Glad you found us! This site has one objective: to help you win the spiritual battle for purity, in every sense of the word. Society encourages us to throw away our virtue; the message sent out by the media is: "everyone's doing it!" We are here to prove that statement wrong! Come in, read some encouraging testimonies, chat with others who strive to remain pure, and reaffirm your belief that purity, sexual and otherwise, is not only possible, but totally worth it!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Think on These Things: Pure In Heart Conference, Lake Charles, LA!

Philippians 4:8     Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things(NIV).


I'm thrilled to share today's thing worth "thinking on!"  It's the Pure in Heart Conference; a one-day event that tackles numerous issues related to purity, specifically designed for tween girls age 7-12, mothers, grandmothers and mentors of children.  The overall objective is to prepare girls to make wise choices in the upcoming teenage years regarding purity, while equipping parents and mentors to be knowledgeable and confident guides. 

Because this conference is geared to 7-12 year-olds, they do not openly discuss sex.  Instead they focus on purity of heart, mind, body, etc.  In the adult sessions, moms are made truly aware of the intense pressure their soon-to-be-teenagers will experience, while teaching them to be proactive regarding purity, rather than simply defending them when pressures arise. 

This conference is on tour throughout the United States, but it's next stop will be at Trinity Baptist Church, Lake Charles, Louisiana on Saturday, March 19, 2011.  The cost is $36 for adults if you register by February 28, (after that it's $46) and $26 for tweens.  According to the website, the conference usually sells out before the end of early registration.  Their last conference in Dallas not only sold out, but had a waiting list of over 600 people, so if you're interested, now is the time to sign up!  Registration includes all materials and lunch.
Here are several promotional videos about the conference:

Online registration is available here. 
You can check out their website by following this link.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Trinity Baptist Church at:


What other "things" would you like to see highlighted on our weekend posts?  Drop us a line or leave a comment and we'll discuss the things that interest you.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Real Stories From the Purity Battleground part 4

Credit: Free images from

Welcome back!  I love this week's testimony because it so honestly discusses the struggles of a young, Christian couple in their battle for purity.  So often we think that it's all about not "going all the way," and we consider couples that didn't actually sleep together to have "succeeded" in remaining pure.  What many of us fail to recognize, or push out of mind, is that sexual purity can be lost by degrees.  Sexual sin occurs much earlier in the process of intimacy than sex, itself.  I hope as you read this testimony that you will consider where your personal boundaries lie regarding physical intimacy.  Ask God to help you draw a line well before any activity that leads you or your boyfriend to lust.  

Hi. My name is Renee. My husband, Scott, and I dated a year, were engaged a year longer, and have now been married almost 13 years. By the world’s standards, my husband and I waited until we were married to have sex. However, based on God’s standards of purity, we failed pretty miserably. I knew that God wanted me to remain pure, and I had great intentions, but I lacked the practical knowledge of how to ensure that purity. My hope for you as you read this testimony is that you will look at our failings and our great God and see how you can trust him to give you His view about yourself and your purity.

In my high school days, there were many ways that God protected me. I was painfully shy, had overprotective parents, and lived thirty miles away from the school I attended. My mother worked at the high school, and while I was never in any kind of trouble, she would have known if I had been. At the time, these things seemed like burdens, but God used them for my good. I was fortunate to have two best friends who were believers who didn’t drink and planned to wait for marriage for sex. We were extremely silly girls who were able to have fun together without the physical and emotional drama sex before marriage can bring.

I had numerous crushes on guys that I sat nearby in classes over the years. I could get to know them without having to actually talk to them much, I could moon over them, but I was safely distant from any actual relationship or temptation. The problem with that was that I was self-conscious and felt like something was wrong with me because I didn’t have a boyfriend. While I wanted to follow God’s rules about waiting for marriage, I had no sense of who I was in Him. I didn’t want to wait because I understood the value He placed on me and the gift that sharing my life with someone would be, but because it was the “right” thing to do.

