Neoblogs: A New Home

We are currently in the midst of recreating our blogosphere in hopes to bring back the many neobloggers in the fellowship.

  • New additions include now a base site that displays all the most recent posts from current authors.
  • Linked sites for better navigation
  • Updated user functionality for both readers and authors

If you would like to start your own blog or migrate your existing blog back to our new home feel free to contact me at [email protected]

Current users may also contact me for support with updating themes and looks for their blog site.

To access you blog site just click you name listed on the site to take you to your blog page, then just click the login link on the side!


As those of you who have blog sites may have noticed, you should have received an email to set up a new password. This was cause by a transition in our database to make future endeavors much simpler. If you have ANY issues logging in please contact me.

As far as linking social media with your blogs, we will be using Jetpack, you can find this on your dashboard. To do this follow these steps:

1) Log into WordPress and go to your dashboard
2) Towards the top left-hand side click on the “Jetpack” tab
3) It should go to a screen with a giant banner saying to log in with your credentials, along with 6 bubbles of options below it. Click on the giant banner to login and create a new user for yourself (its really easy)
4) After this go back to the previous page and click on the “Sharing” bubble.
5) Once there drag in the social media forms you would like, i.e. twitter or facebook. Make sure you are logged into those accounts. Then simply click the connect button.
6) Before you save at the bottom make sure to change the “Button Style” to “Official Buttons” and then on the “Show Buttons On” section, click the “Posts” tab.
7) Then save and it may take a few minutes to show on your blog, as always if you have any issues, shoot me an email ([email protected])


sealAnother concept that has picked up in recent years is refinancing your student loans. Refinancing is often confused with consolidation, which I covered in the last post, but is completely different.

In consolidation, your different student loans are combined to create a new loan. The interest rate is a weighted average of the interest rates of your loans, so in essence nothing with your loans has changed except you have one loan instead of many.

What happens with refinancing, is that you take out a new loan to repay your current student loans. You are essentially replacing your student loans with a new loan, one that hopefully has better terms than your old student loans.

Because in refinancing you are taking out a new loan, you must go through a private company, unlike loan consolidation which is done through the U.S. Department of Education. Since the loan will be through a private company, there are some very important factors that you should know about:

1. The interest rate is not standardized like federal loans. The interest rate you receive for your loan refinance will depend on a variety of factors, the two most important being your credit score and income.

2. While you can refinance federal loans, since you are refinancing with a private loan you will lose all of the benefits that come with federal loans; such as the variety of payment plans or the ability to consolidate.

3. All of the terms to your loan will be set by the private company, such as the repayment term, interest rate, and whether the interest rate is fixed or variable. It is extremely important to review your loan contract so that you do not get surprised by anything.

4. Many loan companies will charge you an upfront fee, which is generally 2% of the total loan.

So when is refinancing your student loans advantageous? If you have good credit and income, you may be able to get a lower interest rate than your current loans. With a lower interest rate you will save money over time, and/or you might have lower monthly payments. Thus, refinancing tends to benefit those who are already in a good financial position.

People who are struggling to make their loan payments often have poor credit and/or a low income, and thus it is much harder for them to secure a better interest rate through refinancing. If you are struggling to make loan payments, there are other options that can help you out (which I will cover in other posts).

Student loan refinancing has become a large marketplace in recent years. Because of this, many shady companies have jumped into the space, trying to scam struggling borrowers out of their money. While there are many legitimate refinancing companies out there, it is pertinent that you thoroughly research any company you are looking at to refinance, in order to make sure that you don’t get snared by any of the scam artists.

So when is refinancing your loans a good idea? Refinancing can be a very useful too if you have a lot of private student loans with high interest rates. Through refinancing, you can replace those loans with loans with lower interest rates. There are several calculators online where you can plug-in the info for your current student loans, and the proposed refinance, and get an estimate of how much money you save through refinancing. So if you can save money by refinancing your private loans, then do it!

