Saving Sex For Marriage

Fountain

Recently I read a blogpost about “virgin shaming.” The author known as BeautyBeyondBones expresses her feelings: “I know that my virginity is nothing to be ashamed of, and truthfully, it gives me so much joy and peace to know that I will be able to give that to my future husband one day…” She also mentions “confidence and assuredness in my decision to remain a virgin until marriage.”

BeautyBeyondBones asks: “Will it be a deal breaker for some guys? Yes. Probably most guys. But not for the guy. Not for the right guy.”

Also saw a TV clip of Alicia Jay sharing how at 35 she was still a virgin. Beautiful, confident and calm, there was no sense of shame or embarrassment in her admission. She explained that at age 16, she had made the decision to save sex for marriage and hadn’t gotten married yet. Simple as that. No long explanations with feelings of needing to defend her virginity. It was refreshing. Inspiring. There was a confidence and light in her face. A Fox News article shares:  “Faith is a huge part of Alicia Jay’s life and it is her Christian values that led to her decision to remain a virgin until her wedding night.”

In the article Alicia shares: “Faith is the driving force in my life and without God, I wouldn’t be anything. He is the center and he leads me in anything that I do.” The article states: “At 36, Alicia is still waiting for the right guy to come along. She says dating is very hard for her not only because of her height, but also because she is a virgin.” Alicia says, “In general, it’s really hard to date right now but you add in height and waiting to have sex for marriage and guys run for the hills,” she said. “The virginity thing, I’m just here to say it’s still an option because a lot of people don’t even think it’s an option anymore.”

Grammy award winning singer Rebecca St. James was well known for her advocacy and decision to save sex for marriage. Many may remember her song on the topic appropriately called “Wait For Me.” After marrying in her 30’s, Rebecca joined me on Soul Check TV to discuss the topic just months after her wedding.

In the most recent episode of Soul Check TV, Duck Dynasty star Sadie Roberston and I encourage single viewers to remain abstinent until marriage, as God teaches in the Bible. Sadie encourages those who haven’t remained a virgin not to run away from God, but to run towards Him and His forgiveness.

Every single person – virgin or not – can make a decision to save sex for marriage. God’s mercies are new every morning. Each person can have a fresh start.

It’s such an important message – for girls and guys – people of all ages.

God knows our hearts. He created us, He created relationships, He created sex and He knows the best way is to save sex for marriage.

Virginity is not something you need to apologize for. It is a precious gift to be protected and valued, otherwise so many wouldn’t want to steal it. In many people it is a sign of deep faith. Of valuing one’s self. Of valuing their future spouse. Of caring how their actions affect the people around them and their future children. Virginity is nothing to be embarrassed about. Obedience to God always comes with rewards.

There are dangers to sleeping around, beyond the emotional, spiritual and relationship dangers. One story that impacted my views was that of a young woman whose mother came to visit our youth group. She came to speak on behalf of her daughter, who had a one night stand in a hotel while vacationing in Hawaii. That night she contracted AIDS, from which she died. Yet she wanted her story to warn people and encourage them to save sex for marriage. Her story is not in vain.

So virgins, no matter what other people are saying or doing, there is nothing to be ashamed about virginity. Especially when the reason is because you love God enough to obey Him.

 

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God Never Expires

Have been reading through Anne of Green Gables books lately as a way to relax, enjoying the night time reads as I follow the fictional life and stories of enthusiastic, dramatic Anne in picturesque landscapes with colorful characters and interesting experiences. Becoming emotional attached to her world, friends and way of life, I felt a tinge of sadness thinking that the stories would come to an end. Then what would I read? Especially since Anne books were finding a special place in my heart.

The books would end. Just like favorite TV shows. Rereads and reruns are good if spaced far enough apart… but the stories run out. They end.

Then I came to thinking… God never expires. He never ends. Never leaves. He’s always there to love, discover more of and is full of wonderful surprises. Stories with Him never end. New joys are waiting with Him all the time. I found comfort in that as I readjusted my gaze to the eternal. When Jesus is your Savior, your story with God never ends. Isn’t there great comfort in that?

