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reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior written permission from the publisher, except where noted in the text and in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to group.com/ permissions. group.com simplyyouthministry.com Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Credits
Author: Jacqueline Pierre
Executive Developer: Nadim Najm Editor: Rob Cunningham
Chief Creative Officer: Joani Schultz Art Director: Veronica Lucas
Production Manager: DeAnne Lear ISBN 978-0-7644-8192-5 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 Printed in the United States of America.
I dedicate this book, first and foremost, to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who paid the price for my sin on the cross and gave me his precious words to guide and direct me through this crazy life. And to the four most infatuated people I know: my family. To my Dad and Mom for loving me, for showing me what it means to be infatuated with God’s Word, for modeling service in the church in front of me, and for creating a happy home for me, my entire life. To my brother, Robert, for his sacrificial support, the godly example he sets for me to follow, and for his signature rambunctious love he has freely offered this little sister. And to “Mom” for her generous love, her rock solid counsel, and her wealth of knowledge, especially biblical, that I have been privileged to sit under, as her granddaughter. I love you guys with all my heart.
I will never forget the night Billy Graham spoke this earthquaking statement in my presence! He said, “The world has yet to see what God can do with one human life, completely yielded and sold out to him!” Now after reading Jacqueline Pierre’s awe-inspiring Totally Infatuated, I’m convinced she’s well on her way to shaking the youth of our nation! Starting at chapter 1, and never stopping till the last word of chapter 11, I was overwhelmed, overjoyed, and totally infatuated! JP’s young ability to inspire the “whole of me” blessed me as much as any evangelist’s message to the masses. I am proud to call her “lil sis,” but most of all, a female David—a world changer!
-Michael Tait Grammy® Award-Winning Recording Artist, Newsboys and DC Talk
Confession: I am infatuated with JP and her vision! First an adorable, infectious little girl, then a fierce competitor through junior high. Now a beautiful young woman directing her God-given passion into others finding what she discovered in God’s Word! Listen to her. Learn from her and love what she loves. Follow her advice in Totally Infatuated and your life will sparkle with the glory of God as hers does!
-James MacDonald Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel Walk in the Word Broadcast Ministries
This book is like Red Bull® for your Bible desire! It’s full-on, solid, serious, noplaying, standing up for God’s Word! True to the bone, heart and passion about the Bible being the call maker on all decisions in life! Jacqueline puts the Bible back in its rightful place, in front of our eyes and hidden in our hearts!
-Tony Nolan Author and Speaker
As a pastor and dad of junior high students, I’m grateful for the message God has given Jacqueline. It’s great substance made clear and simple—taking on the fundamentals of what it means to practically and thoughtfully live the Christlife. She ups the ante for the reader ready to get serious about the substance of God’s Word and its inherent purpose to infect belief and behavior. God’s Word, a genuine walk with Christ, friends, identity issues...all here...so buckle up and read!
-Joel Anderson Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel Orlando
This is a great book that any teenager could relate to. Jacqueline approaches every adolescent’s main struggle—identity. She does this by relating to her peers, and with an honest desire to speak truth to their hearts. A must-read for any teen that feels like there’s more than this world has to offer.
-Jeff Owen Recording Artist, Tenth Avenue North
If the Bible has made no real impact on your life, I challenge you to listen to a 15-year-old who’s been rocked by its message in ways that would surprise you. Every student in America needs to read this book!
-Johnny Scott Christ In Youth
Jacqueline Pierre’s Totally Infatuated is something you rarely find these days, a book with honesty, passion, and heart. She writes in a way that truly captures the spirit of a young adult trying to change the world for Christ. Courageous and convicting at times and lovingly affectionate at others, Totally Infatuated is a sincere prayer to help us all understand life’s journey by keeping the Word of God close to our heart. Pierre’s passion for the Bible runs deep, and after reading this book, when it comes to the Word of God, “I trust that you, too, will become totally infatuated.”