As for federal loans, I would be much more hesitant about refinancing them. While you could potentially get a lower interest rate, you are sacrificing the many benefits and protections that come with student loans. Because of this, the decision to refinance your federal loans has to be weighed very carefully; it is not as clear-cut as refinancing private loans. All of these different points must be considered before making the decision to refinance your federal loans.

Loan Consolidation


The world of student loans is very confusing, and it doesn’t help that there are so many different terms thrown around student loans. One such term is consolidation. I’ve received a few questions about loan consolidation. Generally, people have heard that consolidating your student loans is something they should do and they want to know more about what consolidation actually is. So let’s take a look at student loan consolidation and whether it is beneficial.

First off, consolidation is only for federal loans. Many people will talk about private student loan consolidation, but that is actually more akin to refinancing, which I will cover in a later post.

Student loan consolidation the act of combining your different student loans into one big loan. Think about it as literally taking your loans and smooshing them together. You now have one loan, with a balance equal to the total balance of all your different loans from before. You will also have a new interest rate for your loan, which is determined by calculating the weighted average interest rate of your previous loans. Let’s take a look at a hypothetical scenario to help ourselves understand this.

Say you have three loans. The information for the loans are as follows:

    Loan 1 – $10,000 balance with a 4% interest rate.
    Loan 2 – $6,000 balance with a 6% interest rate.
    Loan 3 – $2,000 balance with a 5% interest rate.

After consolidation of these 3 loans, you have a new loan with a balance of $18,000. To find the weighted average interest rate, you would divide each individual loan balance by the total amount of loans you are consolidating, and then multiply that number by the interest rate. Do that for all three loans, then add the numbers together to get your weighted average interest rate. In this example, the new interest rate would be 4.875%. If you do the calculation yourself, you might find that 4.86% is different than the number you got. What gives? Well, the new interest rate on a consolidated loan is always rounded up to the nearest 1/8th of a percent.

So now, instead of having 3 different loans with different interest rates, you have just 1 loan. If you’ve been paying attention so far, you have probably noticed that consolidating your loans doesn’t really do anything to help you save money. Your balance is still the same. And your interest rate is basically the same too. So why then do so many people consolidate their student loans?

The main benefit of consolidation is convenience. With only one loan to be repaid, it is easier to keep track of, and there is less chance of missing a payment. Some people might also benefit in that they find it less stressful to have just one loan, instead of many different loans, even though the total amount owed is the same.

There are some other benefits to consolidating your loans. With your new consolidated loan, you can have a 30 year repayment term, which can decrease your monthly payments. This can be helpful for some people, as it gives them a lower minimum payment, and more time to repay the loan. You might also have access to some different repayment plans that were unavailable before.

One other small advantage is that you can consolidate a defaulted loan and bring it out of default, but only if you agree to pay the new consolidated loan through an income-based or income-contingent repayment plan. If you don’t want to do this, you can make 3 on-time monthly payments to your defaulted loan, which will then allow you to consolidate your defaulted loan and bring it out of default.

But these benefits are not too many – while consolidation can look fancy, I would argue that it is not useful in most scenarios. The theme of this blog in regards to repaying your loans is to pay them back as fast as you can. Consolidation does not help you to pay back your loans any quicker, it only makes them easier to manage.

Also by consolidating, you lose an advantage I discussed in this post. When paying back your student loans, I suggested you use either the Snowball Method or the Highest Interest Rate Method. In order for these methods to work, you need to have multiple loans. The Snowball Method can give you a psychological boost as you knock off your loans one by one, and the Highest Interest Rate Method will save you money in the long run. Consolidation takes away this advantage, as you can no longer pick and choose what loan you will focus your extra payments on.

So, for most people, loan consolidation is something that can be ignored. If you have 10 different loans, and the stress from keeping tracking of all of them is keeping you up at night, then sure, maybe consolidation would be a good choice for you. For the rest of us, don’t get caught up in all the talk about “student loan tricks” like consolidation. Just keep your head down, pay as much to your loans each month as you can, and get debt-free as soon as you can!

