Makes Big Announcement

From the team: After more than five years as a blog dedicated to exposing lies and replacing them with God’s truth in the lives of young women, we’ve decided to switch directions. From now on this blog will be dedicated entirely to the subject of goat herdinggoat. You can follow us at our new url 

Clearly, I’ve never been good at practical jokes … as you can tell by my sad attempt above which is a) a day late for an April Fool’s Day prank and b) not very believable. But I wanted to get you thinking about the subject of fools. April Fool’s Day is a strange tradition where we create a national pastime out of making people feel foolish, but the truth is that foolishness is no joke.

Did you know that the Bible mentions the word "fool" nearly 200 times? Most of those references can be found in the books of Psalms and Proverbs as descriptions of a foolish person. These passages tell us that to be a fool is much worse than falling for a practical joke. A foolish person is likely to find themselves in a lot of trouble as a result of their foolish ways.

In fact, Proverbs 1:7 says, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction."

One of the first hallmarks of a fool is that they plug their ears when someone offers them wise advice. If we want to avoid being fools, we need to be eager to learn all that God wants to teach us in His Word. With that in mind, I’d like to take a couple of days to study God’s definition of foolishness so that we can all seek to live like wise women.

Proverbs 7 describes a foolish woman. Certainly, guys can act foolishly too, but since this site is dedicated to the lies young women believe (NOT to lies goatherders believe), this passage is a great place to start as we seek to understand what foolishness truly looks like.

Let me encourage you to read the entire passage yourself, but here are some of the highlights.

A foolish woman…

  • Flatters with her words (vv. 5, 21). In other words she is known to tell people what they want to hear and can be a flirt when it comes to the fellas.
  • Puts herself in bad situations (v. 9).
  • Dresses immodestly (v. 10).
  • Is loud and attention seeking (v. 11).
  • Is aggressive toward guys (v. 13).

Before you wave this passage off and assume that it could never be describing a Christian girl, notice what it says about her in verse 14:

"I had to offer sacrifices, and today I have paid my vows."

Home girl had been to church. She’d made sacrifices like a good girl should and probably dropped a few coins in the offering plate, but she came home and acted however she wanted to. She checked the boxes of someone living for God, but ultimately chose to live for herself. That is what foolishness looks like.

Which brings me to you. Do you have the characteristics of a foolish woman? Here are some specific questions to help you think that through.

  1. Do you tend to tell people what you think they want to hear even when it is an exaggeration or twist of the truth?
  2. Do you talk to guys in a way that makes them think you’re interested in them?
  3. Do you approach the guys you like first instead of waiting for them to pursue you?
  4. Do you frequently find yourself in bad situations or situations where you are tempted to sin because you don’t have good boundaries in place?
  5. What does the way that you dress communicate to those around you?
  6. Do you need to be the center of attention?
  7. Do you use your words, your talents, or your presence to grab the spotlight whenever possible?
  8. Do you go to church, read your Bible, or go to youth group but tend to be someone else entirely when you are away from that scene?

I’m not looking for "right" answers here. I bet that foolish woman in Proverbs 7 could have told me what I wanted to hear if I’d given her the chance. (Remember how good she is at flattering with her words?) But I would love for you to use this list as a jumping off point to think about areas where you might be living like the foolish woman.

We’ll chat more about how the Bible defines foolishness on Thursday, but for now I’ve got to run. I’ve got a goat blog to launch!

PS: For more on the foolish woman, check out this great article on Proverbs 7 by Lies Young Women Believe author Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

What's The Big Deal About Sunday?

3 crosses

Raise your hand if you’ve been going to church since you were in the womb. Keep it up if you’ve celebrated at least fifteen Easters in church.

I can’t see those hands through the computer screen, but I am sure there are many of them raised. That’s a good thing! It’s great that so many of you are so familiar with the Easter story. But sometimes that means that when the day rolls around, we move into auto pilot—moving through the motions of pastel dresses, church services, and dinner with family without every pausing to consider why the empty tomb matters so much.

I don’t want you to miss it this year, so let’s start with the basics. As Christians, we set aside Easter to celebrate the fact that three days after Jesus was crucified, His friends came to His tomb to find it empty (John 20). At first they panicked, thinking His body had been stolen. Peter and John took off running to tell the bad news to the disciples. Mary Magdalene stayed at the tomb, glued there by her grief until she heard some of the most powerful words ever spoken …

"Woman, why are you crying?" (John 20:13).

Those words came from angels. They weren’t being insensitive. They simply already knew that her grief was misplaced. Jesus was not dead. He had risen. Soon afterward, Jesus Himself appeared to Mary, then to the disciples, and then to people throughout the region before ascending back to heaven and promising to prepare a place for those of us who love and follow Him.

The moment the empty tomb was discovered was a turning point, a game changer. In fact, it changed everything. Jesus was dead. His body was in a tomb that was sealed with a stone. Mary’s wept because her friend and Savior was buried. Because He is our Savior, too, our hope was buried with Him. Everything seemed dark.

But then … everything changed in an instant. Jesus didn’t stay in the grave. The grave was empty. He wasn’t dead. He was alive. Hope wasn’t buried. It was resurrected.

Here’s a little perspective on that reality.

Buddha’s body was cremated and placed into relics.
Muhammad is buried in a mosque in Saudi Arabia.
The founder of Scientology was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean.
The central figure of Rastafarianism is interred in a cathedral in Ethiopia.

Jesus alone conquered death and rose from the grave. It’s the most dramatic difference between Him and other spiritual leaders. The resurrection not only confirms His divinity, it reveals why Jesus is a safe place to put our hope.

Since He overcame death, there is nothing in our lives or in our world that Jesus cannot overcome.

To be clear, Easter is not about you. It is about a God so big that nothing, not even death, can defeat Him. But the reason we should celebrate with intentional gladness this Sunday is that there is nothing in our lives that is impossible for Jesus to overcome. There is nothing dead in our hearts or circumstances that He cannot breathe life back into.

Are there circumstances in your life that feel hopeless?
Have you had to "bury" something that you love dearly this year?
Are you facing something that feels impossible to overcome?

