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 27, 2012

Think on These Things: Try A Formal Choice for your Modest Gown!


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 hope that you've enjoyed exploring the wide array of beautiful and modest gowns out there with me.  For week three, I'm thrilled to share the dresses from A Formal Choice.  They are located in Puyallup, Washington, but they'll gladly ship to your location.

Naomi, owner of A Formal Choice, started her business 10 years ago while working with the youth at her church.  She encouraged the girls to wear modest formals to their dances, and heard their complaints that modest formals were almost non-existent. She started the business to help girls out there searching for things to wear which uphold their personal standards.

Here's what one customer has to say about her purchase from A Formal Choice: 

Just a note to say 'Thank you' for your excellent service and the exceptional quality of the dress that I ordered from you a couple of months ago. The dress is beautiful, well-crafted, and elegant; your
service was prompt and very reliable. I appreciate the dresses that you make and sell that allow young ladies to have modest options when they have a dressy function to attend.  I hope to have opportunities to purchase from you in the future.
Again, thank you very much! Keep up the good work.


K.W.
Henderson, Texas

And now, on to the dresses!  Here are a few of my favorites:

TP22 Nina Prom  $262

This is an adorable ball gown of Aurora Taffeta with a fitted upper bodice and contrasting trim and bow.  It comes in pink/black, tiffany/black, or black/ivory.













TP52 Jennifer 2 $338

This elegant gown has a square cut neck, is made of silky taffeta, and has elegant beading around the bodice and on the gathers throughout the skirt.  The back laces up beautifully!  It is available in the following colors:  Aqua, Fuchsia, Iris, Deep Sapphire, and Emerald. 










TP 30 Tiffany Prom  $328


This slim A- Line skirt of Aurora Taffeta has beaded embroidery at the empire waist (a favorite feature of mine), petal sleeves and lace up back.  You need to check this one out on the website, because the back view is lovely!  It laces up in the back, and the material is swept elegantly to one side.  It comes in the colors brick, carrot, and turquoise. 









TP 13 Blair Prom  $372

One of their most popular prom dresses,  it is made of Aurora taffeta. It includes elegant beading & embroidery around the neckline and petal sleeves with a side sweep. There are three large beaded appliqu├ęs at the rear skirt and one at the hip front. It has an elegant, lace-up back, and is worth looking at on her website because it's just as beautiful in back as in front.  










M622-January

I love this unique gown!  Although shown in pink, it's available in any Aurora taffeta color.  It has a Queen Anne collar, with a trumpet designed skirt, and a sweetheart neckline.  The rouching around the bodice makes it flattering to the figure. 











Here are some examples of her lovely short dresses:
TM598

This super fun party dress has a square neckline and a layered, bubble skirt.  It is available in any silky taffeta color, but she recommends darker colors.  From Venus Bridal.












M611

This dress  has a knee length straight rouched skirt, finished with tulip sleeves and zipper back.  It is shown in teal, but is available in any Aurora taffeta color. 











Felini  $98


This modest party dress has a layered tulle skirt, a square neckline, and a
satin ribbon at the waist.  It is available in red, hot pink, and purple, and in
sizes 3, 5, 11, and 13.












MB5662  $74

The black chiffon overlay is a beautiful contrast to the bright satin colors in this dress.  It has a draped sleeve and a rosette under the bustline.  Besides the pink shown here it is available in teal and lilac, and in sizes 5,7,9, and 11. 













As always, there are many more to look at on her website.  She has a size chart  along with measurement information, and a color chart for fabrics.  There are several dresses currently on sale as well, if you're looking for a deal.  (She has dresses as low as $29!)  Make sure you check out her page on how to purchase one of her lovely dresses. 


If you still haven't found something you like, no worries, because her new dresses for 2012 will be arriving in mid to late February. 

I hope you enjoy!  See you next week to wrap up this series. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Start With What's On Hand

moses Pictures, Images and Photos


Exodus 4:1-2     Then Moses answered and said, "But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, 'The LORD has not appeared to you.' "  So the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?"...(NKJV)


Have you ever felt called to do something for God's kingdom?  Have you ever felt God leading you to do something that seemed, well . . . crazy?  If so, I have an idea of what you're feeling, I've been both places, myself.

