Do Not Merely Exist BLESSED SINGLENESS + FORSAKING IT ALL SAIL THE HIGH SEAS + BIBLE MAN ARMOR

Halloween

October 28, 2009


  
“He caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.” [2 Chronicles 33:6]
There are a lot of people who enjoy celebrating Halloween. But what are they really celebrating? Are they celebrating as a religious holiday? To worship demons on the Day of the Dead? Or because it’s harmless fun for the kids? 
"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." [Ephesians 6:11-18]




People put up decorations that tend to be centered on death, demonic and ungodly dummies clutter the yard and strike fear into the hearts of people. That may be over exaggerating it a bit, but this holiday is to focused on death and destruction and less on God and his beautiful creation—life. People enjoy dressing up in creepy costumes, like Witches, Ghosts, and Satanic demons; they go to haunted houses, worship the darkness and try to connect with the dead. However, not everyone celebrates Halloween for this reason; at least not intentionally…they do it mostly for the fun of trick-or-treating for candy and the thrill of being scared by people in masks.
My family never celebrated Halloween. We were raised in a Christian home and taught that Halloween was a Pagan holiday that we chose not to be a part of because of the glorified evil. Still to this day we choose not to celebrate Halloween. Instead we celebrate the Fall Harvest…giving thanks to God for the wonderful provisions he had given us, as well as pray for the lost people that devote this one day out of the year to total and complete evil. 
“Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.” [Deuteronomy 12:31]
"Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil." [1 Thessalonians 5:21-22]
Halloween has been a part of our American history for centuries, going all the way back to 1854. The two chief characteristics of ancient Halloween were the lighting of bonfires and the belief that of all nights in the year, this was the one during which ghosts and witches are most likely to wander abroad. Many Christians choose not to observe this holiday, but there are things Christians can do to celebrate Halloween, and still stay away from all of the demonic hocus-pocus that Halloween promotes. 
"Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul." [1 Pet. 2:11]


I have often felt left out as I watched or heard about my friend’s fantastic trick-or-treat adventure. But, you know, it really doesn’t matter anymore. I realized that going up to everyone’s front porch and begging for candy was an over exaggeration and wasn’t what I would consider fun. But there are some really fun ways to celebrate God this time of year without all the scary hog-wash that focuses on Satan and his demons. So here you go:


  • Have a party at your home and invite other children that share your beliefs. Have the kids dress up like characters from the Bible. This is really fun! And it gives children the fun of dressing up, but it also gives them a base for honoring the Lord in their choice of costume. It also encourages creativity. And who doesn’t want to be creative? Since most Bible characters can't be purchased in a bag at a Halloween shop, you can have fun creating cool looking bible characters. Along with the candy, you can also hand out tracts, bible bookmarks and small slips of paper with Bible verses written on them. Give out prizes to children who have memorized Bible verses. Or play Bible bingo…..Fun. Fun. Fun!


  • Do not fear the pumpkin. Be the pumpkin! LOL!! Okay, maybe you don’t want to be a pumpkin, I wouldn’t, not so other people can splatter me on the road! Aren’t pumpkins beautiful though? God made pumpkins and they aren't in and of themselves evil, they can honor God as well as anything else if we choose to use them to glorify God. You can carve a pumpkin with a cross or a happy face, just as easily as a scary face. Be creative: Write a bible verse on your pumpkin, or paint scenes from the Bible onto your pumpkin.


  • Visit a Hell House. Like a Haunted House, the Hell House is meant to scare you. But unlike a Haunted House, a Hell House is usually run by a Christian organization or church, and generally has Christian themes and lessons throughout. Be warned though: The Hell House is not for young children. The themes are often adult in manner -- sex, abortion and suicide are common themes in a Hell House.


  • Hand out candy as a family, rather than going trick-or-treating. This is an excellent way to teach children that it is better to give than to receive. Between trick-or-treaters you can read the Bible and play Bible games.


"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel."[Philippians 1:27]


Halloween can be fun without being devoted to sin and demonic craziness. Let Halloween, or whatever you call it, be a day for the Lord. Use this day to witness to others…be a light unto the world. Today is the day when the Lord is needed greatly. So many people need the Lord and as Christians, we need to let our actions speak as well as our words.

