a serious concussion one day during school and literally forgot everything but he has been one of God's little angel's and healed him."
Age: 14 years old
Attends: Episcopal Collegiate School
From: Little Rock, Arkansas
"Growing up I always attended church. God has been part of my life since day one. I remember going to church 3 or 4 times a week as a young kid. And at that time I never really understood what all the praising and worshiping was all about. It wasn't until I got older when I started to realize all of the things that God had brought me through. How I would watch tv and everyday a kid my age was killed or a kid my age died in a car accident. The older I got the more I realized how much God meant to me. I began to really develop a relationship with him. I began to find ways to praise him and give him thanks in my own way. Everyone isn't the same. We are all made differently and unique in our on way. You don't have to praise and worship God the same way someone you know does. Find your own way to give thanks to him and I promise you'll make a difference in someone else's life without even knowing it."
Age: 22 years old
Attends: Southeast Missouri State University
From: Little Rock, Arkansas
"At the beginning of my life, it was hard for me due to my size because people would say that tiny people couldn't do as well as taller people. But, God gave me a gift and that gift was the game of basketball. I started out at my own age, but then moved to older ages after coaches saw how I played. "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is The Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6. That is how I felt on the journey to show the world who I am and what I can do. "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13. I did this through my emotions and my game. The Lord has set a path for me to play basketball and it is up to me whether I want to take it or not."
Age: 11 years old
Attends: Episcopal Collegiate School
From: Little Rock, Arkansas
Messages From Beezy
"Inspiring others to believe!"