Friday, December 31, 2010

New Beginnings!

HAPPY NEW YEAR (Almost...lol)!!



I couldn't think of a better time to talk about new beginnings! We all have "New Years Revolutions", yet how many of those have to do with God? Many people have a goal of losing 20 lbs this next year, making more money, having a boy friend, making more friends, etc. What are some of your resolutions though? Is one maybe as simple as getting a new beginning? For many people that would be a perfect goal! Here is the deal though.... What do you want to change about yourself or improve about your self? You don't have to wait on a new year to think about this or change things, but since it is a new year you mise well think about it! Here are some of my goals for the next year....



~ Read the Bible through in one year (I've read the whole Bible, but I want to do it in one year! Please keep me accountable!)

~Go on another mission trip

~ Save more money

~ Spend more time with my grandparents (Yes, I'm busy, but they are never promised tomorrow!)

~Then a few more I rather not tell the whole world! ;)



So, what are your resolutions or goals for 2011?



Back to the new beginnings part... do you need/want a new beginning?? We have all made mistakes over the past year... I know I have. Some need a new beginning more than others, but here is a chance! Yes, you can get a new start anytime, but for some reason a new year just seems like the right time to get a fresh start! Anywho, only you know what you need to leave behind in 2010. Leave it there... do not take it to 2011 with you. The old is gone and the new has come!! Please know that I'm praying for you that God will give you the strength to move on from what you need to leave behind.



Praying for you as you begin 2011!!



JEN

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Testimony Tuesday!

blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace. If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from the clearness of spirit which is life and peace. In that stillness you will know what His will is." Amy Carmichael



i LOVE reading anything by amy carmichael. she was such a woman of Christ and one of my biggest inspirations besides Jesus of course. i was babysitting tonight...rather "kid"sitting three girls. 10, 9, and 8... and while we were eating they started talking about their boyfriends...it was precious. they were like "where's your boyfriend??" and i said "i dont have one" and they were all like "ive had three" "ive had four" and "ive had five but one didnt count." and while i KNOW that they are just children and they don't really see it as a big deal its kinda warped that even at 8 they're already worried about boys.

trust...when i was 8, winning the Bible drill or finishing the math quiz first was high on my priorities. NOT chasing boyssss. not me, not ever. i never really fell in the category. the "girls who could never be single." if fact, i was quite the opposite. and not that that was bad or anything, it taught me a LOT. a lot about me, even more about my friends, tons about boys and the MOST about Jesus:)) gah, i really want to look every girl in the WORLDDDD in the eye who thinks a man is what it takes to be complete and tell them that there is a love that is so much better.

not that love is bad. im not bashing it at all:) i know i have a prince of Christ somewhere that at the EXACT moment will come into my life. but, in the meantime, wouldn't it be wise to try to get to know that ONE that created ME so i can be the best me i can be for my mannnn??!!! just a thought. no one has to agree. and trust. lately....its like a big deal:) im more than okay with that.

Jesus is all i need. He has to be. it has to ALWAYS be about Jesus. we as girls (or guys) can't rely on each other for confirmation on who to date. if so, we'd all be married by 12. nahhh, it is JESUS who knows. its Christ who has already appointed the very one we're suppose to be with. ive never understood how girls (or guys) feel the need to date. we have to be full on God before we can bless anyone else. so if youre dating to get filled, forget it. cause behind all the butterflies is emptiness. if God is behind the butterflies, you've got your happily ever after.

people will not understand. people didn't understand Christ so you can be sure that people will try to talk you out of any sort of committment, etc you make:) i made a personal committment that i havent really told a lot of people about but its helped me so maybe itll help you. i saw first hand in highschool almost every girl go through relationship one after another. and it hurt me to watch. i took it to Christ. he told me "i didnt create you to long for anyone but me" and i was like AMEN!!!! im just gonna pour it out to You Jesus. grades and being on every committee was my thing in highschool so it was easy not to get distracted. and, the more i fell in love with God, the more even my closest friends drew away until it was literally me and Him for a while. and every girl who messages me and feels lonely...just remember....its a season. just like singleness....if the deisre to have a husband and family is in your heart...its from Jesus and he will honor it:) but in the meantime, i want everyone to experience the EXTRAVAGENT:)) love of Christ. its overwhelming. spending time with Jesus is the same way you spend time with someone you're dating, etc... the more you spend with Him, the more you'll crave him and the more ONLY HE will fulfill your heart. then when youre full and overflowing with love, joy, peace, etc....look around you, it'll be the BEST season of YOUR LIFE!!!!:)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Well... Christmas has once again come and gone! What did you do this Christmas? Were you able to spend time with family? I would love to hear about your Christmas! Just to give you a glimpse into my Christmas I'm going to add some pics! Merry Christmas!! :)

My family at my grandmothers house!




Mom was amazed at how big nick's hands are!




Mom and her mom!




Jon (My bro) and I with wawa and papa (dads parents)!




Mom and dad with wawa and papa!
Yes, we did this for a while....lol


Wawa and papa!




This one is just funny!! She was showing how when you get older it is hard to open your eyes bc of all the "extra" skin! You would have to know my grandmother, but this picture is precious! :)





Another random one, but i love the way he looks at her!
I hope my husband looks at me like that after 60 something years of marriage!




I got a tinsy bit bored....lol



One of my favorite gifts.... Houndstooth rainboots!
Side note.... unless you live in the south you will not understand how BIG of a deal houndstooth is...
I am a BIG Alabama fan and therefore most of my Christmas consisted of houndstooth items! :)



I'm not sure there are words to describe this...lol
Maybe...REDNECK!
My brother enjoys being a redneck and I rather not be!




A shirt I gave Jon.... AMEN!!


When I opened my phone, which was a suprise!!



Nick and I! :)
Love,
JEN

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Word Filled Wednesday!

Luke 2


The Birth of Jesus

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Monday, December 20, 2010

the blessing of where you are now

Hello Precious Girls!!! It's been a while since I've posted, and I've missed writing to you greatly. But sometimes life is just so crazy you can't get to the computer. But I've been learning several things while I've been away from the blog, and I want to share one of these things with you today. Lately I've been learning to view your circumstances as a blessing. One of my favorite Christmas movies is White Christmas, and if you have ever watched it you know the song about counting your blessings. That's kinda what I want to encourage you to do today.

For me, I count the blessings of being who I am now. I count it a blessing to be single. To me it's a blessing because I am free to focus on growing in Christ and just loving and serving him. I don't have to fear I'm spending more time with my boyfriend than with God. I don't have to worry about pushing purity limits because I'm not in the situation to begin with. I count it a blessing because sometimes I have the hardest time picking out gifts and (feel free to laugh) since I don't have a boyfriend that's one less "perfect gift" to find. haha. It's silly, but in my life these really are blessings.

But you may not be in the same situation I'm in, you may have a boyfriend. And I do not mean to make anybody who does feel bad because of what I said in my previous paragraph. On the contrary I think that God can bless you just as much in a God-honoring relationship as he can when you are single. Never having been in one myself, I don't know for sure what those blessings are. But I can imagine one of them would be that your boyfriend actually makes you feel closer to God. Possibly another would be that you can be an example of purity in a relationship to other girls (yes, it is a blessing to be that). I'm sure that Jen could tell you many more, these are just two that come to mind right now.

