Author Archives: Mackenzie

About Mackenzie

Traveling is ingrained in my DNA. I was born in Texas. Raised all over the U.S. I love mission work, the medical field, ingesting copious amounts of knowledge, and honorable relationships. I'm quite passionate about health, purity, sports, and the Bible. So, there's that!

Date Me If You Can

The issue of reading women probably stems from this oxymoron: we’re sickeningly sweet to the ones we couldn’t care less about and stone-cold indifferent to the attractive ones.

In my life, this little fact has handicapped me from being approachable to the right guys. I’ll see an attractive person and immediately freeze. My eyes drop to the floor and I instinctively smile at my feet. Some would say I’m just shy, but even shy people look back up at the person of interest. Unfortunately, I’ve convinced myself that such a move would scream with blaring desperation “pick me, please pick me!” So I am unable to express openness or encourage an approach. No wonder guys have such a fear of being shot down. We look like disinterested monsters too full to consume the approaching victim. But hey! There’s always the chance we’ll kill you for fun and leave the rotting corpse in our wake. So how do guys read the signs?

It is not always the guy’s responsibility to interpret mysterious signs expressed by the female gender. Take me, for instance, I’ll run the opposite direction, zigzagging along the way to throw someone off my trail. . .if I like him, that is. That doesn’t build much confidence in a poor guy trying to pursue.

So, hopefully the following will help…

Here are some of the signs of interest:

First, she glances and smiles. Then, she gives a second glance… 3 seconds pass… she smiles again. Third time, …she smiles, …okay! It is time to approach. This girl is interested.

Here is when it is not up to the poor guy to read interest: if a girl glances, makes eye contact and looks away, never to look back. It’s her loss if the guy chooses not to risk rejection by approaching her.

Flip the scene: when we don’t like someone, we smile, we’re friendly, we joke, we laugh, and we act like they are the only person in the world. We’re comfortable, if not confident. We don’t worry about rejection or looking dumb in front of these guys. They get friend-zoned almost immediately, but we love hanging out with them. Insert every girl’s claim here: we want to marry our best friend. By this, it only means we want to get as comfortable with the one we’re attracted to as we are with the friend-zoned fellow.

There is nothing wrong with being nice to guys we’re not interested in, but it is immensely confusing to befriend all the ones we don’t like while giving icy glares to the ones we do.

Here’s something we girls can do: be friendly to the guys we want to approach us. Be open and welcoming. Guys don’t need us to take their hand and lead the relationship. They need some encouragement in the right direction. They are not mind readers or flawlessly confident men who haven’t a fear in the world. They are human, trying to navigate life.

For the guys: look for the signs of interest. If you are unsure but interested, go for it. Most of the time, we are gracious in our rejection. Don’t take it personal. It was a risk taken and a new direction to move in. This one didn’t work. Maybe the next one will.

We could all learn to be clearer with our communication, actions and intentions. We are friendly creatures, by default because we want to be accepted and liked. Unfortunately, it is easier for us to abuse our power with people who make us comfortable. That goes for both genders. We gladly accept the attention of a person regardless of our own disinterest in them. It makes us feel desirable and enables us a few back-up plans in case we can’t find someone better. The dilemma in that is, when a guy sees us with our “friend,” he regards us as taken and moves on. This inevitably works its dark magic on our esteem. Now, we wonder why the only guys we attract are the ones we don’t like. The simple truth is we’re afraid of the ones we like. We don’t want to show our vulnerable hearts to them. So we try to mask it, act tougher, show interest elsewhere in order to get his attention. If we could just learn to be ourselves— comfortable, friendly, and funny— with the right company, we might have the chance at a top-choice relationship. We wouldn’t feel the need to settle every time we’re single and alone. Fear is the partner of settling. Fear of being alone, being shunned by society, being an outcast or–God forbid–different! Another reason we settle is this, “Hey! If the guy I like sees me with someone else, he’ll know I’m desirable. He will try to win me over.” I’m pretty sure it’s every girl’s fantasy to be fought over by two great guys. “May the best man win!” This is our atrocious flesh rearing its ugly insecure head like a pimple on prom night. It’s a world of confusion with so simple a solution:

We need to be nice to the one we are actually interested in. Stop playing games. If the guy doesn’t have a chance, we should be decent and respectful and cut him loose. It only brings trouble to keep a hapless crusher attached. He deserves to be happy with someone who will like him in return.