"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." [John 3:19-20]

And The Bride Wore White Series; Part 3

October 27, 2009


Then the LORD God said to the woman, " What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."~ Genesis 3:13

There is no way to escape the temptations or consequences of our sins. The consequences of Adam and Eve’s sins were tough—Adam had to work hard to feed his family and Eve had to endure the pains of childbirth. And those consequences haven’t gotten any easier for the people in this day and age—I’d say it’s only gotten worse.
“Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ Nathan replied, ‘The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.’”~2 Samuel 12:13
“Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you asked for;
see, the LORD has set a king over you.” ~1 Samuel 12:13
We all commit sins, right? It’s a constant reminder of how imperfect and hopeless we truly are without God! Hopefully we learn from those mistakes and realize that “if I keep doing this, the consequences are only going to get worse.”


Satan is a very talented liar and he loves to make doing the wrong thing look so good! And at times it does, don't you think? Yeah, but when it’s all said-and-done, we realize that it wasn’t anything like what we had imagined. Take for example the pressure to have sex….lots of girls and guys do it because they’ve either heard about it, seen it on TV, etc., and they want to know what it’s like, because it sounds “cool”. Well, Satan uses that desire and that gift of sexual purity, and turns it against us. Something that sounds cool one minute, like having sex, will turn out to be the worst mistake of our teen lives.


I know a girl who always talked about it as being a blessing. Sure, the only blessing she ever got out of it was that little bundle of joy. But what about the good-for-nothing guy she was hanging around that would not take his responsibility like a man? Instead he lived off of her, expecting her to feed him, do his laundry, mother him and love him— as if he was her second child! Pathetic, if you ask me. She didn’t have to live with him, live that life style, but she chose to. And those were the consequences of her actions.


Guys, once we give that gift of purity away, we can never get it back. Yet, the comforting part is that God, who is loving and merciful, will forgive us and make us white as snow!

“None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live.” ~Ezekiel 18:22

Modesty

October 26, 2009

Autumn is approaching (for Crystal85)

Being modest doesn’t mean that you have to look like a slump. You can still be fashionable and make a statement without making the wrong impression. People look at how you dress, hold yourself and how you act. And the main part of the human population of those people are guys. Guys are visual learners, which mean that they are looking at the way girls dress, act, walk, talk, etc. As girls, we must be careful in how we present ourselves in public, so that we don't draw any unwanted attention to ourselves.

The way to avoid this is to simply dress modestly. Yay! The word modesty automatically makes me think of old lady's clothes. But, I have learned that it doesn't have to be like that, there are many different ways to dress and still look good!

Here are some "do-nots" in my fashion book that are immodest, revealing and attract way too much attention:


Daisy Duke shorts. I don't know if this bothers you....but I don't really enjoy seeing other peoples bottoms if I can help it. These short shorts are an automatic no-no. This is way to showy for a Christian girl and not something that would help the guys be good Christian men.


I have nothing wrong with the style or the color of this shirt. That's not what bothers me. What does bother me though, is the fact that when it's on a girl's body it looks way too tight. Everything is enhanced. A great way to attract unwanted eye....but not what we should be trying to do. However, this shirt would be okay if it wasn't so form fitting.







This shirt is too sherry. You can see right through it! But as long as there is a modest T-shirt under this over-exposing nightgown thingy, it wouldn't be too bad. I wouldn't wear it because it would show flaunt things that no one should see. And it would expose way too much bra and other stuff like that. And if your not into the torn up, grungy look that spans way back into the 80s, then you would probably not want this look.

Here's a shirt (bodice) that I can't stand on any girl. It belongs under a shirt, not to replace the shirt! It shows way too much chest, which doesn't need to be displayed quite so freely. This shirt is like headlights to a buck.....or in this case a boy, man or even an old grandpa!

