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, February 27, 2013

Fighting the Urge to Merge: Embracing the "Single Life" part 3


Hopefully, after last week, you've begun to fall more in love with Christ, and are finding Him to be the true source of your fulfillment. This week, in an effort to be content with the "single life," we will explore one of the advantages of being free from romantic attachments. 

According to Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, every season of life has a purpose, even the season of being single.  God has special things for you to experience, lessons for you to learn, and work for you to do now that cannot happen later in life, so rather than sitting around feeling sorry for yourself, dive in and make the most of it! 

What's the biggest advantage to being single?  In my opinion, it's having complete freedom to explore what interests you, what you're good at, and determine what plans God might have for your future.  Don't underestimate the value of this freedom.  When you're older, you will have adult responsibilities that will hinder your ability to do what you like.  Even having a boyfriend in jr. high or high school can take up the time that God intends for your personal discovery, so take full advantage of your freedom now! 

Start by taking inventory of your interests:  What do you like?  Are you creative?  Are you technologically savvy?  Are you musical or artistic?  Do you like sports?  Are you a math/science kind of person?  Once you've determined this, dig deeper.  What excites you?  What peaks your interest and makes you want to learn more?  What skills are you developing, and how can you further sharpen those skills?  I was a singing/flute-playing/writing/drama person, myself.  I got involved in my school's band and choir programs.  I became involved in youth orchestra, youth choir and drama groups at my church, and I competed in fine arts festivals with writing and poetry entries. 

Once you get involved with such activities, set some goals.  Usually, these organizations have competitions or prizes to earn.  Focus on reaching such goals.  Then, determine which activities are simply hobbies, and which could lead to a future career.  Even if you don't intend to make your life's work from a particular hobby, you could possibly win scholarship money for college.  Just look around, ask your instructors, and most of all, pray.  God gave you particular talents and interests for a specific reason, and He knows the path of your future.  So, explore, improve yourself, and trust that God's got everything under control.

What if you have a boyfriend?  As I said before, dating is not sinful, but it can become all-consuming.  If you are dating someone, take a step back and examine your daily schedule.  Is this guy taking up most of your free time?  Are you letting things go in order to spend time with him?  Are friendships fading?  Are your grades slipping?  What about your personal interests?  Are you losing sight of who you are as an individual?  If so, the relationship has become unhealthy.  Ask God to help you place dating in the proper perspective.

Talking on the phone, texting and social networking are great, but they have no lasting value.  Enjoy these things, but don't let them rule your life, either.  Instead, focus on worthwhile activities that develop your God-given skills, and allow yourself to dream big dreams for your individual future.  Lay these dreams at Jesus' feet and trust that as you walk with Him, He will show you what to make a serious priority, what to enjoy for now, and what to let go for the better things He has in store. 

What activities do you enjoy?  Are you beginning to make plans for the future?  Leave us a comment and share!  We'll be happy to pray for God's perfect plan to unfold in your life.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Enjoy This Season!

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Ecclesiastes 3:1-8     To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:  A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace (NKJV).

Have you ever looked forward to a special event in the future, such as Christmas morning, a birthday, or a special trip?  Most of us become filled with anticipation, wondering how it will exactly unfold, and expecting an exciting experience.  Especially as a child, I always looked forward to the next age I was approaching, not just the birthday itself, but it always seemed like being older would make life a little better, somehow.  On that long-anticipated day, I was always asked, "What's it like to be . . .(8,9,10 . . . 16)?"  My response was always:  "It feels the same," and there was always a little disappointment in that fact. 

How often do we look at our current life situation and wish for something more?  Besides just wanting to be older, there have been many "seasons" in my life during which I became dissatisfied.  I looked ahead to the next season thinking:  "If only I was there, life would be so much better!"  A few of my personal examples include:  feeling "dateless" as a youth, being in college, dating the man of my dreams, but wishing we were engaged, becoming engaged, but not married, married, but no children, the list goes on and on. 

Time after time, when I've reached this point of dissatisfaction, God has spoken a word to me.  I've heard it so many times now, that I laugh to myself when He repeats it:  This time of your life is unique.  It won't last forever.  There are special experiences you can only have during this stage of life, and I have lessons to teach you now, that you cannot learn later.  For every perceived advantage in a certain phase of life, there are down sides as well.  On the flip side, for every drawback in your current season, there are also advantages!

