Tag Archives: blog about hope

My story in five minutes

3 Aug

As a top commenter for this video said, “Yours forever, man of the cross.”

Yep.

Jen

A biblical hope

2 Aug

To hope in Christ is not to wishfully think he might fulfill his promises; to hope in Christ is to stand firm on the truth that he lived, he died and he will return again. It is a knowledge and confidence. It is not a wish.

From the 1828 edition of Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language via this website:

HOPE, n. [L. cupio.]

1. A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable. Hope differs from wish and desire in this, that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good desired, or the possibility of possessing it. Hope therefore always gives pleasure or joy; whereas wish and desire may produce or be accompanied with pain and anxiety.

The hypocrite’s hope shall perish. Job 8.

He wish’ed, but not with hope–
Sweet hope! kind cheat!
He that lives upon hope, will die fasting.

2. Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well founded expectation of good; as a hope founded on God’s gracious promises; a scriptural sense.

A well founded scriptural hope is, in our religion, the source of ineffable happiness.

3. That which gives hope; he or that which furnishes ground of expectation, or promises desired good. The hope of Israel is the Messiah.

The Lord will be the hope of his people. Joel 3.

4. An opinion or belief not amounting to certainty, but grounded on substantial evidence. The christian indulges a hope, that his sins are pardoned.

…and that, in a nutshell, is my hope.

Jen

Darling, stop and ask yourself these three things (Wait for Me 3 of 7)

31 Jul

Do you remember my post, “The wrong question, the right question…and soup?” If you don’t, I hope you’ll check it out — and if you do, well, I hope you’re as excited as I am that Rebecca addresses exactly what’s wrong with the question, “How far is too far?” in Chapter Three of Wait for Me.

So welcome to Part 3 of my Wait for Me series (click here for Part 1, and here for Part 2). I’m so excited for those of you who are sticking around to explore this tough topic with me. I really believe God has placed a passion for this subject in my heart, and I’m trusting that this series will really touch the hearts of others.

There is so much good stuff in Chapter Three that I won’t even be able to mention half of it. I hope you’ll purchase Rebecca’s book and read it for yourself, but I want to highlight the first half of the chapter, where she mentions some important questions to ask ourselves regarding purity.

“The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret.”

1. What would God think?

We’ve all heard the question, “How far is too far?” And you may not even realize it, but the issue isn’t the answer to the question. Rebecca says the issue is the question itself!

“How many times have you and I heard the age-old question, how far is too far?” Rebecca asks. “I don’t even have to tell you that I’m talking about sexual intimacy; you’ve heard the question enough to know. You may have even asked it yourself. I believe the answer is extremely simple and its core idea comes directly from the Bible: ‘Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.’ (1 Cor. 10:31 NIV); ‘Whatever you do…do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus’ (Col. 3:17 NIV).”

Rebecca is basically saying that because we are followers of Christ, the first question we need to ask ourselves when we relate to the opposite sex is simply this: What would God think? Some similar questions Rebecca adds are as follows: Am I doing this in His name or my own? Would God even want to associate himself with what I’m doing? Ultimately, is God glorified through this?

Basically, Rebecca is saying that a Christian should be more occupied with how close he or she can get to God, NOT how close they can get to the opposite sex, outside of marriage, without technically crossing the line. She also shares the full verses mentioned above, so please check them out if you have time: 1 Corinthians 10:31 & Colossians 3:17.

2. What would my future spouse think?

Check out this story Rebecca shares regarding this second question:

“I spoke to a young girl in her early twenties who said she cringed every time she thought about having to tell her future spouse about what she’d done with another guy,” she writes. “She said she hadn’t wanted to fall sexually, but she did. She also said that the reason she was no longer a virgin was because she went past her boundaries and broke her standards. She thought that the little things weren’t that big of a deal.”

Rebecca goes on to explain that Satan will tell us things like, “There’s nothing wrong with a little compromise here, and there…” and before we know it, if we listen to him, we’ll be doing things we never wanted to do in the first place, things we never imagined ourselves doing, things that are sinful.

She also adds: “At the last supper, Jesus told his disciple Peter, ‘Satan has asked to sift you as wheat’ (Luke 22:31). He wants to sift you as well, causing you to allow first one compromise, then another to become permissible to you. If you have not clearly defined your boundaries, or if you choose not to say within your boundaries, then one thing can lead to another.”

3. What would my future children think?

The last question Rebecca encourages us to ask ourselves when it comes to purity is, “What would my future children think?” Here, she asks us to consider whether we would rather sit down our children and say something like, “Okay, little one, don’t do what I did,” or, “Here’s how I sought God’s help to remain pure before marriage.”

“Dr. James Dobson has said, ‘The best thing a father can do for his kids is to love his mother.’ In the same way, one of the gifts I can already be preparing for my future kids is my purity–showing them that I loved and respected their father by being faithful to him before I’d even met him,” Rebecca shares.

