Build New Connections

People- either you obsess over them or you hate them.  These seem to be the two extremes faced by women who struggle with lust.

Your ‘real‘ friends are replaced by the people in the chat rooms or on the fanfic forums.

Real men are replaced by the cooked-up Prince Charmings of the romance novels or the studded, aggressive porn stars in the videos.

This ‘disconnect’ from reality is, in my opinion, one of the most damaging results of sin and its accompanying shame.  Failing to re-establish connections leaves you right where you started- searching for love and acceptance in all the wrong places. Continue reading

Restoring Joy

Joy.

It is one of the fruits of the Spirit and something I talk about a lot here on the blog. For me, it is one of the most beautiful ‘evidences’ per se of what God has done in my life.

Did you know, though, that while joy is an evidence of God’s working, it is still an attitude that we choose, and therefore can pursue?  Look at the life of David- King of Israel, psalmist, giant-slayer, womanizer, and don’t forget, womanizer and murderer.

Continue reading

Nothing to Prove

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14 {KJV}

As we look ahead on this journey of freedom, yesterday was all about the vision.  Who do you see yourself being?  What are some passions and desires you have?

Today is going to be all about our motivation.

If you are move forward to prove something to yourself, you will fail.   Continue reading

Catch a Vision

 ”Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before…”  Philippians 3:13 {KJV}

We are starting back up on day 3 of week 4 of the Practical Steps in Freedom Series.  In previous weeks we have talked about looking back, looking up, and looking around.  Now, it is all eyes forward as we start to actually walk in freedom.  You could say that everything up until now has been preparing us for these first steps in our new life.

If you have no idea where we are, take a moment to read the post right before this one to give you an idea.  In the verse I quoted above, forgetting what is behind is immediately followed by reaching forth to what is before.  So, let me ask you a question:

What is next in your life?  Do you know?

Now, this verse carries on into the next one and talks specifically about pressing toward the calling of Christ.  I want to take a moment though and just talk about this whole idea of catching a vision for what is ahead.

If you have spent time in pornography, or in fantasy, or in lustfully hopping from one potential love interest to the next, you are not very forward focused.  In fact, you are very inward focused and, in a sense, lose touch with the reality of a future.  You have one.  Don’t forget that.  There is more to you than this insatiable appetite for sex.

Many of us, though, start to live our lives governed by it, and in turn, lose sight of what is next.  What is next becomes the next site we are going to explore or the next fetish to look into.  What is next becomes the next poor unsuspecting guy in your Bible study who you will fantasize and obsess over.

Essentially, tomorrow is going to look exactly the same as today.  Your life looks like a hamster in a wheel.  All of your desire is getting you nowhere!  It is time to bust out of the wheel.

Start thinking about who you want to be.  What are some dreams, some passions you have?  Where do you picture yourself in five years?  I guarantee you it is not glued to some computer screen. You need a destination.  You need to catch a vision for life!


Today:

  • Make an ‘inventory’ list of your talents, hobbies, strengths, weaknesses.  Set some personal goals in these areas of your life: physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, relationally.
  • If you did not do this on the New Year, write out who you imagine yourself being a year from now.  Stay away from “free from pornography/lust/etc.”  That is a given.  Keep a forward focus- what else would you like to be true about who you are?  Now, how are you going to get there?

Spring Cleaning: Catching You Up on All the Series

My ‘regular’ readers will know that I took February and March off to work on the site and to just take a bit of a breather.  February was filled with a lot of growth and working diligently on connecting within community.  March was spent building up the site to what you see now.  It was my intent to provide a more all-inclusive experience to connect you to resources and help answer questions while making it easier to manage on my end.

As I am sure you have noticed, I have been a little slow on the restart.  I apologize.  I hope to one day share the story of what is distracting my time right now, besides planning for my upcoming trip.  I want to get back into the swing of things including picking up the three series I left hanging.

Yes, that is right.  I left in the middle of three unfinished series.  So, let us take a bit to recap.

