Sisterhood: Overcoming the Beauty Lies

brokenmirrorWhen you look in the mirror, what do you see?

Do you immediately see the blemishes, imperfections and things you dislike about yourself? Most of us do!

Culture today tries to define what our identity should be.  Beauty is defined by society as being stick-thin, air-brushed, perfect skin complexion, toned muscles and trending with the latest fashions.  We see movie stars, athletes, musicians and others in the spotlight day in and day out and we have this image of what beauty is.  But we often forget that images on TV, in the movies and especially in glamour magazines aren’t real.  They are airbrushed, modified, photo-shopped, cropped and edited to make us believe that there is an element of reality to what we are seeing.  What we ALSO fail to see are the eating disorders, the stress filled days, the workout regiments and the tension that these women and girls are constantly under in order to fit into this elite bracket of “beautiful”.

Our identity is wrapped up in what we look like, what we know, or what we can contribute to society.  The Bible, however clearly says that our identity should be found in Christ.  We should draw our value and self-worth from what God says about us.  In order for us to bravely become ourselves and be secure in who God has made us to be as women, we have to agree with the truth of God’s Word about us.

We must CHOOSE TO REFUSE THE LIES, AND CHOOSE TO BELIEVE THE TRUTH.

We have to look at glamour magazines and remind ourselves this isn’t real, we have to watch movies and realize that Hollywood is glamourizing what’s on the screen.  We have to recognize society’s perspective of beauty isn’t real, but a lie, and God’s perspective is the truth.

In order to believe the truth, we have to realize that we live in a broken system in this fallen world.  We have to understand, that the enemy is out to steal from us, to kill us and destroy us…  And He is going to use every weapon that is at his disposal to get us to buy the lies he wants us to believe.  Unfortunately, the beauty industry is after our money and in order to get our money, they must “sell us a belief system” that says we need make-up, we need the latest fashion, and need the latest hair style in order to fit in and be beautiful.

We have to reject these lies and embrace that we are beautiful just the way we are.  And that these things – makeup, clothing, hair and accessories simply enhance the beauty we already have.

The ONLY WAY to begin to gain confidence in who we are is to begin to learn to combat the lies with truth – the truth of God’s word!!

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Image found on Google images.

mePamela Lozano is a conscientious leader who believes in investing in and mentoring the next generation to raise them up to be who God has designed them to be. She is the President & Founder of Pure Design Ministries which publishes Pure Design Teen Magazine on a quarterly basis.

Sisterhood: Drop the Masks

maskSo often we hide the “real me” behind masks.  We put up fronts of being strong, confident and secure, when we are really weak, afraid and very insecure.  We don’t want others to know what’s truly going on inside because we are afraid of what they might think of us.  Who wants to hang out with someone who is weak and afraid?

When we hide and live in a false reality, we aren’t really living at all. We walk around pretending – hoping maybe that someday, somehow, something may change. But the reality is nothing will change if we aren’t honest with ourselves or others.

In today’s world of social media, YouTube and VLOGs, it’s even easier to hide.  We create a filtered selfie at the very best angle and retake it 14 times before we post. We add a fun hashtag and laugh away the pain and reality of what’s really going on inside.  We pretend that it doesn’t hurt when we don’t get invited to our girlfriend’s party. We act like we don’t care as friends post about a gathering we were left out of.  We smile at our parents when asked how we are doing. We don’t want them to worry. We don’t share with counselors or pastors what we really think about social or moral issues, or political injustices because our opinions might not fully align, so why bother?

We often hide the “real” us because of fear of rejection or judgment by others.  We go through life as if everything is okay, when we are really hurting and broken inside.  In order to avoid getting hurt, we stay behind these masks pretending to be something we are not.  We draw our identity from what we do – gymnastics, music, art or academics, and try to prove to ourselves and everyone that we have value.  What we truly desire is the ability to be ourselves with no strings attached.  We want to be loved for who we ARE and not what we DO.  But often, we do not even like who we are.  We are filled with hurt, anger and brokenness, and are afraid to reach out asking for help or support.

