Book Review: I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Josh Harris and 3 Bible Verses on Purity

I recently read the book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” by Josh Harris. Now for some of you reading this, the title might scare you off. Please, don’t! If you are thinking that, you are exactly the person who must be read it!

Age: 15+
Rating: ***** 5 stars
Main Synopsis: Harris breaks the “dating” mentality by looking at the “7 Defects of Dating” and then looking at topics such as true love, singleness and purity.

I enjoyed the book. I had already decided not to date but I think if you have not decided to do that this book would be influential for you. He also explores questions like “How do you be ‘just friends’? There is also a chapter about what Godly courting would look like. I recommend this book!

I also wanted to include a few Bible verses I came across in Proverbs about purity. Here you go!

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23

“Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you.” Proverbs 5:15-17

“Keep your way far from her (the adulteress), and do not go near the door of her house. Lest you give your honor to others and your years to the merciless.” Proverbs 5:8-9

Hope you enjoyed the book review and Bible verses! Have you made a commitment to stay pure?

Priscilla Joy


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If I: The Do or Die Statement

Today I have selected two passages that have a do or die feel to them. Both of these passages have similar wording and I think they have something that we can all learn.

The first passage is found in Genesis 43:14b. It reads like this:

“And as for me, if I am bereaved of children, then I am bereaved.”

As for the second, it is found in Esther 4:16b. It says:

“And if I perish, I perish.”

These might not seem like much but just wait until I give you the background.

In the first passage it is Jacob speaking. Yes, the same Jacob who stole his brothers birthright and blessing, married Leah and Rachel (Labans daughters) and had a son named Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers. Now Jacob is old, he still thinks Joseph, his favorite son, was killed by wild animals and so he clings even more closely to Joseph’s brother, Benjamin. There is a severe famine in the land, the same one that Joseph, a prisoner in Egypt, had foretold through Pharohs dream.

Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy food and they come back with a story. Joseph (although they didn’t know it was him) had been testing them and told them that he would not see them again until they brought Benjamin with them.

This posed a problem. Jacob would not let them take Benjamin. But this turned into a life or death situation. The famine was severe and they had no food. So finally, Jacob said this line: And as for me, I f I am bereaved of children, then I am bereaved. Jacob had lost Joseph, Simeon was a captive in Egypt and he did not want to lose Benjamin. But he knew that this was a do or die moment and he decided to follow God and trust God with his children. And if they died, they died.

The second is spoken by Queen Esther. Esther, a Jew, was chosen as the Queen of Persia. Hamaan hated Jews and came up with a plot to kill all of them. This would be a total wipe out of Jews. Esther was the only one who could stop this plot. But she had to go into the King, without an invitation. If you went into the King without an invitation, he could raise his scepter and you would be killed. Or he could find favor with you and let you enter. It was a risky thing and no doubt Esther was a bit scared. Her words? If I perish, I perish.

Both of these phrases show a choice. This is do or die. These are do-what-must-be-done words. These are complete laying it in God’s hands words. These are words of trust. Jacob didn’t want to give up his childeren but he put them in God’s hands and if God chose to take them away, then He took them away. Esther didn’t want to give up her life, but she laid it in God’s hands and if she died, then she died. So be it. God gives and God takes away. So. Be. It.

What happened to Jacob and Esther? Let’s look at the Bible to find out.

Jacob found out the amazing truth that Joseph was alive. In one fell swoop he had all his children with him. Here are God’s words to Jacob in Genesis 46:4:

“I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again and Joseph’s hands shall close your eyes.”

Esther went in to the King and was successful. The King didn’t kill all the Jews and God used Esther to save His people. Listen to what Esther 8:16 says:

“The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honor.”

God blessed both Jacob and Esther and He used thier trust to accomplish great things and save His special nation.

So whatever God wants to do with your life, so be it.

Priscilla Joy


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Character, Not Color

Martin Luther King Jr. famously said in his “I have a dream” speech that he wanted his children to grow up in a nation where they would be judged not by the color of thier skin but by the quality of their character.

