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!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Deck the Halls...But Keep Perspective

grain of wheat Pictures, Images and Photos


But Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.  Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.  He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor (NKJV)."

Well, it's the Christmas season and all the stores are enticing us to come out and shop.  From now until Christmas Day we will be assaulted with commercials, specials, and last-chance offers to take advantage of "great deals."  If your calendar is anything like mine,  most of the weekends are already full of parties, church events, and family gatherings.  The Christmas list of things to do, buy, bake, mail and take care of is long and the time is short.  It's "the most wonderful time of the year," but it's also the most hectic time of the year. 

We get so caught up in the festivities of Christmas, the giving of gifts and the planning of parties that it's easy to forget the main point of Christmas.  Yes, we celebrate the gift of God's Son on Christmas day, but we tend to forget that He was born for the purpose of dying.  Yes, there was joy on the night of His birth, great joy, because hope had come for mankind.  At the same time, the hope that arrived was a child whose destiny was sacrifice.  He was the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, but how terribly steep was the price of our salvation!

This verse from John 12 comes immediately after His triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  As he rode through the streets, people broke off palm branches and sang praises to Him:  "Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!  The King of Israel!"  People were flocking to see Him, desperate to meet with Him.  It was the ultimate party atmosphere, but Jesus' response to the disciples was all about His death.  He was fully aware of what was about to take place and yet He accepted the responsibility.

Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone.  Jesus was explaining to His disciples that He must die.  Without His death, salvation would not come.  They didn't understand what He was trying to tell them.  Most likely, it was a confusing message with all the sounds of celebration around them. With Jesus at the height of His popularity, power, and acceptance, it was ridiculous to consider something as melancholy as death. 

 . . . but if it dies, it produces much grain.  Through the death of Jesus, payment would be made for sin, and mankind would be able to have a relationship with God.  Much "grain" would be produced through Jesus' sacrifice.  So, even though the city was a whirlwind of activity, even though the mood was festive, Jesus had His eye on the task at hand. 

If we "love this life" more than we love our Lord, we will lose it.  The bottom line is, we cannot control anything, and the more we try, the more we will fail.  If we "hate our life in this world," by focusing on what truly matters, living our life to glorify Him and serve others, we will live eternally in heaven. 

If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me.  That means following Him to the cross.  It means laying down our desires, our "to-do" list, and allowing Him to live through us.  If our Master is willing to be at a soup kitchen, then we should be there as well.  If He wants to wash others' feet, then so should we. 

If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.  The upside to all this service?  Being honored by God, Himself.  Jesus fulfilled His destiny on earth and now sits at the right-hand of God.  As we fight off the temporary distractions, and are faithful to live out our calling, God will honor us.  He will open the way before us, and provide everything we need to complete His work.  He will groom us for the task He has specifically designed for us, a task that will satisfy our heart's deepest longing. 

As I sit here writing this, I'm looking at a lighted and decorated Christmas Tree.  I have many plans to make, presents to buy, and goodies to bake.  Nevertheless, I'm committed to keeping this season in perspective, both for myself and my family.  I'm going to give because I've so richly received, not because it's expected.  I'm going to celebrate because I'm grateful for the gift of salvation, not just to have fun, or because it feels good.  May we manage to keep the somber reality of why Jesus came in our hearts this season, and allow it to keep our actions, motives, and budgets in check. 


What are you looking forward to this Christmas?  Are the expectations pleasant, or are you sad at this time of the year?  Leave us a comment or send us an email and we'll be happy to encourage you.  God Bless!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Godliness with Contentment, part 2

Thanks Giving, woman giving thanks to the sun Pictures, Images and Photos

I Timothy 6:6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain (NKJV).

During this season, we're all talking about the many reasons we have to be thankful, and we certainly should.  We are a tremendously blessed people, and our discussions will only begin to scratch the surface of the blessings God has given.  Today, I'd like to remind us all of how incredibly loved we are by our Heavenly Father, and by our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ.  Of all the pictures given in scripture of our relationship with God, my favorite is the idea of Jesus as the Groom and we, His church, as the Bride. 

If you ever start feeling lonely or unloved, take a look at what Christ did to win your heart and compare it with the Jewish marriage customs of Biblical times:

In order for a Jewish man and woman to be married they must first become betrothed.  This involved establishing a marriage covenant.  The man would leave his father's house, come to the home of the prospective bride, and there he would negotiate the purchase price for her.  Once the price was paid, the marriage covenant was established, and the young man and woman were considered husband and wife.  From that point on, the bride was considered "sanctified," set apart exclusively for her husband.  To symbolize the establishment of this covenant, the couple drank from a cup of wine which had been blessed with a betrothal blessing. 

After establishing this covenant, the groom left the bride's home and returned to his father's house.  They would live separately for a year, and although they were considered legally married, they could not partake in the sexual aspect (consummation) of their marriage until after the wedding.  The bride used this time to gather her things for her future home, and the groom would prepare a place for them to live as man and wife. 

