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Rachel Whitaker, Associate Editor

Motorcycle Mania

My friend David who works with me got a motorcycle a few months ago. He loves telling everyone about how much fun it is. When he found out I had never ridden a motorcycle , he offered to take me for a ride. Of course , I was eager to try it out , so yesterday he took me around town for a few minutes. I wished I had my camera , but David said he was glad there would be no evidence! It was fun. It can also be very windy and bumpy when you are going fast. I like to try new things , so I was glad I got a chance to do it.

The cool thing I learned is that when you are riding a motorcycle , other people on motorcycles wave at you! It is like you are part of a new family. I think being an Adventist is sort of like that. If you're ever traveling far from home and meet someone who's an Adventist , or go to an Adventist church , you kind of feel like you're back home. It's neat to be part of God's family.

North Korea

Hi , everybody! It seems like a long time since I've written on here.

We've all been hearing on the news about North Korea. Today I was reading a newsletter from Adventist World Radio that says that North Korea is one of the worst countries in the world for human rights and religious freedom. Political prisoners are put in prison camps where people are forced to work with almost no food until they starve to death or are shot when they become too weak to work. Christians are especially tortured and persecuted. The government even tries to keep people from getting radio broadcasts from outside the country (like the Adventist broadcasts) by selling radios that can only pick up North Korean stations! However , some people smuggle in other radios and listen to Christian programs and news from the outside world. South Koreans have even sent radios and other things over the border attached to small hot air balloons!

I guess sometimes we have to be pretty creative to spread the gospel! I hope and pray that the government will change in North Korea so the people will no longer be starved and abused and can listen to God's message.

Juniors in Arizona

A couple weeks ago I was in Tucson , Arizona , with Randy attending a church convention. Like Randy , I enjoyed seeing the cacti in Saguaro National Park. Unlike Randy , I got the opportunity to visit the junior class at the Midvale Park Seventh-day Adventist Church. Here's a picture of me with the juniors and their teacher. You can see that they decorated their own room by painting a rainbow , angels , and Bible scenes on the walls. Pretty creative! (By the way , I found out their pastor , David Moore , is a Guide fan too!)

Meet the editors at camp meeting!

The Guide editors will be at two camp meetings this year. Rachel will speak for juniors/earliteens at Mountain View Conference camp meeting in West Virginia , June 15-23. Randy will speak for the juniors in British Columbia , July 27-August 4. We'll be talking about "Who Ya Gonna Believe?"--God's truth or Satan's lies. Plan now to be there! Beg your parents to take you , at least on the weekends. :) We hope to see you then. Go to the camp meeting schedule to find out more details.

Guide Outreach

Guide is working on some exciting plans with Voice of Prophecy , an Adventist ministry. VOP has a new series of Bible study lessons for kids , called KidZone. The kids who are doing the lessons will get a flyer inviting them to visit the Guide Web site. And if everything goes according to plan , every kid who finishes the series of lessons will get a free subscription to Guide for themselves or a friend. It's a cool way to introduce more kids , especially those who don't go to an Adventist church , to the fun , faith-building stories in Guide.

Recruiting New Guide Fans

Back at Thanksgiving I got together with some of my relatives in Michigan. My cousins' kids were getting kind of bored hanging out with all the adults. So I dug out some Guide magazines to keep them entertained. (Since none of my relatives are Adventist , they hadn't seen Guide before.) As you can see , they were hooked right away!

How Do You Say "Jump"?

I read a funny but true story recently. A missionary was learning the language of the Tarahumara tribe so that he could translate the Bible into their language. He was trying to find out the word for "jump ," so he acted it out by jumping around the room. One of the local people finally said something , which he thought was the word for "jump ," but later he found out it meant , "What is wrong with you?"

Race to the Guide Offices

Last week Randy and I got to visit with TWO Guide authors! Crystal Earnhardt has written great Guide continued stories such as "Race to Victory Lane" (which became a sharing book) and "Megan's New View ," plus many other stories. Her husband , evangelist John Earnhardt , was preaching for a week of prayer at the Review and Herald and evangelistic meetings at the Hagerstown church. They brought along their daughter Carrie and their friends Kevin and Karen Pires. Kevin sings and Karen plays the piano for their meetings. Karen has also written "Explore God's Word" for Guide. She and Crystal will be writing part of the first-ever Guide devotional book that will be coming out in 2009. (Yeah , I know that's a long time from now.)

