Are You Aware of This Sad and Naked Truth?

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A couple years ago I wrote a post titled, “Can Innocence, Purity, and God Prevail in a Highly Sexualized Era?” Even now, that post brings in the most traffic. Unfortunately, it not for good reason. I’m confident that the word “sexualized” is the attracting factor. You don’t want to know the search words that bring people to this post. It’s quite disturbing. I can’t even bring myself to write them down.

I just wrote a post on Project Inspired about pornography. It’s titled, “7 Truths About pornography.” What concerned me was some of the comments received. Brave young girls opening up and sharing their struggles with and addictions to pornography, and when they were introduced to it, some as young as 1st grade. If you haven’t read the post, I urge you to do so, and then take a look at the comments below it.

“Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

As a homeschooling parent of young children, I do feel blessed that I am in a position in which I can have a lot of control over what they do throughout the day and who they hang out with. I’m very particular about electronics. My children don’t have cell phones, don’t have access to computers, don’t play video games, and don’t watch television. I allow limited movies and shows on Netflix which I approve first. My children love to read and listen to music. But they read and listen to what I deem classic and Godly.

Am I too strict? I know in the eyes of some of my friends, I am. But in a culture that is highly sexualized, extremely violent, and way too secular, I’m confident that I’m doing the right thing. I feel I need to step it up to protect my children. Psalm 101:3 reads, “I will not set before my eyes anything that is base.” And if I’m going to be held accountable when I stand before Christ, I’d better be speaking truth when I tell Jesus that I did my best to protect my children.

“Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

Are you aware that more and more children are accessing pornography? 

(p.s. I’m afraid to press publish. Who knows what search words this post will prompt…oh well…here goes…)

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10 Favorite Scriptures on Redemption and Salvation

redemption vs salvation

Following is a post I recently wrote on Project Inspired:

Hey sweet PI girls, during the Easter season, the subjects of redemption and salvation are a primary focus. After all, Easter is a reminder of when Jesus redeemed us all with His precious blood. That’s the ultimate act of love!

Scripture mentions redemption a lot, and rightly so. Here are five of my favorite verses:

“For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.“(John 3:16)

“In Him we have redemption by His blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of His grace that He lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight, He has made known to us the mystery of His will in accord with His favor that He set forth in Him as a plan for the fullness of times, to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.” (Ephesians 1:7-10)

“He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14)

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” (Luke 21:25-28)

“He sent release to his people, decreed His covenant forever; holy and fearsome is His name.” (Psalms 111:9)

Christ’s blood was the ultimate sacrifice for our redemption. But redemption is not salvation. God redeemed everyone by giving His only son, but salvation is our own to attain.

Christian teaching varies among denominations when it comes to salvation. Where some believe it’s attained through God’s grace in the one act of accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, others believe that the Bible teaches that salvation through God’s grace is an ongoing process that begins at baptism.

Following are some of my favorite scriptures on salvation:

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love He had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ (by grace you have been saved), raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavens in Christ Jesus,that in the ages to come He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4-7)

“So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)

“Now someone approached him and said, ‘Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?’ He answered him, ‘Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’” (Matthew 19:16-17)

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6)

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Ladies, do you have a favorite verse on redemption or salvation? What does your Christian faith teach about redemption and salvation?

Check out more of my posts on Project Inspired

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5 Ways to Enjoy Being Single When All of Your Friends Have Boyfriends

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5 Ways to Enjoy Being Single When All of Your Friends Have Boyfriends

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Following is a post I recently wrote on Project Inspired:

Hey girls! Are all of your friends hung up on having a boyfriend? Are you? Or maybe your besties already have boyfriends and you’re still living the single life. Well, I’m here to tell you to stop pining and start taking advantage of being single!

I know it’s easier said than done, but when you think about how many years of your life you’ll likely be in a relationship, it sure makes sense to take this moment of being single and have fun with it, don’t you think?

