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, February 20, 2012

Code Red!

praying soldier Pictures, Images and Photos


I Peter 5:8     Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (NKJV). 

We all know that abstinence until marriage and sexual purity are highly important causes; causes worth supporting and defending.  But, after reading an article recently, I felt compelled to share just how fierce this fight has become.

You are aware of how super-saturated we are in this culture with sex.  Sex sells just about every product imaginable.  Our children are slammed with sensual images just about everywhere they turn, and every form of entertainment is filled with blatant sexual references.  None of this information is new to you, but I've learned that there are companies out there actually trying to get our children hooked on sex.

The article I read was too graphic to post or even link to this site, but it's real and it's frightening.  It basically gave school age children, even elementary age children, step-by-step information on how to commit every sexual sin imaginable.  It made experimenting with sex out to be something normal, good, and fun.  There were many other shocking ploys used to lure our kids into sexual sin, that I can't even mention.

I just want to urge all parents out there, myself included, to do two things:  Firstly, we need to get on our knees and fight this battle for our children.  If they're young, we need to begin waging warfare on their behalf before this becomes a major concern.  If they're already in their pre-teen, teenage, or college years, we need to lift them up daily because the struggle is much more intense than it's ever been, and the pressure is on the rise.  Every prayer lifted up acts as a layer of protection.  Even when we can't be present, our prayers will cover and guide them to making wise decisions in the heat of battle.

Secondly, we need to know what is going on in our kid's lives.  The world tells us to "let them make their own choices," and to "give them some space."  But who are they to tell us how to raise our kids?  The same people spouting these opinions are the ones trying to ensnare them!  The world will not be standing before God on judgement day, answering for how our children were raised.  They are our God-given responsibility and we should prepare them as completely as possible to face what's out there.  We should monitor their activities without apology, reminding them that our actions are for their welfare. 

It might sound hopeless, but thankfully, that's not the case.  God has promised that He will never give us more temptation than we can overcome.  I Corinthians 10:13 says,  No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (NKJV).  What the devil intends to destroy us, God can use to strengthen and empower us.

Don't despair, but don't get complacent.  The battle is real, and our precious children are on the front lines.  Their enemy is well organized, and determined, but the God of the universe is their protector.  He's given them a support system through us, so let's get off the couch and get on our knees.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Think on These Things: Girl Talk and Other Awesome Reads by Nicole O'Dell!



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). 

Well, it's Friday, and as always we've been on the search for great "things" to share with you.  Normally, our discoveries fall into either the teen/young adult category or the parent category, but this time I've found something for both I'm talking about the books for parents and teens by Nicole O'Dell.

Nicole is an author, blogger, speaker, and founder of choose NOW ministries.  She has a passion for building teen-parent relationships and helping youth avoid life's "uh-oh" moments.  Here's what Nicole has to say about herself:

I’m a mom of six–including three-year-old triplets! I’m the host of Teen Talk Radio, the author of a bunch of books and the wife of one really cool guy. I love to get out among teens and parents when I speak at conventions, churches, conferences, etc. I also love a really good and long bike ride. 


Her latest book is called Girl Talk.  Written with her daughters, Natalie and Emily, this book tackles many of the questions she has received on all sorts of issues ranging from relationships and body image to gossip.  It's written in question and answer format, with related scriptures.  You can check out this trailer for more info:



This book is great for small group study or for individual use.  It opens the door to meaningful discussions between parents and their teens as well.


Then, there is her Scenarios for Girls series.  These books are written in the style of "choose your own adventure," but the choices involve issues of right and wrong!  The reader makes major life decisions for the main characters and learns about consequences, forgiveness, and restoration as a result.  At the end of the books, there is an opportunity to make a commitment to make wise decisions.  It's a fun way to tackle difficult subjects and realize the importance of thinking before we act. 





In Dare to Be Different, Lindsay Martin and her friends begin playing "Truth or
Dare" at sleepovers.  It begins as harmless fun, until the dares become more risky.  She has to choose between standing up for her faith, or going through with the dare and suffering the consequences.  In the other scenario, Drew Daniels wants to be as different from her twin sister as possible, but her new boyfriend begins pressuring her to lie to her parents.  She must choose between what she knows is right and what will please her boyfriend.  You, the reader make the choices as see what happens!