That’s good. You’re in a prime position to look into the empty tomb this Easter and see hope. There is nothing that can defeat Jesus. There is no power that can hold Him. There is nothing that can stop Him. All of that means He is a safe place to put our hope.

What’s the big deal about Easter? Simply put, Jesus is alive. May you worship Him with that in mind this Sunday.

Note: Portions of this post are taken from Erin’s book Beautiful Encounters: The Presence of Jesus Changes Everything, set to release June 1st.

Strap On Your Mining Hats, We're Digging For Treasure!

I’ve often said there are two kinds of girls in this world. There are the diamond-loving girls, who would rather have one itty-bitty, sparkling piece of glass on their finger than a thousand rings made of cubic zirconium. And then there are the girls who prefer funk to flash. They’d rather have chunky bracelets and necklaces made of plastic than drop the dough required to wear the real stuff.

I myself hang out in the second group. I asked for a guitar for my sixteenth birthday. When my parents got me diamond earrings instead (my birthstone), I almost burst into tears. I never did become a rocker, but my love for costume jewelry has only grown since then. My bucket (yes, bucket) of fake, plastic jewelry is on my list of items I’d grab in a fire. Even so, I can appreciate the value of the real thing. There’s something special about a diamond that was mined from within the earth rather than being manufactured by a machine. When you set my plastic jewels beside the brilliance of a real diamond, it’s clear where the real value is.

Truth is like that.

minerPsalm 119:160 says this about the truth found in God’s Word:

All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.

John 17:17 says, "Your word is truth."

It’s tempting to follow the crowd, to believe everything that seems true or to live as if there is no truth at all, only "my truth," "your truth" and the squishy stuff in-between, without every stopping to ask, "Is this true?"

That way of thinking may work for a while. You may sew together a patchwork theology of ideas about God that makes sense to you, but when you hold those ideas up to the real thing—God’s Word—it will be very clear they are fake.

Which makes me wonder … are you mining for truth?

Did you know the biggest diamond ever found was more than 3,000 carats? In its original size, it was about as big as a small apple. Now that’s a lot of bling! The man who was tasked with cutting the diamond into smaller diamonds was named Joseph Asscher. Because the diamond was so rare, Asscher studied the diamond for months before making a single cut.

Can you imagine studying one rock for months? (Yawn!) Why did Asscher do that? Because he had been given a treasure that was unbelievably valuable. In fact, the first time he tried to cut the diamond, he fainted from the pressure.

Girls, I want you to be diamond cutters. More specifically, I want you to be students of the diamond, the treasure, God gives us in His Word.

Proverbs 2 gives us this bold promise:

My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you … if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God (vv. 1, 4–5, emphasis added).

Do you see the Bible as a treasure? Do you study it like you’re mining for precious silver?

Learning God’s Word won’t happen by accident. You can’t set your Bible on your nightstand and expect to find the kind of treasure God promises in His Word. Your youth pastor can’t download it into your brain. Your parents can’t force-feed it to you. You have to seek the treasure of God’s truth for yourself.

It will take work. It may feel like studying the same rock for months before making a single cut, but the treasure found in God’s Word is so valuable, it is worth the effort.

Sometimes, we all need a reminder that God’s Word is a treasure. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Bible is "living and active" and that it works like a sharp, two-edged sword, doing surgery on our hearts.

Do you need answers today?
Does your heart need some work in order to heal properly?
Is it hard for you to separate fake truth from the real deal?
Do you want to understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God?

If so, let me give you a simple action step today. Study God’s Word. Don’t study it like it’s homework or something you have to check off some invisible good girl to-do list. Study it like it’s a treasure (because it is!). Study it like it holds the answers to what you’re looking for (because it does!). Read it like you’re mining for something precious. Then hop right back here on the blog, and tell me what you discover.

Note: Portions of this post are taken from Erin’s latest book, My Name Is Erin: One Girl’s Journey To Discover Truth. Watch for it this summer. My Name is Erin

Who's Having The Best Sex?

The culture says it’s best to take partners for a "test drive" when it comes to sex before marriage. God’s Word says to save sex until after you say, "I do."
Just Married

Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Who really understands how sex is supposed to work?

One way to find out is to ask a bold question—who is having the best sex? The answer may surprise you.

The culture may be screaming that practice makes perfect when it comes to great sex. But proponents of that thinking simply aren’t doing their homework.

In an article titled "Sex Without Marriage Often Ruins People’s Health and Well-being," physician John R. Diggs Jr. outlined the specific and often devastating consequences of unmarried sex, including promiscuity, abortion, unstable family life, displacement of men, and exposure of women and children to high risks.

Clearly, sex outside of marriage is not "practice" without potential pitfalls. Perhaps that’s why research proves that married people are having the best sex. An article titled "Aha! Call It the Revenge of the Church Ladies" published in USA Today concluded that Christian women (and the men who sleep with them, aka their husbands) are among the most sexually satisfied people on the planet.

Yep. You read that right. According to a neutral, non-Christian magazine, Christian, married couples are having the best sex.

Why? Because sexual enjoyment flourishes in the context of a committed relationship. In contrast, sex outside of marriage isn’t "practice." It isn’t a "good opportunity to measure future sexual compatibility." It is outside of God’s plan and the result is baggage—not freedom. The very best sex comes from sticking to God’s plan.

Beyond simply waiting for great sex, there is a lesson here about God and His Word. When He asks us to wait for something, or to avoid it altogether, it isn’t to punish us or to keep us sidelined from the fun. When He gives us boundaries, it is always for our good.

Psalm 119:75 says, "I know, O LORD, that your rules are righteous."

First John 5:3 says, "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome" (emphasis added).

The facts about great sex are just one example of the truth that God has our best in mind. His laws are for our good. The way He asks us to live is the very best path we can choose.

Is He asking you to wait for something right now? Do you wonder if the culture is right and you need to "test drive" those things that God asks you to postpone? If so, here’s a prayer, straight from God’s Word, that I want to encourage you to start praying:

Put false ways far from me
and graciously teach me your law!
I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your rules before me.
I cling to your testimonies, O LORD;
let me not be put to shame!
I will run in the way of your commandments
when you enlarge my heart! (Ps. 119:29–32).