And we don’t know how to cross the bridge of silence we have built and allow others close enough to see the real us.  Open honest dialogue, acceptance and love are what we truly long for and need…  But will we ever get it?

We are created for relationships, but in order to have quality relationships, we need to be authentic with one another.  Authentic means being real, vulnerable and honest.  It is defined as:  not false or copied; being genuine, reliable and trustworthy.  As believers, we are called to live authentic lives and to be in authentic relationships with one another.  Is this easy?  No!  It’s much easier to “fake” it and pretend we are doing well, when inside we are struggling. However, if we are willing to face our brokenness and allow others in to help, we begin walking in a brand new place of freedom and power.  Jesus said in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  What a promise!  When I am weak, His strength takes over.

mePamela Lozano is a conscientious leader who believes in investing in and mentoring the next generation to raise them up to be who God has designed them to be. She is the President & Founder of Pure Design Ministries which publishes Pure Design Teen Magazine on a quarterly basis.

 

Loving Valentine’s Day When You’re Single

Happy-Valentines-DayIt’s almost Valentine’s Day, or Single Awareness Day if you’re one of the 124 million single people in America.

For single people Valentine’s Day is like the party that you weren’t invited to. Couples are going out on romantic dates, your local grocery store is piled high with heart-shaped memorabilia, and your parents even have plans. So where does this leave you?

I love holidays. I celebrate one almost daily. I decided a long time ago, relationship or no relationship, I deserved to enjoy Valentine’s Day, too. In fact, it’s one of my favorite holidays of the year, and I love celebrating it single.

Let me tell you why.

  1. A Girl’s Best Friend is… A Girl’s Best Friend!

I do have a lot of special someone’s in my life, and they’re all of my friends. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time for me to focus on the friendships in my life, and this means I don’t have to give up the hope of flowers and chocolate boxes just yet, either. Being a chocoholic, that’s very important to me. Every year I celebrate with my friends by going on what I call “Friend Dates.” We get dressed up, see a movie, exchange chocolates, gifts, or flowers, and enjoy a girl’s night out.

Let’s be honest, Valentine’s is a holiday for girl’s anyway. So of course, only we know how to do it right.

  1. The Real Purpose of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day isn’t about having a boyfriend, it’s about appreciating the relationships in your life. It’s easy to get so caught up in the hype of Valentine’s Day–What’s he going to buy me? What will I wear? –and we miss out on what really makes Valentine’s Day a beautiful holiday. We are blessed with so many different kinds of relationships in our lives, and Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate them all!

  1. What True Love Is

People strive to have that Hallmark kind of love, but I don’t think that’s what love is. Love is about choosing to love somebody even in the moments when you don’t like them. It’s not love until things get a little rough, and the rubber hits the road, and you still choose to work it out. Love is friends by your side who are there for you, a family that believes in you, and when it’s right, a man that won’t give up on you.

It’s so important to have honest, close friendships we can turn to. Friends are in it for the long haul. Show your appreciation to your friends this Valentine’s season, and treat yourself to a box of chocolates while you’re at it!

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Kirsten Keesee is 19 years old and lives in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, where she works as a content writer for the Drenda Show. She enjoys traveling, collecting books, and checking items off of her bucket list.

A Re(new)ed You!

waterfallEver feel like you just need the chance to start over? I have good news for you!

You can begin again, today.

If you’re not proud of who you’ve been, or you know you can be better, it’s not too late! Change is hard, but possible.

Some people may judge you based on who you were, and you might have to prove yourself to gain their trust again. It often takes some work to rebuild good relationships. You have to fight the image of who they created of you in their minds and be committed to your new choices and direction!

Some people will understand your desire for change. They will support you, especially if they’re going through a similar process. You don’t have to do it alone.

A year ago, two major things happened in my life: I met my boyfriend Michael, and I became a lot closer with the Lord. Before this, I had not been living right. I was in a bad relationship, I wasn’t focused on the Lord and I was selfish and angry. I could feel the Lord pulling on my heart, asking me to give up my selfish ways and be close to Him. Michael also wanted to get to know me, and I knew that he was living his life right and in a good place with the Lord.