Here are some ways that you can enjoy being single when all of your friends have boyfriends:

  1. Be confident and strengthened by your single status. I’ve mentioned this before, but I want to remind you that you are not defined by whether or not you have a boyfriend. So don’t feel bad if you don’t have one! It doesn’t make you less of a person. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. It means you have the opportunity to learn to be confident and find strength in yourself and the the love of God Almighty. There is so much joy in that!
  2. Spend time with your single friends and find new ones. Being single gives you the chance to enjoy hanging out with your friends without compromising your time with a boyfriend, his friends and his family. Now’s the time to put yourself first when it comes to having fun. So spend time with your single friends and make more. Focus on friendships with like-minded people who share your interests and faith! Youth groups and church events are great places to meet friends.
  3. Get more involved in your activities. This is the one of the best times in your life to do the things that you want to do! It’s your time to mold yourself into the person you want to be without being distracted by someone else. So get to it!
  4. Take the time to strengthen your relationship with Christ. As a Christian, your number one should be Christ, whether you are single or in a relationship. So strengthen your relationship with Him before you get into a relationship so that pleasing Him first becomes second nature!
  5. Get to know who you are. This is a great time to learn who you are, what you want in life and what you enjoy doing. Once you learn about who you are, you’ll better recognize the kind of person best suited to you!

Ladies, being single and surrounded by couples doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You just have to use the time wisely and have fun! Are you single and enjoying it? Share your story, we love to hear from you!

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10 Things Teen Boys DO Want You to Know

modestboys-590x295

Following is a post I recently wrote on Project Inspired:

Ladies, do you and your friends ever wonder what boys think about girls? Are you or one of your friends crushing on a guy and trying to get his attention?

At the end of last year, I gave you a list of 10 Things Teen Boys Don’t Want You To Know! Well, this week I’m giving you a list of 10 things they do want you to know, but that they may not come out and say directly. I hope this will give you some interesting insights into how boys think.

Before you delve into this list, however, know that no two guys, whether they’re non-Christian or Christian, are the same. And not all boys fall into all of these scenarios. So here goes:

    1. Friendships are important to guys (just like they’re important to you!), and they often will put their friends before girls and dating.
    2. Flirting is confusing. Guys just don’t understand flirting! Some girls flirt for attention, while others flirt only with guys they like, but guys aren’t privy to the ambiguity behind flirting….so it confuses them!
    3. Girls who curse and smoke are not cool. Guys may not care if some girls they know smoke or curse, but most would rather the girls they’re interested in keep their language clean and not smell like ashtrays!
    4. They’re not into drama or backstabbing best friends. When girls gossip or talk negatively about their pals, guys are not impressed. In fact, guys respect girls with integrity.
    5. They can’t just be friends if they like you. Don’t tell a guy you just want to be friends if he likes you. Consider the flip side! How easy is it for you to hang out with a guy you’re crushing on when he just wants to be friends? It’s no fun!
    6. They prefer girls they can talk to. Some guys are baited by a pretty face, but beauty fades in the eyes of the beholder if you have a mean streak and no personality. The same goes for guys, right?
    7. The less makeup, the better. Many guys really like more of a natural look. Too much makeup gives the assumption that you have something to hide!
    8. Some girls are too boy crazy. While teen guys are interested in girls, many kind of wish girls would tone it down when it comes to boys! Oh, and they just hate the giggling and whispering behind cupped hands!
    9. They are more comfortable with modesty. They want to look into your eyes when they talk to you and not be distracted by tight or revealing clothes. Guys really don’t like immodesty, and if they do, it’s usually for the wrong reasons.
    10. Phone calls and text messages are not a commitment. When a guy calls or texts a girl, he may or may not be interested in getting to know her more, but either way, he doesn’t want her to think communication necessarily means commitment.

Ladies, this list is not meant to change you, but rather, give you some insight about the things teen boys wish you knew. However, it will also inform you of two important things. One is that all the things that guys don’t like are negative traits anyway, right? Like gossiping and smoking and being boy crazy. And two, nixing these negative qualities will only help you become more of a Godly girl…which is what your focus should be anyway!

Teen boys are complicated, that’s for sure, but guess what? They think teen girls are too. And the truth is, your teen years are complicated in general. Which is why I continue to urge you to spend your teen years focusing on God, rather than a complicated relationship, that in most cases will end in heartache!

Ladies, what do you think about the above list? Share your story…we love to hear from you!  

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10 Things Every Christian Should Know About Jesus

jesus-and-children

Following is a post I recently wrote on Project Inspired:

Ladies, to love Jesus is to know as much about Him as possible. But what does that mean? Knowing about Jesus means more than just knowing that He is the son of God and that He is God.

