Friday, November 14, 2014

Dating, Purity, and Love... From a Guy's perspective. (Preparing for our Future, Week 5)

Thank you so much Austin, for your second post in the preparing for our future, blog series!  You have inspired me to go to great lengths in my faith, and to always stay strong.  You and Faith are such role models and are amazing encouragers and role models...  Xoxo, Gabby


This blog series has turned out wonderfully. I want to thank Gabrielle again for inviting my sister Faith and I to post on her blog. I pray this post answers questions you have and enlightens you to things you may not have known before. Also, is you have any questions, please comment below and I will do my best to answer. Enjoy!

    
Crush, boyfriend, girlfriend,the K-I-S-S-I-N-G song (person A and person B sittin in a tree K-I-S, you get the point) lovebirds, and the fish in the sea analogy, if you have heard these words(and song) before the fourth grade, then you are not alone! It seems as though every child from the time they can hold another's hand is drilled with concepts of "love", "dating", and and the K word(kiss, oops i said it). If you or your child was anything like me, he/she jumped on the band wagon and played along. Soon they had crushes because it was cool or the norm. Since this "love life" is pushed at a young age, kids in high school are no longer satisfied with just holding hands. Don't believe me go spend a week at you local high-school. It seems as though all they have on their minds is, "what can I get out of this person". All they feel is hormones not love. So are little kid crushes bad? I'll answer that with a pattern that has a main theme through this post; a thought becomes an action which becomes a habit that will either glorify God or glorify oneself. So you tell me if having a crush is glorifying to God or not.

When I had a crush I wanted to learn how to respond biblically, but I could not find a book written to boys about girls in a Biblical point of view(if you know of one please comment). I will do my best to answer questions and make important points that would have helped me with this topic. There may be some things you see in my post that a pastor or preacher has said that I don't credit, only because most things I know I learned from someone else.

What happens when something is broken, but then heals? It becomes tough, harder, and resistant to certain things(depending on what broke). Different types of martial arts require strong, tough bones. That is why some,who are training to fight, will break bones to make them resistant to breakage. The heart works the same way, the more it breaks the harder, tougher, and more resistant(to love) it will become. Having a crush or even the dating process( the art of getting to know someone personally to see if they would be someone you want to marry) can have tremendous effects on the heart. "Breaking up and moving on” is exactly what stiffens the heart to potential love in the future. Dating is a lot like divorce, most premarital relationships will end in a breakup, and in the United States, 1 in 2 marriages end in divorce. Why? Because people are no longer committed after the 5th(not an actual statistic) time being broken-hearted. "You can't be hurt by someone if you never love them", Charles Ingalls(yes, I just quoted from Little House on the Prairie, and yes, I watch that show). Why should we be faithful(loyal) to one another(especially in marriage)? As a Christian, simply because God is loyal and faithful. Again, do you think that dating and breaking up is a (thought that turns into an action that becomes a)habit which will glorify God or oneself?

In my experience at the high school by our house, finding a date is mainly off of looks and position. Guys tend to look for beauty while girls look for the more popular guy in school(and looks). Don't get me wrong I admire beauty as much as the next man, but we must not allow beauty to take precedence(become more important) over Godliness. Instead of chasing false pleasures that are pleasing to the eye we should be chasing the fruits of God that leads to sanctification thought the Spirit(Romans 6:22). So how does someone go from, "wow, she is beautiful!" to lustful thoughts? Well, is a process you may be familiar with, first there is a (lustful)thought, then the action is thinking that that thought is ok, then the habit forms of looking at girls(or girls at guys) lustfully, then that habit will be carried into a marriage, causing problems of unfaithfulness, leading to divorce, something that God shuns.

Dear Young Ladies, if the Lord has blessed you with physical beauty, save it for your husband. To many girls think the way to popularity or finding the best man is by wearing immodest clothing and flaunting themselves, sadly today's society makes that true. Dear Young Christian Men, do not take advantage of young ladies, but instead look at them as sisters, having compassion toward them, and rebuking them in love.

We as Christians should be running toward God as fast as we can. How do you run a race? Are you focused on the prize(in this case God) or are you looking all around? Have you seen those flaps on race-horse’s mask? Those are there to help keep the horse from seeing distractions. That is how we should run toward God, distraction free. Some may ask, “how can I find a spouse I'm only looking straight ahead?” Allow me to add to that question, “how can you see anything if you're only looking straight ahead?”  The only thing you can see is God, so God has to bring something in front of you in order to see it(including a spouse). Being pure isn’t just not dating or kissing and dressing modestly, its a lifestyle. You can’t just think about being pure, you have to(with God’s help) act upon it and make it a habit that will glorify God.

“If your goal is purity of heart, be prepared to be thought very odd.”~ Elisabeth Elliot


You may be wondering, “Why hasn't he used scripture to prove his point?” First of all, you don't use the Bible to prove your point, you use your point to point to the Bible. Second of all, there is not a lot of verses on this topic. However, we have the greatest example of love in marriage. First is Jesus, and how He died for the church, second Hosea, who was told by God to “love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.” I encourage you to read about Hosea’s unconditional love, that paints a picture of how Christ loves the church. Also, there is a standard Paul gives to the church of Corinth about being yoked with unbelievers. Although this verse does not refer to marriage, it does give a good standard toward marriage. The question is, how could a quality marriage be built and maintained if you disagree on the most crucial issue in the universe—the Lord Jesus Christ?

The Bible also does not give any reference to dating or courtship, but it does give principles to finding “the person”. We first know we shouldn't be like the world, in deed and thought. While the world’s view may be to date around as much as we want, the important thing is to discover the character of a person before making any commitment to him or her. We should find out if the person has been born again in the Spirit of Christ (John 3:3-8) and if he or she shares the same desire toward Christ-likeness (Philippians 2:5). The ultimate goal of dating or courting is finding a life partner. Men and women who choose to date often have no commitment to consider marrying the other person. In contrast, courtship is undertaken only when both parties are prepared to make a commitment to marriage. We need to be held to Godly standards in the way we look for a spouse, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

In any situation, we as Christians are called to first glorify God in all we do(1 Cor 10:31)

Doing His Will,
Austin Ryan

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Preparing For our Future (Week 5)... Fellowship, Guest Blogger

I am so happy to announce that I have another guest blogger...  Who is coincidentally my Best Friend!  She has helped strengthened me so much in my walk with the Lord...   And I am so honored to be able to share her wisdom with all of you :),,,
Thank you Faith for being my mentor, role model, BFF, and sister.  Xoxo!