During these times, we're faced with our biggest enemy:  self-doubt.  We size ourselves up, compare ourselves to others and think, Why would God want to use me?  I'm nobody!  I've got nothing special to give, and who would want to listen to me, anyway?  It's so easy to psych ourselves out, and to give up before we even get started. 

If it's any consolation, you're not alone.  Even Moses doubted his abilities when God called him to deliver the Israelites from Pharaoh in Egypt.  He offered up every possible excuse to the Lord:  "Who am I?" (3:11) "Who shall I say sent me?" (3:13) Finally, in verse 2 of chapter 4 he says "What if they doubt my authority?" 

Then God did something amazing.  He took the ordinary shepherd's staff in Moses' hand and turned it into a serpent when Moses cast it to the ground.  Was there anything magical about the staff?  No, but the God who formed the heavens and the earth decided to use that staff for His purposes.  Did the miracle have anything to do with Moses?  No, but the staff belonged to Moses, and the miracle occurred when Moses obeyed God's command. 

This must have been a pretty frightening event, and likely a particularly terrifying snake because the Bible says that Moses fled from it.  Then God asked him to do something that went contrary to everything he knew about poisonous creatures, "Reach out your hand and take it by the tail."  If I were Moses, I'd be thinking, WHAT?!?!  However, as he reached out in obedience, the snake turned back into a rod in his hand (4:4)

Doing the work of God can be scary at times.  It almost always takes us out of our comfort zone, requires us to talk to people that make us uncomfortable, and sometimes involves taking a stand when we'd rather hang back and pretend we're invisible.  It might involve standing up to bullies at school, or standing up for your beliefs in the classroom.  Whatever the circumstance, it will feel to a certain degree like taking a poisonous snake by the tail.  We want to cringe at the very thought; expecting to be bitten at any moment.  But when a child of God is surrendered to the work of God, miracles occur! 

My favorite part of these verses?  Exodus 4:2, "What is that in your hand?" and again in 4:4, "and he reached out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand."  Although God gave Moses the direction, God gave Moses the staff, the message, and the opportunity to obey, the miracle occurred through Moses' hand!  If we surrender to God's service, He will do amazing things through our hand.  How awesome is that?

If God is calling you to do a work for him, don't be hindered by self-doubt.  Every excuse you can find about your qualifications is completely correct; you are flawed, you aren't good enough, but it doesn't matter.  We come to Jesus for salvation "Just as we are," and we should surrender to His service "Just as we are."  God will make you qualified through His strength and power. 

The humble shepherd's staff of Moses was to be used for many miracles throughout his ministry.  It came to represent the seal of God's authority.  So, what is that in your hand?  What are you currently doing?  Where do you live?  With whom to you associate day by day?  God has work for you to do, amazing work for His kingdom, and He wants to start with what you have on hand. 

Have a great week, God bless, and get busy!

source:  Dr. J. Vernon McGee Commentaries

Friday, January 20, 2012

Think on These Things: Modest Prom Dresses from Kathleen's Bridal and Formal!


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).



Welcome back!  This is week two of our series on modest formal wear and today I have the privilege of sharing with you the beautiful dresses available from Kathleen's Bridal and Formal.  I had a wonderful time browsing through her wide assortment of lovely dresses, and I'm sure you will as well!

Kathleen Clifford, owner of Kathleen's Bridal, is a strong supporter of modesty and strong moral values.  She has been in business since 1992, and has created her own line of exclusively modest gowns.  Here is a brief glimpse into her story: 

In 1992, Kathleen Clifford was working full time during the day and part time in the evenings and on weekends designing and sewing gowns for young women. The love of her life had always been in textiles and fashion design and she was wearing out trying to work both jobs. With the support of her family she quit her full time job and opened up her first business, "Kathleen's Elegant Gowns". The small salon was actually a home based business. The first gowns she had in the shop were dresses she designed and made. After a very short time, it became evident that she would need to purchase gowns from other sources in order to have enough inventory to satisfy her clients' needs. A quick trip to market to purchase more gowns and she was now formally in business . . . Kathleen spent many hours searching for answers as to whether or not she should carry only modest gowns. Up to that time she had spent timeless hours negotiating with vendors to get them to provide modesty options for her clients.  Finally the decision was made that Kathleen would design a line of modest prom gowns with no need to alter the dresses for modesty. The process began slowly but was welcomed by our clients with a huge success when the dresses arrived. After receiving such a positive reception to the new modest collection the decision was made to only carry modest gowns. This also carried over into the Bridal line, and our bridesmaid collections. 

