The End of the World

So many movies depict end of the wold type scenarios. If you really want to know what happens at the end of the world, read the book of Revelation. See these specific chapters shown here:
1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain.
2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.
3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.
4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

The Judgment of Satan

7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison
8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore.
9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.
10And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

The Judgment of the Dead

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.
13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.
14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.
15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.
7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

The New Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb

9 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.
11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.
12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.
13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west.
14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls.
16 The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long.
17 The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubitsthick.
18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass.
19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,
20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.
21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.
22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.
25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.
26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it.
27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.
4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

John and the Angel

6 The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”
7 “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”
8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me.
9 But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”
10 Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near.
11 Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”

Epilogue: Invitation and Warning

12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.
13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.
15Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll.
19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.

Who Cares?

Who cares what the world thinks of you?

Here’s a reminder not to care what “they” think of you. Whether we’re successful in the world’s eyes.

Care what God thinks of you. Are we successful in God’s eyes?

God reminded me of this recently.

The world is not my god. The Lord Jesus is my God.

I’m not even supposed to care whether my friends or relatives view me as successful or how they value me in regards to the world’s standards either.

What matters is: Am I pleasing to Jesus? Am I successful in His eyes?

And not just pleasing in the sense of that because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and resurrection I have right standing with God through faith and am completely righteous and forgiven in Him. Everyone who has made Jesus the Lord of their life has that by being “in Christ.”

Am I pleasing to Him in:
– my behavior
– my thought life
– my words
– obedience

That matters. It counts to God. Our behavior can be pleasing or displeasing to God.

Reminding me to get back to the heart of Jesus – just wanting to serve and follow Him, with eyes on eternity. Valuing what He values. Valuing what He thinks. Using His measures and standards and not the worlds.

Scripture tells us: “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever,”
(I John 2:17).

If you have the choice right now to follow Christ OR try to live your own life and make your own dreams come true, choose to follow Christ. It’s worth it. If you decide to not follow Jesus and go your own way, what if the world ends soon? Then what will that be worth? You can trust Jesus to follow Him. He will not lead you astray.

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?
Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
Jesus tells us we’re either for Him or against Him. There’s no middle ground.
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Your life is worth SO much that Christ gave His life to save you. Nothing is worth more than that. You don’t need worth from the world. You get your worth from Christ.
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For anyone who wants to learn how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ for salvation, forgiveness of sins and eternal life in heaven, to have peace with God and be reconciled to God through Jesus, please click here to read my “Dear Readers” section on my “About” page.
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Karate Kid 4 Movie with Ralph Macchio

Karate Kid.png

Recently watched all three Karate Kid movies with Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita from the 80’s. Love Karate Kid 1 and the others are pretty interesting. Every movie somebody hates the Daniel LaRusso, AKA the karate kid, tries to destroy him and Daniel overcomes with the help of his karate teacher, mentor, surrogate dad and best friend Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita). (Love seeing when good men become like fathers to boys and teach them to be good men! Good reminder of how important it is to have good friends!)

This is what it could have been like, but first, in case you missed them, here’s a recap of the first three movies:


Movie One: The high school bullies who also go to a karate glass led by an ego maniac villain try to destroy Daniel and he wins the karate championship.
Movie Two: Mr. Miyagi’s former best friend’s nephew in Japan challenges Daniel to a fight to the death and Daniel again rises to victory.
Movie Three: The ego maniac villain karate class teacher from movie one lost his business and now his even more evil war veteran friend wants to destroy Daniel but Daniel again wins the karate championship.
And of course, all with the help of Daniel’s karate teacher Mr. Miyagi. (On a side note, one of my sisters worked with Pat Morita on a film. Awesome!)

Wish they had done one more movie… with Ralph Macchio. Forget the current series that I quit watching because it is not family friendly or a good influence. Not recommending it.

So in my proposed movie story line, Daniel gets a lot more positive publicity and his story becomes even more famous around the nation. There’s TV interviews, book deals, a movie deal and Daniel opens up his own karate academy and trains boys who need guidance and discipline. Can he be married to his girlfriend from Karate Kid 1 and can it also be written that Mr. Miyagi married his lost love from Japan (from movie two) before he died? (Why didn’t he take her with him in movie two?!! She waited for him her whole life!) This time no enemies to overcome – just positive stories of Daniel helping teenage boys overcome and succeed in life. Wouldn’t that be nice?

 

Who Are Your Friends?

Who we hang out with can have a big influence on our lives. Who are your friends? Not only people you hang out with in person, but who are your “media” friends? Who you follow on twitter, on facebook, who you watch on TV, who you spend time with through books – fictional and real life people.