In time, God grew me. I became more confident in the person that He had created me to be. By the time I entered college, I was excited to be going out on my own, and for the first time, I wasn’t even interested in having a boyfriend. That is when God put my husband in my life. I look back and think of how God protected me from getting involved in other relationships by putting him into my life right then. I was na├»ve and allowed myself to be in situations early in our relationship that could have ended unfortunately if they had been with someone else. Scott was a thoroughly trustworthy fellow, and from almost the beginning, we knew that God was putting us together. Scott had been a Christian for a few years, and though I had made a profession of faith at 9, my relationship with the Lord would really start to grow through my college and early married years. We were surrounded by godly friends and seeking God together from the start of our relationship.

It was during this time that we attended a Bible study together, and one of the topics was about setting sexual boundaries. Scott and I were already very openly affectionate with each other. We both held the same views on waiting for sex until marriage, and I think that gave us more of a feeling of freedom about everything else. We knew that intercourse was the boundary which we didn’t want to cross, and all of the little things the study talked about seemed so completely innocent. I missed the point of the study completely. We should have chosen a clear and modest line, well before intercourse to hold ourselves accountable to.

We also should have drawn boundaries about when and how we saw each other. It was my first time away from home. I could stay up late, come and go as I pleased, and spend my time in any way that I chose. Scott and I spent countless hours together, sometimes with friends and roommates, sometimes alone. Out and about, we ate together, went to church together, and watched movies together. In our dorms, we did homework, studied our Bibles, watched TV, all atop the only real place to sit, our beds. Mostly, we spent our time talking. Even after our dorm’s visiting hours, we would spend long nights talking together in the car learning everything we could about each other. I had never been able to talk to someone so easily about any and everything. It didn’t take long for us to start talking about if we get married, and then when we get married. But, these long days and nights alone together, with increasingly deeper feelings for one another caused us to speed past lines that I truly had never even considered crossing until I already had.

In my infatuation and pride, it took a while for me to listen to the Holy Spirit’s conviction about the ways that I had overstepped God’s view of sexual purity. I stubbornly said to myself, Well, we are waiting until we are married to have sex. I was justifying my actions, narrowing my definition of sex from what God intended it to be. Whatever the world might say, we had blatantly, obviously crossed into territory that God considered sex. Eventually, I got it, and I confessed and repented, and Scott and I drew stricter lines about what we would and would not do. At this point, engaged and getting ready for marriage, backing up on intimacy was a very hard thing to do, and we struggled during this time, sometimes being more successful than others. We still failed to put into place practices that would have helped us keep these newly made boundaries intact. I look back on that time with great fondness, but it is the long talks, the falling in love, the getting to know the person who is my husband that is what I love about that time. All of those moments, even the most private, personal conversations could have taken place as we walked together in a public park, as we sat together in a secluded corner of a restaurant, or stood on the footbridge watching ducks behind our dorm, and we wouldn’t have put ourselves in a position to sin.

My husband and I narrowed our view of sex from God’s, putting far too much weight on intercourse. We had good intentions, but lacked the safeguards needed to insure that we entered our marriage completely pure. This put too much pressure on that one aspect of our sexual relationship once we were married, and contributed to sex, which is a gift from God, being a difficult issue for us for several years. However, God’s grace and forgiveness are complete, and once I allowed him to make the spiritual changes He wanted to make in my life, he restored every aspect of my marriage to what He planned for it to be physically and emotionally. My hope is that you will be encouraged by my story to strive for God’s standards of purity, to put proper guards up, and to trust in God’s power and mercy to overcome any problems you are facing. He promises that when you obey Him in this area of your life, He will bless you and your future spouse abundantly.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Honor of Service

Joshua 1:1-3     After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, saying: "Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses (NKJV)."

servant leadership Pictures, Images and Photos

When I was a girl, God spoke to my heart, very clearly.  About to change schools and leave all my old friends behind, I was anxious about the future, but found comfort in the idea of "re-making" my image.  I decided to become popular, whatever it took.  As I was psyching myself up with these ideas, saying Whatever the popular kids do, that's what I'll do.  I'll go where they go and act the way they act, God suddenly interrupted my thought process and gave me a choice.  "Which would you rather be, April:  popular or my servant?" 