At the end of the year of separation, the groom would return to take his bride.  It usually happened at night, and the groom, best man, and other male escorts would leave the father's house in a torch light processional to the bride's house.  She knew he would be coming soon, but never knew the exact time or day, so she had to be ready at all times.  The groom's coming was preceded by a shout, which alerted the bride to that the groom was coming.

Once the bride was received, she and her female attendants joined the wedding processional.  They returned back to the father's house, where they enjoyed a beautiful wedding ceremony, feasted several days, and the bride and groom were finally able to completely enjoy their married life together.

John 14:1-3  Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 

Jesus instituted Communion, or the Lord's Supper, on the same night as He spoke these words to His disciples.  The cup of wine He declared to be "the new covenant in My blood."  (I Cor. 11:25)  In other words, He was about to pay the purchase price to establish a marriage covenant with us!  The cup was actually a celebration of that heavenly betrothal!

Jesus then proceeded to give His life on the Cross, rise again, and ascend into Heaven (back to His Father's house).  During this time of separation, He is in heaven preparing a place for us to live with Him.  We have been sanctified exclusively for Him and we must be ready when He comes.  One day, He will return to take us to His Father's house, where we will be able to completely enjoy our relationship with Him! 

It's the greatest romance ever, and completely worth all the waiting and longing here on earth.  Our purchase price was steep; it cost the life of Christ, Himself.  However, He gave it gladly, knowing that the time would come when we would belong to Him and live with Him forever in paradise. 

So, no matter how life is treating you right now, no matter how your "love life" is going, you are loved beyond compare by Jesus Christ.  He has removed your burden of sin, paid your purchase price, and is working to create a home for you even now.  If you've been saved, then rest in that knowledge and don't let the world steal your joy.  If you don't know Him, His offer of marriage is being extended to you, as well.  All you must do is accept His marriage proposal. 

So count your blessings, and remember that the best is yet to come! 

source:  http://www.biblestudymanuals.net/jewish_marriage_customs.htm







 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Think on These Things: Calibrate Purity Conference!

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 really excited to share this week's "thing" with you, but time is running out to get involved.  Calibrate is an awesome conference whose focus goes beyond sexual purity.  They're striving to create the new counterculture; to empower high school and college students to pursue a life of holiness and reject the world's ideas of what is and what is not beautiful, acceptable and successful. 

It's being held at Praise Christian Center in Beaumont, TX this coming Friday and Saturday, November 11-12th.  According to the website, registration ends today, but I've talked with the youth pastor and they are extending registration until Wednesday, November 9th

Throughout the weekend, students will be learning how to set standards in personal modesty, define proper boundaries to safeguard their heart, learn how to date in a manner that pleases the Lord, and determine their self-worth and identity in Christ.  No, they will not be discussing STD's nor trying to "scare" students into choosing purity.  Instead they will focus on Christ's love, with the desire that students make the correct choices out of a response to Him. 

The key-note speaker will be Mike Guzzardo.  For the last several years Mike Guzzardo has dedicated the entirety of his energies to traveling the world inspiring people to a deeper commitment to Christ. He is a frequent speaker at conventions and conferences such as "Acquire the Fire" with over 150,000 in annual attendance. Mike recently released his first book entitled "All In" and co-authored "Battle Cry for My Generation" with Ron Luce.

Here's a youtube video of Mike at Dallas Battlecry 2008:




You can check out the conference schedule and the tracks offered to get a better idea of what to expect.  Basically, there will be large group sessions with Mike Guzzardo, praise and worship with the Micah Tyler band, and then on Saturday there will be tracks devoted to the topics of modesty, dating, boundaries and peer pressure.  (By the way, Armed and Virtuous has been invited to share on boundaries!  Sooo excited!) The last track will be a question and answer session with a panel of the speakers, so if you have questions, here's a great opportunity to receive solid, godly advice. 

The cost is $50 and again, registration is open until Wednesday.  If you've got a free weekend, I can't think of a better way to invest your time than with other young people who are striving to honor God in their bodies and spirits.  I hope to see you there! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Godliness With Contentment: part 1

Thanks Giving, woman giving thanks to the sun Pictures, Images and Photos


I Timothy 6:6     Now godliness with contentment is great gain (NKJV).

Okay, so it's the Thanksgiving season.  Lots of people are beginning to post on facebook what makes them thankful, and more people will be "counting their blessings" as the holiday draws nearer.  You might see it as just a ritual; a little exercise that gets forgotten the day after Thanksgiving as we dive headlong into the most materialistic season of the year.  If you think about it, even preparing the Thanksgiving meal requires lots of shopping, gathering (hopefully before the stores run out,) and stress.

So, what's the big deal about Thanksgiving?  Why does it matter?  In our world, we're almost constantly assaulted with the idea that we need something more to be happy.  It's vitally important to step away from the noise of the crowd, take note of the thousands of blessings God has provided, and give Him thanks. 

Over the next few weeks we'll be looking at several very good reasons to be thankful.  I don't know about you, but I find it quite a struggle to remain content, even though I know how tremendously I'm blessed.  Hopefully, taking stock of all that we have going our way will help us keep the correct perspective on Christmas, and on life in general. 

Feel free to share what makes you thankful, either by leaving a comment on this post, or on our facebook page.  See you soon