Category: Blog

Book Spotlight: Wilderness Skills for Women

wilderness skillsWilderness Skills for Women
by Marian Jordan

Target audience: Women
Book includes questions for small groups

Have you ever faced over-whelming pain and despair? In the midst of heartbreak, pain and devastation can be so heavy that it becomes difficult to breathe. Every day becomes a test of survival. You feel lost in the wilderness, wondering where to go and what to do next.

But there is hope.

In Wilderness Skills for Women, Marian Jordan addresses how to survive the painful seasons in life. Using personal illustrations from women who have faced incredible hardships, Jordan offers her readers wisdom on moving forward in tough seasons and making it to the other side.

Topics covered:

  • Facing the pain of rejection and finding God’s purposes in it.
  • Facing the temptation to fall back into old habits
  • Facing crippling despair.
  • Finding faith and hope in horrible seasons
  • Trusting and seeking God in the midst of unfulfilled desires
  • Drinking Living Water
  • Trusting Jesus for shelter in trials
  • How to overcome the lies of Satan
  • Choosing between the path of forgiveness and bitterness
  • Perseverance in fear and uncertainty

Available on LifeWay.com
Available at Christianbook.com
eBook also available

Media Spotlight: When God Writes Your Love Story

wgwylsWhen God Writes Your Love Story
by Eric and Leslie Ludy

Target audience: Singles

Everyone loves a good love story – God included. And God is willing to write a beautiful love story for us if we are willing to give up the pen.

In When God Writes Your Love Story, Eric and Leslie Ludy discuss what it looks like to give your love life up to God. Using their own love story as an illustration, the Ludys encourage not only emotional and physical purity before marriage, but also faithfulness to your future spouse before you even know who they are.

 

Topics Covered:

  • Dealing with temptation and holding out for something better
  • Surrendering all areas of your life to God
  • Committing to your spouse before and after marriage
  • Emotional and physical purity before marriage
  • Guarding your heart before marriage
  • Singleness with a purpose
  • Keeping your standards high
  • Learning to love well before marriage
  • Moving forward when purity hasn’t been kept
  • Trusting Jesus will give you courage and strength in singleness and marriage

Available at Lifeway.com
Available at Christianbook.com
Available at Amazon.com

Have you read this book? What do you think of it? Write your reviews below!

Came to Set Free

[Jesus] came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. As usual, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him, and unrolling the scroll, He found the place where it was written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”Luke 4:18-21

chain2fin

Jesus offers us a lot more freedom than we realize. When I was younger I wanted nothing to do with Christianity because it seemed like bondage. It was a list of rules, a list of conditions, a list of things I was supposed to be but wasn’t. Somehow, the message of freedom was lost. I ran from Jesus and straight into the things that oppressed me. And because God is the God of freedom, He let me – knowing full well that He would need to come rescue me later. (Which He did.)

God knew we would suffer great oppression in this world. We are oppressed by this world, our emotions, and our idols. Sometimes we fight to break the chains, sometimes we willingly enslave ourselves. But no matter how we ended up in bondage, Christ offers us freedom; a type of freedom we can’t find anywhere else. And there is more to this kind of freedom than free-will.

Freedom Means You Don’t Have to Try Harder
Willpower dries up quickly. Repentance to some of us means dwelling on our mistakes and promising God we’ll do everything in our power to avoid doing it again. That’s ridiculous. We don’t possess any power in and of ourselves to conquer our sin and cleanse ourselves. If we did, Jesus’ death on the cross wouldn’t have been necessary. He would have just penned some really great pep-talks in the New Testament and given us a list of ways to improve ourselves. He would have removed the book of Philippians and replaced it with a book on time-management and how to reach your full potential.

But Jesus doesn’t want to inspire us to be great, He wants us to look to Him for greatness. The Bible doesn’t tell us how great we could be, it tells us how great God is. We’re free from the burden of trying to be perfect, wonderful, accomplished, and skilled. The whole point of Christianity isn’t that we need to be awesome, the point of Christianity is that our Lord and Savior is awesome.

Freedom Means You Don’t Have to Be Afraid
When our idols oppress us, we will always be anxious. If money is our idol, we will always be wondering if we’ll have enough. If marriage is our idol, we will always be wondering if we’ll end up alone. If addiction is our idol, we will always be wondering how we will get a fix. Ecclesiastes 7:7 says, “Surely oppression drives the wise into madness…” An idol seeks to do nothing else but oppress you, and that oppression will drive you to the end of your sanity. You will never have peace. You will never have life.

Our idols never want us to know that we are free to let them go. They never want us figuring out that the side door of our prison is wide open. And if we ever discover this door, they convince us that our cell is better than what’s outside. They enslave us with fear.