I am happy to be apart of this blog series, thank you, Austin and Gabrielle for strengthening my walk with the Lord.

Someone once said, "Show me your friends and I'll show you your future." The kind of friends you have and the people you spend your time with takes a big part of shaping your future.
Proverbs 13:20
"Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm."

My parents have taught and trained us to look for good friends. A few things we look for is:
Will they help us grow in the Lord?
Are they living a Godly life?
Are they trying to live pleasingly to the Lord?

If these are true about a person then they will treat you as a friend. Although I say from experience, good friends are hard to find. I went through a time where I had no one. I prayed to God to bring me a friend. I waited and was patient, although it wasn't easy. I grew closer to my family and God. Then I was blessed with a good friend.

A friend can help you grow in maturity and in Christ or tear you down and lead you astray. Be wise. You can also look at what kind of person and friend you are. Turn the questions around and question yourself. No one is perfect or good, everyone fails at a time or another to live pleasingly to God. So repent and turn around!
Friendship is important for God says to confess to one another and Iron sharpens iron and one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)  Discussing things with a friend helps strengthen both of you.
"A joy shared is doubled and a burden shared is cut in half" -unknown
 Like I said before.... Where do you see yourself in the next 8 to 10 years? Who are your friends? What future do they show you?
Living for The Lord always,
~Faith Ryan

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Preparing for our Future... (Part 4)

First off I want to apologize for the late entry...  Life gets in the way sometimes, but now I am here!  So without further adieu...
 My Blogpost!!

Submission...

I was going to write a whole lot about God's will for women, especially younger women.  So I am going to start with submission!  I know what you are thinking, I don't have a husband, who am I going to submit to?  Well here is your answer, if you are young, it begins now....a long time ago and you are ahead of the game.

Godly submission in a woman is beautiful.  It is God honoring, husband honoring, father and mother honoring...it is also very self honoring.  It is humble, meek, longsuffering, supportive, encouraging, undemanding and absolutely a cherished virtue very rarely found today.

It begins with God.  Submission to the Lord.
"Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God." 1 Corinthians 7:20-24
When we have been bought with a price...we are a bondservant to the Lord.

Believers today should still consider themselves bondservants or slaves of Christ. (1 Cor. 7:22, Eph 6:6; 2 Tim. 2:24).  He is our Lord, and our allegiance is due to Him alone.  As bondservants, we renounce other masters (Matthew 6:24) and give ourselves totally to Him. (Matt. 16:24)
Being a bondservant of Christ is not drudgery. We have this promise: "Now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life."  (Romans 6:22)



Really what this means is that we are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to righteousness!!  That is some good news!!
We are freed to submit to Christ.
Submission is power because we no longer rely on our own strength but on that of the CREATOR of the universe!!!

And when we have submitted to the Lord, we study His character.
Jesus, as God in the flesh, submitted to the Father unto death.
It is in the 10 Commandments...with a promise.
"Honor thy father and mother, that thy days might be long."
I am learning about putting scripture into context and although that is a whole other post, I will add that sometimes we must be careful about clinging to verses that are not meant for us.  Because the 10 Commandments were written specifically for the Israelites...there were added rules and promises there that are not meant for us.  In this specific case, we don't cling to the promise that we will live long in the land because that was not meant for us.  We obey this commandment because it flows directly from God's character...His moral law.
In Eph. 6:1-2 scripture tells us, "Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  Honor your father and mother."
It is right.
Listen and obey your parents, chances are your parents are WAY wiser than you AND hopefully are always thinking about your best interests...If your parents are not saved, there are no exceptions to submission.  Pray that God would do a work in their hearts and YOU be an example of Christ to them.
Establish good relationships with your parents.
Your mom is always your first best friend...it may not look like that at times because she has been entrusted with disciplining (DISCIPLE-ing) you as well.  If you are like me, then you may or may not keep your mama on her toes!!  ;)
And your dad...he is your protector.
Keep close to the heart of your daddy.
Statistics show that most girls end up marrying someone just like their daddy.
CALLING ALL PAPAS OUT THERE...
be a man your daughter would marry.  Treat your wife the way you would want a future son-in-law to treat your daughter!!
Keep your parents close.
 If you aren't close to them, reach out!  Ask to help your mom with grocery shopping or ask your dad to teach you his trade.  And when you do these things TALK, make it a point to leave all electronic devices at the door and make conversation.  Talking can be the best bonding time.  Not only can you confide in them, they can also be be great mentors throughout life.  One of the greatest traits of a parent is their helpfulness and their willingness to serve their children  (something we can learn from).  They feed you, house you, and make sure that at the very least, your basic needs are met.  They can and SHOULD help you with almost anything from the cutest shirt to the best husband.
Which leads me to my next point...
 your future spouse!
One of my favorite pastors...a Mr. Voddie Baucham has a great point in one of his sermons when he points out that we have gone from a people who arrange marriage for their children, to the boy asks the dad for the daughter, to the daughter telling the dad who she will marry and landing on the kids surprising their parents with their marriage in Vegas!!
THIS SHOULD NOT BE!!
Where I am so thankful that we are able to pray and follow the Lord's leading in a spouse, I FIRMLY BELIEVE that the family should be as much a part of choosing a husband as the daughter should be.
They may see things that I cannot.  AND submission to parents leads to the submission of the husband.
Men and women are not equal.  They are vastly different and designed to compliment one another.  No team can function without a member...and just as true, no team can function without a leader.
That being said, there are a few things that are out responsibility when we are of marriage age.  Knowing a few of these things keeps us focused in our prayer and in our submission to the Lord.
(I will insert here that if you have not read my posts on purity...please do.  I do not believe in dating.  I believe in courtship...or dating with a purpose.  Only when both parties are ready for marriage...always involving both families and most importantly seeking God and His will together)

How can you be submissive to your husband if you don't agree with him?
I have read and learned by watching that it is no easy task.  BUT it is a command of God...EVEN when you do not agree!!
However, there are key things we should be praying for in the one God would have us marry.
SO make a list, well actually two lists (this, by the way, is another great way to get your mom involved)..  One for the traits you NEED and one for the traits that you would like... Of course I will not share all of my preferences (for personal reasons), but here is a few!

