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!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

More Than Just a Flavor Enhancer!



Matthew 5: 13     "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men (NKJV)."


(This is an older post of mine.  I'm re-visiting it with you, in light of Friday's "Think on These Things" post.  We're living in times where evil is being called good and good is being called evil.  What will you do to take a stand?  In that light, may this devotional be a blessing and a challenge to us all this week:)


Maybe it isn't as earth-shaking an idea to you as it is to me, but I couldn't help but share the new way God gave me of looking at this verse. Throughout my life, when I've read, "You are the salt of the earth,"  I took it to mean "You are the seasoning in this world.  You make this dull world a more palatable place to live.  You make this world more exciting and interesting; much like table salt makes a bland dish taste acceptable."  Is that how you've always taken it? 

But salt is so much more than just a flavor enhancer!  For centuries it has been used to preserve food.  How?  By removing water-the environment for decay, and creating a new enviromnent- a dry and salty one, which is unfit for bacteria to live and grow.  Salt does not completely halt decay, but it sure slows it down!  In other words, salt is vital to keeping food safe to consume.  Salt preservation could be the difference between health and sickness (or even death!)

So, when Jesus calls His people the salt of the earth, He's declaring how vital we are to the preservation of what is good.  We live in a dying world.  Our society is riddled with the bacteria of sin, and everything from popular movies, fashion styles, secular music, and commercials expose the evidence of rot and decay.  As believers, we're made of a completely different substance than the world.  We have the ability not only to avoid the rot, but we can in turn create a healthy environment!  When we stand up for what is right, and expose what is wrong, sin can't abide in our presence; it's like we create a healthy "peer pressure."  But if we lose our preserving abilities, by conforming to the world, we fail to fulfill our purpose, and the decay consumes not only the world, but us.

With summer just around the corner, you may feel pressured to wear what's "in," even if it causes guys to lust, hang out with people who do drink, date guys who will pressure you for sex, or do whatever it takes not to stick out.  I've been there, and I remember how cruel the crowd can be.  Keep in mind, though, that we're not supposed to look or act like the world.  We're meant to be different, and it's a very good thing!  We are designed to stand out, to not only oppose what is sinful, but to stand so firmly in our convictions that we preserve a healthy environment all around us.  As other Christians see you affecting your corner of the world, they'll join with you and you'll become even stronger as a team. 

In a world that seeks to destroy, dare to fight against the agents of decay.  Accept who you are, and step up to the task God has given you! 



Is the pressure to fit in causing you to compromise your standards?  Leave us a comment, or email us at requests@armedandvirtuous.org.  Our prayer partners would love to support you in prayer. 



Friday, May 24, 2013

Think On These Things: The Battle is Intensifying!

newborn baby photo: baby newborn.jpg


Philippians 4:8     Finally, brothers and sisters, 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).

Happy Weekend, folks! A few articles that I read recently have broken my heart.  I'm calling attention to them as this week's "thing."  I know the spirit of our weekend posts is designed to be uplifting, and dwelling upon things that are excellent, but my hope is that in sharing the recent turn of events, it will stir you to prayer and to action, which is definitely excellent and praiseworthy.

The first article deals with the recent IRS scandal in which IRS agents have been found targeting conservative groups, such as the Tea-Party organizations, and asking intrusive questions, as well as delaying approval for non-profit status.  I have learned recently that this discrimination has also has engulfed the pro-life movement.  This article explains in greater detail.

Next, I read an article discussing a recent publication in the Journal of Medical Ethics.  According to a group of medical ethicists linked to Oxford University, newborn babies are "morally irrelevant," and therefore, parents should have the right to kill them.  They call this act "after-birth abortion."  This particular article is not the original medical journal entry, but a discussion of it.  It contains links to the original article, but when I clicked on the link, it appeared that the article had been removed.

Thankfully, there are groups who are standing up for the rights of the unborn, and seeking to heal the wounds of women affected by abortion.  A few of those groups are Operation Rescue, (caution-links on Operation Rescue's sight contain graphic images of abortion), Operation OutcryTexas Right To LifeThe Hope Women's Resource Clinic, and East Texas Pregnancy Help Center.

Finally, I wanted to ask you to pray, and to seek God in how you can help fight this tragic battle.  The family unit is being torn apart by the world.  We as Christians need to do more than complain; we need to be active.  If we don't stand up for what is right, our society will continue to decay, and even more terrible wrongs will become "rights."

Have a Great Memorial weekend, and while remembering those who gave all to defend our freedom, take time to remember those who never had a chance to live.