I was dumbfounded!  After several moments of speechlessness, I apologized to the Lord for my attitude, and told Him I wanted to be His servant.  The rest, as they say, is history...or so I thought!

While reading from Joshua, God brought this conversation back to my mind, with an unexpected twist.  Here, in Chapter one, verse one, God refers to Moses as his servant.  In fact, the very first sentence of the book identifies him as "Moses, the servant of the Lord."  It's a title of honor!

When God gave me a choice that day, He offered so much more than I realized at the time.  He wasn't simply asking if I'd rather be considered popular by my peers or do His work, He was asking if I'd rather have the honor I thought I wanted, or an honor only He can bestow! 

Moses, himself, was not immediately identified as a "servant of the Lord."  It was first used with His name toward the end of his life (Deuteronomy 34:5).  Joshua would later be given this title, but not until later in the book (Joshua 24:29, Judges 2:8).  Although I cannot answer why with absolute certainty, could it be that they needed to earn the honor first?  It makes sense to me! 

So, what does all this mean?  In all honesty, I don't consider myself to have earned any title of honor regarding my walk with the Lord, but I'm working on it!  What a tremendous blessing to be known, when I get to heaven as April, the servant of the Lord!  How I long to remain faithful and achieve such a blessing! 

This honor is available to you as well.  The question is, which will you choose?  You cannot have both.  Not that by choosing Christ you doom yourself to social rejection, but serving the Lord will cause you to stand out from the crowd.  Are you willing to be questioned for your faith?  Are you willing to endure the criticism of those who don't know Him and feel threatened by the light of Christ that shines through you?  Yes, it takes courage, but it's worth all the effort! 

Ask yourself today what title you'd most like to earn in this life:  (your name), the most popular?  or (your name), the servant of the Lord? 

Do you find living for Christ a battle in daily life?  What gives you the most difficulty?  Leave us a comment and let us know, we'd love to pray for you!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Think on These Things: Heaven is For Real- An Inspiring Read!

Philippians 4:8     Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (NIV).


I don't know what you got for Christmas, but the present I received from my grandparents has made a tremendous impact on my walk with God and my views of heaven!  They sent me the book  Heaven is For Real:  A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back.   It's the story of a three-year-old boy who underwent emergency surgery after his appendicitis was misdiagnosed, and his amazing experiences in heaven that were revealed in the following months and years.

My initial reaction when I saw the book's title was, "We'll see."  I didn't exactly know what to expect, but I tend to be a little skeptical of such experiences on the surface.  However, upon reading, I was overcome by this boy's description of heaven, meeting Jesus, departed family members, and even a glimpse into future events!  It was put so simply, and yet it lined up with scripture!  The book is written by the boy's father, who is a Methodist minister in Nebraska. 

Although it's an easy read, (my husband read it in one day) it's definitely an emotional book!  Throughout my reading, I'd find myself suddenly weeping at these simple, but profound truths about heaven.  It brought me such comfort, and made me even more aware of the individual, intentional, and profound love my Heavenly Father has for me! 

I highly recommend that you read this book!  It has been on the New York Times' Best Seller List for eight weeks straight, and ranked #1 for paperback nonfiction for the last two weeks.

This is a clip from an interview with Todd Burpo, the father/pastor and Colton, his son.  Just hearing this boy, now many years older, describe for himself briefly what he saw was an inspiration to me.