Godly Husband Material:
Must share my beliefs
Must be family oriented
Must agree that children are a blessing
Must seek God in His Word
Must be taller than me ;)
Must be humble and willing to learn
Must love to work hard for his family
Must honor his mother and father
Must be slow to anger
Must be a manly man and strong leader

Husband Material I would like:
loves fun and adventure
is not afraid to embarrass himself
is older than me
is handsome and debonair HA! 
(My mom, dad and the Lord know the rest)  ;)

Above all...Be submissive to God!!  
Study the word, talk to Him, and seek His guidance.  Ask Him for his will in your life, but don't ask if you don't mean it.  And if you don't mean it ask him to give you the desire to want His will in your life!   And don't be scared, God's will is the best will!  He might want you to got to Syria as a missionary as a single woman, or He might just want you to pray for the missionaries in Syria while you become a Stay At Home Mom.  You never know, except that God will guide your steps with the best intentions for His eternal purpose.


1 Peter 5:5
Ephesians 5:22
Romans 13:1
Exodus 20:12
Colossians 3:18
1 Corinthians 11:3
1 Corinthians 11:8
Ephesians 5:21
Colossians 3:20
Proverbs 1:8

Friday, October 3, 2014

Preparing for the Future (Part 3) Guest Blogger


I would like to introduce to you Austin Ryan...my first Guest blogger.  Austin is a friend, a peer, and most importantly a Godly role-model for myself, my brother and our family.  We are so humbled and blessed to have him share his wisdom with us all.  Thank you Austin for being a modern Reformer!! 
What an example of USING YOUR YOUTH!  
Godly manly men

I'm blessed to be apart of this preparing yourself for the future series. Men are to be leaders both in the home and the community. The main problem in the world today is that many young men who are graduating from say college or high school are coming into the world not knowing how to be a real man, not knowing how to lead their family or provide for their wife or even show commitment in their marriage. This is because the fathers today were raised by fathers who didn't know what they were doing. 75 to 85% of kids from a Christian home will reject the faith after one year of college, because they were not given a foundation. Obviously both Gabrielle and I are stressing the issue of foundations unfortunately I won't be able to mix that in this post because that is a very important issue so they'll have to wait till next week. 

All other occupations or jobs are meant to support the most important occupation, that is motherhood. Fathers are to be breadwinners, they're supposed to go out and provide for the mother who stays home and teaches her kids the ways of truth. Fathers then come home and lead the family in Bible studies and worships to help the mother in building the foundation for the children of the next generation to teach the next generation. But sadly today many mothers and fathers are sending their kids to the public school system which is teaching the exact opposite of the truth. Parents I cannot stress this enough, you need to know what your kids are learning, whether that being you stay up to midnight every night teaching your kids through their homework, showing them why it's wrong and what is right, or teach them in the home through the Bible which is our ultimate foundation for truth. Christ said, "I'm the way, the truth, and the life" when we realize that we become close minded, in the sense that now that we have the truth were not going to listen to any more falsehoods. In Psalms 11:3, "If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?". Adolf Hitler said, "the one who rocks the cradle is the one who rules the world." This meaning the one who raises the generation is the one is going to impact the generation for good or for bad. One excuse parents use to send their kids to public school is "oh my child will be the light in that dark place", the problem is this generation of teachers is shoving down truth or as Roman says they are "suppressing the truth in unrighteousness." Back to the subject hand, what does the Bible teach men to do?

There are three stages in a man's life, single, married, married with kids. Each one of the stages is just as important as the next one but each carrying totally different responsibilities. The first one we will examine is singleness.

Very rarely is this first stage ever called the gift of singleness, but I assure you that is very much so what this is. Do not mistake mistake for what I'm saying as an excuse to be single, but rather an encouragement to follow through with your job with this gift of singleness. There's no doubt that God calls us to certain jobs and duties throughout our lifetime. Usually when a person a single, he or she is young , has lots of time, and plenty of energy. This of course is not always the case, the apostle Paul was single, or even better unmarried, but he went out and reach multiple countries with the word of God, and wrote most of the New Testament. So when we look at the apostle Paul he obviously did not waste his singleness he went out and made difference for the Kindom. If you are a single man(or woman), get out there and use your youth to make a difference. 1 Tim 4:12,"Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe."

The second one of course is married. And compared to singleness marriage has its own new set of responsibilities including leading your wife( not the other way around) and building off each other in the Faith. The apostle Peter was married hence the verse Matt. 8:14. We don't see the apostle Peter doing as much as the apostle Paul(books and traveling) did but he was one of Jesus' 12 disciples and sat under Jesus' teaching, one thing that Paul didn't have the chance to do. I don't have much experience in this stage or the next(I'm 15) but I do know that marriage is supposed to be an example of how Christ loves the church.

Third one is married with kids. "Children are blessing from the Lord" Psalms 127:3, Children are like arrows in the hands of the mighty warrior, and the parents jobs are to train and sharpen these arrows into the world's next-generation of Christians. During this stage the man's priorities are less on himself, and more on teaching his children and setting an example. In this stage the father should be demonstrating for his sons how men should treat a woman and other men, he should be teaching his other children, both sons and daughters, how to study God's word and reach the world with the gospel, and preparing them for the stage of singleness. The best way for a father to set an example in these areas is to hold his child's hand and demonstrate by just doing it. 

In short, men should be leaders in this generation, and examples to the next generation of men. Godly men need to set the bar high, then show young men how to reach for those expectations. How are you preparing yourself to impact the following generations?

Doing His Will,
Austin Ryan

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Preparing for the Future (Week 2)

It's Coming sooner than we think and little do we know that preparing for it can help us in the long run.  I want to ask what you are doing to prepare yourself for the day that you leave the house?, fly the coop?, or whatever expression you would like to use.
We need to be prepared for life because it is prepared for us.  If we don't have the proper tools while living life, it can very quickly overwhelm and overrule us.
FOUNDATIONS are so important...and we have the opportunity to establish firm foundations while we are young.  
USE YOUR YOUTH!!

This week we are talking about...  Drumroll please!...  
EDUCATION!!

School is important.  It can definitely improve the well being of not only yourself, but also your future family (If God wills it).  It can help your understand the world more clearly.  And hopefully it will drive you to use your abilities for the glory of God!  

Most Kids think that school is a waste of time and there are others...where school is their life. But what happened to the third type?  You know, the one that was all about taking their best abilities (given to us by God) and using them to the glory of Him?  What's so sad is that most people think that that type is outdated.  Now we are all about the dollar.  Climbing the corporate ladder.  (Either that or we are plumb lazy and wait for things to come to us).  Men become work-a-holics and women, well, they want to keep up with the men.  EQUALITY is politically correct ya know.
"Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another... whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.  Giving thanks to God the Father through Him."  Col. 3:16-17
I would only hope that there are a few people out their that just might have an eternal perspective...  I know a few of them, you might know a few, but are we some of those people?  Do we want to do everything in our power to serve Him?  I know that I want that with all of my heart.
While we don't know what God is going to do with us in the future, we have much we can be doing right now...with the gifts He has given us and also, with the commands He gives us in the Bible.
So there are two aspects to education for the Scripture-rooted Christian.

