Monday, August 15, 2011

The Conference

I have so many things I want to blog about but life seems to take up every spare second I have these days! As most of you know, we had a conference last weekend for single girls encouraging them in the love of Christ and His plan for their lives. Out of 4 conferences, this one was unique. It was FUN. The teachers, the band, the behind-the-scenes servants were all united in vision--- to love and serve the girls! That seems like no big deal but, after doing this for a few years, I have realized that having a like-minded large group is not something to take for granted.
Friday night, the other 2 teachers and I share our testimonies about how God rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us in to the Kingdom of the Son He loves. We share how He pursued us while we were sinners and the undeserved forgiveness He bestowed on each of our lives. Then, Jennie taught on the character of God and a little about Who He is. Jennie did a great job. She is a spiritual cheerleader and head-over-heels in love with Jesus. We lived in the world together before living for the Lord but now God has brought us (and Julie- Jennie's identical twin) into relationship with Him and given us all husbands and children! It is thrilling to do ministry with one of my best friends! I have realized the wisdom in doing ministry with people who know you and love because when the attacks, opposition, and slander come, you are united in defense. You also can speak truth into each other's lives and hold one another accountable in a powerful way because you know how deep your friendship goes. There is safety there. Ministry is stronger, more FUN, and easier with people who know you and who believe in (Christ's power at work in) you.
(Thank you for laboring with me for the gospel, for your friendship, and for believing in Christ in me, Jennie and Mellette!) 
 "If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!...
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
Ecc 4:10-12

The last teaching on Friday night is on John 3:16 (the Greatest Love Story Ever Told) and the agape love toward us found in Jesus Christ. No matter how much I study John 3:16 (I have studied it over a year now), I always end up the same way... on my face in awe of God's love toward me- TOWARD YOU!
Saturday, Mellette teaches on how to live for Christ in college and in "big-girl job world". She talks about how to set up "guard rails" in your lives to protect you from falling into sin. She does an incredible job. She has such influence with the girls. I LOVE watching Mellette's life. It increases my faith. God used His Word on my blog to draw her to Himself. She was a college girl in South Carolina that God began to draw to Himself. She drove to the first girl's conference at my house December before last. She began to hear and understand the gospel and gave her life to Jesus Christ. God has grown her SO fast that it is shocking. It is a joy doing ministry with her. I love watching her faithfulness to God during her single years. God is richly rewarding her with spiritual growth and ministry. She is a BRIGHT LIGHT in a dark world.

After Mellette, I speak on HOLINESS. Let me just tell you how hard this talk has been to prepare and to teach! How can God use an unholy girl to teach on holiness? Tim and I both have a lot of regret from STUPID decisions in previous relationships. The enemy is our accuser so we both deal with a lot of memories and shame before these conferences. If only we had known....
As I am currently reading Leviticus in my quiet time, I am blown away by the holiness of God. It is only by God's grace that I wasn't toasted for lack of reverence like Aaron's sons did (Lev 10) during my years of rebellion.
This is a great book of the Bible to be reminded how HOLY God is and that if people could be made unclean by physical conditions that were not a matter of conscious choice, how much more heinous must our deliberate sins be to Him! Oh, how thankful I am that the curtain was torn and we have access to God and His forgiveness!
The main verse for this teaching is...
"It is God's will that you should be SANCTIFIED. That you should avoid sexual immorality. That each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable." 1 Thess 4:3,4
What does sanctified mean? It basically means set apart to be used for HIS holy purposes. I teach my boys that it means "YOU ARE GOD'S VERY BEST FRIENDS who He has chosen to change the world with. That you are not normal and you never will be because God wants to do miracles through you. Kind of like Super Man. You have super powers given to you by God. Super Man wasn't normal. He had a mission... and so do you... except your mission is to serve the living God, save men from being eternally separated from Him, and to truly set captives free!"
I never understood that I was holy. I understood that sex was wrong but I didn't know why. It is because we "bear the name of the Lord Almighty" that we are His temple, His Holy of Holies. That the enemy wants to take what has been declared holy and use it for unholy purposes. The enemy takes us captive by sexual sin to do HIS WILL and traps us.
"and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will." 2 Timothy 2:26
"Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body."
1 Cor 6:18
"But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality,"
Eph 5:3 
Praise God that is for FREEDOM CHRIST SETS US FREE. That we can be washed and purified by the blood of Jesus!
"The Old Testament Hebrew word that we translate "atonement" means literally "to cover up". The animal sacrifices were intended to "cover" a man's sins. In the New Testament, however, the meaning of atoning sacrifice is conveyed by the word expiate, which means "to put away". The blood that Jesus shed in our behalf on the cross at Calvary does not merely cover up our sin, it puts away our sin as though it had never been committed."