The Bible says, “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm,” (Proverbs 13:20).

In this interview with recording artist Clay Crosse, we discuss the importance of who you hang with as friends. Who you hang out with can actually be a matter of life or death.

In the life of Jehoram king of Judah, we see:

The Importance of Who You Marry:

“He followed the ways of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for he married a daughter of Ahab. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD,” (2 Chronicles 21:6).

In the life of Ahaziah king of Judah we see:

The Importance of Who You Let Influence You and Whose Counsel You Take

“Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem one year. His mother’s name was Athaliah, a granddaughter of Omri.
He too followed the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother encouraged him to act wickedly.
He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as the house of Ahab had done, for after his father’s death they became his advisers, to his undoing.
He also followed their counsel when he went with Joram son of Ahab king of Israel to wage war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth Gilead. The Arameans wounded Joram;
so he returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds they had inflicted on him at Ramoth in his battle with Hazael king of Aram. Then Ahaziahson of Jehoram king of Judah went down to Jezreel to see Joram son of Ahab because he had been wounded,” (2 Chronicles 22:2-6).

Notice it says “He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as the house of Ahab had done, for after his father’s death they became his advisers, to his undoing.” He listened to his advisors and soon after was his downfall and death. Be careful whose advice you take and who you let advise you! Notice also it says “He too followed the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother encouraged him to act wickedly.”

Don’t let rotten friends ruin your life! When speaker and author Jimmy Evans became saved, he knew he had to get away from his friends in order to continue in his faith and follow Christ.

For more on what kinds of friends to avoid and people to stay away from, please see Proverbs 1 and Proverbs 2. (The Bible actually gives us permission not to hang out with people!)

My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them. If they say, “Come along with us … do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths,” (Proverbs 1:10,11, 15).

Where’s that 1980’s ad “Just Say No” when you need it? It’s okay to say no.

For teenage girls and young adult girls to hang out with good friends, please see my post about some “great friends.” They just might change their lives forever in a good way.
Be sure to check out Clay Crosse’s book “Dashboard Jesus.” It’s a book for men but one of my all time favorites because it’s so true, practical and helpful for anyone’s walk with Jesus.

If you would like to know Jesus and for more important messages, please see: https://soulchecktv.com/2014/07/22/episode-july-2014/

Harry & Meghan: A Royal Wedding Review

Harry and Meghan Wedding CFirst question: Did you get up early to watch the Royal Wedding LIVE of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle?

Second question: Did you get up early years ago to watch the Royal Wedding LIVE of Prince William and Kate Middleton?

Third Question: Do you even know what I’m talking about? (That was said in a British accent though you couldn’t hear it in this digital ink.)

I did – for both.

There’s something very exciting about getting caught up in the excitement and happiness of a Royal Wedding. Like the kind of fairy tales we’ve grown up watching: Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty. Seeing a girl’s dreams come true and her being loved by handsome prince. And living happily ever after – though you never know for sure – but thankfully the cartoons always end after the wedding, so you believe it is true.

Years ago, my family and I got up in the wee hours of the morning to watch the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Leading up to it we watched movies about the couple’s romance.

We did it again for Meghan and Harry’s wedding, which meant being up by 3:00 a.m. PST.

But it was exciting and fun. We of course also watched a movie about the couple’s romance, though you wonder how much of those private, secret conversations are actually true? We watched parts of documentaries and also coverage of Prince Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981. Which was sad…

Meghan and Harry Wedding 5

So now my thoughts on Meghan and Prince Harry’s wedding…

First off, Harry sighed a lot. And he seemed like a nervous groom. Not Meghan, who seemed happy and to embrace the whole occasion.

Her dress… first off, Meghan looked beautiful! But I was hoping for more with her dress. Maybe for more lace, more something, to be wrinkle-free and to fit better. If anyone’s wedding dress should fit perfectly, you think it would be hers. Hard to understand that one. Her veil was beautiful and her dress was pretty.

Meghan’s mother looked sweet and beautiful. She also looked concerned for her baby.

I was disappointed her father was not attending the wedding or walking her down the aisle. Prince Charles met her halfway though and filled in the gap.

As Harry spoke his wedding vows, I recalled the footage of Prince Charles making his wedding vows to Diana and hoped Harry would keep them. When Meghan gave hers, it was hard not to remember she had already broken her wedding vows from a previous marriage… and wonder, will she keep these?

Meghan and Harry Ceremony

The looks on some of the faces during the ceremony… I just hoped people could keep smiling, happy, camera-friendly expressions on their faces during the whole wedding just in case they were caught on camera, because after all, much of the whole world was watching! How hard can that be?