#1 What can we be doing to prepare for the future?
In that there are a few things to consider.
What does the bible tell men to do?  (The next post will pertain to this question...excited for you all to meet my first guest blogger!)
What does the bible tell women to do?
I am taking classes to become a vet.  Doing everything "required" for this field of work.  I am 15 and should be done with my highschool courses and also have a few college credits under my belt this time next year.  My goal is to have all my General Ed College credits done when I turn 18 so that I can go to the Vet school that I have picked out along with my parents.
That being said, I have read scripture and am learning what God requires of a woman.  I would love to be a wife and a mother!!  I am also doing what I can to prepare for that great honor while at home.  Cooking, Housekeeping, Homeschooling...learning all the ins and out of running a home.
A veterinary career would be something that my family could easily be a part of, however, family always comes first and I would choose that over a "career" anyday!!  A vet just happens to be my Plan B.  ;)
Once again, always keeping in mind:
"A man's heart plans his way but the Lord establishes his steps." Proverbs 16:9
A sweet friend and mentor said it like this, "our plans must ALWAYS be the plan B!"  Thank you Mrs. Myers!
  I want to be prepared for whatever God brings me.
A couple great books that I would recommend here are Before you Meet Prince Charming by Sarah Malley and Preparing to be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl
Proverbs 31 and Titus 2

"She does him good and not evil ALL the days of her life."  Proverbs 31:12
Girls, that is referring to our husband one day!!  How could we be doing our husband "good" right now "all the days of our (entire) life"??  I have heard "the way to a man's heart is through his belly"...and while this may not be entirely true, it is a great starting point in being a helpmeet.  LEARNING TO COOK IS GREAT EDUCATION!
(Don't worry, ladies...more to come on that one in a future post.)

#2  Where DOES God have me right now?
Where are you?
What gifts has He given me that I could be using for His glory...and maybe am not because of fear, or doubt...OR don't know where to start?  Pray for wisdom.
Can you sing?  Write?  Are you a master chef hiding your talent?  Does your mom need help and you are fully capable?  Can you be in the garage helping your dad because you know a thing or two about nuts and bolts?
If you go to public school,...who do you sit next to?
I just read the book, She Said Yes.  The unlikely martyrdom of Cassie Bernall.  She was the teen at Columbine who was "blown away" after she answered "yes" to the gunmen's question of belief in God.
She died because she took a stand for Jesus in school.

Education is important.
What we fill our minds with establishes our worldview.
Even more important is knowledge and wisdom (God given).
Knowledge and wisdom would use Education to bring glory to the Lord.

With David he served God while he was on the throne.
Ester did as Queen of her people.
Paul served as a prophet and teacher.
Martin Luther Served as a missionary to his own people.
And David Brainerd was a missionary to the Native Americans.
Today...people like:
Tim Tebow in football.
Kirk Cameron in acting.
The Harris brothers in writing.
The families behind Chick-fil-A and also Hobby Lobby.

God doesn't only work on a grand scale like the individuals listed above.

"Truely, I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."  Matthew 25:40


You can serve God too!!
Do it in your classroom, through your schoolwork, and in your job.
"Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching (training) show integrity, dignity,.." actually all of Titus 2 and 3 are great to read for this!
Look for ways to serve Him, train in ways that will equip you to serve Him...Be BOLD in serving the Lord wherever He has you.

By the grace of God alone, Gabrielle


Friday, September 19, 2014

Preparing For Our Future (Week 1)

Hey Friends!!
I posted a picture on Instagram a couple weeks ago asking what you guys wanted me to post on my blog!  And I had an awesome suggestion from a friend that gave me a great idea!
So, thank you (you know who you are ;))!!

This is going to be a series of blogs on The Future.  One will come out about every week for a few weeks depending on feedback.

It's Coming sooner than we think and little do we know that preparing for it can help us in the long run.  I want to ask what you are doing to prepare yourself for the day that you leave the house?, fly the coop?, or whatever expression you would like to use.
We need to be prepared for life because it is prepared for us.  If we don't have the proper tools while living life, it can very quickly overwhelm and overrule us.
FOUNDATIONS are so important...and we have the opportunity to establish firm foundations while we are young.  
USE YOUR YOUTH!!

A great book by John Piper is called "Don't Waste Your Life."  In our day and age, there are billboards for this, apps for that, new games, new tunes, new dude at school and temptations galore, BUT these are the days to build.  Don't waste your time on the things that contribute nothing to your life...actually, they are ROBBING you of your precious youth.  Time that God has given you to prepare for your future.
1 Timothy 4:12
"Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity."

So let's get started!

Week 1
Our Walk with God.

Psalm 119:9
"How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word."


Our walk with God is THE MOST important thing we could ever do in order to establish a foundation for a good future.  If we are active with God at home (especially willingly...and if you do not desire this, PRAY that God would give you a hunger!), then we will more than likely succeed in keeping this relationship up when we are in the world by ourselves.
So here are a few easy tips to help maintain a steady pace on the narrow road.

1. Make sure that your walk with God is stable.
Many will tell you that Doctrine, Theology and Apologetics are outdated, unimportant or that you need a degree in order to understand any of it.  NOT TRUE!!

Theology: The study of God's Word (What is your theology?)
Doctrine: What we believe concering God  (What is your doctrine?)
Apologetics: Defending what we believe  (What is your defense?)

They all sound pretty important to me!

This is the most important choice you could ever make in your entire life!!  If you are looking to God in everything, you will always be content with whatever He puts you through...in your future.  If you seek Him through His Word and prayer you will never be steered in the wrong direction.  It may not be what we "want" or what we think is "fair", but the will of God is the desire of His children.
Scripture tells us:
 "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33
SEEK FIRST HIS KINGDOM AND RIGHTEOUSNESS
That means...START HERE!!