Now, you guys know that boys need to be respected just as much as girls do, right? So, what's a good way to do that? Um....one way is to be modest and treat them, along with yourself, with the dignity and decency you both deserve. God did not create your body to be exposed to every single person in America or the world. You body is God's temple and how you treat it reflects of how you see yourself and God. Be kind to yourself and keep in mind that guys are always watching and looking at what you wear.....one small hint of expose, like a bra strap send them "drooling like a pack of dogs." (pastor's words). Guys want to do what's right, and Christian guys try to be Godly. But when girls wear clothing that exposes their body, then it becomes difficult for boys. They are only humans.
Emily Pictures, Images and Photos

Embracing Accusation by Shane and Shane

October 25, 2009

I love this song! My Pastor played this in church today and it sent goose bumps all over my body. It's such a true song. We aren't good enough. We can't abide. But God loves is still! God is good....all the time. Amen!


Email vs. Traditional Letters

October 23, 2009

This is an essay I wrote for my College English class last spring. Not intended to be a copy of Elizabeth J's post on the very same subject @ Footprints in the Sand.




In today’s hectic world people look for quick, easy and colorful ways to communicate. Some people prefer to use the quick and simple means of the email, while others prefer the handwritten affection of a letter. People use the email because it allows them to quickly type up a letter and send it to anyone in a matter of minutes. Unlike an email, traditional letters are becoming rare in our modern world of communication. A traditional letter takes more time to prepare than an email, but a letter has something no email can provide—intimacy. A letter is personal, it isn’t something you can quickly type up; it has to be planned, proofread, signed with love and personally placed in the mail box.


When looking for a quick way to send information, people prefer to use the email option because of its quick and effective process. People are able to go online from home or at work, type up an email, and within a matter of minutes it is received. Unfortunately, it does come with a costly Internet fee. On the other hand, a traditional letter can be tedious and a long, slow process, but you can write a letter wherever you are as long as you have paper and a pen. Sending a letter, nevertheless, isn’t the cheapest or fastest way to correspond; it can take up to three days or longer for a letter to reach its intended destination.


When comparing an email and a traditional letter, we find that an email allows you to automatically check spelling and grammar while a letter has to be checked by hand. Emails permit people to write as if they were talking directly to someone, and that can create bad habits, such as misspelled words and misused grammar. In addition, emails do not help perfect and maintain legible penmanship. A traditional letter, on the other hand, is a more personal way to correspond. Unlike an email, when writing a letter, people have to make sure that their penmanship is neat and readable; otherwise it will be very difficult for the reader to understand the letter. Contrary to an email, where there is the spelling and grammar checker, in a letter people are forced to look up any words that they cannot spell in the dictionary, and the grammar in your grammar book or other resource. It is very important to make sure that the grammar and spelling are correct so that the letter will flow nicely without any confusion.


There are things you can do to an email that you could never do with a traditional letter, such as using the backspace, copy and paste buttons on your computer. All of those tools make corresponding by email a lot easier than having to tear out the first draft of your letter and start all over on a clean page. In an email you can add animations and graphics to give some color and creativity to your message. But there are problems with these creative extras—for instance animations can contain computer viruses that damage or destroy computer software. With a traditional letter you are not able to automatically add animations or graphics to your paper. In order to add creativity to your letter, you would have to draw or color something by hand which can take time. However you do avoid the threat of a computer virus, and the person who receives your letter will be able to enjoy your art.


Both an email and a traditional letter are great ways to communicate. A letter is more personal than an email; it allows you to practice penmanship and to focus on grammar, punctuation and spelling. As for the email, it is quick and simple; it allows you to automatically check spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes and even add graphics and animations at a click of a button. People’s preferences for these two forms of communication depend on how much time they have, if they know how to use a computer, and whether or not they enjoy writing a traditional letter.

Randomnesss!

October 15, 2009

This was an email sent to me by my mom and I thought it was so cool. Hence the really big bold letters saying: THESE ARE REALLY REALLY COOL!!!!! ENJOY!!

An Easter Hay Bunny in October?!


Ah, A Hay Pumpkin


Hay People



What? Frosty the Hay Man?



The King's Hay Castle



The Haydge Stone



Awe, Another Hay Pumpkin!



A Cumf-hay Landing



Oh No! It's Haymungousaur. Run!