If you'd like a preview, here's an excerpt from the book:

Heaven Is for Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent

Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

What other "things" would you like to see highlighted on our weekend posts?  Drop us a line or leave a comment and we'll discuss the things that interest you.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Real Stories From the Purity Battleground part 3

Credit: Free images from

This week's testimony is a sweet story, and yet real at the same time!  It's about purity maintained through forethought and a strong support system.  However, even with all the support, this couple experienced struggles.  I hope this testimony encourages you to set limitations in place, before you begin a dating relationship.  Also, realize that temptation to commit sin is natural and normal...even Jesus was tempted (Mark 1:13).  It's the giving in to temptation that is sinful.  Not that this couple was perfect, but their story is one they will be proud to share with their children one day.  On another important note, this is the story of a girl who did not date much in high school.  Not to open up the "to date or not to date" argument, but please realize this:  there is no prize given for having lots of boyfriends.  Dating many people does not necessarily lead to a satisfying marriage.  In fact, the more often you date, the more potential opportunities you have to risk your purity.  I hope you enjoy this beautiful and uplifting story!

My name is Carrie, and I think my story of purity is a unique one. My husband is the first man I ever considered a boyfriend. We were high school sweethearts. Early in high school, on a youth retreat, I made a "True Love Waits" commitment to remain pure until I was married. I didn't date much at all early in high school because I lived in a small town, and most of the guys seemed more like brothers to me than dating material. But the summer before my junior year, when I wasn’t even looking, I met Adam. If you had asked me then, I’d have told you we’d never be more than friends. To make a relationship more unlikely, he lived several hours away from me. Little did I know what God had in store for me.

It started as a totally casual relationship. He became a friend with an unbiased ear that I could talk to when I didn't want to talk to people who already knew the whole story (you know...teenage drama!). Though we weren’t dating, I found myself anxiously waiting until the next time we talked. These were the days before free long distance or unlimited cell phone minutes, so we used email as our primary method of talking.

Then, came summer, and I was selected to be in a week long leadership camp. I had no idea what a turning point in my life this week would be! In my head, I was looking forward to a great experience, but in hind-sight, it was life-changing! The camp was near enough to Adam’s hometown that he could drive up for our closing ceremonies. We finally got to spend some time with each other face to face. We had the opportunity to sit outside on a park bench and talk for a couple of hours. When it was time to go, he gave me a very sweet hug, and I went to my room and cried my eyes out! I honestly didn’t know if I’d ever see him again. I knew then I was crazy about him and wanted to be more than friends! Later this same week, I was recruited by a professor from a university, far away from home. When I returned from camp, I sure had a lot to think about.

Despite the cost, emails from him turned into phone calls. We also begin to send letters back and forth through the mail. We didn't know how it would all materialize, but we were officially boyfriend and girlfriend. At this point, we hadn’t told our parents about this, but eventually we braved letting them know, and I think at first everyone was hesitant (and probably thought we were crazy) but slowly began to trust us. After all, what do two juniors in high school know about a long distance relationship?

Now, back to that college thing. This "new" university where I was suddenly interested in going turned out to be in the same town where some of his family lived and where he was planning to go to college. That wasn't really by our orchestration; it was totally God working without us figuring it all out for a while. During my senior year, I went to a preview weekend and our families were able to meet for the first time. Later, during my senior year, he also flew down to my hometown and went to my senior prom with me. What a sweet thing to do!!! By the end of our senior year, we had both decided for sure that we would be going to college together.

So far, as you can tell, purity wasn't that big of an issue for us because we rarely saw each other, and when we did, it was always around other people. Even in college, I'd be in the dorms, and he was going to live with his family. But, our relationship totally changed once we were actually able to spend some face time together, on a regular basis.

A lot of our purity was guarded by our circumstances. I lived in a girls dorm at a Christian school, and visiting hours were limited. Boys could be in our rooms for only 3 hours on Sunday afternoon, our doors had to be open, we could only sit in the same bed, and there was supposed to be space between us. I have to admit that I'm a rule follower, so my dorm room was certainly not a situation of struggle for us. And since he lived with his family, there wasn't a lot of temptation there, either. We would sit on a couch in his room, but the door always open, and someone would usually come check on us regularly.