Molly Jacobs gets hired at the ultimate girls' clothing store, making everyone, even the popular girls at school jealous.  But then, Molly's friends pressure her to do something that would compromise her job.  Does she cave to peer pressure or do what she knows is right?  In the second story, Kate Walker secures a spot on the school's swim team.  She becomes obsessed with practices and winning the championships with flying colors.  Then, her friends encourage her to do something illegal to make it through her events.  What will these girls do?  You decide. 
Seniors and best friends, Amber and Brittany, are neck and neck in a good-natured competition for a car being given away by a local business. The winner? Whoever maintains straight As without being absent one day during the school year. When Amber cheats on her final exams to win the car and Brittany gets blamed for it, Amber is torn. Will she let her friend take the fall? Or will she admit she cheated and face the consequences?  In the next story, Lilly Armstrong has an unhappy home life. She “invents” youth group activities just so she can hang out with her boyfriend, Jason. When Jason convinces Lilly to lie to her parents so she can stay at his house while his parents are out of town, how far will she let things go? What will Lilly do?


There are so many more books, articles, and columns I could share with you, but the best way to discover them all is to go to her website and see for yourself.  There is a parent side to the website, where you can read articles and blog posts on various aspects of parenting teens.  Also, she has a teen side with all things relevant and written with youth in mind. 

Nicole has a facebook page and a radio program called Teen Talk Radio.  It's obvious through all these avenues of outreach that her passion is to equip and empower young girls to make wise decisions and reap the lifelong benefits of right choices.

I hope you enjoy!  If you get a chance to read any of the books, let us know!



What other "things" would you like to see highlighted on our weekend posts?  Leave a comment or send us an email at suggestions@armedandvirtuous.org and we'll discuss the things that interest you!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Little Valentine's Day Show and Tell




As you all know, yesterday was Valentine's Day.  My hubby and I have been pinching pennies lately for upcoming expenses, so we had decided to delay our Valentine's celebration until we could better afford it . . . or so I thought.

As we said goodbye at the door, he gave me a rather pathetic "Happy Valentine's Day" wish, got into the car, and set off for work.  A few hours later, he called me.  When I asked, he assured me that no gifts were necessary, but then he surprised us by coming home for lunch.

Behind his back were a dozen roses, six white and six purple, my favorite color!  As he rushed back out the door he said "Your gift to me can be steak, okay?"  (Which, considering I couldn't get out, sounded great to me.)  When he got off work and was headed to the store he called again.  "Get dressed up, get the kids dressed up, and break out the silver and china.  I'm cooking supper!"

My children and I rushed to get dressed, get the table set, and find some romantic classical music.  When Jason arrived home, grocery bags in hand, I helped him prepare the food while my children danced in the living room to the "fancy" music.  When all was ready, Jason gave each child their Valentine.  My son got a balloon, and my daughter, who had been begging for one of my roses, received a rose of her own! 

We took pictures of ourselves, and then Jason taught my son how to pull out a chair for a lady.  It was so sweet to watch my son learn to be a gentleman and my daughter learn how to graciously accept his chivalry!  We enjoyed my husband's amazing steaks, baked sweet potatoes, asparagus, sparkling cider, and chocolate pie for dessert.

Our candlelight dinner was such a wonderfully memorable event!  This amazing man managed to not only romance me on a budget, but to teach and love on both our children in a special way at the same time.  This Valentine's Day will go down in Anderson family history.

Why am I sharing?  I wanted to show you a picture of what Godly romance can look like.  The flowers were lovely, the dinner was wonderful, but what touched my heart most was the look on my children's faces as their Daddy validated them in such a meaningful way.  It was more than just a special evening, it was a celebration of just how rich in love we are, both as a couple and as a family.

Don't go looking for just anyone to satisfy your need for love, and don't try to find completeness in another human being, no matter who they are.  Find your sufficiency in Christ.  He has given you the ultimate Valentine.  From there, allow God to lead you, and if marriage is part of His design, then refuse to settle for anything less than His perfect partner for you.  Other people might date more often, maybe receive a few more flowers and chocolates, but the rewards of waiting will last long after the petals fade.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Quick Note From the Trenches

Trench Warfare Pictures, Images and Photos


Psalm 34:19-20     Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.  He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken (NKJV).


My apologies for the lack of posts lately, folks!  I've been facing several battles of my own lately, seemingly from all sides.  As I've worked my way through them, God began asking me, "April, do you really believe that my grace is sufficient?  Do you truly believe that I can meet your needs?  If so, then trust me.  Don't worry, it's not your job to find the solution, it's mine."

Some of my problems have resolved themselves, others we're still struggling through.  However, I'm committing myself to trust and obey.  When we're doing the work of God, sometimes we face opposition.  If that's you this week, then know that you're not alone and cling to the promises God has made you.  He is with you, and that should bring you tremendous comfort.  He loves you, and He will provide the solution to your problems if you don't take matters into your own hands.