Told You There Are Videos…

I previously mentioned that I like to find the humor in life and take some things not so seriously, like with some of my videos.

Well now here are some of those videos.

Please don’t take me seriously…

Here is a video I did with my sister Hayley. For some explanation, let me tell you we had watched numerous episodes of Animal Planet’s “Finding Bigfoot.” We thought it was a great show to spoof! Not sure if you’ve ever seen the show, or are familiar with techniques used to “find Bigfoot,” but this video will give you a good idea! With a “Soul Check TV” twist, of course.

 

Remember when Carrie Underwood did the Sound of Music LIVE on television? This is my spoof!

 

If you’d like to share these videos, that would be appreciated as it would be great to get more views and possibly make some money off of advertising!

Bigfoot Episode SPOILER:
(Just like on “Finding Bigfoot,” we didn’t find him either!)

Soul Check TV

Soul Check TV is a television show I host & produce and work on with my family. The show features exclusive on-camera interviews with bands, artists and guests. My mom Lynette and my sister Hayley are featured on the show and also help film the backstage interviews.

The best way to find out more is by watching it!

Here are two of my favorite episodes The Journey of Soul Check TV Part 1 and American Idol: Colton Dixon and Hee Jun Han. The first shares the journey of Soul Check TV: how the show got started, building the set, working with family, various guests and more.

Also, you can now watch the Journey of Soul Check TV Part 2 online, which highlights my sister Hayley and my mom Lynette. Plus, the episode shares more about our family.

Visit soulchecktv.com to see more episodes and find out more!

Thankful to God for opening the doors, giving the opportunities and for His blessings and provision!

 

Reach Out To Youth Part 2: Use Caution & Wisdom

As a cautionary note…

(This is Part 2. You can read Part 1 here: Reach Out To Youth)

When reaching out to youth, if you’re a parent, your priority is to protect your own children first. Be careful what teens you bring around your own kids, because when there are kids who don’t follow Christ and kids who do, there’s going to be a battle of influence and someone’s going to win. They may try to introduce your own children to drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, pornography or sexual experimentation. They may try to turn your kids away from God and away from you. So please be careful and don’t jeopardize your own kids physical or spiritual safety.

Parents have the power, authority and responsibility to protect their kids. Children need to be protected with our lives!

Also, please don’t leave teens you are trying to help alone with your children, especially with young children and babies. No one should be given unsupervised access to your kids unless they are completely trustworthy! Heard too many terrible stories of terrible things that have happened to kids. As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Don’t let people push you to have access to your kids. This is where you have to decide looking out for your own kids is more important than pleasing people and someone being “offended” or “hurt” by a boundary you set. If they’re hurt, they’re just going to have to get over it and respect your boundaries or leave.

Husbands, protect your wives. Some guys should not be around your wives without you also being present. (Some guys should not be around your wives at all unless there is significant change in their lives.) Please don’t put your wives in dangerous situations. Protect them. If your wife tells you she is uncomfortable having certain individuals in your house, don’t ignore her. A lot of women have good intuition and gut instinct. If you are a wife reading this who who feels this way, speak up to your husband. Let him know how you feel and discuss guidelines and make ones you can agree on. Have him read this post if necessary! Please don’t ignore your own concerns. Also, don’t really want to mention this but think it’s worth it to say, wives, be careful what teenage girls you allow access to your husband. Make sure you’re always present, unless it’s a group of teenagers.

In desires to help people, sometimes the practical is forgotten.

It’s a good idea not to give teens unmerited trust or full access to your house. Don’t let anyone bully you or pressure you into anything, because it’s often for wrong motives. Beware of manipulation tactics. Teens don’t need someone they can manipulate. They need leaders. Refusing to be bullied or manipulated is not a lack of love. It’s a sign of strength.

