Monday, April 4, 2011

Purity of Heart, Body, Mind and Soul~The Beginning

Are you willing to pay the price of purity?

A letter to my best friend sits not too far from my hand— with my answer to that question. The catalyst for this post. We have talked about marriage in our last few letters and our struggle on this journey.
Neither of us are married, but we have been raised in marriages that have stood the test of time for twenty years and better. We’ve seen the examples laid before us and we are reaching the pinnacle of our journey between single young woman and married wife.
No matter the cost, we are willing to wait for that “right moment”. But to wait is uncertain and can be plain aggravating.
I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures posted on the right hand side of this page. If not, take a moment and scroll down until you see the picture of purity and the golden heart.
It’s those promises I cling to.
Remaining pure in this world on any average day is not for the faint of heart. We have to reject the ads that barrage us and while the rest of the world fornicates amongst themselves, we must stand on the morals we have chosen.
Is it easy?
You can answer that one.
My friend and I often talk about our futures. How important it is we remain pure, because to do so, not only sets us apart in the world’s eyes, it gives us a higher standard to live by.
There is a freedom in obeying God’s commands. Of knowing we are residing in His perfect will.
We are also human and we fail. We let the enticing aromas of the promises just past our grasp tempt us to strain that much harder to take them. And we wonder… Why can’t I take this step?
The problem is: when you lower your standards and allow your purity to be trampled upon by the world, you open the door to that step that just gets easier and easier. If I date, why not kiss? Ignore the warnings bells clanging, what harm can it cause? If I kiss, why not sleep with him? Really, I think he’s the one. We don’t need a little gold band. If I sleep with him, why not move in together? We’ll get married soon.
Do you see what I’m saying?
It’s not just those high standards you need be held accountable for, it’s what’s right and good and true. Dwell on those things Philippians commands us.
It’s not for the faint of heart. This road isn’t easy.  We can’t see the future; we only see the finite directly before our noses. What WE want to see. As we peer down the scope into the future, all we see is a blur. Not even color, just…
Which is why I have asked several of those gone before us to share their stories. Why THEY remained pure in a world barraging them to accept the least instead of striving for the best. Why THEY have been blessed by remaining fixed on those high standards, body, mind, heart and soul.
I pray this four part series will encourage you as it has me.  Take heart!
The best is coming. Each day takes us closer.
You just have to be willing to WAIT for it.

**Reminder that every comment this week on the Purity of Heart series, enters you for one of four chances to win a novel by Julie Lessman**

45 comments:

  1. Great Post ~ I also remained pure until my wedding night and I know it was the best thing ever! My husband and I have been married for 24 years ;.)

    Karen
    ~Mommy's Moments~
    http://www.avonbykaren.blogspot.com

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  2. Casey, I admire you so much for your posts! Guess I am the "grandma" of the blog (a "senior"), but can truly say I believe in your beliefs.
    jackie.smithATdishmailDOTnet

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  3. I often think about it like this , I don't have anything to give but myself. Why would I share myself with anyone in that way? Wouldn't it be wonderful to say, I was waiting for you all along and have him say the same?

    XOXO~ Renee

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  4. My husband and I also waited until marriage. It wasn't always easy, but it was worth it.

    I'm so proud of you, Casey!

    carol at carolmoncado dot com

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  6. Casey, wonderful post, my friend! I’m excited about this series as it is something that is so dear and precious to my heart. Love the title, too! Purity starts in your heart before it ever translates to the physical.

    The process of thinking you described here – letting a little sin in that doesn’t seem too bad, but only leads to more sin (evil begets evil, Amen?) – reminded me of the first verse in Psalm 1: “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungoldly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” It’s a slow fade away from the delights of the Lord. And a slow, downhill process of letting the world’s pleasure and empty promises replace God’s sure foundation of faithful promises and His best for our lives. We walk by sin, taking our forbidden glances; then, we stop and stand there, gazing longingly at it; then, we sit down and make ourselves at home in the mire. We should have never even “glanced” in the first place! Keeping our eyes locked on Christ is so important. Purity is pure, not tainted with even a hint of compromise – if it was it wouldn’t be “pure” anymore would it? Glory to Him who is able to keep us from falling, because we certainly couldn’t do it on our own – gosh, I know I would face plant! :)

    I agree, holding out for God’s best is anything BUT easy, but it IS worth everything you must give up and lay down to get it!! :) When we delight in the Lord, meditate on His Word, draw our strength from Him and keep Him as our first and true love, He will take great pleasure in giving us the desires of our hearts in due season. Waiting is worth it :)

    Thank you again for your stand for Christ and purity, my friend, and being that beautiful example to the rest of us :)

    Blessings,
    Amanda

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  7. Hi Casey,

    I admire you standing up for your principles. That is hard to do in today's society.