The Different Payment Plans


In my last post, I covered strategies for a person who has entered repayment on their student loans. There are actually several different payment plans for federal student loans, which I want to discuss today. Remember, these payment plans are available only for federal loans, not private loans. This is just another reason why federal loans are much better than private loans.

Let’s look at the first 3 repayment plans:

Standard Repayment. As mentioned in earlier posts, the standard repayment plan for federal loans is a 10 year repayment plan, with fixed equal monthly payments of at least $50. The monthly amounts are calculated so that after making 10 years of payments, your loan will be paid off entirely.

Graduated Repayment. Graduated repayment is also for 10 years, however, relative to standard repayment, your monthly payments start out lower and slowly increase (usually every two years). So, while your monthly payments will be less than those for standard repayment at first, towards the end of the loan your payments will be much higher than under standard repayment.

Extended Repayment. You can extend the repayment of your loans beyond 10 years under an extended repayment plan. Repayment can be extended up to 25 years, and can include either standard (fixed) payments or graduated (increasing) payments. In order to start an extended repayment plan, you must have an outstanding direct loan balance of at least $30,000. Extending the repayment of your loans will decrease your monthly payment amount, if you make only the minimum payment each month you will pay more over the course of the loan in interest than if you had used a standard 10 year repayment.

The Department of Education also offers repayment plans that tie your monthly payment amount to your income. These plans can be helpful as they help borrowers who are struggling to make their payments with their current income. Each year, the borrower has to re-certify with their current income, which will determine their monthly payments for the coming year. Thus, if income rises, the payments on the student loans will rise accordingly. However, the monthly payment for an income-based plan will never be greater than the monthly payment under a standard repayment plan.

Most of these income-based repayment plans also have a provision where if you make your monthly payments for a certain amount of time (usually 20 or 25 years) and still have an outstanding balance on your student loans, that balance will be forgiven. A caveat to this is that the forgiven amount of loans is taxable as income.

So which of these many payment options is the best? Well… it doesn’t matter. Looking at these different payment options, we can see that their purpose is to decrease the amount of your payments. However, as I discussed in the last post, your goal with paying back your loans should be to pay as much as possible each month so that you can pay off your loans faster and pay less in interest over time.

These alternative methods of payment do two things: decrease your monthly payments and increase the term of your loan. While you have the benefit of paying less per month, this gives more time for interest to accrue on the principal of your loans. So you’ll end up being in debt longer and paying more on that debt!

Romans 13:8 says “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another…” That sounds like good advice to me! There are so many advantages to being debt-free, or at least removing the burden of student loans off your shoulders. For more discussion of this, I would refer you to my first post in this series. If you asked someone if they would rather be debt-free in 10 years or 20 years, I’m sure that they would say 10 years! And if you asked them that same question but with 5 years or 10 years, I bet that they would again pick the lower number.

That’s why I say the repayment plan doesn’t matter… paying off your student loans as quickly as possible is much more important and more beneficial than trying to pay the smallest amount per month.

Now, that’s not to say these repayment plans are useless. In fact, I think an income-based repayment plan can be extremely helpful in certain situations. Things happen in life, and say that you lose your job. The very next day you could file for income-based repayment. Think about it – the income that your payments is being calculated on is $0! So your monthly payments for the next year will be $0 (remember, you only have to re-certify once per year, not whenever your income changes).

Of course, while your monthly payments are $0, interest will continue to accrue on your loan. However, such a strategy can help to give you some breathing room in a time of financial crisis. The nice thing about income-based repayment is that you can still pay extra on your monthly payments. So, in a time of need you can file for income-based repayment, and when things are back in order you can ramp up the payments on your loans to get them paid off as quickly as possible. In this scenario, income-based repayment acts as the “ace up your sleeve”

When looking at student loan repayments, there are generally two schools of thought. There are those who try to make their student loan payments as small as possible, and those who try to pay off their loans as quickly as possible. As I have already stated, I am firmly in the camp of those who try to pay off their loans as quickly as possible. While these different types of repayment can offer relief in a time of financial crisis, I think by and large they can be ignored in favor of this repayment plan: Pay as much as you can as soon as you can so that you can be debt-free as quickly as possible!