Sometimes we want to see people helped so much that we want to bend the rules so they will feel accepted or loved. Maybe they’ll change if we will do this or we will do that, but bending the rules doesn’t guarantee results. It usually only creates safety risks or gives trust they’re not ready to handle. If you love them, your love will shine through even with rules and boundaries. 

Love people. Be hospitable. Use wisdom. Pray for guidance. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you.

More Safety Tips For Your Own Kids

It’s okay to set boundaries. It’s okay to tell your kids who they can hang out with and where they can go and what movies and TV shows they can watch. 

Also, parents please set guidelines for your daughters and sons regarding dating. It’s okay to make them wait until they are of a mature age to date. My parents set the age of 16 for me. Let your kids know that God’s Word teaches a Christian should only marry another Christian, so whoever they date needs to be a Christian. Please be so careful with whom you let your kids go out with. What guys you let take out your daughters. It can be so dangerous for a girl to be in a car with a guy, depending on the guy. Protect them from the wrong ones. Protect your sons from going out with girls who have no regard for purity and honor. For those who aren’t parents, don’t be afraid to offer opinions, counsel and advice.

Be careful what houses you let your kids go to and who they ride in cars with. Make sure you they are safe in public restrooms. Ask your kids questions. If there seems to be something off, dig deeper to find out what’s going on.

As a child, you just don’t even know or fathom all the dangers or everything you need protected from. Even as a teen. How can a kid know to think of a danger they don’t even know exists? I didn’t live in fear and a lot of times didn’t realize my parents were protecting me or was aware of precautions they were taking. It was just a safe, happy childhood. Many times, I just accepted certain rules, like you can’t go to a sleepover unless we know the parents and everyone who will be at the house.

No parent can protect their child from everything but you can do what you can do.

My parents, aware of potential dangers, offered stewardship and protection over me and my siblings in our childhood as children entrusted by God. While my parents made wise decisions, the Holy Spirit and prayer had so much to do with protection and safety. While my parents introduced me to Jesus, it’s the Spirit of God who worked in my heart to bring me to Jesus.

Speaking from own experience of having parents who set strong guidelines for me in my childhood and teen years, I’m really thankful. You know what it says to me? My parents love me.

Reach Out To Youth

Recently read an account of teen life in Malibu during the 1970’s. The author describes what is was like for his life and many of the teens in the area. There was a great lack of parental supervision and also a lack of guidance (from my observation lack of spiritual guidance as well, which affects every area of life). For many of the teen lives this resulted in promiscuity, drugs, alcohol and for some, reckless behavior and sadly tragedy.

To me, his account is a strong reminder of how much teens need Jesus. How important it is for Christians to reach out to them. To have outreaches for youth, youth groups and Bible studies. For Christian individuals to open their lives to helping and influencing youth for Christ. To reach out in love with compassion and wisdom. To offer parental guidance for teenagers whose parents are absent from their lives, whether physically or emotionally absent. Kids seek leaders and direction. They need Christian influences.

Like the Robin Jones Gunn books, which I wrote about in my recent blogpost. Similar to the real life teen account in Malibu, Robin writes about fictional teen life in Newport Beach, California, but with a complete contrast and Christian perspective. Instead of partying with drugs, sex and alcohol without spiritual truth, the lead character Christy Miller gives her life to Jesus after becoming friends with a group of Christian teens. They still enjoy hanging on the beach and surfing, but also incorporate worship time together on the beach and talking about Jesus. They still enjoy dating, but with a desire to please God, remain pure and honor one another. They live and enjoy life with friends, school, shopping and beach time, but they live knowing Jesus. Robin provides an alternative to what teen without Jesus is by showing what teen life with Jesus can be.

Robin shares on her website why she started writing the books: “While on a camping trip with their church youth group, Robin grew concerned when she saw what the girls were reading in their tent. The 13 year-old girls challenged her, saying, ‘If you don’t want us to read these books then you should write novels for us. We’ll even tell you what to write. How hard could that be?’” She then started writing captivating, intriguing stories about fascinating characters with a Christian influence and perspective to impact teens for Christ.