But God doesn’t want us to live in fear. Romans 8:15 says, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” God is willing to save us from our prisons. He’s not only willing to lead us to the side door, but He’s willing to break down the wall completely. We don’t have to be afraid of dwindling bank accounts, loneliness, or addiction. We are free to not only to leave our fears behind, but to run to the Father with all our struggles, needs, and desires.

Freedom Means You Don’t Have to Hold Back
God is the God of tough conversations. At times I think faith is never coming to God with questions, complaints, or concerns, but God knows my heart. He knows when I’m confused, hurt, and angry even before I do. He knows when I’m angry with Him. He knows when I’m giving Him the silent treatment. He knows the reasons I don’t want to talk with Him that day. He knows without me even saying it, so why don’t I just express my heart to Him? I’m the only one in the relationship pretending not to see the elephant in the room. God is the one sitting on top of the elephant, waving at me.

God wants an honest heart. He didn’t design the heart to be impenetrable and concealed. Ezekiel 36:26 says, “And I [God] will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Hearts of stone are hard, hearts of flesh are raw. God wants everything. Every messy, disgusting, and broken part of your heart. On the flip side, He also wants every joyful, pure, and loving part of your heart as well. He wants all of you. With God you are completely free to be who you are, because He created you to be who you are.

Jesus has set us free. It isn’t that one day we will be set free – we are free right now. When blinded by anguish, oppression, and captivation, we don’t see the freedoms Christ has for us, but we are indeed free. In John 8:34-36, Jesus gives an encouraging message to His followers: “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.”

Would You Ever Date a Celebrity?

redcarpetFor those of you who missed it, Mondays are now the new home of White Venus’s weekly poll!

So, here is this week’s poll question: Would you ever date a celebrity? Which one?

There are a couple things to take in consideration with celebrity dating: one is privacy, the other is pressure. If you date a celebrity, you can basically kiss a so called “private life” goodbye. (Although a follow up question to that would be, ‘should Christians have “private lives?”‘) The second consideration is pressure. If you date a celebrity there is sure to be some painful feedback from fans and media. Could you handle that?

Most of us will never date a celebrity, but every relationship is subjected to the pressures of this life. Famous or not, we have to decide what our priorities are, and whether or not our relationships are a proper example of Biblical love. We may not be in the world’s spotlight, but there is always someone watching. You may not be famous, but a relationship seen by a few is just as important as a relationship seen by all.

My answer? I would consider dating a celebrity musician. I enjoy music and I wouldn’t mind being on a concert production staff. As long as he loves Jesus, I’m good. If I had my pick I’d choose Kyuhyun from Super Junior – which is a Korean group 95% of you have never heard of. He doesn’t speak English though, which takes the idea of “relationship communication problems” to a whole other level.

So answer in the comments: Would you ever date a celebrity? Which one?

Happy 3 Year Anniversary, White Venus Magazine!

anniversaryI am so excited to be celebrating the three year anniversary of White Venus Magazine. I remember when I first started this publication I kept it a secret for six months because I was afraid I wouldn’t stay committed to it. But despite being the only writer and being completely inexperienced, the Lord has been faithful and has blessed me by surrounding me with helping hands.

I want to thank a few of those helping hands:

Firstly, thank You, Holy Spirit, for answering me and helping me write when I was sitting there panicking, praying, “Lord, what do I write about now?!”

Thank you to Martha, Lisa, and Miguel at Boundless who took the time to encourage me and instruct me on how to make the publication better. Also, thank you to all my classmates and instructors at Focus Leadership Institute who encouraged and supported me as well.

Thank you, Therese, for never allowing me to give up.

Thank you to all my friends who have been with me from the beginning, and thank you to the new people who just showed up!

All right, onto other things.

I want to announce the new changes to White Venus Magazine. Previously, I uploaded a few articles every couple months, which really, is pretty lame. So because I really do stand behind this publication, and because I enjoy making things hard on myself, I’m informing you all that I am changing from a few articles every couple months to a couple posts every week.

Suicide, I know.

But I hope that this excites you as much as it excites me! So please check back at the site often and give your feedback as much as possible. I want this blog to turn more into an online community instead of me just writing at you. Just to let you in on my thoughts, someday I’d like to get to the point where there are enough people working on this thing to start adding video and podcasts, but I think I might internally combust if I try all that jazz by myself.

So expect a few changes to the website and content. And speaking of content, today is Monday – and Mondays are now the home of our weekly poll! I was doing a side panel for polls, but it annoys me, so I’m switching over to blog post polls.

So our first poll question is: What content would you like to see more of on White Venus Magazine? I want to know what you want to read more about. Do you want to read more on singleness? Dating? Sexuality? Man and woman issues? Creative romance? Marriage? Engagement? Sexuality? Healing from heartbreak? Media reviews?

