Why Does God Seem Silent Sometimes?
A Modern Understanding of Ancient Truths
Celebrities Before & After Photoshop
7 Secrets To Purity For Every Teen Girl
Single Desire: How Can I Be Sexually Alive?
Sexual freedom seems to be a strong presupposition of our cultural conversation when it comes to human dignity, equality, and civil rights. One website defines it as "the license to lawfully live with and love whom you want, when you want, and how you want without social, political, medical or cultural persecution." (The Woodhall Foundation) A writer for The Christian Post claims that many single self-proclaimed Christians are sexual atheists. That is, they believe in Jesus Christ but want him to stay out of their bedroom. They want the freedom to do what they want with their sex lives. Here are a few questions I have rolling around in my head. They're things you may want to consider before you embrace sexual freedom, or if you already are.
Who doesn't like to see a good "celebrities without make up" photo? Our catty-inner-mean-girl aside, it's actually a good thing to see the reality of magazine cover "beauty." Countless surveys reveal that looking at these picture-perfect images impacts what we believe about our own beauty. (And it's not making us feel great!) The younger you are, the more likely you are to believe that you can never be beautiful because the standard is so pore-free, zit-free, full-head-of-hair flawless! I'd love to see every mom sit down with her daughters and look at just how big the lies are that these photos tell. But so many times those links you click are full of sensual poses and topless women. For every mom out there who wants to show their daughter the lie but not the porn, I've created a collection of six telling images just for you. (Seven if you count the perfected photo of Katy Perry to the left.)
'Tis the season for soul-bending schedules that have moms everywhere asking, "Am I over-scheduling my kids?" It seems every year...scratch that...every season, my family was struggling with the question of “how much is too much?” From my oldest’s first year of AWANA Cubbies and Boy Scouts to my youngest’s last year of high school soccer and basketball, the Gresh family was trying its best to find balance that still created space for the kind of quality parent-child connecting that we so firmly believe is important. When it comes to extra-curricular activities, there is a lot of social pressure from other moms and a lot of debate from medical and psychological experts on just how much soccer, piano, and clubbing is good for our kids. How is a mom to know what's right for her children? Scratch that! How's a mom to know what's right for each individual child?
In the midst of a battle with cancer, Pastor Tim Keller stands before a congregation that has missed and prayed for him. He used the sharing of his battle to also invite his congregation to step into the place where he was currently living: a place of peace. “How do you face troubles like this with peace?” he asked. “The ultimate way to handle the troubles of life with peace is not through petitionary prayer, but through worship.” His body weak from treatments and eagerly anticipating a vacation, he musters the strength to stand before his church for just one sermon. He tells the story of a woman who has inherited an old brooch, which has been thrown into a pile of other bobbles with little consideration.
“In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord...” The questions of motherhood poured out of her. Lord, do you see me? Could you change your mind on this one? Is there something I could do differently? Please, could you just let me have one baby boy? She pours out her soul-breaking pleadings to the God of the Universe.
I was drafted into the Mommy Wars when my first baby was barely in my womb. Sitting with some trusted friends, I mentioned the name of my OB/GYN. (Big mistake!) After an awkward moment of silence, one of the other women went on to coyly describe her OB/GYN with adjectives that might make you think he was a borderline miracle worker when it came to pain, God-like in securing the safety of the baby, and had a bedside manner that made him a comedian. In hushed whispers (BUT NOT TO ME), I later overheard the woman suggesting my doctor was virtually a serial killer. (They didn't think they should tell me that?) Unless you have a good pair of proverbial boxing gloves, beware of these top ten topics that fuel the Mommy Wars. Number 7 is worthy of the click on the video to get your blood pumping. (Please read with an air of sarcasm, or you'll be writing me hate mail!)
Last week, The Washington Post reported on new research revealing that the "princess culture" is damaging young girls. Is it? (My team has been researching the concept of "princess culture" for about nine months preparing for a new Secret Keeper Girl tour and I might have a different take on things than the many hyped-up headlines.) While modern princesses like Elsa, Merida, and Rapunzel have been applauded for breaking stereotypes, the overriding impact of a slow and steady stream of physically perfect female lead roles awaiting their prince is accused of doing measurable damage. The study, a first measuring social science data on the impact of "princess culture" reveals three specific concerns.
Every now and then—and with growing frequency—a single woman in her twenties or thirties confides in me how discouraged she is that there aren't any guys her age to date. "They're too busy playing video games to invest in the pursuit of family," said one. There's now some statistical evidence that the concern of these biological-clock-ticking females is very real. For the first time in 130 years (when life circumstances generally had extended families living together), a young adult is more likely to live at home with mom and dad than with a significant other. It's the most common form of living arrangements for twenty-something males. Since the 2004 coining of the word “adultescent,”[i] we’ve had something to call the young adult male who is so busy playing Call of Duty on his Playstation 4 that he doesn’t actually have a real life call of duty. Should you be worried about your son?
"Masturbating will make you go blind." So goes the old myth. (Many myths prevail surrounding masturbation. The most interesting may have been perpetuated by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg who thought that a proper diet would alleviate a man's desire to masturbate, and so he fed men under his care in a mental institution a special cereal he created. Kellogg didn't curb masturbation, but did become a cereal giant and many of us still eat Corn Flakes today with no impact on our sexual desires.) Recently, my husband and I were having dinner with a couple we greatly respect. The man is a well-studied theologian and beloved pastor. During a conversation about the overall crisis of purity in the Church at large, he referenced a Bible verse that made me wonder: "Is the notion that masturbation causes blindness really a myth after all?" I'd like to share that verse with you today, but first let's take a look at masturbation and ask the question: Is it a sin?