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!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Giveaway from Lilla Rose!




Hello, ladies!  I'm so excited about this weekend's "thing," because it's our first giveaway on Armed and Virtuous.  (I don't know about you, but I always get excited about free stuff!)

The Lilla Rose company offers unique, functional, and well-made hair jewelery.  Their most famous product, the flexi-clip, comes in a wide variety of styles, sizes, and is designed to work in absolutely every hair type, length, and thickness.  This clip can make simple hair-dos like a pony tail or a half-up hairstyle look much more elegant.  They also work great in tails-up 'dos, and french twists. 




I was given an opportunity to try the flexi-clip myself.  My hair is naturally wavy and monstrously thick.  I have attempted without success the tails-up style many times with many clips, so that was the first style I tried with my flexi. (My hair is so thick that no clip can contain it!)  To my surprise and delight, it actually worked!  Here is a picture of me, wearing my flexi clip:


In addition to the original flexi clip, Lilla Rose produces many other types of hair jewelery.  They offer elegant hair sticks, hair bands, o-rings and bobby pins, as well as earrings, necklaces and decorative accessories. 

All this to say, Joeann Foster, independent consultant for Lilla Rose, is giving away a free flexi-clip, or $15.00 in Lilla Rose products to an Armed and Virtuous reader!  You may enter up to three times.  Each of the following things counts as one entry:

1.  Go to this page and watch the many different ways to use a flexi clip and find your best size.
2.  Like Joeann's Lilla Rose facebook page.
3.  Tell us which style is your favorite on the LR website.

Please make sure to leave a comment on this blog post stating that you have completed each activity.  We will draw a winner based on the comments received.  The winner of the drawing will be posted next Wednesday, September 7th at 9:30 p.m. 


So . . . enjoy!  There are so many beautiful styles to choose from, they even have seasonal clips which are super cute, too.  Happy Browsing!  :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Truest BFF!

holding hands Pictures, Images and Photos


Proverbs 22:11     He who loves purity of heart [And has] grace on his lips, The king [will be] his friend (NKJV).


Well, school started today, at least in my corner of the world.  Yesterday, I heard every possible reaction from my high school girls' Sunday School class regarding their feelings on the subject.  Some were excited, some were sad to see the summer come to an end, others were tired of sitting at home, and a few were indifferent.  No matter where you fall in this spectrum, I want to wish you a prosperous, blessed school year, and offer a thought to give you the best possible "send-off."

We all know that junior high and high school are all about relationships- way more than academics.  No matter who you are, and how much you care to make good grades, your emotional well being is directly tied to how you feel your friendships/dating relationships are going.  If all is well in your social world, then life seems to fall in line.  If you find yourself the victim of gossip, backstabbing, or betrayal for one reason or another, then it's really hard to focus on things like grades and planning for the future. 

Unfortunately, people can be absolutely cruel at times.  Even those you name as friends can turn with no warning, and deliver an emotional blow to the gut.  While I can't promise to prevent this from happening, I can offer you a better option for a "BFF." 

God loves you!  He loves you intentionally and individually.  If you will make a point to invest in your relationship with Him, He'll prove Himself to be the truest and best of friends.  When all other friends fail you, and they will, because we're all human and all make mistakes, God will not.  He will stand beside you, strengthen you during the tough times and the work you do in His strength will prosper beyond your imagination.

So, the question is this:  How close do you want to be to your Savior?  Do you want Him as a casual acquaintance, or as a close friend?  If you truly wish to be a friend of God, then you must love purity of heart.  In other words, you should strive for an innocent heart.  Don't put garbage into your mind.  Don't watch or listen to filthy things, and don't hang around people who gossip and betray others.  Secondly, have grace on your lips.  Rather than seeking revenge when you are hurt, seek to bless.  It's contrary to our nature, but it's exactly what Christ did for us. 

 It is such an amazing privilege that God desires friendship with us! Rather than taking that for granted, let's try to make ourselves a better friend to the King.