    But not even a kiss??? How will you know you're compatible if you don't even share a few kisses? Just make sure the location doesn't prove too tempting.

    Curious to know your thoughts.

    Have a great purity week! Looking forward to the posts.

    Sue
    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

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  8. KAREN F, that is really fantastic! And you are reaping the benefits now!

    RENEE (steeler girl) oh very well said! I completely agree, it is the best, best gift you can give to your spouse.

    CAROLM, that is something to be proud of. I see firsthand how it has made so many marriages stronger.

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  9. AMANDA, I completely agree with what you said. It is a slow fade (Courtesy of a Casting Crowns song. :)) and each step we take down that path of sin just tumbles and keeps going faster and faster. You are COMPLETELY right when you said it shouldn't be tainted by compromise. I often think about the couples that have stepped into sin before marriage. If your young man is pushing you to do so BEFORE marriage, what will tell you about what will happen AFTER the marriage? It doesn't bode well.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, girl! I think you are going to be REALLY encouraged by the rest of the posts this week. :)

    SUSAN ANNE, lol. I am not against kissing per say. Though I will say I passed 16 and beyond without my first one. :) But I do think there are other (and better) ways of learning the heart and compatablity of a person. And yes if done in a tempting environment, that is never good! But like Amanda said, I think you need to be careful and not fall for that first 'good looks and I think this is the one'.

    But no, I'm certainly not against a kiss. Though I do think it would be neat to wait until my wedding day. We'll see if that changes between now and then. ;-)

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  10. :) Casey I totally agree with you about a kiss. There is nothing wrong with it, but you have to do what you feel comfortable with and what you feel God is leading you to do in a relationship. I'll be 25 in a couple months and I still haven't been kissed! I was seriously thinking about waiting till my wedding day, but I'm not sure... I'm just trusting God for the right moment with the right person - the one He created just for me :) Any part of yourself you give is a gift - with the Lord's direction He will show us who will treasure such gifts and when/if we should give them in the first place :)

    Blessings,
    Amanda

    P.S. - I know, I LOVE Casting Crowns!! :D

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  11. Great kick-off to a great a great series, Casey! Love your post! I can see it being such an encouragement to so many young ladies.

    I guide my teenage daughters on the ways of purity, and I pray that they will follow the precepts that God has set before them. Ultimately the choices will have to be made by them, and I pray that they will choose wisely.

    Sweet Blessings!
    Michelle
    scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

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  12. Oh, CASE, I am SOOOO excited about this week because this is SUCH an important subject for young women today -- THANK YOU for bringing it to the foreground on your blog!!

    And, YIKES, I am relieved to hear that you aren't "against kissing per se," or I'd be in a heap of trouble with my books, because I sure don't shy away from "the kiss"!! But I do admire the commitment to stay pure to the point of saving the first kiss till marriage, although as a product of the free-love era of the 60s and 70s, that would have been a stretch for me!! :)

    Anyway, I LOVE your blog today and cannot wait for what you have in store for the rest of the week!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  13. Casey,

    How encouraging! I, too, have promised-a long time ago-to remain pure for my future husband. I agree with you that it is NOT easy. At 18, I know I shouldnt be antsy, but I confess I am at times and each year seems to grow harder. Not so much hard to remain pure, but the longly to find that special someone.

    I know that I am not at the age where I should start to despair of finding the right one, but as I look around at the young men I do know, I don't see anyone that is ready for marriage - so I wait, for who knows how long. :-)

    But, as I am constantly reminded of, when I DO find that special someone, the wait will be entirely worth it. And when I do find him, with the Lords help, I will be able to share my very first kiss with him on our wedding day. :-) That's something special to look forward to!

    ~ Katy

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  14. AMANDA, exactly. Trusting the Lord to provide that right moment and knowing you have found the one with whom He has blessed you with. Oh so beautifully said, that every single part of ourselves is a gift to give- and to wait to share. I have no doubt you will be so BLESSED because of this patience, Amanda!