The Three Hay-migos



Aren't Thay cute?!



Cool.... Hay Crafts!



Uh....What's It Supposed To Be?



Another Castle Fit For A Hay King



Mr. Hay Face


Ah! The Pumpkin Looking Hay Men!


A friendly Hay Spider. Huh?



A Wolf Out Of Hay. Vuala!



George the Scary Hay-bell!



A Hay Rocket



A Maze! Wow, And Its Of Hay :)
No Way! A Hay Mill....



Cool! A Ferris Wheel Out Of Hay!



Bubbles The Hay-bell. And His Friend Larry :)



A Satellite! Now I Can Talk To The Hay Martians!



Cute Piggy!



Good Job, Hay People! Oops, You Missed A Spot...



What Do You Think This Is? I Have No Clue!





And The Bride Wore White; Part 2

October 13, 2009


I am not skilled in the art of dating. I don't know what it's like to have guys following my around like I am a super star. I don't know what it's like to be cuddled by my boyfriend. And I don't even know what another guys kiss feels like. But, what I do know, is that Satan loves to catch us off guard.


Just like Satan tempted Eve and made her sin, so shall he do the very same thing to us. Satan loves to make us feel inferior--like we can't do anything, and that we are missing out on something wonderful and exciting. He talks to us as if he's got experience--yeah, in being the father of lies! But do you think he knows exactly what we're going through when we sin? I think the only one who truly understands our pain and the consequences of our sin is God. And who would be more qualified to understand what we're going through than the Creator of the Universe?! Wow, now that's comforting!

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5).
Satan likes to tempt us and make us think that we can't possibly wait to use this wonderful gift of purity. But if you have a strong relationship with your family and the knowledge that if you are firm in Christ you shouldn't have a problem with resisting the temptation.However, no matter how firm you are in Christ, 
"all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23).
And there will come a time you will be confronted with a situation that will require you to trust in God and stand firm, or listen to your sinful desires. Satan, the father of lies, delights in making us think that if we're smart about having sex, we shouldn't have to wait--we can go ahead and uses are gift wisely. "If you’re smart, you can do it without ever loosing your purity." Hum……. sounds like a big fat lie! What do you think?

"Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body." (1Corinthians 6:18).
Have you ever been in a debate over sexual issues? Well, just a few weeks ago, I was confronted by a friend "John Doe" on Facebook (yes, that's right) about what it meant to be pure. At first I just stared at the screen and then with a silent prayer and a loud sigh, began to type in my answer. Of coarse is question implied "that if you really love someone--when your not married--that it's okay to have sex with them. Right?"

"'Everything is permissible for me'—but not everything is beneficial. 'Everything is permissible for me'—but I will not be mastered by anything." (1 Corinthians 6:12).
I had to laugh....regain my composer and think about his question for a while. I mean, it was a thought provoking question. Luckily, I had been reading And the Bride Wore White by Danna Gresh! I decided to quotes some genius words from her book that she had quoted from Pastor Ed Young (he's so cool!). In his book Pure Sex, Ed Young reminds us all "that current experts have managed to give us in terms of sexual enlightenment has not satisfied our longing for something pure and beautiful. Instead, we've settled for what some have called "nutra-sex"--artificial substitutes for pure sex that eventually cause cancer in both the relationship and the soul."

"But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people." (Ephesians 5:3).
Remember, God says no to sexual impurity. If He can say no, then so can you. God is truth. And In Danna Gresh's book And the Bride Wore White she points out a very good fact to remember, "His truth is that there is reason to wait." (Danna Gresh,

"The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. " (Deuteronomy 6:24).
Sex will be so much more glorious if we chose to wait. Keep you mind focused on God and remember that if God has the power to say no to impurity, that you can too! Choose to wait.




Notes
1. Ed Young, Pure Sex (Sisters, Oreg,: Multnomah, 1997), 12-13.
2. Danna Gresh, And the Bride Wore White (Tyndale House Publishers, 1984), 22.