Of course, you don’t have to pick from this list – let us know what you want to see! And if you want to write with us, we would love to have you on board!

Again, thanks everyone for being my support and encouragement for the last three years, and look forward to the years ahead!

White Venus Giveaway Winners

wild-at-heart captivating

Thank you all for supporting our first giveaway! We’re happy to have the support of so many awesome people.

But what you really want to know is who the winners are. So here you are!

Our grand prize winner is… Lindsey Bensing!

And our two runner ups are Taline Bedelian and Amanda Hackett!

Congrats to our winners! We will be contacting you shortly to get you your prizes!

Thanks to everyone else who entered. We look forward to spending the next year with you all!

Came to Heal

[Jesus] came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. As usual, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him, and unrolling the scroll, He found the place where it was written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”Luke 4:18-21

Unprocessed

We are going to be viewing this passage for a few weeks. There is something epic about this entire monologue – like Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, or The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln. Only this is the King of Kings revealing Himself as the fulfillment of prophesy – the healer, liberator, and Savior of mankind. Substantially more impacting.

This week I want to take a special look into verse 18 where it says, “He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted…”

If you have a heart, it probably has been broken. God did not design the human heart to be impenetrable. The Lord Himself feels anguish, so we too will experience anguish ourselves. (Genesis 6:6, John 11:33-36, Hebrews 5:5-8)

But our hearts aren’t built like God’s is. Our hearts are limited. We don’t feel love, anger, and pain on the same scale God does. Our hearts are much smaller. And since God built our hearts Himself, He knows how to repair them.

How comforting is it to hear from Jesus himself that He was sent to heal the brokenhearted? In the midst of our suffering, there are a few truths we should keep in mind.

God Sees Your Broken Heart
In Jeremiah 17, there is a passage that talks about the deceitfulness of the heart. In there is a line worth mentioning: “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind…” (verse 10) Obviously, the context of this line has to do with God searching the heart for impurities, but the thing to note is that God can see into your heart and mind. He knows what’s in it. He knows all your anxieties, fears, and pain. He sees all the broken pieces. And more than that, unlike us, He can see how to heal our hearts. We may not be able to see what is holding us back from healing, but God does. Do you want to know where to go next? Ask for God to reveal the path of healing to you.

Jesus Sympathizes with Our Suffering
Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses…” It’s hard to imagine the Creator suffering with the same afflictions we face. But it is true that Jesus can sympathize with our pain. Jesus knows what it’s like to have your family think you’re crazy (Mark 3:21), to have the people you love betray and abandon you (Mark 14:43-52), and to have death stare you in the face. (Luke 22:41-44). Jesus is not a stranger to pain. He understands how you feel, and He longs to comfort you. If you want to see just how much Christ loves you in the midst of your suffering, just read Romans 8. Verse 26 and 34 tells us that Jesus and the Holy Spirit make intercession for us. Meditate on that wonderful truth for a few minutes.

We Always Have Hope
Our heart break may be big, but God is bigger. Though we long for the days where there will be no more suffering or heartbreak, we have to remember that God is still at work in this world. He is at work right now in your life, meticulously working on the small, shattered pieces of your soul. And in the midst of His work, He keeps us safe. Psalms 34:18-20 says, “The Lord is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit. Many adversities come to the one who is righteous, but the Lord delivers him from them all. He protects all his bones; not one of them is broken.”

Don’t seek hope from a situation, seek hope from the Lord. He is bigger than every circumstance, every dilemma, and every heartbreak. When we are in the midst of heartbreak, our eyes need to turn God. Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted, but the brokenhearted must give their hearts to Him to be healed.

Book Spotlight: What Your Husband Isn’t Telling You

HusbandCoverWhat Your Husband Isn’t Telling You
by David Murrow

Audience: Married women
Good for: Single women who want to understand men better

What takes place in the depths of a man’s soul? How does the outside world affect his inner being? How does his wife edify or destroy him? What fears does he face on a daily basis?

In What Your Husband Isn’t Telling You, David Murrow reveals the inner workings of the male mind. With blunt honesty and a sense of humor, Murrow lays the male soul out on the table for women to view. For any woman who wants to break past her husband’s silence and find out what he truly desires, this book is the opportunity to really find out what your husband is thinking.

 

Topics Covered:

  • The man’s inner voice when it comes to protecting and providing
  • The male brain compared to the female brain
  • The male sex drive and how it affects his spirit
  • Man’s desire to be needed and respected
  • Fears and intimidation men face constantly
  • The power women hold over men
  • Why men don’t talk about their feelings
  • Why men struggle with going to church
  • Where men sense the presence of God the most

Available at Lifeway.com
Available at Christianbook.com
Also available as eBook