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Why Nice Guys Finish Last

We say we want a man to “take charge and lead the relationship.” Yet, we are adamant against relational tyrants. This is all quite understandable. What might add a twist of confusion to the mix is when such a large clump of women end up with tyrants, control freaks, manipulators, and abusers. All the nice guys are left wondering, “What is wrong with me?” Well fellas, here is how this works.

The cocky, take-charge man that we all say we hate has some appeal to his manner of approaching relationships. He knows what he wants and he is confident in his pursuit. That type of guy realizes –at least, some of them do- they may fail. The relationship may go bust. However, that does not stop them or hinder their pursuit. From a girl’s perspective, we can spot insecurity a mile away. After all, many of us are hitched to it like a ball and chain. It is something we hate about ourselves. So, when we see it in a potential mate, we are practically ruthless in shutting that person down. We need someone who will balance us out. Be a rock when we’re a mess, be level-headed when we’re freaking out, and be an open ear when we are rambling a million words per minute.

The female gender is astutely critical. We most often criticize ourselves, but when that cup overflows, we look elsewhere for targets. I am not proud of this, nor do I justify the weakness. But, I do know that it happens. It’s our weakness. It can be an asset when we use the criticism to better ourselves. But when it is exercised to belittle our mate, compare ourselves to other women, or complain about features we cannot change, it isn’t being put to good use.

Here is how nice guys fit into the mix. “She would never go for a guy like me.” “If she really likes me, she’ll talk to me.” The nice guy can be so shy and passive that he doesn’t even ask a girl out. Sometimes, the “nice guy” stereotype comes with something else: insecurity, uncertainty, inability to take charge and lead.

My first love was one of those guys: so very nice… so very insecure. We were snowboarding buddies. I loved how daring he was on the slopes. I wished he would become more daring in our friendship, too. But, he was deathly shy and couldn’t seem to put one relational foot in front of the other. So, I grabbed his hand and lead the way. We liked each other that much I knew. One night, before departing ways he asked me what I was thinking. Being a silly little girl, I told him exactly what was on my mind. “I want to kiss you, but I don’t know how.” Yeah, that was a lie. I knew how. I just wanted him to lead this relationship, not me. Our young love sprouted and we kept seeing each other. But I was the leader. I instigated, I lead, I controlled the relationship, and I hated it. He would look at me, stand near me, tell every other guy not to go for me. But he himself could not make the moves. Miscommunication and lack of leadership on his part lead our relationship on a merry-go-round with no destination. It was a fun ride, but had little purpose. I regret how it all ended, but I wasn’t prepared to get down on one knee and propose to the guy. So I walked away. And like a typical romantic comedy, I wished and prayed he would stop me, come after me. He didn’t.

Sorry guys. This is just how it works. If you are nice, but can’t lead a relationship, things are going to crumble fast. One of two things might happen. Scenario A: it’s a sweet, but boring date and interest chokes with the first bite of food, can’t get resuscitated by dessert, and gets buried when the two say their goodbyes. It’s a hopeless cause. Scenario B: it is an opportunity for the woman to take charge for a bit. She’ll lead the relationship awhile until she grows bored or meets a confident leader who can make decisions and hold a conversation. They say nice guys finish last. Sometimes they do. And this is why. Women crave men with leadership abilities and confidence. Women will go for a confident man over a “nice guy” 99% of the time. The key is to become both.

Nice Guy, put yourself out there more. Take chances. You may fail thirty-seven times, but when it does work, it is worth it. Be confident in this: you are exactly who you are supposed to be. God created you a specific way. There is a type of girl who is madly wild about your character. So be confident, be bold. Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself to say all the right things and ask all the right questions. We’re learning together. Just roll with it. If you make a mistake, shrug it off. Life is fun and relationships are incredible gifts from God. Treat every woman like you’d want your sister or future wife to be treated and you will leave every girl better off than before she knew you.