Is “Born-Again Virginity” Possible?

Yesterday I mentioned that this year’s star of The Bachelor, Sean Lowe, has made headlines by declaring himself a "born-again virgin." Presumably what he means is that he was once sexually active, but decided to take a different path and has now committed to saving sex until after marriage.

I am not holding Sean up as the poster boy for purity. But he does raise an interesting question—once someone has lost their virginity, can it ever be reclaimed? Is itclean slate possible to be a "born-again virgin"?

It’s a question worth exploring.

I’ve talked to many young women who mistakenly believe that once they’ve had sex, they cannot stop or turn back. Having already lost their virginity, they see no way to get it back. So they decide it’s too late for them and keep making things worse by perpetuating this behavior, going against God’s clear and loving plan.

If that describes you, I want you to know that it is absolutely not too late for you. It’s true that you can never become a physical virgin again. That’s water under the bridge. But you can become a spiritual virgin. God can wipe the slate clean.

Here’s how.

1. Acknowledge your sin.

Don’t say "I blew it" or "I made a mistake." Don’t come up with excuses. Call your sexual activity what it is—sin. This step is called repentance. Repentance simply means to agree with God that sin is sin with no rationalizations or intent to commit it again.

2. Confess it.

In 1 John 1:9 we read, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Once you’ve admitted that your sexual activity outside of marriage is sin, confess it to God.

3. Accept Christ’s forgiveness.

For many sexually active girls, this is the most difficult step. In 1 John 1:9, God promises that He will forgive us of our sin and wipe the slate clean.

This is where the idea of born-again virginity comes from. His promise is to "cleanse us from all unrighteousness." God offers the gift of total forgiveness and a chance to do things over.

But girls who continue to have sex outside of marriage often feel cheap, used, and unworthy of God’s love, and so they continue to sin. When you consider yourself beyond forgiveness, you are saying that God is not all-powerful and that He is unable to cope with the magnitude of what you’ve done. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Colossians 2:13–14 says, "And you, who were dead in your trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross."

When you accept Christ’s forgiveness for your sexual sin, you agree that God’s grace—evident in Christ’s death on the cross—is sufficient payment for your sin.

The beautiful truth of the gospel is that all of us have the chance to be "born again" no matter what the nature of our sin is.

First Peter 1:23 describes this possibility: "Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God."

Some of you may well be "born-again virgins," who were once slaves to sexual sin, but by God’s grace are now a "new creation" (2 Cor. 5:17), just like some of us are born-again liars, born-again gossips, born-again narcissists, and born-again addicts. True, we all face the consequences of our sin, and there are consequences for sex outside of marriage that don’t go away when we choose the path of purity. But The Bachelor is a reminder that we always have the choice to run in the opposite direction of sin and that God’s grace means He is willing and able to wipe the slate clean.

Now that deserves a television special …

Note: Portions of this post are taken from a book Erin wrote with Josh McDowell titled The Bare Facts: 39 Questions Your Parents Hope You Never Ask About Sex.

Bachelor Buzz: Is Virginity “Ridiculous”?

The Bachelor, Sean LoweTonight is the season finale of The Bachelor. Millions of viewers are expected to tune in to find out if the bachelor will drop down on one knee to propose to the one girl who survived another season of high drama, elaborate dates, and rose ceremonies.

I’ll admit it; I’ve been sucked into a season or two of The Bachelor myself. The promise of lasting love unfolding in front of our very eyes does make for interesting television. But there are pitfalls, which is why I’ve avoided writing about The Bachelor in the past. There’s plenty of junk associated with this show, and I’d never want to pique your curiosity about it and get you tuning in or Googling. So don’t do that. Promise?

But this year’s show has a twist. Bachelor, Sean Lowe, has declared himself a "born-again virgin." He’s been very vocal about his commitment to save sex until after his wedding. Blogs were buzzing when he chose girls to take to the "fantasy suite" while vowing that the focus would be on conversation not physical connection.

In a show that is constantly looking for the next way to create buzz and hook viewers, it seems this year that virginity is the subject designed to get people talking.

One blogger put it this way,

Sigh. Sean Lowe. You gotta love him. He’s so down-to-earth and sweet. He’s hot. Like really hot. And he seems like such a fiercely loyal, romantic, gentlemanly dude. He’s perfect as The Bachelor.

But then there’s the whole "born-again virgin" thing, which is pretty much a major buzz kill any way you look at it. Sure, the whole concept of saving yourself for marriage is kind of admirable in a really old-fashioned way, but come on. How can you vow to spend the rest of your life with someone without taking them for a test drive first?

She went on to say that failing to find out if he was sexually compatible with the girl of his dreams might lead the bachelor to a marriage that is doomed before it starts.

Her words remind me of something I’d rather forget. Mainly that the culture sees God’s standards for sex and marriage as ridiculous. It’s easy to shake my head or point fingers or simply ignore what’s happening in the culture. But the reality is, the media’s messages have a way of trickling into our own hearts and minds if we aren’t careful.

So squeeze the hype through the filter of God’s Word.

Hebrews 13:4 says, "Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous" (emphasis added).

This is just one example of where the Bible makes it clear that sex is a gift that God intends to be opened and shared between a husband and a wife. But there’s more.

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the ways of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on this law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers (Ps. 1:1–3, emphasis added).

What comes when we walk away from the ways of the world? We’re blessed. What happens when study God’s Word and find our delight in it? We become firmly planted, deeply rooted, shored up, and prosperous.

Put these two passages together, and we get this formula.

God asks me to save sex for marriage – the culture’s view that virginity is ridiculous = what’s best for me and my future.

The culture can call it ridiculous, out of date, or unreachable. But God’s Word writes a different story. Saving sex for marriage is what’s best for you. Waiting may not help you win a reality TV show or wow critics, but God’s Word promises that sticking to His plan even when others scoff will help you prosper.

You don’t have to be the star of a reality TV show for this to be an important lesson. Even when no cameras are watching, it can be easy to fall for the logic that purity is ridiculous, impossible, or out of date. Or that God’s standards make you miss out. But none of that is true. The bottom line is that God asks us to wait because He has our best in mind. It’s an important reminder for all of us in a culture that can be clueless.