I answered the Lord’s invitation and gave up everything I had selfishly centered my life around that wasn’t a part of God’s plan. From the very beginning I was honest with Michael and told him I had made a lot of mistakes, but that I wanted to live differently now. The Lord and Michael both helped me in this time of new beginnings. Michael didn’t care what kind of person I had been, he forgave me and believed in my desire to be close to the Lord and live my life for Him. God also forgave me. He didn’t make me go through a time of punishment or withhold blessings from me; immediately He started to do amazing works in my life.

Here I am, one full year later, a completely different person – writing for a Christian magazine and giving advice to others! The Lord does amazing things!

I made a choice. I wanted to begin again and I gained the support I needed. Don’t get me wrong, it was still really hard. I had to break off relationships with people I had been close friends with. I had to change my schedule and ended up changing jobs and moving to a different city. The Lord made all of this possible because I trusted Him and desired to be close to Him!

There is more happiness in my life now than ever before! I have many new friendships that I desired and tried to find for a very long time. I am able to spend time on things I love, and best of all I can call Jesus by best friend. I can feel His love as I watch Him do works in my life.

If you need to be closer to the Lord, know that He is not mad at you. He’s not even disappointed in you! He is waiting with open arms, excited to welcome you into a life filled with the most amazing love and wonderful things He wants to give you and do for you.

If you need to end some friendships, get involved in other groups or activities. Change the way you speak to others or change your mindset about school or life in general. Know it will be hard, but it WILL be worth it. You don’t have to do it alone! Be open and vulnerable with your closest friends, and tell them what you need to make happen in your life. The Lord will provide you with the support you need! You can also write to us here at Pure Design – we are here to help you make hard choices and support your new beginning.

We believe in you!

IsabelIsabel Siegel is 18 and lives in Westerville, Ohio. She has a passion for all aspects of wellness – organic veggies, nature adventures, and the pursuit and understanding of truth. Non-fiction books, house plants, trips to Whole Foods, and running at Hoover Reservoir are some of the things she loves to do. She is a true conversationalist, and an ideas girl with a massive love for connecting with people. Right now, the Lord is teaching her to trust Him and to dream big.

Thank You & Happy New Year

happy-new-year-fireworksAs we end 2015, and look forward to a brand New Year tomorrow, all of us at Pure Design Magazine want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who follows, supports, contributes and prays for this ministry and publication!  We are VERY excited as we head into the New Year, as there are several new and exciting things brewing already…  such as printed issues of the magazine, a new website, a brand new look and many more exciting things that will be revealed in 2016!!

We CAN’T WAIT to tell you!!

Stay tuned to our website, social media sites and blogs each week for new and exciting updates!

As we reflect on 2015, we are grateful for an amazing year! Brand new team members joined us, a business plan, goals and marketing strategies were written and a lot of amazing things are being discussed for 2016!  It is going to be a fun year and we hope to include YOU!!  Please spread the news and share our sites with teen girls all over the globe!

We hope and pray you have a blessed and safe New Year’s.  May 2016 be filled with God’s favor, His peace and love!  May each of you know you are loved and special!  God has amazing things in store for you!!

We so appreciate your support and look forward to another amazing year together!

From the entire Pure Design Magazine Team – Happy New Year!

Candy Cane Popcorn!

Looking for a fun, delicious snack for the holidays?  How about some candy cane popcorn?

Here’s what you need!

Ingredients:

ingredients-2

  • 12 cups popped popcorn
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips
  • At least 10 candy canes
  • Makes 4-5 servings

 

 

 

 

Supplies:

  • Stovetop
  • Double broiler, or a bowl that will sit on the top of a pan
  • Extra large mixing bowl
  • Ziplock bag, for crushing candy canes

Instructions:

If you have popcorn kernels, pop them first.

Set up the double broiler, or pan and bowl. Boil water in the pan, and empty the bag of white chocolate chips into the bowl.

doubleboiler

Stir constantly until melted and creamy with no lumps.

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Unwrap the candy canes, break into small pieces and put in a ziplock bag.

Wrap a dish towel around the ziplock bag to minimized holes forming in the bag.

Use a mallet if you have one (I used the bottom of a mason jar) to crush the candy cane pieces.