If you need prayer or encouragement, for any reason, leave a comment or email us at requests@armedandvirtuous.org.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Think on These Things- Worth the Wait Conference is Coming Up!



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).

This week's "thing" is coming up soon, and it's definitely worth not only thinking about, but making plans to attend.  It's a purity conference for guys and girls, and Armed and Virtuous Ministries will be there!  I'm talking about the Worth the Wait conference at Central Baptist Church, in Buna TX.  It is a one day conference that takes place on October 8, from 8:30-3:00.   Here's how they describe this event:

Worth The Wait is a teen sexual purity conference for all people in the greater Southeast Texas area. It is an event paid for by local churches so your students can hear God's view on sexual purity. 

This conference takes place every other year, and hundreds of people come to get inspired and encouraged in their commitments to sexual purity.  The keynote speaker will be Tim Ramsey, President of One Road Ministries and Pastor of Student Ministries at Fellowship of Huntsville Church in Huntsville, TX. 

There will be break-out sessions for girls only and guys only throughout the day.  That's where Armed and Virtuous comes in!  We will be sharing in the girls only sessions, along with Registered Nurse, Jennifer Sigler.  For the guys' sessions,  the leaders are Cody Hogden of the Refuge and Jared Hollier, Pastor of Peachtree Baptist in Jasper, TX.  Worship will be led by the Micah Tyler Band. 

According to Worth the Wait's facebook page, the first 20 churches that like their page will receive a free t-shirt for their youth leader. 

So, check it out!  If you have any questions, feel free to contact Scott Hawk, youth pastor at Central Baptist at:   (409) 994-3641

We 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 discuss the things that interest you!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Think On These Things: God's Food Ministry!


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).

Remember when we talked about gathering plastic grocery bags several weeks ago?  I recently had an opportunity to take those bags to the Taylor Food Ministry.  Although I anticipated blessing them with the bags we gathered, I received a much greater blessing in return, and learned a lesson or two about what a pure heart really looks like.

The Taylors are unassuming, Godly people with a heart for the needy.  Unlike many places that distribute food, they don't take down much personal information, or ask lots of intrusive questions.  They believe that, if someone comes to them asking for food, they are truly in need.  The bags that you gathered are used to package an assortment of canned, boxed and frozen goods to those who come for help. 


I was taken back to their shelves of canned goods and shown what staples go into the bags:  canned vegetables, peanut butter, jelly, and whatever is currently available.  Then they create another bag of boxed and packaged goods.  Finally, they give out frozen meats based on the number of people in the family. 

Several churches in the area support this ministry financially, and they have a few volunteers who regularly devote time by straightening and organizing bags, organizing the food onto shelves, and bagging up the goods.  Lots of hard labor was going on, and yet, everyone was smiling and seemed genuinely happy to be there.  Mr. Taylor, himself, was shaking hands, cracking jokes and looking for every opportunity to make someone smile.  When I asked him about it he said, "I make it my goal every day to send people away from here happy and blessed."  


This food ministry serves a much wider area than just their local community.  The owner of this car comes to the Taylor's weekly.  He fills his vehicle with as many bags of food as possible and distributes them in Orange, TX. 


As I talked with Mr. Taylor and was snapping pictures, I asked if I could take a picture of him.  I saw his smile fade just a little bit and he said something that spoke directly to my heart:  "I'd rather you not, and here's why:  people call this the Taylor food ministry, but it's not.  It's God's food ministry.  I don't want to give the devil even a toehold on what God is doing here.  I don't want to open the door even a crack to invite in pride." 

I was amazed!  How often do we slap our name on something to claim it as our own?  Even when we're doing God's work, it's so easy to fall into the trap of sitting back and congratulating ourselves.  It made me re-examine my priorities.  When God calls us to do a work, the work alone is the blessing, not any applause that might come afterward.  How I hope to hold onto that, to truly live out that attitude!  If we love God, we are to feed His sheep:  Meet their needs, and point to Christ, and Christ alone.