Kathleen's mission is to assist women in dressing modestly.  She believes that women of all ages radiate their inner beauty as they look and feel beautiful in a modest gown. 

Kathleen's Bridal and Formal is located in Kaysville, Utah, but she ships nationally and internationally.  Here are a few of the lovely dresses which caught my eye.  For more information, feel free to click on the link above each picture:

A-AGK1103
This modest prom gown is a beautiful tulle and taffeta ballgown. The bodice has delicate beading throughout and petal sleeves.  It is available in sizes 2-16, and in the colors Honey Suckle Rose, Turquoise, and Bright Green. 







A-AGK1114
This taffeta print gown has a pleated waist, petal sleeves and a lace-up back. The foil print in taffeta is one of her very favorite prints ever! The gown is available in Red/white, Blue/white and Black/white, and in sizes 2-16.  You really need to check out this link, because the back of the dress is beautiful!  (I really like the hair-do's as well.  Great inspiration for prom!

A-AGK1130
This is a beautiful taffeta ballgown with a glitter floral print in the skirt. the bodice has soft metallic roses and a pleated waist.   Again, check out the close up photos on the website because this dress has beautiful details!  It is available in sizes 2-16 and in the colors Jade/Silver, Rose/Silver, and Purple/Silver.






A-AGK135
 Can you tell I'm partial to long dresses?  This is a taffeta gown with lots of asymmetrical tucks and folds. The bodice has rouching around the neckline and sleeve and then in the middle of the dress a beautiful bead work pattern.  It is available in sizes 2-28, and currently in the colors pewter, burgundy, and dark green.






AGK-111

A fully sequined short modest prom dress with a satin ruffle at the hem and a ruched waistline.  The dress has comfortable petal sleeves and a circular skirt.  This super cute dress is available online only.  Contact Kathleen for sizes and color availability.  Normally available in Silver, Black, and Red.
This is a fun and flirty modest short prom gown.  The fitted body of the dress is made with tiny pleats all the way down to the full tulle skirt.  The dress has a lace up back and delicate beading throughout.  The dress is available in Navy blue, Red, and Gold.  This is an online-only dress, so contact Kathleen for available colors and sizes.

A fun bubble skirt with tucks throughout makes this the perfect gown for your dance.  The bodice is figure flattering with the gentle pleating and drop waist.  The sash is removable and the dress can be worn with or without it.  The Taffeta skirt has a layer of tulle on top of it for a unique look and texture to the dress.  Available only online, so check for sizing and color availability.  Normally comes in Black/Red, Black/Green, and Black/Blue. 


There are many other beautiful gowns to choose from, so check out her entire prom collection and see for yourself!  By the way, her new line of gowns will be available in February, so check back for even more options.  You can shop for gowns by fabric, price, or style on her website.  Kathleen also carries a wide variety of accessories to compliment your dress.  If you'd like to see her gowns in "action," check out these real-life prom pictures.  She also has a facebook and a blog with lots of helpful hints and tips.  Finally, if you'd like to hear what her customers have to say, read some of her testimonials.

One last tidbit before we go:  This is a video of a fashion show "Prom Fest 2009" highlighting Kathleen's beautiful prom gowns:


I hope you enjoy shopping as much as I did.  See you next week! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

All Life is Sacred . . . Including Yours

girl looking at mirror Pictures, Images and Photos


Psalm 139:14     I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well (NKJV).  

Just in case you didn't know this, January is Sanctity of Human Life month.  During this month, we remember the Roe vs. Wade decision that occurred 39 years ago, and try to spread the message of how precious human life is, all human life.

