Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Purity

It’s Thursday and I’m thankful for Adriana Lima (pictured above) and all the women in the world like her who take the Bible-based stand on purity.

Adriana Lima is a very beautiful Brazilian model most famous perhaps for her work as an “angel” for Victoria’s Secret. Contrary to popular belief about gorgeous models like her, Adriana 
stayed a virgin until marriage and she wasn’t afraid to admit it to the world.

According to, Lima, “is a devout Roman Catholic who attends mass every Sunday. In April 2006, she told GQ that she was a virgin. "Sex is for after marriage," she explained. "They [men] have to respect that this is my choice. If there's no respect, that means they don't want me."

And on St. Valentine’s Day 2009, Lima’s wait was over as she married her one true love Serbian NBA player Marko Jarić. Nine months after her wedding day, Lima gave birth to her firstborn daughter, Valentina Lima Jarić (born November 15, 2009) and less than four years later, the happily married couple welcomed their second-born baby girl Sienna into the world.

Women who look like every man’s fantasy (such as Lima) who have the opportunity to travel the world and meet many attractive admirers in powerful places often give into pressure to have sex before marriage. Honestly, women in general—whether considered “hot” or not, famous or ordinary—given the right opportunity and certain circumstance can easily fall into the trap of thinking that sex before marriage is not a big deal and start giving their body to the man they're in love with but not married to. After all, they may reason, there is more to you than your sexuality—you have your brain, your passion, your dreams, your goals. And yes, that is true there is more to you than sex appeal but that’s no reason to give your ‘V card’ (metaphorical symbol for virginity) to the first guy with whom you fall madly in love. It’s also not okay to lose your virginity to the second guy you’re in a relationship with or the third or the fourth, et cetera even if you've waited past the first date or three months or whatever rule society says to save yourself until. 

According to God's Word (The Holy Bible), The only time that it is safe and approved by God to consummate a relationship with sex is AFTER you are married, not when you’re engaged but AFTER you signed the marriage license which is an act to be witnessed by an ordained minister who officiated a wedding between you and the man of your dreams.

Now this message is not just for the ladies. It’s for the men too. In past years, friends have told me that they have sex before marriage because “guys expect it” or they’re “madly in love so it’s okay”. It takes two to tango. So dear men in this audience please do not pressure your women who you’re dating to “do the tango” and you know I don’t mean “dance.” Attraction and hormones are real and yes, people make mistakes when they feel they are passionately in love. BUT it takes TWO to tango and if BOTH parties (the man and the woman) are determined to save themselves for marriage then it won’t be easy but after your wedding you will see that it was SO WORTH IT.

So yes, I am not only thankful but inspired by supermodel Adriana Lima’s commitment and testimony to the fact that when true love waits, the result is not only safe but BEAUTIFUL.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Book Review: My Stubborn Heart

My Stubborn Heart is a wonderful story of love, faith and redemption written by Christian contemporary romance author Becky Wade. 

Wade tells the story of two characters—Kate and Matt—who are in need of something to be restored: Kate needs hope and Matt needs healing. During their journey, they both receive something greater—learning how to trust and wait on the Lord.

The story is set in Redbud, Pennsylvania where Kate Donovan is on a working vacation with her grandmother. The work is to restore the old house she grew up in, a house that was built in the 1800’s. Kate is happy to have a three-month break from work and looks forward to learning more about her family as she spends time with her grandmother working on the restoration of the house. Apart from hard work and a much needed break from her day job, Kate isn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary to happen in her life. So when Matt Jarreau is introduced as the man hired to renovate the house, at first, Kate thinks nothing of him apart from his dashingly handsome looks and the deep sorrow in his eyes. Matt’s sorrow shows up in more than his eyes, it manifests in his actions—he isolates himself from people and all of his interactions while few, are strictly business.

Kate feels compelled to be nice to Matt and to find out the reason for his deep sorrow. What starts out as what feels to Matt like a game of Twenty Questions during their first day working on the house together makes Matt very annoyed with Kate and wishing she’d leave him alone to work in silence. But a persistent Kate is not easily deterred. Instead, she is determined to be Matt’s friend and relieve whatever suffering causes that sorrowful look in his eyes.

What Kate and Matt do not know is that God planned for them to meet at this time and place because they need each other. Matt needs someone to help him to learn how to trust God again after a tragedy that rocked his world and damaged his faith. Since the tragedy, Matt has made a habit of pushing everyone away—friends, family, neighbors. It is just short of a miracle that he even agreed to take on the project of restoring Kate’s family’s old house. While Matt needs healing, Kate needs hope in terms of knowing that God has heard her prayers for God to send her a husband, prayers that she’s offered up to Him since she was in the fourth grade. After several bad relationships, a newly single Kate at the age of 31 has just about given up on love and has started doubting that God has a man for her to date and be happy with much less the man of her dreams to marry. But perhaps God has a deeper reason for Donovan and Kate to be working together on restoring that old house. Perhaps God is doing a bit of restoration of His own with the souls, hopes and dreams of Donovan and Kate. Ultimately, God is teaching these two characters a lesson on faith.

Becky Wade does a delightful job of weaving a story of love, faith and redemption between two characters that need it the most. My Stubborn Heart is a captivating, intriguing read that has the potential to delight the hearts of audiences for decades to come.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Book Review: Undeniably Yours

After her father’s death, Meg Cole returns home to Texas and Whispering Creek Ranch in order to take charge of her father's oil business empire which includes a Thoroughbred racehorse farm. 

Meg is a tenderhearted, soft-spoken gal so running an empire and ranch is not her cup of tea. So she decides to close down the ranch, telling the manager Bo Porter that he has six months to close the farm. 