I respect a man who will put himself out there. I’m not talking about the creepy guy that accosts me in Wal-Mart ranting about my outer beauty. I’m talking about the budding friendship that clicks well. Most of the time, I’ll say yes to a date, especially if a friendly platform has been established first. There, that should be the hardest step covered. The actual date is the fun part. A plan is good. Questions are great. But stress is unnecessary. It seems like a lot of pressure, but there is only one thing you need to do on this date: be confident in yourself. Now, if the date doesn’t go well, so be it. Not every girl is the right fit. The confidence part is what you can control. If you are confident you will shine and exude a certain authenticity that is attractive. That is how you will have a good date, regardless of the outcome.


Beyond The Pencil-Prick Life

The question should never be, “When will I meet that special someone?” Instead, this is the question we focus on: “Does my life exemplify Christ to the world?” Whether single or married, one fact remains true of all lifestyles: the safest place to be is in the will of God. If He allows us to enjoy the benefits of marriage for the next 50 years then we will do so within the boundaries of His will. If He gives us the freedom to spend our days as a single person then we shall lavish in the moments and spend our time for the Kingdom. Without Him, I am lost. With Him, I have all I need. So it isn’t a matter of finding someone, or being someone such as a girlfriend, a wife, or an old maid. It is a matter of fostering a right relationship with the King of all creation. After our 80+ years on this earth we will move on into eternity. Everything on this earth will fade in time. We will be taking nothing more than our spirits to heaven. We won’t have Mr. and Mrs. titles in heaven either. Whoever the godly man is that we marry is not the means to an end. He plays a part in God’s story as well. Our job in his life is to build him up and encourage him forward. Too often I hear single people swoon over marriage, “Oh! If only I was married… When I get married… Things will be different when I’m married…” It all sounds so final. All the “someday-when-I’m-married” stipulations will hold no bearing to the truth about marriage being a temporary, earthly example of Christ and His Bride. The ultimate relationship is with Jesus Christ. Not even death can separate that relationship. He is our first love. Meaning nothing should EVER take His place within our hearts. Even if we marry the greatest guy in the whole world, that relationship STILL falls short compared to our love relationship with Christ. We are not necessarily held responsible for whether or not we marry, but whether or not we fulfill our calling. It is that big. It is that crazy, wild, and adventurous. It will bring us to life like nothing else in the entire world. Our callings stimulate us and shape us into the representatives Christ has called us to be.

I’ve had some of the sweetest, most exhilarating moments with God. I’ve shifted away from the busyness of life to meet with Him in some of the most remote places where His beauty shines and His Spirit speaks softly. I am filled to the brim with unspeakable joy, peace, and the assurance of His security. He is ready to pour out His blessings and share His love at all moments throughout the day. The reason the moments happen less frequently than they should is because I get too busy. I misplace my focus and start building my little earthly kingdom or I get distracted by the shiny objects in this life. He fills my heart afresh every time I meet with Him. But it goes against my human nature to seek Him and please Him. My spirit and my flesh are at war all day every day. The more time I do spend in His presence, the stronger my spirit becomes and the more Christ becomes my sole focus. I know Satan can’t stand a powerfully selfless child of God. He subtly brings on the distractions. And before I know it, it’s been weeks and I haven’t had one of those awe-inspiring, soul-refreshing, spirit-awakening moments with God. We mustn’t let go of our first love. We cannot let ourselves get so busy we neglect that meaningful and life-transforming relationship. The way we treat Him is going to hold bearing on the way we treat our future men. Will we give our time to Him even in our busiest pursuits?

And when we come fully alive, we will encourage our significant others to become fully alive. The verses concerning two being better than one truly make this point: we can do marvelous things for the Lord as a single person, but when two people come together and pray into something and encourage each other along, build one another up, and step out into darkness together, they can light up the world. That’s why it is so important to make sure we are both chasing after the same goal. And the goal above all goals is to glorify God in everything we do. We find a guy with that same focus and we’ve found a treasure.

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

What amazes me is that God is always moving. Even when I sleep, He continually originates desires and plans in my life to tug me along on His glorious and adventure-filled path. Everything in the universe is the story of God. God created all things to glorify Him. I want any role in the never-ending story of God. I want my life to shine a light on Him. I desire to bring GLORY to God in ALL I DO! And when we partake in this story-no matter our role-we get to participate in the glorious, heavenly after-party of God. We are allowed to come into His presence because Jesus Christ came to this miniscule planet to save us. He saved me. He rescued me. My life BELONGS to Him. I was made for Him-for His glory. That is such a jewel to possess. This life is NOT about me. It is about Him. What can I do with my pencil-tip-length of life to bring glory to His name?