I've heard that January is proven to be the most depressing month of the year. Perhaps because the Christmas season didn't fulfill you like you thought it would. I want to encourage you today to not let it be that way. I urge you girls, when you feel down and depressed, just look at God and that he has blessed you with, and thank him for it. You will feel better! Merry Christmas!!!

Love, Kat

Friday, December 17, 2010

"I love You"... what does it really mean?

We have discussed saying, "I love you" before, but I think we need to revisit it! :) How many of you have ever been told this by a guy who soon left, who disrespected you, and who basically just truly didn't care about you. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Anyway, it bothers me how many statuses and wall post I see on face book between people who are dating saying, "I love you baby!", "You are mine forever!", "I want to be with you always!" and then the next week they have broken  up, gotten with someone else and began writing all the same things on that persons wall. Is that what love is?? If you think so I'm here to tell you it isn't.... That is NOT what love is! 1 Corinthians 13 is known as the "love" chapter. I could paraphrase it myself, but i doubt I could say it any better. So, here it is...

1 Corinthians 13


1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

So here is my point... don't fall for the petty things that the world calls love!! Wait for TRUE love!! My boyfriend and I do not say, "I love you" for the simple fact that we do not know if we truly love each other in the form that we want to spend the rest of our life with each other. We do say, "I like you" bc we know that's true, but think.... If Nick told me now that he loved me or even when we started out dating and then when he did realize he wanted to marry me and he told me that he loved me it would seem no different. Don't cheapen this beautiful gift of love that God has given us!! I challenge you to pay attention to fb (If you have one) at all the things couples write... it is sickening!! The sad part about it is they are cheapening their future every time they say things like that...

The same as all the other post... this is just my opinion. It is worth a thought though! :)

Much love,
JEN R

Friday, December 10, 2010

The beauty of firsts...

Hey chicks! I want to talk to you today about different, “Firsts” today! Not just sex for the first time, but firsts concerning purity in general. Let me explain… Nick and I have been dating 6 months as of yesterday. He is the first relationship I’ve been in that has lasted that long. So, it was very special! Now if I had dated many boys off and on and had a couple that lasted 6 months would it have been as special? Of course not. I believe that there are some first that are ok before marriage then of course there are some that are not ok until after marriage. For example, I believe holding hands, dating, that sort of thing is ok before marriage. I also believe that there are some first that you should save until you are married. These are things such as any form of sex, kissing (Just my personal stand), much touching, etc. Here is the point… I want to save as many first for my husband as I can!! I challenge you to do the same. Just imagine if you could give your husband your first kiss, if you could give him the privilege of being the first male to see you without clothes, allow him to be the first person to ever touch you in a sexual way, and of course allow him to be the first person you have ever had sex with. How amazing would that be for him to know that he is the only one to have had that privilege?? Girls, now is the time whether you will get to tell him that or not. It isn’t the same to just be on your wedding night and be like, “Oh wow! No one ever did that before!” he should not be getting your leftovers. He should be getting the whole meal. Do you get this?! Now is the time you save your first!




Two side notes though… If you have been taken advantage of then that is NOT your first! If you have been raped then you are still a virgin! I do not care what anyone told you. You are and hopefully you will choose a husband who believes the same! When I say your first I mean the first time you gave anything away willingly! Make sense? Secondly, I do not mean this post to be condemning if you have given away some first times that you wish you had not. With god there is forgiveness. Yes, you will still have it in your past, but that is where it belongs… in your past.



I love you girls!

Waiting along beside you….

JEN

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thought Filled Thursday!

Jesus was not created to be an accessory to our life... He was created to BE our life!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Word Filled Wednesday!

~ James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will recieve the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him. ~

Friday, December 3, 2010

Grow where you are planted!

Hey girls! I added a video the other day of a girl getting baptized. I decided to delete it so that I could add it to this post. Anywho, here is the point of this post. The point is to encourage you to flourish where ever God plants you! I'm going to share a little bit of my testimony. I wasn't the normal teen. I was to an extent, but in most ways I wasn't normal. What do I mean? I was always wanting to help someone, i absolutely adored witnessing, I didn't have to have a guy, and I often took leadership positions. I'm not saying this to brag... i have a point I'm getting to! I was often told things like, "You just need to be normal! Quit worrying about others.", "You are missing your teen years!", and other things. Of course I did have people who praised me, but you would be amazed at the people who questioned me or even degraded me bc I chose to not be "Normal". You may know what I mean. The thing is i chose to keep on... I knew God had something planned for me! Like I said I took on leadership roles such as teaching Sunday school, leading Bible studies, leader in the youth group, worked in kids programs all the time, and so on. The thing is I never felt like it was what I was made to do. You know? The thing is though I was getting experience... I cant tell you the books I read about youth ministry. I had a dream... wasn't sure what it was, but I was determined to follow God where ever He wanted me! Then about a year ago i was asked to help out at a youth group close by. I was only 18 (hadn't graduated high school) and so my first thought was how can i do that? I'm their age. I decided to give it a try though. I went and it was awkward at first, but I kept going... For the first six months i basically went, did what i was asked to do and that was about it. I was still going to my home church and just went on Wednesday nights when they needed me. Then some things happened with the leadership and the youth minister (The person who had asked me to come help.) left. Everyone thought I would leave, but i decided i was there for a reason. I began to get more active. Over the last couple of months God has done AMAZING things! As the video showed we have had numerous (So many we've lost count! We know at least 10-15) salvations! The coolest part about it is watching how God has worked it all together. We now have a new couple who have stepped in as youth ministers. We all work together, but it is amazing how God all brought us from different parts of the state to this one church to serve Him! Mr. Frank and Mrs. Danna (the youth ministers) were new to the church. They had been youth ministers in the past, but honestly they are spring chickens. They had visited around to other churches, but none felt right. Wonder why?? I was from a completely different church and would have never imagined leaving. God had other plans though... Each week as I help out I see things that if I had not been willing to be "different" as a teen I would not have had any idea what to do. Most of the leaders in this youth group have come from different Church's. Isn't God amazing?? I cant tell you the joy it brings to my heart to know that God has a perfect plan! I truly believe this is only the beginning! I ask you to pray as we continue to follow God though... This ministry is like nothing Ive ever seen. These kids come from TERRIBLE homes. 98% (Literally) come from broken homes. Many do not even know their father or if they do he is abusive. We hear stories constantly of abuse, neglect, and just a lack of love. Most parents have live in "partners" with no want to get married. Most of their parents and many of the youth are on drugs, are alcoholics, and smoke. 75% of their parents refuse to bring them to church even though it may only be a mile or so away. This is just a way of life.... Want to know the good news though? Over the last few months we have gone from 40 youth a night to nearly 90 youth a night! Please do not miss understand me... numbers do not matter, but they do show how the kids have a craving to know more about God! I've already told you about the salvation's and baptisms. Even past that though.... to be able to see youth read a Bible verse out loud for the first time, own a Bible for the first time, to see an 18 year old guy lower his pride enough to admit he had never even opened a Bible before, to see youth jump at the chance to pray, to see teens sing in a youth choir for the first time, to see youth ask how they can help.... it brings you to tears.... yes, sometimes it isn't easy. Getting calls at 3 in the morning, getting letters from a girl in jail, or being asked by DHR about a mom. It isn't always good, but at the end of the day I know it is in God's hands. If for no other reason than how He has prepared each one of us leaders!