A very determined, hard-working individual who loves his job, Bo doesn’t want to let go of his career which is his passion, the employees who need to make a living, or the horses who are dear to his heart so he sets out to fight Meg’s executive decision. But despite his best efforts, Bo soon finds himself falling in love with Meg and feels a fierce desire to protect her life. Bo’s instinct to protect Meg may come in necessary when Meg’s money-hungry, deceitful and dangerous ex-husband comes back into her life. 

A classic story of status, love and faith, Undeniably Yours is a book that will touch your heart and inspire your soul. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thankful Thursday: My birthday and other reasons to celebrate

Today is my birthday!

I am SO thankful to God for allowing me to make it through another year!

As you know, everything you have can be gone in a split second through the loss of your own life or a natural disaster such as the tornado that stormed through Oklahoma City on Monday, leaving desolation to property and devastation to hearts of the residents who live there.

The Bible tells us not to worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will “worry about itself” and each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:34).
So each and every day that I wake up in the morning and make it through the day and sleep peacefully through the night I am thankful because you just never know what can happen.

Another reason to celebrate is inspired by this song, “Indescribable” which was first written and composed by Laura Story, originally performed by Chris Tomlin but my absolute favorite version of the song is performed by Kierra Sheard! The reason to celebrate is found within the t
he song's lyrics which praise God for being so wonderful. The lesson point is that no matter how often we mess up, God is still there to pick us up and will forgive us if we ask for forgiveness, repent and turn away from our sin(s). I love the line in the song that says God sees the DEPTHS of our HEARTS and LOVES US THE SAME! Now that’s beautiful. God sees the UGLY in us and YET He still loves us. Despite of us, God still shows us that there is HOPE.  The love, grace and mercy of God can transform us from the worst condition, restoring us from our broken sinful position and remaking us into who He has called us to be in this life.

Now if that’s not something to celebrate EVERY DAY, not just on my birthday LOL, then I don’t know what else is worthy of such gratitude!

So here’s to ME on my birthday and here’s to YOU who God sees and loves unconditionally EVERY DAY!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thankful Thursday: My grandma

It’s Thursday and I’m thankful for my grandma. 

The grandmother is often the matriarch in the family and my grandma is no exception. 

She’s been there for all of us from day one—both she and my grandpa (who was also the BEST) played a vital role in raising all of us, their grandchildren and helped to form our characters essentially making us into the strong, God-fearing, loyal people we are today.

I know I can always go to my grandma when I need a listening ear, prayer or encouragement. As a grown adult, I still call her at least once-a-day to check in with her to see how she’s doing and when I need advice she’s always there ready to share her wisdom.

My grandma is the best! I appreciate her presence in the lives of my family members and I hope to be like her when I get old and gray. Despite her age, she is still quick-witted and her mind is sharp. She’s fiercely independent as she still drives her car and goes wherever she needs to any day. I often say that her brain is a sharp as a 40 year old, never missing a beat in conversation.

I enjoy visiting my grandma in her dream house that she and my grandpa built (with the help of a skilled architect) when my mom and uncle were children. It is a beautiful home and you can see the love in each room as every detail was designed, painted and decorated by my grandma who has a good eye for interior design.

Most importantly, my grandma is a God-fearing woman of faith and her prayers are the bedrock of our family to the point where people ask her to pray for them because "her prayers work”! God has answered my grandma’s prayers in many great, powerful, life-changing ways. They say that faith can move mountains and I think of my grandma when I hear that phrase.

So here’s to my grandma—bold, brilliant, beautiful—she’s truly one-of-a-kind.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Calling Heaven via Prayer

It's Thursday and I'm thankful for the opportunity to talk to God through His direct line, prayer.

And there you go, a Thankful Thursday post completed in one sentence. :) Really,there's not much more to say. But to elaborate on the concept of calling heaven via prayer...

I am grateful how God can hear ALL of our prayers from ALL of His people around the entire world at the SAME TIME and yet He knows how to spend individual time and answer each prayer personally. Only God can do that you know. I was reminded of God's awesomeness on this topic today when my mom and grandma were trying to talk to me at the EXACT SAME TIME-- my grandma was on the phone and my mom was in the next room. It was very frustrating and I told them both, "Do you realize you're BOTH trying to TALK to ME at the SAME TIME?! I can only hear you ONE AT A TIME!" And then it hit me, Aren't I glad God can hear me and over a billion other people vying for His attention at the same time? And He'll never get frustrated like I did because well He's GOD and He's got this all worked out!

God never ceases to amaze me...not only does He hear my prayers and ALL prayers from people EVERYWHERE in the world, but He works it so I feel like I'm the only one talking to Him and He makes it so when He answers my prayers, it feels like He knew just what I needed, and gave it to me exactly when I need it. I do believe in the Education career world, they call that "differentiating instruction." :)

So dear hearts, today I encourage you to try this amazing channel of communication which connects the imperfect (you, me, all human beings in general) with the ETERNAL Living God. PRAYER is the channel of the communication that connects us to God who loves us with ALL of His divine heart! :)

If you've never prayed before and are wondering how, I would like to tell you it's just like talking to a dear friend or family member but with due respect and I say "due respect" because you are talking to the Creator of the Universe. You are not alone if you've never prayed before and are wondering how, just read the Bible book of Matthew, Chapter 6 when someone asked Jesus Christ how do they pray to God the Father. Jesus said,“This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from the evil one". And I say you might want to end your prayer with (as I was taught in church), "For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power and the Glory forever. In Jesus' Name I Pray, Amen."

Now that you know how to pray, go ahead and call heaven. God's prayer line is open to receive calls all day/night from now until eternity. :)

God bless you!