Life. He is the way, the truth, and the LIFE. In Him, our spirits come alive.

 


Prayer Makes Pure-fect

We were born in darkness. There is little gain from condemnation over bad choices made in the past. It is wrong to assume we were pure and those choices made us impure. Instead, we must realize that we live in a fallen world where all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). There are none righteous, no not one (Rom. 3:10). When we enter into the world, we are not pure but innocent of bad choices. We start off as selfish beings. When I gave away my first kiss I thought I lost some of my purity. I knew I could never get that back. The loss is so final. And yes, it is true that I’ve lost some of my innocence, but my purity is not wrapped up in a label. Purity begins in the heart. God brings the dead to life (Rom. 4:17). He washes us clean and calls us His redeemed. You and I were called out of darkness while we were still sinners. We didn’t earn good-standing; we weren’t holy enough to just step into His presence. He made us righteous with His blood. Each day we make choices and take steps, hopefully closer to purity. Each day we are being fashioned into His likeness. We have hearts that can ascend to purity through Christ’s redemption. It all starts with prayer.

Prayer has proven to be one of the biggest comforts in my life. I pray to God about everything. It is especially rewarding to talk to Him about guys. After all, He did create those guys and knows their hearts better than anyone. He is not going to give some biased advice or flattering feedback. He is going to shape and transform my heart to resemble His own for a guy: to love with selflessness and share my heart only if the Holy Spirit prompts me. I want to love people with His love. I don’t just love the world with His love because that sounds good. I love with His love because I have experienced it. I know His love is best. I know His love is the most satisfying, beneficial, and sacrificial love of all. There is no hidden agenda, selfish motive, or stipulation to His love. He loves us because He is love.

Many people ask the question “How do I hear His voice?” It is a real question, and of course, there is a real answer. Practice PRAYER.

Prayer: 

The best way to hear this glorious King’s voice is to spend time in His presence. Prayer begins with conversations about our day, our feelings, anything. We acknowledge the opportunity to speak with the Creator of the Universe. Here’s an example of a rudimentary conversation: HI. You’re Jesus. I know a lot about you, but I don’t know YOU too well. I know you are the HOLY Son of God. I know you humbled yourself and became one of us for our sakes. I know you DIED on a cross and then rose again. Your word says you know the number of hairs on my head and your thoughts about me outnumber the grains of sand (Psalm 139). That is pretty crazy to think, but already I like you more.

A great way to start talking to God is by confirming the truth we’ve read about Him. “I know you love me, forgive me, call me your child, etc.” Prostrate-that is a cool word for “lay face down,”-and just soak up the silence. In those silent moments Christ can speak to us. We often forget praying is a two-way conversation. We don’t just ask for things and wait for those things to fall out of the sky. We don’t rub a genie bottle and ask for our second wish. We don’t just talk to Him, forgetting WHO He is. God wants communion with us. He wants to talk to us. It’s hard to understand that in our initial conversations with Him. But prayers are supposed to progressively move deeper and closer to God’s heart. We can pray and hear answers, or we can pour out and just be comforted in His arms. He knows exactly what we need and what is best for us. It’s hard to face that when we really want an answer right now. But the more we talk to Him the more we trust Him and understand His heart for us. He is worth every minute of my day. I adore conversing with my Father in heaven and hearing His responses.

It is not like hearing a person in the next room, it is hearing with our spirits. We must be careful here because our hearts easily get distracted by our fleshly wants and we think we heard Him say “just do it.” The best way to combat and discern answers is the truth of His word. What does the Bible say? If our request stirs up an answer contradictory to the Word of Truth, chances are that answer is not from Him. John 10 talks about Christ as a Shepherd. It says His lambs hear and know His voice. He leaves the gate open for them to roam the fields freely, but when He calls, they know to return. How do we hear His voice and know it’s Him? Abracadabra, the answer is!… We spend time with Him. If we wanted to get to know someone, we wouldn’t just sit across the table from them and stare. That might be awkward and dissatisfying. A lot of people react to God in this manner. When one sits down to “talk with God,” it gets silent and weird. This is too quiet. I don’t like this silence. What do I say to You? What do I ask You? How weird is it that I hope to hear back from You? What if I DON’T hear from You?

