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!
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?
Posted in Bible, Books to Read, character, God, Living for God, words by Priscilla with no comments yet.
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.
Posted in Bible, Bible characters, do hard things, faith, God, Living for God, words by Priscilla with no comments yet.
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.”
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.
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
Posted in Bible, character, God, history, holidays, Living for God, words by Priscilla with 1 comment.
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!
Posted in character, God, Living for God, me, womanhood by Priscilla with no comments yet.
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.
Posted in adventures, do hard things, faith, God, gospel and outreach, Living for God, Mexico, missions, Rancho3M by Priscilla with no comments yet.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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!
P.S. Oh and scripture is riddled with more promises like the ones above so get your Bible out and find them!
Posted in adventures, Bible, faith, God, Living for God by Priscilla with no comments yet.
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.
Posted in army training, Bible, character, faith, God, Jesus, Living for God by Priscilla with no comments yet.
Sometimes we can forget the true extent of our freedom in
Christ. The reality is that if you have turned from your sins and trusted in Jesus you are free from sin, forever. I want you to convince you of this incredible truth through Bible verses. Lets embark on this search about freedom in Christ together.
“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Freeindeed. I think this is key. It doesn’t say just free, it says free indeed or really, truly free. If Jesus sets you free you are really free. It is not the superficial freedom the world offers us, it is true, real freedom.
“Now the Lord is Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.”
2 Corinthians 3:17
When we are walking with the Lord we have peace, love, and freedom! The Lord is all of those things.
So this freedom is not everyones. It is only if you trust in Jesus for your sins. Before you do that you are a slave to sin, you are under the burden of sin and you are a captive to it. Every unbeliever lives with a burden, just like Christian in “Pilgrim’s Progress”. Only when you reach the cross will you become free from that burden.
“For freedom Christ has set us free, stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.”
You never think about it that way do you. If you forget the freedom you have and feel guilty and ashamed you are bending to the yoke of slavery! Christ paid the price for your freedom. He gave it to you!
“There is therefore now no comdemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of Life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
Notice the words “in Christ Jesus”. We need to make sure that we keep our eyes on Him and remember that He is the only one that we can go to for that freedom.
Now I wanted to post the bridge of a song called “Man of Sorrows” by Hillsong. It explains the truth of this freedom in a very joyful, thankful way and I love it. Here you go.
Now my debt is paid
It is paid in full
By the precious blood
That my Jesus spilled
Now the curse of sin
Has no hold on me
Whom the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed
Isn’t that truth amazing? Lets keep going.
Once we place our trust in God we are actually still slaves…..but to God and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom, right?
“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.”
So we are slaves still, but to God and that is a even better than being free by ourself.
“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover up for evil but living as servants of God.”
1 Peter 2:16
So living as a free people is the same thing as living as servants of God! Anything with God is better than anything else that isn’t.
Our freedom really has some power. This isn’t just like a ‘yeah yeah I am free, woo hoo!’ Its more like….
“I shall walk in a wide place because I have followed your precepts.”
“You who were once alienated, hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, He has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you, holy and blameless and above reproach.”
“Creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption, and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”
Yes, you heard me right, this freedom makes us children of God, above reproach before Him and walking on wide ways!
However, we must be careful with this freedom and gaurd it closely. We must not use this freedom that was freely given to us for wrong.
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an oppurtunity of the flesh but through love, serve one another.”
“Out of my distress, I called on the Lord and He set me free.”
“The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has annointed me, to bring good news to the poor, He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.”
We are to use our freedom to love oneanother, proclaim liberty (Jesus’s liberty) to the captives and in our distress, call to the Lord and He will make us free.
I hope that after hearing these amazing truths from the word of God you would see that if you are in Christ you have freedom. Freedom with power.
This freedom keeps you from condemnation.
This freedom makes you a slave to God, not sin.
This freedom gives you the boldness and power to go proclaim that liberty to those still in bondage.
This freedom is God’s power in you.
So don’t keep quiet, shout it from the rooftops, yell it through the mountains, proclaim it from any high place.
YOU ARE FREE!!!
Freed by Christ,
Posted in Bible, faith, God, Jesus, Living for God, words by Priscilla with no comments yet.
So here is my last installment of journal entries from Mexico. Hope you enjoy!
Our last day there we had a prolonged devotion at breakast and we sang “10,000 Reasons” as a group.
After our breakfast, we packed up the vans and cleaned the dorms and kitchen.
Some of us ran to the Mexican convenience store and got Mexican coke and authentic Mexican candy. It was spicy, sweet, tangy and sour all in one. How does that happen?
Next, the kids got up and we spent the rest of the morning hanging out with them. I played some last soccer with Chuy, Manuel and Aline.
Soon, the call came to pack up in the vans and then well there was lots of hugs and more hugs and even more hugs and goodbyes. Goodbyes are so hard.
The rest is history, I guess. Drive out of the Ranch trying not to cry. Go to the airport. Unpack the vans and say goodbye to the team you worked alongside all week and split up to get to our flights.
We arrived at our gate, and took a flight to Dallas TX and then after a layover we flew to Charlotte, NC. I am not a city girl, but I must say it was pretty to see all the ligts of Charlotte, since we landed at night.
I said goodbye to the team I had flown with (yeah, this was a day of goodbyes) and went down the escalator to see my family.
I saw William and Dad first, they were at the bottom of the esalator and then farther back there was Mom, Celia, Jace and surprise! my best friend Abigail!
And now there were hello and welcome back hugs for once.
We dropped Abigail back off at her house and went home. To bed.
It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to do it again! (hopefully)
your one and only,
Posted in adventures, gospel and outreach, Home, journal entries, Living for God, memorys, Mexico, missions, Rancho3M by Priscilla with no comments yet.
The week is coming to end. It is sad for some, exciting for some but the whole team is tired. But today is not a day of rest, it is finishing project day. There is a shed to finish, curtains to make, and trees to plant. We did not stain today but instead used the time to help finish projects.
At first, I helped with the curtain crew, doing the dreaded task of turning the sewing from inside out to right side out. After that, there wasn’t much more I could do so I moved to helping the tree planting team. I helped with that most of the day.
Planting trees in Mexico is not just sticking the tree in the ground. You have to mix up a special recipe of dirt which includes manure, ash and straw. Then you have to put equal amounts of the dirt mixture and water in the holes before putting the tree in. Once the tree is in, you fill in the hole with water and the dirt mixture. Then you build a type of wall around it with dirt and then you flood the inside. Then you rake around the wall to make it look nice.
We planted pistachio trees and I hope to see them growing strong when I go next year.
We took a break from planting for a quick lunch and then went straight back to work. We planted around 50 trees that day.
I had to leave mid afternoon to help with games. We did the same games as on Thursday and Daniel translated for us again.
After games, I planted trees again until dinner. After dinner, we served ice cream to the kids and gave them paracord bracelets that our team had made in our spare time.
Then our team took a hike to the “cross”, which is basically a cross erected onto a mountain near the Ranch. You can hike up to it and watch the sunrise or sunset. We stayed up for the sunset. The older kids came with us and we had a blast.
When we came back, the teens from our team and the Ranch played hide and seek in the dark.
After a while, we went inside and got into bed.
It was a long hard day of work but we had a LOT of fun! Serving the Lord is the best!
I can’t believe that tomorrow we leave. Lots of the kids don’t want me to go. One of my little friends said “No, you are staying with me” and another kid wanted to have me pack him in my backpack. Sniff…sniff, I miss them.
your one and only,
Posted in adventures, gospel and outreach, journal entries, Living for God, memorys, Mexico, missions, Rancho3M by Priscilla with no comments yet.