Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Guest Blogger Melissa Nesdahl

It’s my pleasure to welcome guest blogger Melissa Nesdahl. Melissa and her coauthor Pam Stenzel have a new book out, Nobody Told Me, which helps young people understand the physical, emotional, and spiritual risks of sex outside of marriage.


My name is Melissa Nesdahl and I’m honored to be guest posting here on Karin’s wonderful blog.

As readers with a heart for Christian issues and writing, I am excited to share with you my new book with Internationally known abstinence educator Pam Stenzel.

You see, everything that is written sends a message. The type of message it sends is critical because everything read has a ripple effect. It infuses the mind of the reader, influences their thought process, and impacts the conversations they have about the topic with others. There is a social responsibility to writing.

Knowing this—and completely in love with youth ministry (as well as equipping the adults that love them)—we recently released our first book together entitled NOBODY TOLD ME: What You Need to Know about the Physical and Emotional Consequences to Sex Outside of Marriage.

Pam speaks to over a half a million students world-wide about dating and sex each year. I join her in the trenches through crisis pregnancy ministry and together we share our insights and help to help people live out God’s best.

Sadly, today’s teens are often rushed into making adult choices without complete awareness of healthy boundaries. How far is too far? Am I really at risk? Do I need to see a doctor? How do I handle these consequences? What is God’s design? Does He really care? How do I say “no?” What are safe dating boundaries? Is it too late for me? These questions and more swirl through the minds of developing adolescents often times before their faith is mature, and they need helpful, honest, accurate answers now so that they don’t suffer tomorrow.

To help students understand Truth and recognize healthy boundaries, Pam and I took years worth of teens’ shared stories and questions about God’s design for sex, Scriptural encouragement, media influence, peer pressure, abuse, pregnancy, STDs, emotional heartache, and choosing abstinence until marriage and formatted in a way teens like to communicate. Using a fun Facebook-like style, we meet teens (and those who love them) where they are at and provide them with answers to today’s tough questions so that they aren’t the next to tearfully say to God, their parents, a physician, or a future spouse, “Nobody told me. I didn’t know.” Because it is in their authentic voice, it draws them in and helps adult readers to better understand their world.

The best part about this book is that it is applicable to every student regardless of the choices they have made. For those who have abstained, this book will offer a window into the heart of their peers, provide answers to difficult questions they still might have (and be afraid to ask), strengthen them to remain pure until marriage, and offer for them suggestions to help them live that out. If, on the other hand, a young person has made mistakes this book is still for them (making it unique to others) because they will hear stories of young people struggling right along with them, but laced within the message is clarity where there was confusion, hope where there was pain, experienced forgiveness from a loving God, understanding that their past choices don’t have to define their future ones, and practical steps to redeeming their future.

For parents, youth workers, crisis pregnancy workers, mentors, etc. this book is an excellent help because we live in a rapidly changing world. The consequences that they may have faced as a teen are no longer the same as the teens of today. The number of STDs has risen, media exposure delivers wildly different messages, and the people in the home and church haven’t always known how to effectively deliver an abstinence-based message that is both glorifying to God and powerful enough to pack a punch with the students who hear it. This book will place them inside of today’s teenage experience and bring them up to speed on current statistics to help them effectively communicate a message that empowers the teen they love to have a healthy future.

Appropriate for any student 12 and up, this book will help teens’ personal faith blossom, self-confidence grow, expect respect for oneself and the people they date, and live a life a wholeness.

Many Christian leaders have endorsed the book and popular musical artist Rebecca St. James is on the cover stating, “This book is relevant, powerful, and packed with truths that all young people need to hear.”

As Christians, we all have prayerful hearts that students will hear and stand on this counter-culture message. And, as those who care about the writing world, we have a responsibility to write and promote materials that promote a Godly life.

Please join me in spreading the message!

Melissa Nesdahl is a happily married wife, mother, author, writer, and volunteer who believes that when people recognize their identity and value in Christ they will experience life to its fullest. Combining her passion to write with her love of sharing Truth, Melissa frequently updates her Fill My Cup blog, writes product and curriculum with Pam Stenzel, and contributes to ModSquad. Melissa has served as a crisis pregnancy center counselor since 1999 and currently serves on the Board of Directors.


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