With all of this said, here is why I share this... many of you girls are in the same spot that i was just a few years ago. You may get encouragement or you may not. it doesn't matter. Only you know what you are called to do! People may call you crazy for going on mission trips, people may call you crazy for leading a Bible study, people may call you crazy for writing a blog. Does that matter though? My life is 1 Timothy 4:12 Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example in speech, life, love, faith, and in purity! I love you girls and I want to encourage you to stand strong!

Love,
JEN

P.S. I'm going to add some pics for you girls to see who I'm talking about! Again, i value your prayers!!











A girls night I had at my house last weekend!





               We talked about how as Christians God calls us His "Daughters" and we are the bride of Christ!



                                  We did a drama to the song Amazing Grace My Chains are Gone!

                                                         Some girls at a 5th Quarter!


                                            Some of the girls preparing for a drama about gossiping!

                                                                Playing the cup game!


                                                                           The guys!

                                                                  Another girls night!
                                                            Car wash fundraiser!
                                                           Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil!

                                      Practicing for the youth to lead the worship one Sunday morning!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thought Filled Thursday!

I had forgotten how great of message this song had... :)

Call on Jesus

Verse 1:


I'm so very ordinary, nothing special on my own.

Oh, I have never walked on water,

And I have never calmed a storm.

Sometimes I'm hiding away from the madness around me

Like a child who's afraid of the dark



Chorus:

But when I call on Jesus,

All things are possible

I can mount on wings like eagles' and soar

When I call on Jesus,

Mountains are gonna fall

'Cause He'll move heaven and earth to come rescue me when I call



La la la la la, la la la la la



Verse 2:

Weary brother, broken daughter,

Widowed, Widowed lover you're not alone

If you're tired and scared of the madness around you

If you can't find the strength to carry on



Chorus:

When you call on Jesus,

All things are possible

You can mount on wings like eagles' and soar

When you call on Jesus,

Mountains are gonna fall

'Cause He'll move heaven and earth to come rescue you when you--



Bridge:

Call Him in the morning', in the afternoon time

Late in the evening' He'll be there

When your heart is broken,

And you feel discouraged,

You can just remember that He said

He'll be there



Chorus (2x):

When I call on Jesus,

All things are possible

I can mount on wings like eagles' and soar

When I call on Jesus,

Mountains are gonna fall

'Cause He'll move heaven and earth to come rescue me

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Word Filled Wednesday!

This may be a week late (meant to post this for Thanksgiving!), but still a wonderful Psalm! :)

Psalm 100


1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Testimony Tuesday!

What's up everyone? Well it's time for one of my famous rants again, though I know they do happen randomly. Lately this issue has really come to mind and I've given it great thought, so just thought I'd share with everyone my own take on this topic. I've heard so many people say, and everyday I see it, people more and more are turning towards marriage before they even really know the person they're with. Not to be mistaken, love is a wonderful feeling, but also you have to have a clear head and realize what a HUGE step marriage is. Now this is coming from a guy who's never had a relationship longer than 3 months so some of you might not take me seriously, but sometimes wisdom doesn't come from ones own experience; sometimes it comes from the experience of observing others. Recently I was talking to a female friend of mine and we were talking about past relationships, and the topic of not getting to know a person enough before taking a step such as marriage came into play.
I'll start out with the simple fact of what love does to us all. It can make us feel invincible, trusting and loved, but sometimes it can also leave us vulnerable, which is why it's important to think with a clear head. Most young people like myself you dive straight into marriage before getting to know their significant other really don't realize what they're stepping into. We have to understand, marriage is a commitment, a sacrifice, and it's opening your lives to someone, and I'll just go ahead and tell all of you THE PHYSICAL ASPECTS WILL ONLY TAKE YOU SO FAR!!! Two people could be together for years, but if they don't know the first thing about one another, one day they eventually wake up miserable because they realize they don't know the first thing about the person they spend their lives with everyday, which opens up the door for other issues. Not to be mistaken, there always will be physical aspects in relationships, and they are crucial and a great things, BUT if there is no substance (things you get to know specifically about the other person) there will always be something missing.

Over the years I've watched friends, and others come and go, and within a couple of weeks get married and think that they are prepared, when really they don't have the slightest clue. I've never been married myself and won't be until I know I can provide for a family, but some things are just common sense. Love is a great feeling, but as I stay before, you have to stay level-headed, because if not, you can slip easily. All I'm telling my generation and generations after me is GET TO KNOW THE PERSON!!!!! I can't make it any more clear. Think before you act because there are consequences for everything, and I certainly wouldn't want to put someone I love and care for in the kind of situation where things are so uncertain. It wouldn't be fair to either me or the person I was with. THINK BEFORE YOU ACT, BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY THE DECISION DOES NOT ONLY AFFECT YOU...


Matt

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Crazy Blogging! :)

So lately I've been blogging more bc I've been home on Thanksgiving break! Hopefully I will keep it up! :)

This is a challenge, but i want you to take it seriously... From what I've heard from other girls and what I've experienced myself is it seems impossible to remain pure until marriage. Maybe with the "big" things like no sex until marriage (for some girls that even seems impossible!) don't seem impossible, but the little things do. The things like giving your heart away to a guy or as so many girls expressed becoming emotionally attached. Maybe it is giving a kiss away... one at a time. Maybe to you it's more or maybe it's less. Each person is different. The point is at times it can seem like marriage will never get here and there is no way on earth you can stay pure until then! I've heard girls say that exact thing over and over...

So, what can you do? Here is my idea, fight it as a daily battle. Do not think of it as 5 years before you get married. Think of it as one more day. I'm not big into journaling, but i do some during hard or tempting times. I kept a journal that i will most likely give to my husband one day and at the end of each day I would write down how I had waited for him... whether it pushing a guy away from kissing me, whether it be I turned down a guy bc i knew he wasn't the right one, maybe it was just choosing to control my thoughts, or some days it is just simply that i was so lonely yet with joy i waited for him. Now are you going to succeed every day? No. At least i know I don't! You will make mistakes, but most likely not near as many bc you will not feel near as hopeless. You may not want to write it down, but find a way to keep up with it. Maybe have a friend that you talk to alot who you can tell, "I waited". The best part about this is when you feel like you cant wait and you want to give up you can either go back and read or have your friend remind you of all the times you did succeed and if you've done it before you can do it again!!

I challenge you to begin your day asking God to help you fight the battle and lay down at night thanking Him for the victory! If you didn't have a victory praise God for what He will do tomorrow!

Girl... As my roommate says, "You got this!" You are stronger than you know and with God there is not one doubt in my mind that you can not remain pure until your wedding day!!

Much love,
JEN

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thought Filled Thursday!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

What are some things you are thankful for??

Here are some that I'm thankful for!
~My dad's job!!! (If you havent heard the story... dad went without a job for almost 4 years. Within the last mont he got a job! PRAISE THE LORD!)
~My family and home (Never realized how much i loved home until I moved out!)
~My friends in the blog world! You guys lift me up everytime you leave a comment!
~ More than anything else though... My God!

What are you thankful for today??

JEN

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Satan's Lies....

Hey gals! So, I have to say I loved reading your honest responses on the last post. One thing that I've really been dealing with lately is listening to Satan's lies. You know some lies are easy to distinguish as lies, but others not so much. What do i mean? It's the daily lies such as, "You aren't good enough", "That person thinks I'm an idiot.", "I cant do this.", or "You are the only person who ever deals with this." Have you ever thought any of these things? One of the coolest things about the last post was the question of what do you struggle with. Many girls answered the same thing! I believe it would astound many girls if they knew just how many other girls dealt with the same things they did day after day...moment by moment. I'm by no means saying every girl should just air out all her dirty laundry and let everyone know her dark little secrets. I am encouraging you to find someone who you can trust, someone who is living for the same God as you, someone who has the same morals as you!