Have you noticed examples where the culture calls God’s standards ridiculous? When that happens, how do you stand for truth?

PS: Be sure to hop back on the blog tomorrow where we’ll tackle if "born-again" virginity is possible.

A Place For All Those Tears

In Luke 8:51–52 Jesus approaches a crowd mourning the death of a twelve-year-old girl. His words to them may seem strange considering that they had good woman cryingreason to be upset.

But He said, "Stop crying" (v. 52).

In Luke 7:13 He says the exact same words to a momma whose only son had died. She sure had reason to cry. Her situation was exceptionally hopeless. And yet …

"He said, ‘Don’t cry.’"

When we tell someone not to cry, it’s usually because we are uncomfortable with their emotions or because we think they’re overreacting. But when Jesus told people not to cry, it was because He had a plan to do something about their pain. He had the power to dry up their tears.

The crowd who was mourning the death of the young girl? Just a few minutes later they received the amazing news that Jesus had raised her back to life. The widow who was burying her only son? She saw Jesus raise him from the dead with her very own eyes.

In both cases Jesus said "don’t cry" because He was about to take the pain away.

But I bet there are things you’ve had to bury that Jesus has not raised back to life. I am sure there are situations that make you cry where it seems like Jesus has not intervened. It may feel like there’s no reason to stop crying over the things that cause you pain.

I get that. I do.

I’ve got junk in my own life that makes me cry. There are times when I cannot hold back the tears. When that happens, I tend to wonder where my miracle is. Does Jesus even see my tears?

It was in that state recently that I stumbled across this verse.

You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book? (Ps. 56:8).

Where is God when my tears start to flow? He’s keeping a tally of what makes me toss and turn. He’s collecting my tears in a bottle. He is recording them in a book.

In other words … He sees me. The things that keep me up at night don’t fly under His radar. He keeps a record of the junk that causes me pain.

And just what will He do with those tallies? What’s His plan for a bottle full of tears with my name on it? What’s the use of a book full of tears?

Revelation 21:4 gives the answer.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

I believe He is collecting my tears in a bottle because one day He will pour the bottle out and refill it with joy. He may not say "don’t cry" to me every time I am sad now, but a day is coming when He will, because He does have a plan to set all things right. It’s a promise that we can hold on tightly to whenever the tears start to flow.

What makes you cry these days?
What kind of tears is your bottle full of? Angry tears? Disappointed tears? Wounded tears? Shameful tears? Worried tears?

God sees them all. In fact, He keeps them in His collection, because one day He will look you in the eye and say, "Don’t cry." And when He does it will mean He’s dried up your tears—for good.

Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! (Ps. 126:5).

Walking With The Wise

friendsHas anyone ever said something like this to you . . .

"Birds of a feather flock together."

"If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?"

Since we aren’t birds and our friends are unlikely to go cliff jumping, the message of these phrases can get a little lost in translation. Perhaps a few words from a juvenile court judge can clear the matter up.

Recently, an email from a former juvenile court judge found its way into my inbox. The focus of his email was prayer, but a few sentences he wrote at the beginning got me thinking about Y-O-U.

As a juvenile court judge, I often told young people who entered my court, "Show me who you are hanging around with, and I will show you what you are going to become like."

Scripture puts it this way: "Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm" (Prov. 13:20).

You don’t have to enter a juvenile court room for these words to have meaning. The judge and the writer of Proverbs are preaching a simple message that all of us would be wise to remember.

1. When you spend your time with wise people, you will become wiser yourself.
2. When you spend your time with unwise people, you are guaranteed to get hurt.

I’m sure the judge could tell lots of stories of young criminals whose feet were set on the wrong path simply by choosing the wrong friends. I can tell you plenty of stories from my own life of times I got burned because I let myself be a "companion of fools." I bet you have some of those stories too.

Certainly, we should be friendly to non-Christians and are free to spend some time with people that might fall into the category of being "unwise." But our closest friends—the people we spend the most time with—should be wise. That means they should fear God—the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 9:10). And they should know and seek to live out the wisdom found in God’s Word. We should notice that when we’re around them, we become wiser ourselves.

So let me join the judge in asking you, do you have wise friends? If so, you get a gold star. Even more importantly, you get the promise that those friends will help you grow in your own walk with Christ. On the flipside, are you closest friends non-Christians? Or maybe they’re Christians who consistently make unwise choices or disregard the wisdom found in God’s Word. Be warned! Those girls are likely to cause you harm or to encourage you to do harm to yourself. (Ah . . . that’s what all that bridge jumping talk is about!)

The choice is simple, but not always easy. Choose wise friends, and gain wisdom. Choose unwise friends, and gain trouble and pain. So go on, and take the judge’s advice. Show us who you are hanging around with. Your answer will inevitably show us where you’re destined to end up.

New Labels

What does your label say?

No, I’m not talking about the tag in the back of your shirt. (Why do those need to be made out of such itchy fabric anyway?)
woman with labels

I’m talking about the invisible labels that no one else can see, but you can. I’m talking about the kind of labels you wish you could rip right off.

I would define those labels this way:

When people look at me, all they see is ___________________.

However you’d fill in that blank, that’s your label. Maybe your labels have to do with the physical. You think that when people look at you all they see is your height, or weight, or skin, or hair. These labels are usually tied to whatever it is about us that makes us feel the most insecure. The truth is, other people don’t focus on our appearance near as much as we think they do, but that doesn’t keep us from wearing invisible labels.

There are other labels we often wear. Labels tied to our mistakes, or our circumstances, or who we used to be. Sometimes our labels look good, almost like designer labels, but they still make us feel yucky. Maybe when people look at you, you think all they see is that you’re a straight A student, or star athlete, or good girl. Those things aren’t bad, but no one wants to be defined by them.

Some of us wear so many labels, it’s like we own our very own invisible label maker. Every time someone sizes us up, we slap a new label on and wear it around.

There’s a story in the Bible about a girl who knew a thing or two about labels. You can read the whole thing in John 8:2–11, but I will give you the Wikipedia version. A woman was caught committing adultery. That means she was romantically linked to a man who was not her husband. Back in the day, that meant that she could be stoned—as in pummeled with rocks—by peers who were angered by her sin. She must have felt doomed as she was dragged into the temple courts by an angry mob with rocks in their hands. But Jesus intervened.