This verse in Ecclesiastes might sound like it's describing opportune times in life for various activities to occur, but it's not.  Instead, it declares that God controls time and seasons, not just seasons of the earth, but of our personal lives as well.  There is a time for every purpose under heaven.  God alone knows when you're ready to progress from one stage to the next.  Only He knows the experiences He has in store for you, the skills you are to develop, and the special work He has for you to accomplish, right now!

Contrary to popular culture, life is not a race to reach a point of complete satisfaction, but a journey to be enjoyed as you go.  There will be joys and sorrows throughout every season.  If you spend your entire life looking forward to the next thing, you'll miss the miracles occurring in the present.  Just the other day, I was watching my little girl run through the house.  As she passed, I thought sadly that her little toddling walk is all that's left of her babyhood.  How I hope that I have fully enjoyed the early season of her life, because it's almost gone, never to return.

So, are you enjoying the season?  Are you taking advantage of your youth, when loving adults meet your needs and allow you to explore your talents and interests?  Are you making the most of the "single" life, and discovering the special work God has for you?  If not, then get started!  This special stage of life won't last forever.  All too soon you will have responsibilities, in the form of a husband, children, a career, or many other things, that will limit your ability to do what you, and you alone enjoy

What season of life are you experiencing right now?  Have you struggled to remain content?  What has helped you along the way?  Please drop us a line and share!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fighting the Urge to Merge: Embracing the "Single Life" part 2


Last week we introduced the idea of finding satisfaction in being single; needing no one else but God to feel complete.  It's not the way of the world, but, as you may have noticed, people who do things the world's way don't seem to be finding true happiness either.  I challenge you to make the most of going "solo," and this week we'll discuss what I consider to be step one:  Falling head over heels in love with Jesus, and finding purpose in your relationship with Him.

How do you fall in love with someone?  By spending time together.  So, channel the energy you would be spending on a guy toward Christ instead.  Take an honest look at your personal walk with God.  How often do you read the Bible?  Do you only crack the book on Sundays?  Do you read it only on occasion, when the going gets tough?  Do you read daily, but just to check the obligation off your list?  If so, it's time to dig deeper!  Start by getting completely honest with Him in prayer.  Tell God that you want to know Him better, and desire to develop a love for His word.  I guarantee you, He'll answer that kind of prayer!  Find a version of the Bible that is most comfortable for you and start reading.  As you get into the word, you will begin learning about the heart of God.  You will see His truths come alive in your life, and you will crave more.  This is what David meant in Psalm 42:1 when He said As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.

Pray with complete honesty and sincerity.  God is not impressed with big words or with hitting the "right" topics.  He already knows your heart, so pray from your heart.  Tell Him exactly how you feel, be open about where you are weak, and ask Him to give you strength.  As you press deeper into your prayer life, this too will become more personal and exciting.  He will begin to lay burdens on your heart for other people.  He will lead you in how to pray, and you will see God work through your prayers.  As this happens, your love for Him will increase, and your desire to read His word and pray will only grow stronger. 

Worship your way!  If you don't know what "your way" is, then find out.  What styles of music appeal to you?  There are Christian bands out there for every possible style of music, so find what interests you, and get plugged in.  Worship in song, or if you play an instrument, worship through that instrument.  Don't worry about how well you sing, instead, place your focus on God and declare through your worship how much you love and need Him.  Worship through your lifestyle, by striving to do your best work at every opportunity, and seeking to please your Lord in every area of life. 

Finally, ask God to give you His work to do . . . now!  This doesn't necessarily mean surrendering to "the ministry," but seeking to do work on behalf of your Lord right where you live and work.  You can be a minister for Christ even as a young person.  People your age need to know the love of Christ just as much as anyone else, and who better to lead them than you?  This might sound a little unnerving, but as you fall in love with Jesus, this will be a natural next step in your walk with Him.  You will develop His heart for those around you, feel compassion for them and desire to help meet their needs.  God will give you, step-by-step, everything you need to accomplish such a task.  Most of the time, this will not involve standing on a pedestal and preaching, but praying for a person, living your life as an example of God's love, and being willing, when the time comes, to share your faith.  As you obey, you will find the rewards so exciting that you'll want to keep going.  Every time you surrender to His leading, your faith will grow, your love for Jesus will grow, and the sense of purpose you receive will outshine your previous feelings of inadequacy.