Yes, these books are fictional, but the truth they share are real. Just as with the characters in the books, God’s Word warns teens of danger and pitfalls to avoid, that if they will trust Him enough to listen, they can walk a safe path. The result? Avoiding unplanned pregnancies and not dying early of drugs. Direction for life when you don’t know what to do, courage to do what’s right and healthy romantic relationships that last. Girls really don’t want to be used. They really want someone to love them and not leave them. Following God’s plan helps this happen, along with hanging out with Christian friends who desire the same path and will help them to make decisions to stay on that path.

Pastor Greg Laurie shares his testimony of giving his life to Jesus in CA when he was wild, partying teen. (You can watch his testimony here at about 32 minutes in.) As a teen, noticing a cute Christian girl at his high school, he decided to eavesdrop on their high school campus Bible study. One of the things that really caught Pastor Greg’s attention is when the speaker told how Jesus said, “You are either for Me or against Me.” He thought well these teens are definitely for Jesus. Does that mean he’s not for Jesus? As he listened, he started to wonder, “What if they’re right? What if God is real? What if Jesus really died on the cross and rose from the dead and what if He could come into my life?” It was that day that Greg gave his life to Christ and God changed his life.

It is so VITAL for teens to know Jesus. To hear the Gospel. To have Christians provide guidance and direction from God’s Word and be positive role models. Teens need healthy father and mother examples and friends. They need to see Christian marriages. Christian material such as Christian books, music and TV shows are so important and such a good influence!

So I encourage Christian parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, pour into the lives of your teen relatives and teens you know. Be there for them. Reach out to them. For presents, give them Christian music and books. Take them to Christian concerts and conferences. Help them find a good youth group and Bible study. If there’s not a good one in your area, start a Bible study! Provide an outreach for youth, whether it’s an organized event at a church or park, or whether it’s just opening your garage for kids to come over, eat pizza, play pool and then talk about God and have a Bible study. If you don’t know what to teach, put in a Christian movie or watch a preacher give a message, whether you have the DVD, tape it off TV or pull it up on their website or youtube. And very importantly, pray for them!

Be there for them to answer tough questions and help them have the courage to take the right path. Give them the support and encouragement they need. If you don’t know the answers to their tough question, tell them you don’t know but that you can search out the answer from God’s Word and from Christians who have biblical answers. Don’t be afraid to tell them that God designed sex for marriage and the best way (and the way that is pleasing and in obedience to God) is to save sex for marriage. Women can helps girls dress more modestly by funding a shopping trip where they buy more modest clothes. They can teach them how to cook. Men can teach guys how to fix cars, build things and maybe even give them a paying job to do yard work or paint a fence or room in the house. Taking kids out to a wholesome movie (pluggedin.com offers movie reviews) and then treating them to lunch is another idea. Spending time with kids and giving them gifts and paying for lunch opens up their hearts to hear what you have to say.

When I was becoming a teen, my Mom started a practice of going shopping and out to lunch together on Saturdays. Seeking God herself, she offered friendship, guidance and a listening ear. I could tell her anything and still can. She became one of my best friends and still is. My Dad has always been there for me, encouraged me and has set so many good examples. With his own boldness for Christ, He has greatly encouraged me to be bold for Christ. They also have prayed for me a lot and still do.

Am so thankful for my parents’ presence, direction and protection. For pouring into my life spiritually and emotionally and providing Christian material such as music, books and Christian TV shows. For taking me to church, youth groups, Christian concerts and conferences. Thankful for my grandparents’ prayers and Christian influence. Thankful for the Holy Spirit Who reached out to me to bring me to Jesus. Thankful for the way God worked in my heart and spoke to me through Christian speakers, ministers, testimonies, books, music and TV shows. People who allowed the Spirit of God to work through them to touch people’s lives.