Had we confined ourselves to those, and only those physical areas to spend time together, we would've been fine, but like most couples, we wanted some time to be alone. We found that being in either of our cars alone seemed to be our weakest place. Remember, I had made a commitment that I was not going to have sex with anyone who was not my husband, but looking back on it, a boundary should have been more clearly defined. I had Christian friends in college who said, "I know this is the man I'm going to marry, so I don't see anything wrong with having sex with him now." Luckily, I wasn't sucked into that mentality.

At Christmas of my sophomore year, Adam moved into his own apartment. He got a "real job" and things changed quickly. We were spending a lot more time alone at his place. We never had sex, but I can't say it wasn't tempting sometimes, or that we never crossed a few lines we shouldn't have. In April of that same year, he proposed and we were engaged! It was such a special, but busy time! Our wedding was in my hometown, several hours away, and we made a lot of trips home that were packed full of wedding planning.

As the date neared, we were so excited about getting away on our honeymoon! Though we struggled, we made a commitment to each other and to God, and we waited. The first man I ever kissed is still the man that I kiss goodnight, eight years after our beautiful wedding day. We struggled at times, but we made it, and you can too! God gave us the strength, and he will give you strength too, even if you've messed up. His mercies are made new every morning.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Dream Must Die in Order to Live

Matthew 10:39     He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it (NKJV).

Recently, during my quiet time, God revealed some truths to me about Jesus' death and resurrection, truths that seemed applicable to my own life and future.  I'm going to attempt to share what He laid on my heart; so here goes:

Jesus resurrection Pictures, Images and Photos
Throughout the gospels, Jesus called people to come and follow Him.  They took their first obedient steps of faith in His direction, and as they did so, Jesus confirmed their faith through His amazing miracles.  The longer they walked with Jesus, the deeper their faith in Him grew.  They believed that He truly was the Son of God, and that He fulfilled all the prophecies of the coming Messiah.  Through Him they did mighty works that glorified God and brought blessing to His people.  To them, Jesus represented the fulfillment of all their dreams, both personally and the dreams of Israel as a nation.

However, they also held assumptions of what Jesus would do during His time on earth.  They expected Him to be a ruler, not a servant.  They expected Him to conquer, not surrender.  So, when Jesus spoke of dying, and of going somewhere they could not follow, it distressed them.  They were confused and hurt, because they knew in their heart who this Man was, but He didn't fit the stereotypes created by years of religious "tradition."

Then came the terrible day when He was crucified.  Some disciples fled from Him, denied Him, even betrayed Him because they lost hope, or were overcome by fear.  Some stayed with Him to the end, watched Him give His life, and even witnessed His burial.  Every one of them, though, experienced the death and burial of their dreams as Christ was laid in the tomb.  In their minds, all hope was lost.

Ironically, death was necessary for their dreams to come true!  Even in the darkest of moments, chains were being broken, death was being swallowed up in victory, and a way was being made where there had been no way.  Christ voluntarily laid down His life, and three days later, He took it back again, becoming the Way for all people to God the Father. 

Now, to make this personal.  What are your dreams?  Whether they are dreams for a career, a business, a relationship, a ministry or a personal achievement, you must be willing to let them die.  You must surrender your expectations, your timetable, and even be willing to let the dream completely go, if God wills.  Why?  Because that's the only possible way to bring them to pass.  The more you try to make it happen on your own, the more it will evade you.  The more you try to control, the more you will realize that you have no control. 

On the other hand, by surrendering your dreams to Jesus, you place those dreams on His altar as a sacrifice of worship.  You demonstrate that your love for Him is greater than your love of your dreams.  You acknowledge that your hope for the future is in the One who controls the future.  Yes, your dreams may seem to slip away.  Every expectation you hold might fade.  Your dreams might seem dead, cold and buried, but just as Christ was at work in His disciples' darkest hour, He's at work in yours!  Every prayer you have lifted up is working toward His perfect plan for you.  It might seem like you're just "spinning your wheels," but God has a divine purpose for whatever you're going through, and He plans to use it to bring forth the best in your life. 

So, don't try to manufacture the future you think you want, instead place your trust in the One who crafted you in His image, even if it means watching your dreams die.  Hope will come in the morning, and the future will dawn brighter than you can possibly imagine!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Think on These Things: Debut Album by Martay, GAME OVER

Philippians 4:8     ...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things  (NIV).

