Monday, 19 March 2012

Why does God tell us not to marry an unbeliever?

GUEST POST by Hannah Sipress

Have you ever thought about your future mate? Is he/she going to be tall or
short, plain or handsome? How about his or her faith?

Now, assuming that you are a born again believer, and that you have read your Bible, you probably know that God said not to be unequally yoked, (2 Cor. 2:14) or in plain English, married to an unbeliever.

Why does God tell us not to marry an unbeliever anyway? I felt compelled to share my thoughts and convictions on this issue, all of which agree with Scripture. Now the first issue to address here is the question why. Why does God command me not to do this?

Number one. In the beginning, God had planned for marriage to consist of two people, one male, and one female, who had a mutual love for God, and each other, and wanted to work together to further God's kingdom. Each one would leave their family, to come together and create a new family, one that serves God. If you are married to an unbeliever, you cannot share in this. Your partner will not understand your love for God, or why you do things differently from the world. He will not understand why you want to teach your children certain things.

Number two. Have you ever been in a place where you're the only Christian around, and the people around you are doing things that you know you shouldn't be doing? You want to obey God and not do those things, but its really hard when there are no other Christians around to support you. Well, that's kind of what being married to an unbeliever is like. Your partner might be a good person, but he still does not hold all the same beliefs that you do. He doesn't give you the same support and understanding that a believer would. It would be very easy to slip into sin without that support.

The next point to hit is, what are the consequences of marrying an unbeliever? Since the Bible says it is wrong, marrying an unbeliever would be a sin. Like any other sin, this will have consequences.

Number one. Your marriage is always going to be lacking something. A mutual love for God is a very important part of marriage, it will decide how you make important decisions in your life. It would be a very lonely life.

Number two. You lose God's blessing. As Christians, we possess God's blessing. But when we walk into a situation, disobeying God, we lose His blessing. (Deuteronomy 11: 26-27) I personally would not want to walk into any situation without the blessing of my heavenly Father, would you?

Number three. Your partner would not share in your eternal life. This is possibly one of the hardest things to face in life. When you become a Christian, you are promised an eternal home in Heaven with God, your partner however, is not. How hard would it be to go into marriage, knowing that if your husband/wife died, he would go to Hell? In some cases, non-believers who have married Christians have been converted during the marriage. However, there is still a huge possibility that they won't, plus it is still going against what God wants.

Now, think about this in the context of dating. You may think, hey, wait a minute here! Dating is not the same thing as marriage! And you're right, it's not. If though, you are a Christian, dating is not meant to be something you do that's fun during high school, it is meant to help you find your future mate.

Dating a non-Christian during high school, or college, or anytime in your life for that matter, is a very tricky thing to do. So many times, Christians have been blown off course by their non-believer boy/girlfriend. Dating a non-believer, in hopes of bringing them to Christ, often called "missionary dating," is sometimes a widely accepted thing amongst Christians. This, however can be a deadly serious thing to do.

It can bring about many consequences, many of which are similar to the ones in marriage. As a friend of mine has quoted, "Don't hold someone in your arms, that you could not hold in your heart." As you go through whatever stage you are at in life, keep this in mind. If you want to please God, and have good healthy relationships, remember God's guidelines, and make sure that you can be held accountable for whatever relational decisions you make.

God bless!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Can Imagination Exist Without Inspiration?

GUEST POST by Amy Lignor

Throughout my life, depending on the ‘stage’ I was in at the time, inspiration came from a variety of sources. Over the years I’ve been inspired by everything ranging from sunsets to puppies to Jane Austen (God bless her); to more intense inspirations, like my daughter’s first smile. At the age of nineteen she still has an incredible smile, and when she speaks about me to her friends and says that I am the ‘coolest’ and ‘best mom in the world’ she makes me lift off the ground like I have wings attached to my back. It was the love of books, movies, and the love I have for that incredible smile that led me on an exciting - sometimes frightening - path. And without these things, my imagination could never have ‘sparked.’

The baby was the challenge. That came with fear, doubt, and prayers galore that I wouldn’t screw up a human life that I loved this much. When they placed Shelby in my arms for the first time I told her: “We’re in this together.” Without so much as a cry or a shudder, Shelby looked up at me, took in the full picture of this odd, sweaty person who was going to be her mother…and proceeded to fall asleep. At nineteen she still looks at an oddly sweaty mother - especially after a day of pulling my hair out because this whole Facebook/Twitter/Big Brother/Cell phone craze is driving me nuts - and sends me that encouraging smile. Of course, now it comes with words like: “I’m so proud of you, Mom.” After which, she still goes to sleep. (Although now it’s at 1:00 am because of those demonic cell phones that allow her friends to text in the middle of the bloody night.)

The thought for Until Next Time first came to me during the period in my own life where I was a teen who still wasn’t quite sure if I was going to make it. I was bullied about being overweight, I was tired of it all, and I turned to books and movies for a way out. I didn’t have a Harry Potter (which was a shame), but I did have the wonderful John Hughes’ movies to tell me that I was okay. I could be the geek, prom queen, basket case, criminal, or jock - and everything was just fine. In fact, “The Breakfast Club” is something I passed down to my own daughter so she’d know that all of the above was all right.

It was during this confusing time period that I remember questioning ‘angelic’ beings. Why would they possibly want to come down here? What would they end up becoming if they were one of us? Angels were obviously stronger, but what if all these human emotions we have just got to them and they went home and said: “Those guys down there are way too messed up!” (I wouldn’t have blamed them).

In Until Next Time, Emily and Matt are a great deal like our beloved children - they want freedom. They are angels who’ve been trained to embark on journeys to protect, defend, or destroy. But they are also teens ‘out of the house,’ so to speak, for the first time. When I saw the trends moving toward the ‘winged ones’ in the literary world, I thought it was time for Emily and Matt to join us. It’s not about religion, or belief vs. non-belief, Emily and Matt are all about being young and trying to figure out what the next step is going to be; and how to keep their faith in each other while they stand in a world that’s trying to rip them apart.

My daughter’s eyes, and my own teenage ones that stared back at me from the mirror long ago, blended together to create the adventures of Emily and Matt. And they inspire me to continue their story each and every day.

In the end, whether it’s a child, sunset, or puppy, I hope all writers and readers can take what they see, hear and feel to heart, so they can enjoy the paths they eventually choose. Because without that inspiration, I just don’t believe that imagination would have the slightest chance of survival!
Until Next Time, Everybody.

Click HERE for Amy's Blog The Write Companion,

Monday, 5 March 2012

My new Christian Romance book!

My new Kindle book, By His Grace, the first in The Morgan Brothers series, is now out on Amazon.

Book ONE of The Morgan Brothers series
254 printed pages
Grace Elliot, under the advice of a family friend, broke her engagement to Daniel Morgan four years earlier as she did not want to be the wife of a Pastor. Now she has returned home to southern California from England due to her father's illness and intends to avoid Daniel at all costs. This proves to be more difficult than she thought, and his attempts to speak to Grace are thwarted by the beautiful Courtney. The dubious Jason Highfield is added to the mix. By His Grace is a sweet romance.

Look for BOOK TWO: Caroline's Gift, coming April 2012; BOOK THREE, That Which Is Secret, coming 2012; BOOK FOUR: A Mustard Seed, coming 2012.