However, that's not the point I wish to make today.  God laid another aspect of this glorious verse on my heart.  If you are anything like me, you probably agree that God considers all life sacred; the unborn, the elderly, the poor, and the disadvantaged.  But, do you ever find yourself doubting your own value?

As a teenager, a college student, and even as a young married woman, I was able to see the value in others, but was terribly critical of myself.  As I looked in the mirror, every perceived flaw seemed to scream out at me.  I didn't like to look at pictures of myself. The aspects of my face and figure which made me unique, I saw as faults.  When preparing to go out, I would try on outfit after outfit, my frustration growing as each one was rejected, and end up throwing a fit.  I would yell, call myself names, and throw the offending clothes to the floor.

It was rather ironic that on one hand, I offered acceptance to others, while completely rejecting myself.  My husband would get angry at me, and tell me "not to talk about his wife that way."  I thought he just didn't understand, or was trying to shut me up.  These outbursts occurred less and less over time, but the underlying attitude remained.

But when I was expecting my first child, something changed in me.  God spoke to me in a way that I'll never forget.  As I was getting ready one morning, God spoke to my heart.  He said, "April, do you think your mother is pretty?"  Of course I did!  I remember watching my mother put on her makeup in the morning and admiring how beautiful she looked.  God then said, "How would it make you feel as a child to hear your mother say some of the things that you say about yourself?"  It knocked the breath out of me.  I knew exactly what I'd feel.  I would have thought, If my lovely mother thinks that she's ugly, then I must be really ugly! Then God asked me, "Do you want your child carrying around such feelings?"  The answer was, absolutely NOT!

Then God began to show me, detail by detail, that all the things I hated about myself were things that set me apart from others.  He made me unique not only in abilities and talents, but also in appearance.  I was hand-crafted by the God of the universe, and who was I to criticize His masterpiece?

As I reached the end of my pregnancy and nothing seemed to fit, I had to buy more clothing, which was never something I enjoyed.  I tried on maternity outfit after maternity outfit, and nothing worked.  Finally my husband said "stay in the dressing room, I'll look for clothes for you."  In the next few minutes, clothing was handed over my door.  Each outfit I tried on fit me!  With each success, my stress level dropped, the tears dried, and my hurt began to heal.  Finally, he offered me one last piece of clothing.  It was a long-sleeved T-shirt, delicately designed, with the word "Beautiful" emblazoned upon the front. 

I was finally able to see myself the way my husband saw me.  I was his, and he thought I was beautiful just the way I was, even at 8 months pregnant.  It truly hurt him to hear someone criticize the one he loved, even if it came from her own lips.  I apologized to him, and asked him to help me stop tearing myself down.

Why am I sharing my painful experience with you?  Because I know that many of you struggle with image issues just like me.  We allow the same serpent that whispered to Eve, to whisper lies into our hearts.  We might be able to see the beauty in others, but we fall for the lie that we are somehow not included in the "fearfully and wonderfully made" equation.

If all life is valuable, then so is mine, and so is yours.  God takes delight in our differences, just as I take delight in the differences between my own children.  You were not meant to be a cookie-cutter image of someone else.  You were uniquely designed in form, mind, and abilities.  You were so designed to complete unique plans and purposes, set by God, Himself.  Marvelous are all His works, so don't let the world or the devil tell you otherwise. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Think on These Things: Modest Formal Wear from A Dressy Occasion!



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).


We're talking clothing again, (Yay!)  but this time, it's formal wear.  Proms and formals are many months away, but now is the time to look for the right dress to wear to your special occasion.  That's why we're so excited to share this series with you.  Over the next four weekends, Armed and Virtuous will be highlighting businesses that sell modest formal wear!  We hope to prove that it's easier to find a modest and fashionable dress than you think.