In my quest for things worth "thinking about", I stumbled upon a new artist whose debut album was released on New Year's day!  Her name is Martay, and she describes her style as a mix of R&B, Hip Hop, and a little bit of Rock.  Here is a clip of Martay discussing the inspiration behind her song Hello Beauty.  Listening to this clip, I developed a respect for her heart and ministry. 

Here is a sample of several tracks on her album, GAME OVER.  This might give you an idea of her musical style:

Itunes customers have given her CD a 5 star rating.  One of them describes GAME OVER as "Gospel with a new twist."

If you'd like to check out her website, including her beauty blog,click here
Hope you enjoy!

What other "things" would you like to see highlighted on our weekend posts?  Drop us a line or leave us a comment and we'll look into the things that interest you. 


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Real Stories from the Purity Battleground part 2

Credit: Free images from

Welcome back!  Here's another real life story of someone like you and their struggle for purity.  May it help you continue fighting the good fight.  All the waiting, all the feeling left out and lonely will be worth it in the end!  Here's proof from a voice other than mine:

My name is Heather. God blessed me with a Christian family that taught me to value sexual purity, but I had to make the decision for myself to remain a virgin until, if ever, I married. As my sisters fell in love and married, I remained single. I had Christian friends who began to have sex before marriage. Most of my dating experience came after college, during my early twenties as a single professional living alone. There was ample opportunity for me to have sex unknown to my family or church. Some of the Christian men I dated wanted a more physical relationship than I would allow, and they might have wanted to have sex. But I had decided that I wanted no regrets sexually or romantically. I chose to guard my heart as well as my body. I knew that even if I never married, I would regret having given away my virginity or my love to someone who didn’t love me enough to be my husband. So I dated carefully.

Then when I wasn’t expecting it, God introduced me to Mark. I knew right away that he was special, and I thought to myself, I could marry this man. Not only was I attracted to him physically and personality-wise; I was impressed also with his integrity. He treated me with great respect (and with enough attention to make it clear that he was attracted to me). He talked with me about his past relationships and about his relationship with God. I quickly came to trust and admire him more than any other man I had dated. And let me tell you, trust makes a man very attractive. I could tell he loved me by the way he treated me, and I knew my heart would be safe with him.
So we agreed to marry. And then it became much more difficult to wait to have sex. I knew this man would be my husband, and I loved him as if he were my husband. But each of us knew the importance of abstinence before and faithfulness within marriage. It wasn’t easy, but with the help of God and supportive friends and family, I remained a virgin until I married the only man to whom I ever said “I love you.” I feel extraordinarily blessed in having none of the regrets that come with past sexual immorality or a previously broken heart. I told my husband that by waiting for sex until marriage, he had helped make my dreams come true. I know now that a fairy-tale wedding is not nearly as wonderful as a clear conscience and a loving, trusting spouse.
If you're in the midst of the battle for purity, you are not alone.  We would love to pray for you!  Send us an email or leave us a comment and we'll gladly help you stand strong. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Think on These Things: Armed and Virtuous is Hittin' the Road!

Philippians 4:8 ...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things (NIV).

I am so excited to announce that the Armed and Virtuous battle plan is going on the Central Baptist Church, Buna! We will start the first session of a seven-week series this Sunday, January 9 at 6:00p.m. (Yes, that's tomorrow!) If you can make it, I encourage you to attend.

This is not your typical "don't do it, don't talk about it" series, it's a practical plan for surviving youth with your virtue intact, and we're talking sexual purity and beyond. If you, or someone you know is in the midst of the struggle to stay pure, then stop by tomorrow evening. We will dive into the battle plan, and I'll be doing a little bit of "show and tell" with some treasured family "heirlooms."

