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Archive for February, 2011


I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a really stressful week. I found myself in need of a good laugh as it has finally come to an end. Three years ago, my husband made the journey from Texas to Ohio to come marry his bride (me!). He and several of his friends documented their journey and our wedding. These videos are the documentation of the craziness. They are hilarious! Please enjoy!! 🙂

Also check out our dear friend Tyler Buschman’s website. He is an aspiring actor and lives in works in Los Angeles, and these videos are from his website.

Ahoy Ohio: Day 1 “Chere-oke” from tylerbuschman on Vimeo.

Ahoy Ohio: Day II “Interactive Imagination” from tylerbuschman on Vimeo.

Ahoy Ohio: Day III “Bad Mutha Truka” from tylerbuschman on Vimeo.

Ahoy Ohio: Day IV “Human Tsunami” from tylerbuschman on Vimeo.

Ahoy Ohio: Day V “Bacon Hair” from tylerbuschman on Vimeo.

Ahoy Ohio: Day VI “Jon Michael Meet John Michael from tylerbuschman on Vimeo.

Ahoy Ohio: Day VII “Statutory Dancing” from tylerbuschman on Vimeo.

David and I when he finally made it to Ohio!


Want to read how me and my husband met? Check out Our Story!

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If you haven’t read my previous post and the comments from readers, check it out.

In the 1950’s early 60’s a campaign came out against the use of cigarettes. Finally research had come out proving that cigarettes were, in fact, detrimental to one’s health. The campaign appeared in America urging smokers to put aside their bad habit, and to stop buying into the propaganda used in cigarette ads promoting smoking as the young and cool thing to do.

The point of this campaign was to debunk the social image that had been associated with smoking a cigarette (cool and sexy) and to tell people that smoking could be harmful to one’s health. The people concerned with the health of smokers were not calling individual smokers bad people. The message behind the campaign was for society as a whole. The image of cigarettes had helped them not only become widely socially acceptable, but linked the smoker with a certain desirable social image. Advertisers used that image to get more people to smoke.

Throughout the whole ordeal, one thing remained constant; smoking is bad for one’s health.

What I would like to say about my previous post:

1. I’m not saying that any person, regardless of their sexuality, sexual experience, sexual orientation, is any less valuable than any other person. I’m not talking about the worth of the individual, I am talking about the specialness, uniqueness, valueableness, distinctions of the female gender

2. God values all people the same. I see everyone as equally valuable.

3. Our society, media, advertisement, music…etc. is over-sexed, and has demoted and objectified our gender. We are told and molded from a very young age that our value is defined by our sex appeal.

4. I pray that by writing blogs like this one, I can be a voice (popular or not) that would encourage women to think about their sexual choices and how/at what level they think of themselves in the way that culture has taught them to.

5. I believe that an important way to fight back is to bring a greater worth to sex. I believe it needs to be more “precious.” What I mean is that I believe it needs to be within the context that I believe it was created for, marriage. I believe that sex within a healthy, redemptive marriage shows women the most security and honor. And I believe that it brings greater value to our gender’s sexuality.

This is my anti-smoking campaign. It’s not personal; it’s for all women. This is what I believe.

It’s so important to say one final thing, this isn’t theory for me.

This isn’t me sitting in my little white church house, ivory tower, making up theories about what works or doesn’t work in the world. This is the closest thing to my heart. Every day I counsel women. I have heard stories that most people would find hard to fathom a woman could live through to share. When these women share their stories with me, it almost always involves the sex- the ways they’ve been hurt, rejected, abused, used, their quest for beauty and sex appeal, and the way all the hurt controls their lives. There are always broken hearts. This is not just their story, it was my story.

Whether you are finding who you are in sex appeal, sexual freedom,or anything else in this world that you think will give you the image you desire; it’s not healthy. It’s not healthy because it will control your life, eventual fail you, and in the end you will be left with brokenness.

We all long for something on the outside to give us value. God offers us truely what we are looking for. He loves us, not because we deserve it. He values us, unconditionally. He gives us freedom and peace and validation. And we serve Him not because He makes us, but because we are so thankful for the life He gives us.

Finally, despite your experience or what you have seen, I promise you a healthy, redemptive marriage is possible. It’s not easy. It takes a lot of work. But I promise you it’s worth it. And for some of you, you need that light at the end of the tunnel.
(Blog on redemptive marriage coming soon)

“Why Sex Before Marriage Devalues Women”

Sermon on sex, “Sexuality”

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Many young women believe remaining abstinent until marriage is an old-fashioned, unattainable ideal. Some believe that a woman who believes that sex before marriage is wrong devalues herself and her sexuality because she isn’t allowing herself to experience true sexual freedom.