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did, and that you are encouraged. The next time you’re tempted to think, “How far is too far? This isn’t that bad. It’s not sex!” Please remember these three simple but life-saving questions! Although often quoted in the context of fitness, I once heard someone say, “The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret.” Keep it in mind as you live life.

As always, thanks for reading!

Jen

Darling, there ain’t nothin’ magic about Mike (Wait for Me 2 of 7)

24 Jul

Let me start by asking you a question: What do you think is the most important attribute of a future spouse? I’ve been thinking on this a lot lately…and, unfortunately, it likely has something to do with the ever-so-popular book Fifty Shades of Grey and the hit movie Magic Mike…and all their hype.

Honestly, I didn’t know what either of those titles were until I’d heard them mentioned enough times to pique my curiosity. So what did I do? I Googled them both.

And I. Was. HORRIFIED.

Pause. Listen up for a second before you run away. I’m not standing on a pedestal and thinking I’m so holy and the people who watch/read these things are the devil. No…I just want to stand up for what I believe in, and I have two thoughts regarding these types of entertainment: 1) Viewing/reading them is the antithesis of guarding our hearts, minds and eyes, and 2) Just like pornography, these types of entertainment give people an unrealistic view of both love and what to look for in a mate.

I want to share with you a few quotes from Chapter Two of Rebecca St. James’ book Wait for Me that address these issues. (After all, this is part two of my seven week series. Missed part one?)

Let’s start with this section on what Rebecca calls “Perception Protection”:

“My nanna (grandma) has passed on some great advice that has helped in my pursuit of purity of mind, heart and body,” Rebecca writes. “Here is some of her practical wisdom: ‘in the area of purity, television doesn’t help. At one stage double beds weren’t even allowed to be shown on TV, and now you see people making love! As soon as I see an R-rated movie coming on, I turn it off. Don’t watch movies that display immoral activity because we learn through seeing. You might say you can “handle it,” but Satan is sneaky, and he creeps in, conditioning our minds to accept wrong things. Before we know it, these things become actions in our minds.'”

I don’t know about you, but I’m not perfect. Sometimes I like to think I’m strong, but the truth is that I am weak and helpless without the strength and wisdom God gives to me when I seek his face. Without him in my life, I probably would be watching movies like Magic Mike and reading books like Fifty Shades. And I would be terribly lost, because Scripture calls us to purity (Ephesians 5:3).

As Christians, guarding our hearts–which can start with our ears and eyes–is so incredibly important. It can be the difference between being in the world and being of the world. I truly believe Rebecca’s nanna! Satan IS sneaky, and he starts with the little things. After all, the little things make the big things more acceptable to us and cause us to fall more easily.

If you know me at all, you know I’m totally in love with these movies and the valiant hearts of their heroes.

And, okay, I am NOT saying you should shut out all romantic movies or books! I would be nuts if I did that. In fact, I’m a huge proponent of a good love story, either on screen or in print. Two of my favorite love stories of all time are Pride & Prejudice (book and movie), and yes, Pirates of the Caribbean. Both are clean, witty, funny and very romantic. Rebecca even shares some of her favorite chick flicks in this chapter: The Wedding Planner, While You Were Sleeping and Emma. Check out all of these and you’ll see that romantic does NOT have to equal dirty.

Lastly, I want to share this other quote from Chapter Two regarding the effects movies and books like Magic Mike and Fifty Shades have on us.

“When we choose to look at things that are damaging to us (pictures, videos, movies and CD covers), it distorts our perception of reality,” Rebecca writes.

When it comes to Magic Mike, let me tell ya, ladies, Channing Tatum IS gorgeous, I’m no idiot. But guess what? A man’s HEART matters way more than his appearance. His heart for God, his desire to serve you, his selflessness and his faithfulness are what will make him a good husband and father. The speaker in the song “Lead Me” by Sanctus Real is the type of man we should be watching for! Appearances fade away with age! And guys, I’m talking to you, too. A Godly wife is worthy of praise! In fact, check out Proverbs 31 if you have a moment.

If you’re reading this right now and you have high hopes of getting married one day, I want to challenge you to pray for your future spouse. I encourage you to ask God for someone with a biblical heart and not just a pretty face. It might seem like common sense that a person’s heart is more important than his or her appearance, but it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves.

And, one more thing, if you’ve found yourself viewing and reading things that wouldn’t honor God, Rebecca shares that Ministry and Media, Cinemain Focus and Nappaland are some of her favorite sites that give reliable entertainment reviews from a Christian perspective. Why not give them a shot before you agree to hit the movies with your friends next time around? I know I’m going to try a lot harder in this area, because it can be so easy to agree to seeing a movie and then wind up thinking halfway through the show, “I should’ve researched this before I wasted 10 bucks.” Not a fun situation to be in!

Jen

P.S. To all the ladies out there, married or single, please purchase Rebecca’s book. Chapter Two has some great insight into why modesty is important. It certainly challenge me!