Mix the crushed candy cane into the white chocolate.

addcandycanes

In a large mixing bowl, put half of your popped popcorn. Little by little, mix in half the candy cane and white chocolate mixture.

Empty the first batch into storage containers or a decorative bowl, and repeat the process with the rest of the popcorn and white chocolate mixture!

finishedpopcorn

Serve & Enjoy!

IsabelIsabel Siegal, or “bel” for short is 18 years old just moved to Westerville, Ohio. She has a passion for all aspects of wellness – organic veggies, nature adventures, and the pursuit and understanding of truth. Non-fiction books, house plants, trips to Whole Foods, and running at Hoover Reservoir are some of the things she loves to do.  She is a true conversationalist, and an ideas girl with a massive love for connecting with people. Right now, the Lord is teaching her to trust Him, and to dream big!

What’s your New Year’s Plan?

girlwritingDecember is here and the end of 2015 is closing in on us! This is a great time to look ahead and set goals for the New Year.  Goals are different than a “New Year’s Resolution”. It’s creating a list of things you hope to accomplish, but then also a plan of action on how to get them done.  A lot of times, we make resolutions – things we hope to accomplish but don’t take time to think through what it would take to get these things done.  In order to lose 10 pounds in January, I must cut out sweets in January, work out a few times a week and find an accountability partner to hold me to it.  This is a goal with tangible things to do in order to achieve it. (NOT that weight loss is the most important thing… any goal, a vacation, a new job, or whatever else you want to do…)

When we look ahead we should make plans and goals for different areas in our lives:  personal, relational and academically.  Here are a few ideas as you think about 2016 and some things to consider in order to achieve your goals:

  1. Set attainable goals. When you set goals for yourself, be realistic. If you do not work out at all right now, don’t say that in the New Year you will work out an hour every single day of the week. Give yourself some grace and be realistic. Work out ½ hour 3 x a week. This gives you days off in between, but gets you exercising.
  2. Put a plan together. Write out ways you will attain your goals. If you want to start a blog – figure out how you will do that. What topics will readers be interested in? When will you write, when’s the best time to post? How can you stay connected with your bloggers? Make a plan so your goal can be achieved.
  3. Make time for your goals. Just like everything else in life, make time to work on your goals. Put it on your calendar, and try to work on one goal every day if you can. If not, mark off a couple times a week to get things done. Schedule time for writing or working out, or travel or whatever else you hope to do this year!
  4. Be accountable. Find people you can share your goals and dreams with and ask them to hold you accountable. Choose someone who will be “tough” on you when you don’t get it done. (Don’t ask your BFF who will give you grace every time you give an excuse.)
  5. Check in on yourself. Every three months, see how you are doing. Go over your goals and see where you are at. Change goals or deadlines as needed, but hold yourself accountable for the things you had hoped to get done and find ways to work on those goals you haven’t started on yet.

Even if you don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions, I’d encourage you to be a person who sets goals.  If you don’t set goals and make plans for your life, where will you be a year from now?  You won’t know, because you don’t even know what you are aiming for!  Take some time this month to plan ahead and set goals for the next 12 months.  December 31st, 2016 will be here before you know it!

pamphotoshootPam Lozano is the Founder and Executive Director of Pure Design Ministries & Magazine.  A magazine to inspire teen girls in self-image, self-worth and pure beauty.  She loves mentoring teen girls, leading worship, writing and taking long walks.  She also loves fashion and decorating and thrifting with her kids.

17 Items for your Christmas Wish List

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Whenever someone asks me what I want for Christmas, they might as well be asking me to solve the Rubik’s cube. All year I think, “Oh, I’ll ask for this or that for Christmas,” but when the time comes to put pen to paper, I can’t remember anything I needed. I always spend hours mulling over possible Christmas list options, and meanwhile I drag my feet and don’t put my list together until the week of Christmas.

Finding Christmas gifts for others, and for ourselves, can be difficult. Sometimes we just need a little help to know what’s out there. I love to hear what other people have on their wish list and gather ideas for my own, not to mention they’re great gift giving ideas as well. And thus I present to you: 17 ITEMS TO PUT ON YOUR WISH LIST.