John 8:6–11 says:

Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more."

When the crowd looked at this woman, all they saw was her sin. If we could see her invisible labels, we’d read:


But Jesus ripped those labels right off. He offered her new ones. In fact, the Bible doesn’t elaborate on what Jesus was writing when He was drawing in the sand, but I like to think that He was giving the woman new labels. Labels like:


Jesus is in the business of replacing labels. Those invisible labels that cause you pain? He can rip them off, just like He did for the adulterous woman. He doesn’t stop there. He can replace them with labels based on His steadfast love for you, His willingness to freely forgive you, His desire to use you to do things for His kingdom . . .

I guess you can keep wearing those invisible labels if you want to. You may have worn them so long that you wonder who you’d be without them. But Jesus offers you the same choice He offered the adulterous woman. You can keep wearing the labels, hung up on what you think others see when they look at you, or you can choose to hold your head high and walk toward a new life based on who God says you are.

What are your labels? When people look at you, what do you think they see? Do you want to keep wearing those around? Or will you rip them off and let God replace them with the beauty and value He sees when He looks at you?

Ready. Set. Rip!

Choose Your Own Adventure

Thanks for taking our people pleaser quiz yesterday. There were no right or wrong answers, but I did want to get you thinking about whether or not people pleasing is your standard operating procedure.

What is people pleasing exactly? It’s making choices based on either:
   a) impressing other people.
   b) avoiding disappointing other people.

Many of you fessed up that you are people pleasers, and you know it.

Ready for my true confession? I’m a people pleaser too.

In fact, this is one area where God has been consistently working in my heart for many months. I can sense that He wants me to make my choices based less on what others will think of me and more on what He desires from me. If you’re a people pleaser, you already know that this is easier said than done.

In my efforts to consider pleasing others less and pleasing God more, one verse has been a life raft.

Proverbs 29:25 says, "The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe."
woman falling into hole

This simple passage contrasts two simple realities.

When we live our lives in fear of man (that’s another way of describing chronic people pleasing), it’s like walking into a trap. The questions in yesterday’s quiz were examples of how we can find ourselves snagged.

Scenario #1: You have a HUGE assignment due tomorrow. Your best friend calls and begs you to go to the basketball game with her . . .

A people pleaser would go to the game and either blow off the assignment or have to stay up all night to complete it. The trap here is that we tend to do things with less excellence and stretch ourselves too thin because of our desire to impress others. The result can be exhaustion, burnout, or failure to meet our commitments—none of which tee us up for a life that is focused on the priorities God has for us.

Scenario #2: Your schedule is already full, and your pastor approaches you and asks you to volunteer once a week in the church nursery. You are not particularly passionate about children, and you are already involved in several ministries that do match your gifts . . .

The trap here is that when we approach ministry and service with pleasing people in mind, we can end up serving in ways God does not call us to and miss opportunities to serve in the ways and places God has in mind. A God-sized mission bears much more fruit than doing something good for the eyes of other people.

Scenarios #3 and #4: Questions 3 and 4 from yesterday’s quiz had to do with how people pleasing can make us feel.

Do you feel guilty or selfish when you take time for yourself? That’s likely a symptom of chronic people pleasing. You may be worried that others will think you’re lazy or misjudge you if you slow down from time to time.

The problem is that God commands us to Sabbath (a.k.a. rest). He does this for our own good, because our batteries need a recharge from time to time. When we never recharge, our emotions and bodies start coasting on fumes.

People pleasers can also tend to put way too much stock into the opinions of others. Don’t hear me saying that it’s a wise choice to never care what others think of you. It’s good to consider the thoughts and feelings of others. However, Jesus wasn’t always popular, and He never won everyone over. He cared far too much about what His Father thought of Him to be pulled by the opinions of others.

People won’t always like you. The crowd won’t always cheer you on. But public opinion is a nasty trap when we try to cater to it. At the end of the day, it’s most important what God thinks of us. (Hint: He’s a huge fan!)

Scenario #5: When you do something nice for someone else, do you want credit?

Matthew 6:1–4 says, "Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you."

Doing something nice for a moment of glory is a trap. God says when we do so, we’ve received all of the reward we can expect because He wants us to serve others in order to please Him. That means that if no one ever notices, we still serve others because our goal is to please God.

When we live to please people, we will find our hearts often snagged by emotions like fear, anxiety, worry, exhaustion, burnout, and confusion. However, God outlines an alternative that cuts a clear path for us—no hidden minefields.

Go back to the verse at the beginning of this post.

Option #1 is to fear man, or live to please others. The Bible says this lays a trap.

Option #2 is to trust in the Lord, to live life with His opinion in mind, to seek to please Him above all others. Proverbs 29:25 tells us that this route keeps us safe from the kind of traps I just described in the scenarios above. That’s why when it comes to people pleasing, we all must choose our own adventure . . .

What about you? Have you found yourself snagged by living to please others? If so, what’s one way you can choose the safer path of living to please the Lord this week?

Are You A People Pleaser?

On some level, each of us wants to please the people around us. People pleasing seems to be stamped into our DNA, especially as girls. However, working too hard to please others can be like stepping into a trap. More on that tomorrow . . . for now, I’d like to get the wheels in your head turning as you think about how people pleaserimportant it is for to you to please or impress others.

So let’s kick this week off with a little quiz. (No worries—you get an automatic A++ just for participating!)

Check out the questions below, and leave us a comment with your answers. But before you start, let me give you one rule—don’t tell me what you think I want to hear. I’m not interested in hearing the "right" answers or dialoging in Christianese. That’s the kind of people pleasing stuff that gets us all into hot water from time to time.


Ready. Set. Think!

1. You have a HUGE assignment due tomorrow. Your best friend calls and begs you to go to the basketball game with her. Do you . . .
a. Explain that you have to stay home and finish your work but promise to join her next time.
b. Blow off your assignment and go to the game.
c. Agree to go to the basketball game and then stay up all night finishing your assignment.
d. Stay home to do homework, but worry constantly that you’ve disappointed your friend.