We all worship something, the question is, who or what will you worship?  Another flawed human being, the quest for social acceptance, or your Creator and Savior?  By making Christ your first love, you place all other areas of life into the proper perspective, including the desire to date and possibly marry.  God will honor such a decision and will lead you in the best path as you commit yourself to Him. 

Do you have any ideas for growing in your walk with Christ?  If so, please share!  Leave us a comment and join in the discussion.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Who Told You That You Were Naked?

Genesis 3:9-11     Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?" So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself." And He said, "Who told you that you were naked (NKJV)?"

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I know, this is an unusual verse to be using for a devotional, but bear with me for a minute.  We've just begun a series about embracing he single life- being content with who you are in Christ and needing nothing else.  A friend of mine shared these verses with me recently, and it opened my eyes to a completely new meaning of this old story; one that I'd like to share with you.

Most likely, if you're reading this, you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  (If not, I humbly suggest that you stop right here and read the "Find Your True Love" page.)  If this is true, then you are already in the ultimate "relationship".  You are "in" with the All-Knowing, All-Powerful God of the universe, and He delights in spending time with you Even though He created everything-including you, and knows your every need and every thought, He desires an ever deepening relationship with you. 

How does this relate to fighting the "urge to merge?"  I'll tell you:  the world sends you constant messages that you need someone or something else to be satisfied.  In many of our cases that equals a romantic relationship.  But, do we really need this?  We're already in a relationship with the King of Kings.  He provides our every need, most often before we know we have a need, and gives us the best gifts; ones that ultimately bring us the most joy and contentment. 

Who told Eve she needed anything besides God?  Satan.  He whispered to her soul:  "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"  His intention was to deceive her, entice her to sin, and enslave both Eve and her husband with the consequences.  After giving in, did they feel satisfied?  No, they became even more dissatisfied with themselves as God made them. 

At their regular time of fellowship, God called to them and asked "Where are you?"  He obviously knew where they were.  His question, unlike Satan's, was meant to enlighten them.  He wanted them to examine where they were compared to where they should be-by His side, walking with Him.  Adam's response?  "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself." 

Then God asked the big question, the question I want to ask you:  "Who told you that you were naked?"  Let's look beyond the obvious here, and make this question personal:  Who told you that you were incomplete?  Who told you that you needed something else to be satisfied?  God didn't, and He knows you better than you know yourself!  What you "think" will satisfy you is, in fact, a mirage.  It promises contentment, but will leave you feeling emptier than before. 

Is it sinful to want to date?  No.  Is it sinful to feel inadequate and not good enough?  No, but a feeling is not reality.  Who is telling you that you need someone else?  Ultimately, the answer is, the same person that tempted Eve.  Satan, the enemy of your soul hopes to use these feelings of inadequacy to lead you to sin. 

But, take heart!  Here are the facts:  you are created in the image of God.  You are saved by the blood of God's only Son.  You are to inherit the riches of Heaven one day, and God's plans for your time here on earth are greater than you can possibly imagine!  Don't be fooled by a snake, instead take a walk with God, let Him meet your deepest needs and give you the best gifts, with no sorrow attached, in His perfect time.

So, was this a new take on an old message for you, too?  Did it bring you some encouragement?  Please leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Fighting the Urge to Merge: Embracing the "Single Life" (part 1)


Happy Valentine's Day!  I thought I'd re-post a series from a few years ago.  It's not the traditional Valentine's message, but I hope it blesses you, and helps keep your eyes on your one True Love.  Enjoy!

Be honest, ladies, how much of your daily thoughts are consumed with a boyfriend, if you have one, or wishing for a boyfriend if you don't?  If these thoughts don't rule your life, then good for you!  However, many young women are overly occupied with finding or maintaining a "romantic relationship."  I know, because I've been there.  I, too, felt the pressure growing up, and I've witnessed it many times since. 