The College Graduate or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Pay Back My Student Loans


Congratulations. You’ve finally done it. You celebrate with your family and friends, showing off your degree. With college now behind you, you are excited to take your first step into the working world. Things get off to a slow start, as it take you a couple of months to find a job. It’s not a job doing exactly what you wanted, and it pays a little less than what you had hoped for, but it’s a job so you take it.

A few months later, the first bill for your student loans pops up in your inbox. Your minimum payment is $300 a month. Between loan payments, car payments, rent, utilities, food and gas you’re stuck living paycheck to paycheck, each month falling a little bit further behind. You start racking up credit card debt, as you can’t afford to pay off the full amount each month. Eventually you miss a loan payment, then a car payment, then rent. Your loans go into default, your car is repossessed, and you are evicted from your apartment.

Homeless, you wander the streets with nothing more than the clothes on your back and a deflated football that in your hallucinations you believe to be a dog named Snappy, scrounging for loose change so that you can buy some alcohol to forget the pain if for only a few moments. On a cold windy day, you sit on a bench with your dirt encrusted coat wrapped tightly around you. A gust of wind picks up Snappy, and blows him into the road. There, before your eyes, Snappy is crushed instantaneously by the tires of a passing car. You howl in pain as your only friend is now gone, leaving you alone. “Oh,” you weep, “oh, if only I had better managed my student loans!”

Now, that was a bit of an extreme example, but I wanted to test out my creative writing skills. So yeah, nothing like that is going to happen to you, but perhaps you might find yourself in a situation like the following:

A recent college graduate living paycheck to paycheck lies awake at night stressing over whether or not he will be able to pay his bills for the month.

A young married couple can’t go on a vacation with many of their close friends as they can’t afford the trip due to their loan payments.

An employee has to work at a soul-sucking company with an abusive boss, and is too afraid to leave because even being out of work for a couple of weeks might mean they will run out of money.

These are all much more realistic situations a person could face in their lives. Many people out there are really enslaved by their student loan debt. At the very least, student loan repayment is a major source of stress for people. This report put out by the Boston Fed showed that 57% of people with student loans are concerned about being unable to repay them. Why be enslaved to your debt? Why stress out about it?

That’s why I’m writing this blog. Hopefully, to help you learn about student loans, learn how to manage them, and ultimately how to be free from them. In the last 2 posts, I have covered the topic of student loans for someone just starting college, and for someone who is in the middle of college. In this post, I will be writing about the college graduate. A person who is working full-time, and making payments on their student loans. In other words, a person who has hit reality. It can be easy to forget about our loans when we don’t have to pay them back, but when we start getting those bills in the mail it is a whole different picture.

So, you need to start paying back your loans. How should you do this, and how can you do this the most effectively? And how can you pay back your loans so you’ll be debt-free the fastest? Well, it’s pretty simple

Step 1: Make the minimum payment on your loans each month. This one should be a no-brainer. In order to avoid having your loans go into default, you need to pay the minimum amount specified by your loan servicer each month. In this post, I discussed all of the bad stuff that happens if you default on your loans. So, in order to avoid default and everything that comes with it, the first step is to pay the minimum balance on each loan every month.

Step 2: Pay off your loans early. Paying off your loans early will save you money in the long-term, since there will be less time for interest to compound, and less principle for that interest to compound on. Not only will you save money by paying off your loans early, but it will also help you to be debt free faster.

The best way to pay off your loans as quickly as possible is take any money left over after your minimum pat on one loan, instead of spreading that extra across all of your loans.

