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, July 30, 2012

Why Wait? For the Very Best of Reasons!

waiting Pictures, Images and Photos

Psalm 33:20-21     We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.  In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name (NIV).

So, let's talk about waiting.  Throughout life, we find ourselves waiting a lot, don't we?  We wait in line, we wait for our turn. Sometimes we have to wait until we're old enough, or tall enough to do something.  Other times we have to wait for the right opportunity.  And still other times we are asked by God to wait.  These times can be frustrating, especially when we see those around us "doing."  Ever felt that way?

Now let's get specific.  As Christian young people, God has asked you to wait on sex until marriage.  He has also asked you to place strict limits on physical intimacy until marriage.  But why?  Every time you turn on the TV, you see people getting intimate with each other, implying directly or indirectly that they're having sex.  Sexual jokes are now a staple of every sitcom and almost every commercial.  You're faced with this topic at every turn, and almost overwhelmingly, the message that's shared is, "Sex is fun!  You should try it!

I'm sure you know of people your age who aren't waiting.  They're probably dating, maybe even dating steadily while you're not.  If they talk about it, they might tell you things like, "If you want to have a boyfriend, you have to give in to sex."  Others might say, "No one waits anymore, it's just a myth." Or, "It's okay to wait in junior high, but you'll change your mind in high school."

It looks like so much fun, it seems like the key to success.  Why would God ask us not to do something that can be so helpful to our popularity?  Is He just trying to keep us from having fun?  Absolutely not!  The key to successfully waiting is to understand how to wait. 

According to this verse, we wait in hope!  We wait in expectation God has something tremendous in store, and at the proper time, He will bring it before us.  It's like when you waited for Christmas morning as a child.  You knew that there were special surprises, carefully chosen and wrapped specifically for you under that tree.  As soon as the light of day came into the windows, it would be time to dive in!

But, what if it never comes?  What if I do all this waiting for nothing?  The world keeps telling me that happily ever after doesn't exist!  There's a big difference between blind faith, and personal faith.  As verse 20 continues, We wait in hope for the Lord!  My hope in the Lord is secure because I personally know Him.  I speak to Him, He speaks to me.  He has made me promises and they have come true.  I'm not believing just anyone, and I'm not believing in some untouchable, unseen authority.  I have experience with my God, and therefore, if He asks me to wait, I trust that He is looking out for my best interest.

. . . He is our help and our shield.  In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name (v.20b-21).  God protects and helps us.  By waiting, we save ourselves tremendous heartache, prevent unplanned pregnancies, avoid all sorts of awful diseases, and remain free to pursue our dreams unscarred.  Instead of sitting home, feeling sorry for yourself, dive into God's word and develop your relationship with Him!  In doing so, you'll reach a point where your heart can rejoice in Him.  This will make the waiting easier, and the reward all the better when it comes.

God didn't ask us to "sit and wait," so get out there, and get busy doing His work!  As you keep busy exploring the gifts and talents God has given you, and pursuing the dreams He has laid upon your heart, the waiting will end, and God's perfect plan will be revealed.  Whether or not His plan includes marriage, you can trust that it will be worth all the waiting and exceed your wildest dreams!  There's no need to worry.  The God who has numbered the hairs on your head knows what you desire, and His wish is to bless you. 

So, my dear sisters, wait in hope! 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Think on These Things: God Bless Chick-fil-A!

Chick-Fil-A Pictures, Images and Photos

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, if you've heard any news lately, you'll know that a lot of controversy has surrounded the Chick-fil-A fast food chain since its President, Dan Cathy, stated that he supports the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman.

Not to get too bogged down in the politics of this issue, but after thinking over the situation, I came to realize that a lesson is to be learned.  It's never easy to stand up for your faith, no matter who you are, no matter how old, no matter how successful.  There are consequences.  It's the hard thing to do, but it's the right thing to do!