2. Your schedule is already full, and your pastor approaches you and asks you to volunteer once a week in the church nursery. You are not particularly passionate about children and you are already involved in several ministries that do match your gifts. Do you . . .
a. Tell your pastor thanks but no thanks.
b. Agree to work in the nursery but fail to follow through.
c. Agree to work in the nursery and spend months frustrated by the time commitment and stressed because you feel stretched too thin.

3. Taking time for yourself makes you feel . . .
a. Refreshed
b. Guilty
c. Selfish

4. When you find out someone doesn’t like you, what do you do?
a. Do whatever it takes to change that person’s mind. (AKA get them to love you!)
b. Not worry about it.
c. Go to that person and try to talk to them about why they don’t like you.

5. When you do something nice for someone else do you . . .
a. Hope they are blessed.
b. Hope they think you are amazing.
c. Hope they see your generosity as a reflection of your faith.

Tomorrow, we will open up the Word to see what God says about people pleasing. In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. Looking back at your answers, do you see yourself as a people pleaser?

A Call To Pray For Your College Campus

Are there things about your school that you’d like to see God change?

Are there people on your campus who desperately need to know the powerful message of the gospel or the reach of God’s love?

Do you sometimes feel like the only one at your school who is willing to live like God’s called you?

If you answered "yes," let me follow up with one more question. (Zero guilt intended. Promise.)

When was the last time you prayed for your school?

With that question in mind, I’d like to invite you to check out this video, promoting the 2013 Collegiate Day of Prayer.

Will you join those who have already agreed to set aside the day to pray for campuses across the country? Will you pray for the college campus close to you on February 28, or make plans to pray for your own high school?

If so, leave us a comment to tell you what school you’ll be praying for just ten days from today.

PS: Click on this site for more info.

More Than Waiting Well

We talk a lot on this blog about waiting for God to bring the right kind of guy at the right time. It’s an important message. Much heartache has been caused by rushing into love or forcing a relationship that is outside the parameters of God’s best for you.

girl and balloonWhen it comes to love, I want you to wait well. But I also want you to know that waiting well doesn’t work like a magic formula. You can guard your purity. You can trust God with your love life. You can write lists and save pennies and work on being the right person for love, but none of that guarantees that you will end up happily married to the man of your dreams until death do you part.

I want to temper the good advice we’re offering you on this blog about waiting with the reality that God is in charge and He has not promised our version of a fairy tale ending, no matter how well we wait.

It’s a reminder that Lies Young Women Believe author Nancy Leigh DeMoss gives in the book Lies Women Believe. She addresses unfulfilled longings—those desires we have that go unmet. Nancy teaches two key lessons about unfulfilled longings that seem worth repeating this Valentine’s Day.

Lesson #1: We will always have unfulfilled longings this side of heaven.

"If we

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could have all our longings fulfilled down here, we would easily be satisfied with staying here, and our hearts would never long for a better place," Nancy writes.

She goes on to point out that instead of taking matters into our own hands, we must learn to be content. Contentment means to be satisfied . . . to stop looking over the fence and admiring the green grass of other circumstances and to decide that the way your life is right now is okay with you. It’s an idea that reminds me of something the apostle Paul wrote:

I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through [Christ] who strengthens me (Phil. 4:11–13).

Paul knew what it was like to go without, but he also knew a secret: contentment doesn’t come from having everything we want; it comes from looking to Christ for strength.

God may or may not grant your desire to be married just like He may not grant many other desires, even the things you really, really want. As you look at your life, do you take Paul’s approach? Have you learned to be content, even when things don’t go the way that you want them to? Single or married, in love or out, can you say that you are satisfied because your strength, joy, peace, etc. comes from God? That’s the sweet spot, and choosing to be content—even when things don’t go like you want them to—is even more important than simply waiting well.

Lesson #2: The deepest longings of our hearts cannot be filled by any created person or thing.

"This is one of the most liberating truths I have discovered in my own pilgrimage," Nancy writes. "For years, I looked to people and circumstances to make me happy. Time after time, when they failed to come through, I would find myself disgruntled and disappointed."

Do you feel like having a guy will make you happy? Would being married ease the disappointment you feel about your life? Maybe. For a while, but the truth is no person, no matter how great, can meet your deepest longings. That’s God’s job.

That’s the message I want to seek deep into your hearts today, girls. God is enough. He is the answer to:

  • your loneliness.
  • your longing to be loved.
  • your desire to be known.
  • your fears about the future.

I think it’s great to desire marriage. God designed it after all! I want you to wait for God’s timing for romance and to keep your eyes on Him while you wait. But I don’t want you to think of love like a race, where you will someday cross the finish line. Instead, know that married or unmarried unfulfilled longings are part of our citizenship on the planet. There will be things we want that we do not get and the deepest holes in our hearts can only be filled by God.

If you’re waiting for love this Valentine’s Day, let me encourage you to do more than wait well. Instead, be satisfied. Let God be enough for you today, and trust Him with the desires of your heart that have not been met yet.

What do you find most difficult about being content in your current circumstances? Leave us a comment to tell us about it. We’d love to pray with you that God would show you that He is enough.

Worth The Wait

Candy hearts. Chocolate kisses. Red roses. Yep. Tomorrow must be Valentine’s Day. It can be a great day for those who are in love. For those who are not, an entire holiday dedicated to romance can be a little (okay a lot!) discouraging.

I know that many of the readers of this blog are single. You have written to tell us that you are committed to God’s will when it comes to romance. To you I send out a colossal pat on the back. (I’d send you each a bag of chocolate if I could!) I know that waiting isn’t easy, especially when the whole world seems to be celebrating being in love.

That’s why I wanted to tell you Stephanie’s story. Stephanie knows what it’s like to wait for love. She also knows the rewards of waiting well with her eyes on Jesus. If you find yourself waiting this Valentine’s Day, be encouraged by Stephanie. She’d tell you that spending a few Valentine’s Days alone is a small price to pay for letting God write your love story.

Meet Stephanie. She’s my super-talented, super-fun, music-loving friend. She also happens to be thirty-nine years old. Oh, and she’s single. She’s been faithfullyStephanie waiting for God to bring her the right man at the right time for a long time.