This poses a good question for us. How do we judge people?

Let us not be hindered by what a person looks like but who God made them to be.

My mom gave my sister and I African-American baby dolls when we were little. We loved on them and never thought anything of thier skin color. My parents raised us to look and learn about other cultures, not judge and sneer on them.

You see this is what the Bible says after God created man…

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.”
Genesis 1:27

All men were created in the image of God and we all were created for the same reason, to glorify our maker.

We also all sinned. Romans 3 says that “none are righteous, no not one.” And later, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Just as we all bear the image of God, we also all bear the sin nature. But it doesn’t end here.

We are also all saved. Romans 5 says “God shows his love for us in this, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

You see the gospel is for everyone.
Americans.
African Americans.
Hispanics.
Asians.
Europeans.
The disabled.
The fatherless.
The rich.
The poor.
The list goes on.

Just like Martin Luther King Jr. I long for the day (we have made progress, but we are not perfect.) when people judge each other, not by their skin and outward appearance but by their character, love for Christ and thier heart.

“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7b

“For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people.”
1 Timothy 4:10a

Priscilla Joy


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Movie Review: The Nativity Story

It’s Chrstmas time! I sit and listen to Celtic Christmas CD as I write this post. There are some Christmas movies we like to watch as a family. Last night, we watched “The Nativity Story”. Here is my movie review on it!

Rating: PG for some violent content

Age: 12 and up could watch the whole movie. My little brother (7) watched it, he just covered his eyes in some parts.

Things to watch for: The first scene in Herod killing the babies, it doesn’t actually show a baby being killed but it gets pretty close. There are also two births (Mary and Elizabeth). Mary’s birth scene is pretty mild but the one with Elizabeth is a little more vivid (again, nothing too bad). The last thing to watch for is it does show John (the Baptist) getting circumcised but it is not too vivid.

I really liked the movie. It is not biblically correct on every point but I think it does capture the nativity story very well. Joseph might be my favorite character. He was really portrayed as a noble, strong man who thought of others before himself. When he, and Mary are traveling to Bethlehem he takes good care of her, protecting her and keeping her safe.

The scene where Mary has Jesus is very sweet and special… It might make you cry. :)

Mary’s character was overall played well. The one thing I wished is that she would have been more joyful in some parts. But I think the scene when she tells her parents and Joseph she is pregnant with Jesus she shows lots of character and stands strong in her faith even though it might mean her death.

I also liked how they showed how the townspeople shunned Mary and Joseph after finding out about the baby. I don’t usually think of that part.

The wisemen were good. They added just a touch of humor to the movie but not enough to take away from the beauty and seriousness of the story.

In all I think it was a great movie and it really brings the story to life. Perfect for Christmastime!

Merry Christmas!
Priscilla Joy


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My Journey to Womanhood

Today I am writing a testimony from my life about my journey to womanhood.

I grew up as a shy girl. I could play rough with my brother. I could be tough. But I also like my baby dolls, dresses and other “girlish things”.

Around 11 years old, I became a tomboy. I hated the color pink, left skirts behind, and loved to show my toughness.

I would only wear darker colors and didn’t like ANYTHING girly. I wouldn’t paint my nails for the world!

If you knew me when I was about 11 or 12 you would know, I was a tomboy. I was forsaking my womanhood.

I realize now, that was a mistake. You see, I thought girls were wimpy, they liked talking and painting thier nails and other wimpy things. My adventurous spirit had no place in that.

Then my mom started doing a devotional with me and my sister. It was called “Becoming God’s True Woman” by Susan Hunt and Mary Kassian. The book was pink, the pages had flowers all over them and I was skeptical.

But as the book progressed, I learned something about womanhood.

I learned that women are equal but different than men.

I saw examples of womanhood in Eve, Mary and other women from the Bible.

I learned that women are helpers, life-givers and support pillars.

All of those are very strong positions, pillars? life giver?

