Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Dangers of Emotional Pornography (an article from

Here is an interesting article I stumbled upon... what do you think?


The Dangers of Emotional Pornography
Cole NeSmith Tuesday, 28 December 2010 00:00

We (rightly) worry and fight against visual pornography. But what about the dangers of pornography of the mind and heart?

I watched the pilot episode of Glee when it premiered a few months before the show was to begin airing regularly. It was decent enough to at least give some time to the next few episodes. But by the end of episode two, I was getting a little uneasy. As I watched it, I was becoming aware of what the writers wanted me to feel—the good guy teacher to cheat on his evil wife with the gentle co-worker, and the main male character to cheat on his hypocritical Christian girlfriend with his female lead counterpart.It was one thing to want the characters in the show to do this thing or that, but I turned it off in the middle of a scene in which that male student finally decided to cheat on his girlfriend. It wasn’t because I was offended at the content before my eyes. Rather, in that moment, there was a transference of energy. I found myself thinking about whose girlfriend I should have stolen in high school and how easy and awesome it would have been.

Flash back to Nashville, May of 2009. I’m driving in a rental car, scanning radio stations. I stop on the local Christian station, and the female DJ is talking about the coming The Notebook: The Musical. She goes on to fawn over the romance in the story and how well it will be adapted to the stage. “But what about A Walk To Remember?” she says. “That would make a fantastic musical. I just loved how that made me feel. And, of course, Switchfoot would have to have some songs in it.”

There’s certainly a war against the prevalence of visual pornography in many corners of our society—especially in the Christian culture. There is an attempt to expose pornography for its promotion of unrealistic sexual expectations and exploitation of human sexuality. And that attempt is a very necessary one.

But what about the unhealthy emotional and relational expectations portrayed in so much of our media? Is there really much of a difference in the hyperbolized sexual imagery of typical pornography and the hyperbolized momentary emotional high felt in a romance film or romantic comedy that sends us looking for a “love” that doesn’t exist?

I heard an interview on NPR with a female author named Elizabeth Gilbert. She was talking about the proliferation of the “Soul Mate Complex” in our modern culture and how the film Jerry Maguire served to reinforce it with the now illustrious line, "You complete me.”

It’s not necessarily only the resulting effects of such a movie that parallels the traditional definition of pornography. Just as there is sexual excitement surrounding the mystery and allure of what flesh might be seen in a movie known for its racy reputation, so too are we drawn in with an anticipation for the emotional and physical high of a romance film.

As a result, we’re taught to crave the moment of romantic ecstasy or to live for the wedding day. We’re raised to think these are the real stories of love and relationship, and we’re confused when they are so few and far between that we aren’t sustained. So we turn back to that which led us to believe in this fantasy all along. And we’re left with an old woman sitting alone, in her love seat, in front of the television watching her “stories.”

Kids eventually understand that pumpkins don’t turn to glass carriages and Fairy Godmothers don’t grant wishes, but many girls never grow out of the idea that one day they will be rescued from reality by some magic and a fictitious prince. And little boys never live up to the fantasy of the mind or that they’re supposed to be that prince and that their spouse is an all-fulfilling princess.

Next time you’re thinking about seeing a movie, be aware of what’s pulling you toward it. If you decide to watch it, recognize the moment when you feel the emotional reinforcement of fake love. And when you walk out, recognize what you now hope for and expect.

There is such a thing as love. There are beautiful moments. But love is about life. And life is about the long haul.

Cole NeSmith is a pastor at Status in Orlando and creator of Uncover The Color.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

modeling inner beauty

So I came across this jewel of an interview with a successful runway and print model that has made a stand for Christ through her lifestyle. I was inspired and I'm sure you will be too!

Shine on!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

"all that glitters... not gold."

It's an old saying that holds a timeless truth, and it's one that recently shook me. Hearing it a couple of weeks ago, one might have thought I had heard it for the first time considering the thought-provoking impact it made.

Back in the gold rush, many times miners thought they had made a fortune only to find out that what they thought was valuable, genuine gold was actually its counterfeit, iron pyrites (what we know as "fool's gold"), which is worth virtually nothing. How disappointing this must have been! The miners were probably devastated and felt cheated.

Have you ever fell in love with a movie star, particularly because of a certain movie character played, only to find out after you researched him that in real life he's not anything like that character? In fact he might have some real serious character flaws. What a disappointment!

On a personal note, upon hearing this thought, I determined that I did not want to be fool's gold; merely glittering like the real thing. Speaking of which, how do you tell if what seems to be gold is actually gold? Well it is said that it has to go through a testing process. The Bible says that just as fire tests and purifies gold, so trials test and perfect our faith (1 Peter 1:7). Trying shows what the substance being tried is actually made of. If it's false, it will likely be consumed by the fire, and if it's genuine it will purified and strengthened.