    MICHELLE, I’m glad you got the chance to stop by and I’m glad you liked the post. That is my goal is to encourage those around me who are walking through the same paths and struggles I am. It CAN to be done, we just have to say we will DO IT.

    JULIE, me too! I can’t tell you how much (especially since I just read your post!! ) LOL, no I’m not against kissing at all, just the commitment I have made to wait and not give it away at first sight.

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  15. JACKIE, I completely missed your comment, I'm sorry!

    My goodness, you would probably have the strongest stories to tell on defense of this topic! No matter if you are the "Senior" visitor, your opinion is greatly valued! Thanks for stopping by today!

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  16. KATY, oh dear girl, you sound like me!

    I recently ran into a circumstance that put me in a different position I haven’t been in before. I had someone show an interest in me, but after learning a bit more and talking with my Godly parents, I didn’t pursue anything more. It wasn’t a good interest to be in.

    I won’t give you the pat answer, to “just wait” or that “your day is coming” or “there is someone out there for you” they are variations of the same answer and they get FATIGUING, no?

    I know EXACTLY what you are saying, it’s hard to wait. It’s hard to think there is no one out there right now and no matter how long you wait, it just gets longer.

    Give it to the Lord.

    Whenever I think of that young man who showed an interest, or my YEARNING for marriage and that kind of love crops up, I pray. I GIVE it to God. I’m a dreamer, I love to imagine, and I’m NOT against those dreams, but they were consuming when I should have been consumed with Christ.

    Give it to the Lord, Katy.

    You will find SUCH peace in that. I have!

    Be encouraged girl, and email, (seriously) ANYTIME you need to talk. *smile*

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  17. I am a 41 yr old single and it is hard to stay pure. I have and still hope to get married but many people in the world can't understand why I am waiting. It gets very frustrating to stay pure when people won't be supportive. My Christian friends and family are but co-workers not so much.
    wsmarple/at/gmail/dot/com

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  18. Thank you, Casey :) And I was so blessed by the beautiful encouragement and instruction you gave to Katy.

    You are so right - giving it to the Lord is so important! And I know exactly what you mean about those dreams and even being consumed with them when I should have been consumed with Christ. I need that reminder sometimes, so thank you, my friend :)

    Blessings,
    Amanda

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  19. Hey Casey, here is another to add to the group:) I am 26 and never been married or kissed. I have had several through the years but none that were what God wants for me. And this whole series is great because so many today that I meet(our family travels full time doing ministry work), think that they are pure because they have never slept with a guy. It starts oh so much before before that! Will be reading through this week. Can't wait for the rest of the series:)

    Thanks!
    esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  20. Casey,

    I love the post. Like you I know how hard it is to stay pure in this world, however I know that waiting will be worth it. I understand the whole waiting to kiss until it's the one that God wants for you. There's nothing wrong with not having your first kiss till your wedding day. In a few months I will be turing 24 and have not been kissed, and I see nothing wrong with it, I am waitng for God's best for me, not who I think is best. I am hoping to wait till my wedding day to have my first kiss; however that may change, but even if it does it will be after I am engaged. Stay strong and trust in God.

    Carissa

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  21. WENDY,stay strong in the Lord. He WILL sustain you! I pray you are encouraged this week.

    AMANDA, oh me too! I am such a dreamer and love to imagine the future, but it can become obsessive. I have experienced SUCH FREEDOM in giving it all back to Him. :)

    CHARITY, should be start a purity anonymous group?? LOL! I know what you mean and that is the express purpose of this series. Because it isn't JUST the point of being bodily pure, the Bible says if you lust in your heart, you have committed audultry. We must keep ourselves clean in EVERY aspect. Just like Philipians commands. :)

    CARISSA, YES God's best and not what we think is OUR best. Humans are such fallible human beings. We need HIM to rely on. Thanks for coming by and I hope you enjoy the rest!!

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  22. Casey, you are very wise for one so young. I commend you for taking a stand for purity. You will not regret it, whereas if you reject purity, you will! I really liked this line: "There is a freedom in obeying God's commands. Of knowing we are residing in His perfect will."
    Obedience to Christ brings peace like nothing else.
    Keep up the great writing and stay pure!
    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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  23. My husband and I were engaged for 13 steamy months 31 years ago--and lived to tell about it. I wanted the hymn "Victory In Jesus" in our wedding!

    No doubt, God uses all that physical and emotional angst in my writing today.

