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Hey friends, check out my guest post featured on CarolynAstfalk.com

As the author of Catholic fiction for teens and young adults, I find myself in a constant battle of the wills. There’s this desire to delight the reader with an entertaining and relatable story, while still remaining focused on pleasing God and sharing His Word. Some may not think this much of a challenge, but when you reflect on the world we live in, as well as what passes for entertainment these days, hardly a fraction of it would be considered godly. In fact, entertainment is so focused on stories that do everything but promote God’s word, or worse, indulge in ideas that are contrary to God’s word.

When it comes to teen fiction, it’s all about rebelling against everything that used to be considered good, promoting dark and destructive themes, and introducing attractive characters with sinister desires. I could throw out a list of examples, but that wouldn’t be fair, or even necessary, quite frankly. I’m confident you know what novels, past and present, I’m referring to.

That’s life, some people will rationalize. That’s the world we live in. Well, yes, it is. But is it the world we should be living in? Is it the world that God wants us to live in? Is it a world we should be promoting? Is it one we should be celebrating?

Scripture tells us that we should be careful about what we put before our eyes. In 2 Corinthians 7, St. Paul reminds us, “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God.” To cleanse ourselves means to ensure that nothing unholy fill our minds or our lives. That’s not easy for us to do when we’re constantly bombarded with unclean and unholy images all day long. There’s only so much we can control, but we can certainly limit the unholy and instill within us God’s glory in so many other ways, including the books that we choose to read.

So, does that mean that Catholics should only read novels about good people doing good things in a world where real life messy doesn’t occur? Well, of course not. That wouldn’t be realistic. And besides, Catholic authors are real people living in the real world. Regardless of how much some of us wish to isolate ourselves from this current post-Christian society, we feel deeply about our role in this world. We are aware of the real world issues that teens are dealing with, whether they’re emotional or physical. We understand temptation, loss, insecurity, loneliness, lust, heartbreak, crushes, drugs, premarital sex, depression, suicide and so many other dark aspects of the world that are confusing and consuming for teens and young adults. But we take the dark and we add light.

Writing is a vocation for us. It’s a ministry. Personally, I believe that the Lord sprinkled the gift of writing upon my head and now I must use it to glorify His name. I am to take the world as it is and place God into the center of it where He belongs. I’m to create real lives the way they should be lived in the hopes that teens are inspired and instill the virtues and values into their own lives. Continue reading…

If you loved this, then you’re sure to like…

Catholicmom.com: Sharing Christ’s Way in a Sexualized Culture, One Novel at a Time

The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch is Featured on CatholicMom.com

Are You Aware of This Sad and Naked Truth?

 

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Twitter: @TMGaouette

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We live in such a confused world. What used to be understood as wrong has been forced upon us as right. Whether it’s to do with sexual immorality, marriage, life, or love, Truth has been distorted and the Word has become opinion. It’s been translated to fit personal agenda, rather than God’s. Selfishness presides over everything and we’re absolutely lost. Now what?

The reality is that there’s only one Truth and we need to hold onto it and never let it go. We can’t allow the world to dictate our lives, our beliefs or our agendas. At the end of the day, at the end of our life, we will face our Judge. And He will remind us of the Truth, and how easily we set it aside, distorted it, abused it, and destroyed it for our own gain.

Scripture reminds us to remain alert. “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour,” 1 Peter 5:8 reads. Don’t let that someone be you.

The following clip is an awesome reminder of the temptations we face on a regular basis, and how we should protect ourselves with the armor of God. The boy in this video reminds me of Gabriel in Freeing Tanner Rose. Check it out! Are you wearing yours?

If you loved this, then you’re sure to like…

Leah Darrow Talks Fashion, Modesty, Chastity, and Mr. Right!

 

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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…)

If you loved this, then you’re sure to like…

Leah Darrow Talks Fashion, Modesty, Chastity, and Mr. Right!

Can Innocence, Purity, and God Prevail in a Highly Sexualized Era?

Read Full Post »

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