-Dave Frey Recording Artist, Sidewalk Prophets
I N FA T U A T E D : To have an all-absorbing passion.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1: TOTALLY INFATUATED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Chapter 2: WHO AM I? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Chapter 3: THE BATTLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Chapter 4: COPYCAT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Chapter 5: BFF’S. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 Chapter 6: IN VS. OF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Chapter 7: OMG… IT’S A BIG DEAL! . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 Chapter 8: PARENTS MATTER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 Chapter 9: THE TWO-FACED COIN . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 Chapter 10: ARE YOU GOING TO ANSWER THAT CALL? . .55 Chapter 11: BECOMING INFATUATED . . . . . . . . . . . . .59
I’m not a teenager. But I’m the parent of two teenagers, and in my role as a youth pastor I have spent the last 25 years hanging out with teenagers just like you. And I have a confession to make: I think you happen to be the COOLEST people on the planet! That’s why when Jacqueline asked me to write a brief foreword for this book, I was thrilled to do so. When I first read the title—Totally Infatuated—I wasn’t sure what this book might be about. After all, teenage girls like Jacqueline could be “totally infatuated” with just about anything, and I was a little nervous about what I might read in these pages. So it would be fair to say I was shocked—and thrilled—to discover that this book is all about the Bible! I don’t know exactly how much time the average teenage follower of Jesus spends reading his/her Bible each week, but I’m pretty sure of this: It’s not much. And because most teenagers don’t do much Bible reading, they don’t know much about it and how it relates to the world they find themselves navigating. One of my youth pastor friends recently had an experience that illustrates this. She decided to do a brief survey of the high schoolers in her youth group to test their Bible knowledge. To her dismay, 87 percent of the students couldn’t even name all four Gospels! (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John…in case you were wondering!) These weren’t unchurched teenagers, or students who were brand-new to the faith; they had been around a while, and most of them considered themselves Christians. 1
Most teenagers simply don’t read their Bible. And that’s why I love any book about the Bible that is written for teenagers, especially one like this that is written for teenagers by a teenager! (Wow, how many times can I say “teenager” in this paragraph?) In this book you will experience three things, and my prayer for you is that one or two of them will grab your attention and make you want to explore God’s Word a little more often on your own. First, you will read some compelling historical facts about the Bible: where it came from, the sacrifices made for us to have our own copies, and a bunch of other stuff. CRAZY stuff! Second, as you read you will “hear” Jacqueline’s enthusiasm and infatuation for God’s Word. Third, you will see how the Bible clearly speaks to some typical teenage issues—things you may be wrestling with or things that have left you wondering where to find answers. A book like Totally Infatuated should never be read as a replacement for the Bible. Instead, books like this are meant to serve as a sort of springboard or launching pad to a lifetime of reading God’s Word. But be warned: When you start spending time reading and exploring the Bible, you—just like Jacqueline has seen in her life— will become totally infatuated with it! Praying for you,
Youth Pastor, Saddleback Church
TOTA L LY I N FAT UAT E D
efore I was even born, my grandfather began collecting old Bibles—really, really old Bibles. You may think that sounds pretty dusty and boring, but it might not after you hear the story that started it all. You see, back in the 1500s, England was ruled by a ruthless queen named Mary. Well, Mary decided to make a law that you could not own a Bible that was written in English. In fact, anyone who possessed a Bible that was written in English would be killed—found, captured, and dragged out into a public place, and their flesh set on fire. I can’t even imagine it! Despite all that, some amazing people were so infatuated with the Word of God that they would do ANYTHING to keep it—even sacrifice their lives. So Mary killed many, many people in this way: men, women, and even children. This is how the queen earned the name “Bloody Mary.” 3
Evidence for the authority of the Scriptures* • 5,366 ancient Greek manuscripts of the Greek New Testament • More than 10,000 Hebrew manuscripts of the Hebrew Old Testament, without variant • Only 70 years between the life of Christ and the completion of the Gospels • Only 100 years between the original autographs and our first known New Testament copy • Out of the 20,000 lines of New Testament text, only minor (nondoctrinal) variations on only 40 lines • Consistency, despite 40 authors, 66 books, 1,500year span, and three languages • 333 Old Testament prophecies (with 456 specific details) fulfilled in Jesus Christ • Jesus considered the Old Testament to be authoritative • More than 20 nonbiblical sources record parts of the life of Christ
As these people were burning at the stake and their bodies began to bleed, the soldiers were commanded to take each person’s Bible, dip it into the puddle of blood, hold it up to show the horrified crowds, and then hurl it into the fire to burn, as well. Heavy stuff, right? Well, here’s where the story get’s good. See, my grandfather happened upon an English Bible from one of those events. Imagine that! A 500-year-old Bible. (That’s more than twice as old as the United States!) A Bible that, amazingly, had been rescued before it burned along with its owner. But even though it survived, it still bore the scars from being at that scene of death: Each and every page was stained brick red from being dipped in the blood of the one who died for it. A powerful reminder of the passionate sacrifice of some unidentified owner! I hate to take a break from this amazing story right now, but I have to think that you are wondering the same thing I wondered when I first heard this story: “What is it about this book that makes people so totally infatuated with it?” Well, the Bible is such an incredible treasure because it contains the very words of God, in written form, so you and I can understand God and God’s will for us.