Several years ago, Stephanie decided to do something while she waited. She started collecting pennies. I’ve been with Stephanie when she’s seen a penny on a sidewalk. Watch out! Little old ladies and small children best not stand between Stephanie and a penny. That’s because for sixteen years Stephanie has put the pennies she finds in a jar. For more than six years she has saved every single penny she comes across. When she puts a penny in a jar, she prays this prayer:

Jesus, thank You that You are going to bring me the man of my dreams in Your timing. When You do, I will cash in these pennies to buy his wedding band.

Stephanie's penniesThe pennies keep Stephanie’s heart focused on God. Every penny is a reminder that God is good . . . He is faithful . . .He can be trusted. The pennies have become a reminder to trust, to wait patiently, and put her hope in God.

Stephanie isn’t the only one who needs this reminder. As people heard about Stephanie’s penny collection, they remembered that they are also called to put their hope in God and to wait patiently for His plan to unfold. They started sending her pennies as a thank-you. She has pennies in her penny jar from all over the world.

Stephanie has waited a long time. She’s collected a lot of pennies—over 20,000 to be exact.

Then one day last year, Stephanie met Eloy. (Eloy happens to be a super-talented, super-fun, music-loving guy!)
Stephanie and Eloy

I happened to be in the room for that electric introduction. Sparks flew, but they were tempered by two hearts that had learned long ago to let God call the shots. After that day, Stephanie and Eloy prayerfully moved forward. They sought wise guidance from others who committed to pray. They looked to God for direction every step of the way.

God’s direction led to a diamond ring.

Next month, Stephanie will walk down the aisle to the groom she has waited so long for. Her promise will change from agreeing to faithfully wait on God’s timing to agreeing to faithfully be the wife God has called her to be. She will still need to put her hope in God. She will still need to keep her eyes on Him. And He will prove that He is still faithful, every step of the way.

Stephanie's engagementWhat happens to the pennies? Well, Stephanie has officially cashed them in to buy Eloy’s wedding ring. On the inside she had these words inscribed, "Ur Worth Every Penny!"

I don’t know how many Valentine’s Days you will spend without a valentine, but I do know this: God is faithful. He can be trusted. His plan is what’s best for you. This year, instead of pining for love or pushing for romance, let me encourage you to start a penny collection of your own. Grab a jar. Toss in some pennies, and offer this prayer.

Jesus, I want You to be in charge of my love life. If it’s Your will, please bring me a man who loves You in Your timing. While I wait, I want You to know that You are my treasure.

I Want To Be Noticed!

"My heart cries for acceptance, for love."

"My heart cry is to be cherished. I want to be loved, really loved."

"My heart’s longing is for people to love me. Some days I barely feel noticed, let alone loved."

These are among the many brave comments left under a post Paula wrote weeks ago about the heart cry of one little boy. (Read that post here.) I can relate to every single one of you who feels like you will never be loved enough, cherished enough, or noticed often enough. I’ve spent much of my life craving human attention and feeling mostly disappointed.

I don’t know your stories. I don’t know if you really do have anyone who notices you, cherishes you, or loves you. It may be that those needs truly are going unmet by the people in your life. It may also be (and seems more likely) that you are loved deeply, but somehow it just isn’t enough for you.

I’ve seen it before. The stories of several Hollywood superstars come to mind. They have millions of adoring fans. They have people paying to put their smile on magazine covers. They have lots of people telling them how fabulous they are. They are noticed. They are accepted. They are loved, and yet . . . more often than not, they self-destruct. Somehow all the praise in the world just can’t fill them up.

leaky bucketI think I know why. For a visual, let’s think of our need to be noticed, loved, and accepted like an empty bucket. We think, If I was just loved unconditionally by one person, my bucket would be full, or If more people just noticed me, my bucket would be full, or If someone just truly cherished me, that would fill my bucket up. But we find ourselves disappointed and our buckets empty over and over again.

Here’s why:

"For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water" (Jer. 2:13, emphasis added).

To understand that "fountain of living waters" business, we have to skip ahead in the Bible to Jesus’ earthly ministry. In John 4:1–26 we find the story of a woman who really wanted to be noticed. The Bible tells us she jumped from romantic relationship to romantic relationship hoping to satisfy her deepest longings. Been there? Done that? But sadly, she found that looking to guys to scratch her itch to be loved was like pouring water into a leaky bucket.

Jesus looked at her leaky bucket and offered her "living water." His point was that only God could truly satisfy the longings of her heart. Looking to Him to meet our deepest needs is the only way to quench our insatiable thirst for more. More love . . . more attention . . . more compliments . . . more significance.

Think back to that passage from Jeremiah. God is comparing two realities here.

The people of Jeremiah’s day had stopped looking to God for their satisfaction. I don’t know who or what they were hoping would make them feel okay, but it doesn’t matter. The result was like pouring water into a leaky bucket. It just didn’t work.

You see the answer isn’t to be noticed more often, loved by more people, or cherished more deeply. The answer is to know that God has already noticed you. In fact, He studies you. (Matthew 10:30 says He knows the very number of hairs on your head.) He loves you so much He sent His Son to die for you (John 3:16). He cherishes you like a father cherishes His own daughter (Rom. 8:15).

The trick is to let that be enough—to let the truth about who you are to the God of the universe fill your bucket instead of constantly looking to the people in your world to make you feel noticed.

It’s not an easy switch to make. Praise from people seems so tangible sometimes compared to the affirmation we find in God’s Word, but ultimately it is just like pouring water into a leaky bucket. It never lifts our spirits for long.

How about you? Have you been pouring water into a leaky bucket? Looking to the people around you to make you feel loved and important? I hate to go all Dr. Phil on you, but how is that working for you?

If your bucket’s sprung a leak, let me offer you a patch kit. God alone is able to fill you up and answer your heart’s cry. He’s the only one offering "living water" that can take away our thirst for good.

I’d like to ask you to make a choice.

Option #1: Leaky bucket.

Choosing this route means continuing to look to other people to make you feel loved, accepted, and cherished. You should know up front that this route never works for long.

Option #2: Living water.