My parents took many lengths to help me have a relationship with God and a safe, protected, happy childhood. As an adult, I realize even more how crucial this is and what an amazing blessing. They made great effort to get me on the right path, because even if you grow up in a Christian home, it’s not a given or guarantee. (Everyone has to make the decision to follow Christ for themselves. Nobody can do it for anyone else. Learn more here.) Even for a teen who is following Christ, there are still temptations, struggles and choices to make. Choices to yield to the Holy Spirit, obey their parents, save sex for marriage, be careful who they hang out with and what they watch, say no to drugs and alcohol and continue to seek God. To follow Christ daily.

So thankful my parents made sure I knew the truth growing up and that God worked in my heart and saved me. Hope that other teens will have somebody there for them too, to show them God’s love, share the truth, pray for them, help them and be there for them.

It’s crucial. Lives hang in the balance.

Read Part 2: Use Caution and Wisdom

 

Best Books 4 Girls

Robin Jones Gunn books

With wholesome love stories, fun adventures, good friendships, exciting trips and biblical truths, author Robin Jones Gunn creates stories that inspire and encourage girls and young women to dream. These books not only provide captivating characters, exciting adventures and fun reads better than TV shows, but they also offer spiritual guidance and wisdom to help girls and women navigate on their own journeys through life. A positive Christian influence, these books impact lives for Christ!

Robin Jones Gunn is one of my favorite authors and has written so many great books! My favorite collection of hers is The Christy Miller Series. My parents got the first Christy Miller book for my sister Ashleigh, who loved them! She in turn encouraged me to read them (thanks Ashleigh!) and I too fell in love with the stories and characters. My parents continued to buy us the books (thanks Mom & Dad!)

Robin Jones Gunn Photo

Robin Jones Gunn

Love these books and God has blessed me so much through them that I highly recommend to all teen girls and young women! If you have daughters, nieces, granddaughters or know young girls, I encourage you to give them The Christy Miller Series as a gift!

These books and more of Robin’s have influenced me through the years in positive ways, combining interesting, entertaining stories and adventures with a Christian influence. Along with sharing the Gospel, they encourage readers to follow Christ and His ways, practice godly behavior and love one another. It s so important what we influence ourselves with!

On Robin Jones Gunn’s website, she shares how these books first began: “While on a camping trip with their church youth group, Robin grew concerned when she saw what the girls were reading in their tent. The 13 year-old girls challenged her, saying, ‘If you don’t want us to read these books then you should write novels for us. We’ll even tell you what to write. How hard could that be?’”

Sarah Robin 2

With Robin Jones Gunn at the ICRS in Denver. Holding an “I Heart Todd” t-shirt.

Robin Jones Gunn is such a gifted writer who brings characters to life in such an engaging way. God has touched me through the pages of her books! So many TV shows and books depict characters that are bad influences on girls – that’s why girls need books like these with Christian characters who seek to follow God and please Him with their lives! Who look to the Bible and pray for guidance. Who seek to honor God in their relationships. Girls will look to find role models, whether in person, TV, music or movies. These books provide positive role models girls need and positive reading material!

God blessed me with the opportunity to meet Robin at the ICRS in Denver in 2009. She was so gracious and kind with the light of Christ and His love shining through her. Robin autographed one of my Christy Miller books, along with one of the new Katie Weldon books. Robin invited my Mom, sisters and me to a special event she was speaking at: The Pearl Girls Tea at the Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver. It was a fun, special night out for my Mom, sisters and me. (Thankfully my sister Ashleigh was able to attend and also meet Robin!)

Robin Jones Gunn

At the Pearl Girls Tea with Robin Jones Gunn at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver

Sarah Robin 1

In recent years, Robin Jones Gunn came out with the Katie Weldon Series to let us know what happened with Christy Miller’s best friend Katie. Also, the Christy Miller Series, in addition to the The College Years Series has continued with newly released books Christy & Todd: The Married Years Series.

What a positive difference these books can make in the lives of girls! I strongly believe God can touch people through them, even as He has touched me. I highly recommend them for great gifts and resources! They are an outlet for God to speak to the hearts of the readers to influence them for their own good and for the Kingdom.

Sarah with RJG book

With one of my favorite Robin Jones Gunn books – the new book in the Sierra Jensen series!