Mr. Taylor was so excited to share his latest idea with me, and I wanted to pass it along to you.  As helpful as our grocery bags are to their ministry, he began feeling convicted about the fact that grocery stores' names were attached to the gift of food, not the Lord's.  As God continued to lead, He placed an order for several hundred bags that will look something like this when they arrive: 

Photobucket


(My apologies for the poor quality of the picture).  If you can't read it well it says:  "Be Happy and Blessed in Jesus' name!  Matthew 25."  His desire is to point not to a store, but to Jesus as the source of our blessings and the Provider of our needs.  Yes, this was an investment of money, but God provided all that was needed to cover the cost!  (If this is to be an ongoing investment, however, I'm sure that funds will be needed in the future.)

I watched several people who were in need come, have their spirits uplifted, their needs met, and then sent off with a prayer.  Before anyone was allowed to leave the Taylor's, myself included, people joined hands and prayed.  There was such a joyful, sweet spirit in that place! 

I asked Mrs. Taylor if there was anything we could do to help and she said that they can always use toiletries:  toilet paper, feminine supplies, soap, toothpaste, etc.  Their main focus is food, but she says that people often pull her aside and whisper "Do you have any toilet paper?"  Women will come in and ask for feminine supplies, and it breaks her heart to say "no." 

So. . . the Armed and Virtuous ministry is going to look into what we can do to help God's food ministry in the way of paper goods and toiletries.  If you'd like to help, feel free to contact us at suggestions@armedandvirtuous.org.  Otherwise, we'll start planning, and let you know what God leads us to do.

I hope your summer has been great!  I hope you've had lots of opportunities to relax and have fun.  I also hope that you've been able to do something significant for the kingdom of God, just like the Taylors. 




Monday, August 8, 2011

The Ultimate "Make-Over"

girl looking at mirror Pictures, Images and Photos


I Peter 3:4-5     Do not let your adornment be [merely] outward--arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on [fine] apparel-- rather [let it be] the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible [beauty] of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God (NKJV).

The new school year is almost here, all the stores have great sales going on, and the foremost thing on everyone's mind is:  Where is the best place to buy new, cute clothes for school?  Don't worry, I'm not trying to rain on your fashion parade, but I do hope to get you thinking, and help put some things into perspective before that first tardy bell rings. 

If school is still anything like it was for me, certain brands of clothing are more socially acceptable than others.  Those brands are usually much more expensive, which often leads to arguments with parents about what "everyone is wearing" verses "what we can afford."  Then there's what style of clothing is "in," and more often than not, this can create a modesty issue.  Even if it's not specifically against the school dress code, (or it is, but you know you can get away with it- that's another issue) your parents might have a problem with the cut of a neckline or the length of a skirt.  This can become such a frustrating time!  Is it possible for a teenage girl to dress fashionably, and yet, respect her parents' budget and honor the Lord? 

I say yes!  First, make it a matter of prayer.  If it matters to you, it matters to God.  He loves you, and enjoys giving you good things-even cute clothing.  Then, take a mental step back and think:  Who am I trying to impress?  Whose good opinion truly matters to me?  Is it worth spending more money than you can afford just to (maybe) make a good impression on the first day of school?  Is it more important to impress people who will turn around and gossip about you later, than to maintain your standards of modesty? 

Does this verse tell us not to wear trendy clothing?  No.  It just instructs us to make our beauty go beyond the surface.  If you can afford the expensive stuff, there's nothing wrong with wearing it, but don't measure your value by the clothing brands you can (or cannot) wear.  Instead, spend time molding and shaping your character.  The person you are on the inside.