There are many questions to ask, but no idea where to go with the conversation. Just relax; breathe. Yes, He is Holy and yes, He is perfect, so there is a bit of nervousness in our first few conversations with Him. But the more time we spend with Him the easier it gets to talk to Him and absolutely cherish every moment. He is endearing and He listens to every word we speak. Not even one of those words will be lost. He receives them all. When we are at a loss for words, it is fine to just sit in silence. If we don’t know what to ask Him, it’s okay. It is always beneficial to proclaim His Word. The Bible is full of God’s characteristics and His great love. When conversing with Him we should keep those in mind. Wow! It can be gloriously overwhelming to think of how incredible He is and all the things He has done, created, and said. Let alone, all the awesome things He has performed in our individual lives. He isn’t God that created the world, created man, threw that man into the world and said, “The rest is up to you, buddy! You’re on your own to figure this thing out!” Not in the least, He is a loving Father and He continues to work with us on an individual basis. He knows our specific needs and He’s ready to help us get through all our junk to find Him and become more like Him. His Word is our nourishment, our sustenance. With that we move into conversation and dialogue with Him. He wants to share His secrets with us, but that means we have to get close enough to hear His whisper. In order to get closer, we have to spend quality time with Him, undistracted from the busyness of day-to-day responsibilities. Each day in His presence gets better and more invigorating. Each day I fall more in love with this incredible God and Savior. He is everything I need. The more I read His word and converse with Him, the more I understand His heart. Life is dull and meaningless without Him. He’s everything. Putting prayer into practice can only magnify our enjoyment, adventure, and satisfaction in life.


Myth of “The One”

Our view of “the one” is sometimes distorted by fairy tales and even a few Christian scholars. The myth concerning “the one” is that in all the world there is just ONE particular guy that will fit perfectly for each girl. If we marry someone and run into a few rough patches in the relationship, we may start wondering, “Was THIS guy *the one* or is there someone else I was SUPPOSED to marry!?” Fear and doubt set in. We worry if we picked someone other than the one we were supposed to marry.  And now, what does that mean for the guy we were really supposed to marry? Did he marry someone else, which would inevitably be the wrong one for him too? And if he took someone else’s *one,* what does that mean for her guy? This train of thought can go on and on, and then we are blaming all the sad stories on people who married the wrong one.

God created us in a specific way to be encouraged, challenged, tested and benefitted by a certain type of guy. There are many men in the world that could possibly be the perfect one. We will meet a few of those guys in our lifetimes. Some are not physically attractive to us. Some are even married. No use in getting anxious about this. It’s not like we’ve missed our chance. He is probably in our lives to show us what kind of guy we’re looking for. He’s not there for us to covet or wish death upon his wife. Nope! He is a prime example of the type of guy for us. In all fairness, there are others like him and someone else will suit us better.

When we finally say “I do,” he is THE one. Through thick and thin, sickness and health, we’ve picked the one. This takes away some heavy pressure and tinges of confusion. When things start to get a little rough in marriage or we’re not “feeling the love” at the moment, it is NOT because we married the WRONG guy. Trouble, issues, disagreements are going to befall us all. Welcome to life! All of our relationships are going to have conflict. And we are going to work through that conflict. Just because my best friend doesn’t like my new shoes or laughs at me when I get weak in the knees for Super Swampers (offroad tires) and M/T SideBiters (rims), is no reason to call off the friendship. Or let’s say the best friend actually offends us. We might want some space for a little while, but it’s not a deal breaker. Same goes for marriage, we don’t need to call off the marriage because I want a dog and he wants a cat, or he wants to hang out with his friends when I want a date night. We work through our troubles and grow closer to one another. When we argue we do so lovingly and respectfully. There is no benefit to use cutting remarks like, “I should have married Johnny.” That isn’t going to help the case or bring resolution to the problem. It is going to add fuel to the fire and slice into our guy’s trust bank. It’s better to alleviate the worry or doubt when thinking through the problems: he is the one. There’s no use trying to justify a desire to run away or leave the relationship.