 

 

1. A Subscription to Spotify Premium.

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Let’s be honest: if you could have it, wouldn’t you? This Christmas ask for a subscription to Spotify Premium and have access to millions of songs commercial free, and listen to them when you don’t have internet or cellphone service. It’s practically like owning all of your favorite music for free! And don’t forget to enjoy the themed playlists they have for every occasion and activity. Spotify is even running a special discount on subscriptions until the new year. It’s a Christmas miracle!

 

 

2. A Nice, Quirky T-Shirt.

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Shirts can be worn a million different ways, and that’s what makes them the golden wish list item. Etsy.com offers a wide selection of high-quality, custom made t-shirts, including this one that says, “Feed Me and Tell Me I’m Pretty”–because what more does a girl really need?

 

“Feed Me and Tell Me I’m Pretty” T-shirt, $34

 

 

 

 

3. A Phone Case of the Month Membership.

 

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If you are a phone case junkie, this is the perfect holiday gift for you. Phone Case of the Month is a service that sends you new, limited edition phone cases every month!

 

 

 

 

 

4. A Variety Lipstick Kit.

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The staple of all makeup: lipstick. Instead of dedicating a large chunk of your holiday funds to one or two lipsticks, opt for the cheaper variety pack and sport a different color every night!

 

Pure Delights 8-Piece LipSurgence Lip Set, $34, 

Tarte Cosmetics

 

 

 

5. A Polaroid Camera

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Haven’t you heard? Polaroid Cameras are all the craze nowadays!

 

Fujifilm Instax Mini 8N Instant Camera, $94,

 

 

 

 

6. A Custom Chocolate Box.

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It doesn’t get more practical than chocolate. And, in the way of stocking stuffers, from one chocoholic to another, not much can top a chocolate box with your name on it.

Custom Chocolate Box, $39,

 

 7. Bath Bombs from Lush.

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It’s the only time of year you can justify spending this much money on luxury bath items, but every girl appreciates something that feels like a complete splurge for the holidays. And seriously, Lush products are worth splurging on.

 

Christmas Bath Time Favorites, $85

 

 

 

 

 

8. A Magazine Subscription.

Magazine-advertisments

This is the gift that keeps on giving. I asked for a subscription to Writer’s Digest for Christmas last year, and every time my new magazine came in the mail it was like Christmas all over again. Find a magazine on a topic you love and ask for a subscription!

 

 

 

 

9. A New Journal.

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Barnes and Noble carries the coolest leather journals. Why not ask for one for Christmas?

 

 

Leather Brown Journal, $16

 

 

 

 

10. A Fabulous Perfume.

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Getting a new scent is exciting, but it can also be expensive. Go to a perfume store and test out which scent you like the best, and then put it on your Christmas list!

 

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream, $55,

 

 

 

 

11. A Luxury Watch.

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People will think your time is worth more when you’re sporting a lovely new watch! The best part about watches is that you can find them at reasonable prices, but if you really want to splurge, you can invest more for a designer brand like this Burberry watch.

 

Burberry Small Check Strap Watch, 26mm, $296,

 

 

 

 

12. The iPhone 6s.

 

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The new iPhone 6s is out and ready to be wrapped and put under your tree! Did you know that it takes live photos? And no, that’s not the same as a video. It also films in 4K, has better picture quality, and has the strongest smartphone glass to date. Christmas list worthy? I think so.

 

 

 

 

 

13. A Sophisticated Briefcase or Messenger Bag.

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If you’re like me and you have to carry your laptop to and from work, a briefcase is a necessity. Briefcases don’t have to be stuffy or too business-like, and you can find them in all prices. You can even find briefcases that look like purses!

 

 

 

 

 

14. A New Calendar for a New Year.

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It’s not only practical for the new year, but the variety in calendars makes them a fun gift to receive. From cats doing yoga to inspirational quotes, there’s a calendar out there for everyone.

 

2016 Star Trek Wall Calendar, $11

 

 

 

15. An Adorable Coffee Mug.

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Coffee mugs are a big deal, and this one is shaped like an elephant and has a tea bag holder. ADORABLE.