God—the almighty creator of the universe, all-powerful, all-knowing— has sent us a written letter!
Now, I know most of us don’t get too many letters in the mail these days, but if you would allow me to use a somewhat lame illustration, it’s kind of like getting a text. Can you imagine that? What if God sent you a text? Would you read it? (Bzzzzzzzz. Oh, it’s a text from God himself.) Yeah, of course you would read it! Well, God HAS sent you a text— maybe not one on your cell phone, but one that was meant for you, carefully written down in the Bible.
Archaeology supports the facts of Scripture: • Belshazzar, last king of Babylon • Cuneiform dating preMoses, proving written language before Moses • Stone monuments with the name of King David • The Hittites • Inscription with Pilate’s name
The next question you may ask is, “How do you know? How do you know the Bible contains the very words of God?” Another great question! Just because I believe that the Bible is filled with God’s words (or just because your mom or your dad or your pastor believes that) doesn’t make it true. Tons of people believe in the tooth fairy, but that doesn’t make her real. However, the thing about the Bible is that it can totally stand, no matter how or by whom it is evaluated. For centuries, people have studied the facts and accuracy of the Bible, to see if they hold up as true. And guess what? Every word in the Bible has been proven true and reliable, whether it’s a statement related to science or history or medicine. 5
“In all the writings of Buddha, Confucius, and Lao-tse, you will not find a single example of predicted prophecy. In the Koran (the writings of Muhammed) there is only one instance of a specific prophecy—a self-fulfilling prophecy—that he, Muhammed himself, would return to Mecca. Quite different from the prophesy of Jesus who said that He would return from the grave. One is easily fulfilled, and the other is impossible to any human being…The prophesies of Scripture, on the other hand, are incredibly specific and detailed. In the Old Testament alone there are two thousand predictive prophesies, not a few lucky guesses.” D. James Kennedy ”
In fact, there is more historical and archaeological evidence for the Word of God than any other book known to man! And if that’s not enough, the Bible has predicted hundreds of things that have all come to happen, right to the smallest detail—in some cases, up to thousands of years ahead of time. Only God can do that! So, going back to our opening story, there my grandfather sat looking at this blood-stained Bible and thinking about, for the first time, people dying for the right to have a Bible they could read. Dying for it! This kind of passion inspired him, and he began to collect very old, rare Bibles from all over the world, each one with a unique story about an owner—many who gave their whole life to protect or pass on the Bible. It is now one of the largest collections in private hands. (Oh, and by the way, it includes that blood-stained Bible.)
This is the link to the VanKampen Collection if you want to check it out: solagroup.org/vkc.html
All this is very cool, but there is still one question out there. We know WHAT the Bible is. We know HOW it is the very Word of God. But the last question is, “WHY? Why did God bother to communicate to us?” The answer is because God loves us, he wants us to know him, and he wants to give us hope (see Romans 15:4-5). And because God loves us, we can love him, and we want to know what he has to say to us. Even though the Bible was written a long time ago, God’s words do not become outdated. God’s words are not like our cell phones and computers that become ridiculously obsolete every five years! And God’s words have so much power that anyone who reads them and responds to them is never the same—they become a different person. They become totally infatuated with God’s words. Whether that reader lived in the year 500, the year 1000, or here in the 21st century! My name is Jacqueline Pierre, and I’m one of those people. I happily join the ranks of some of the greatest men and women in history who have loved the Word of God—people like John Wycliffe, John Hus, Martin Luther, William Tyndale, and John Calvin, just to name a few. Another was King David. In Psalm 119, he tells God about his love 11 times! Here are a few of those verses:
…for I find my delight in your commandments, which I love (verse 47) Consider how I love your precepts (verse 159). Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold (verse 127)
My soul keeps your testimonies; I love them exceedingly (verse 167).
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