    I've never talked to a single person who regretted waiting for marriage, but those who didn't wait are plagued by guilt, shame, difficulty in respecting and trusting the other person. The foundation of your marriage is weakened whether you had sex with your spouse or others. Yes, God forgives, but healing can be a very long road.

    I applaud you Casey and your like-minded readers. Keep up the good choices. We're cheering you on!

    Warmly,
    Ann

    Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com
    AnnLeeMiller.com

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  24. Hello fellow blogger!

    Let me just say how much I loved your blog and the topic. I decided to really take a hold of my purity about 4 years ago, before then it was just something I would have probably handed over when I thought the moment was right. But although these past four years have been hard and a struggle I'm holding on to the dream and to God's perfect plan. I am waiting for the man that is in the will of God and not settling for less, because as the daughter of a King I deserve nothing more than a prince.
    It is all or nothing!!
    Thank you so much for writing about this!

    You are truly blessed :)

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  25. This is an awesome post topic! So glad to know that there are so many poeple out there committed to purity! I'm single and still a teenager, I never really had the pressure like some of my close friends have-which is a blessing. I have seen how important this topic is from watching in the background while one of my childhood friends went through the darkest part of their life as a result of not staying pure. I've seen only a fraction of the hurt it can cause. This is so important, I applaud you for being brave and tackling this topic. I will eagerly await the rest of this series. Thanks so much for doing it.

    crazi(dot)swans(at)gmail(dot)com

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  26. Bethany StevensonApril 4, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    Thanks for the blog! I found it really helpful. Like other girls my age (20) I am finding it hard to stay pure. A previous friend found it no big deal to kiss random strangers. Partially because of my friendship to that person I lowered my values and kissed a guy. Now I regret it because he was very much the wrong guy for me and I wish I had kept that for my future husband. I'm very much determined to keep pure till my wedding day now (although a lot of the time that just seems so far away). It is one part of my life I really need to pray more about.
    Thanks again for the inspirational blog! It's great to hear I'm not alone in trying to stay pure =)

    Bethany

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  27. Hi there Casey!

    Wow! Awesome blog! I also have "never been kissed" and plan to wait for my wedding day (nothing against kissing before, it's just me). I think some of the best advice I ever got from someone was the director of summer camp last year. He said "purity is more than the ring on your finger." He meant that purity is like a lifestyle, not just staying pure until marriage, but also pure in our speech, thoughts, and actions.

    Keep up the great work, Casey! = )

    ~Tahiri

    kristia(at)hawaii(dot)edu

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  28. Oops, meant "kristia4(at)hawaii(dot)edu"

    ~Tahiri

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  29. I have dated pre-Christ, and post-Christ. Two totally different lifestyles. I must say that the post-Christ is much more blessed and rewarding. Living God's way is the best way. :)

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  30. Back in 1994, several of us moms put on a youth rally titled "Sex Has A Price Tag" featuring Pam Stenzel. It was definitely a God thing. I've never worked with a greater team of women. Things fell apart, but He opened other doors. We have somewhere between 700-900 parents and their teens in attendance (count by others on the team. I just know it was a full gym!) True Love Waits was just coming out.

    Could I get permission to post your series on my blog? Please advise.

    Also add me in to the giveaway. Thanks.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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  31. Bethany StevensonApril 4, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    Oh I forgot earlier, can you please add me in the draw too?

    My email address is
    Bethanyy.Stevenson at Gmail dot com

    Thanks!

    Bethany

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  32. Casey, I really agree with your thoughts. And I have enjoyed reading all the posts.

    plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  33. I'm single and waiting, but as I'm fast approaching 30 I'm starting to wonder if it will ever happen for me. It's not always easy, but I'd rather be single than dating the wrong guy.


    Holly
    oceandreamerfla(at)aol(dot)com

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  34. PAM K, SO TRUE! There will be NO regrets if you stand strong on God’s commands. There is AMAZING peace in giving it all to Him and being EXACTLY where you know you should be.

    ANN LEE MILLER, what a great testimony! There is great victory in Jesus! :D And I have no doubt that would be a great thing to draw on for your fiction. And very well said! That foundation needs to be rock solid and while ANYTHING is possible in Christ, why wouldn’t you start on an untainted beginning? Thanks for sharing!!

    VINTAGE GIRL, keep holding on, keep holding on! Like Pam said, you will have NO regrets if you stay in God’s perfect will and as scripture says: He will NOT tempt as far as you can handle. Be encouraged and stay safe in His arms, HE will sustain you always!