I disagree.

This isn’t a blog passing judgment on people who believe differently than me, this is a blog clearly stating what I believe to be true.

10 reasons why waiting to have sex until you are married values you as a woman more than the women’s liberation – sexual freedom movement.

1. Many times women give up their virginity before they are married NOT because they enjoy the sex, but rather to make themselves feel valued by the opposite sex.

2.Within a healthy marriage the consequences of sex are always positive.
That means that there are no unwanted consequences. In essence the consequences are completely up to the woman in marriage, or at the very least up for mutual discussion. Furthermore, a woman is never left to deal with any consequence of sex alone.

3. Women peak sexually when they are older.
Sexual Development
The average woman peaks sexually after the age of 30. This means that women get the most fulfillment and enjoyment in sex later in life. This happens to be near the average age that women get married, 26 years old.

4. Sex within a healthy monogamous marriage values a woman’s security.
One of the biggest emotional need of a woman is security. Some of the biggest wounds and scars in women that I counsel are times when sex has been misused, abused, or used in the rejection of women. One solution our world offers is become sexually promiscuous. I believe a more valuing and healing option would be to save sex for a committed, healthy, and trusting marriage. There is security in having sex with someone who has committed to not leave, abuse, misuse, or abandon you.

5. Sex is more fun in marriage.
One benefit to a lifelong commitment is intimacy and exclusivity. One of the benefits of a relationship with that kind of depth and commitment is fun and closeness. It completely takes away performance, fear, and selfishness. It is complete freedom. And it is fun.

6. There is not shame is sex within a healthy marriage.
Outside of a marriage relationship there cannot be absolutely full disclosure between a man and a woman. This always allows an opportunity for the feelings of shame in some area.

7. Sex inside a healthy marriage is consensual.
Humans are different from other animals because of a higher level of reasoning. In other words, there is always the “why” behind the action. Many times the reason “why” many women choose to lose their virginity is because of pressure from a man, feelings of performance, fear of rejection or losing the relationship, and other similar reasons. By choosing to wait to have sex until marriage, the reasons “why” a woman chooses to have sex honor and value her wishes always. Reasons come from a place of love and as a response to intimacy, desire, procreation, deepening the relationship, or meeting personal needs or desiring to meet the needs of the one you love.

8. Sex within a healthy marriage honors femininity.
Men have the cultural “macho” reputation of being able to have free and plenty sex without consequence. For women, that male reputation is angering. “Why the double standard?” In response, many women believe that women should have the freedom to act the same as these men, and consequently tell society they don’t care if they are viewed as a woman “slut” instead of “macho” man. The logic behind this ultimately devalues our gender. Why?

Women who buy into this logic are ultimately trying to have what men have. Instead of being a part the solution to something they see as a problem, they believe that by joining what they disagree with they will experience freedom. This is not only NOT true equality, and it’s also NOT placing a greater value on women.

Its time we celebrate what it means to be a woman. Instead of spending our efforts in being a man, we need to debunk and fight back against our culture and its dishonoring, devaluing view on womanhood. We should spend our time celebrating what makes us valuable and different as females instead of becoming the ugly qualities of the male gender.

9. Waiting to have sex is the truest form of being ‘pro-choice.’
Women’s liberation movements say that a woman has the right to choose to have sex and choose her reproductive options in the way she desires. I’m not disagreeing with this statement, but I am saying that there is a better way, a way that places a higher value on the woman.

Sex within marriage is safe, special, and values the woman ultimately with exclusivity. It’s not just becoming sexual prowess to prove that we can do what we want without consequence. It’s having that choice and choosing the choice that values our bodies, our hearts and our gender.

10. Honoring marriage honors women because it honors God.
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Romans 12:1-2

Genesis chapter 1 tells us that men and women were created in the image and likeness of God. Every human being regardless of race, age, gender, and socioeconomic class deserves honor and respect. Any notion of “human rights” in Western cultures stems from this very biblical doctrine. Not saving sex for marriage cheapens sexuality. A low view sexuality produces a lowered view of humanity, and a lower view of humanity dishonors God. In this regard, saving sex for marriage honors women (as well as men) because it places a precious value on sexuality. And by placing a higher view of our sexuality, we have a higher view on humanity as made in image of God. This value for all people honors God.

Here is an amazing sermon by my husband during North’s “Taboo” series on sexuality. “Sexuality”

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Valentine’s Day got you kind of down? Maybe it’s time to pick up a new book!