There are two common methods used to determine which loan to prioritize payments on, which I will call the Snowball Method and the Highest Rate Method.

In the Snowball Method, any extra money above your minimum payments is put towards the loan with the lowest balance. For example, say you have three loans:

  • Loan 1 has a balance of $2,000 and an interest rate of 4.66% with a minimum monthly payment of $50.
  • Loan 2 has a balance of $8,000 and an interest rate of 7.53% with a minimum monthly payment of $100.
  • Loan 3 has a balance of $5,000 and an interest rate of 4.29% with a minimum monthly payment of $75.
  • After making a combined minimum monthly payment of $225, you have an extra $100 to put towards your loan payments. Since this is the Snowball Method, you would put that $100 towards Loan 1, which has the smallest balance. Once Loan 1 is paid off, any extra money would then go to Loan 3 (which would then have the smallest balance). Once Loan 3 is paid off, you can then put all extra money into the last remaining loan, Loan 2.

    This method is often preferred because it gives you a psychological advantage. In this method, you knock out the smallest loan quickly, then move up to the next largest loan, and so on. By focusing on the smaller loans first, you get the satisfaction of paying off a loan completely. It doesn’t matter that it may have only been a small loan, that feeling of accomplishment from wiping one whole loan off the list can keep you going in what seems like a neverending stream of loan repayments.

    I think you can better understand the appeal of the Snowball Method when you look at the other suggested method, which is the Highest Rate Method. As the name suggests, in this method you put any extra money towards the loan with the highest interest rate first. When that loan is completely paid back, you put the extra payments towards the loan with the next highest interest rate and so on.

    The advantage to this method is that you will end up saving the most money in the long run. Because you are focusing on the loans with the higher interest rates, you are giving that interest rate less principal to compound on, and less time to compound as well.

    So, if the Highest Rate Method will save you the most money, why would anyone choose the Snowball Method instead? Well, as I mentioned before, the Snowball Method will give you tangible results sooner, as it quickly knocks off your smaller loans. Applying the Highest Rate Method to our example, the first loan to be focused on would be Loan 2, which has a balance of $8,000. While putting your extra money towards that loan first will save you more money in the long run, it’s going to take a lot longer to pay off that loan.

    This is where we see the advantage to the Snowball Method. Instead of slugging through a huge loan first, you quickly knock off some smaller loans to get the ball rolling. Like making a snowman, you start small and keep on rolling until you’re debt free.

    Personally, I prefer the Highest Rate Method to the Snowball Method. But each person is different, so what is important is finding the method that will help you the most in paying off your loans. Are you the type who wants to start with the small milestones and work your way up to the big ones? Maybe the Snowball Method is better for you. Are you someone who doesn’t need any milestones along the way, and instead will be content knowing that they are saving a little extra money? Then perhaps you would fit into the Highest Rate Method.

    Whichever method you pick, the important thing is to stick with it. And this brings us to our final step.

    Step 3: Stick with it! So much of paying back your loans has to do with discipline, the discipline to keep your head down and send out those checks each month, no matter how hard it can seem. Your student loans aren’t going to go away magically on their own, and while it may seem daunting, you just need to keep on plugging away at your loans. Maybe you can make a chart of your loans, and watch the balance decrease very month to keep you going. Or maybe, you’re the type who just needs to set up the automatic payments and not think about your loans until they’re paid off. But you need to stick with your repayment plan; many people fall off the wagon and find themselves right back where they were at the start. Don’t let this be you!

    So, in conclusion, it’s pretty simple. There are 3 steps to paying back your loans and being free from that debt. In case you forgot already, those steps are:

    Step 1: Make all the minimum payments on your loans.
    Step 2: Choose either the Snowball or Highest Rate Method for your extra payments.
    Step 3: Stick with it!

    Follow these steps, and you will find yourself on the way to debt freedom!