 

Elephant Mug, $16,

 

 

 

 

 

16. A Feline Friend… And A Mug.

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This cat mug makes a purrrfect gift.

 

 

Cat Mug, $12

 

 

 

 

17. A Pillow Guide to the Introverts Heart.

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From the Sea of Books to the Isle of Netflix, and to the Land of Self-checkout lines, this pillow just gets introverts.

 

Introvert Pillow, $20,

 

 

 

 

What’s on YOUR Christmas list this year? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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Kirsten Keesee is 19 years old and lives in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, where she works as a content writer for the Drenda Show. She enjoys traveling, collecting books, and checking items off of her bucket list.

The Past Is In The Past

teengirlrearviewmirrorHas someone ever hurt you? Have you ever hurt someone?

In this world of humans we are in a never ending cycle of hurting each other. Since no one is perfect, it’s inevitable to get hurt once in a while.

Do you feel like the hurt in your life has traumatized you and you can’t forget it? Do you carry it heavy on your shoulders and in your heart?

Some of us go through extreme pain in our lives. We lose loved ones, deal with divorce or separation with our parents, or even sometimes have a parent abandon us. Some of us face diseases or illness.  There is bullying and prejudice. Life can be overwhelming.  Our hearts get really hurt sometimes, so I want to encourage you to take heart and begin to focus on the Lord.  Because the Lord our God has overcome the world, we can always have hope!

Our bones get bruised, and our hearts get broken, and it takes such a toll on us. Sometimes these hurts cause bitterness and resentment. Sometimes we carry a lasting ache that cannot be shaken.

Sometimes I smell something that provokes a memory or hear a song that sends me reeling reminding me of pain I experienced. The pain stricken memory sends me into a gloomy place that affects my mood. Does any of this sound familiar? Have you noticed your heart becoming slow and cold because there’s so much building up?

Dear one, there is so much more to the pain than just the hurt. There is healing that can come and light that wants to combat the dark. Depression and hurt have no power over you, you just need to be revived. You don’t have to hold onto those painful things. Those things that cause you hurt do not and never will define you. They are meant to be let go, like the release of a balloon to watch it go up and up until it is completely out of sight. You are not the mistakes you’ve made, and know this – You are not the bad things people have said you are.

You are so much more.

Danny Gokey sings these words in his song “Tell Your Heart To Beat Again”:

      “Yesterday’s a closing door, you don’t live there anymore. Say goodbye to where you’ve been, and tell your heart to beat again.”

I encourage you to leave the past in the past and make choices to allow your heart to beat again. You can be a whole person by leaving the past and not living there anymore. We can’t drive a car looking in the rear view mirror so why would you live life that way? Your future is not defined by your past, not at all.

God is always calling you farther away from your past, and into his perfect plan for your life.

    “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13

      “”Forget the former thing; do not dwell on the past.” Isaiah 43:18

Wake up each day and give your hurt and pain to God until you can move forward without those things holding you back. Wake up every day and chose to be happy because God’s got you! Choose to let the healing begin and press on towards the prize of living life happily, fully and with hope! Your past is not your future dear heart, your future is fresh with no mistakes in it, keep moving forward, and no more looking back, tell your heart to begin to beat again.

Image found on Google Images.

carly_sThis blog was written by Pure Design Teen Magazine’s blogger Carly Sage. Carly is 19 years old and lives in Youngstown, Ohio where she attends Victory School of Ministry through Victory Christian Church. She hopes to be in full-time ministry as a pastor one day and loves to express herself through writing!

 

SHAMELESS: Winning the Battle Against Secret Sins

n18cyb_307143kIt’s easy to subdue the enemy on the outside, 
                 ...but what about the one within?

 

It’s easy to hide a life of “what if’s,” secret sins, regrets, and brokenness behind a forced smile and perfect church attendance. It’s easy to hide the side of ourselves we don’t want anyone to see—but does it ever really go away? Will we always have to run from our secrets? Feel ashamed? Guilt? Self-hatred?

