Category: 2013

Romantic Stocking Stuffers

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Getting your sweetheart the perfect gift (or at least, one that passes as thoughtful) is normally the main focus of the holiday season, but much romantic opportunity is missed when overlooking one of the most exciting elements of gift giving in December: the stocking. Little trinkets and gadgets are the best way to send a message to your sweetheart about your feelings. In fact, here are some gift ideas that will speak your mind perfectly.

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Halloween Ideas for Couples

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How Much is Too Much for a Wedding?

wedding4The dress, the tux, the bridesmaid dresses, the venue, the table centerpieces, the food, the drinks, the DJ, the guestbook, the rental furniture, the invitations, the flowers, the pre-wedding beauty treatments, the photographer, the videographer, the cake, the rings, the wedding favors, and the wedding planner.

I just got vertigo thinking about all that.

Everything I listed are things couples think about while planning their wedding, and none of these things come free (unless you have some really good connections). But how much should you spend on a wedding? How much is too much? What price bracket do you think is completely ridiculous?

I heard that in Korea weddings are typically $50,000-$100,000. I’ve also heard of weddings in the United States that have cost well over $100,000. Celebrities dish out a couple million. Could you bring yourself to pay that much for a one-day celebration?

Are you curious to see what weddings in your area cost, or want to know what the estimated cost of your future wedding might be? CostofWedding.com can help you out. This website has a wedding cost calculator available, and it also tells you the average costs of weddings in each county of the United States. It told me that my future wedding will cost near $24,000 – which is equivalent to a year’s worth of my student loans. As much as I value weddings, I don’t think they should cost as much as my collage degree.

How much do you think a wedding should cost? How much did CostofWedding.com say your future wedding would be? If you’re all ready married, how much did your wedding cost? Comment below or on our Facebook page!

Put Off the Old

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Marriage: Sooner or Later?

wed3I wrote in an earlier blog post that people in Tennessee marry young compared to those in California. However, these couples seem to thrive just as well as couples in California. This makes me wonder: is it better to marry early? Or is it better to get married later? What are the benefits of sooner over later? What are the benefits of later over sooner?

I can tell you that the selfish, codependent woman I was five years ago was not fit for marriage. She was searching for Jesus in all the wrong places, she wasn’t considerate to the opposite sex, and she was a complete mess. I’m still a mess now, but at least I have a bit more wisdom in my satchel, and my character has matured greatly since my early 20′s. The older I get, the more prepared I feel for marriage… and there are those that agree with me!

On the other hand, marriage is a real crash course on character and wisdom, and when you marry early you have the joy of growing in these areas together.

So what do you think? Is it better to get married sooner or later? Leave your comments below or on our Facebook page!

4 Ways to Serve the Church as a Single

churchflower2I get a little jealous when I see married couples in ministry together. It’s inspiring to see a man and woman working as a single unit, serving others and expanding the Kingdom of God. It almost feels like it was meant to be that way; like serving wasn’t meant to be done alone.

But every individual is called to serve, despite marital status. Singles have just as much weight in the growth of a church, and shouldn’t disqualify themselves because they feel out of place. Don’t let the married folks intimidate you – you’re just as important to the body of Christ as they are.

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When Should You Kiss?

kiss3Have you ever seen The Music Man? There’s a song in it called “Shipoopi.” (Which wins the Most Awkward Name For a Song Ever Award.) The opening line to that song is,

“Well a woman who’ll kiss on the very first date
Is usually a hussy.
And a woman who’ll kiss on the second time out
Is anything but fussy.
But a woman who waits ’til the third time around,
Head in the clouds, feet on the ground!
She’s the girl he’s glad he’s found…”

This song sticks with me. Not just because I’m still trying to figure out what “shipoopi” actually means, but also because it makes me think about the proper time for a first kiss. Do you need to kiss within the first three dates? Or do you jump on the wait-until-the-alter bandwagon? When is a first kiss proper? On a first date? After the first “I love you?” Or when you say “I do?”

There’s really no Scripture to refer to regarding kissing. Christians are commanded to obtain from sexual immorality and to flee from temptation (1 Corinthians 6:18-20), but at the same time, a kiss is not sinful. A kiss means different things in different cultures. The motives of a kiss determine its purity. Can a kiss be sinful? Possibly. Is it always? No.

But I will say this – kissing is a gateway drug. Once you start, it leads into other things easily. The foundation of a relationship shouldn’t be the chemistry of the kiss, but the chemistry of your friendship.

Don’t feel the need to rush the first kiss. If this is the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, you’ll have plenty of time to kiss; if this is the person you’re not spending the rest of your life with, then why waste your lips?

What are your thoughts? When is the proper time for the first kiss? Comment below!

Bury

shovel3“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is,seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-3

As human beings, we seek comfort and pleasure. It’s natural. None of us wake up and think, “I’d really like to be miserable today.” (And if we do, we should probably seek psychiatric attention.) But the problem with seeking comfort and pleasure is that we get ourselves tangled up in all the wrong things in order to find happiness. We make bad choices. We make huge mistakes. Then we feel the disillusion as everything we thought we wanted crumbles into nothing.

Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God.” Setting your mind on the things above means burying the things that distract you here. There are things that deter us from keeping our sights on God’s Kingdom and we need to put them to rest.

Bury Your Idols
Your idols will never give you the life you’re looking for. God created many things for our enjoyment, but none of those things were designed to give us life. Only God Himself can give us life.

Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) Our idols are thieves – they steal our affection, our attention, and our very souls. They never give life, they only take it. We need to bury our idols because our life can never be found in them. Our lives are found in Christ.

Bury Your Past
The past is something that needs to be addressed, but sooner or later it needs to be put to rest. You don’t need to hold onto the pain of the past when Jesus is your hope. You don’t need to hold onto the shame of your past when Jesus has cleansed you. You don’t need to be weighed down by the chains of the past when Jesus has set you free. Don’t let the past hold you back any more. Paul writes in Philippians 3:13, “But I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” Pressing ahead means letting go of what’s behind.

Bury Yourself
The phrase “die to yourself” is quite popular in the Christian realm, and it means to put your ambitions aside and pick up God’s instead. It means burying the opinion that your desires are more important than God’s. This is not an easy task. This is especially hard because a lot of the time when we put ourselves first we see instant results, while when we put God first the results don’t seem as obvious. But the overall results of putting God first are much more satisfactory than putting ourselves first. We need to bury ourselves and submit ourselves back under the rule of the King, who knows how to direct our lives better than we do. We can bury our old selves, knowing that we have been raised with Christ.