Before marriage, before boyfriends, and before pursuing a guy there should be a holy pursuit of God. As we build upon our relationship with the Lord He will reveal our identity and purpose in life. That identity enlivens and strengthens us for the work He has prepared for us. The rest of our lives are spent working and cultivating that beautiful responsibility.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” –Eph. 2:10

Marriage is a sign of a heavenly connection for which we yearn. A man loves a woman as Christ loves the Church. A woman respects and submits to a man as the Church does to Christ. There are many earthly signs of heavenly realities. In the Old Testament it talks meticulously about measurements and images of an earthly temple built for the Lord. The temple was a replica of the heavenly throne. It doesn’t even come close to the heavenly beauty, but it is an earthly example. When compared to the imagery and description God puts into marriage as an example of a heavenly relationship with Him, it is just a foretaste of future glory. Marriage is an earthly example of Christ and His Bride. So, even as beautiful and exemplary as marriage might be, it is only an illustration of what we truly aim for: eternity with Christ. Our true contentment is wrapped up in that relationship–Christ and His Church. When we understand that purpose we are able to depict a clearer picture of marriage to the world as we love sacrificially and unconditionally.

 

Disclaimer: This concept is based on what I believe a marriage could be. I am not speaking from experience. I have been proposed to more times than I can count on both hands, but I am confident there is someone indescribably better for me: a compilation of the right character, calling, and personality in a guy. The truth behind “the one” is that it is a choice we make. I will wait for the one I choose to be my one and only. I understand that marriage is not simple and it is not a solution to some dark hole of emptiness. It is an opportunity to bring all the beautiful uniqueness of my life and my experiences into a recipe with another guy’s life and experiences to create an even more beautiful picture of God. I understand that marriage is a blessing. It is a chance to share life with another and to give sacrificially and love wholeheartedly. I’m not going to put pressure on the poor guy to measure up to “the one.” Instead, it’s a choice we make. I will take responsibility for my choice. When I do say yes, I understand full-well that he is going to be “the one” for me by choice, not default.


The Power of Music

Music is influential in our senses, imaginations and learning techniques. This powerful tool is directly linked to the brain waves. It can heal anxiety, depression, insomnia, and short attention spans. It brings alertness, attentiveness, and self-awareness. But it can be used for destructive purposes as well. When we saturate our minds and spirits with lyrics about making love in clubs, it warps our perspective on love. How can we expect to make solid choices when we are dousing our minds with selfish lust-filled stories that dim our spirit’s shimmering light?

I caught myself strumming my pencil to a song…

“You can have whatever you like. If you want it you can get it my dear, 5 million-dollar home… I want your body, I need your body. As long as you got me you won’t need nobody. You want it, I got it. Baby, you can have whatever you like.”

Other than the grammatical errors, the message is plain and clear: I’ll give you money and material items to make you happy and you give me your body in return. I liked the beat of this song, but it wasn’t until I caught a word or two that I started hearing the lyrics for the first time. I was mortified that I could be so pleasantly moved by such a song. The Bible says, “Be on guard. Stand true to what you believe. Be courageous. Be strong.” (1 Cor. 16:13). We need to be cautious of what we allow to filter into our systems. Those songs are seeping into our hearts. How can we listen to the words and not be influenced by them?

We are mistaken if we think these outlets of entertainment have zero effect on our interaction with members of the opposite gender. The more we feed on this monstrous, decaying cadaver the more we will see through the eyes of death. Likewise, when we feed from the grazing territories of God’s hope and truth, life abounds.  I’ve concluded it isn’t even worth it to intoxicate my spirit with the catchy tunes.

A healthy lifestyle takes some hard steps of self-control, 20/20 vision for people’s worth and a deeper respect for our spirits. We have to make some tough choices. There is junk food in each of us that must be eliminated. Take time to search out these frivolous time-consumers. It is almost unrealistic to go cold turkey on entertainment and all forms of media, but I highly respect anyone who aims for it. Some of us shifted things around a bit slower, we realized all this gorging on immoral media could create a throng of obese fakes. How can we expect God to speak to us if we are invading His temple with junk? We have to let go of this mindset: It’s all about me. My life, my choices, my rights. That life is short-lived, wasted, and meaningless in the end. We have an incredible chance to be a part of history: HIS-story. Our part can and will impact people. I would rather have the role of an extra in the greatest story ever told than the selfish star in a dull, rundown, typical story that lasts but a pencil prick compared to the space of time. Why waste away, wishing for excitement like the character of a favorite movie? Life is happening here and now. The adventure is right in front of us, beckoning us to join. We must lose some of the excess weight called entertainment. We need to run toward the finish line and claim the grand Prize. In Christ alone, my glory shines.