This week, we're talking about the products available at A Dressy Occasion.  They are located in Southern California, but they ship all over the world.  Donna Anderson, owner of A Dressy Occasion, offers modest wedding gowns and formals.  Here's what Donna has to say about A Dressy Occasion:

Several years ago while trying to help my daughter and other young women find modest clothing I organized a local fashion show that catered to those who were looking for dresses that had sleeves. This first show was successful, so I organized another and it made me realize that we could fill a great need for young women and brides in Southern California. No longer would they have to drive all over the state trying to find the dress of their dreams; one that was elegant, beautiful, stylish and modest, especially for those who needed them for religious ceremonies. . . Young women who desire modesty shouldn’t have to sacrifice time, money or style, and I hope to help every customer that comes my way find the dress of their dreams.

A Dressy Occasion has a vast array of styles, colors, materials, and designers!  I spent a long time browsing through all the beautiful dresses (and wishing I had a reason to wear one!)  Among others, they carry designs by Allure Bridal, Bonny, Beautifully Modest, Eternity, and Venus Bridal. 

Here are just a few of the dresses that were my favorites.  If you want more details about any dress, click on the link above the picture:

Brina-BB
This beautiful gown has a wrap around the waist with side bustling on the ball gown skirt. Embroidery and beading adorn the bust and skirt, and it laces up elegantly in the back.  It comes in sizes 2-30 and is available in Coral, Navy, Burgundy, Teal or Ivory.





Jennifer-BB
A classic prom dress, this full tulle ball-gown has a wrapped bodice and scattered beading between the banding and beaded detail on the sleeves.  It is available in sizes 2-30 and in the colors shown.









Blair6577-AB

Isn't this gorgeous?  This is a beautiful modest ball gown prom dress featuring multi colored butterflies and a ruched waist line. It is available in Fuchsia/Purple, Yellow/Apple Tulle over Charmeuse Satin Fabric and comes in sizes 0-32. 






Avis6576-AB

This fitted a-line prom gown has soft taffeta bustles with an asymmetrical waistline and beaded bands on the rouched bodice.  It's classic, beautiful, and modest!  It's available in sizes 0-32 and in the colors shown.







For those of you who prefer shorter prom dresses, here are a few of the many options available:

Adara-BB
This stylish knee-length prom dress has a ruched waist and bustled skirt.  It is available in sizes 2-32 and in the colors Coral, Hunter Green, Ivory, Mulberry or Plum.








Angie6578-AB
Sooo cute!  This knee length tulle gown is done in sparkle tulle with a rouched charmeuse band at the natural waist. This style features a removable feather pin that can be worn on the dress, or pinned up in your hair. This fun gown is sure to be one of your favorite modest prom dresses.  It's available in sizes 0-32, and in the colors Fuschia or Purple in Sparkle Tulle over Charmeuse Satin Fabric





TM1540-V
This adorable dress has a shorter length bubble skirt in taffeta, a ruched cummerbund, square neckline, and a large bow at the back.  It almost looks ballerina-like.  Available in sizes 2-28 and, although it's shown in Tea Rose, it's also available in the following colors:  Latte, Crimson, Orange Kiss, Fuschia, Honey, Garnet, Persimmon, Topaz, Auburn, Yellow, Tea Rose, Red Spanish Moss, Aqua, Bright Cerise, Spanish Moss, Pink, Rose Petal, Spice, Raspberry, Heather, Sable, Jewel, Emerald, Iris, Pewter, Chocolate, Capri, Patina, Tobacco, Moonstone, Chartreuse, Ebony, Sapphire, Jade, Dark Ivory, Ivory & White.





As you browse the website, you can create a wishlist by using My Favorites.  You can insure the best fit by consulting their measurements guide, review their frequently asked questions, and read their testimonials page.

For those of you who, like me, are always looking for a great deal, A Dressy Occasion has some good news.  They're offering 25% off in-stock, specially marked formal, prom, mothers, and bridesmaid dresses and 50% off in-stock, specially marked bridal gowns!   












They are also available on facebook and on their new blog.  So, check them out!  With all they have to offer, you can definitely find a dress that fits your needs this spring.

Happy Shopping!  :)


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!

Monday, January 9, 2012

You Are What You See!

eye cross Pictures, Images and Photos


Luke 11:34-36     "The lamp of the body is the eye.  therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light.  But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.  Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.  If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light (NKJV)."