I , like many people, have a hard time with just sitting down and studying scripture, but technology has done me wonders!!
Here are some easy tricks that I use on my IPhone:

1. Studying the Bible.  It is very easy to not study/read the Bible.  What I found out is that if you have a good setup, then it almost seems easier to study the Scriptures!
First things first, download an app that has the bible on it.  My favorite is the Bible App.  Then set out a time which most convenient (mine is lunchtime) and set a reminder for that period of time, I love the Bible App because it has that setting built in.  It's awesome!  You can take 30 minutes out of your day and READ, get to know God.  It is hard, you might stumble and forget a day, or even a week, but brush it off and start over you won't regret it.  At the same time, you should not be bound to this ritual...you have a relationship after all.  Open communication with God.  Anytime is a good time...we are also called to "pray without ceasing." "Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving in your hearts, make your requests known to God."  Do more, seek more, strive to know your God.

2. Verse memorization.  I try to memorize as many verses as I can, usually one per week.  Most of the time I just write them down in a designated journal, but I lose it...  and lose it... and lose it again...  Only to find that I cannot remember what verse I was memorizing!  So I will set a reminder on my phone (with the whole verse inside) for a few times a day, then when that it pops up I'll  say it a couple of times and go on with my day...  Then when I have it down, I will just set a reminder with the scripture reference in it for once a day.  And so on and so forth!
Writing down scripture is ALWAYS good too, I try to do both...anything and everything to help me write His Word on my heart forever.  My mom writes scripture with dry erase markers everywhere, and on notecards used as bookmarks...always bringing to mind a visual reminder of a verse as well.

And

3.  PRAYING.   Praying is a must.  It opens our heart up to God.  And we can tell Him anything.  Unlike parents, friends,teachers, acquaintances, you could tell Him your DEEPEST DARKEST SECRET right now and He wouldn't budge.  You know why?  He already knows, He knew you before you even had that secret,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." Jer. 1:5
"Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began" 2 Tim. 1:9

So prayer isn't telling God something He doesn't know, like it would a human being, but it is opening you up to your Heavenly Father.  Prayer is not manipulation...it is communication.  I have found also, that if you pray more, the more you want to pray!  I heard a great quote the other day, but can't remember who said it..  So I will just give you this.
"One does not need to pray long, just don't go long without praying."
-Unknown (Brain fart)

A few GREAT books:
The BIBLE
Timothy was young, Mary was young, David was young, Joseph was young (to name a few) and their futures helped shape ours!
Do Hard Things
Preparing to be a Helpmeet
Joyfully at Home
We Became Men, A Journey into Manhood



Preparing for our future means seeking, moving and being active....always remembering that "The man's heart plans his ways but the Lord directs his steps."
It doesn't tell us NOT to plan, it just reminds us that God is sovereign over those plans. He is always leading us...

BE A BUREAN!!
Don't accept a common knowledge of scripture, don't rely on someone's else's study, doctrine, theology or beliefs...YOU study, YOU memorize, YOU get to know God!
Build a solid foundation for your future!

Seeking God together,
Gabrielle

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Our Mission Statement!

Our Mission Statement for #2crazyladiesandtheir13babies 

We are 2 homeschooling families from California and Montana meeting up for the trip of a lifetime! Our 2 moms along with us 13 kids are going on a cross country trip to share the gospel, make memories, and learn along the way! The budgeting, miles, stops, and fundraising has been planned in it’s entirety (well, almost) by the young teens in these 2 families. We are passionate about Christian Reformation. Coming back to God’s authority and absolute truth found in scripture. We want to see our generation rise up and become rebels for the Lord!! We hope to inspire parents to raise up their children as sharp arrows in the hands of mighty warriors. We will be traveling the following states: CO, KS, AR, TN, NC, KY, IN, IL, IA, NE Please contact us if you have a church youth group, MOPS, homeschool park-day or homeless shelter...that we could come to and serve or share. We have many topics that we are prepared to speak on: Apologetics, Purity, Modesty, Prolife, Creation, and Teens Doing Hard Things. Our moms also have much to share on juggling the large family and a raising of Christian families in today’s culture. We would also like to learn along the way so if you have a business, museum, operation, gallery etc. and wouldn’t mind teaching us a thing or two, we would love to hear from you!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Time Management.

 "And Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to he Lord,and not unto men;"
-Colossians 3:23
Time can get away from us very easily if we don't use it properly.    So what is the right way to use time?  It's as simple as managing it!  

Ways that I have learned to manage time are very easy and effective!  

MAKE A LIST:
What is your most important thing to to do?  Mine is spending time with God, so immediately Bible study and reading The Word goes at the top of my To-Do list!
Next goes sending time with family, Then school, ect.

Here is a sample of my To-Do list:  (all of our days are so different, so I won't bother you with my whole list...just the basics)
Bible Study/The Word,
Spend time with family,
School work,
Chores,
Exercise,
Ect.

Next check it off as you go DOWN ( always go down, no exceptions!)
Then, when time runs out and it's the end of the day, you don't have to worry about that assignment that should be given in the morning or say to yourself, "Gosh, I didn't spend time with the Lord....guess I will do that tomorrow." (You will make a habit of doing that every evening...speaking from experience.)  That was at the top of your list, so you got it done!  
We are supposed to do every thing for the glory of God, so doesn't that mean being useful with our time?  
I am not saying I go by these things exactly in order every day, but I try to, as much as I can!  And one thing that helps me with this is DILIGENCE!!  I struggle with this, more often than not, but it is easy to find ways to help me with this character quality...  Sometimes I listen to music, have a little one help me if it is something they can do (yes, I con my brothers and sisters into helping), I pray and ask God to help give me the diligence I need, which He usually makes the job harder, but eventually it will help me to be more diligent in the future.

here are some verses to help you with diligence:  
"The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied."-Proverbs 13:4
"The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor." -Proverbs 12:24
"And let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." -Galatians 6:9

Also, I pray that I would remember GOD is governing my steps:
"A man's heart plans his way but the Lord directs his steps."  Proverbs 16:9
I can pack my days full, waste my time and live only to serve and please me, yes.
And what do I gain?
But if I am doing my best to line my day up with God's will, watch out!!
Charles Spurgeon said, "You will have your will if your will is God's will."
Love that!
Live my life MY WAY continually struggling to get MY WAY, or make MY WAY GOD'S WAY!!
Our family's favorite hashtag:  #eternalperspective
Keep the end.............the reward, (our PRIZE through Jesus) always in focus.

Shows and Sermons that I watch: The Comfort Zone with Ray comfort, Breelovesbeauty, Blimey Cow, The Way of the Master.
Things I eat: Homemade granola, tree nuts, Arbonne fizz sticks (a total pick me up), sparkling ice, yougurt, oatmeal and I love veggies!  Yes, I do enjoy a candy bar every now and then....and pasta.
Things a do for exercise: walking dog, playing on the tramp with kids, workouts with my mom, going on a nature walk with family and anything and everything I can do with horses.
Things I do for bible study: Watching John piper, Paul Washer, Voddie Baucham, David Platt, the bible app devotions, the Comfortzone, most importantly...reading the Bible, everyday and remembering to test everything according to scripture.