It may feel like a huge sacrifice to give up large quantities of Hollywood entertainment. It may even hurt a bit. But the unfathomable freedom and refreshment is worth it. The pain is a beneficial pain, like exercise. We persevere if we want results. We make right choices daily. It isn’t just a spring cleaning of the soul and then we’re done for the next six months. We can’t just throw out all the bad CDs, movies, magazines, TV shows one day and expect to check off the list of good deeds for the year. It takes daily discipline to keep our minds pure and our hearts fresh. The thoughts and dreams of our hearts will surely come out in our actions and behaviors. Whether some are going cold turkey or giving up one thing at a time, or just thinking of giving up depraved music, it will be out of love for Christ that any of us follow through and take the steps toward freedom. We obey because we love Him. We make wise choices because we want to please Him. He is HOLY, and we are His children. We are to represent Him. The only way we can do that is by living in the aperture of His Spirit. There is a soft and gentle conscience to be gained here. When our conscience is sensitive and sweet, purity will enfold us. And purity in heart is the ultimate goal because, “Blessed are those who are pure in heart for they shall SEE God,” –Matt. 5:8. Ready to catch a glimpse of God?

Music activates multiple regions of the brain which is why it has such a global impact on us. Our emotions, memory, immune systems, stress responses are affected by music. Let us reclaim this powerful outlet for God’s glory. He made everything and saw that it was good. Music, love, and words were created for God’s glory. Next time I listen to my favorite playlist I will do so with the glory of God in mind and a heart willing to give up anything for Him.

“I don’t want to talk about You like You’re not in the room.

I want to look right at You. I want to sing right to You.

…Give me undistracted devotion for only You.”

 –Misty Edwards, Dove’s Eyes


Jabber Mouth Princess

“I’m going to be true to myself,” Jackie claimed as her approach to dating. If she had feelings for a guy, she let him know. If she wanted to talk to a guy, she called him. If she was scared she might lose a guy, she’d cling to him and ask for some reassurance. If she liked a guy, she threw herself into a relationship head first, whether he was open to it or not. There was no mystery, or chance for a guy to lead the relationship. She made the moves and made sure not even a day went by that he didn’t hear how she felt. A lot of people might wonder what’s wrong with this bold approach. There is a time to share feelings and have defining conversations for the direction of a relationship. But there is also a time to be patient and silent.

A girl sometimes talks just for the sake of talking. If a moment becomes too quiet, she gets nervous and feels the need to tell a story, or rant on about meaningless nothings, “This one time, at band camp….” This inevitably makes her look as insecure and nervous as she is feeling. Many guys have something important they could share, but they choose not to when a girl goes on and on … and on. “So like, today was just the best day! I was driving… to like, work or something, and this BABY BIRD flopped into the road in front of me. Luckily, I was at a red light or like, I might have squished that poor, helpless creature. And then, like, how would the momma bird feel?? How would I feel?? Oh my gosh! So then, anyway, I went shopping after work and bought this pretty pink shirt and these leggings. I was totally about to buy some new socks with puppies on them, and some new shoes, but then I remembered I needed to go to the post office for some stamps. I was talking to my best friend on the phone and she said her boyfriend’s mom’s boyfriend bought a new Porsche. He modified it so it cost, like, more than my whole wardrobe. It’s a pretty metallic color with flames and chrome wheels. I’m going to get a Porsche someday. I think they are so pretty, don’t you?” On and on… it’s meaningless, but it beats the silence, right?

I cannot stress enough how vital it is to get comfortable with silence. I know some women like to talk. They use more than ten times the amount of words men do… each day. That does not mean every moment and every day should be filled with mindless banter.  There is a time for everything, including silence. How will we ever hear those few important sentences other people need to speak if we do not give them the opportunity?