I know this is a short little devo, but I hope it meets you where you are.  I've got to get back to the battle front for now, but I refuse to despair.  The battle is not against the things that come against us, but the devil.  So I'm going to suit up with the armor of God ...and having done all, to stand (Eph. 6:13b). 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Think on These Things: The Silver Hanger for Modest Formal Wear!



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).


Well, this is our final week of the modest formal wear series.  I hope that we've given you an idea of just how many options you have available in the way of modest gowns for your upcoming formal occasion. 

We're ending the series with a company that is actually in the Southeast Texas region, so if you're in the area, you might be able to visit the store!

I'm talking about The Silver Hanger.  Located in Katy, TX which is north of Houston, they offer modest wedding and formal dresses for every occasion.  Owned and operated by Deborah Thompson, The Silver Hanger is a unique shop that specializes in dresses which are often hard to find, such as dresses with sleeves, plus size dresses, white formal dresses, Mother/Grandmother of the bride, and consignment dresses.

While they do not sell online, due to manufacturer agreements, they post pictures online to allow you to pre-shop.  They sell "off the rack," but given enough time, they can place orders for your perfect dress.  

So, without further ado, let's look at what's available!  Here are a few of my favorites, click on the link above each picture for more info:

BOM3209
I find this dress really eye-catching I can't tell you much about fabrics, but it is obviously floor-length, with wide straps at the top.  I love the details around the skirt of the dress and over the shoulder.  It is pictured here in Aqua, and available in the store in a size 6, however other colors and sizes may be available to order.







BMDP9122M
This beautiful dress is also floor-length, with cap sleeves and beautiful detailing under the bust.  You need to check this one out on her website because the material is wrapped beautifully around the bodice.  This fresh, youthful dress is in stock in the colors shown and in sizes 0, 16, and 18 in Navy and 2 in the red. 




Landa M733
I think this dress combines traditional elegance with a little modern flair.  The floor-length skirt has a few interesting tucks and folds, the waist is set off with a bow, and the bodice is a simple, but flattering silhouette, with slightly off the shoulder "sleeves."  It is in stock in the color Barberry, size 10.  Other colors and styles may be available for order.







BMDPR128M
This elegant dress has a floor-length skirt, cap sleeves, rouching around the bodice, and details along the neckline and at the waist.  It is in stock in Emerald, and in size 14.  It's a lovely, classic formal gown.









BOM3252
I really love the silhouette of this dress!  It has nice, wide straps with detailing on the shoulder, a wrapped bodice with delicate details there as well, and an elegantly layered, floor length skirt.  In stock it is available in Coral, size 10.  Check with Deborah for other colors and sizes.








And, for those of you who want a shorter prom dress, here are a few of your options:

MYM3325
This is just one example of many cute, shorter dresses that can be made more modest with a short jacket.  They have a wide array of jackets available at The Silver Hanger.  This particular dress is available in Turquoise/Black with a black waistband, offset with a rose.  For the many other options available, check out the website.









This particular dress had no link available, I found it on their Facebook page.  It is a tea-length dress, shown in Black/Gray/White, and in varying shades of pink.  The empire waist is off-set with a thin bow.  It has cap sleeves, and is just a pretty, modest dress









Cute!  And unique!  I found this dress on their facebook page, also.  It has a tea-length bubble skirt.  The bodice is overlaid with lace.  It has a curving empire waist with delicate detailing at the bust, a v-neck, and cap sleeves.  I think it looks even cuter with the hairstyles the models are sporting!



Here's another cute, short dress that becomes party-appropriate when you add the jacket.  It's got a super cute pattern on the overlaying material, and I always like hot pink and black.  Once again, there are many other styles that you can pair with a jacket for a stylish and modest option, so check them out!


In addition to the variety of dresses, they have a wide range of jackets as well.



So, check out The Silver Hanger!  They have all sorts of accessories available.  While you're looking around, check out their facebook page and blog.  For more information, feel free to call the store at:  (281)-392-9990 or email them at:  thesilverhanger@sbcglobal.net

If you're planning a trip, here's a map of their location.  The address is:
5423 E. 5th Street
Katy, TX 77493


Well, ladies, that's it!  I hope you've enjoyed this series as much as me.  If you make the trip to Katy, tell us how it went!  Good luck with your dress shopping, and may your formal occasions be blessed, safe, and God honoring.