God Bless.




Friday, May 17, 2013

Think on These Things: Dannah Gresh's TED Talk

TED talks photo: TED Talks icon-5.png


Philippians 4:8     Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (NIV).  

I'm sure that many of you know Dannah Gresh.  She is a leading author and speaker about abstinence, modesty, and purity.  We've actually recommend several of her books on our resources page here at A&V.  

On March 16, Dannah was invited by the TED Talk series to give a speech in defense of virginity to an audience of 900 Penn. State students.  We're sharing the video of her nine minute speech with you today:





TED is a globally recognized, by-invitation-only think tank of speeches used by educators and students, billed as "ideas worth spreading."  It is very exciting that the issue of abstinence has reached this platform!

We're sharing this video with you today, not only for the great argument she puts forward regarding tolerance of virginity, but also in the hope that you will spread it as well.  If this video gets enough traffic, then it will be placed on the main TED website, and the message of abstinence will receive global attention!  So, post this to your facebook page, share it on your blog, and help out a great cause.  

Enjoy, and have a blessed weekend!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Change Your Focus

Out of Focus Pictures, Images and Photos


2 Corinthians 4:18     while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen [are] temporary, but the things which are not seen [are] eternal (NKJV).

This is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, and it's been speaking volumes to me lately!  This verse is the last of a chapter devoted to enduring hardships as a believer, but this last phrase is so hopeful, that it challenged me to change my focus.

How many times do you look around and feel that, for some reason or another, you don't measure up?  Almost constantly, right?  We live in a world that is trying to sell us something, and their favorite marketing strategy is to create discontent.  "If you only had this hairstyling product, your bad hair days would be over!"  "Try this new skin product and never have another blemish!

We spend so much time thinking about the things that are seen.  They seem so certain, so dependable, so important, but in reality, they're temporary.  In the next few days, weeks, months, or years they'll be gone and another "thing" will take its place to make you feel inadequate.

So what does matter?  Our walk with Christ, and how we use the blessings He's given us to bless others.  Instead of stressing out over our reflection in the mirror, we should focus on improving our spiritual reflection.  Instead of trying to imitate the latest iconic supermodel, we should be trying to imitate and reflect Christ.

 Molding a Godly character is an unseen attribute which is eternal.  However, just because it's unseen  doesn't mean it goes unnoticed.  If you begin turning your focus inward, people will detect the change, remark on the change, and you will begin making an impact on the world, rather than being impacted by the world, how awesome is that?

When Christ was on earth, what was the image He portrayed?  He was a servant.  This is what Jesus said about Himself, in His own words:  ". . . the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:28)"

This week, I'm offering a friendly reminder to change your focus, (and I'm "preaching" to myself as well).  Rather than looking around at the things that don't seem to be going your way, look to Jesus, your Lord, Savior, Master and Creator.  Allow Him to show you how loved and cherished you are in His sight, and change your ideas of what really matters.  God Bless!

In Focus Pictures, Images and Photos


Do you struggle with image issues?   We all do as women!  Drop us a line at requests@armedandvirtuous.org or leave us a comment and we'll be happy to encourage you.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Think on These Things: A Ministry Update

Philippians 4:8     Finally, brothers and sisters, 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).

The Lord has been opening doors and providing several opportunities for us to share the Armed and Virtuous/Armed and Valiant message lately!  I just wanted to give you a brief update of what's been going on:



First of all, we were invited to LakeRidge Baptist Church in Lubbock, TX!  We had a tremendous time sharing the plan of purity over the first weekend in April.  For the first time, we took an Armed and Virtuous "field trip!"  During one of the afternoon sessions on Saturday, the girls and I discussed some tips on dressing modestly, then we went to the mall and put together modest outfits!  It was lots of fun, and very useful.  (I enjoyed seeing how quickly they put their new information to good use, both in finding modest outfits, and in refusing the immodest ones!)  Way to go, ladies!

The guys, being video game connoisseurs, had a special session about video games.  They talked about ratings, not simply what they stood for, but why a game was given a specific rating.  They determined which games were acceptable for Christian young men to play, and which weren't.  Afterwards, they put their new found information to good use by playing the games that were deemed appropriate.



Then, at the end of April, Armed and Virtuous ministries was given the opportunity to share with preteens for the first time!  We went to First Baptist Church, Silsbee, TX and led their "B.U.M.P." conference.  It was a parent and preteen together event, and went off tremendously!  On Saturday afternoon, Jason took the preteens away and taught them how to "juggle," while the parents and I spoke frankly about the issue of sexual pressure with young people today and strategies for overcoming temptation.  It was a joyful experience!