As to be expected, the Chick-fil-A company has suffered some bad publicity from this, and will continue to deal with negativity from those who support anti-Christian lifestyles and who want to silence Christian values. 

But this is nothing new.  Jesus spoke specifically to this situation in Matthew 5:11-12:

"Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you (NKJV)."

I believe Dan Cathy is to be commended for his unwavering faith, and courage to stand up for his beliefs regardless of the backlash.  It should encourage us to stand for Christ where we live, regardless of the pressure of friends, or the disapproval of the "popular crowd."

In case you don't know, Wednesday, August 1st has been designated as Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.  Everyone is encouraged to go eat at their local Chick-fil-A.  If you cannot do so, you are encouraged to tweet support to the company or leave supportive messages on their facebook page.

To end on a lighter note, here is a video by Christian comedian Tim Hawkins entitled "God Bless You Chick-fil-A."  I hope you get as big a laugh out of it as I did!

Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might, my sisters!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Wisdom Hollers!

Proverbs 8:1     Does not wisdom cry out, And understanding lift up her voice (NKJV)?

Ever wanted to do the right thing, but you didn't what the "right thing" was?  I've been there.  In fact, when I was a youth I had a choice between two things and I kept saying, both to myself and out loud, "I need wisdom!"  I'd ask my friends to pray for God to give me wisdom.  Finally, during my quiet time, I prayed out loud, saying:  "God, please give me wisdom!  I want to do the right thing!

Then I opened my Bible to Proverbs 8.  Right before me was the answer to my question:  Does not wisdom cry out and understanding lift up her voice?  God spoke to my heart and said, "April, you know what the right choice is.  I've been speaking it to your heart all this time; you just don't want to do it."    Humbled, I asked God to forgive me, and after praying for courage, I made the right choice; the choice I knew to make the entire time.

Maybe you've used the excuse of "needing wisdom" to avoid making a difficult, but God-honoring choice.  While seeking, check your heart and motives.  God forbid, in the quest to do what is pleasing to the Lord, we resort to putting our fingers in our spiritual ears.  The right thing is more often than not, the more difficult choice to make.  Day by day, moment by moment, we are asked to choose between ourselves and God.  These choices, however little, reveal who sits on the throne of our heart.

 Maybe, on the other hand, you truly are seeking to do what is right and you don't know which way to go.  If so, then this verse should bring you comfort.  Wisdom does not hide from us.  If we are seeking to do the right thing, God will reveal the best choice to us.  We don't have to fear missing out.  Just like your parents always made sure you found all the eggs at the Easter Egg Hunt, especially if one had a special surprise inside, so your Heavenly Father is not going to allow you to miss out on the blessings He has in store for you. 

So, seek Him, talk to Him, ask for the answers, and then wait with expectation.  God will never hide the truth from you.  In the meantime, don't take any action until He's told you which choice to make.  Wisdom cries out to all who are willing to hear her. 

By the way, this entire chapter is awesome!  I highly recommend reading the whole thing.  Here's God's promise to those who pursue wisdom:  Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors.  For whoever finds me finds life, And obtains favor from the Lord (8:34-35).

Friday, July 6, 2012

Think on These Things: Awesome Apparel from SonGear!

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!  It's Friday, we're back to finding "things" worth thinking about, and this week it's clothing, (Yay!

A friend of mine recently introduced me to this company, and after looking over their products, I had to share them with you!  The company is called SonGear.  They are a Christian lifestyle company that offers products which enable Christians to more easily share their faith.  Founded by Bob Van Zandt, their products are designed to convey simple, yet powerful messages that encourage people to ask you about your faith.  How cool is that?

SonGear has clothing lines for men, women, youth, and even toddlers!  Here are a few of my favorites:

For Women:  These T-shirts are made of 5.4 oz. 100% pre-shrunk cotton.  They are shorter cut through the body and sleeves for a more feminine fit.  Most shirts come in a variety of color options, and each has a size chart to help determine your best size. 