At the end of each day, ask yourself:  Was it all worth it?  Does God receive any glory?
What can I do....What should I do differently?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Gypsy Mile

Joining forces with my mama to encourage, challenge and inspire others in our walks!!  
I will continue to update this blog but we would love for you to come along side us at 
All glory and honor to God...not all who wander are lost.
"A man plans his journey but the Lord directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9

With Love,
Gabrielle and Rossie

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Soli Deo Gloria!!

Since the last post about doing hard things was such a hit, I thought I would go deeper into this subject.  I am going to focus on what I think is the single most important thing about doing hard things.  Something that is avoided too much in our culture...
Giving God all the glory!
Too often are we faced with "Do I really need to mention God?" or "I deserve a little praise.",  But do we really grasp what we are saying?  We are telling ourselves that you and I are more important than God...  GOD.  The God who created the universe, who knows EVERY SINGLE LITTLE STAR by name, and who knows how far the East is from the West.  The God who put you here on this earth to glorify Him, and who has power over your life and death.  The God who deserves every bit of praise this world could ever give. 

Have you ever heard the saying "Soli Deo Gloria!"?
Many people say it, yet not very many people understand it.  It means For The Glory Of God Alone..
Did you get that?  Whatever you do, say, hear, read, and even wear... it should be done all for the glory of God.
We were not put on this Earth to get glory for ourselves...
Catechism 101:
What is the chief end of man?
Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
What have we to gain for keeping the glory?  Sure you will feel good for a few minutes, but is it really worth it?  Is it really that hard to thank God for something HE did in you life?
Even the trials.

I would like to give you a scenario.
Say you are in Israel anywhere from 36 A.D. to, I don't know, 70 A.D.
You had been an eyewitness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  You SAW him.
There are guards and officials everywhere, trained to kill, beat or imprison anyone who mutters the name of Jesus. 
Yet you STILL keep spreading the word that the Messiah had risen.  You write it down so that future generations would know this truth.  Sure you are putting yourself at the top of the list called Persecution, but you still persist having full trust in God.

Would this be you? 

Our generation has become weak.  Weak in professing our faith.  Weak in sharing the gospel.  Weak in helping others live a life for Christ.
Weak.
Not only do we not shout from the rooftops all that the Lord has done, we won't even allow glory in the secret places of our heart.

Instead the world has taken a mindset of "Me".  Every man for himself....What can I get out of it?  Who do I need to know to get what I want?
If you think about it, we are accepting as human beings, as Christians, An evolutionary mindset.  I believe Charles Darwin stated this as "Survival of the Fittest".

So do you want to be an "evolutionary christian", a christian that isn't valid in the serving of God?  Because it is very easy to fall into that category.  A carnal christian...conforming to this world.  Living the life of your choice and slapping a Jesus label on it when it is convenient.  One of the simplest ways to fall is by taking shortcuts, by not giving God the glory just because "It takes to much time" or thinking "I did the work, I deserve everything I have."
We so easily forget.
We were dead, some still dead.
We need a reformation!!
Instead of conforming, becoming politically correct or evolving our walk to fit our modern world (God is the same Yesterday, Today and Forever after all), we need to get back to the basics.
It's all about God.

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God; Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God; whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father; to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. (1CO 10:31; 1PE 4:11; REV 1:6; 2PE 3:1; EPH 3:21; REV 7:12; ROM 11:36)

I have one simple question for you (and myself):
How is my life bringing glory to God?
"Whatever you do, do ALL to the Glory of God."




Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Passion for Purity

 
I just wanted to put out there that this is NOT just for girls, young men that would like to read this are encouraged to!  I refer to young women because I am one ;)
 
I want to ask you, what is the difference between Virginity and Purity? 
 
Virginity:  The condition of being untouched.
Purity: The condition of being pure; freedom from anything that debases, contaminates, pollutes, ect.
 
You see, Virginity refers to the body, while Purity refers to the heart.
 
My mom always refers to Proverbs 31:12 when we are discussing this. 
"She does him good and not harm ALL the days of her life."
 
Here is a short version of her Testimony:
"My mom taught me about abstinence. She and my stepdad presented me with a promise ring and I learned about what it meant to protect my body until my wedding day.  I wasn't allowed to date, although, I went on many dates and a few boys were allowed to call...and I went to quite a few proms.  I enjoyed boys.  ;)
I did not really experience any guilt when I flirted or was the recipient of affection.  I kissed and held hands with a clear conscience because I never let it "cross the line."
What line?
My wedding night was a beautiful thing.  I wore white walking down the aisle with pride.  I had saved my body for my husband.
I simply had not saved my heart.
I gave pieces of that away with every kiss...every time I held a hand, every sweet nothing whispered in my ear had left a mark.  An imprint on my heart.
It gave me a measuring stick with which to compare my husband.
It was a long road back to God's measuring stick...the bible.
ALL THE DAYS OF HER LIFE.
I had not done Phil good all the days of my life."
 
In this day and age virginity is keeping the "body" pure...  Did you see the quote on quote "body"?  I put that there because we are not even keeping the body pure, we are just keeping some of the body pure.
 
Young women, in bible times, wore veils to cover their faces...  They wore veils to protect future husbands (not even their future husbands) from lusting after them.  They were not only protecting themselves...they were protecting others.
 
Girls, what are we wearing?  Don't stop there, what are your motives behind what you wear?  What are you encouraging?  Are your protecting not only your body (saving it ALL for your future husband) but protecting someone else's future husband from lusting after someone other than their future wife?
 
Purity.
 
Boys...this is for you as well.
Where are your eyes?  What are your thoughts? 
 
Are we repenting for our lust.
Yes, let's call it what it is.
LUST
"But I say to you that anyone who looks on a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery in his heart."  Matt. 5:28
 
"But put to death, therefore, what is earthly in you, sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness which is idolatry." Col. 3:5
 
"So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace.  Along with those who call on the name of the Lord with a pure heart."  2 Tim. 2:22
 
The culture knows that we are a lustful, worldly generation.  There are no lines outside of God's word.  Anything goes.  We see it on TV, Billboards, Music, Books, and the way everyone dresses.  They lure us in, grey our boundaries and if we are not rooted in God's word as absolute truth, then we are fools.  Easy prey and open targets.
Our hearts...our purity, GONE.
 
