Check this out!

I’m being featured on Good Teen Reads Facebook page – they did a Q & A with the author (that’s me!). Click here to check it out and be sure to leave a comment!

Oh and click here to enter a sweepstakes – it runs from 5:00 p.m. today to 12 noon tomorrow. They’ll pick fifteen people (randomly) to receive a free book.

Feel free to share this with any teens in your world!

 

Caution: Ice cream may stick to your lips

Check out the warning sign on the side of this truck:

Look close, it says: Caution: ice cream may stick to your lips

I can’t imagine a single child being remotely swayed by that. “Oh no, Mom, I better not get an ice cream today. My lips might stick and then what will I do?”

Here’s another sign that cracked me up:

It says: Don't let your dogs pee on my fence!

Can I confess something? I saw this sign and everything in me wanted to bring my dog over to that fence and encourage him to hike his little puppy leg. I know. I’m sorry. I’m a bad person.

And finally, this scene had my whole family laughing yesterday:

Check out the no smoking symbol on the air freshener

This is so life! And so human nature…

The same thing happens in the area of purity. How many times do we hear the cautions, see the signs and endure the lectures that encourage us to say “no” to everything impure… but have those things worked?

Purity is so much more than “NO!” It’s yes. It’s YES to an amazing God who loves us and has an incredible future in mind, it’s YES to a healthy marriage where sexuality is AMAZING, faithfulness is worth pursuing and exploring each other rocks – and it’s YES to God’s protection and love in calling us to these values.

Emphasizing rules just makes most people want to break them – or maybe I should speak for myself: Tell me what I can’t do and it seems like I want to do that very thing!

So how about we try something different?

Let’s remind each other that God is not a mean ol’ stick-in-the-mud who wants to rob us of fun.

He is loving and good and compassionate and strong and pure and wonderful.

Let’s sit in his love. Soak it up, drink it in, let it drench and drip down to our toes.

Will you let God love you today?

Then love him back.

Let that love stir you to follow him – to trust him and to believe that he has really amazing things ahead for you.

It’s not about the rules.

It’s all about the love.

Remember that today.

He didn’t miss a second…

God sees.

He saw your day today. He saw your heart. He saw your pain.

It didn’t go unnoticed.

Isaiah says that God rises to show you compassion.

He gets up off his throne and bends down to you. His heart breaks for your hurt. His arms ache to hold you.

God sees your desire to love him, your longing to do this life well. He knows it isn’t easy, that sometimes things get in the way or hurt crashes in or temptation sidelines your good intentions.

He loves you still. He finds you beautiful and valiant and captivating.

You won’t get everything right, but it will be okay.

Stand up. Wipe the dirt from your clothes and make your way to him. Take hold of his outstretched hand, let him wipe the tears from your face and help you to leave this thing behind.

He’s really good at that.

He loves you.

He sees.

God thought about you today

He did it.

God told me how much He loves you.

Seriously.

So this is how it happened. I was out walking my dogs at the dog park after I finished working on edits for Pure Love, Pure Life.

I was talking to God (in my head – praying out loud around a bunch of dogs is just wacky). So I was praying about the book and how much I hope his love comes through in every page. I asked him, God, will you please (pretty please, with a cherry on top), let these girls, these women, know how much you love them in very real ways? When they look for you and talk to you, will you please show them your love in their every day lives?  Through a cool sunset or a song or some type of just-when-they-need-it kind of love?

I was getting choked up. Please, God.

And this is what He did:

Whoa.

 

It caught my breath. You love them, don’t you? More than their parents do, more than their best friends, more than anyone ever… you love them.

And then He did the double:

 

It’s okay, Lord, you don’t have to shout…

I felt his smile.

No matter where you are right now, no matter what you’re doing. Know that you are loved. So much.

He told me so.

Joe Jonas and his purity ring

I read something about Joe Jonas today.