The Bible gives other ways to tell whether a glittering personality or appearance of ourselves and others is a true reflection of what our character really is. Consider Matthew 12:33 & 35, "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruits bad; for a tree is known by its fruit... A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things."

I don't know about you, but I would be crushed to find that after going through trials that whatever glitter I might have is proved to be only surface deep. The only way to assure that we are genuine gold, is to have first established a relationship with Christ, recognizing Him as our Lord and Savior, and then continually seeking Him through His Word, prayer, and active faith. Through all of these comes the strengthening of our character, so that when the fiery trials come we are not consumed and shown to be merely fool's gold, but only pure, authentic gold!

I am glad for the reality check, and I pray that when I am tested I will come forth as gold- and the same goes for you too! So shine on in all authenticity!

Nobody's fool's gold,


Sunday, May 9, 2010

mother... is there a sweeter name on this earth?

happy mother's day to these unsung heroes; our mothers!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

prince charming

It's him! ::dreamy sigh:: The one we've been waiting for. He's the brave and mighty hero. We swoon at the thought of him. He will whisk us away and fulfill all of our dreams. He is our happily ever after. We dream about him, fantasize about how he will look (will he be tall, dark, and oh-so-handsome?), and just how he will sweep us off our feet. "Yes, some day my prince will come!" our hearts sing.

Yes it's true, we do have a prince who is coming for us, and when he comes he will be coming in on the clouds with great glory to gather his own. It's going to be an awesome event, so get ready. ;-)

Shame on us for putting this sort of hope in our brothers, who with this hope of being our everything set on them will always fall short. Only Christ can be that Prince that we've been longing for our whole lives, the One who can make us whole. The One who cherishes us and calls us to be His special bride. Hope placed on him is rightly done so, because it's a sure hope.

"A husband is a brother you choose."

The significant other. We will love them greatly, and they will love us, but they will not fulfill the deepest longing in your or my heart. There is only One who can do that, He's the One that paid the ultimate price for you and I. The lover of our souls. His name is Jesus Christ. No, no one can love us like Him or give us what we're looking for (that is, what our hearts are seeking). Do you know Him? Doing you really know Him? Seek and you shall find Him, your True Prince.


Monday, March 8, 2010

21st century femininity

Photo of Madeleine Carrol

My goodness, it's been too long!

I had to share this wonderful old romantic comedy I watched just tonight called, My Love for Yours.

So, I wonder, what is it about old movies that I love so much? I think it's a combination of things, but there is one thing I observed tonight in particular. For instance, in this movie, though the leading lady was supposed to be somewhat of a feminist in her thinking (this comes to change), she possessed such a lovely and feminine countenance. There wasn't a thing rude or crude about her behavior. She was strong but not pushy or overbearing. Such a contrast to the trend today, which, I'm afraid to admit, creeps it's way into my countenance sometimes.

If only we had the courage and confidence to be soft and vulnerable- and it does take courage, too! Sometimes it can feel like a casting of pearls to be trampled upon, but we mustn't give up... right? What do you think?


Monday, February 1, 2010

authbeau online course has begun!

The first day's course of study has been sent out. Please let me know if you have registered but haven't received an e-mail as of yet.



It's not too late to join in:


Saturday, January 30, 2010

authentic beauty online course starting february 1st!

Hello ladies!

It's been a long time with no word from myself, and for that I must apologize. Much work has been going into the online Authentic Beauty e-course, which starts this Monday, February 1st! If you've been having some trouble getting registered, please let me know right away:

In the meantime, keep checking those inboxes! =)


secondhand fashion week!

I was just thinking how I love when I come across a good find at a second-hand store. I recently bought a shirt, shoes, and belt for $5.50! All this to say that the AmandaBeth blog is hosting an event to begin in March in which participants can showcase their frugal fashion finds! It should be a lot of fun and result in some really neat outfits. Do check it out and mark the date!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

authentic beauty online course

Hi Friends!

The on-site Authentic Beauty course ended this past Friday and it went very well. One of the girls that attended is from a nearby island and her family here said that the week was probably the best of her life! Can you believe that?

During the course of the week not only did we learn about health, fitness, social graces, and personal style, but I was able to teach about the Lord and share the Gospel every day! I pray that the ground was fertile and that the seeds planted will really grow.

Well, with that now coming to a close, a lot of my attention is now turned to the online course for which I'm very excited! We have quite a few ladies signed up and it's not too late to register. ;-)

With love,


Saturday, January 9, 2010

a call to modesty in the church

Maybe an unconventional way to go about it; regardless, a good challenge to the church (especially us girls) on a somewhat sensitive issue . You have to admire that.

"There’s an inseparable link between your heart and your clothes. Your clothes say something about your attitude. If they don’t express a heart that is humble, that desires to please God, that longs to serve others, that’s modest, that exercises self-control, then change must begin in the heart."

"For modesty is humility expressed in dress. "
Taken from C.J. Mahaney’s chapter “God, My Heart, and Clothes,” in the book Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World, © 2008.

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