This is also what I'm saying... You DO NOT have to believe Satan's lies! If you are feeling worthless, unloved, alone, or like you are the only one who struggles with temptation I want you to see that these are lies! There are NOT true!! As a precious teen girl said in youth last week, "God doesn't make no junk!"!

The other side of this is you often do not know what another girl is thinking about herself. It is safe to assume though that she is not thinking, "I'm beautiful!" (Unless she has a naturally big head...lol) or thinking "Everyone wants to be my friend!". What does that mean to us? Encourage someone! You may never know how much they needed it.

For those of you reading this right now... You are not alone! I am praying for you and i care. I may not know what is going on in your life, but I do know that as long as you have God on your side you will make it through it!

With care,
JEN

Friday, November 19, 2010

Questions!!

1. What are some things you would like in your future husband?

2. Do you believe you are ready for marriage?

3. What attracts you to a guy?

4. What makes you feel most "Loved" by a guy?

5. What is your biggest struggle as far as physical and emotional purity?

I cant wait to hear your answers!! :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Word-filled Wednesday

" It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit. "

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

Testimony Tuesday!

This is a note I wrote on facebook a week or so and i thought it would be perfect for Testimony Tuesday (Even though it is technically wed it still counts as Tuesday!!)!

So, I went back and forth about writing this, but God just wouldn't let up so I guess someone needs to hear it! What is a testimony? In Jennifer's simple opinion it is a churchy word meaning a persons story. Whether it be full of heart ache, joy, good deeds, mistakes, or whatever it may be. It is still their story and no one else's. Why am I talking about this? I was reminded Sunday night just how powerful a testimony is. The Bible in Revelation 12:11 says, "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony." The blood is Jesus' blood and it is our testimony that the verse is referring to! We can overcome satan by Christ blood and our testimonies!! I believe we often underestimate the power of a person's story. I know i do. We think we have to have some preacher who knows all this scripture and comes across as if they are perfect, but in all reality a person who is willing to be used by God and willing to share their story they are just as useful! This past Sunday we had a night where the youth led the whole service. Of course us as leaders were nervous about everything going right. We decided to ask the teens if any of them would like to share their testimony. Surprisingly we had 4 timid hands raise. Each had a different story. Please do not get the idea that these youth were from perfect homes. As they talked i along with many others began to cry.... as they shared how divorce, losing parents, alcoholic father, abusive stepfathers, and many other things had caused them pain that they couldn't even explain. They then got to the part of how Jesus had saved them and now they had a reason to live!! They didn't use big words, speak for hours, or use any verses. They shared their heart.... and bc they were faithful to do so lives were changed! 3 Young ladies came to Christ that night! Again, it was nothing special. Just a few teens willing to get up and claim the name of Christ! Are you willing to do that or are you holding back? God has done something in your life and only you've had that experience! So my challenge today is quit saying, "My testimony is no good" or "My testimony wont reach anyone". You have NO idea how God will use you!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thought Filled Thursday!

"I'm not single and looking; I'm single and following. Following God into the arms of whoever He has for me." ~ Amber S (My roomie!)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Quit looking!

Hey darlin!

What do you do when someone tells you to not look? You automatically look don't you? Well, hopefully after reading this post you will not do that exact thing. I see girl after girl "looking" for a man. They claim to not be desperate, yet it is obvious to everyone else. They are willing to settle. They are constantly talking about it and constantly thinking about it. Constantly considering what could get a guys attention or if they dressed a little less modestly and sway their hips as they walk by would that make him notice her? The sad part is these aren't just the "sluts" as we call them. These are the girls that are in our Churches every Sunday.... Girls, please understand I'm not trying to make you feel bad, but it is about time someone stepped up and pointed out how this is not the way God made it! Before I even begin though... I'm not referring to the mans vs woman's rights. We are just simply discussing how if we as girls were as crazy about God as we are boys it would turn this world upside down! We've all been in this place from time to time. We get caught up with "match makers" or being one. Can I just say right now.... GOD IS THE ULTIMATE MATCH MAKER! We as women want to be loved, appreciated, and given attention. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. The problem comes in when we want it so bad that we will do anything to get it. So, what should you do if you are like the girl I described earlier? I wish it was as easy as just saying stop, but it's not. It takes a change of heart, meaning you become content in Christ and not desperate for a humans love. Also, it means that you believe that God has a better plan than you or I could ever imagine (Jeremiah 29:11)!

I can tell you now... It is when you quit looking that you are able to see God's will and it is as if He simply drops the person into your lap! Honey, If you feel as if you have to have a guy begin falling in love with God and that will totally change! Not that you will not want a guy, but you will not be dependant on one. You will be dependant on God!! I remember after I had made a few mistakes and God had given me quite an awakening i began the journey to being content... it wasn't easy and wasn't at that time what I wanted to be doing, but i wouldn't change it for a thing in this world! A quote from the book Lady in Waiting describes my heart during this time... "Rather than staying home another 'dateless' Saturday night, realize how much valuable time has been entrusted to you at this point in your life. Rather than resent your many single hours, embrace them as a gift from God- A package containing opportunities to serve Him that are limited to only your self pity and lack of obedience." This is the prime time of your life! This is the time you can make friendships that you might not be able to later. More than that... This is a prime time for you to draw closer to God!! Of course you will continue growing closer to God once you get married, but while you are single you have more time to be alone and you do not have someone who takes up your time. So take this time captive and enjoy your single years!! Over the last couple of years I've fallen in love with God more than i ever thought possible and I have so much farther to go, but this is my point.... It is possible to be content with God! Are you ok with out a boyfriend? If you have one, would you be ok without him? It's worth thinking about... Do you spend more time thinking/ talking about God or some guy?

Sold out for Him,
JEN

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thought Filled Thursday...

For those of us who are Christians this world is the closest we will ever get to hell, but those who arent saved this world is the closest they will ever get to Heaven.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Word Filled Wednesday!!

Nehemiah 8:10 The joy of the Lord is my strength!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Testimony Tuesday!

For years the Holy Spirit had been ministering to my heart and in my life. I had known of Christ and His sacrificial work on Calvary since I was a young child, but I never fully understood the significance of it all until after I was awakened to the filth of my sin. Previously, I had been involved with alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and home violence. I was extremely bitter and filled with hatred. When I was 13, I had an emotional response during a youth camp retreat, but the experience was only the introduction to what it was like to witness the work of the Holy Spirit. I was very active at Ebenezer Baptist Church, but I burned out quickly. I had heard the story of Christ on the cross preached many times throughout my life and each time I would leave the church pondering upon the sermon I had just sat through. However, within the next 24hrs my life would return to its’ shameful banter.


From the time I was a little girl, I was made aware of the power of men. It seemed as though every few years a new man, cousin, or stranger would enter my life, ravage my body and leave me broken and afraid. Love became nothing but a shallow word I would hear spoken yet never demonstrated. Sex and touch was simply an act of degradation. Rape was a picture I was familiar with. At the sound of the word even to this day, I imagine a strong, dark man holding a knife to my throat as he takes his guilty pleasure. No matter the places I hid or the people I sought help from, I would found I was alone in the darkness. By the time I was 18 I had been molested by eight different people in eight different places. Quickly I learned to kill my emotions. My motto was “Never cry. Tears are a sign of weakness and vulnerability. I must be strong for those around me, for myself or I will never survive. I am the observant one. I am the protector at all costs.”