And The Bride Wore White; Part 1

October 7, 2009


The devil...was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth for there is no truth in him. While he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." (John 8:44).
"The beauty of sexual love is being camouflaged by big fat lies." (Gresh, 22).
Have you ever heard those sly words that seem to make everything justifiable? You probably know what they are, you've probably said them before or at least thought about them, "Everyone is doing it!" That my friends, is one of Satan's favorite quotes. A Lie.


Satan uses the most beautiful thing God has created--the sexual union between husband and wife--instead of glorifying sex and using it for God's planned purpose, Satan uses that wonderful gift against us. He will taunt us, pester us and tempt us to give our gift of purity away to the first guy we meet. Satan wants to rob us of our innocence and glorified purity--that should be kept under lock and key for the man you're destined to marry and not some average Joe.


There are many situations in life that Satan can use to tempt you into having sex before marriage; some of them are more obvious than others. However, everyone goes through them, some make it through those big, fat lies with a new appreciation for the gift God has given them, while others wish they had their innocence back.


Here are some situations that you might have heard of before:


Number One: A sexual relationship with your boyfriend can heal the pain and rejection of your family. Or it can make you feel need the love that you never got from your mother or father.Number Two: You can loose your boyfriend if you don't give him the sexual fulfillment that he needs.Number Three: You can do everything but actual intercourse like safe sex and still be pure.
In The Glory of Sex, Edwin Louis Cole refers to a study of 1,000 teenagers! The big study found that, "fifty percent had admitted that they had already engaged in sex while still in high school." (Cole, 34).


Do you know the consequences for our sexual sins if they are not used the right way? Girls, there are many, many consequences and they often have long lasting effects on your mind, body and soul.


Having safe sex and using "condoms" will NOT reduce the chances of getting Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Condoms or not, there is a good chance you will--if you choose to give away your purity--get an STD like Human Papillomavirus or AIDS. If you think about the consequences of practicing sex before marriage, to the consequences of waiting. They are so different in comparison!


Sex Before Marriage


Number One: The is a high chance of getting and STD.
Number Two: Being used can result in painful rejections as they guys you are with decides that he is bored with you and moves on to another girl who is better that you.
Number Three: You will most likely have a guy who cares little about you as a person. He doesn't see you as the beautiful girl God has created you to be, he doesn't respect you, he only sees you an an object that is disposable.
Number Four: You are stripped of your self-worth and dignity. And when you are married you marriage will always be in question.


Saving Sex For Marriage


Number One: You will be pure and blameless and will be able to offer that Special Someone you're whole heart instead on only a fraction of it.
Number Two: You will be with the guy God has planed you to be with sine you were created. He will respect you, love you and care for you.
Number Three: You marriage will be blessed and your relationship with each other will be easier (maybe) than if you had given yourself away.


Satan is threatened by your willingness to stay pure, and saving your gift drives him crazy! He will do anything to get you to stray from the path of purity, that's why you must learn to say NO! Ask God for guidance, and he will help you.
"Remember, what is given away without a lifetime comittment can never be recovered and given to the one who will make a comittment." (My Dad).
Be a Bride of Christ. Fight the good fight of Purity! And when you are tempted to have sex --imagine your future children standing right beside you and saying, "This is not my daddy."




Notes
1. Danan Gresh, And the Bride Wore White (Tyndale House Publishers, 1984), 22.
2. Edwin Louis Cole, The Glory of Sex (Tulsa: Honor book, 1993), 34.

The Ring On My Finger

October 5, 2009

The ring on my finger reminds me,
Of the promise I am about to make.
That when I look up my faith won't flee,
Because the temptation is only fake.
I stare at my finger telling myself,
It won't be worth it.
To give my purity away to sit on a shelf,
Where my other promises sit.
I refuse to let this one go,
I'm doing it for me.
No one understands though,
Because my thoughts they won't see.
They don't know why I want to wait,
For the love of my life on my wedding day.
Why I will give it only to my soul mate,
That's crazy is what they say.
Just because it's something they don't understand,
It instantly becomes something they call stupid.
So their attention I demand,
To explain it to them like cupid.
I'll have me and purity ring to thank,
On my wedding day.
For I won't sit at second rank,
Because only then will I give myself away.
~Author Unknown~