Oh the Bishop. Anyone who watched the wedding knows about the Bishop. I just wondered… was he really allotted that length of time to speak at the wedding… or did he just run with it? Hey, after all, this is LIVE and a Royal Wedding and in England… who’s going to cause a scene to ask the Bishop to close? The Bishop said a lot of good things though and gave a great delivery!

I really do like the Christian faith incorporated into the wedding and ceremony.

And props to Harry for wearing a wedding ring, unlike Prince William.

And the cello player was so good! He did an amazing job on all three songs while the bride and groom signed the marriage license behind the scenes.

It would have been nice when Harry and Meghan returned to have the traditional announcement, “I now present to you Prince Harry and Meghan…” and also for a ceremony kiss.

Harry and Meghan Carriage

Also think the location, St. George’s Chapel was a great choice. The wedding carriage with the bride and groom riding through the charming streets looked lovely. And the weather was great. Oh now I’m talking about the weather…

So why do people love a Royal Wedding?

Because, whether they know it or not, they have a deep inner longing in their hearts they may not even be aware of to know the King of kings and the Prince of Peace. It’s a picture of God’s love for us and how when we join our lives with him, we join His kingdom. We become part of God’s royalty and receive a great inheritance. And He will never leave us nor forsake us or kick us out of His kingdom when we come to him with sincere hearts to ask for forgiveness and give our lives to Him through the gift of His Son Jesus, His sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection. And when we do, we’re invited to the great wedding supper of the Lamb. 

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Love – What Does It Mean To Love?

Many people don’t know what it really means to love.

What is the true definition of love? What does it mean to really love someone?

We need taught how to love. We need an example to follow.

We are told to love, but what does that actually look like to love?

Love produces results. Love requires action.


I get really frustrated when I hear Christians say, “The only command we have is to love.”

God’s Word tells us in 1 John 5: 2-3 says:This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands…”

So we see that love for God and love for one another equals obeying God’s commands.

So how can our only command be to love when the Bible clearly says love is obeying God’s commands? Commands being plural.

Jesus tells us:

“If you love me, you will obey what I command,” (John 14:15).

“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me…” (John 14:21).

“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching,” (John 14:23).

Jesus also said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love,” (John 15:9-10).

So again we see that love equals obeying God’s commands.

Look at what Jesus tells us in Matthew 22 after he was asked, “‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’”

Jesus didn’t say they were the only commandments. He said the first and greatest, and the second.

Love Determines Actions

I also get frustrated when I feel like people are picked on for promoting the Ten Commandments: do not steal, do not lie, do not commit adultery, do not covet your neighbor’s wife, do not give false testimony against your neighbor, do not murder, etc. (Exodus chapter 20).

Why not promote them?

If we love someone, we will not steal their husband. If we love someone, we will not make up lies about them. If we love someone, we will not murder them.

We are under grace but that does not change the meaning of love.

Romans 13:8-10 says:

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

So when you say you love someone, take a look at how you are treating them. Do your actions, words and behavior line up with the true definition of love?

Don’t Rely on Feelings

It’s great when we feel love in our hearts. But what happens when we don’t feel it? Do we use that as an excuse not to love?

Love isn’t just some feeling. Sometimes true love means the right actions with no feelings at all.

We can’t let our feelings determine whether we will love. We can’t let our feelings determine what love is.

Sometimes love is a decision to do what is right and to treat people right. Sometimes love goes against a person’s feelings, for sometimes feelings deceive them into believing a lie about love. A single person could say they love a married person and therefore must have them. But that is a lie. It is not true love. True love would leave the married person alone to their spouse. A single person could say they love someone who is also single and want to sleep with them. But true love would be to commit their life to them in marriage before sleeping with them. Love is more than a feeling. It is treating a person right.

Loving an unborn baby means giving them a chance to be born and to live life. Anyone alive was given that chance to be born, so why should anyone have the right to take that away from anyone else? A woman may not feel like being pregnant. She may not feel like giving birth. But when she gives her baby that chance, she is choosing love.

Jesus said:My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” (John 15:12-13).

When a woman continues her pregnancy and gives birth, she is laying down her life for her baby.

God is our example

God showed us His love by giving us His son:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” (John 3:16).

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:8).

God shows us how to love. He is our example. For after all, God is love and love comes from God. Want to learn more how to truly love? Study the life of Jesus by reading the Gospels and study how he treated people. How he loved people.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God,” (I John 4:7).

(For more on love, please read I John 4:7I John 5:5 and I Corinthians 13.

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 practice abstinence 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 for us and for marriages 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 the daughter contracted AIDS, from which she died. Yet the mother and daughter wanted her story to warn people and encourage them to save sex for marriage.

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

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?

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.