At the age of 17, I was withdrawn from high school and restricted from any access to my friends and extended family. My sisters were under the same limitations. My parents were entering into what would become a long, grievous divorce trial. My mom, sisters, and I were all living in our rental house in Rougemont, NC while our dad was living in Sterling, VA. Prior to our exclusion from society, I had come to my breaking point and decided that I could no longer live the way I was living (i.e. drinking, partying, anger, etc.). I knew that the way I had chosen to live was shameful and wrong. My mom, sisters, and I then decide to begin searching out God. We researched many Jewish rituals and even resulted to burnt offerings to try to appease the “wrath God had placed on our lives.” We were utterly lost and presumed by many to be the abandoned lost cause. We eventually left our home and everything in it. We lost all of our belongings due to being evicted. My family was homeless. It was during this time that I began to become annoyed with my mother. She seemed to be growing in her new found faith, whereas I was stalled. I was still wallowing in my bitterness, yet she was progressive in her trust in the Almighty God to provide for us.

About a year after jumping from cheap motels to rest stops, we were finally given the chance to move into a house that was located in Timberlake, NC about thirty minutes away from our previous residence in Rougemont, NC. The house had no heat and no furniture. We slept on the floor with blankets for about two weeks until we had enough money to buy inflatable mattresses. My family and I thought that this would be a turning point in our lives, but about one month after living there the owner came up to me outside of this house and asked who we were. The utilities had been cut off and he was infuriated. It was about a week away from Thanksgiving and he told us to get out of his house. The lady who claimed that we could move into her home was in fact trying to escape her rental contract with him. Once again we were kicked out, but this man did have mercy on us. He allowed us to spend Thanksgiving in the house and he cut on the utilities for us.

We left and spent Christmas through early May in a Motel 6 in Burlington, NC. May 4, 2007 we expected to receive our bi-weekly “family fee” that had been ordered by the judge. However, no money was deposited into momma’s account. Everyone began to panic to the point of contemplating suicide. The pressure of our life was too much to bear. We had grown comfortable at this motel and with the people that had by circumstance, been forced to live there as well. Momma finally called dad’s construction company in VA. We found out that day that our daddy had been died for two weeks in his apartment, but he was not found until May 4, 2007. We went to VA where I was the only person legally capable of handling all of the funeral home arrangements (I was 18 at the time). I was not allowed to see my father due to the condition of his body’s decaying process.

Two weeks after we arrived in VA, mom had to break down and call her mom for help and a place to live. The option of waiting it out in our dad’s rancid apartment was no longer available. We then travelled to Albany, GA where my family now resides.

Shortly after moving in with my grandmother, I started to attend the church of my childhood. The pastor had retired, but the church was still running. I attended every time it was possible. One Sunday morning as a guest speaker began to preach about forgiveness, I realized the weight of my own negligence to forgive. I finally understood the weight of my sin and shame; the affect of it on my life. I knew I needed to be forgiven because I had purposefully and intentionally spat in the face of God on several accounts. Suddenly, I could recall vividly the moments that I called out to God in anger and screamed at Him. “I know you exist, but you are nothing to me and you never will be. I don’t want anything to do with you. Stay away from me!” The Holy Spirit convicted me of my actions, thoughts, and words that had pierced the very heart of the only Holy One who was both, willing and able to save me from myself. Christ, fully God and yet fully man had lived on this Earth ministering to both Jew and Gentile. He was betrayed and murdered on a cross; the most disgraceful death of that time for the hope that I might be redeemed and sanctified by His atoning sacrifice. Christ was raised on the third day and seated at the right hand of the Most High God where He now reigns for all eternity. This Christ was sacrificed so that I might be forgiven. This Christ had died for me.

I remember sobbing in my pew as I prayed that Christ would forgive me. I repented of my sins and asked Christ to come into my heart and life and completely strip away all that I was. I began to tell the Father about the pain I held inside and how disgusted I was with my past. “All that I have is yours, but it is broken and fragile. You will have to fix me.” Some people in the service came and prayed for me as I wept. When I returned home I told my family that I had finally given everything over to Christ and that I was finally ready to commit my life to Him. Shortly after my conversion, I was asked to teach Sunday school for the younger students in 4th-6th grade. I also volunteered to clean the church. The difference between my first experience and this one was that there was fruit of the work of the Spirit in my life. I not only held the desire to live for Christ, but sought Him out through His word and through intimate, daily communion with Him in prayer.

Now I attend Southeastern Bible College where I am studying to receive my degree in Biblical Studies with an emphasis in Counselling. I have been so blessed to serve in positions of leadership over the women on campus. The Father has not only matured me in Him, but blessed me beyond measure. Through everything I experienced in my life thus far, the sexual, physical, and verbal abuse, losing everything twice, experiencing the life of the homeless and forgotten, and searching for the forgiving love, God has been faithful. He will remain faithful to the end and nothing will ever separate me from the love of the Father because of the sacrificial offering of Christ on the cross. I am set free. I have been changed and my feet have been firmly established on the righteous path. My name is no longer filled with shame and destitution, but righteousness and grace. By His atoning grace, I am the redeemed .

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Being Prepared

First off I want to apologize for my post not being as regular as they use to be. I feel like it comes across as my heart really isn't into it, but that is not true one bit! I think about you girls all the time and pray for you constantly! I also think about post to write all the time. The thing is at school i cant get on the blog so that's why sometimes my post are late! Anywho enough explaining...

Are you prepared to be a wife? This question is not asked often in our culture, but it should. Often girls either become moms and so the are just thrown into the mommy/wife world, but if you were to do it the right way, which i trust you girls are doing...are you ready? We all want a guy and we all think we are ready. Seriously though? I know some girls that by one look at them I'm like she will make a great wife, but others not so much. Where are you? I've just started cooking and it amazes me. I use to could not cook at all. How could i take care of a husband? Now of course some men can cook, but there are things that we as girls need to know. Such as, how to clean, do laundry, cook, handle money, stay organized, etc. I see teen girls that are just not ready for marriage at all and they honestly do not even care to be, but yet they want a boyfriend. Can i make this disclaimer now... You may not marry the first guy you date, but you do not need to date a guy if you can not see that as at least a possibility! This is something most people joke about and take lightly, but i wholeheartedly believe God doesn't. My basic opinion (Take it for all its worth!)...if you aren't ready to get married within the next few years you are not ready to date. My point of this post though is start preparing! Start helping your mom... learn to cook, clean, or anything you don't already know how to do! Girl, now is the time. Also, this is kinda a side note, but start learning how to respect/submit to your dad now. If you can submit to your dad you can submit to your husband. If you cant submit to your dad then you cant submit to your husband! Just a fact of life....

Love you gals!
JEN

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thought-Filled Thursday!

"Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right." -Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Word-Filled Wednesday!

Psalm 121

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Testimony Tuesday!

I was Jonah. The next time someone tells you you can't run from God, believe them. Because, um, well, you can't. I should know. I tried. It don't work folks.