You can follow Robin on her facebook for updates on books and sales! Check out these great book series by Robin Jones Gunn!

The Christy Miller Series

Christy Miller College years

Sierra Jensen Series

Sierra Jensen Series

Katie Weldon Series

Katie Weldon Series

Glenbrooke

Glenbrooke Series

 

 

How I Met Jeremy Roloff

Jeremy Roloff

You may have read how my family and I met Ray Romano on one of our family vacations to California here. Well, in 2011, my family and I were planning another trip to Southern California. Decided to pray again that we would meet a celebrity on the trip – just for fun. Also had particular specifications regarding this prayer request, although I didn’t know who it would be. It amazes me how God answers these prayers so it’s fun to share these stories!

God had our paths cross at just the right moment. This time, with Jeremy Roloff from TLC’s Little People Big World. My family and I have watched the show for years! So how did it happen? For part of our trip, we stayed in Santa Barbara by the ocean. After eating at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants by the ocean, instead of driving back to the hotel, I really wanted to walk back along the ocean. My Mom and sisters joined me while my Dad drove the van back to the hotel. As we passed a skate park, we noticed a guy riding a bicycle who looked like Jeremy Roloff. He parked his bike so we asked him. Sure enough, it was Jeremy. We had no idea he was in the area. Found out he had just moved from Oregon to Santa Barbara for college. He was really nice and chatted with us for a while, even letting us film home videos with him. Just like the Ray Romano story, God answered my prayer and the specifications for it! It was a really fun surprise since we enjoy watching the show.

My hopes and prayers for the Roloff family are that Matt and Amy will reconcile and remarry, for the sake of their kids, their faith, their testimony, their legacy and the sake of all the marriages they influence. (It’s really hard to watch the pain the divorce has caused their kids.) I hope they reconcile because it’s one of the best things they can do for themselves: love and forgive each other and keep their marriage vows to God. May they enjoy the wonderful blessings God has so graciously given them together: their amazing family, beautiful farm and TV show where millions follow their lives and journey. And please, don’t sell the farm! Jeremy really wants it and Matt promised it would stay in the family!

“’The man who hates and divorces his wife,’ says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘does violence to the one he should protect,’ says the LORD Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful,” (Malachi 2:16).

“Didn’t the LORD make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth,” (Malachi 2:15 NLT).

Girl Meets World Meets Identity Crisis

Girl Meets World

Grew up watching “Boy Meets World” so I was excited to hear the story and characters would continue for a new generation in the new Disney Channel show “Girl Meets World.” It makes the characters seem like real people. It’s probably one of the best sitcoms on television for kids. Wholesome and family oriented with some good life lessons.

Although sometimes aspects in the script really bother me. For any of you who watch the show, you’ll be familiar with the story lines and may share similar feelings.

Recently one character, Maya, a teenage girl who loves art, has an identity crisis all because of what her art teacher says to her at school about her painting. Instead of just critiquing her work, he essentially questions who she is as a person. Her identity. This sends her into a spiral.

The teacher doesn’t even know Maya well nor is he familiar with her artwork. How is he qualified to determine “who she is” or to judge whether or not her work reflects “who she is”? Why does the painting have to show “who she is” anyway? He could just decide if the painting was sufficient for the assignment and grade the painting. Teachers words can have powerful affects on kids, whether positively or negatively. His comment was out of line. But the show doesn’t address this or tell the viewers that Maya doesn’t have to agree with the teacher’s statement nor let it shake her. Maya decides who she is; not the teacher.

Maya is a beautiful, talented, special girl. Factors that do not change, regardless of her behavior or artwork. A teacher’s comment about one assignment doesn’t determine who she is.

Her best friend Riley could have just supported her and told her not to let the teacher’s comment bother her. Instead Riley starts harping on her too that she’s not acting like herself anymore.

The story is that Riley has influenced Maya so much that she no longer acts like herself but now acts like Riley.