Once you, as a Christian, know about Jesus, you can truly have a relationship with Him, because in doing so, you have a better understanding about Him and what is expected of you. The following is a list of 10 things every Christian should know about Jesus. Of course, they’re not the only things you should know about Him, but they’re a good start for building a relationship with Him. And they should also prompt you to learn more!

  1. He loves you unconditionally. No matter who you are or what you have done, good or bad, He loves you. And that love is never-ending. No one will ever love you more than He does!
  2. He died for you. I know that most Christians know this, but to really know it is to understand the sacrifices that went into this amazing act. God sacrificing His son. Jesus sacrificing Himself. Not to mention the pain that He felt. All to carry the burdens of your sins.
  3. He wants the best for you. God has good intentions when He creates each and every one of us. He plans for our welfare and our righteousness. It’s usually our free will that takes us in a different direction.
  4. He wants to be a part of your life. He wants you to take Him with you on your journey through life. Not just when things are good, but also when they are bad. He wants you to take Him with you through prayer, praise and glorification, in everything that you say and do.
  5. He wants to be #1. Above everything else! Nothing should be more important than Him. Nothing and no one should come before Him.
  6. He has high expectations of you. Jesus often referred to keeping His and His Father’s commandments. So He does expect that you behave a certain way. What is right and what is wrong have been laid out in scripture, and we do have a responsibility to follow those commandments! But it’s not easy. Jesus knows it’s not easy…without Him. Jesus wants you to rely on Him to help you keep those commandments, hence #4, above. He needs to be a part of your life always.
  7. He wants you to do good. Scripture reveals many examples of good deeds, from the good Samaritan to the poor widow’s offering. Good deeds alone aren’t going to get you to heaven, but they were obviously important enough for Jesus to continually point them out!
  8. He’s not a pushover. Do you remember Jesus turning tables over in the temple courts? Or when Jesus became angry when His disciples were afraid of the storm? Jesus is compassionate and loving, but He wants you to take Him seriously. What does that mean? To believe in Him.
  9. He can’t make you follow Him. We were created with free will. And even though everything is possible with God, He won’t make you follow Him. His arms are open; it’s up to you whether you choose Him or not.
  10. Life is easier with Him in it. Life is not going to be easy. But scripture tells us over and over that with Jesus in it, we are stronger.

Ladies, did you know these things about Jesus? What do you think of this list?


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12 Things Every Teen Girl Needs to Know

teengirlstalking

Following is a post I recently wrote on Project Inspired:

Ladies, as you journey through life, your experiences will guide you through. But if you could have a few tips to make that journey a tad easier, would you take them? Well, I’d like to offer up a few…12, to be exact. I’m sure there are more that will come to mind later, but consider these for now.

Check them out!

  1. Beauty resonates from the heart. A person can be physically beautiful, but if she doesn’t have a beautiful heart, then her physical beauty will fade pretty quickly in the eyes of the beholder. So focus on beautifying your character, because compassion, kindness and generosity make more of a difference than a pretty face!
  2. Purity is a gift. You were bought with a price, and if God thinks you’re special, so should you. Prove this worth and save yourself for your future husband. He’s worth it also, don’t you think?
  3. Boys can be a distraction. When all your friends have boyfriends and you’re crushing on a cute guy, it’s hard to agree with this. But boys only distract you from important things like school, friends, goals and glorifying God. If you’re not looking for marriage, why look for love?
  4. Bullies are weak. You’ve probably already heard this, but if you’re being bullied, it’s not easy to believe. Usually a person who bullies is insecure about herself or being bullied by someone else. Whatever the reason, she is probably not a happy person. Bullies are also strengthened by those they surround themselves with. Look to God for your strength!
  5. Popularity is just a fad. Once you leave school, no one cares. You have your whole life to succeed based on your merits, not because others think you’re pretty or you wear expensive clothes. Focus on your worth.
  6. Modesty is respected. Really, it is! How awesome it is to be fashionable and modest, especially when you get noticed for your personality and great fashion sense, rather than how much of your body you’re willing to reveal. And both boys and girls extend more respect for modesty than immodesty.
  7. Social media can be dangerous. Not only can social media be dangerous for the most obvious reasons, but it distracts you from the world and creates false realities. Also, your self-worth should not be determined by how many followers or likes you have.
  8. Who you are begins now. Ladies, being a teen is fun, and sure, it’s a time when you shouldn’t have to take yourself completely seriously. But there are things that you should take seriously—like the kind of person you want to be and how you want to be perceived. Do you want to be seen as a person of integrity? If you expect good qualities in others, then expect them of yourself also. If it becomes habit, then it becomes who you are.
  9. Your parents might just be right. I know that sometimes you don’t want to hear what they have to say, but your parents’ advice is likely based on their experience. So hear them out!
  10. God adores you and you need HimHow amazing is that? And with so much love encompassing you, how can you ever feel lonely in your life? Never forget that you are God’s girl and He will always be there for you. Let’s face it—you can’t do it alone. No one can. With God on your side, you will have a great life, but there will be low times, and this is especially why you need God and His love. With Him, you will find true strength to get through all the hard times. So keep Him in your heart always!
  11. There’s a plan for you. You may not know what it is, but know that you have a purpose. When I think of this truth, I get so excited about what God has in store for me. You should be excited also.
  12. Look to the Good Book for everything in your life! The Bible has the answer for every stage of your life, from purity to marriage, from repentance to salvation. Whenever you’re looking for an answer, check the Good Book! 