Rather than spending so much time stressing out over the reflection in your bedroom mirror, spend some time looking into the mirror of God's word.  As you read the Bible, God will begin pointing out flaws in your character, areas that fall short of His expectations of you.  You'll feel convicted of your sin, but even when God corrects us, He does it in love.  He won't reject you, He'll just inspire you to change.  As you begin to see your image becoming more and more like Christ's your self-confidence will soar!  You'll realize that this is the ultimate "make-over," and truly worthy of your time and efforts.

Will your change be noticeable on the outside?  You bet!  When the Spirit of God abides in a person, the joy of the Lord transforms them.  It can be seen on their face, heard in their speech, and demonstrated in what they do.  If you truly want to make an impression on the first day of school, spend some time looking into the face of Jesus.  Make a concerted effort to mold your character according to His, and spend your energy on what He desires of you.  Not only will the world notice you, but God, Himself will find you beautiful! 



Are you concerned about the upcoming school year?  Whether your needs are great or small, we'd love to pray for you.  Just leave us a comment or email us at requests@armedandvirtuous.org.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Keep Thy Heart Conference!

heart Pictures, Images and Photos


Guess what?  There's a purity conference going on this weekend in our area!  I just found out about it, and I wanted to spread the word. 

Friendship Baptist Church in Beaumont, TX is hosting the Keep Thy Heart Ladies' Purity Conference.  It's this Saturday, August 6 from 9:30-3:00.  The guest speaker is Kayla Rawls, a cheerleader from Liberty University.  Here's her video:



Kayla will be addressing current issues regarding purity to our community's youth.  It's going to be an eye-opening experience!  The cost is $15 per person, and that includes lunch.  What a great boost to begin the next school year! 

To register, and for more information, contact Josh Fowler, Friendship Baptist's youth pastor, at 409-898-0249.

I hope you get to go!  Let us know if you do, and how the conference goes!

Monday, August 1, 2011

What I Can, and Can't Do...

signs Pictures, Images and Photosno traffic signs Pictures, Images and Photos


John 15:5     Without Me you can do nothing (NKJV). 
Philippians 4:13    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (NKJV).

Yes, this little devo. is coming from personal experience.  I'll admit to that from the beginning.  The past several weeks have been jam-packed with activity, responsibilities, and I've just about reached my limit.  The "to-do" list kept getting longer and longer while deadlines got closer and closer.  I've been madly trying to accomplish the task with the closest deadline first, appearing as if I had it all together, when actually I was coming apart at the seams.  Finally, God stepped in, and halted the madness:

April, you can't do everything on your own.  In fact, you can't do anything on your own.  You need Me involved every step of the way. 

I know these things in my head, but when life gets crazy, my heart wants to try and solve the problems in my own strength.  I think it's my job to find the money, time, resources or energy to get a job done.  That's not God's plan for my life.  He is the true source of my every need, not my bank account, my brain, or my heart.  If I'd just remember this lesson, life would be less stressful.  I only need to ask Him for my needs, trust that He'll supply what is best for me, and then walk as He directs. 

How on earth could this apply to you?  Well, although I hate to mention it, the summer is drawing to a close.  You might be looking forward to the next school year, or you might be dreading it.  Either way, the key to a succesful year is simple:  Be aware of what you can, and cannot do. 

We can't make anything happen on our own,no matter how much we desire to.  We need God's blessing, God's direction, and God's help every step of the way.  It's not a pleasant thought, but it's the cold, hard truth.  Luckily, though, that's not the end of the story.

Philippians 4:13 says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  If we're abiding in Him, and acting based on His direction, there is nothing we cannot accomplish!  You might be about to step onto a university campus for the first time.  It's terrifying, I remember, but you'll thrive in this new phase of life, as long as you stay plugged into God's word.  Depend on Him for the courage, the friends, and the understanding.  He owns it all, and He delights in sharing good things with His children. 

It's a beautiful little irony:  We can do nothing without Him, and we can do everything through Him!  Cast your cares on Christ because He cares for you.  Lay your needs and desires at His feet and dare to believe that He'll come through as He promised.