If you can't come, but support the cause, your prayers would be greatly appreciated. The battle plan is the heart of what Armed and Virtuous is all about: empowering girls to embrace who they are in Christ, discover the desires that He has for their hearts, and dare to step out in faith and walk the narrow way that will bring those desires to pass!  Hope to see you there!

What other "things" would you like to see highlighted on our weekend posts? Drop us a line or leave a comment, and we'll look into the things that interest you. Thanks!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Real Stories from the Purity Battleground part 1

Credit: Free images from

Hello all!  For this mid-week series, I will be highlighting one of the testimonies that can be found on our Testimonies page.  Although you may have read these real-life stories before, many people have not, and each one is a unique glimpse into the amazing plans and grace of our God.  I hope this series brings encouragement if you or someone you know is struggling in their battle for sexual purity.  You are not alone!  Success is possible, and forgiveness and restoration are available for any past mistakes.  The names have been changed to protect the forgiven, but the stories are true.  Enjoy reading, and God Bless.

My name is Alyssa Daneise and this is my story…
I was raised in pure ignorance of sex. Anything I knew about the technical stuff came from what I pieced together from what I’d heard, read, and seen on TV/movies. The only formal thing I remember being taught about sex was “DON’T!”because only bad people “do”, and that is a dangerous place to be! I had great parents who loved me, a brother and sisters who cared, and a wonderful church home, but nobody really talked about that kind of thing. So my idea of what God wanted was for me to “not”, and I committed myself to that.

Here’s the problem: I didn’t understand what all that meant. I new nothing about all the wonderful “do’s” there are in God. I had no idea who I was in Him. I had no clue of the plans He had for me, and I didn’t really fully understand what I was supposed to “not” do. So that is why I am writing this. Like April, I want you to be fully armed so that you can know what virtuous means and you can achieve it. No matter who you are!

I spent most of my Jr. High and High School years feeling frumpy. I didn’t like myself a whole lot. I was miserably shy. (You wouldn’t believe it now, but I was.) I dated very little. So when I liked a guy and he actually liked me, and I thought he was a “good” guy (didn’t talk about it, didn’t know how) I would get into a relationship and give my heart away, quickly. Along with this came some pretty intense physical affection. Well, when you commit to “don’t” and you get into physical relationships, then say, “Oh, no, not that!” You get dumped and hurt and feel less about yourself. This continued into college.

Then, God began to work on my heart and teach me more about how much He loved me. I found Jeremiah 29:11 and began to discover that God truly had a plan for ME!! It greatly changed how I felt about myself and how I served Him, but I still struggled with how guys perceived me. I wanted so badly to feel loved, needed, and wanted by a guy. So, I continued to be too physical in relationships. Still always remaining the “virgin”, yet losing pieces of me to these guys who were not ready, or not willing, to love me in the way God intended for me to be loved.

God continued to teach me, grow me and open doors, but I never let Him take full control of that aspect of my life. I am not sure how much of it was because I was unwilling or just didn’t quite understand how. I graduated from college and began my career. I was now a single 22 year old virgin whose pride in her virginity didn’t make her apartment less lonely every night! I wore my virginity as a badge, even though my heart knew I had been in wrong places, and that it was by God’s grace alone that I had gotten out of many of those situations with my virginity still intact. Too many times, I put my self in places where I could have been robbed. I tempted men in ways that now appall me! I did not surrender my full self to Him.

God was gracious to me and sent me a wonderful man at the age of 25- who was shocked that I “didn’t” and respected me for it. He was a new Christian who had been divorced. I know God put us together for so many reasons! I know my virginity was one aspect that drew him to me. Not just that I was, but that I had that kind of commitment. (He didn’t realize how much I was holding out on God. Giving your whole life to God was totally new to him!) Our courtship was short and intense! I have never loved, nor been loved by anyone the way I love my husband. I knew instantly that this was different. I had actually just about decided I was destined to be single forever (Isn’t that always when it happens?) and told the Lord that was okay. I was tired of wrong relationships and I only wanted what He had for me. I believe God was waiting for that response.