We all know that girl who jabbers a million miles an hour. It doesn’t go well for her on a date. She goes home thinking she met her future husband and feels great that she shared so much of her heart. He, on the other hand, was ready for the date to end right after they sat down for dinner. She told him about her best friend from middle school, her popularity in high school, that she was on the honor role, how her dog Skip died, about all nine of her boyfriends and why it didn’t work out… with each of them, her favorite pastime, what she likes to eat while watching TV, and the names and personalities of all seven of her cats. She connected. He didn’t.

There needs to be some mystery. The most exciting part of getting to know someone is discovering their personality through questions and interactions. If a girl tells everything about herself, without even taking a breath, the date loses its mystery and the girl just comes off as a boring braggart. We don’t need to chase after or pursue anyone.

Joann pursued Tony. She is gorgeous and outgoing, but doesn’t have a lot of self-respect. She eventually snagged him. Soon, his disinterest and boredom became evident. Predictably, he began to look elsewhere. He wanted to pursue someone with mystery who would take some effort to finally win. No matter how beautiful she looked, it wasn’t enough to keep her man occupied. Men are made with a desire to win a battle, and fight for a woman. It’s not our job to pursue. It is hard to keep that kind of relationship. Of course, that is not always the case. I realize there are some special circumstances. But let me be clear, those circumstances should be the minority, not the majority of relationship beginnings.

There are a few exceptions to the rule. When a guy is outrageously shy, it is okay to throw a few extra hints his way, perhaps a sky message that reads: “I like you, shy guy, when you ask me out I will say yes.”

Another case that might need some encouragement: sometimes we give ‘hands-off’ messages to guys. I started to develop some interest for a friend of mine. Throughout our friendship he saw guy after guy pursue me without luck. We would even talk about the other situations and how awkward it was for me. Their desperation to win me, a stranger, was unnerving. He admitted to me that he didn’t want to ever pursue me because he was afraid I might categorize him with those others. I did like him though. As our friendship blossomed but never progressed, the time did come when I shared my heart with him.

Making the moves can be an intimidating and nerve-racking process. It is never fun to risk rejection. So if we are clearly telling people we don’t want to date and we don’t want a boyfriend, the right, respectful guys will step down and either be a friend or move on. If an interest is formed for one of these respectful men, a hint or two might be needed to encourage them in the pursuit. In this case, a conversation might even be best. The conversation, though it can be scary, should be easy-going and honest, “Hey, we’ve had ____ many months to get to know each other. I just want you to know I appreciate _____ and _____ (character qualities) about you. I have developed stronger feelings for you. But you do with that knowledge whatever you see fit. I cherish your friendship, so just let me know if there’s something there for you or if we should just keep being friends.” If this conversation is going to happen, breathe. Don’t get worked up over what needs to be said or what needs to happen. We can only share what’s happening on our side. Feelings have to be reciprocated in order for a relationship to ensue. We have no control over that, so there is no point in stressing. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, there is always going to be someone better suited.

These are not common situations. Guys have an innate desire to pursue. When they step into their God-given leadership roles they become more alive as men. Their masculinity is strengthened when we allow them to make the moves and do the wooing. The more we scream out equality on the playing field, the lazier our guys become. “Don’t wait for him to call you. You call him.” Just as we need to learn silence in order to give our guys a chance to share deep stories, or ask personal question, we also need to learn patience when it comes to first moves. We have to be careful about making hasty decisions or running ahead to take the lead. The most loving approach we can take in new encounters and relationships is to be open and friendly; not brash and outspoken. This isn’t a competition or a burping contest. We have an innate desire to be pursued. We don’t need to prove our worth or independence in order to impress guys. When we understand our security is found in Christ, we will learn how to respond to the right guy’s pursuit. There is no need to blare a loud horn to get a guy’s attention.

Some women are shy, so this approach is easier for them. And then there are some of us who are go-getters and major competitors.  It is hard to practice patience and self-control. We know what we want and we’re ready to get it. The downfall of this trait is a hasty decision. Backpedaling is hard to do when we’re already going down a hill. It is important to learn patience. Every man is a leader, or meant to be. Some have had their leadership squashed by so many women that it takes them a bit more time to pursue. They do have it within them. We can be a part of a great lesson for these guys if we just learn some patience in their pursuit. Just like talking, he’ll make the move, if we just step back and give him the floor.


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