We come upon this pressure honestly.  Movies paint the picture of success as meeting Mr. Right.  School dances are designed to be attended with a date.  TV dramas, both "reality" and otherwise, portray the ups and downs of the celebrities' love lives.  Finally, and what most affects us is the unspoken, but very real teenage belief, that having a boyfriend is essential to popularity.  No wonder there's such pressure to "hook up!" 

Let's examine the reality of a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship in the life of a junior high or high school student.  I'm sure you can find an example, either in your own experience, or that of a friend.  Most girls get completely wrapped up in their boyfriend, to the exclusion of all else.  They spend every free moment texting or on the phone with him.  He becomes the subject of her every conversation, and the star of her facebook page.  She spends less and less time with her girlfriends, because pleasing this guy has become the most important part of her life.  Her family relationships can suffer.  Any goals or interests she was pursuing take a backseat to him, and what she gains in return is regular opportunities, (and pressure) to get physically intimate and push the boundaries of her purity. 

So . . . is this God's best for us?  Is this His perfect plan for our lives?  Most likely, you'll say "no," but I can hear your next questions:  "How do I avoid the pressure?  How can I survive as a single teenager?"  Let me first say this:  I do not believe that dating or having a boyfriend is sinful, but dating relationships can easily take over your life.  In addition, most girls enter such relationships for the wrong reasons.  They want a hand to hold, a date to the dance, or a social "stamp" of approval.  And, by the way, the guys are not generally in it for the right reasons either!

Over the next few weeks, we're going to explore this topic.  I will offer my humble suggestions, in hopes of helping you discover the blessings of singleness.  I'm not going to make you feel guilty for having a boyfriend.  Instead, I hope to give you some perspective about where dating fits within your life as a young woman of God. 

So, what do you think?  Is this an area where you struggle?  What, specifically, is the most difficult part to deal with?  Parents, what do you think?  Leave us a comment, we'd love your input!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Parents: Build Your House Upon Wisdom!

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Proverbs 9:1-4a     Wisdom has built her house, She has hewn out her seven pillars; She has slaughtered her meat, She has mixed her wine, She has also furnished her table. She has sent out her maidens, She cries out from the highest places of the city, "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!"

Today our little devo. is aimed not at youth, but at their parents.  This verse has really been on my heart as a parent lately, and I hope this message will help you as you seek to lead your children closer to the Lord.

We live in a very "loud" world.  From the moment we awaken, until we go to sleep at night we are bombarded by commercials, the news, music, billboards, and so on.  In this new culture of instant access, there seems to be no end to the noise, and with all that noise comes messages.  How are those messages affecting you, and more importantly, how are they affecting your children?

I have struggled with this dilemma in my own home.  I long for my children to fall head-over-heels in love with Jesus.  I desire for them to love the Lord above all other loves, and to seek His plans above any of their own, but, like you, I live a fast-paced life and often have a hard time looking beyond the moment.  When asking God about this, he gave me two thoughts. 

First of all, we need to recognize that the spiritual instruction of our children is our job.  It's not the job of the church, it's not the job of our extended family, the job was given by God to us.  Therefore, I must make time in the busy schedule to instruct my kids.  If it means we back off some extra curricular activities, or we let go of a hobby or two, so be it. 

Secondly, we must make our instruction purposeful and personal.  As in this verse, Wisdom takes time to prepare a lavish banquet of instruction.  She builds the house, she creates a rich setting for learning to take place.  She slaughters the meat (which means the meat had to be raised first), she mixes the wine, she sets the table, and she makes sure all the details are in place.

 In our own lives, this could involve creating a meaningful learning environment.  Maybe you need to shut down all electronics at a certain period of the day.  Maybe, to prove a special point, you could pick a different setting, such as a lake, or a picnic in the park.  It could also mean carefully selecting a passage of scripture, or a devotional series to complete as a family. Think about your particular children, what they struggle with, where they are in life, and allow this along with prayer, to guide your selection. If we want our children to feast on the truth, then careful thought should go into the time and location of the message, as well as the content of the lesson.