Thank you, Jesus!!!
There are 2 different words in the Old Testament we studied for sex...
"Yada"- to be known, to be deeply respected
"Shakab"- to exchange bodily fluids
There is a major difference in sex inside of God's boundaries and outside of God's boundaries.
Listen to the words used to describe sex God's way:
Now, listen to some words describing sex outside of marriage...
How could the same physical act produce such extremely different emotional results?
Because you can do it God's Way or NOT. There is no in between.
To be known, to be loved to be deeply respected... or just exchange bodily fluids (gross!) which could potentially kill you.
Because God has given us the owner's manual for sex.
If we don't use the owner's manual, it could kill us.
Who are you going to let teach you about sex? George Michael?
"I swear i won't tease you
Won't tell you no lies
I don't need no Bible
Just look in my eyes
I want your sex
I want your love
I want your.. Sex
It's natural
It's chemical (let's do it)
It's logical
Habitual (can we do it?)
It's sensual
But most of all...
Sex is something we should do
Sex is something for me and you
Sex is natural - sex is good
Not everybody does it
But everybody should
Sex is natural - sex is fun"

What if someone didn't use the owner's manual for Drano and drank it thinking it was a drink?
Don't let the world and ridiculous magazines and movies teach you about sex. Let God teach you about sex. He designed it for ONENESS IN MARRIAGE, FOR PLEASURE, AND FOR CREATING SWEET LITTLE LOVE EXPLOSIONS (children!). God will blow your mind if you do it His way.
You will wreck your life if you don't.
Someone just asked me what my takeaway was from this last conference. I think more than anything, it is the Holiness of God and the destruction caused by sexual sin in our lives. I am so burdened to see so many girls getting trapped by the enemy in sexual sin. Believing the lies of the enemy and living in such bondage for years! Sexual sin is seriously one of Satan's biggest weapons of destruction. That is why there are so many serious warnings in Scripture about sexual sin... FLEE! RUN! PUT TO DEATH!. Tim and I have had some very real, very scary demonic threats through dreams and other avenues since we started this ministry. The enemy HATES girls hearing about the love of God and His plan for their lives. He hates it when his captives are set free by the blood of Jesus. He hates God's Word. He hates marriage. He hates purity. He hates it when single girls are content. He hates me. He HATES the gospel. He hates it when girls turn from sexual sin and wait on God to provide a godly husband to do ministry with and raise godly children with. This ministry affects generations. 
I praise God for His protection over our family and for the gift of prayer. I praise God for the privilege of serving Him and representing Him. I praise God that we are His ambassadors and that by His Word and through His Spirit, we can be used to set captives free. 
My friend Ashley taught the girls how to study the Bible inductively. This is a MUST. If they don't start getting in the Word on their own, they will never make it. She was amazing! The girls LOVED it. They were so hungry.  I LOVE Precept Ministries and Inductive Bible Study because so many people simply believe anything a commentator says and don't study the Bible for themselves. Our American Culture spends way more time in Lifeway Bookstore than in God's Word and that is NOT GOOD. We have to study the Bible for ourselves so that we will not be tossed back and forth by every wind of doctrine or every new hot Christian book that comes out.
I taught on the love story of Isaac and Rebekah, Mellette taught on the coming of Christ for us... His Bride!, and Jennie, Ashley, Jennifer and I answered questions about being  a wife and mother. We taught and worshiped for 16 hours! These girls had hearts that were hungry and hearts that want to grow! After years of college ministry I have had to learn to distinguish between NEEDY girls and HUNGRY girls. These girls were hungry. God can change the world through hearts like theirs.
Now, we pray for God to water the seeds and to protect them.
I pray God continues to open doors for us. I am doing a final Song of Solomon Bible study before baby gets here for singles and then will be taking some time off from "ministry" (although my real ministry and the ministry I am most passionate about happens every day in my home).
One last thing, if you are involved in sexual sin outside of marriage, PLEASE FOR YOUR SAKE... get out.
Write to me. I will pray for you and help you.
There is forgiveness and LIFE found in Christ.
Don't believe the enemy's lies.
You CAN get out of immoral relationships.
You have superglued yourself to a man who isn't your husband and only Christ can get you out.
Don't forfeit God's grace and blessings in your life.
"Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs."
Jonah 2:8
I am so thankful that God loves us with agape, unconditional love. He LOVES you. He will never stop loving you. You cannot do anything to lose His love because you never earned it.  Run to Him. He doesn't desire to punish you, He took your punishment. He desires to free you and bless your socks off with blessings that will blow your mind but you must obey His Word starting NOW.
"And the LORD our God commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear him so he can continue to bless us and preserve our lives, as he has done to this day."
Deut 6:24
God has set you apart to be used for NOBLE purposes. He has a plan for your life. Don't let the enemy trap you and rob you of the blessings God has for you!! You are God's "fine china"not every day wear- declared Holy!
There is nothing that compares to serving Jesus. Please, please, turn away from sexual sin today and start serving the Living God with your life!

“Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart."
2 Tim 2:19-22

Jesus Christ is asking you to come away with Him into the greatest love story ever told. He calls us out of the boat to dance with Him ON WATER. He leads and we follow. Respond to Him today. His love truly is better than anything this life has to offer.
"Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you." Psalm 63:3

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