Okay, so I guess I have some explaining to do now. My Mama has been saying for a while, at least the past year, that me growing up as a pastor's kid and as a church planter's kid and learning to adjust to whatever was thrown my way and to be content with what I had, that it was very possibly that I was actually being trained for the mission field. And, well ever time she said it, in my mind I was rebelling. I was saying "no," but I wasn't saying it to my mother. As in, I was telling her that I wasn't called to mission. No, it was much, much, much worse than telling my mother no will ever be. You see, ever time she said it, I felt a tug at my heart, a voice whispering to me in the back of my mind, "she's right you know." And I was rebelling. "No God," I was saying, "No! I'm going to do that, I'm not going to leave everything I know and love to go trekking half-way around the world." haha. The joke's totally on me. So, um, then we went to visit University of Montevallo. We talked to the lady in the art department who does the photography.She has these AMAZING pictures outside her office. So of course, we asked about them. They're documentary photos of the Roma people. See, she works with these people in the refugee camps, mostly in Eastern Europe. She then went on to explain how photography can be used for, basically, missions (she didn't call it that obviously, but that's essentially what it is). She told us how photography is communications and how when you show up with a camera, people open up to you more. (BTW, she also emphasized foreign languages as being, if not necessary, than very helpful in photography. oops.) So at this point I'm sitting there going, "oh crap," in my head. Yeah, you could say I was cornered. But it didn't stop there. The very next Sunday, one of our college students was giving the message. He went to the Sudan this summer. *ahem* And um, yeah. So like the entire time he's talking that little voice is going, "see! see! I TOLD you!" So what do I do? The only thing one CAN do. I surrendered. I said, "okay God, I'm done. I won't fight you anymore. I'm yours. Do whatever you want with me." So I don't know when, how, or even where. But, um, I'm going to end up on the mission field. I don't know if it'll be long-term or shorter trips. I do know that somehow my photography will have something to do with it. and I know that it doesn't pay to play Jonah.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Word Filled Wednesday...

John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one can come to the Father, but by me!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Testimony Tuesday!

I grew up in a Christian home. I learned the word of God from the time I was in the highchair. I went to church every time the doors were open and my Daddy was a pastor. To most who knew me, I have an amazing life; but if they had really known me they would have seen pain. My Mom and I have never had a close relationship, she's always been verbally abusive and sometimes physically. I've hit her too and that saddens my heart. I grew up lonely because I was the weird one that nobody really wanted to be friends with. I was overweight and I had ADHD so I was hyper-and just a little weird. I tried hard to make friends but it didn't happen. I held a lot of pain and anger and frustration inside of me. I've never had a good self image of myself and I've always believed I am ugly and fat, this insecurity is from Satan and the pits of hell themselves. I now know who I am in Christ-Psalm 139. All of that insecurity led me on a journey through pain to find love, but I was looking in all of the wrong places. I hated myself for the way people treated me, thought something was wrong with me. I held all of that in. In high school I was the "good girl", I was in church, made good grades, was involved in clubs and did everything right. I was liked by most adults that got to know me, but they didn't know the real me. The me that felt so unloved and so unwanted that she cut her wrists to make the pain in her heart go away for awhile. The me that often dreamed of suicide and planned it all out and even wrote out an obituary. The me that experimented with drugs at 16 years old. After I graduated high school, I was still searching for love. I met a man who was 6 years older than me and I married him after dating him only 6 weeks. It was an awful marriage, he beat on me often. We divorced after 4 months. I was depressed and started to not care. I started to party and do things that were not me. I got real drunk one night and was taken advantage of. After that night, I didn't care at all. I slept with guys I didn't care for, and that hurt my heart even more. I started to use drugs real heavy. By the time I was 19 I was an addict, and I wanted to die. I got to the point where I found some pills in a garbage can and I took them-not knowing what they were. I went to nigh clubs to get male attention and it was there I was introduced to cocaine. Cocaine made me feel invincable like I could do anything and be somebody. I got so low that I prayed to God that he would just take me. It was then that God placed people in my life to teach me things and bring me back to him. I had nowhere to live and so my grandparents took me in. I got back in church and then things started to change. I went to a christian drug rehab and things started getting even better. I'm not perfect I still make mistakes, I'm 6 months pregnant with twins. I am dealing with a lot of shame from this because I know that having sex outside of marriage is wrong, but God is working in me. God has brought me from death to life-literally. I was just existing, but now I'm truly alive through him. Jeremiah 29:11 is a promise from God that I dearly cling to.... it says "For I know that plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." I was severely lacking hope. God has shown me that I am his princess, his love and his daughter. He's forgotten who I was and is preparing me for I am to be. He has big plans for me and I'm so excited to see what He'll do. He's brought me out of drug addiction. He's brought me out of depression, he's given me hope and promises of a future. Above all God has shown me love-true love. The love that I had been searching for my whole life. I am happy now and I couldn't say that before. If you give God your heart-all of it.... you'll be amazed by the transformation to your heart. I am striving daily to live for him the best that I can.

~*KARIN*~

Monday, October 18, 2010

Have you considered this?

It occured to me the other day that, while we've talked about many areas of purity and modesty and being prepared, we have not really discussed the topic of dancing. It has come to my attention twice in the past few weeks that this is very much an area of physical purity that needs to be addressed.

First of all, why is it so important? Well if you've ever watched Dancing With The Stars you know that the world has taken dancing and made it a twisted and sensual thing. But that's not what dancing has to be. Dancing, like music, photography, literature, and other forms of entertainment can be used to have fun and still be glorifying to God. But because the world has made it such a sensual thing, you need to know where you draw the line. What is appropriate or inappropriate? If you ever go to a dance, you need to know where you stand on this. As always, the "Would I do this if God or my future husband were watching" question applies.

Okay so now I just want to share my own personal guidelines when it comes to dancing to help give you a starting point.

-Never dance back-to-front or front-to-back with anybody, male or female.

-Space is good! You don't have to be an arms length apart, but pressing your body up against a guy isn't a good idea either (if you wouldn't do it in a non-dancing situation, you shouldn't do it here either). I don't have an "exact" measurement of how far apart I stand, but it should be clear to others that I'm not pressed up against a guy.

-If you don't want them to touch that area of your body, don't move it in a way that draws attention to that specific area (ie hip thrust, booty roll, chest thrust, etc).

-Be mindful of your clothing. If you know the skirt of your dress is going to fly up in an inappropriate way, don't do something to make it fly up (ie kicking, jumping).

-Enjoy yourself! Like I said, these are my guidelines, but trust me I'm not worrying every second "am I following the rules?" while I'm dancing. The standard I set for myself is pretty easy to follow, and trust me, I still have tons of fun dancing within those guidelines.

So maybe you disagree with these guidelines totally or feel they should be stricter. You don't have to go by my rules, but this is the standard I've prayed about and set for myself. My point with this girls is to have a standard. Just like everything else with purity, know where you draw the line.

Love, Kat

Friday, October 15, 2010

Flashback Friday!

