Friday, September 24, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Tuesday // August 24 // 2010
It Does Hurt
"Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body." — 1 Corinthians 6:18–20
The argument has been made that illicit sex doesn't hurt anyone. I disagree. I think it hurts a lot of people. It damages a person spiritually, and according to one study, it can even cause depression. Researchers at the University of Tennessee found that in young women, there seems to be a direct correlation between illicit sexual behavior and serious emotional problems.
Then there is the issue of teenage pregnancy. Every year, one million teens become pregnant. Many of these pregnancies never make it to term because one in every five abortions is performed on a woman under the age of 20. And 400,000 of the 1.6 million abortions occurring annually are done on teenage mothers. Does illicit sex hurt anyone? What about the baby who is never given the privilege of living out his or her life? What about the mother who carries the lifelong shame of aborting her baby? Who knows what some of these children could have done in our world today—the difference they could have made?
There is no such thing as a "one-night stand." Sex is not some casual toy; it is a gift from God to be saved for marriage. When you engage in sexual contact with another person, you become one. The Bible says, "Don't you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! And don't you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, 'The two are united into one' " (1 Corinthians 6:15–16).
So does illicit sex hurt anyone? It does hurt. And it does bring spiritual devastation. That is why the Bible warns against this sin.
Copyright © 2010 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
Monday, August 16, 2010
K. Dawn Byrd, Author: Register to win Angela Dolbear's "The Garden Key"
We're happy to have Anglea Dolbear with us today talking about her book, The Garden Key. Angela has been kind enough to offer to give away a copy to one lucky blog reader. To register to win, place your e-mail address in the box to the right (subscribe to my blog via e-mail) if you've not done so and leave Angela a comment with your e-mail address at the bottom of her interview. To learn more about Angela and her book, read on!
1) How did this story come to you?
I have two golden retrievers and a big backyard, so cleaning up after them is a lengthy process, so I spend this time in prayer. The story for THE GARDEN KEY, actually the full novel, was given to me during my weekly “Doody Duty.”
It made perfect sense. At the time, I was studying the Song of Solomon with my husband, Tim, and the book is rooted in Songs 4:12 – “A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a rock garden locked, a spring sealed up.” THE GARDEN KEY is a fictitious look at pursuing purity in a relationship, and living out an obedient life in Christ in the midst of temptation and pressures from outside, as well as inside influences.
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Hmm…how much time do you have?! It’s been quite an adventure. The first traditional publishing contract I signed seemed all good at the time. But I soon found out that the publisher had not completely read my book, and the editor was adamant about deleting the climactic scene where the resolve is tested of the two main characters to stay pure in their relationship. Without that scene, the message of obtaining God’s victorious power through prayer and study of His Word would just be a bunch of religious words.
Also, the publisher wanted to change how they were going to market and distribute (online only – which I could do myself), as well as decrease my royalty percentage. There’s a whole bunch of other stuff that I don’t want to get into. It was only by the grace of God that I was able to get out of that contract. Nice people, but it wasn’t a good fit. The publisher I am with now is small, but gives me complete artistic freedom and is generous with my royalty percentage. I am blessed.
3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. Writing and music rival each other as my first love (actually, my fourth love: first is God, second is my hubby, and third is the family which includes my son Kyle and my four-legged muses, Gracie & Caleb). I am far more comfortable considering myself a singer/songwriter/worship leader than I am a published author.
2. Love, love, love Monster trucks. “Grave Digger” is the best and my all-time favorite.
3. Madeleine, the main character in THE GARDNE KEY is not me. A lot of readers assume the book is about me, but it is not. It was inspired by many events that took place in real life, but Maddy is far braver and more obedient in her walk with Christ than I am.
4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
The sequel to THE GARDEN KEY. In this novel, Madeleine struggles with her doubts and fears, so instead of professing to be a “Lust-o-holic” as she does in THE GARDEN KEY, she is now a self-proclaimed “Fear-o-holic.”
The full-length CD of songs that were written at the same time as the book, and recorder by my band CHILD OF THE SON at Eclectica Studios here in Austin, TX, will be released in the Fall of 2010. It’s like a soundtrack for THE GARDEN KEY.
Also, THE GARDEN KEY Prayer Team is growing (I’m so grateful – I can’t begin to tell you how much), so we are stepping up the communication of specific prayer needs through “Blog-letters” and other internet venues. The Lord told me a while ago that this is not simply a novel (or series of novels) it’s a ministry. From all the emails I’ve received describing how this book has changed lives, I believe Him. And I am greatly humbled.
5) Parting comments?
Writing has been a great blessing in my life, and hope it is for others as well. When I sit down to write it’s like a date with God, a time to receive what He has for me. Nothing comes (worthy of printing, that is) until I have prayed and asked Him for it.
6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
I’m on Facebook, please feel free to “friend” me. I love meeting new people. I lurk about Goodreads at www.goodreads.com/book/show/7675580-the-garden-key
too. Also, www.TheGardenKey.com, Amazon.com, and www.CloudPillarPublishing.com, my publisher’s website, which is the best place to purchase a copy of THE GARDEN KEY (paperback or ebook versions) because my publisher charges less for shipping than Amazon.com and you’ll receive a signed copy. What a deal!
Thanks for taking the time read this interview. Blessings to you today!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
You ever have those times or events in your life that make you ask, "really?" and/or "seriously?" And you feel like you are at a loss of what to do or say (that won't lead you to being incarcerated or institutionalized)?
I had another such instance this past weekend...and yes, I said "another." Now I know why God doesn't reveal all the details of His plan for us before they happen because some parts of the plan would: one, make absolutely no sense; two, we wouldn't believe they could ever happen; and three, we might flat out refuse to go along with His plan.
Without getting into the details of the event (it wouldn't make sense to you anyway), it was a horrible thing that left me angry, hurt, confused, disappointed, angry again, then dumbfounded, then just plain wanting to quit the situation altogether.
That's when I have to remember my feelings don't tell the whole story. I have lay them aside before they strangle me and transform me into a snarling, grumpy, grudge-holding witch, and I need to take up the remembrance of what I know -- what I KNOW to be true. THE Truth. The truth that sets you free.
So after holding my head in my hands in fervent desperate prayer for several minutes, I looked over at a piece of paper at the top of my desk propped up between the keyboard and the monitor, with a Scripture printed on it and several lines highlighted in yellow. Like a razor sharp scalpel in the hands of a skilled Surgeon, those few words cut through the malaise of emotional madness causing it to melt away and disintegrate until all that is left is the Truth. The knowing.
Even though these types of events suck like a high-end upright
Be anxious for nothing, He says. Truly. Lay aside emotions, doubt, fear and reach for knowledge where the strengthening of faith resides. Beauty from ashes.