The thing is, Riley has been a good influence on Maya. It’s okay for people to be a good influence on someone. It’s okay for people to change for the better. Changing one’s behavior doesn’t mean they’re not the same person anymore. People can still be loved, accepted and celebrated while at the same time seeing they need to change behavior. Before Maya was often rude and disrespectful to adults and people. That behavior needs changed.

People need to be able to separate “who they are” from “what they do.” Maya can still be beautiful, smart, talented Maya while still making changes to her life and behavior.

As Christians, we need to see who God says we are: forgiven, loved, accepted, valuable, treasured. You can look through the New Testament in the Bible and read where it says “in Christ” and “in Him” to find the truth about yourself. We are accepted in the beloved. And at the same time as knowing we are God’s beloved children, we can read where our behavior needs to change. And that’s okay. To know you are loved but let God change you. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” (John 8:32).

Everyone needs direction. Everyone needs guidance. God gives us that in the book called the Bible. All of us need good friends who will influence us for the better and help us change for the better. Friends who will let us change for the better.

One more note about the show. These teens girls Riley and Maya are best friends who both want the same guy: their close friend Lucas. This gets a little weird. What’s worse is that Maya pushed Riley to like him in the first place. Riley really does like him and Lucas likes Miley. But then Maya decides she can “discern” Riley’s true feelings for Lucas and determines that Riley only likes Lucas as a brother. How convenient since Maya now decides she wants Lucas for herself. This causes complications and drama in their friendships because no one wants to hurt anyone. It’s good no one wants to hurt anyone but they can’t share the same boyfriend. As a true friend, Maya should just decide she’ll find someone else and let Riley have Lucas. Another way Maya needs to change her behavior.

 

 

How I Met Ray Romano

My family (Mom, Dad and sisters) were planning a trip to Southern California, one of our favorite vacation spots. We were excited, looking forward to all the fun events we had planned! It had been a while since we had taken a vacation like this and lived in CA and I couldn’t wait.

I’m one to believe that with God, all things are possible and to carry my faith into every aspect of my life. Prays for a good trip. Prayers for good weather. Why not prayers for something extra fun on the trip like meeting a celebrity? I carefully added specifications to my request: that the person be a very well known celebrity and one we really like. We would be in southern CA and I find it an exciting possibility, kind of like whale watching. Yes, you can see celebrities when you’re part of a studio audience or pay to see a show or concert. But there’s something exciting about seeing one out in public, kind of like seeing an animal in the wild verses the zoo. (Okay, I should totally edit that last part out but the analogy is just too funny to me. Believe me, I’ve been on the receiving end of this before!) It’s like finding someone you know in a crowd full of strangers.

One day on our trip, my family and I were enjoying the day at Disney parks. We had just entered Disney California Adventures when my sister Hayley noticed someone. There was a woman who looked familiar. My family had just watched the Everybody Loves Raymond episode where Ray Romano’s real life wife appears on the show. Now here was a woman standing near the park entrance who looked like her. Then she noticed the very tall man standing next to her. Very tall. Hayley let me know. I eagerly walked over there to meet him and ask for a picture. Standing next to his wife and daughter who were talking, I waited for an opportune time to ask. Ray noticed me first – how could he not – standing there beaming at him with a huge smile on my face, excited for this answer to prayer. He gave a positive reaction and broke out in a smile, realizing what was happening. Then his wife and daughter turned, startled to see me standing there. Ray then jumped in, asking nicely if I wanted something. He graciously agreed to give me a picture and put his arm around me as we both turned to pose for the picture. The thing is, no one was standing there to take the picture (pretty humorous). So I quickly called my family over and my Dad took the picture of Ray Romano, my Mom, sisters and me together. He was really nice and we chatted before we left to enjoy the park.

Ray Romano

God really answered my prayer. Ray Romano is one of the most popular television sitcom stars ever (and one we really like)! At the time of the meeting, Everybody Loves Raymond, a hugely popular and successful show, had just finished its last season. As exciting as it was to meet him, it was even more exciting to know God had arranged it for us as an answer to prayer. And that’s how I met Ray Romano.