In addition, we should be presenting an example of faith in daily life.  We should allow our children to see us reading God's word.  They should hear us pray, over them and over others.  They should also be able to witness our faith during times of difficulty.  Then, as we live life together, we need to make teachable moments count.  Use a trip to the library or the grocery store as an opportunity to share the truth of God's word.   Recently, my son had an accident which landed us in the ER.  After all was made better again and the fear subsided, we discussed how God protected him, even through his accident.  We were reminded that God really is good, all the time.

Later in this proverb we hear the voice of foolishness and how she operates: 

A foolish woman is clamorous; She is simple, and knows nothing.  For she sits at the door of her house . . . to call to those who pass by, who go straight on their way:  "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here"; And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, "Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant."  Proverbs 9:13-17 (NKJV) 

The devil is opportunistic, and he's extremely good at exploiting each opportunity.  He doesn't have to take time to prepare, because the message of sin is by nature enticing. 

We cannot assume that church or church related activity alone will build our children into followers of Christ.  As important as those activities are, they were designed to enhance what we do at home, not replace it.  God has promised to supply all our needs, and He will give us all the resources we need to lead our children.  All we must do is ask. 

I share this as a fellow struggler.  May this word lead us all to be stronger spiritual leaders to the flock in our own homes. 

God Bless.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Get Back Up Again!

Psalm 37:23-24     The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand (NKJV).

Ever made a mistake?  We all have.  It happens when you least expect it.  You try something new and fail.  You attempt to put something together without reading the instructions and mess up.  It could be that moment when you realize you just put your foot in your mouth . . . in a major way.  Or, if you're like me, you could get lost driving somewhere new, with scanty directions and no GPS! 

Ever made a big mistake?  We all have, or we all will.  What happens first?  You become aware of your big mistake.  What happens next?  The devil leaps upon the scene and begins to whisper in your ear.  He says things like "You're a failure!  You're worthless!  There's no hope for you anymore.  You've let everyone down."  Because we're already disappointed with ourselves, we take his words as truth.  We beat ourselves up, we withdraw from our friends and loved ones, and we try to hide. 

Sin is like that; it's shameful.  Adam and Eve tried to hide their sin, too.  Did it work?  No, God knew immediately what had been done and the resulting consequences.  However, even as He was laying out the punishment for their sin, He was also providing a rescue plan.  In Genesis 3:15, God speaks, for the first time, of the coming Messiah; the One who would help us when we could not help ourselves.

If you've made mistakes, particularly sexual mistakes, it's very easy to remain trapped in the chains of guilt, and even repeat your sin.  Because sexual behavior is so personal, it's easy to believe Satan's lies.  The devil wants nothing more than to keep you down, and what better way to do this than to echo the guilty feelings already in your heart?  The truth, however, is that sin is sin.  All sin is equally repulsive to God, and all sin separates us from Him. 

What's the solution, then?  First of all, talk to God.  Tell Him that you've disobeyed Him, that you're sorry, and ask His forgiveness.  God never intended us to remain trapped.  It was not His plan for Adam and Eve, and it's not His plan for us.  Even if you don't feel forgiven, if you have asked in sincerity, God declares you forgiven, righteous, and free.  Then, get back up, and start moving forward with your life as God directs you.

Will it be a struggle?  Yes.  Will others be judgemental?  Quite possibly.  But, who is your ultimate judge?  It's not the world, it's not your friends, it's not your church; it's Jesus, and according to John 8:36, . . . if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed (NKJV). 

If you have been fortunate enough to have remained sexually pure so far, then thank God for His protection.  However, before you start acting judgemental of others, realize that you are equally guilty.  We have all sinned, and we all need Jesus' blood to wash us clean of sin.  Heaven is going to be filled with sinners one day; sinners who have been saved by grace.  There will be only one truly righteous person in heaven, and ironically, He will be the One wearing the scars of our sin.

So, hang on to this thought:  God delights in our relationship with Him!  He knows that we will make mistakes, but He will not allow us to be completely cast out.  Instead, He will give us a helping hand up.  All we must do is tune out the devil and reach for His hand.

If you don't know God, and would like to learn about Him, I recommend that you read our Find Your True Love page.