We've all heard the phrase "you are what you eat," and it's true:  Garbage in, garbage out.  If you eat junk, you'll be unhealthy.  If you eat nourishing food, you will have energy, and be able to do more of the things you enjoy because you take care of the body God has given you. 

There is another way that we take things in, and it's arguably more important to control this area of input than any other.  Our eyes are the windows to our soul.  What we view can deeply, permanently impact us for the good or the bad, depending on what we're viewing. 

As we focus on things that are good, specifically God's teaching, our eyes will be good; full of light.  Our spirits will be filled with the power, wisdom, and strength we need not only to survive, but also to fulfill God's plans for our day.  This is why David said in Psalm 101:3 I will set nothing wicked before my eyes.  If our heart's desire is to be like Jesus, then we must look intently into His word.  We must spend time in His presence and allow Him to "recharge" our spiritual batteries.  As we go throughout our day, we should seek out conversation that uplifts, music that edifies, and entertainment that is worthy to dwell upon. 

But if we focus on the images that surround us in this world; images of photo-shopped women's bodies, images of violence, images of materialism and self-indulgence, our eyes become bad and full of darkness.  When all we take in is advertisements for the next "must-have" thing, we become completely turned inward.  All we seek is our own comfort and advancement.  Ironically, as we're whole-heartedly pursuing this pleasure, it evades us.  We reach and reach, only to find it just beyond our grasp.  It might momentarily satisfy, but it never truly meets our needs.

If our eyes are full of the world, then we look just like the world.  We cannot be used by God, because if He's not in our eyes, then He's not on the throne of our heart.  Our priorities are confused.  Thankfully, we can correct the problem.  All we must do, if we find ourselves in this situation, is to cry out to Jesus, apologize for getting wrapped up in the world, and return our focus to Him. 

The more we look on Him, the more we become like Him.  As we allow Jesus' teachings into our heart, it affects our outlook.  We will become that shining light just by going about our daily lives.  We will become that city on a hill which cannot be hidden, and the light of His love will in turn penetrate the darkness, and draw others to the truth. 

So what color eyes do you have?


source:  Nelson's NKJV Study Bible

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What's Your Commission for 2012?

Walking on Sunshine ♥ Pictures, Images and Photos


Luke 9:1,6     Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases . . . So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere (NKJV).


Has God ever used you to do His work?  It could have been a word you said, a need you met, or a service you rendered, but whatever the case, there was a tremendous feeling of joy that followed, right?  This feeling comes from hearing God's voice, obeying His commands, and seeing spiritual fruit as a result.

When Jesus sent out His disciples in the passage overhead, He was still on earth, and still had much work to do.  However, the entire nation of Israel needed to see that the kingdom of God had come, and all needed to make a decision regarding the Messiah.  Jesus took aside His disciples and specially equipped them for this task.  They were to preach, heal, and to set people free.

This all sounds great, but how does it apply to us today?  I'll tell you:  As a child of God, you have been given a message of freedom, healing and life.  Furthermore, you've been sent to a world that might be wealthy with material possessions, but is absolutely starving for love and acceptance.  The word you carry has the ultimate authority.  It can cut through the lies that ensnare your friends.  It can heal the deepest wounds, and points to the One who sets us free:  Jesus Christ. 

So, do we need to wait until we're "old enough?"  do we need to make special preparations before setting out?  No.  Jesus told His disciples to "Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece (v.3)." 

What if people don't believe?  What if they laugh at me?  Jesus had an answer for that as well:  "And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them (v.4)."  In other words, move on.  Don't apologize for the message, and don't let them stop you.  Your job is to share, the decision to believe is their own.

With this information in hand, the disciples set out, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.  Can you imagine being a source of healing?  You can be!  Allow Jesus to fill your mouth with words that bring life.  Speak words that uplift, instead of tearing down.  Offer a listening ear, and compassion to those in need, rather than passing them by.  If God puts an opportunity to share the message of salvation, then share, knowing that God will give you wisdom and strength.

When you surrender to God's service, you lead an exciting, joyful life.  Just as the disciples had much to share with Jesus when they returned from their journey, so will you. 

Instead of asking "What's your New Year's Resolution?", maybe the better question to ask is, "What has God commissioned you to do in 2012?"