Of course, these two are among my very favorites.  I can't help but applaud products that support purity!

 There are also V-neck shirts available in all different styles and colors:

and polos:

As well as hoodies:  Hoodies are made of  80% ringspun cotton, 20% polyester.  They are preshrunk, with a pouch pocket, 1x1 ribbing on side panels, distressed raw edges on front-slit neckline, and rack-stitching on all seams, shoulders, cuffs and waistband.  These too, are available with various colors and logos.

For Men:  They've also got a great assortment of T-shirts, polos, and hoodies for the guys!  I'm posting a few pictures here, but there are many more on the website.

My son and husband love this shirt!

They also have products available for children and toddlers. 

What I find refreshing about this company is that ministry is obviously the first consideration in every facet of the business.  Bob has partnered with several ministries, and even has the plan of salvation on his website.  If you'd like to learn more, Bob has a blog and a facebook page (sorry, had trouble creating the link.) 

So, if you're looking for a great gift, or for a creative way to express your faith,  I highly recommend the products from SonGear! 

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!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Our Flag...The Rest of the Story

star spangled banner 1814 Pictures, Images and Photos

Proverbs 14:34     Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people (NKJV).

My son and I studied American History this past school year.  We had a tremendous time learning together about what makes our country unique and great.  As we approached the War of 1812, we studied the British attack on Fort McHenry, and learned about how Francis Scott Key wrote our National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.  Then we listened to a recording of the song. . . and I was speechless!

Anyone who knows me realizes how many times in my life I've either played or sung The Star Spangled Banner.  I've been a band director for years, and a band student for many more.  I know how to play it, sing it, conduct it, and I can tell you exactly how many cymbal crashes there should be and where they belong!  So, why all of a sudden did it affect me so deeply?  It's because I had never heard the piece in its entirety.

All this time we've proudly sung the first stanza before football games, baseball games, or as one of our Olympic athletes won the gold medal.  We stood to our feet, allowed the ever-familiar words to roll off our tongue and concluded with, Oh say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Do you realize the problem?  We're ending with a question!  Does it still wave?  Are we still the land of freedom and opportunity?  We take it for granted that it still is, and that we still are, but when this poem was originally penned, that was most certainly not the case.

On September 12, 1814, 5,000 British soldiers and 19 war ships attacked Baltimore.  Francis Scott Key was being held on a British ship during the bombardment, which lasted 25 hours, and was forced to watch the battle from a distance.  To him, this battle represented a desperate fight for a dream.  The British had already set fire to the White House and Capitol building.  If they succeeded in taking this major seaport, the dream of American freedom was over. 

As he struggled emotionally through the battle, and finally the barrage of gunfire ceased, Key had only one question on his mind, Which flag is flying?  If the British flag now flew over the fort, all was lost, but if only our flag was still there...

I could keep telling you the story, but you need to read his complete expression in his own words.  Originally titled Defiance of Fort McHenry (or Defense of Fort McHenry), here is the complete version of our National Anthem:

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blessed with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the God that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

I learned a lesson from this song, and I hope to pass it along to you:  Faith in God is the foundation upon which our country was built.  As long as we as a people have acknowledged God, He has blessed and protected us, regardless of the size of the opposition.  If we edit and cut down our history, like we've edited and cut down our national anthem, we forget what sets us apart from all the other nations in the world.  Our government doesn't give us freedom; God does!  Our source of hope is not in our human leaders, but in the One who gave them authority in the first place.  May we be reminded how dearly we have paid for our freedom in the past, so that we do not lose it in the future! 

God Bless you this 4th of July, and God Bless America!

For more information on the Star Spangled Banner, visit this online exhibit by the Smithsonian. 

By the way, did you notice that this flag has 15 stars and 15 stripes?  That's because at this point in history, we added both a star and a stripe for every new state.  (Just FYI!)

Sources:  Red, White, and Blue: The Story of the American Flag by John Herman, National Museum of American History, and wikipedia.