With life comes many challenges. I pray that the above list helps you steer through the craziness of the teenage years with as much sanity, confidence, love and truth as you can possibly attain! God bless!

Ladies, what do you think about the above list? Share your story…we love to hear from you!

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10 Things Teen Boys Don’t Want You to Know

boy and girl
Following is a post I recently wrote on Project Inspired:

Boys can be hard to understand, right? And for Christian girls growing up in a highly sexual world, it’s imperative to learn how they tick!

But guys aren’t just going to up and give away their secrets…yes, they have secrets, just like you! So I’m going to let you in on a few.

Before you delve into this list, however, know that no two guys, whether they’re non-Christian or Christian, are the same. And not all boys fall into all of these scenarios. But even the best Christian guy falls into at least a few!!!

So here goes:

  1. Being a guy is tough. There are a lot of expectations and peer pressure from other guys. In that sense, they’re not much different from you!
  2. Teen boys struggle as much as you.They’re also going through an awkward stage. Physically and emotionally, they’re experiencing new things. They’re crossing over from child to adult, and in many ways, it ain’t pretty!
  3. Boys can be insecure, and fear rejection and failure. They don’t know how to act in front of girls, as much as you don’t know how to act around them. So they may put on a tough persona to hide their insecurities.
  4. They may be saying what they need to say to get what they want. I’m sorry to include this, but I’ve actually heard teen boys say this–usually in the event that they want to be intimate. It’s basically a means to an end that they’d rather deal with later!
  5. Many aren’t interested in long-term relationships…at least, not right now! They just want to have fun, fit in and not be left out. Sound familiar?
  6. They may be looking to trade up. Eeek! I’ve heard this directly also. Boys like to compete, and at this point in their lives, they’re usually not looking for the girl who would make the best wife.
  7. They’re very visual. Many boys lust quickly and it doesn’t take much for their minds to hit the gutter. Sure, checking out girls is cool among friends, but many guys struggle with immodesty. It’s often distracting and confusing, and since they’re likely going through hormonal changes, it’s embarrassing. Even Christian guys struggle!
  8. They may be easily tempted. Again, lots of guys struggle with immodesty. Many are too immature to avert their eyes when a “hot” girl walks by or flirts with him.
  9. Guys are physically attracted to immodesty and emotionally attracted to modesty. And this isn’t just in relation to clothes, but also to behavior. I can’t say this enough…boys respect modesty!
  10. They’re not going to change for you. Really! Even if they say they will, most likely they’re just saying it to get what they want…refer back to number 4.

Ladies, this post is not meant to denigrate boys, or give them excuses for their behavior. The truth is that teenage boys are just as complicated as you are. They’re going through a physical and emotional change in their lives, and it’s a challenge.

But the truth is that the many idiosyncrasies that come with being a teen boy are the same reasons why getting emotionally involved usually ends up with a broken heart for you. But more than that, relationships can distract you from God. I know that I’ve written it before, but unless you’re looking for marriage, you probably shouldn’t be looking for love!

Ladies, what do you think about the above list? Share your story…we love to hear from you!

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