Continue reading

5 Prom Alternatives That Won’t Ruin Your Life or Reputation

Perhaps, for whatever reason, you have decided not to go to prom.

Let me, first off, tell you a very important truth:

In ten years, no one is going to care.

I say that as a woman who graduated high school 11 (oh dear) years ago, and never attended prom, or homecoming, or any other kind of school-sponsored function (except powder-puff football). I know right now, it may mean the world to you and your friends might think you have officially lost your mind. The reality is, though, years down the road, your attendance of prom will not matter to the people who matter to you.

Still, it is rough.  It is rough listening to your friends chat about how they are going to do their hair, or listen to your classmates talk about the party that is going to happen afterwards.  You can feel left out, and I get that.  So, I went to Facebook and my e-mails here to try and find some creative ways to ‘replace’ prom. Continue reading

Sex, Drugs, and Self-Control: How to Keep Prom From Destroying Your Purity

The high schoolers formed a tight circle in the corner of the dance floor.  One of the nearby chaperones tried to see what was going on in the middle, but they kept obstructing her view.  She finally pushed her way through and discovered couples, in the middle, having sex.  As in sexual intercourse.  But hey!  They were at least using condoms, so that makes it OK, right?

Welcome to prom.

Now, I understand not every prom is like that, but throughout the years, prom night has developed this reputation for being a night of reckless escapades and expensive ones at that.  What starts as a ‘formal’ school-sponsored dance can morph rather quickly into a night of underage drinking, drug use, and orgies.  An unsuspecting young woman may find herself in compromising situations.  The star of the football team might wrap his car around a tree.

But, again, not every prom is like that.  What if yours is?  What if yours could be?  How do we, as Christians, navigate this?

Continue reading

Beggar’s Daughter: Five Years Later

Yesterday marked five years since the day I first put my story online. Beggar’s Daughter was not a blog then; it was just a webpage.  Just a story.  Just my story.

I thought that if I shared it just that once, God would leave me alone and let me continue to pursue my dreams.  One begrudging act of obedience merited a little blessing, I thought.

That was 2009.  I was just over five years out of high school and nowhere near where I planned on being.  My five year plan back in 2003 included med school, a pending MD after my name, a diamond on my hand, with a baby on the way all wrapped up in a white picket fence out in the middle of suburbia.  That was my plan. Continue reading

Philippines 2014: How You Can Help

In May 2014, I was contacted by missionaries in the Philippines asking if I would come and share my testimony of God’s grace with the people of the Philippines.  For years, it has been a dream of mine to go to Asia to serve.   I never really thought that I would be able to do that.  I jumped at the opportunity to go and serve with the team at True Love Waits in the Philippines.

I will leave the States on June 22 and return on July 17.  While in the Philippines, I will be speaking at different private and public schools as well as interacting with smaller ministries throughout the country, even one to people who live on a landfill.  I will also be interviewing with different radio and television programs, and, Lord willing, be debuting my first published book, “The Long Walk to the Well” (working title).  I also look forward to, hopefully, serving in Tacloban, the region devastated by last November’s hurricane.

Here are some events already ‘on the books’:

Alliance for the Family Catholic TV (website)

Youth Group and high school chapel at Grace Christian Church (website)

Kalayaan Community Ministries to kids in the dump (website)

Faith, Hope, & Love Kids Ranch (website)

Since announcing this trip, many of you have asked how you can help.  Here’s how:

Continue reading

Forgetting What Is Behind

 ”Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before…”  Philippians 3:13 {KJV}

Letting go.

Moving forward inevitably involves turning our backs on what is behind us.

This might be the hardest step of this whole process.  So much is wrapped up in this step.  When we turn our back, we are acting in full faith of the work of Christ on the cross.  We are stepping out in the power of the Spirit and saying, “I don’t have to do this anymore.”  We are, in essence, declaring our freedom.

And many of us get hung up here, because we don’t believe we actually have permission to be free.

Continue reading