Initiators and Responders
Yes, I'm crossing into dangerous territory here. But I really think this needs to be addressed, because it can heavily effect the purity of a relationship. Today I'm going to talk about the concept of guys being initiators and girls being responders. I really encourage my friends to adopt this concept, and if you haven't already, I hope after reading this you will.
Let's start with a basic definition of the concept. It literally means what it says. Guys initiate the big relationship decisions. Girls respond to the decisions. For instance, guys should be the ones to ask girls out, and girls should be the ones to say yes or no to the offers. You see what I mean? Essentially all this means is that the guys pursue the girls, not the other way around.
Now that we have a basic definition let's talk about the various places this does or does not apply. Okay, well obviously it applies in the asking out area. Okay girls be honest, do you really want to ask the guy yourself? Or would you rather him step up and be a man and take his rightful role? In a culture where we are raised on fairy tales of Prince Charming searching relentlessly for Cinderella, I doubt you really wanna ask him yourself. This can even translate over to the purity area. When you late him initiate it, he can be more in control of himself. Where as if you initiate it, he could be caught off guard and not able to resist the urge to push further. Now I'm not saying he won't push further anyway. But that's where being a responder comes into play. As the responder, you have the right at anytime to say "no more" or "we have to stop now." You're not totally helpless. Another thing, I think we may have mentioned this before, but I'm not sure. The guy should be the one to say I love you for the first time. There's something about that, it's just a man's job. And then you know you are not pressuring the guy to move the relationship forward faster than he is comfortable. Okay, now this doesn't mean you can't ever be the one to call him. In fact, it might be a nice way to let him know you were thinking of him. But it does mean you shouldn't ALWAYS be the one initiating the phone calls. It doesn't mean you can't ever (within a relationship) suggest y'all do something, but you shouldn't be doing it all the time. He needs to take initiative most of the time.

The last part I want to cover is why we should do this. Perhaps I should have mentioned it sooner, but I'd like to you to leave this post with the reasons fresh on your mind. I really like the way Leslie Ludy phrases the first reason in her book "Answering the Guy Questions." (an excellent book about purity standards and romance the way God intended). Ludy says, "I have yet to meet a woman who dreams of a wimpy, insecure guy who has no clue how to lead or take the initiative in a relationship. But few women realize that when they steal a guy's position and become the initiator rather than the responder, they shape men into wimps, not warriors." Okay, so that's a pretty good reason. My next reason is basically this, when a girl goes and asks a guy out it can often make her look desparate, and as if she isn't trusting God with her relationship. Have you ever thought of this? If God designed the relationship, he'd give the guy the guts to stand up and make the first move. I know that's pretty tough to accept, but if God want a relationship to happen, he'll make it happen. My last reason is God commands submission. Ephesians 5:22-24 "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." No, we aren't married yet, but HELLO! Wake up call! Relationships lead to marriage!!! If you start the relationship off on the wrong foot, then it will not be easy to submit to him once you are married. Where as if you practice submission and let him be the initiator, you're setting the relationship up better. And you are better preparing yourself for a Christ-centered marriage. Well that's pretty much all I have to say about this. Thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with my take on this?



love, Kat

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thought Filled Thursday...

"Would you want your future husband doing to a girl what you allow a guy to do to you?" ~ Me :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Word Filled Wednesday!

~ James 1:26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue, he decieves his heart. This person's religion is worthless. ~

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Testimony Tuesday!

i don't know alot about anything, really, i dont. i dont have it together and i definitely want God to make me new everyday and im JOYFUL about the fact that his mercies are new every..single..day!! i cant talk about something i havent experienced but i can learn from others..what to do..what not to do. and as much evil there is out there, if you have the support system to sustain you, i promise you'll learn a lot just from others and not have to experience every little negative thing that the enemy throws your way.
you know that the only reason we get attacked by the enemy is because he is threatened by us??! he knows that we embrace Jesus and his LOVE, his LOVE that cant be compared to anything on this earth, and it makes the devil mad. he really isnt worried about the people who are so far from God as much as he is interested in messing you up because he knows what you can accomplish. he's horrible and throws everything imaginable our way but when your world literally is caving in, know that the Creator of the universe allows things to happen but he's got us. if your in a relationship with Jesus, it is a happy ending. He doesn't leave, he actually draws closer and closer to you until you make it home to him. love is such a crazy thing that so many people get tripped up on, but why?! we have the perfect example of love and relationship, love is something we should get, embrace, and pour out on others.
love shouldnt be what keeps you up until midnight every night, crying your eyes out because it didn't work out. you know, matt said something along the lines of: maybe the reason you're not with the person you will be is simply because God isn't finished with them yet." think about that, forreal. there is freedom there. so many times we try to grab the pen from Christ and write our own love story. and at the beginning it probably works and looks pretty but inside you know. you know that you made the connections and you didn't let God finish them or finish you.
i got so made fun of in highschool and even college for not dating. every name that you could be called, i promise, i was called. it was "stupid" and "pointless" for me to stay pure and it was just plain dumb to think that dating in highschool was harmful. for the record, i dont think that its harmful but i didnt see one healthy relationship in high school last until today..notice i said healthy. people tell me still today that i have no clue because ive never been in love and rightfully so. but, somehow, and by Jesus and his love alone, none of any of it really hurt me. of course, it wasnt fun to literally have one or two true friends in high school but im thankful. im thankful that i trusted God and that he's not finished with me. i know that whoever i marry will be absolutely incredible, i have no doubt about that..so in the meantime, why not 125% devote my heart to Jesus. ill never have this season again.

this might not makes sense, but honestly nothing i ever write does. and i dont know why love continues to over and over again be what the Lord deals with me on. i believe its because once you know your value and worth, you wont settle. if you dont doubt the Lord's plan, it takes a LOT of stress off you :) im in this incredible ministry where there are relationships that thrive and not just a little, they literally are amazing. and its because they believed in Jesus and his faithfulness :) im so thankful to every couple there and to my parents. for every person who figured it out and fell in love with Jesus first, thank you!!! im so thankful to Jesus for loving me, no matter what.

Kaitlyn

Friday, October 8, 2010

Parents AKA Your TRUE friends!

Hi! :) Soooo some of you gals just gagged when you read the title. You know who you are! Anywho, I'm actually really serious about this. I've been on both sides...one side being that I never told my parents anything and the other side being I tell them everything. A couple of years back I went through a period where I told them nothing...they had no idea the pain i was going through, the mistakes i was making, and sometimes even the joy I had. I kept it all from them. You have to realize I was home schooled and so this is a BIG accomplishment! I mean its easy to do, but for home school kids it can be tough. Anyway, long story short I one day just sat my dad down (I'm close to mom also, but when Ive done something wrong I go to dad!lol) and said we need to talk. That's when every last lovin thing came out. Was it easy? No, they were disappointed and quite frankly shocked, but they still loved me. Girls, the last few years have been tough, but my parents have been through it all with me. To be totally honest friends come and go. I've had people who I looked up to just leave me, but you can guess who was always there (God of course...take another guess!). This is one of those light hearted yet serious post. I cant tell you the freedom I feel knowing that my parents know everything about me and still love me! When I was being pressured to do something I didn't want to do you know who I went to (After God)? My daddy!! Sis, you may not have as great of home life as I do and that truly does break my heart, but can I tell you hiding things from your parents are not helping you any. Of course there are always those situations where parents are abusive and of course I'm not really talking about those situations, but for the girls who their parents care and want the best for them, which is about 95% of the girls reading this. TALK TO THEM! Yes, you may get grounded if you've done something wrong, but you know you deserve it. Girls, more than even if you've done something wrong.... but if you've been hurt. Tell your parents... My parents could tell something was wrong, but they didn't know what and bc I wouldn't let them in and so they couldn't figure it out. Girls, your parents aren't going to look at you as if you are a freak or as if you have some disease. You would be amazed how open they will be and how much love they will show you!