You make the choice to let God satisfy your craving to be loved. You study what He says about you in His Word, and you choose to believe it even if your feelings tell you otherwise.

Which one will you choose? Leave us a comment below to tell us about it.

Best Of: I’ve Got A Fever And The Only Cure Is . . .

From the team: It’s our fifth birthday here on the blog. To celebrate, we are featuring the "best of" the blog all month. This blog on spring fever sure got you talking. I know it’s the middle of winter now, but the points made in this post apply in any season.  

Spring fever is a real condition. I know because Wikipedia says so.

It’s that sudden feeling that you might just burst if you don’t get into a relationship. Or a new obsession over a guy who seemed pretty boring in the winter months,He loves me, he loves me not. but now he is all you can think about. Spring fever is a "sickness" that can keep you completely distracted by romance and wandering around in a love-struck daze.

No one knows what it is about spring that gets us all revved up for love, but I know that for a girl committed to God’s plan for her love life a sudden burst of romantic feelings can be painfully tough to deal with. So here is your spring survival kit—a few doses of God’s Word to temper your heart as you wait for love in the right season.

Temptation is not a sin.
Just because you are tempted to be with a boy you shouldn’t, enter a relationship too soon, or let your thoughts jump down the rabbit hole of romance doesn’t mean you are in sin. Jesus Himself was tempted and yet remained sinless.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15).

There will be seasons when your heart pulls toward love outside of God’s will and timing. That doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you or that purity is impossible. It just means you have to persevere in your commitment to wait. Temptations are a reminder to pray for strength, to study God’s Word, and to surround yourself with wise, supportive Christian friends and mentors.

Waiting is possible.
First Corinthians 10:13 gives us a promise we can hold on to: "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."

When it comes to pure romance, waiting is possible. Your feelings may say otherwise. There may be moments this spring (or next spring or the next . . .) that you feel like you just might keel over from the angst of waiting. But take heart! God has promised you can endure the pain of waiting. Look for the way out.

Be God crazy.
Being God crazy is the only cure for being boy crazy in any season.

Psalm 37:4 urges, "Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart."

Find ways to find your delight in Jesus in this season. Seek Him more through prayer and Bible study. Spend more time with Christian friends. Go outside and thank Him for the beauty of His creation. Grab a new worship CD and worship Him instead of thinking about the boy who makes your pulse race.

Lies Young Women Believe Companion Guide

Get the resource that helps you go deeper into the truths found in Lies Young Women Believe. The Companion Guide contains questions and activities that will cause readers to think and wrestle with the truth in their search for answers to life’s tough questions. The Companion Guide for Lies Young Women Believe is ideal for small groups, Bible studies, classes, and individuals.Each session is made up of the following features: An overview of the chapter to be studied from Lies Young Women Believe and reminders of the lies discussed in that chapter. A daily personal study for the readers to complete during the course of the week, between youth group meetings. Each day’s study includes a reading from Lies Young Women Believe and reflection questions. Questions to be discussed in youth group/small group setting.
Read a Sample Chapter!

Endorsement: Dannah Gresh

“Erin has an uncommon grasp on what goes on in our minds as girls. She knows that the messages this world sends us about beauty create a battlefield in our minds. Consider this book standard issue armor! You need it to survive.”

–Dannah Gresh, bestselling youth author.

Endorsement : Graffiti : Nancy Leigh Demoss

“When I first read this book by Erin Davis called Graffiti, my assumption was that this was a book for teenage girls, for young women and I wasn’t sure how much I would get out of it personally. But the more I got in to it, the more I realized this is a message I need. It’s a message every woman needs.”

—Nancy Leigh DeMoss, national radio host.


Publication Date: July 1, 2008

Our culture is driven by a concept of beauty that negatively impacts adolescent girls. The Scriptures are full of assurances regarding our identity in Christ, inherent worth to the Creator, and the secrets to tapping into the source of true and lasting beauty, yet girls and young women continue to struggle with their focus on outer beauty. In Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves, Erin Davis applies the language of God’s Word on identity, beauty, and worth to the life of a contemporary young woman. In fact, women who have never adequately dealt with this issue will find themselves reviewing their youth, and redirecting their spiritual eyes.

Read a Sample Chapter!

Graffiti: Leader’s Guide

Publication Date: July 1, 2008

Our culture is driven by a concept of beauty that negatively impacts adolescent girls. The Scriptures are full of assurances regarding our identity in Christ, inherent worth to the Creator, and the secrets to tapping into the source of true and lasting beauty, yet girls and young women continue to struggle with their focus on outer beauty. In Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves, Erin Davis applies the language of God’s Word on identity, beauty, and worth to the life of a contemporary young woman. In fact, women who have never adequately dealt with this issue will find themselves reviewing their youth, and redirecting their spiritual eyes. The Leader’s Guide provides small group leaders with ideas for retreat activities and going deeper.

True Princess


A True Princess is

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special because she is the daughter of someone special. Everything she does points back toward her Father. If a princess acts recklessly, it isn’t just her reputation that suffers. The honor and image of the throne is at stake. Help girls understand that their sense of entitlement won’t get them anywhere in the kingdom of God. Humility is essential, and True Princess will guide girls in grades 6-12 through Scripture as a group and individually to help them understand the importance of living as a daughter of the King. (7 Sessions)

The Bare Facts

Publication Date: July 1, 2011

Sex is everywhere. And misunderstandings about it are even more pervasive. Whether you have questions of your own and don’t know who to ask, or you are being asked questions and don’t know where to turn¿this small book has the answers. Bestselling author and speaker, Josh McDowell believes that no question is off limits and that knowledge, not ignorance, is the key to youthful purity and a fulfilling marriage and family. This book builds on that approach with relevant, pertinent statistics, entertaining anecdotes, and real stories. This little book will be a very practical tool in the hands of anyone who is struggling, anyone who is curious, anyone who is nervous about asking a “dumb question,” and most importantly, anyone who desires to learn how to honor God with his or her body. The Bible is clear on a lot of these issues and Josh’s candor (and respect for young people) shines through as he shares these truths about sex. Much like Josh’s apologetics books, this book will help equip a skeptical generation with the facts they are sorely missing.