I saw one young friend post "I am a belieBER" referring to Justin Beiber (a lovely photo to go with it) and thought, this is it.  The line is crossed.  We have been so desensitized that we can drool and lust after a guy like this and it's OKAY.  Everyone is doing it!!
That is just one example...boys, I won't even go into who is out there for you all to lust after.  You all get my point.
 
I am so glad that my parents made an effort to build a foundation based upon God's word!  At the age of nine, I made the decision to save my body, my first kiss, and my first date for my future husband.  I have taken Proverbs 31:12 to heart and am trying to do my husband good ALL the days of my life.
 
I bet you are wondering why I said my first date.  I chose not to date because of what temptations come with dating.  One motto I love using is "If you want to stay away from something, stay away from it altogether."  So I will be saving every SINGLE thing that is meant for marriage, for marriage.  Some may think I am crazy, because everyone needs to find their spouse.  But I trust that God has already picked out the perfect spouse, in which He can do His will in my life.  And I also trust that He will let me know who He has planned for my life.
This does not mean that I am ignorant to the fact that we need to know who we marry.  I realize that I will be spending the rest of life with my future husband, but I believe that when God has revealed His will in a spouse, that myself, along with my family will pray and get to know this man together. 
Courting...but that is a whole separate blog post!! 
 
"Dating with no intent to marry is like going to the grocery store with no money.  You either leave unhappy or take something that isn't yours."
-Jefferson Bethke
 
I want to tell you that it is never to early or to late to make the decision to stay pure.  The bible says:
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away: behold, the new has come." -2 Corinthians 5:17
 
If you are wanting a clean slate...if this decision is coming later rather than sooner,
You must repent...and if you don't feel the need to repent, PRAY.  Ask God to grant you repentance.
"Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth." 2 Timothy 2:25

I am not saying that my way is the right way...I am saying that you need to seek God in His word, He draws a very clear line when it comes to purity.
 
When God brings you to a place of a heart longing after purity...shout it from the mountain tops!!
Because what I have just done in this posting is to open myself up to a world of accountability.
 
We are in this together.

A couple book references:
I kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris (Brother to Do Hard Things authors)
Before I Meet Prince Charming by Sarah Malley
Princess and the Kiss
Squire and the Scroll
And I am now reading Growing Up Duggar and it is all about relationships.
 
 



Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Call To Do Hard Things.

Ever since I was little my parents have been at work teaching me right from wrong.  I have grown accustom to telling the difference between the two, and then staying away from evil.  One of the verses helping me with this task is
1 Thessalonians 5:22
"Abstain from all appearance of evil."
My parents have encouraged me to stay away from bad influences, meaning it could be a person or even a song.  They have taught me, if it doesn't line up with God's Word, you don't need it nor would you want it.  I have been striving to live by God's Word. 
 I stayed away from people, music, TV Shows, websites, books, even thoughts that might influence me in ways that would not please my Savior.  I have to say that it was hard and I did slip up at times, but God was always there to help me back up and get me back on the straight and narrow road.
"Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
 -Joshua 1:9
I have learned by watching my parents and personal experience that we are being sanctified continually.  We will fail...BUT when we do, we repent.
We have been listening to David Platt's Radical and he explains repentance very well.
Repentance is not just stopping and asking for forgiveness, it is a God heart that causes us to stop walking one way and turn to run the opposite.
We become repulsed by our sin.
David Platt also refers to the verse "If anyone would come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." -Matthew 16:24
What comes to your mind when you hear the word Cross?  You think about Jesus, Him coming to save us, the Resurrection, redemption, love, peace, and everlasting life, right?  But Jesus is talking about something very different here.  
Do you know what the cross meant in Bible times?  It meant humiliation, torture, suffering, struggle, saying good bye to your family, and DEATH.  Basically if you were wondering what a modern day cross would be, David Platt again gives us a great example: 
"Take up your ELECTRIC CHAIR and follow..."
 But Jesus doesn't stop there, He says you have to take it WITH you.  You must take up your cross.  Did that sound comforting? Didn't think so.  He says you have to die EVERY SINGLE DAY to follow Him.  We have to die of our self, of our desires, of our family, of our wealth, of everything.  We must be ready to give everything up at a moments notice. 
  
I started reading the book Do Hard Things
(which I highly recommend to ANY Young Adult), and realized,
 Is Staying away from the very appearance of evil enough?  
If you wanted to stay absent, yes.  But I wanted (and still do) to impact other people's lives, not just my own.  I want to change the WORLD!! I want God to be glorified in my every action and my every word.  And you cannot just do that by just staying away from those evil things... 
You have to DO HARD THINGS!! 
I am not saying to do "Big Hard Things" right away, you can do things in your own home!!!  Some of the things you can do are:
Be Respectful,
Help your brother and/or sister with one of their chores,
Mow the lawn without being asked,
Help one of your siblings with their homework,
Cook a meal for your family or a neighbor,
Offer to help someone put their groceries in their car
Make and give lunches to the homeless.
Share the gospel with your neighbor
 
Some Bigger Things you can do:
Volunteer at a local shelter or food bank,
Start a fundraiser for a good cause,
Go on a mission trip,
Get involved in an event for your local church,
Start a Bible study,
Minister to people at an abortion clinic.
 
But do all of these things with a mindset of binging God ALL the glory.  He deserves it and SO much more.  We should give Him ALL that we can. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says this: "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
We cannot do any good thing outside of God we need to pray that He would give us a heart of repentance.  That He would give us the desire to die and a heart to radically follow Him. 
 
My mom posted a quote from one of our favorite pastors
 
Galations 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." " The God of the universe wrapped Himself in flesh, died on a cross...nailed MY sin there too, was placed in the grave and rose from the dead on the third day...ascended to the right hand of the Father and is there making intercession for me until such time as my salvation is completed and He takes me home....that's all I got." -Voddie Baucham
 
Some links that I encourage you to go to:
 
 
With Love,
Gabrielle Ansolabehere
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Be Careful Little Eyes What You See...

I have been going back and forth on whether or not to write this post.  Talking with my mom and praying about it.  Then this morning while reading one of my school books War of the Worldviews, I felt a resolve.  God confirmed it in my heart that once again, I must write something no matter the cost.