    P.S. I wrote out the whole blog and realized I forgot to add one part in. I didn’t really want to go back and edit it in, so I threw it down here. When making extra payments to a loan, be sure to specify that you want that extra money to go towards the principal of the loan. Some loan companies will try to screw you by applying it to the interest, so make sure you instruct them to put that towards the principle. It’ll save you money that way.

    Student Loans in College


    In this post, I want to cover some tips for the person who is currently in college. Someone who has completed a year or two of school and already carries student loan debt.

    My first set of advice would be the same as for incoming freshmen; apply for as many scholarships as you can. You have already been in college for a few years, but that doesn’t mean you can no longer receive scholarships. So, spend some time searching for and applying for scholarships. You might think, “I applied for some scholarships last year and didn’t get any, son what’s the point in applying for them now?” I have two answers to that objection; 1) Past performance does not necessarily predict future results, and 2) If you apply to more scholarships this year, you will increase your chance of being awarded some. Having a defeatist attitude towards scholarships (and student loans in general) will guarantee that you struggle in this area.

    The next point is the same as one I had written for those just starting out in college as well. This would be to not take out more student loans than you need. Maybe last year you took out the maximum amount allowed, and had a bunch of money left over. Maybe you then took that extra money and spent it frivolously, treating yourself to frequent meals out and buying a new computer. If you want to graduate college with as little student loan debt as possible, you will need to stop that. Instead, take out loans to cover just what you need, and nothing more.

    If you follow these two steps, you should be in a position where you don’t have to take out that much in loans. Or maybe, if you were very fortunate in your scholarships, don’t have to take out any loans at all. Now you are in a position where you have some flexibility, and could possible take some steps that will minimize the impact of your loans.

    One question I’ve been asked before is “I now have enough money to pay for my education, but I have some debt from student loans I took out earlier. Should I use the money to pay off those old loans and take out new loans, or should I use that money for my tuition and avoiding taking out new loans?” The answer to that question varies on your situation. A lot depends on what type of student loan you currently have, and the loans you are being offered. If you forgot what the different types of loans are, you can brush up on them in my post here. With this flexibility, you can remove some of your “bad” loans, and replace them with “not-so-bad” loans.

    For example, say you currently have $4,000 in private loans. As we’ve learned private loans are almost always a bad deal and inferior to federal loans due to higher interest rates and less protection. You have $4,000 in cash, and the opportunity to take out $4,000 in federal loans. The interest rate on your private loan is 7%, and the interest rate on the offered federal loan is $4.29%. If you were to pay off the private loan with the cash, and then borrow the federal loan, you will have essentially replaced a higher interest rate loan with a lower interest rate loan and saved yourself some money!

    Look for these opportunities to reduce your loan liability, or to replace your “bad” loans with loans that are more favorable to you. If you have private loans, see if there is a way you could replace them with federal loans. Or if you have unsubsidized loans, see if there is a way you can replace them with subsidized loans. Taking such actions can set you up to pay less on your loans in the long haul.

    However, the most effective way to reduce the costs of your loans is to reduce the amount of loans you will need to take. By cutting your spending and saving diligently, you could have more money to go towards tuition each year. And that means less loans needed to be taken out. Of course, as I mentioned first, looking for scholarships and grants can help greatly. I’ve talked to several people who gave up on looking for scholarships after their freshman year. Don’t do that! There could be a lot of free money out there that you are missing.

    You are getting close to graduation. Graduation creates a lot of change in your life, and leaving school to go into the working world can create some new stress. In this tumultuous and stressful time, wouldn’t it be nice to know that you don’t have to worry about excessive student loan debt? By following these steps, you can ensure that you graduate college with a manageable level of debt that won’t burden you as you enter adult life.

