Friday, February 8, 2013

From Dream to Reality

My, how time flies! It is hard to believe it was over two years ago that my good friend and brother in Christ, Luis Garcia, first shared with me his vision of writing a book on Biblical purity. Sitting under an EZ-up at a speech and debate tournament, his sixteen year-old dream seemed little more than just that, a dream. Yet in the last two years I have been blessed to see that dream turn into a reality. 

I am so proud to announce that Luis’ book, Before the Altar, was released today. You can order it here in hardback or paperback: 

The focus of the book is Biblical purity, but from a unique perspective: looking forward. During the beginning of the writing process, Luis feared he faced a dilemma from the fact that unlike most young people in our culture, he didn’t have baggage from previous relationships. “I haven’t ‘messed up’ to the point others have,” he said. “Sure I’ve made mistakes. The reason I am so passionate about Biblical purity is because I struggle so much with it. But compared to so many hurting people, my slate is relatively clean.”

Although once viewed as a difficulty, I believe this has become Luis’ greatest strength. As the description of his book states, “Books written on the topics of romance, singleness and purity are looking back, but I am looking forward. I have never dated or kissed, and I’m eighteen. Most people my age have already dated, kissed and lost their virginity; some have even experienced pregnancy. For young adults, divorce and cohabitation rates are beyond acceptable. Abortion numbers have amassed to over nine holocausts. And I am compelled to stand in the gap. If no one makes a stand, we can only expect even worse consequences to come. It’s time to stop playing in the muck of this world and slapping a Christian label on it. We need to be resolute in surrendering our lives to the authorship of God. And that surrender starts now—before the altar.”

I greatly encourage each and every one of you to read this book. It will be well worth it!

Edit: Luis' book is now also available on Amazon ( You can even purchase an ebook version here:

Monday, November 5, 2012

32 Odd Facts About Me

(Disclaimer: It was 2:00 am, I had been editing speeches, studying English Lit, and writing apologetics essays all day and I needed to give my brain a rest by ranting something ridiculous. So I wrote a blog post all about yours truly. If you don’t have anytime to spare then take my advice and don’t even bother to continue reading. However, for those of you who think you have the time to spare (but really don’t), enjoy these enlightening facts regarding my personality and leave me a comment telling at least 10 odd facts about yourself.)

1)    I can make my tongue touch my nose (no pictures available)
2)    I fractured my skull at age 3 (pictures available)
3)    I have never dyed or even highlighted my hair
4)    I read Do Hard Things 23 times
5)    My handwriting is terrible
6)    Math questions give me panic attacks (well…almost)
7)    I refused to wear jeans until 13 years old
8)    I had blond curls when I was little
9)    I’ve watched all 8 hours of BBC’s Little Dorrit in one day
10) One of my dreams is to sing with Josh Groban one day
11) I would rather clean a bathroom than do dirty dishes
12) I was asked on a date by a married man when I was 13
13) Job was my favorite book of the Bible when I was little
14) I have never read The Chronicles of Narnia
15) I don’t want a wedding veil when I get married (unless my fiancé minds)
16) Michael Gambon is one of my favorite actors
17) I have (three times!) flattened guys twice my size for bullying other kids
18) I hate summer… but love summer evenings
19) I’ve eaten a roly-poly. Oh! and some ants too… but the roly-poly tasted better
20) I write silly things when I’m tired (in case you couldn’t tell)
21) I have never seen Singing in the Rain
22) One of my nick-names used to be Bully (I’ve moved to My Muslim Friend now)
23) I nearly cut off my brother’s finger with a pair of scissors once
24)  I never had to wear a head-gear or expander with my braces
25) I have a tiny mole on the inside of my eyelid
26) The term “mutual submission” makes me really mad
27) I have never had my hair cut professionally
28) I’ve never owned a phone
29) I used to play the flute
30) I only learned the Hokey-Pokey a year ago and the Chicken-Dance a month ago
31) I have three freckles on my right cheek
32) I get really weird when writing too late at night (but not this time… oh no)

Monday, October 1, 2012

"Worth the Wait" Part 4

Continuing her climb, the wounded and fatigued bride found herself entirely alone. “This is my journey,” she repeated, trying to comfort herself, “No one can travel it for me. Some may come alongside to aid, but I must complete it myself.” Yet she still longed for a hand to help for every step was pure anguish. Any minute her limbs threatened to give way, causing her to again plunge down the face of the cliff.  