Here's a photo of the Earnhardts in the Guide offices , as Carrie gets to experience the power of sitting in the editor's chair. When he puts on his sunglasses , John looks a lot like former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt , Sr. That's because they're related! If you haven't read John's story in "Race to Victory Lane ," go to adventistbookcenter.com and search for the title to get your copy.

Meet a Guide Author

While I was in Arizona last month , I had the privilege of meeting one of our Guide authors , Karen Troncale. She lives in Tombstone , a historic "Wild West" town famous for gunfights such as the shootout at the OK Corral. (Kinda sad that so many historic places are famous mainly for people killing each other!) Karen and her husband , Steve , gave me a personalized tour of Tombstone. A little secret--a lot of the people walking around town looking like rough-and-ready cowboys are really just Tombstone locals who enjoy dressing up in Wild West duds!

Here's a photo of the Troncales with their mule , Tonya (or maybe it's Tanya--hopefully the mule won't notice if I misspell her name). Watch for Karen's story "Snake Dance" in April!

Cool Nature Videos

National Geographic has some cool nature videos on their site. Here's one of some hummingbirds that have long feathers like plumes coming out of their tails. It's really weird! You can also see the first video ever taken of a rare rhinoceros that's hardly ever seen by humans.

I Believe I Can Fly?

OK , so I was reading through all the captions that you guys have been writing for Randy's cartoons. (If you ever wondered what happens after you submit them , one of the Guide staff reads them all and deletes any with bad words or something else offensive. Then they show up on the site.) I noticed a lot of people saying "I believe I can fly...I believe I can touch the sky" for the guy jumping into the pool. So , I was checking out that song to see what it says. I found some interesting things in R. Kelly's lyrics. First he says he's "leaning on the everlasting arms ," which sounds like trusting in God. But later he says , "There are miracles in life I must achieve , but first I know it starts inside of me. . . . I believe I can fly , cuz I believe in me." Ummm , OK , since when do we achieve miracles on our own? Don't they come from God? And how far is "believing in me" going to get us? Jesus said that without Him we can't do anything. Aren't we supposed to be believing in God , not "me"?

Now , I really question whether R. Kelly is "leaning on the everlasting arms" based on the words to some of his other songs , which talk a lot about sex outside of marriage ("My mind is tellin me no but my body my body's tellin me yes. . . I don't see nothing wrong with a little bump and grind"). Maybe he doesn't see anything wrong with it , but that's not what the Bible teaches us!

What do you guys think about this? Or do you even think about the words of the music you listen to? Talk to me in the discussion board!

Springtime alert!

It seems like spring in Maryland today--almost 60 degrees! I love spring!I hope you will get on the chat tomorrow. Join me in the room about Understanding Muslims. I think this is a very important topic in our world today.

CyberClubbers around the world!

I found out that the Guide CyberClub has members from about 50 countries around the world! Some examples are Jamaica , the Philippines , Thailand , Australia , Ghana , Peru , Poland , Cyprus , Trinidad. I think that's pretty cool!

See You in Connecticut

I'll be in Stamford , Connecticut , in January to attend the Youth Ministries Convention held by the Northeastern Conference. I hear there will be Pathfinder and AY leaders there , as well as some youth. So maybe I'll see some of you there!

How to Catch the Guys' Eyes

Girls , have you ever had a disagreement with your parents about whether your clothes were too tight , too short , too low-cut , or whatever? Have you ever wondered , Why does it matter whether I look "modest" or not?

Newsflash--one big reason it matters is because guys really like it when girls show by the way they dress that they respect themselves and others. In an Internet survey dozens of guys wrote that the girls who catch their eye are the ones who stand out from the crowd by dressing modestly. They expressed a huge thank-you to girls who help give them a break from the battleground against lustful thoughts. Here's what one 13-year-old guy said: "I don't have to drop my eyes when I see a modestly dressed girl. I can look at her and say , 'Wow , she looks nice ,' instead of having to look at the ground or the ceiling."

I really encourage you to look at the survey and read the comments from the guys. It showed me a new perspective about how much they appreciate us girls when we take care to dress in a way that doesn't tempt them. It made me feel good that I've tried to do that myself!

Adventist Teen Publishes Her Own Book

Tabitha Dowell was 16 when she wrote and published her own book , called "The Story of Ruth." Tabitha is an Adventist who lives in Michigan. In the book she imagines the life of Ruth after the end of the biblical story. You can find Tabitha's book on amazon.com. She's already working on other books! Cool , huh?
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