    FAYE, be uplifted, girl! It is hard world out there for people like you and me and everyone else who has visited this week. But we CAN stand strong. Take comfort in the Lord, in His promises and in the support of those around you, like us! :- )

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  35. BETHANY, KEEP that determination! I know exactly what you mean, that it can seem so far away. I won’t give the pat answers we are all used to hearing, but when those moments of lose, that it will never happen to you, crop up, GIVE IT BACK TO GOD. I have found SUCH PEACE in doing that. I feel fortified to wait and wait until the time is right!

    TAHIRI, I LOVE THAT! I am going to save that, “purity is more than the ring on your finger”. It DOESN’T end at marriage; it’s a lifelong journey that will be an incredible blessing to your marriage, life, your EXAMPLE of Christ to others. It begins in the heart, but it encompasses so much more: heart, mind and soul. THAT is what I wanted this series to be about. :D

    PRIVIES AND PRIMS, Oh yes! I know exactly what you mean. When you surround all to Christ, you gain EVERYTHING in Him!

    LINDA, that is really fantastic, we need to keep those kinds of things going and spread the word! True Love DOES Wait. If it doesn’t you need to RUN the opposite direction! Email me about that permission. (caseymh18(@)gmail(.)com) and we can talk.

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  36. BETHANY, don’t worry you are. :- )

    PATSY, thank you for coming by! God is so good! Hope you enjoy the rest of the week. :- )

    HOLLY, DON’T GIVE UP! You are incredibly right in what you said: wait for the RIGHT moment so you don’t end up with a soulful of heartache later. God will sustain you. Ask Him to, TRUST that He will and then watch Him move. You will have NO regrets and only He can see what is coming down the track. :- )

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  37. Casey, I'm so glad that you are doing this series!! I so wish that I had the support like this in my younger years! I was alone(or felt like it) with my beliefs.
    My husband and I waited until marriage, and I wouldn't trade that for anything!! (We did kiss, but he's the only one I've EVER kissed);) At 22, I thought I was the oldest person ever to have not been kissed. I was actually embarassed about it. I think I would have been more comfortable with myself if I had the support that you are providing with this series!! :)

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  38. What a wonderful post Casey. I wish more young people could read your post. I know it's not easy in today's world to stay pure. I don't think it was as hard when I was growing up because there wasn't so much peer pressure. So congratulations for sticking to your values.

    My husband and I also waited. There is something so special about that.

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  39. This is such an important topic for women today. My novel that was just released, my heroine is 29 and is still pure--when I tell people they say 'that doesn't happen now-a days.' I say 'yes it does.'
    Thanks for being real life supporters of this precious gift.

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  40. A wonderful post Casey.
    It really made me think.....
    dymesich(at)juno(dot)com

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  41. BLUEROSE, I know what it’s like not to have support in certain areas. Not this one, because of how I’ve been raised, but in other areas of my life. The BEST way to change that cycle is to give to the next generation what you always wish you had been given. :- )

    CINDY W., I will say Cindy, this is a MUCH bigger turnout then I ever expected and all I can do is trust that God is putting it before the people that need to read it. I am so glad you stopped by today! “Meeting” people such as yourself from the generation before us is encouraging to know you support us in our stand and took it yourself!

    LINDI, oh it so is true! I’m a living example and can list a whole handful times ten of other people I know who are. Thanks for coming by! It is great to “meet” those such as yourself (and congrats on that first book!! :- )

    LEAH, so glad it did so! :- ) Thanks for taking the time to visit and read it.

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  42. very important topic this week.

    I'm a julie fan. I have all of her books so far. Would love to win her newest one Please enter me thanks

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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  43. Thank you Casey for addressing this much needed topic! And for all of the interviews to your blog this week. Some awesome stories and testimonies!
    And any of Julie's books would be great for me!
    Blessings.....Joy
    ibjoy1953{at]yahoo[dot]com

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  44. APPLE BLOSSOM, thanks for taking time to visit this week! Yes, I agree, such an important topic that needs to be shouted from the rooftops.

    SPLASHESOFJOY, so glad you got the chance to come by!! I pray you are uplifted. :)

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  45. Your blog is so nice...
    i want to inform you that a young blogger have copied your header image... (she's got this defect... she always do it...


    this is the link:

    http://worldfridens.blogspot.it/search?updated-max=2012-06-27T10:50:00%2B02:00&max-results=3#axzz27OuXKm4a


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