As of Wednesday, we are now sharing the Armed and Virtuous message with the preteens at Central Baptist Church, Kirbyville, TX!  Session one, in which we discussed purity of heart, went really well!  We had both an attentive, and an interactive audience, because the preteens had several great questions to ask.  We look forward to sharing for the next several Wednesdays with this great group of preteens, and we'll wind things up in June with Jason's juggling act.

Throughout all these events commitments have been made to purity, young people have begun to put serious thought into their dreams and aspirations for the future, and steps have been put in place to guard their commitments.

At the end of June, we've been invited to be on television, again!  Friday, June 28th, we will be on Nite Line, a program on the Dove Broadcasting Network, which is based out of Greenville, South Carolina.  The program is live, and will air at 8:30 EST.  We will be sharing with some preteens and early teens on the program, and I'll be doing a little show and tell of a few of my "spiritual treasures."  We're really looking forward to this opportunity, and as we get more information about the details, we'll pass them along to you.

So, there's the latest with A&V!  We feel so blessed to have been given these opportunities to share, and we're trusting God to provide more in the future.  If you would like Armed and Virtuous Ministries to speak to any age group at your church, feel free to contact us at:  events@armedandvirtuous.org.
Have a blessed weekend!


Monday, May 6, 2013

Boundaries: Inhibitors or Inheritance?

Boundaries Pictures, Images and Photos

Psalm 16:5-6     O LORD, [You are] the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant [places]; Yes, I have a good inheritance (NKJV).


Because of the upcoming purity conference, I've been doing a lot of thinking about boundaries.  Our world scoffs at the idea of living within God's prescribed limits.  They shout from the billboards, television, movie screens, and radio "You are the master of your own destiny.  Don't let anyone else hold you back.  If it feels good, do it!"  As Christians, this obviously runs contrary to God's will and plan for our lives, but how can we remain content within the confines God has given us, when just on the other side, the world is partying heartily and calling us to join in?

The secret lies within the limitation, itself.  It all comes down to how you perceive that boundary line.  Is it a limitation, or is it a blessing?  Does it point out all the things you can't do, or does it map out what is rightfully yours, your God-given inheritance?  When the children of Israel finally took possession of the Promised Land, God Himself divided it between the tribes, and then within each tribe to the individual families.  Each family's allotment was marked off, usually by a stone.  Considering that Israel had been wandering for forty years in the wilderness, this boundary line represented a tremendous gift, a place that was finally their own!

Ironically, if you look a little more closely at the world, they actually set boundaries, themselves.  Although they accept all forms of sinful lifestyles, they cannot tolerate the lifestyle of a genuine believer.  For some reason, if it feels good to be a Christian, it's not acceptable in their worldview.  Why?  Because our very existence exposes their lifestyle for the fraud that it is.  We are the light of the world, and the light of Christ which shines from us, highlights the ugly truth about a life "without boundaries".

Here's another truth about living life on one's own terms:  At some point along the way, such people become addicted to something and it completely enslaves them.  In their pursuit of pleasure, they make gods out of fame, fortune, drugs, power, sex, or numerous other things.  These gods steal their very lives, and leave behind a shell.  Think about how many celebrities go from supposedly having it all to multiple divorces, drug rehab, eating disorders and even committing suicide?  They achieve what should have fulfilled their wildest dreams and yet, they are left empty, much more so than when they took that first step across the boundary line.

According to Psalm 16, Who is our portion and our cup?  The Lord!  These boundaries are the measure of the tremendous blessings God has in store for us.  Our portion is what God has given us, our cup is what we make our own.  Ironically, as these people proudly step outside of the boundaries, they are forfeiting their portion and drinking the dregs of life from their cup, instead.  God's desire for our lives is that we accept the entire portion of His blessing!  He wants us to live life abundantly, and that involves accepting the boundaries that He has set for our own good. 

Most often, it takes a while to experience the fulfillment of our inheritence in Christ.  The pleasures of the world are immediate.  In fact, we won't experience everything God has in store for us until we're with Him in heaven.  But as we continue to be faithful, as we continue to abide by the boundaries God has set, He will bless our obedience.  We will begin to see pieces of the puzzle come together, and reap the long-lasting and completely satisfying rewards of submission to God.  Each time we say "no" to the world, we take a step closer to the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us a hope and a future! 

So, embrace your boundary lines this week, and stay the course.  The payoff is worth it, and it's coming soon!