We are married and have two beautiful children. It has been since marrying and even more since having my children though, that I am truly realizing all that purity means. I am choosing to talk openly with my children, and anyone else who will listen, about all that God desires. There is so much more to giving your all to God than I understood as a teen and young adult. I have regrets and scars that I desire others not to have. Discover early what I came to know so much later: God has a wonderful plan for you, from the time you were in the womb! It is a wonderful plan and it involves every aspect of who you are! Commit all your ways to Him. Let Him make your paths straight, and joyful!!

Are you in the midst of the "battle" for sexual purity?  Leave us a comment, post on our Girl Talk page, or send us a prayer request by email.  We'd love to help support you in the fight! 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Are You a Wise or Foolish Virgin?

Matthew 25:1-2     At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.  Five of them were foolish and five were wise (NIV).
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Happy New Year!  I hope your Christmas celebration was blessed, that you spent quality time with your loved ones, and are recharged and ready to put the nose back to the grindstone.  (At least as recharged as possible, no one in my house was thrilled about going back to work or school, either!) 

The new year is always a natural time of reflection and change.  So often we make New Year's Resolutions in hopes of improving the areas of life where we seem to fall short.  With that thought in mind, I hope this word brings you encouragement and inspiration.

Many of you may be setting such goals.  You might want to overcome a bad habit, do better in school, or even commit yourself to sexual purity.  All these things are worthy desires, and worth investing effort to accomplish, but in all the striving for excellence, let's not forget where our strength truly lies and upon Whom our ultimate hope depends. 

At that time refers to the second coming of Christ, when Jesus returns to earth as King of Kings and takes His people with Him.  This parable compares the second coming to a wedding procession.  The ten virgins are attendants to the bride.  They are waiting to escort her to the Groom's house and partake in the wedding celebration.  They are all virgins, and they all wait for the coming of the Bridegroom.  What separates the wise from the foolish is, the foolish bring their lamps, but no extra oil.  The wise virgins bring a secondary container of oil to replenish their lamps in case the oil runs out before He comes. 

The Bridegroom is a long time coming, and all the virgins, wise and foolish alike, fall asleep.  Then, at midnight, the most unexpected hour for the procession, they hear the announcement that He is coming and must be ready.  By this time, the oil is running out in the foolish virgins' lamps, and they ask the wise virgins to share their oil.  The wise refuse, but suggest that they go and get their own.  The foolish virgins take their advice.  Unfortunately, after they leave, the Bridegroom arrives.  The wise virgins, who have prepared by keeping vessels filled with oil, enter the gates and join the wedding feast.  The foolish virgins return to find the doors locked and they call to the Bridegroom, asking Him to open the door.  His response is:  I tell you the truth, I don't know you.  Then comes the moral of the story:  Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

Not to delve too deeply into the symbolism here, but throughout the Bible, lamps indicate the church and oil is symbolic of the Spirit of God.  The church cannot sustain the light of the world without the oil of the Spirit.  He is our supply, the source of our strength.  The wise virgins knew how much they needed this supply in order to be ready when the Bridegroom came, and so they prepared.  The foolish virgins waited, but did not properly prepare.  The result was, they missed out on the ultimate event because their focus was on the short-term.

So, the question is, are you a wise or foolish virgin?  Are you preparing your heart for the ultimate goal, meeting your Bridegroom and Savior when He returns, or are you becoming distracted by the immediate plans of daily life?  Are you trying to accomplish things in your own strength, or are you allowing yourself to be "filled with the spirit?"  Throughout all your efforts to improve in one area or another, as worthy as those efforts may be, do some spiritual inventory and determine the motives behind the effort.  If your goals help keep you prepared for the glorious day when Christ returns, then go for it!  If they distract you, or remove you from your life source, the Holy Spirit, then surrender those things to God.  He will replace distractions with truly worthy goals; goals that will give you an abundant life now, and keep you watchful for the day when every tear is wiped away and we live with Him in paradise! 

What are some things you hope to achieve in the New Year?  Drop us a line and share!  We'd love to pray for God to bless and strengthen your efforts for Him!