But she had already gained back the ground from her last fall and had only a few yards left to scale. The chapel was mostly hidden by overhanging boulders, with just the tip of the steeple jutting out above them. Reaching the boulders and using what little strength she had left, she attempted to pull herself up. At last! The bride could see the full chapel only yards in front of her. Yet she could not seem to muster enough power to bring her body over the last hurdle for suddenly her feet slipped and were left dangling in the air.  She held on for dear life, but her arms were too exhausted to maintain their grip and she felt them begin to give way.

“No,” she gasped frantically as tears streamed down her dirty cheeks, “Not when I’ve come this far… not when I’ve come this far!”

Her fingers slipped.

Yet instead of plummeting to her death, the bride felt her arm grasped by a warm, strong hand that gently pulled her exhausted form over the last obstacle. The owner of the strong arm slowly placed her on the few feet of grassy ground between the chapel and the cliff. The hair that covered the bride’s eyes was softly pulled away to reveal to her… the old usher. Stroking her hair with his fingers and gazing at her with tear-filled eyes he whispered, “Well done.”

The bride burst into tears, as all the emotion and strain from the journey finally hit her tired frame. But the usher merely took her into his arms and let her cry. After some time he said, “Come, they are waiting for you.”

“I can’t go in like this,” she said, more tears spilling over.

“Like this?” was his reply as he raised her to her feet. “What fault do you find in your appearance?”

The bride looked at him incredulously but then followed his gaze onto her wedding gown. What surprise awaited her there! No longer was her dress torn, her limbs dirty, or hands bloody. Where each rent in her gown had been now was a cluster of diamonds and roses, as though a mist of beauty had melted together to weld each tear. The dirt and sand merely cleansed and purified the skin both on her limbs and face, making them clear as cream and her cheeks soft and rosy. The wind had gently untangled and whisked her hair into a stunning design, leaving it sprayed delicately with tiny diamonds. The bride’s lips had been seared to perfection by the sun’s rays, presently having a natural shade of ruby red.

Looking deeply into her eyes the usher explained, “No longer are you the plain, simple beauty from before your journey. Along the path you were purified, refined, and enriched to a deeper level of beauty. Because you were willing to take that course, one that many scoff at and ridicule, and because you fought the battle against many obstacles including yourself, your dream to save the revealing of your beauty for your future husband can now come true. My child, it is the very glory of your purity and innocence that makes you stunning.”

Tears and a smile of infinite relief, happiness, and contentment passed over the face of the bride. The usher gently led her to the door where he then motioned for her to wait as he brought the father-of-the-bride. She waited but could not resist the urge to peek into the room to see her lover. She cracked the door ajar. There he was, standing at the altar; waiting for her. His back was towards her, but his tall form still sent a surge of joy to her heart.

“Turn around, my darling,” she whispered, “I want to see your face.”

As though answering her request, the groom turned around to face the aisle. But oh! His face was still covered by a stand of pure white flowers.

“Not yet,” the usher’s voice said as he reached the bride with her father following behind, “His face will be revealed to you soon.”

“Take my arm, honey,” said the father-of-the-bride.

With a smile of complete and utter happiness, the bride took her father’s arm and cast a look of infinite gratitude to the usher.

“See, my child” He nodded, while a tear glistened in his soft eyes, “It is worth it.”

Suddenly the doors swung open, everyone rose to their feet, and the sweet strains of violin music began to play as the bride took her first step down the aisle. And then…

I woke up.