I just finished “Till We Have Faces” by C.S. Lewis, and it’s one of the best books I have ever read. It was written in 1956, but it is a retelling of the Greek mythology of Cupid and Psyche.

The story is told by the beautiful princess Psyche’s ugly sister Orual, and is her complaint and judgement against the gods who have ruined her life, made her ugly and unlovable, and taken away from her all that she has truly loved. Orual retells the account of how the gods have destroyed her life, but in retelling her story she finds the meaning of true love.

The lesson of true beauty and love is one that every woman should hear in her life. Make sure to pick this book up this Valentine’s Day!

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Words are just words. And sometimes our words create moments. Then there are the moments we can only describe with words, even when words can’t do the moment justice.

The guys had tuned their instruments. The girls had put the finishing touches on the meal. We all chose songs of worship that meant something special. We weren’t in a church. This wasn’t anything planned. We sang the words to all our songs in a living room, each of us sharing what God had done through the words in our lives.

Twelve years ago this month, I sang in a crowd of people.
“And now I know that I love you. I need you. Though my world may fall, I’ll never let you go. You’re my Savior, my closest friend. I will worship you until the very end.”

That moment changed my life. Though I had sang them before, this time I experienced the presence of a very real God. I felt His love surround me, and I knew that I loved Him, that I would worship Him until the very end. It was one of the realest moments of my life.

Last night, surrounded by my husband and our friends, we sang those very words again. I closed my eyes and could hear our words ringing praise to my Savior and see the very moment I experienced the presence of God for the first time. I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with gratitude. Thankful for the moments we can share in the midst of people who love and worship Jesus.

You can’t make it if you don’t have Christian community. I’m not talking about just church. I’m talking about real life, real words, real moments with real people in real relationship.

5 Reasons you can’t make it without Christian community:

1. Encouragement
Life can be discouraging enough, but without Christian community you will find your life being ruled by discouragement. One of the main ways Christians ultimately give up in life is through isolation. Without Christian community, discouragement will destroy you.
Proverbs 18:1
“Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.”

2. Correction
Many times decisions you make will seem right. Many times patterns in your life will seem justified. Without Christian community, you will quickly find yourself led down a path you believed to be right, but it’s end it’s not.
Proverbs 12:15

3. Wisdom
No one is truly wise alone. And if you believe that you are alone wise, you will find yourself unable to make it. Walking in the light and in freedom, means receiving and sharing wisdom in Christian community.

4. Support
There are some tasks and mountains that will be put before you in life that are impossible to accomplish or overcome without the support and help of others. Community is in the very nature of God (Father, Son, and Spirit). Therefore, you can expect life too be too difficult without other people supporting you along the way.

5. There are experiences in life that can only be experienced by sharing.
You can’t experience love and joy alone! Experiences like love and joy shared with other people, and without these experiences you will not be able to make it.

_____________________________________________________________________________
Put yourself in a place to experience and build true Christian community:
Church
Bible study/lifegroup/community group
Foster and prioritize Christian relationship
Family
Mentor and disciple others
Be mentored or discipled

Check out North Community Groups HERE!

Check out this sermon, “Joy For The Weary,” if you gone through a hard and lonely season.

Picture compliments of Joseph Elliott Photography . Check out Joseph and Melissa’s BLOG for more pictures from Friday night and sound clips of our worship!

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So you want to be a reader? Maybe you’ve never been a reader, maybe you’ve gotten so busy you need help getting back into it, whatever the reason you want to start reading. Even though I’m a certified Language Arts teacher, sometimes I just get out of the rhythm. If you need some help, you’re in luck.

10 simple tips to make you a reader:

1. Start reading book reviews.

2. Read blogs.
They are short, informative, things you are interested in, and you can start reading a little every day to whet your appetite for more. Plus being an educated reader doesn’t just have to be a book reader.

3. Start reading conversations.
Ask other people what they are reading or their last best book. It makes for great conversation, and people who read love to tell you about the story or facts they learned and discovered.

4. Picture books.
I’m not joking. Some of the most fabulous books I’ve ever read were picture books. Some of the most beautiful works of literature I’ve ever read were picture books. Don’t just pick up a Bernstein Bears book, start HERE, and find out why you should start loving literature again or for the first time.

5. Research.
Research a topic you want to know more about by going to the library and searching online. Read all that you can. Learn all that you can. NOW, find a good fictional book about that topic. If it’s the Civil War, learn all you can. Then read a great fictional book that was either written during that era or about that topic. (Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe) Finally, pair all of your research with another great form of media that centers on your research (music, movie, play…etc. watch Gone With the Wind). Finally, do something as your output (write a blog about what you learned or have a good conversation about it).