I will start with my confession:

I have watched several episodes of Once Upon A Time.  
I had several friends and family refer me to this show, saying that this was a wonderful series.  I had looked at "Christian" reviews:
"On the show, our real world intersects with a mythological one in mysterious ways. The show's characters, all from popular fairy tales, live in a world without happy endings because they are all under a curse (echoes of Genesis 3). Hinting at a cosmic battle, the main antagonist, the evil queen of the Snow White story, has cursed the entire fairy-tale world in order to get revenge on the protagonist, Snow White, and has sent its inhabitants to our world. Snow's daughter, Emma, who came to our world as a baby, can break the curse and save everyone; characters in the show even call her "the Savior." She is awakening people to a knowledge of the battle in which they are engaged and their true identity, and weakening the power of the curse"-Christianity Today
And
Once has its faults. Characters here fight, bleed and die. Some of them swear. Costumes can be immodest. Casual intimacy is sometimes shared. The temptation of marital infidelity (in the name of "true love") has been a theme. The use of magic—some of it dark—is, of course, nonstop.

But it also sets up strong distinctions between good and evil. It gives us characters who seem to care about one other. It even provides for us the occasional bedtime moral. And, most importantly, through its fairy tale proxies (if we look really, really closely), the series communicates a very important truth: We're all more than we seem. We can be better than we are. In the midst of our pain and suffering and workaday lives, there's an actual fairy tale to be found—not a fictional construct, but the understanding that our lives are wondrous, miraculous and highly improbable gifts." -Plugged In (Focus on the Family)



and had watched some trailers of this series and thought that I would try it out.
And so it began....
I watched a few episodes, and got a little hooked.  Then I invited my mom to come and watch a few episodes, she agreed, watched a few episodes, and got a little hooked.....  Until we were watching an episode that was basically teaching us how to perform spells!!  My mom and I looked at each other astounded,  we asked each other what exactly were we watching, then decided to take a fast and pray about this show.  By the grace of God, He revealed to both of us that in this "wonderful" series there is:

Children before marriage,
Hebrews 13:4
"Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral."

Witchcraft,
Leviticus 20:6
"'I will set my face against anyone who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute themselves by following them, and I will cut them off from their people."
Deuteronomy 18:10-12
"Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is an abomination to the Lord."

Murder,
Exodus 20:13
"You shall not kill." 

Lies,
Proverbs 12:22a
"Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord:"

Manipulation,
Matthew 7:15
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves"

Adultery,
Hebrews 13:4
"Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral."

And Blasphemy,
Luke 12:10
And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

This just one of MANY shows that should cause us, especially as believers, to step back and ask if what we are watching really glorifies God.

Hunger games is another one.  
Again, I was given these books to read by a friend.  Just the fact that they were addicting and I couldn't get enough should have been a giant red flag!!  Anything that is taking my mind off of the Lord becomes an idol or an obsession.
If we love the Lord and He has given us a new heart, really...shouldn't there be evidence in our lives?  Shouldn't we be seeking after Him and our obsession to be more like Him?
Psalm 119
"Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!"
Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

After watching the first movie, and my mom came in to watch a part of it with me...she and my Grandma Darci later approached me with their concerns.
For this movie, even though we can't pinpoint exactly what or why we had that feeling...but the simple fact that it was consuming my thoughts and taking up space in my heart that should have been reserved for Christ was enough for me to choose to air on the side of caution.  
Better safe than sorry!!

Once again, I was able to take a step back, seek the Lord and come to the conclusion that I know comes from God.  
Why waste one single minute on things that don't glorify God?

Many more shows (music as well) that I have not been exposed to but that come to mind are Harry Potter, Charmed, Walking Dead, Twilight, a LOT of the Disney shows, the Fosters, Pretty Little Liars, Rodeo Girls, Long Island Medium, Glee ...the list could go on and on.

Lust is HUGE on many of these shows and we are warned over and over in scripture about lust!!
1 Cor. 6:18
"Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body."
1 Thes. 4:4-5
"For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God"
What do you see when you look at the characters?
What are they WEARING?!?!

One question I would like to ask you.  Who do you look up to...who do you go to when you need a word of wisdom?  Who is handing you books, recommending you movies, letting you listen to music?  Are they looking to please the Lord with their own lives? Are they seeking  self-pleasure or do they have an eternal purpose?
Do you go to the bible first and formost?  Are you praying about the influences you allow in your life on a daily basis?

I say all of this knowing that I am far from perfect.  Our family is far from perfect.
However, one thing I am learning is that the love of Christ is very different than the love the world teaches.
I am a part of Voice of the Martyrs and that has shown me that true love (the love of the Father) is not some mushy love.
It is laying your life down and telling the truth even if it means the cost of a friendship.
It is warning people even if you know it will be unpopular.
It has an eternal perspective. 

I don't want to love you here on Earth and not see you in Heaven...I want to love you ENOUGH (the love of Christ) that we go together.

I wish I had been warned before.

A note from my mom:
I am a people pleaser...this is especially true when it comes to my children.  I want to be cool and I want them to love me!!
Often times, costing more than I could ever imagine, Phil and I have allowed things we might have thought could be bad exposure for our children.  And on a few occasions, because the source had been a trusted one, we allowed our children to watch or read something we did not censor.  
Praise God that He protected our children and that He gave wisdom and sent out those red flags. 
We have grown so much in the past few months ( I am guilty of watching and reading things that absolutely should not have been read and watched...did nothing to edify my life...if nothing else, it was destructive for myself, my marriage and my family) and are weeding out all of the junk that has cluttered our lives.  Thanking God that He has captivated the hearts and minds of our children and many times it is THEM that have discernment for people, reading material, music etc.  I am humbled and realize once again the grace and mercy God has on me and our family.
We will never be where we want to be...but our prayer is that we continue to seek the Lord and our main goal would be to bring Him glory.
I was nervous when Gabrielle told me she wanted to write this.  #hopelesspeoplepleaser BUT her heart is GOOD and she has an urgent desire to see a #tidalwave #reformation in her #generation...a generation #radical for Christ.
By writing this, I am aware that she has put herself and our family under a microscope and for the first time, I can say that that is okay.  If you see anything in us that does not bring glory to God...and if it lines up with scripture, I would agree with my daughter. Please warn us...I will have wished we had been warned before.

I pray for Phil and I that we would have the same boldness that we see in our children.  Unafraid of rejection here on Earth.  How costly that fear is.  
I love her quote up there:

"I don't want to "love" you here on Earth and not see you in Heaven...
I want to love you ENOUGH (the love of Christ) that we go together!"

All those thoughts run through my mind when I want to take a stand for the Lord.  "They will hate me"... "they are going to kill me" even as an adult.  A Christian for 20+ years.
Well, an eternal perspective would say right back,
then let me die.
#WOW
#FORTHEGLORYOFGOD