You can’t be a wimp to be those things. Now I strive toward womanhood.

Now instead of fighting my womanhood, I embrace my God-given roll.

I am not perfect but God has done a great work in me.

God convicted me that I need to start wearing skirts and dresses more. I don’t wear them every day but I wear them to church, nicer events and on days where we are out in public a lot. I found that I love to wear denim skirts. (I love denim!)

And the thing is I am still not your typical woman.

I still don’t like painting my nails, the color pink is not my favorite color and I don’t wear make up, fancy clothes or beautiful hair styles.

I still have a fiery, adventurous, warrior spirit and I am still tough. I still love building, farming, outdoor survival, weapons and other “boyish” activities.

But now my perspective is different. I now have a strong belief in things like modesty and purity. Not that before I wasn’t modest and pure but I didn’t really care about it.

The thing is I am the becoming the kind of woman God wants me to be. God designed me to be a mission minded woman, an adventurous woman, a I-will-go-anywhere-in-the-world-for-you woman, a warrior woman, a pioneer woman, an OK-I’m-trusting-you-Lord woman as well as a gentle, kind, compassionate, gracious, pure, modest, joyful, honest, tender and faithful woman.

(Note: I am not there yet! God is still working on me but He has helped me a lot in becoming that woman!)

I am His warrior and I am His princess. I learned that I don’t have to forsake the princess to be the warrior, the two go hand in hand.

God has shown me great examples of true women and has taught me that true womanhood is running after Him all your life.

There you go!

To God be all the glory!
Priscilla


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When God Says No

I read “Do Hard Things” two or three times. Yes, it is that good. Our youth pastor preached a series about doing hard things. The idea changed my teen years.

The last time I read the book (a month ago maybe?) I felt like God had a hard thing for me to do. What was it?

Then I realized it. Doing hard things isn’t always planning an outreach or fundraiser, saving someones life or even diligently doing chores at home. Somethimes a hard thing is just to say yes when God says no.

I recently had this experience.

I had the oppurtunity to go down to Mexico for a week to serve at the Rancho3M orphanage in November. In fact a week from now I would be in Mexico.

Now if you really know me you know that serving down there is the highlight of my summer and that I really have a heart for that ministy. Oh and I love all the kids down there to pieces.

I REALLY wanted to go.

But God shut the door.

I was disappointed although I didn’t show it outwardly. I missed it down there. And that is when I realized that I have to say Yes to God even when He says No to something I desperately want to do.

His plan is always better. Isn’t it? We don’t always know why He gives us that answer. Sometimes we see it after and sometime we don’t. We just have to leave it up to Him.

Priscilla


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Do I Trust?

It is easy for us to say “Yeah, I trust God.” when everything is going well.

Its easy for us to trust Him in the good times.

But trust is something that hits us hard when we hit a rough spot.

For me right now that trust is: Do I trust God when we are moving?

Do I trust God when our house is closing in less than three weeks and we don’t know where we are going?

Do I trust God with my tomorrow…. wherever tomorrow is?

Maybe for you its asking: Do I trust God when my loved one dies? Or my baby is miscarried? Or my job is lost? Or my child turns from the faith?

Do you trust God when worry, anxiety and doubt cloud over your mind?

Sometimes trusting God seems so hard. We like to know what will happen, where we are going and what our future will look like.

Trusting God is hard. Really hard.

Thankfully God is so great and His word is full of promises when we are doubting. Here are a few.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.”
Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in Him, turn to Him and forget about solving your problems, leave it to Him, HE will direct your paths.

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will act.”
Psalm 37:5

He will act! What a promise.

“Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Matthew 6:34

Read the whole passage of Matthew 6:25-34 to see how he clothes the lilies and feeds the birds. 😉

And a personal favorite of mine….

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will gaurd your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Phillipians 4:6-7

Let Christ know your worries and the peace of God which is better than any knowledge (where you will go, what you will do, etc.) will flood our hearts and minds.