    Resting On the Right Foundation – (Part 2) – Peter, the Rock

    Consider Peter, one of Jesus’s disciples. He truly believed the man Jesus to be the Son of God: “So Jesus said to the twelve, ‘You do not want to go away also, do you?’ Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.’” (John 6:67-69). Continuing through the gospel of John would provide additional insight to Peter’s loyalty and belief in Jesus, that is until Jesus is arrested in John 18. It is at this point that Peter sees his Lord be taken away by mere men. Peter has seen a multitude of miracles and healings from Jesus, and knows from his own experiences that He is so much incredibly more than a man. This does not make sense. How can this immensely powerful person blessed by God be taken away by a few men? Peter begins to doubt. We can only imagine the mental anguish he undergoes while trying to process what is happening, but before he can reach a conclusion people challenge him and his loyalty to Christ. This is done at three separate occasions throughout John 18:15-27, and each time in the midst of Peter’s frustration, he denies any connection to Christ. The other three gospels include the fact that after Peter’s third denial he just broke down and wept bitterly. In the eyes of Peter, Jesus was more than a good teacher, or the Son of God, but He was also Peter’s best friend. Peter forgot all of this in a moment of confusion, and was swept up by fear and anxiety, which lead him to distance himself from Christ. The next time Peter had a chance to see Him was when He was beaten and lead out of the city to be nailed and hung on a cross. The crowds were hurling insults and mocking Jesus, some of whom were saying: “if He saved others, then let Him save Himself if this is indeed the Christ!” (Mark 15:31 & Luke 23:35). Peter would easily be left feeling doubtful that Jesus was who He said He was, and the moment that Jesus died was the same moment that Peter’s heart and hope were crushed. He undoubtedly left that scene as a broken man. He had heard Jesus’s words, but because he did not believe them, Peter was left homeless and humiliated.

    As we all know this is not the end of the story. Jesus returns to life in the flesh as He was resurrected three days after His death on the cross, and He visits Peter (along with over 500 other people). Along with Christ’s resurrection, so Peter is renewed with life and zeal for his Lord and friend. Everything he thought and believed in his moments of doubt were instantly wiped away at seeing the resurrected Christ, and all that remained was Peter’s faith in Jesus. He recollected himself, and after Christ ascended to heaven Peter was immensely bold with his faith. He did not waiver again on the fact that He knew and loved Jesus. This became evident to all who came into contact with Peter:

    “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.’
    Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply.” (Acts 4:8-14)

    Peter repositioned himself and his life, and he made his foundation to be the words of Jesus Christ. He was solid, and no matter what storm hit him he remained standing strong in his faith. He truly lived up to the words of Jesus when He told Peter: “I also say to you that you are Peter (literally translated “rock”), and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18). Before Christ’s death, Peter had a belief as to what Jesus was to be as God. To see God arrested, tortured, and die does not fit any person’s belief or definition of any type of god. Peter had an impression as to who Christ should be, and that impression was put to death on the cross. Afterwards, when Jesus came back, Peter finally saw Him for who He truly is.

    Our misconceptions of God were put to death with Christ, and the grace and truth of Christ was finally revealed to the world as He returned from the dead. Anyone who relies on the truth of the risen Christ is one who is “always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body” (2 Cor. 4:10). We have been given this truth, and…

    “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:14-16)

    Children, despite being sweet and innocent, are the most easily tricked and manipulated to the wills and whims of others. Any reasonable company or corporation makes top priority in marketing towards children simply for that very reason. Or to take a more morbid look, the immense number of children brought into wars. They end up serving the needs of horrible leaders through various control tactics of fear, brainwashing, or just by simple lies. Children have the least amount of exposure in the world to know what is right and wrong, and they just do not have a solid footing on any sort of truth. It is truly tragic to see the manipulation and puppeteering of children happen in our world, but this can happen to any person on this planet that does not have a solid foundation in truth, or a firm grip on reality. Paul writes to Ephesus telling them to grow up and be mature, rational adults. That is, wise men who build their houses on the rocks. Those who take the truth given to them and use it to love and build up others. In building others up, there is a focus and direction, namely towards the one who gave us the truth in love in the first place, Jesus Christ.