Secret sins feel safe. Hidden. Secret. Locked away. We greet them in places like our bedrooms, our bathrooms, and on our computers, and we leave them there when we don’t want to carry them into our daily routines. In a sense, they seem to be detached from the rest of our lives. If schools taught a class on Sin Ed, secret sins might be labeled as the “safe” sins. In other words, many people think there won’t be any consequences.

But is there anything SAFE about a secret sin?

As I think about secret sins, a recent news story comes to mind. It’s a story about a Christian boy who fell for the “safe sin” lie. He struggled with secret sins as he grew up, constantly keeping secrets, running from his past, and lying to the people closest to him. During this time the boy’s family became a public icon. He began to take new career opportunities in government and started a family of his own—all the while proclaiming God with his lips, and sinning against God in private. Josh Duggar’s secret sins were not a secret for much longer. Soon the whole world knew about his “secret sins,” and besides already costing him his career, they nearly cost him everything else. What was supposed to be safe and secret ended up being very public and very costly.

So how can we live a life that's shame-free? How can we win the battle against secret sins once and for all?

 

1. Nothing is Secret

 

We live in a generation that believes unless people know about it and are talking about it, it didn’t happen. It doesn’t count. We feel that as long as people don’t know what we’re struggling with behind the scenes, those struggles don’t hold as much gravity in God’s eyes.

That’s a lie. 

Whether people know about our struggle with a certain sin or not, God knows exactly where we’re at and what we’re going through. No sin is hidden from God. It breaks His heart to see His children moving down a path towards destruction; and the simple fact is that’s where all secret sins lead.

“For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14)

So if we really want to overcome secret sins, we need to have a healthy perspective on why it’s wrong. Secret sins aren’t dangerous because our friends might judge us or people might find out–they’re dangerous because sinning is a direct attack on God and His plan for our lives.

 

2. Setting Up For Success

 

Have you ever been on a diet?

Well, when I’m on a diet the last place I want to eat at is our local Chinese Buffet. Why? Because I love Chinese food, and if I eat there I know I’ll break my diet! My plate won’t look healthy and green, it’s going to be loaded up with rice and noodles and sweet n’ sour chicken. When I’m on a diet I try to set myself up for success. I like to think through what I’ll order before I get there, that way when I see the chicken fingers and Ranch dressing on the menu I already know I’m ordering a salad.

So why don’t we set ourselves up for success in overcoming sin?

Accountability is a great way of accomplishing this, but we can even take it a step further. If we know that checking our social media before bed makes us feel insecure, or binge eating makes us guilt ourselves, or too much time on the internet puts us in a place of temptation, why don’t we change those habits? The Bible says that we are supposed to be like watchmen, and watchmen sound an alert before the enemy is at their door!

If you were on a diet and you went to the Krispy Kreme shop every day… 
                              how long would it take for you to eat a donut?

 

It probably wouldn’t take you very long, unless you are somehow immune to the deliciousness of a warm Krispy Kreme. So is your problem that you need more self-discipline? Should you just try harder tomorrow when you go to the Krispy Kreme shop? Maybe if you get really mad at yourself for eating the donut, then you’ll stick to your diet? Probably not, because the problem is the position you are putting yourself in. Are you putting yourself in a position to overcome sin?

 

3. By Grace

 

The best news is that God’s grace is sufficient for us to overcome any sin or temptation. We don’t have to do the same things we’ve always done; we are a new creation in Christ, free to choose a new path for our life. Sometimes we have to take some advice from Disney’s Frozen and just LET IT GO! There is NO condemnation in Christ, and nothing we’ve done in our past can define our future.

“Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2)

Whenever we are struggling with addictions, temptations, self-hatred, depression, fear, or loneliness, God’s grace is enough to set us free. We have the ability to overcome secret sins and live a life that’s guilt-free. God knows where you’re at and what you’re going through, and He wants to help you out of your situation! You only have to let Him!

 

What do YOU think the best way to deal with secret sins is?

 

 

For more advice on dealing with secret addictions check out the Fall Edition of Pure Design Magazine for FREE

 

 

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Kirsten Keesee is 19 years old and lives in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, where she works as a content writer for the Drenda Show. She enjoys traveling, collecting books, and checking items off of her bucket list.