I receive Google alerts on purity, and today I read an article on Joe, published by the Daily Fill. Here’s what I read:

Joe Jonas called into an Australian radio show to promote his first single “See No More,” and the show’s hosts straight up asked him about his old purity ring. The Jonas Brothers were once prominent champions of abstinence, and purity rings were a crucial part of their squeaky clean image. However, as Nick and Joe grew up they quietly slipped off their promise rings.

Joe has had a string of high profile girlfriends, and many fans seriously doubted that he remained pure in the eyes of God, as they say. Thanks to two obnoxious Australian radio personalities, now we have confirmation. So does Joe still wear his purity ring? Of course not, he’s 21!

Joe sounded cool and composed up until the hosts popped the question, at which point he started stuttering, choosing his words carefully.

“Oh, you know, I… That was something that we grew up with and just like anything I think you take some and leave some as you get older,” Joe replied. “I’m at a place in my life now where I’m making decisions on my own but I’m of course happy with the things I grew up with and I’m not ashamed of my past at all.”

In other words, can everyone please forget about that already? I’m not a teenage slave of the Disney company anymore.

—————

I felt badly for Joe. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, so what happened? Did he decide that purity was old-fashioned? Or that the temptation was just too much too fight? I get that, actually. That’s pretty much what happened to me.

It was interesting when the reporter said, “Of course not, he’s 21!” Like once you hit 21, purity isn’t really the thing to do anymore. It’s important when you’re young, the right thing when you’re a tween, but hopelessly misfit-like when you pass 20.

I don’t think that’s true though. Yes, God wants teens to stay pure (for their best), but He’s also protective of those who are 21, 36 or 47 years old (for their best too).

And then the reporter finished the article with “In other words… I’m not a teenage slave of the Disney company anymore.”

But I don’t think it was Disney that called Joe to purity.

I think it was God, who loves him.

I don’t know Joe at all, but if I’d been in his shoes, I probably would have stuttered too. I used to hate it when people brought up stuff that was bugging me deep down. Of course, I could totally be reading too much into it, (he might have just choked on his Pepsi), but I wonder if, like me, he was kind of hoping he’d held on to some of those old-fashioned childhood values.

I’m not sure if Joe would want it, but I’m going to say a prayer that he slips that ring back on.

And that he feels (all the way to his toes) the crazy, powerful, amazing love that put it there in the first place.

Why it all matters

This is me...

See? I’m mostly normal. Mussed hair, goofy grin, refrigerator in the background with all the adorable family pics and vacation magnets.

I’m an every-day kind of girl.

But I’m an every-day kind of girl with a huge passion for purity.

Back when I was a teen with big writing dreams, purity was last on my list of writing topics. I was all about the romance, moonlight walks on the beach with the stud muffin of my dreams… you get the idea. Even the word “purity” made me cringe.

Oh, not that I didn’t appreciate the value, I just didn’t see it as my thing. Old fashioned. Prudish. Weird.

All of the things I most definitely was not.

I see things differently today. A total turnaround. I’ve discovered that purity isn’t remotely old-fashioned or prudish. Purity is an adventure, a way of life that brings unbelievable joy in such unexpected ways. Oh, I know that seems hard to believe, like just the kind of thing a good Christian woman is supposed to say.  But I speak from experience – lots of painful experiences and a whole slew of good ones. I’ve lived lousy values and I’ve lived pure devotion to a God I’m more and more crazy about every day. I’ve lived what works and I have the scars from broken choices that didn’t go so well.

I promise you that right here you’ll get the raw and real and powerful truth about pure living. How it’s so much more than saying “no” to sex. This will be a place to ask questions, share battle stories and grow together toward good things.

The Bible says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Wow. That’s big. See God? THE God of the universe that created the stars in the heaven and knows the hairs on your head?

I get excited about running in to local musicians. And we get to see God?

That’s worth everything.

So join me. This will be a ride. The kind of thing you won’t want to miss.

Subscribe to the blog, follow PureLoveLife on Twitter, and be a part of it. Ask  me questions, tell me your story. This is bigger than one person’s dream. This is about all of us – join me, and let’s see what God will do as we walk this road together.