I just have to mention this bc I cant tell you how many girls do this... Going behind your parents back is WRONG! That would include dating a guy they tell you not to date, going further physically with a guy than they allow you to, visiting Internet sites they do not want you to, listening to music they do not allow you to listen to, having friends they do not want you to have, etc. It is SIN! The Bible says to honor your parents and the world may tell you that its ok to go behind their back, but I'm here to tell you God's word says it is NOT ok! I tell you this bc I've done it and it is not all it's cracked up to be! God has a plan and when you follow it you will be AMAZED at just how right it feels!

If you are reading this and God is saying, "HELLO! I'm talking to you here!" go talk to your parents... Find a time that you can truly sit down and get real with them. If you are closer to one more than the other go to that one. It may be your mom that you are closer to! Whomever it may be. Pray first though... Pray that God guides you in what and how to say it, but also pray for your parents that they will be understanding and loving. I promise you that you will not regret it. I haven't for one second.

Much love,
JEN

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday!

"Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Word-Filled Wednesday!

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Monday, October 4, 2010

We're Human

Girls, week in and week out Jen and I tell you our stance on purity, how important it is, and what the Bible says about it. But tonight I just wanna say something: I'm still a human being. Jen is still human. We make mistakes, and I know I have moments when I am not glorifying God. I mean just yesterday I yelled at my dog for walking into my room (no joke). Let me just say it was not a hallelujah moment. And I will be honest, I'm having one of those weeks where I'm wondering, "God when am I gonna be there? When is it gonna be my turn to have a boyfriend?" And the fact that I'm even asking that question goes to confirm that I'm not ready right now. But nevertheless, I ask the question. Now don't get me wrong, I am not asking God to send me a boyfriend or anything like that. But I am asking what the future has in store. I mean I look around and I see some great guys, but somehow I know that God is saying "no not them. just keep waiting and you'll see." But believe me, the fact that I'm currently dateless to my senior homecoming dance has not slipped my mind. And this is the point where my mind goes, hold up!!!! Stop the pity-party. Am I really this selfish and... and shallow? I mean God is preparing a guy for me, according to his perfect plan. He is carefully guiding my path and shaping me into the person he created me to be. And all the while I'm over here complaining to myself because i don't know what's gonna happen next? Or if I'm gonna have a date to a dance? Seriously? And I pray that God will give me a heart the yearns only for more of him. I want so badly not to be the selfish girl who is only concerned with the here and now. Girls, tonight I do not pretend to have all the answers. I'd be lying if I said I did. I do not pretend to have this whole Christian thing down to a science. The only thing I can give you tonight is what I do know, and I know in my heart that God is working, even when I can't see it.



Love, Kat

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Jesus, lover of my soul!

This is just something I've been thinking about lately and I wanted you gals to think about it. Who means more to you... Your boyfriend or God? It could be anything or God, but seeing that this blog is about purity we will keep it guys, okeydokey? It kills me to see girls who light up at the thought of talking to their boyfriend yet can't seem to "find the time" to talk to their Lord. It kills me to see girls who would do absolutely anything (Even things that are degrading to them) for their boyfriend yet won't even acknowledge the name of the man who died on the cross for them. It kills me to watch girls during worship just act as if it is nothing, yet when they talk about their boyfriend it is as if the whole world revolves around him. Where is our focus? I can tell you right now my boyfriend knows that he is not the first priority in my life. Most of the time I do not even have to say it... you can see it. There's a song that talks about how a guy wishes his girlfriend got as excited when she talked about him as she did when she talked about her Lord! When was the last time you talked about God with someone? For some of you just a few minutes, for others...days, weeks, months, maybe never. When was the last time you talked about that, "Special guy"? I'm pretty sure it wasn't that long ago... I'm not trying to beat you over the head today, but I am tired of the luke warm Christian girls. It is time to quit trying to look good in the worlds eyes and start looking good in the eyes of the man who died for you and who loves you more than any other man EVER could! We cant stay on the fence any longer. I was talking to the youth last wed night about worshiping. I made the statement that if they didn't mean it I rather them just sit down than to stand their and fake it. I make the same statement here. I rather you just give up the fake card and let the world know you really do not mean it than to act like you are all perfect, yet really not care one bit. On the flip side though, if you really do mean it then LIVE IT! Not just when it's easy, but even when it's hard! I remind myself of the song often that says, "If my God is for us then who could ever stop us?"! LIVE IT TODAY!

JEN

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thought Filled Thursday!

You may be the only Bible a person ever reads....

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Testimony Tuesday!

When Jennifer asked me this week if I would be willing to write out my testimony, I jumped at the chance to share how amazing God has been in my life. However, as I sat down to write, I really had questions about which direction I should go in. I believe your testimony is more than just how you got saved. Those are great, and I love hearing them! But I believe that we should have many testimonies. God wants to do so much more in our lives than just save us! That’s only the beginning! Jesus died so that we could have freedom in every area of our lives. He is constantly wanting to draw us to Himself and help us with whatever we are struggling with.


So anyway, one of the many wonderful things God has done for me is redeem me from the pain of a broken relationship. Long story short, I started talking to a guy whom I believed might be the one I could one day marry. He expressed the same feelings for me, and he had even been talking to leaders in his church for advice about me. He seemed like a great godly guy, and I thought that he met my “list” quite perfectly actually. Well, some things happened and he just turned out to be completely different that what he had shown at first. He also claimed that he had simply lost interest in me, and he was very quick to move on to another girl. All of this of course hurt me deeply. I have struggled with insecurity and low self-esteem for years, and being rejected by this guy that I trusted and had deep feelings for was extremely painful. I was angry about the situation, and I didn’t understand why something like that would happen to me. I’m not the type of girl who dates around for fun. Before this guy, I had never really had a boyfriend, and that is because I have always believed that God has ONE person set apart for only me. And I don’t need to go looking for him. Ladies, we are not called to be the pursuers! That’s the man’s job! I believe we are to be like Sleeping Beauty (as weird and childish as that may sound), resting (or asleep, if you will) in the presence of God, allowing Him to grow us and allowing Him to be our one and only passion until He brings that right man (your prince!) along. Now, I am not saying that it is a sin to date. If God has given you the liberty to do so, then go for it! Just always make God your number one priority.

So, anyway (sorry for the rabbit trails!), needless to say I did not heed my own advice in this area because I let my emotions tell me what was best for me. And even though he seemed like such a godly guy, and that eventually got my emotions very confused about what the right decision was, I knew from the beginning that something was wrong. But the great news is that even when we mess up completely, God is still right there! In the midst of heartache, I learned to let the Lord romance me. I know it may sound kind of strange to think of God as a Romancer, a Lover even. But it is very Biblical! Song of Solomon in the Bible is not only about a man and a woman; it is also about Jesus, Who is madly and passionately in love with His bride (that’s you and me!). I would highly encourage you all to read it in this light. The truth is, God longs for us so deeply. His love is so powerful and captivating, and no other human love could ever begin to compare. Meditating on the beautiful love and romance of Jesus Christ brought healing and security to my heart when I was so broken. And even still when those feelings of insecurity come up, I can always reflect on how amazing God is and how much He has done. (Thank the Lord for the encouragement of amazing sisters in Christ also!!). Jesus has healed my heart and taught me to trust Him, and I am continuing (I pray!) to fall more and more in love with Him. I pray that you all will do the same. Just know that if you are facing any kind of insecurity or pain from relationships, you are so highly prized by God Himself. You are so very precious to Him! Give Him your heart, and He promises to NEVER let you down. And He is always faithful.