6. Read your Bible.
Seems simple, but do you do it every day? Next step, read some books about theology and find out why you believe what you do or what other people say about what you are reading. Or get some great word study tools!

7. Consistency.
Forming any new habit means being consistent, even when you aren’t enjoying it. Part of being a great reader is just plain practice. Read every day. Period. If possible read at the same time every day.

8. Get rid of the junk food in the house.
It’s been proven that people who eat junk food or fast food crave it more often. Get rid of the junk reading in the house. Get rid of the Cosmopolitan magazine, turn off Facebook statuses in the evening, and get the reality tv off. The more you put in junk, the more the junk takes over.

9. Don’t only read the same things.
Reading is about having a balanced diet. It’s like exercise. You may love to run, but if you only run eventually you will get bored. So switch things up and make them interesting. It will keep you reading longer.

10. Start small.
Don’t try and start a huge book if you haven’t been reading much lately. Start by reading the lyrics to your favorite music or pick up a book of poetry and read some poems. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Pace yourself. And soon you will be reading quicker and enjoying it more.

OK! Now make your favorite book recommendations below!

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Thousands of precious souls are being forced to sell their bodies against their will today.

“It would be just like Chuck,” my voice sounded funny in the quiet morning. I often say things I’m thinking out loud by complete accident.

Wednesday morning I found myself in my daily ritualistic place of prayer, my comfy chair. I must admit my mind drifted in and out of prayer and sleepy, dreamlike thoughts. I was praying about the Super Bowl. Praying for the thousands and thousands of young women and boys who are bound by chains of sex slavery that were brought to the very state I live. Thousands of precious souls who are being forced to sell their bodies against their will TODAY. Thousands of entertainment seeking sports enthusiasts have flooded into to Dallas, Texas, to watch a football game. Many of those same people will prey on the helpless for a different kind of entertainment today.

As I sat their praying desperately for an answer, my eyes caught sight of my sweet husband doing the same. Today, my husband and father-in-law are at the Super Bowl. My always creative imagination pictured David walking through the crowds of people, brushing shoulders with the hurting. And for a moment, I pictured my husband becoming the main character of the TV show, Chuck, where an ordinary guy suddenly has superhero powers to work for the CIA and save the world. I wish it was that easy.

Today, there are more human slaves in the world than ever before. 27 million children and adults are in forced sexual slavery in the world right now. It’s estimated that every year 300,000 new slaves enter the market. It is also believed that 25% of those in the United States are trafficked through the state of Texas. An estimated of 10,000 young girls and boys in the forced sex industry were present at the last Super Bowl. Only guesses can be made about how many more will be in Dallas today.

Maybe you are shocked. Maybe you have questions. Good. You need to find out the answers. We, especially as Christians, can’t be afraid any longer to open our eyes to the horrors of this world. We can’t live in our suburban homes and attend our churches, and forget about the horrible state of this world, the pain, the abuse, and the hurt. Sex trafficking is one of the biggest global problems of our current day. It’s ugly and dark, but Jesus is light.

1. Get educated. If you don’t know much about this topic, it’s time you researched.
More information HERE.
Super Bowl a magnet for under-age sex trade
Huffington Post Article
The A21 Campaign (Amazing Ministry)

2. Don’t turn your back. Be a light. This is a dark, dark issue. You can shed the light by educating others and praying for God to move on behalf of these precious souls.

3. Don’t let the problem overwhelm you. You can personally be involved in ending sex trafficking. Get involved in a ministry that is working against these efforts. Be a part of ending sex trafficking that takes place in Amarillo, Texas, or wherever you live.
Look into The Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force .

4. Learn the signs of trafficked people. Combat human trafficking.

5. My heart longed for a hero as a I prayed Wednesday morning.
My deep desire to see a man rise up and defend and rescue the helpless was the longing of my heart for a Savior. A man who is mighty for justice and healing. My longing for a world that should be a certain way, a world that isn’t as it should be. We all know this world isn’t the way it should be. It feels broken. It feels like somewhere, something went terribly wrong; now it’s all messed up. We must see, what we all know about this world is horribly true. But the amazing thing is that is the very reason Jesus came. The very reason He knew we needed to be saved from our sin and our pain. He provides the answer for all that is broken. He is the only answer for this world.

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Podcast by Christine Caine/A21 Campaign, when she came to speak at my church last month.
“It’s Time To Wake Up”

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