So I don’t know where you are right now in life but if you have an area where you are anxious and worried and maybe struggling with trusting God, read His promises and just give Him everything. He will uphold you and strengthen you.

Keep on trusting!
Priscilla

P.S. Oh and scripture is riddled with more promises like the ones above so get your Bible out and find them!


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Every Scar A Story

Scars.

Lots of people have them. I have two or three myself.

Scars tell stories and young boys especailly love to tell the stories related to thier scars.

All the accidents, risks and daring episodes that make those scars are great stories.

I have two scars from stichs I got when I was three. My aunt was whizzing us around on a merry-go-round and daring lil’ Priscilla decided to go no hands and I flew off, breaking my arm.

I relish telling the story including all the ice cream, balloons and goodies that came with an emergency room visit.

Oh and the story about how I sang “When I Am Afraid I Will Trust In You” by Steve Green right before my surgery is a good one.

I have another scar on my wrist that I got when a dog scratched me because I wasn’t petting him enough. :)

Whether it be a bicycle accident, broken arm, or running into a brick wall every scar has a story, a unique, fun-to-brag-on kind of story.

The greatest scars of all are the ones Jesus has though. Now thats a story.

God (the God who created heaven and earth and everything else..yep that God) sent His only son down to earth because after Adam sinned we all lived in sin and were not worthy of eternal life with Him.

So this son incarnated and became a human, was brougt into the world through a young teen virgin, Mary and grew up as a poor carpenters son.

He then calls petty fishermen to be His disciples teaching them about the kingdom of God and proclaiming Himself as the son of God. He worked miracles and was absolutely perfect!

Well, the Pharisees didn’t like that one bit so they plotted to destroy Him and they finally got their chance after the Passover thanks to Judas Iscariot- one of Jesus’ disciples who betrayed Him.

Jesus was unfairly accused (remember He is perfect), beaten, mocked and scorned. Pontius Pilate was scared of the people even though he thought Jesus was innocent so he delivered him to be crucified.

The Son of God crucified? How could this happen? Well actually, His death was the reason Christ came into the world. He paid the perfect sacrifice so that now we can be called children of God if we trust in His perfect name.

Wow, thats a story. And Jesus got some scars to prove it.

He had scars from the nails pierced in His hands.

He had scars in His side from when the soldiers stabbed Him to make sure He was dead.

Best. Story. Ever. Oh.. and its real.

But it doesn’t end there.

Jesus was placed in a grave and three days later some women came to put incense on his body. Surprise, surprise, he wasn’t there.

Jesus had risen from the dead, defeating death forever.

But not all the disciples believed when Mary Magdalene, the young witness told the story.

Thomas- one of the disciples- didn’t believe it. He said….

” Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

John 20:25b

Then Jesus showed up.

He told Thomas this:

“Put your finger here, and see my hands, and put out your hand and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve but believe.”

John 20:27

Those scars saved the world.

Those scars saved you.

Those scars saved me.

All of a sudden my epic-fly-off-the-merry-go-round scars don’t seem so cool anymore.

“He himself bore our sins on his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”

1 Peter 3:24

So next time you start boasting about your scrapes, bumps and scars remember His scars.

Boast in his scars….. because they saved the world.

Thanks be to the scars of Christ,
Priscilla


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Army Training- 1 Timothy 6:11-16

Here is a verse to strengthen and encourage you as you fight your good fight of faith.

“But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the prescence of many witnesses. I charge you in the prescence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time- he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.”

1 Timothy 6:11-16

I hope this verse encouraged you to pursue godliness, fight your fight of faith and trust and worship your King of kings and Lord of lords.

Keep fighting!

Priscilla


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A New Day- A poem

I jump out of bed
Wipe the sleep from my eyes
Get dressed, brushed and ready
I feel like I could fly!

Dive into the Word
Find a nugget of gold
Get caught in the story
Jesus never gets old

My feet in the grass
My face to the sun
The breeze through my hair
Gods great day has begun!


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